Monday, August 30, 2010

Discard Time

"Discard Time"

Every morning I hear a noise,
the clock calls me from slumber,
breaks apart every dream,
like sunlight burning away fog,
and scattered clouds.

All I ever hear about is time,
lives ruled by the ticking,
by the resounding alarms,
12 numbers that tell us when to
do what we do,
go where we go,
sleep when we sleep

But I've been thinking,
what if we could discard time?
What if we let go of all the years,
the seconds,
the minutes,
the hours
Would we miss anything?

If we've really got forever,
does it matter what time it starts?
If we've really got forever,
why does it matter when we stop?

I would never burn one precious word,
nor a page, or a beautiful book,
but I wonder what would be borne from the chaos
if we burned all our wristwatches,
and unplugged every alarm clock.

I want to discard time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

That Hideous Slumber (Poem Version)

I enjoyed writing a poem about The Red Elevators, so I wrote one based on my current story.

"That Hideous Slumber"

With effortless motions,
you put a poem in my heart,
you know I'd do anything for you,
and when they twist your shape,
all out of recognition,
my love never changes faces,
I'd do anything for you.

Whether a bluebird,
so tiny and vulnerable
or a great tree with summer leaves,
in the midst of Autumn's grasp
I know it's you when it's you,
I'd journey around the world,
beggar in the courts of queens,
stare down wolves the size of oxen,
dive into the furthest depths of the sea,
I'd do anything for you.

There's a whole wide world waiting for us,
Silver cities that shimmer in the sun,
golden armies and rabbit kings,
Emperors and thieves,
vagabonds and princes,
all will quail before us one day,
when they understand they face something
beyond flesh and blood,
I'd do anything for you.

That hideous slumber can claim me,
the world can rip us apart,
with all their myriad trappings and curses,
but I'm not afraid to dream,
nor will I shrink from the nightmarish,
this descent into darkest sleep
I'd do anything for you.


My friend and I made a list of goals we want to accomplish by this time next year. Here's mine in (slightly) edited form... Some of them are kind of joking but most are pretty serious.

-Living on my own
-Pay off student loan
-Get a better job
-Grow a beard
-Save up $3000 (or more!)
-tithe off every paycheck
-Practice music
-Quiet time (or devotions if you prefer...) every day
-Work out more (and take protein)
-Eat healthier (and learn how to cook)
-Finish my book (and then write another!)
-Take vitamins
-Find a wife (Ok honestly I have a strict it'll happen when it happens policy.)
-Surfing trip to ocean with Derrick
-Get rid of junk I don't need
-No shave november (still on the fence about this...)
-Spend less/save more
-Be more positive
-Be more generous with my time and money
-keep my room cleaner
-keep my car cleaner
-Save up for a new car
-Drink more water
-Sleep more during the work week
-Speak with more conviction, mumble less
-Learn to to hold a conversation better, maintaining eye contact

I took off getting a pet turtle, finding new insurance, keeping up with laundry better, and learning a new language, because i only added them to make my list as long as Derrick's.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Untitled Poem

Here's a new poem and another oddity. Let me know what you think. I guess this one is sort of like a story. Enjoy... hopefully!!

"Untitled #6"

Somebody told me there's a secret,
to weaving straw and turning it precious,
but I haven't the skill in my fingers,
nor the drive.
Such material trappings,
have never motivated me.

Somebody told me to spin them a coat,
born of the finest gold,
but I'd rather spin you a dress,
to match your beautiful voice,
the songs of a wayward angel,
that hover around your head,
the words that are finer than precious stones.

Sing to me a melody that never falters,
while the silver flutes play a tune
that will make all these colored yarns,
dance through the air,
in thoughtlessly beautifully entangling patterns,
endlessly intricate tapestries,
weaved in every one of a million colors

Sing to me a song of golden thread,
a cord that cannot be cut,
a bond that could never be broken,
the love between you and me,
that no man can sever.

The Red Elevators (Poem Version)

While I'm still deeply wrapped up in That Hideous Slumber, I've been getting ideas for what might be my next story, called the Red Elevators. I wrote this poem as a teaser of sorts.

"The Red Elevators"

The streets are heavy with snow,
I walk with shoulders hunched,
This ragged sweater,
unraveling at the hems,
is my only protection.

I have been summoned,
to the place no one comes back from,
to the place everyone fears.

There's a building waiting for me,
with red elevators that climb into the sky,
red elevators will carry me away,
and I'll never be seen again.

Walk inside an empty atrium,
footsteps echoing all the way,
I push the button and wait,
enter on the ding,
and then I step inside.

I grip the railing with white knuckles,
push another button and then,
we're off, we're away.
but I swear I'm not afraid.
I just don't know how to make my hands stop shaking.
This red elevator is carrying me away,
but I swear I'm not afraid.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

That Hideous Slumber (Chapter 21)

That Hideous Slumber

Chapter XXI: In the Halls of the Ice King

The fortress was the largest building I'd ever seen, taller even than the the towers of the Castle of Infinite Night. And far stranger still, it seemed to be composed entirely of ice. A sculpture of unparalleled magnitude. My assessment took it to be all one giant block of ice, with spikes jutting here and there and windows carved every few yards or so.

Despite the immense bulk of the fortress and the daunting task before us, I felt no fear. The beach was separated from the citadel by a tall ridge. Drift and his men had been sent around the shoreward side of the rise, where we expected the front door to be. They would create a diversion while my men and I found another way in, a back way.

And if there was no back way in to be found, we would make one. The place was made of ice, after all. A little fire would go a long way towards getting us where we needed to be. Honestly, I didn't care if we had to raze the building to the ground.

I sent two men ahead to scout out the terrain while the rest of our forces huddled in the snowy sand on the beach. It was like some sort of surreal dream, an idyllic island paradise ravaged by winter. The scouts came back after twenty minutes with news of two secondary entrances. One was a tiny door that led into a kitchen, the other was a massive, heavily guarded entryway that could have passed for the primary ingress.

And then... we waited. We crouched in the snow, trying to let our cloaks blend in with the snow as seamlessly as possible. Fortunately, we did not have to wait long before Drift came through and provided the diversion we needed in order to advance.

An explosion shook the ground and sent flames up in the air that we could see even from our removed vantage point. Quite the diversion. Instantly we could hear men yelling in a foreign tongue. It seemed we had truly managed to catch them off guard.

I had my men move forward at once, rushing towards the kitchen door, which seemed to be our best choice. We leaped past a latrine and a garbage pit to find a heavy iron door set somehow right into the ice.

"Demolitions!" I called out in a loud whisper. The command carried down the ranks and soon enough my chief demolitions man was ambling my way. A spindly limbed terror named Impel, he could hold his own in the heat of battle but loved blowing things up more than anything.

"We gonna blow the stuffing out of somethin', commander?" The young man asked with a toothy grin.

"We sure are, Impel. You could take out that door if you'd like."

"Oh I'd like to, he replied, rubbing his hands together eagerly. "I'd like to very much." He hauled a satchel out of his cloak and retrieved a gimlet drill, which he used to drill three holes in the ice, next to each of the sturdy door's metal hinges. Inside each of these holes, he planted a small stick of dynamite.

With a flick of his wrist he lit a match and used it to ignite the fuses on each of the explosives. We turned and made for the ridge, running for cover. After the explosion came, we heard the door fall with a loud clang. I held up my hand, one finger pointing to the sky. It was an indication that one platoon would charge forward and make sure the way was clear. I slipped right behind them, intent on ensuring I lost no men so early in the fight.

The kitchen had a massive stone hearth surrounded by a number of large cauldrons and kettles. The walls here were ice just like everything we'd seen so far. The room was not undefended, but my men dispatched the four marauders standing guard before they could sound an alarm over the ruined door.

I ran back to our new entry point and beckoned everyone inside. As silent as a graveyard we slipped inside, all but undetected. This was where things would get tricky, and where the plan got fuzzy. We had no idea what the layout here would be like, or where the emperor would be.

On the far side of the kitchen, there was another iron door. I sidled over to it and cautiously opened a crack, peeking through to the next room. It seemed to be a massive hallway, nothing but pillars of nearly transparent ice and intricate tapestries.

As I stole my glances I spied a flash of golden hair. It reminded me of Eleanor after she'd dyed her brunette tresses blonde. It was a woman dressed in Malaud furs. Who could it be? The Malauds had only dark hair. As she walked past the doorway I got a good look at her face.


I felt my blood boil at the sight of her, this girl whose thwarted destiny had caused me so much trouble. Clearly Margrovax had been correct. Victoriana had thrown her lot in with the very people who had ravaged her kingdom and murdered her people. I hesitated a moment, running through a dozen potential plans in my mind.

And then I saw him.

The emperor was here, materializing right before my very eyes, with Victoriana by his side. Pontus did not look well. Clearly this most recent string of military defeats had been hard on him, or else his health was failing.

The once mighty emperor's skin had turned a waxy, ashen gray. His eyes were sunken and dark. He'd shrunk and shriveled into an older man since the last time I'd seen him. Even so, I could still see a spark of defiance in the man, a chaotic spirit that had not weakened. Pontus was careworn but he was not beaten.

Victoriana to my surprise looked none the worse for time with the ice people. Her pale skin looked healthy, her cheeks flushed rosy red. She and Pontus walked with arms entertwined and heads close, as though lovers.

I drew Harkala from its scabbard on my back, glancing at the dozens of men huddled in the large kitchen behind me. Men ready to fight and die at my command. I took a deep breath to calm myself, feeling as if I were out on the ocean, about to dive underwater. We were on the verge of something more massive than I could fathom. An end to this awful war.

I held out a palm, then pointed to myself, then nodded towards the door. Silent orders to follow me into battle. I kicked the door open and burst into the enormous hall, screaming like a banshee and running as fast as my legs could carry me.

Subtle we are not.

Victoriana reacted the faster, letting a fireball fly from the tip of her wand. I batted it away with my sword without slowing down. Suddenly an archway of ice appeared between me and my target. Before I could skid to a stop I had charged right through it. Instantly I was on the far side of the room, watching from behind as my warriors rushed in.

The fasted men paid for their speed with their lives. A dozen fell backward, blood splattering the ice. As I ran forward, trying to get to the front of the battle again, I caught flashes of bodies clutching at icicles embedded in their necks. Tears of frustration sprang to my eyes. We weren't trained to deal with magic users. "FALL BACK!" I roared "FALL BACK"!

I pushed through the crowd of blue cloaked soldiers till I was in the lead once more, what remained of the troops formed a half circle behind and around me. I leveled Harkala at Pontus, not realizing that armor had already snaked its way up to my left elbow.

"Emperor Pontus! My name is Robert Berlias, commander of the Red Army. By order of King Asriel of Nicculus I hereby sentence thee to immediate execution without trial, for genocide, warmongering and crimes against the sovereign crown." In the heat of battle, I'd forgotten to use my alias, but I hardly cared at that point.

Pontus laughed. It was a different laugh from the one I'd heard that night three years ago. It was a wheezing sound, the product of ancient, exhausted lungs. "Ho, flatlander, you really took my advice to heart! I expected you to be killed long ago. But no matter... I'll see it through now."

He raised a hand and a dozen slender icicles like arrows launched forth. I batted them all away with my mind, sending them flying every which way only to snatch them up and send them back his way.

Victoriana waved her wand through the air, creating a long trail of fire that burned up every projectile. "Oh let me handle him, darling. I killed him once before, surely I can do it again."

She tucked her wand away into a fold of her dress and held up both hands. My heart sank. Could she cast her puppetry spells here? I knew she was limited on where she could use it, but if this fortress helped make her stronger, this battle was about to go very badly for us.

I tried to blink. Could I blink? No. I raged inwardly, but I was not helpless, not this time. I used my telekinesis to shove both my adversaries as hard as I could. They both went flying backward into the wall of ice behind them. Controlling my body with my mind, I made my legs move one step at a time. I leaped into the air over Pontus, gripping my sword in both hands, bringing it to bear in a heavy downward stroke towards his chest.

An axe blocked my thrust, knocking me backward.


I realized too late I wasn't the only victim of the web the former queen had woven. I was surrounded by my own men, all leveling weapons my way. The spell was clearly stretched thin. I could see faces I knew and men I fought alongside fighting against the evil at work. Hands twitched on sword hilts, faces twisted with doubt and confusion.

It was clear, however, that Victoriana had control enough to force all or most of them to attack me. Could I fight off seventy men at once? And more importantly, could I strike down one of my own?

Victoriana screamed, shaking her fists back and forth and stomping her foot like a child about to throw a tantrum. As one my troops descended upon me. I swung Harkala up to block blow after blow as they rained down upon me. Axes, swords, and halberds all aimed with one intent, to spill my blood.

I darted through the throng, deflecting every strike that came my way, pulling back just short every time instinct told me to inflict a killing blow. The metal upon my body emerged across more and more of flesh, overtaking me. Armor grew on my chest and both arms, slinking down from my left arm all the way to my right.

It became less necessary to avoid the attacks that came my way as the awful battle wore on. I began to let most everything just glance off the armor. I stopped sweating, stopped bleeding, as the buzz of the sword's power overwhelmed me.

Never had a fight strained me so thoroughly as this. My body moved in a blur. It became all too easy to begin knocking warriors unconscious. Time eventually seemed to slow.

I grabbed a soldier by the wrist, flinging him around into another. As the two tumbled to the ground, I jumped and tucked into a ball, rolling over them and swinging my sword out to whack another upside the head with the flat of my blade. A fourth came on and I threw my sword into the air, grabbed him with both hands and threw him over my shoulder.

I heard a grunt and realized I'd killed someone with the sword I'd thrown. Was that the plan? Yes, it was, wasn't it? These fools needed to die, every last one of them. I called my sword back to me and took on my true role. I was the red angel of death once more, wrapped in blue armor. The armor had spread all the way down to my feet, both legs wrapped in spiky azure metal. Patterns of blue like veins laced up my neck. My head was the only unprotected part of my body left.

I called my sword back to me with my telekinesis and began to deal out death without prejudice. Every warrior I hadn't already knocked unconscious I killed, disarming weapons and striking clean blows through dozens of hearts. I became vaguely aware that Victoriana's spell wore off, but I was too lost in the haze the sword seemed to be making of my mind to realize.

When the last man dropped, my armor was red with blood, and I was almost completely encased save my eyes. Pontus and Victoriana were the only other people left alive in the room. They both seemed to be in shock, as if in disbelief over what their eyes were showing them.

Suddenly bands of white wrapped themselves around my wrists and ankles. I felt myself flung backward. The white trusses fused themselves into a pillar, pinning me down. Wax? Drift was here, with his contingent standing behind, all eyes aghast.

I tried to move my sword mentally to free myself, to cut through the pillar, but it was enwrapped in a large candle with a steady flame flickering overtop. "It looks as though you've done enough," Drift said without looking at me as he walked past. His voice trembled slightly. He sounded as if on the verge of tears. "I'll take it from here."

Victoriana, on her knees from the strain she'd put on herself, fainted dead away. Pontus ran up a large staircase carved into the ice behind him, moving faster than I would have expected for a man in his condition. Drift raced after him, troops in tow. Pontus tried to close the way, creating a wall of ice to block their passage, but Drift just summoned a giant candle and used the flame to burn right through.

I was left alone to contemplate what was happening around me. The sword's magic still had a grip on my mind. All I could think about was retrieving my sword to kill again. The armor was slowly losing its grip on my body. After a few minutes it was back down to my neck. I could feel my bare toes dangling in the frigid air, my boots having shredded away.

I looked down to find Europa standing before me. "I know your secrets," She told me. I knew she was Eleanor's age, but she spoke like a child. Her voice had a naivete, a strange sort of innocence. "Your sword is evil, my friend Harkan told me so. You should probably throw it away. That armor is his armor."

She paused for a moment, pursing her lips. She seemed to be listening to someone I couldn't see. "I'm making him angry. I don't think I'm his friend anymore. He wants you to use the sword. If the armor overtakes you completely, he can eat you. Then you'll be the ghostie."

An explosion rocked the fortress. Over our heads I saw flames flickering through the ice on the floor above us. My heart broke for the dead around me, but I had to free myself, had to salvage this mission before it was too late.

Europa pulled a dagger from a body near her feet. "I have a lot of friends," She said as she cut through the wax keeping my feet bound. "They tell me strange things, they tell me wonderful things, scary things sometimes. One of them is saying you're pretty special, so I want to help you out here, ok?"

All this time I'd said not a word. What could I say? The girl seemed to be a complete lunatic. She was taller than Eleanor, I noticed as she stretched her long limbs to free my wrists. I fell heavily, stumbling over my feet. The frost dug like teeth into my bare feet. I dropped to my knees, scrambling to grab a pair of boots from a dead soldier.

When I stood, Europa was inches from my face. She raised a hand to my chest where my shirt hung in tatters, making her fingertips walk up my ribcage. Only my left arm was metal at this point. "I freed you, so you have to marry me now. Will you marry me? I'm supposed to be queen, my mother told me so. You could be a king."

I shook my head and took a step back, pushing her arm away. She raised another hand, trying to stroke my cheek. "I'm... in love with another," I finally choked out, the words sounding clumsy on my tongue.

"With the deep sleeper," Europa said, rolling her eyes. I snatched up a random sword, someone's claymore, hardly paying attention. I glanced at the candle entombing my sword, but I was too afraid to use it again. "My mama says she isn't never waking up. Sleepyhead's going to make a disappointing wife." I considered trying to find some clothes to protect me from the cold, but I was still overheated from battle. My hair was plastered to my skin with sweat, my lungs still straining to keep up.

I ignored her and made to turn away, but something stopped me. She had done me a good turn here. I looked back and dipped my head. "Thank you, Europa." I ran for the stairs, afraid the few minutes I'd lost were already too much.

"Oh fat lot of good thanks does me!" Europa called behind me. "I hope sleepyhead gets fatter than a pumpkin after you marry her!"


The claymore weighed heavy in my hands as I climbed upward, struggling not to slip in borrowed boots too large for me. I rounded the corner into another large hall. There were dozens of doors here, all leading off in different directions.

I could see signs of battle... three fallen soldiers, a half dozen dead marauders, and a massive crater where something had blasted a chunk out of the floor. And on the far side, another staircase. After a brief glance around, I quickly darted for the next level.

I ascended through three more grand hallways before I finally found anyone. Every level brought more dead warriors, more signs of explosions. As I was climbing what had to be the last staircase, an explosion erupted right in my face. I barely had time to react before a massive burst of flames blew my way, knocking me through the foot thick wall of ice behind me. I flew out into open air, the island spreading out before me.

I caught sight of the wrecked Malaud battleship, the beach, the ocean, and a cold wintry sky, all in a flash I fought to stop my fall. It had been hard enough to protect myself from the flames and getting bashed through the wall, let alone catching myself. I carefully levitated back to the ragged opening that had just been blasted into the fortress, wary for signs of another attack.

When I rounded the last of the stairs into the final level, I found Drift and Pontus were the only ones left, standing in what had to be the emperor's bedchamber. There was a table spread with maps, a bed, and a few other trappings. Drift seemed to have been creating candles that could explode like dynamite, and I'd been caught in the crossfire.

Pontus didn't seem to have the energy left to keep fighting. "I can see when I'm beaten," he said, voice resigned. "I am ready to negotiate my people's peaceful surrender. I leave myself at your mercy."

The Drift before our eyes began to melt away. Another wax doppleganger. Its body lost shape and color, turning into a tall white pillar. His face remained for a moment, bobbing on a thin black neck, the wick. Drift's head grew slightly transparent, till a flame could be seen flickering within, where his brain should have been.

Meanwhile, the true Drift stepped from the shadows and grabbed Pontus by the wrist, twisting an arm behind his back. Tears stained his cheeks. "This day, mercy turns her face away in shame," he told the marauder emperor, a silver dagger flashing in his hands. A marauder weapon. The emperor had plotted treachery? With a swift, powerful stroke Drift removed the man's head.

As the body of our hated enemy fell, I looked at Drift, trying to figure out what I could possibly say about all that had come to pass this day, all that I'd done. Dorian, Jesse, Impel and the rest, all dead because of my actions. "Drift, I'm sorry, I don't-".

The lieutenant shook his head, frowning. "Don't say it. Don't apologize. We all knew what we were risking here. We took the chances we needed to take in order to end the war." He tossed me the head in his hands. The head we would soon be carrying back to King Asriel. Minus over a hundred men.

"Do something with that, will you?"

Monday, August 16, 2010


This poem has been on my heart for a few days now... I just recently found the time and the words to put it in ink.


I've been searching for a home,
a safe place to rest through fire and flood,
but everyone everywhere just turns me out,
I know there's an endless desert,
where the sun never sleeps,
and the footing is never sure,
I have wandered all these wastelands,
and I'm begging you now for a little rain.

Could you be my sanctuary,
could this be my standing place
could you be my fortress,
I need something I can depend on,
because as far as I can see,
it's all just sand and storm out here,
a world in chaos,
you who speaks a word
to melt the hearts of hurricanes,
I need you now,
could you be my sanctuary?

There's a world beyond our hearts,
a place of solid rock,
an infinite wood to shelter in,
where I can be free from all these sorrows,
and tears are lost in rosy morning mist,
let the sadness melt away with the snow,
and fall into the embrace of the endless limitless love,
A sanctuary that will never fail.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't Sleep Yet

Ahem. Another new poem. I am on a roll lately...

"Don't Sleep Yet"

Wandered awake for so long,
Our weary legs can hardly handle another step,
but how far is far enough,
beneath deep forest song and waterfall sigh,
will we find our rest here?
How far is far enough?

Don't sleep yet,
you know we've got so far to go,
Don't sleep yet,
if we nod off now we may never make it
I'll carry you if you need me to,
you can rest your cheek on my shoulder,
but please my dear,
don't fall asleep yet

Muscles feeling like worn out strings,
on a moss covered violin,
The world curves endlessly before you,
and you don't know if you'll ever find home,
but I swear it's around the next corner,
if we can make it just another mile or so.

Beyond fields of wheat tall as trees,
there's a place of endlessly rolling hills,
where I'll fall into the embrace
of a sweet green grass and cornflower sky
and with you beside me I'll sleep
Till the sun dances with the moon,
and our dreams carry us off
to the faraway worlds we've longed for.

Don't sleep yet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


New poem. It's very strange. I wrote it in a traffic jam on the way to the grocery yesterday.

"Slipped Away"

I slipped away into the endless rainfall,
lost in a sea falling onto green shores.
I'll keep a drop of ocean in remembrance of you,
as we depart for distant mountains,
that wrap themselves,
in heavy cloaks of dry white clouds,
those great heaps of desert rock,
lost in thought and shadow

I dreamed last night that the rain never ended
I wonder what would happen if it came true,
Would our fair Sol grow envious of the hurricanes,
if all were lost in gray dreams and moonlit waves,
Would her sunlight burst through the seams of the earth,
In beams that grow like tree trunks, like fingers,
reaching towards a sky she used to rule

"Don't hide your beautiful face,"
We would cry,
"leave us the glory of your endless light,
when the chill sets in and morning fades away,"

It takes rain and sun together to make a seed grow,
a harmonious balance I don't understand.
let us have rain when the sun's anger rises,
let us have light when the darkness descends.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Goodbye Wilson!!

I just got the news today that my jeep's transmission is shot. So that's it for Wilson, my first car. I've been driving her since March of 2005. Before that she belonged to the Summit County Fire Department. I have a lot of memories with that car... driving to work, driving from work. Sleeping inside it, sleeping outside it. Vacuuming, the jello disaster, the silly string fight, the blizzard where we got stuck on 36. I am sad we never got to road trip to California like I was planning. I always wanted to give her a burial at sea, but I guess that will never come to pass. I'm glad we got to have a final moment together stargazing the night before Heavenfest. Sleeping on top of a different car next year will not be the same... thanks for being such a good car, Wilson.