Thursday, December 31, 2009

Meta-Sonnet: In Which I Have Amazed Myself

December thirty-first, Two Thousand Eight
A crazy resolution came to me
A daily sonnet -- wouldn't that be great?
But could I do it? I would have to see.
The first one concerned chicken soup I'd made,
And was my very first of any sort.
A year has passed; it's now a stock in trade
Of mine, composing sonnets, fast and short,
And far more than just one a day has come
Forth from these typing fingers, thanks to dares
And birthdays, and late-breaking news of dumb
And wondrous things, and as of summer, there's
The Interstellar Feller, too. What fun!
As New Year's Resolutions go, I've won!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In Which I Berate My Procrastinating Tendencies

The year draws to a close and I prepare
To finish something wonderful, and yet
Today all that I've done and all my care
Has brought forth little. Little shall I get
If I don't stir myself to soldier on.
An opportunity has come my way
That never I expected. 'Twill be gone
And all the effort I've put forth, I'd say,
If I don't stir myself to do, at last,
The editing I've known that, from the start
Must needs be done and now, must be done fast,
Lest time escape and I break my own heart.
I always do this, wait until I can
No longer. Then I rush forth with no plan.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In Which A Conspiracy Is Unmasked

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has
Done all of us a service; he's revealed
A further element of razzmatazz
That heretofore was cunningly concealed:
The TSA has always been in league
With those nefarious Underpants Gnomes.
The one to make us lie, cheat and intrigue
To wear, the others to steal from our homes
Our undergarments. First the little guys
Swipe what we have, then screeners take away
What we dare wear to airports. Then, surprise,
Once pantless at our destination, hey,
A posh airport boutique is there to sell
What we must simply hope was laundered well.

Monday, December 28, 2009

In Which I Channel Billy Pilgrim

I do not feel that I am really here.
A flash occurs, and I am lost in space
Or time. So vividly another year
Dwells in my brain I'm not sure in what place
I'd find myself if I could know for sure.
In Boston I once lived and worked and walked,
And in the next-door universe I stayed.
Last night, in dreams, in Bethlehem I talked
With Donna; all this morning I have strayed
Back to that town where I have never been,
Then home to houses that I never bought
But looked at while I chose the one I'm in.
It's not that I'm unhappy where I am
But somehow all this day has seemed a sham.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

In Which I Ask For Your Help

A print edition shall be in the works
Of these, my sonnets from this wondrous year.
I turn to you, my readers, offer perks
A-plenty, if you'll help me. A severe
And daunting task is looming. I must choose
Three hundred sixty five of these to place
Within that book, and really, I could use
Some input on what to select. I face
This task with shoulders squared, but truly find
It daunting. Some are easy to rule out:
The birthday cards, for instance, but, combined
There's still so many hundreds, and I doubt
They're all worth killing trees. So drop a line,
And tell me of your favorites? 'Twould be fine!

(Send suggestions HERE)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

In Which I Just Don't Get It

I think that I would take it as a gift
If all of nature did seem to conspire
To keep me home, if you can catch my drift.
That's not to say I'm seeking to hang fire;
It's never fun to be stranded. But hey,
It's Saturday, and there should be no rush
To leave a cozy home and hearth today.
The roads are closed; it's no one's fault. Why crush
Another's spirits, focusing on what
You cannot do or where you cannot go?
It's Christmas 2.0. Why not just shut
The door and snuggle up, let someone know
You love them, rest and smile and call it good?
Your work and toil will wait, as well it should.

Friday, December 25, 2009

In Which Sister Kris Gets A Shivery Send-Off

A dirty, chilly night howls on outside,
And into it we had to go to send
My sister on her way back home. The ride
Was merely blocks, but then we'd spend
Some time with her ere her flight was to leave
On board a puddle jumper flight. So far
So good but ice and show and wind this eve
Meant ev'rything was late and cold. A bar
At Cheyenne's airport was our roost
As we did watch and wonder if she'd go --
Deicing's never easy, and night loosed
E'en nastier conditions, blowing snow
And cold, bone-chilling. Shivering we watched
And worried. Thank Bog not a thing was botched.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

In Which The Holidays Bring Mixed Emotions

It's Christmas Eve and all throughout my house
I've family and doggies underfoot.
Th'exuberance we have nothing could dowse
Not after our Cowboys went down and put
Those Fresno State curs in their place down in
New Mexico. I hope that ev'ryone
Who reads my stuff, who happily has been
Along on this weird sonnet ride's had fun,
And is as fortunate as me tonight.
I pause and think of families who've lost
A dear one, as the Tonnies did, and fight
The urge to cry. All pleasure has a cost,
I guess. But know that whatever you do
Tonight I'm thinking fondly, yes, of you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Which Death Star Shortbread Is Baked

The kitchen's why the KATE STATION is mine.
Today we put it through its paces well.
While no-knead beer bread is a staple, fine
Baked goods are most uncommon here. I'll tell
You this: my expectations have been met!
A galley-style has always seemed the rule
Wherever I have lived before, which meant
A "one-butt" kitchen; more butts would be cruel
(That's people and not cigarettes) and we
Just get into each other's way. No more!
A pumpkin pie and shortbread baking spree
Has taken place, and scarcely was a chore
So simply done! And Sithmas treats are here:
With Death Star shortbread, how can we not cheer?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Which A Digit Takes On A New Significance

As we all know, sometimes, for a good cause,
I let some strangers take from me a pint
Of blood. The process still does have some flaws;
The pain, the fainting, in my case the fright
Of needles. Still I do it and I'm proud.
I've given gallons three as of today!
In doing so I'm part of a small crowd.
'Twould be much bigger if I got my way.
It's not so bad, but this time I've a gripe:
The finger that they tested really hurts,
A grave impairment when I have to type,
As right now. It's the one used for alerts
Of one's displeasure, called the "naughty" one.
Is this my punishment for having fun?

Interstellar Feller: In Which A Small Step Is Taken

Sonneteer's note: this is the latest installment of an on-going sonnet serial, Pepito Mojito: The Interstellar Feller. New readers can get up to speed by clicking on the "Interstellar Fellar" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's.....

It's quite a day or two that Pepi's had!
Deflowered and abducted, now afloat
In outer space and orbiting, I'll add,
An unknown planet, lonely and remote.
Now hustled to a shuttle by his mate,
A big-eyed, grey mask pulled over his face,
A new world beckons to him! Oh that fate
Could bring a barman to this strange new place!
In no time he strides slowly 'crossed the sands
Of -- where is this? -- Pepito wants to ask,
But cannot speak; a breathing tube commands
His mouth and throat and slaves them to the task
Of keeping him alive, and nothing more.
So that is what the alien mask is for!

Monday, December 21, 2009

In Which Frank Zappa Brings Us Back To The Sun, Or Something

Today our axis tilts furthest away
From Sol, our sun; the shortest day is here.
And, too, it is the sixty-ninth birthday
Of one of my great heroes. As this year
Plods onward to its close, I celebrate
Frank Zappa and his music and his wit.
I send my dirty love and a cupcake
To all who read this, and I do commit
To keeping Zappadan next year. Who else
Made music with a bicycle or could
Raise dental floss as livestock? Frank himself
('Tis he who tilts us sunwards now, for good)!
So now, let rip the weasels! Mudsharks, come!
And Happy Zappa Day to ev'ryone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In Which I Fret Just A Little

My parents are enroute now to Cheyenne
From Saratoga, while my sister, Kris,
Is coming from New Mexico; the plan
Is that they will converge, if naught's amiss,
At my house, like the Simpson family
At credits' end. Meanwhile they're all in cars,
And I try not to worry. It will be
Just fine, I tell myself. I'll thank my stars
Quite soon that they all made it, hug them, and
Dish up some Bambi chili for their meal.
It's weird how ev'ry year, whate'er we've planned
This is the situation and I feel
The psychic strain of keeping on the road
Carloads of far-off loved ones, then explode.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In Which Poncho The Pug Gets The Jump On Santa

Pug-sitting, and it really could be worse;
The dogs were all alone from 6 a.m.
To 5 p.m. I could have had to curse
Disasters on the floors from one of them
(Or maybe both); some business or some torn
And shredded shoes - he's just a baby yet,
Is Poncho - but there's nothing to adorn
The carpet that smells foul. "Like, hey, no sweat,"
He seems to say, the puppy who's my guest,
"Eleven hours? Hey, I am young and tough,
And crate-trained so I know it's for the best
That I don't make a mess indoors. 'Twas rough,
Though, to withstand temptation all the way,
But packages get opened anyway!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

R.I.P., Dan O'Bannon

For Alien and Dark Star we give thanks,
And Total Recall, Life Force, too and for
Some bits of Heavy Metal's filmic pranks --
The corvette-flying astronaut and more --
I'm also grateful. Dan O'Bannon wrote
And worked on crazy stuff during his days
Among us. Some we saw and some, we note
Were never realized -- perhaps, though, praise
Instead of scorn is due, for while I dig
That Jodorowsky dude, and quite a lot
I'm not sure Dune was for them -- much too big
And sprawling. Just think what they would have wrought
Upon it? No. But Screamers? Um, hell yes,
Would be my answer. Yours too, I would guess.

Friday Flash: In Which Escape Is Achieved

Sonneteer's note: this is the sixteenth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. Last week's installment and links to all previous can be found here.

As quickly as they made appearance, all
Those doppelgangers on the bridge, they're gone.
Pepito's arms are empty now -- recall
A whole 'nother Yectara got it on
With him, one with no cybernetic limbs.
His own is 'crossed the bridge and says "On screen."
The cacogens comply; the deck's light dims;
And looming there, a wash of red and green,
A planet, round which orbits now the ship.
The Grokulator's free of all pursuit.
And without being asked, her crew doth skip
To its repairing duties. Pepito, cute,
Just gapes now at the sight before his eyes.
His mistress, meanwhile, plans a new surprise.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

O Sithmas Tree

O Sithmas Tree, originally uploaded by qatesiurade.

O Sithmas Tree, O Sithmas Tree you shine
All red and evil in my living room.
And once I've had a glass or two of wine,
You scare me just a tad there as you loom,
A phantom menace for my holiday,
Your top adorned with a shining Death Star.
Hear Yoda's vain attempts to warn away
Luke Skywalker from wandering too far
Into your sphere of influence, drawn by
Your shiny tinsel and your air of pow'r.
And Sith lords we have heard up there on high
Sing carols we know, gaily, on the hour,
Like Jolly Old Darth Nicholas and, too
Rudolph the Sith-Nosed Reindeer. Here's to you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In Which I Indulge My Holiday Dork-a-dence

My family will be here soon, which means
Today's my last to take in, all in one
Great gulp, the three films with deleted scenes
Of Peter Jackson's LOTR. Fun?
It's more than that by far. It's truly not
The holidays without this silliness.
A sad compulsion, I know I have got:
Each year I watch and each year I'm a mess.
I tear up, a true fan girl, where I should,
Accomplish nothing ere its done, except
The popping of some corn. It's just too good
To start without a finish, though I've kept
On trying to just do one film a day,
I'm powerless to follow through. Hooray!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In Which I Realize Anew That Oragami Is Not For Me

My sister will be here in two days' time,
Which means 'tis nearly Christmas and I must
Get wrapping all this loot. My gift is rhyme,
And maybe taste in presents, but I just
Can't seem to make this paper do my will.
A mere three scraps of tape is all one needs,
Allegedly, to seal them, but my skill
Makes that a joke - it's four at least. My deeds
With giftwrap would put Lovecraft, lo, to shame:
Geometries unseen emerge with each,
E'en if the box is quite Platonic. Lame?
Too tame a word for what I've within reach:
These packages are better termed as blobs.
At least provoking laughter if not sobs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sonnet Dare: In Which I Cotton To A Coconut-Carting Cephalopod

It's veiny, vaguely pink and near some nuts --
But get thy mind from yonder gutter, please!
I'm speaking of a freaky octopus
Who lives exposed in sandy-bottomed seas,
The Amphioctus marginatus would
Be vulnerable there were not for its
Ingenious use of coconut shells, good
As snail or nautilus ones, when they fits
The octopus's body. When it must
Go roaming, Marinatus sometimes goes
On two tip-tentacles; the others just
Wrapped tightly 'round his head; therefore what shows
Looks like a walking coconut. So smart!
He shows Cthulhu's lineage in part.

In Which A Fellow Nerd Improves With [censored]

You didn't see the Geminids last night
(Nor did I, but 'twas not my natal day!),
But I shall still declare that, yes, despite
The weather, they rained down for thee. Hooray!
Your snark and nerdly knowledge nonpareil
Could pull down e'en a real-life falling star.
I have to say, you always make me smile,
With ev'ry tweet, just being who you are.
So, William Donohue, I truly wish
A long lifetime of many great returns
Of this fine day, till you are quite old-ish
And gladly imitating Mr. Burns
And other scary, nerdy, fine old men.
And keep on quoting Daffy until then!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In Which I Am Not Making This Stuff Up

Now comes the news from ol' Down Under way,
Of wallabies who get as high as kites --
They like to eat the poppies, so they say.
Then crazily they -- no, don't get in fights --
But run around in little fairy rings
Until they fall down dizzy and they crash.
While I still favor ordinary things,
Like ropes and boards and scissors, I'll not trash
This tale as yet another theorem
For how crop circles come to be out there.
Marsupials on opium? Condemn
Them not! They like a good time, to be fair,
As much as aliens and people do,
And naturally some mischief will ensue.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Which Are Considered Ninja Robins

My good friend Travis King today revealed
A secret -- and not even on Formspring
(I'm on there, too, right here) that for his shield
And for his loved ones, too, he likes to sling
An unexpected battery of -- no,
Not Spanish Inquisition types -- rare birds:
Some hardcore, kickass, ninja-skilled (although
Innocuous to look at) robins. Words
Cannot convey my shock and my delight!
He hath commanded one, Beverly fair,
To watch o'er me and keep me, day and night,
From harm. To be the object of such care
Is no mean thing! I'm safer now, by far,
Than many a much-coddled movie star!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Flash: In Which The Bridge Gets Crowded

Sonneteer's note: this is the fifteenth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here , Part the Ninth here, Part the Tenth here , Part the Eleventh here, Part the Dodecothhh here, Lucky Number 13 here and go here for the Part the Fourteenth. Phew!

The Grokulator's bridge suddenly fills
With even more black figures. Pepi sees
A chorus line of ladies, gets the chills:
They're all Yectara, varying degrees
Of her at any rate; some have more flesh
Some less; one is all metal. And there's worse
As multiple Yectaras all get fresh
With multiple Pepitos; it's perverse!
But our boy is the only one who's scared,
So easy for our queen to find and calm.
And draw him to the party they've all shared
Whenever Field Maneuver Three's been called.
Meanwhile the cacogens in their own way
Deal with themselves while captains are at play.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In Which I Am Awestricken By A New Fashion Accessory

Were I a guy who had to wear a tie
Would I choose one of these under my suit?
While certainly these beauties catch the eye,
Displaying all the best hues of a fruit
We call the Apple iPod nano, is this not
Solution for a problem of which we --
Be honest -- didn't know that we had got?
Accessories like this fill me with glee.
My old-school iPod shuffle just clips to
A collar or a hemline: there I go!
With this "Commuter Tie" one won't see, true,
The actual device, but still there'll show
The telltale earbud cords. Plus, changing songs
Looks to be pretty awkward. Fashion wrongs?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In Which I Become Concerned That Norway May Fill With Giant Snails

Last night in Norway, in the Arctic sky
Was filmed and photographed phenomena
That's so far ill-explained. I'm glad that I
Am not alone in thinking about the
Great horror manga-movie as I look
At this and read the explanations for
A green light and a spiral. It just took
Mere seconds ere Kurouzu's fate and more
Did cross my mind. O, Higuchinsky, did
You and Junji Ito ever believe
That Uzumaki would, heaven forbid,
Turn out prophetic? Or should we conceive
That more mundane ideas should hold their sway?
A rocket stage, or laser-nerds at play?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In Which I Believe I'm Staying In Tonight After All

Martinis with the girls, that was my plan
To celebrate what is my Friday night.
But as I find a window and I scan
The snowy streets, one fact doth come to light:
What now is fluffy snow will get packed down
By rush hour's vast herd of cars and trucks
Until quite nearly ev'ry road in town
Could double as a hockey rink. Aw, shucks.
I do have errands that had best not wait,
But they can happen ere sunset and then
It's best that I head home. T'will be too late
By then to venture safely out again.
Perhaps if holidays weren't here to cause
A surge in drunken drivers I'd not pause.

Monday, December 7, 2009

In Which I Ponder A Strange Metaphor

This morning, as I rose ere dawn, we had
A temperature of Zero Degrees "Eff"
(With emphasis on "Eff"; I won't be bad
And spell out what that stands for). Some foul theft
Of all our warmth had happened in the night,
And sunrise did not bring us more. It's cold -
More so than a well-digger's butt, all right,
As my friend Bonnie eloquently told
Her Facebook friends, which prompted a profound
Discussion, how the baseline readings came
To be established? Did one ask around
And quote well-diggers' feelings name by name?
Or was data - empirical and real
Recorded. Just how cold did each butt feel?

In Which A Favorite Musical Icon Turns Sixty!

December Seventh lives in infamy
But it's also a day to celebrate!
Pearl Harbor took its blow in history,
But something lovely happened this same date!
Tom Waits was born, whose music changed the game.
A smoky, growly voice, like to a drink
Of bourbon on an empty stomach. Name
Me one more guy whose songs so make one think
Of seedy sadness e'en as one rocks out.
Percussion with found objects, horns and things
I can't identify all make me shout
With glee on hearing them, e'en ere he sings.
Nor doth he make just music: look right here.
He's also had a nifty film career!

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mizz Carla McDonald

A Southern belle is always one at heart,
So I discovered yesterday once I
Had published, on a dare, a poem, in part
About a great impairment that is my
Achilles' heel at work: how such folk speak.
It's not that it's not charming, even cute,
As my friend Carla knows - it leaves men weak
I'm sure, to hear her sling it. No dispute.
But when a guy with one just cuts right loose
With deformed vowels and drops his consonants
In serious situations, there's no use
In pondering my preferences or wants:
I just plain have to tell them "come again?"
And vent a bit of spleen, just now and then.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sonnet Dare: In Which I Have A David Lynch Moment

At old beaudacious Bard, we used to say
Of those times when what happened got too weird,
One explanation only could hold sway;
One possibility 'mongst those that reared
Their heads could be the truth: that David Lynch
Was hiding in the room, mast'ring the scene.
The man who made Eraserhead to pinch
Our twenty-year-old brains, crafted the keen
Hilarity of that Blue Velvet flick,
And made of Dune a less coherent tale
(Though visually awesome) -- no mean trick --
Than Herbert did -- that David, without fail,
Had taken over the directorship
Of these, our lives, so suddenly a trip.

Sonnet Dare: In Which The Accent Is The Thing

My daily life brings me against a lot
Of challenges that many find bizarre.
Time management, of course, as who has not,
For instance, but for me it's the Boomhauer
That really drives me round the bend when one
Addresses me (I've sev'ral in my care).
There is no accent spoken 'neath the sun
That I can't comprehend except that there.
Ascemic writing holds for me more sense,
And I find glossolalia a breeze,
But no, it's Bubba-speak that has me tense,
Uncomprehending, yes, and whimp'ring "Please,
Just speak some English I can understand.
Or send me an interpreter? How grand!"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In Which An Anniversary Is Commemorated!

Just seventy-six years ago this date,
A wise decision happened to occur:
That Prohibition by the stupid State
Of alcohol was not so bright as were
Some other things we happened to append
To our fine Constitution. How "repeal"
Rings musically to mine ears. I'll spend
A happy hour quite soon, I now reveal,
A-toasting this, the wisdom of those who
Did vote in 1933 to lift
The ban on booze. I'll have a drink or two
In celebration. Then maybe I'll drift
Into good writing mode, or just play chess.
With freethinkers it's anybody's guess.

Friday, December 4, 2009

In Which I Get Excited Over A Tournament Draw

No sports fan am I, save for this one round
Of football games that make of me a nut:
The FIFA World Cup. No way I have found
Has ever kept me out of this one rut.
'Tis only ev'ry four years this occurs,
When I become a lunatic. Today
Preliminary groups were drawn, which spurs
My craziness. England v. USA?
The Germans and the Aussies? Oh my head
Already spins. Brazil and Portugal
Are in a group together, "of the dead"
And though Croatia won't be at the ball
I still feel now the ghost of my old craze.
One hundred eighty seven more short days!

Friday Flash: In Which Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Sonneteer's note: this is the fourtheeth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here , Part the Ninth here, Part the Tenth here , Part the Eleventh here, Part the Dodecothhh here, and Lucky Number 13 here.

"Turn back, or we'll disintegrate you now,"
The Grokulator's crew feels foes convey.
Yectara grits her teeth, lets out a howl,
And launches toward a console. On her way
She plants a kiss on her Pepito's face,
Then screams out "Brace for Field Maneuver Three!"
And punches in the code that lets them race
Far from the scene, the code that sets them free.
Pepito, knowing not what next to do,
Just watches dumbly as his fellow hands
Curl into tiny masked balls; soon the crew
Like so many pillbugs just float in bands
Of velvet black. And then there comes a rip
Through time and space that frees them and their ship.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In Which I Rue A Wasted Day

I got a bit of a late start, it's true
But that explains not how it's five o'clock
And I'm on just my first shot of black brew
And only now have op'ed my mouth to talk.
When one lives by oneself this is a risk:
Entire afternoons can disappear
Quite wordlessly if outside there's a brisk
And bitter wind to keep her indoors. Here,
The sun has gone to bed and I've not done
A thing I planned to do save laundry. Now
On overtime I sit at work. No fun!
While projects languish back at home, and how!
A sin it is to waste my time that way,
I've even missed the blue and red and grey.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In Which I Pass A Pleasant Afternoon

My Bonfire is a special kind of gal,
She's curious, amusing and will try
Most any crazy thing I think of. Shall
I tell you how we made a lunch hour fly
And turn into a total afternoon?
First sushi lunch, Cthulhu on some rice,
I had Sapporo, too, but she was soon
To head to work, which wasn't all that nice
But we made good the time we had. What more?
The sushi joint just happens to be near
Our friendly local Barnes & Kipple store
(The tale behind that sobriquet, I fear
Is too involved for this here sonnet). Just
A simple, perfect day. Repeat we must!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In Which I Prepare For A New Adventure!

It's Friday in my strange, shift-working world,
And nearly time for me to call it quits.
I stretch out with a smile, my limbs uncurled,
Preparing to go north to match my wits
With my friend Jana on a real chessboard
Instead of one on Facebook, and to quaff
Some margaritas. I'll emerge restored,
I think, from Chugwater (now don't you scoff;
It may be podunk to the untrained eye
But it is all about who lives there, no?)
I'm sure that soon the time will simply fly
Too swiftly and 'twill be time to come home.
Oh -- wish me luck, would you? She's kicked my ass
Of late. I'm tired of losing; e'en with class.

In Which Iambic Confetti Is Thrown For Phil Rossi

A troubador who scares one sexy is
Our dear Phil Rossi, but that's far from all,
There's music, too, when he reads one of his
Great podcast novels; that Virginia drawl
And growling voice is perfect for those tales.
If you'd prefer some print, here's Crescent, creeps
In space for all. I've gladly watched its sales
A-soaring; 'specially as our boy just keeps
On having wee ones. Piper joined the crew
Just days ago! And Phil's started a blog,
Not Just a Dad. You see why I say "phew!"
To top it off, he has a way with grog.
So all signs say his birthday will be made
Of finest win. Such shall be our crusade.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Meta Sonnet: In Which The Sonneteer Contemplates Birthdays

These sonnets aren't as easy as they look,
Especially the birthday greetings, which
For all they've seemed like others, gen'rally took
A lot more work. Pentameter's a bitch
No matter what, but there is something more
When writing to one person something that
We all are saying: "Person I adore,
I hope your birthday's really where it's at!"
But in a way that makes it all about
That special guy or gal and not just some
Bad formula or something I've spit out
Just for the sake of getting the thing done.
But when I learn I've made that someone smile
I know that it's been worth it all the while!

Happy Birthday, IsoBan!

His illustrations stun me ev'ry time
I mosey to his blog to see what's new;
Chris Butler's not yet reached his artist's prime.
But fine art isn't all that he can do -
Go listen to him. He's another wise
And thoughtful voice on matters we find strange.
I'm liking what I'm seeing through his eyes,
And, too, participating in his range
Of Google Waves. His birthday is today,
A Monday, but if there is anyone
Who can transcend that, it is he, I'll say.
So go forth, IsoBan, and have some fun.
Then please continue opening up minds
With thoughtful questions and intriguing finds.

In Which The FDO Is Greeted On His Natal Day

360535127_8513b2936a, originally uploaded by double_up.

I hold the world in trust for when our man
Scott Sigler takes his post here at the helm
As our Dark Overlord. He really can
Take over governance of this, his realm,
Whene'er he chooses but he likes to watch
His fey Dark Regent squirm, I sometimes think.
Today's his natal day, so we're a notch
Much closer, I suspect, now, to the brink
Of his dominion. Best to be prepared!
Your chicken scissors you will yield to him
As tribute. Only hot goth chicks are spared.
To be delivered via forklift, limb
By limb (though "forklift" won't be what it's called)
And dumped before him all tangled and sprawled.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Which I Commemorate A Very Important Nap

The ISS oft makes me crane my neck
To see it passing overhead at dawn
Or dusk. But now up there upon one deck
A new experiment is going on
Combining the two things I love the most
(That's space and entomology if I've
Not been too clear on this here blog)! A toast:
To Butterflies in Space! Well may they thrive!
And just today a caterpillar formed
A crysalis, the first in micro-gee!
It's been many a day since news has warmed
My heart as this has. They could hear my squee
From orbit, I am sure. And now we wait
To see the butterfly ere it's too late.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In Which A Flickr Pool Absolutely Makes My Day

I deeply miss the grasshoppers who flit
Around the Greenway as I pedal through
Their congeries in summer. Sometimes it
Was my best moment all day. How I rue
Their passing and the odd mantid who hid
Among them. But today I found this pool
With help from Bug Girl - she's the one who did
Call my attention to it. All my cool
Escaped me in one squee to look at these:
So many origami arthopds!
E'en entophobes among you, if you please
Will find one to delight you. Oh, ye gods!
The internet's a true, great treasure chest.
But I love all the insect pr0n the best.

In Which I Am Slightly Late To Jeremy C. Shipp's Birthday Party

I fear that I'm a few short hours late
In wishing happy birthday to a man
Whose stories I love so. I feel less Kate
For not knowing till now. But I'm a fan
And better late than never, I shall say!
O Jeremy, your stories break my heart
And bend my mind in such a crazy way
How can I aught but love you, for my part?
I hope the gnomes and Mrs. J gave you
The day you wanted most, and that the clowns
That fill your attic kept well away, too.
May this next year be full of more profound
And lovely work to haunt us from your brain
To all our eyes and ears, is my refrain.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Flash: Make It Stop!

Sonneteer's note: this is the thirteenth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here , Part the Ninth here, Part the Tenth here , Part the Eleventh here and Part the Dodecothhh here. And yes, this will be a podcast sometime in the new year.

"Yectara, we know what you have aboard"
A thousand creepy voices buzz and hiss
Directly down Pepito's spinal cord
Or so it feels like. Something's quite amiss.
Around the room his fellows all convulse
And his bright lady fair looks like she'll retch
Or whatever a cyborg who's repulsed
By what she feels might do should something catch
Her off her guard like this. "How dare you bring
Such foulness from this system?" says the swarm
Of voices? Signals? Vibrations that sting
E'en as they move along the nerves? What form
Would such who speak this way nat'rually take?
Pepito blocks such thoughts as his knees quake.

In Which Don and Carol Beat The Odds Some More

It's said that opposites surely attract
And that would be the case with this odd pair,
My mom and dad. He's Wyoming way back
(Fourth generation), while she hails from fair
Old San Francisco. Rawlins, where they met,
Hath never seen their like, before or since.
A cop and a newslady - that would get
A double-take from anyone. No hints
That they were meant to be would they accept
Until they stumbled on each other at
A party, and since then they've gladly kept
Each other's company, and I, their brat
And one more child from harm and foolish ways.
Congratulations, guys, and love always!

In Which My Own Dear Personal Sister (XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

'Tis beer day; so my sister hath declared
Though per my calendar this is the date
Some (censored) years way back our mom was spared
The further joys of pregnancy. I hate
To out her in this way but Sister Kris
Is old enough to (Oh, redacted) be
(This section lost to viruses) now. Miss
Sherrod the younger spends this day as she
Likes best: with foamy brew and TV sports
And then a live Trailblazers game. Don't say
I told you it's her birthday; out of sorts
Is not the way to leave her on this day.
Just play some ABBA and some A-HA, then
Wait till next year to do it all again!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Which I Try To Elucidate Why I Love Thanksgiving So

Each holiday together is a small
And sep'rate miracle as time goes on.
I dislike somewhat that we have to call
A special day to do it, then be gone,
But so we do and here we are again,
To dine and dig each other. As these go
Thanksgiving is my favorite, has been
E'er since one in a church in college, so
Damned groovy, that, it changed me through and through.
Good food and love can always make a day
A special one; add friendship to it, too,
And gratitude comes naturally, I'd say.
I know for most today just starts a round
Of celebrations - but this one's profound.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Which I Discover An Unpleasant Allergy

The Devil's Fishbowl it has oft been called,
Most mem'rably by Robyn Hitchcock. I
Am always slightly shocked and quite appalled
To come to visit folks only to spy
A television that is never dark,
Not even during meals or talk or games.
It shuts me down to see it; harsh and stark
Alienation grips me. Call it names,
The Glass Teat or the Boob Tube, still it has
A death-grip on the consciousness of those
Who worship at its altar. I'm a spaz
When seeing it, I wrinkle up my nose
And mental nausea kicks in. And yet,
I feel like I'm the jerk because I fret.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Which Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reaches The Legal Drinking Age

I'm told that twenty-one short years ago
Was MST3K's debut. I'm stunned!
This may well be my all-time fav'rite show.
Bad movies, mostly sci-fi, mocked and punned
By Joel, then Mike, and wondrous robots three,
Tom Servo, Gypsy, Crow (and Cambot, too
Of course, so kind of four). That once TV
Held wonders such as this can see me through
A dismal survey of much modern fare:
Imagining what these guys would have said
While watching the new Indy Jones, I'd bear
Much worse, I like to think. Still in my head,
I send a Bannergram to Joel and Trace
And Josh and all the Best Brains guys. My face!

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Which There Is No Stopping Today's Birthday Girl

Zoomzilla, on her skates or motorbike,
Our Lady Frostbite really can't be stopped.
A streak of mohawked blue we can't but like,
Her lovely face and mind just can't be topped.
I have no notion what she'll do at last
When she's "grown up" but full-time awesome can
Be her milieu, I think, and going fast,
And climbing rocks and riding space-worms when
She isn't reading just amazing books
Or playing music that blows out the top
Of my poor skull -- with which she throws out hooks
In her descriptions that make my brain pop
E'en ere the music makes me tap my toes.
Melinda's why that part of PA glows!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

SONNET DARE: In Which I Consider The Volatility Of Online Relationships

The written word is marvelous, unless
It is the only basis folks have got.
For understanding. It's too hard to guess
Intent behind bare words when they have not
A face to watch, a voice to listen to.
Relationships online have this pitfall
Built in before one thought, even, comes through
For misinterpretation. I won't call
This flaw a fatal one but it's severe.
Imagination fills in gaps that would
Best be left empty, and the common fear
That one is being dissed -- which never should
Come into play, still does -- and what we find
May shatter 'stead of bring us peace of mind.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In Which I Almost Give Up

A place I have found sweet threatens to turn --
I won't say sour, but there's a bitter edge
To my experience these days. Tears burn.
Remembering one to whom I made a pledge
Of endless love and friendship won't be there
Is hard, but harder still, I start to find,
Is when another denizen won't spare
A thought to why things change, becomes unkind,
And makes me feel unwelcome in my space.
I'm digging in my heels but there are times
When I just want to give up, turn my face
Away. But I would lose much more. To rhymes
I turn to put my discomfort in words.
I'm really just a chicken and it hurts.

In Which The Real SpaceCat Is Greeted On His Birthday

The Real SpaceCat, my great Wyoming chum,
Who also goes by name of Walter Hawn,
Has made another journey 'round the sun,
But need not wonder where the time has gone.
This cat's been living life like we all should.
A broadcasting career in which all pride
Is justified, and now he takes some good
And lovely photographs and, in his stride
Writes lovely haiku for us all to read.
I've yet to meet him, but the day I do
You all will know; it will be quite a screed
I write to celebrate. I hope it's soon!
I won't say, quite, that Walter's getting old,
But rather that he's wonders to unfold.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Flash: First Contact?!

Sonneteer's note: this is the twelfth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here , Part the Ninth here, Part the Tenth here and Part the Eleventh here. I'm truly thrilled you're sticking with me through this silliness!

The fair Yectara's rarely one to curse,
Unless she's well and truly been inspired
To do so. Rarely has there been a worse
Occasion than presents itself as, tired
From crop circle exertions, ship and crew
Just moments after breaking orbit are
Within the hostile crosshairs of a blue
And yellow starship! It's beyond bizarre!
"To battle frakking stations!" comes her cry
But ev'ry cacogen's already at
Its post, still masked and cloaked, as they let fly
Their own sharp streams of expletives at that
Which menaces them. Comes another blast,
Then subspace radioed demands at last.

In Which I Have Mixed Feelings Over Vat-Veganism

Last night I made elk chili for our meal,
Tonight homemade tomato sauce I plan,
Homemade tomato paste, too. Yes, I feel
Quite proud to make my own. I do think Man
Does best when he's an omnivore but I
Don't do the supermarket meat thing, no.
The chemicals and cruelty just don't fly
With me. Per William Gibson today, though,
I ponder now a future in which meat
Comes not from animals, milk not from cows,
Eggs not from birds; all vat-grown. Could be sweet,
Or could be even more disgusting. How's
It strike you? We already eat such stuff
As great-grandma would not call food, sure 'nuff.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In Which I Consider Wellness

How often, I now ask, do we take note
Of days like this, in which there is no pain,
No coughs or wheezes, no scratch in the throat,
No twisted limbs or joints - naught but a plain
And ordinary health? This state is mine
Right now; I walk without a hitch and feel
Not one bit out of sorts. In fact, I'm fine.
We take these days for granted, mostly. We'll
Not even recall that we had them when
Next we fall ill or hurt ourselves, I'm sure.
Our bodies go unnoticed if they've been
Free of the ills that make us insecure.
But if you're well today, just take a sec
And savor how it is to be unchecked.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Which I Ponder Urban Fossils

Our Greenway is a long path of concrete
That winds all through Cheyenne, though it's not whole
As yet; it's discontinuous. Complete,
It will let bikers and the sorts who stroll
To travel all around, no care for cars
Except at a few crossings. Ere that day
More cement must be poured, must set for hours
And opportunities galore will lay
In wait for leaving traces, casts and tracks
Such as I saw out there this afternoon.
Bike tire trails, paw prints, outlines and cracks
All testify to what landed too soon
In that congealing muck before it cured.
They'll know of us in future; that's assured.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In Which The Iron Man Starts Another Trip Around The Sun

My admiration for him is well-known,
Our IronMan1176, he's styled,
Or Avery K. Tingle if your own
Staid preference goes there. How I have smiled
In reading his great blog, his novel and
His random thoughts on Twitter. He's one guy
I'm happier to have as a friend than
To be on the wrong side of, or as I
Affirm is worse, to be a stranger to.
He works as hard as he plays, also loves
Devotedly, as Molly'd surely coo.
His fierce determination quickly shoves
Aside what obstacles get in his way.
And it's his mumbleth birthday just today!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Atheist's Grief

I'm sorry, I'm a skeptic, don't believe
My friend is "out there" somewhere. He's just gone.
Not waiting in a next life to receive
Me or his other friends when we've "moved on."
An afterimage burned within my heart
Still glows and will do so for long years yet
As ever happens when one does depart,
Those left behind must strive to not forget
The lost one. If they do, there's nothing left
But ashes blown before the wind. That's all.
I wish I could think otherwise, bereft
As I am now. 'Twould be nice, but I call
Myself out for pretending. Mac's just dead
And all that's left's his voice inside my head.

In Which A Month Passes

Today's the first when I have thought, in truth
Of skipping on the sonnet-writing. Why?
Well, Twitter's like a smile with no front tooth
Since one of us was lost. I look and cry
Whene'er something reminds me that he's gone.
Today it was the shuttle launch. I gawk
At ev'ry one and know the day will dawn
When up will go the last of them. Such talk
Was part of what I shared with Mac - we feared
The space program had peaked and would decline
Through politics and budget cuts. I cheered
To see Atlantis launch, was feeling fine,
But then, I don't know why, it hit me square:
A month has passed since he left us. Not fair.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Which There Is A Flapple Over Apple

The deed was done a year ago; the news
Came from the Patent Office last month, and
Was in the New York Times today. "Let's fuse
Our lovely tech with advertising! Grand!"
Quoth Randall Stross (I paraphrase) by way
Of summing up his thought's on Apple's move,
Applying for a patent on, they say,
A gadget highjack, quite against the groove
We think is Apple's. Make your iPod freeze
Until you prove you've watched the ad it's shown?
Anathema! Yet cooler heads say "Please,
Is this indeed the Apple we have known?"
Perhaps it's just a measure to prevent
Some others making real what we'd resent.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In Which I Mash Up Astronomy And Nirvana, Because I Can

I'm happy 'cause today I found my sun
Has much less lithium than it quite should
But it's not in my head, the reason, one
That is not in my head; my will is good:
I'll tell you why. Yeah. Planets make it slow,
The star's rotation, and the mineral,
So heavy, deep within the star must go,
Drawn there by mighty force to fuse. Farewell
To it then; it is something else. Thus those
With less of the third element, are more
Than likely candidates for planets. Prose
Ill serves such wonders. Mirrors? I've broken four!
But I must tell you I'm not going to crack.
I love this news; I'm never looking back!

Friday, November 13, 2009

In Which We Are Greatly Pleased

Comes now the news: the LCROSS probe has found
Some water where we'd long hoped it would be.
In Crater Cabeus on Luna, 'round
The Moon's south pole. This means a lot to me
For reasons that soon all will understand
(Though it means some slight rewrites must be done!)!
To have a source of water near at hand
Bodes well for future colonization
And making of the Moon a right foothold
For future space development. This here
Is just the kind of news that cheers my old
And sci-fi loving heart. I hold too dear
The hope that someday mankind will explore
And learn about the universe next door.

Friday Flash: In Which Unexpected Events Transpire

Sonneteer's note: this is the eleventh installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here ,Part the Ninth here and Part the Tenthethththth here. Wow!

The Grokulator's course now firmly set,
Yectara turns to our Pepito, smiles,
And pats him on the ass. "So now you'll get
A right reward for enduring these trials.
We're finally off on a trip through space
And maybe time." Pepito is confused
At this remark, but soon his handsome face
Shows more alarm than puzzlement as, bruised
By passing debris from a console, he
Grabs onto his Yectara in alarm!
The solar sails, deployed, bring up to speed
The ship, and just in time! Someone means harm
To all the Grokulator and her crew!
Or so that warning shot might tell one. True?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In Which I Try Not To Think

My kitchen table's empty for the first
Time since the last I had a dinner guest.
My living room has also seen of burst
Of ordering, and it's all for the best.
Much empty space is mine to contemplate:
"'Twill help you clear your mind," my Erin said.
Perhaps it's so, but nothing will abate
The sound of longed-for voices in my head --
Though even they keep saying not to think
But just to be. I think I've no idea
How that is done. I do not want to drink
Or take a pill; I seek no panacea.
I really want to find a little peace.
But grief keeps stalking like a hungry beast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

With Molly At The Off-Leash Dog Park Of A Wednesday Evening

So many doggies in the Mockler park
And Molly does not know how much she likes
To be among these animals who bark
And frisk about and sniff. One of these nights
I'll fail to get my girl to go at all.
She'll eye the car and know we're off to get
Some exercise, and she'll reject the call.
She likes okay the other dogs she's met
But much prefers to sniff the mail they leave
When it has aged. When proffered a fresh source
She turns her nose away. I do believe
At heart she is a kitteh, though of course
No kitteh would be caught dead herding labs
As she will do when toys are up for grabs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In Which I Uncertainly Prepare To Catch A Wave

Today on impulse I just threw it out
That I would take a Google Wave invite
If one were offered, though I am without
A clue, really, as what might come to light
Once I am on there with my Twitter buds.
Collaboration always sounds quite good,
But sometimes leads to unbearable duds,
If no one has an idea of what should
Be happening. Does anybody know
What we're supposed to do once we're on board?
I'm always game to give something a go
And pitch in with my best creative horde.
Right now though all I think about is hype
And wonder if I'm quite the waving type.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In Which I Gloat Over A Great Chance To Watch The International Space Station

My Twitter feed comes with a special "twisst":
An application that alerts me when,
Like Horkheimer I look up, I'd have missed
A special sight if facing wrong. I've been
A gawker at the skies since childhood, and,
Like many thought I'd be an astronaut.
That didn't happen, but in quite a grand
Tradition I watch ships launch and you ought
Not be surprised I sometimes crane my neck
And watch for our space station overhead.
Tonight at 6:07 a bright speck
Will come from west-northwest. I'm oft in bed
When such a chance occurs, or there are clouds.
Tonight though, I shall see it; nothing shrouds!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

R.I.P. Peter Storer

It's been a while since I quaffed down a beer
With you my friend, and now I guess I won't,
Not evermore, but I resist the tear
I want to shed. Your daughter's right; you don't
Want us to cry. We had a lot of fun
In building our community. You were
A hell of a fun guy to know. I'm one
Of many who will miss you. There's a blur
Now in my eyes, but still to this I cling:
I've memories galore to make me smile,
As do we all. But may I say one thing?
While you had quite a run I still revile
That fate just took you from us. Friend, farewell.
I know that where you are you're raising hell.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In Which I Have A Tiny Panic Attack At Work

Alone here in a fishbowl, full of folk
Absorbed in work and play, ignoring me,
I suddenly can't shake or call a joke
The feeling that has made me want to flee:
Just weeks ago a jackass in a truck
Hit me on Deep Blue as I crossed a street.
Just days ago another tested luck -
The driver, texting, nearly made me meet
My newly-dead friend sooner than I'd planned:
Was head-on for me and swerved as I did
To miss. It seemed dead-certain that my grand
Time on this Earth was done. Did someone bid
Him look up? It's unknown. But now the sense
That something wants me dead, too, is intense.

Friday, November 6, 2009

In Which The Construction Gods Smile On Me At Last

Returned from Saratoga, lo, I find
That Dell Range Avenue is nearly back
To normal, on my eastern end. My mind
much eased by this, I failed to note that smack
Amidst us all, new traffic lights now hang
At Marble Avenue! So that is what
The mess was for? Illus'ry safety bang
In my own subdivision? That's great, but
I still won't fall for it, not on my bike.
Or in my car, or walking. Red or green,
They're still just symbols. Sure we all would like
To think they are preventive, but the scene
Just down the street at Converse surely proves
That head-in-ass is still how traffic moves.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The trees are naked in November sun,
Shed leaves are dry and clatter through the street;
Cool browns, dull greys, some golds but only one
Bright hue relieves the muted palette. Sweet,
The year is ending. Dormancy prevails.
Yet deep inside each thing is closely held
That which against all chills' attacking fails.
Not death but strength tones down the colors. Quelled,
Then, should be any talk of loss, ennui
Or sadness. Beauty sometimes takes on stark,
Surprising forms if one has eyes to see.
It's there throughout these days, e'en in the dark.
Take time today; go outside and admire
The bold tenacity that guards the fire.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In Which My Ipod Punks Me Slightly

It was a lovely noon Wyoming drive
To Saratoga after playing chess
With a dear friend. I felt well and alive -
And blaring loud my iPod, I'll confess -
When suddenly my heart stopped; in my ears
Mac Tonnies' voice was murmuring. I had
Reloaded just that morning; it appears
I missed that -- and I won't say this is bad --
His Coast-to-Coast appearance made the cut.
I'm proud of what he did there, though the shock
Of hearing him while driving hurt me. But
Once tears cleared I stopped my car and took stock:
I've him and all the music we have shared
Right there, and it's OK now I'm prepared.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Which I Geek Out On Some Cool Objects

Those who have seen me 'round know how I love
Two pieces of odd jewelry that I've got.
Each morning these days I dither: which of
These two artworks I'll wear and which I'll not
(The two of them together would not work;
They both are necklaces). The Earth and Moon?
The grasshopper? Sure, you may smile and smirk
But get some Surlyramics of your own
And see how good you are at choosing which
To wear each day! If science turns your crank,
If skeptic witticisms flip your switch,
Then you'll do well to click over and thank
Me later for the tip. I was not paid
To write this, mind. I just like what she's made.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In Which More Good Medicine Comes My Way

As doors open and close, we spin around
And sometimes we lose track of who has come
Through with us. Mostly those we've lost are found
But sometimes gone for good, and we're left dumb,
Confused and sad and lonely, crying out
For someone who's no longer there. That's pain,
But those same doors whose closure gave us doubt
Can also bring just what we need: we gain
In losing. Old friends still along with us
Step up and help, and strangers become new
And wondrous sources for what we lack. Thus
Has gone my week-and -change since something drew
Mac Tonnies from our lives. There all along
Were people waiting to help me be strong.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In Which I Rejoice In Having Lots And Lots Of Company!

Of NaNoWriMo it is Day One; I
Have yet to write a word, but am not blue.
Though precious hours keep on ticking by,
I'm sanguine, though there is so much to do!
Those fifty-thousand words of fiction won't
Just write themselves, but I think I might feel
A bit like they are! Now, dear readers, don't
Go thinking I'm blase; this is a real
Commitment, but this year so many friends
Have made it with me that I'm giddy from
Anticipation. We bust out our pens
(Or typewriter in my case) and succumb
To that old urge, court muses, make our starts
And know that all around beat sim'lar hearts.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

In Which I Thank My Medicine Men

It takes strange tools to patch a torn-up heart,
Takes songs and tales and poetry and play.
Comes time for me to thank those who, in part
Have made or done the things which, I may say,
Have proven the best medicine for me.
Phil Rossi wrote a song that e'en before
The hardest blow came down did help me see
A light at tunnel's end. And there is more:
For Jeremy Shipp's novel did a lot,
As did a poem by Gregory Wright
He wrote just for me, to tell me I'm not
Alone, not even in the darkest night.
Thanks too, to my White Rabbit and John Ladd:
Chess therapy is good, too, when I'm sad.

Friday, October 30, 2009

In Which I Don't Even Try To Dress It Up - I'm Angry And I'm Hurting

A week has passed; my tears have mostly dried
But I am far from healed; I'm angry still.
Still can't quite grasp that Mac Tonnies has died,
Keep watching for him, wond'ring what he will
Dig up for us next. Anger chokes my throat
Each time I look and find him gone again.
Did people in his call center e'er note
Just how remarkable he was? But then
How well do I know my work-mates? Something
Has got to change, to stop, has got to give.
That wondrous Mac went unmissed three days? Bring
Me tissues, please; I'm crying more. We live
In heartless times when how someone's first missed
Is by a distant friend he's never kissed.

Friday Flash: No Return To Mount Shasta Is On The Horizon

Sonneteer's note: this is the tenth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here and Part the Ninth here. Wow!

Awake again and riding on the lines
Of monofilment her thumbs produce,
Yectara listens not unto the whines
Of fear or of concern her crew lets loose.
The navigator jerks when once he knows
His station is her destination. He
Makes weakly his salute and vainly throws
His glance amongst his crewmen but all we
See from them is that special empty stare,
Awaiting further orders from their queen.
"To Epsilon Aurigae we now dare,"
Yectara barks. The navigator's screen
Is quickly tuned to seek out that far star
And all the worlds around it. "There you are."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Which I Cry Uncle

I couldn't find it, deep beneath the snow
The feeder that the birds and wind knocked down
And buried sometime during last night's blow.
I'm sure it's much the same all over town.
My pupils down to pinpoints in the glare,
My fingers freezing in their gloves, I tried
To dig a path for postmen, cars - I care
That people try to do their jobs despite
Conditions. They were pitiful enough,
My efforts; I could not sustain too much,
Could not draw breath sufficient for the tough,
Laborious removal of, as such
A day's and night's accumulation. I'm
Still dizzy as I type out this here rhyme.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In Which A Snowy Day Sets Me To Dithering

Contrary impulses have seized me, and
I'm transfixed, by the window, in their grips.
I still am sick, could barely lift a hand
To heave and shovel snow - though it's the hips
And legs that should do that work - yet I would
So dearly like to go play in that fresh, white
Inviting snow. My skis are - to the good -
In Saratoga, so that's out. All right
But just a walk? A bike ride? A quick romp
With Molly in the park? I really ought
To stay home and get well at last. I stomp
An angry foot at this, though. Yes, I've got
A poor track record, being sick and then
Undoing efforts to get well again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In Which I Fidget A Little Over NaNoWriMo

I am a both-feet jumping kind of girl,
As I told a good friend just last week. I
Spoke then of matters other than the whirl
Of furious creation that soon to fly
Into my face: NaNoWriMo doth come!
My life, already out of shape, will warp
Still further, though not quite so much as some:
I have not made an outline, do not sport
So much as one lone character sheet yet.
That feels like cheating, like a lack of trust
In my November self. I shall not get
Into that frenzy 'till I truly must!
Though just here in this sonnet, I'll admit:
My friends who've done so seem prepared as spit!

In Which I Squee For A Wonderful Guy

Today is Seventh Son Day, a long while
In coming. As we watch his numbers rise
With J.C. Hutchins, let us pause and smile
For him and us. At last our poor wee eyes
Partake in what our ears so long have known!
That baby-faced JC is sure no slouch,
That there's no pleasure quite like when our own
Do well. That sprawling out upon the couch
With paperback or Kindle is more fun
When it's a friend in there. Oh, JC, dear!
While Personal Effects was a delight
And brought the chills and of course brought the fear,
It's this one that feels like the triumph of
Your work and friends and all you've come to love!

Monday, October 26, 2009

In Which A Friend Steps Up Into A New Role

John Ladd, I think I'm making a great trade
A column or two for your magazine
(I hope that what I've done do make the grade)
On our poetic, internet-ic scene,
For counseling on my misdeeds in chess!
As coaches go you're patient, funny and
You give me hope that I might blunder less
In future games! Your wish is my command
On future essays. Any you may want,
On any subject for Paradise Tossed,
Is yours! Few are the bloggers who may flaunt
A captive sonneteer so to be bossed!
My gratitude, dear John, for all your aid.
As well for all the practice games we've played!

In Which Al Bruno III Ripens Some

I knew him first just as one Ab3,
An author of a Binder, lo, of Shame.
Such lore of gaming horror could not be
Quite real, I told myself, as I became
A devotee of misadventures like
The Achy Breaky Mythos. "Funny" does
Not e'en come close; today these tales still strike
Right home; my eyes tear up! But all that was
Long years ago. These days he's pioneered
Five-second fiction, sick and wrong and great,
The Third Al Bruno has, and I have cheered
Each new bit of his novel. Lo, that fate
Should bring his lurker, me, to be his friend!
Oh, happy birthday, Al! Days without end!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Which I Rewrite A Lambert Hendricks & Ross Classic Because I'm Feeling Silly

In order to keep me well on my leash
A threat was made one time to take away
My bottle. You may well imagine - sheesh! -
The furore that ensued. "No!" I did say
Unhand that; 'tis well known I can't get well
Without the fruit of many a fair vine,
Yea even were it only Muscatel
(Though I prefer a somewhat nicer wine).
And though ye may beat my head out of shape
As long as I am left enough to toast
My health and yours, yes, please leave me my grape,
Then truly you may lead me out to roast
In hot sun or on fiery coals, your choice.
With whistle wet you'll barely hear my voice.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Which I Try To Maintain A Healthy State Of Denial

No, no, that's not me coughing, or at least
Not from a bug or virus; 'tis a mere
Rhetorical device. It has increased
In volume, sure, as I know you can hear.
But I'm not sick. And no, no fever burns
My face and chest; my disposition's warm
By nature. No, just as each season turns
Adjustment's needed to this hardy form
Which I inhabit. What's that? Not a sneeze.
You're quite mistaken. I said you are QUITE
MISTAKEN. Well, a little hoarse, I -- please!
I talk all day to earn my keep. By night-
Fall all that I sometimes have left
Is this wee croak. No, I'm not sick; you're deaf.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Flash: In Which Some Background Info On The Grokulator's Crew Is Gained

Sonneteer's note: this is the ninth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here and Part the Octthhhh here.

What would Mac Tonnies say were he to learn
How right he'd always been about those who
Have shared our Earth with us thru ev'ry turn
Upon its axis? I most surely do
Assure you that 'twas these, the cacogens,
Who ply their mistress with space smelling-salts
Who did so, in and out of time. Not friends
But neither foes were they, just made their halts,
Between trips in the Grokulator's hold,
Within Mount Shasta, where they kept their watch
Not on us, as we think but on the cold
Deeps of the night sky until that time when
The Grokulator'd make a trip again.

In Which I Discover That Chess Is Good Medicine

I took a duck right to the face today
At two hundred fifty knots, as the meme goes.
My throat's new lump just will not go away,
My heart feels like it's taken thirty blows
From someone's mallet. But a game of chess
Long distance, over slow and thoughtful time
Has proved a worthy cure for my distress,
Reminding me I've partners yet in crime,
E'en though my dear Mac Tonnies cannot be
Among their number anymore. Each move
Captures my thoughts, attention, makes me see
More possibilities and does much to improve
My frame of mind, to have it well-engaged.
Thanks to my friend for this small war we've waged.

R.I.P., Mac Tonnies

Standing next to a fuse-box, originally uploaded by Mac Tonnies.

Mac Tonnies, how I longed one day to meet
And talk with you directly. I've admired
Your books and blog and links. Your ev'ry tweet
Brought strange new wonders. You knew you'd inspired
A lot of my big project. I'm so glad
I told you this and shared with you my plans
Which you refined and cheered on. Now, well, "sad"
Is quite inadequate. Among your fans
Your voice, it will be missed - by ev'ry one
Who wants to take enigmas with more than
A grain of salt and not make woo-woo fun
But really try improving the slight span
Of knowledge that we have of what's beyond.
I'm devastated, Mac, that you are gone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Which My Thoughts Go Round And Round Like Deep Blue's Wheels

I'm restless. I've had quite an afternoon,
With much occurring and yet naught at all.
The tension's built up too much and so soon
I've got to let it out. My bike doth call.
What did I ever do before Deep Blue
When situations rose that drove me nuts?
I no longer remember, have no clue
Just how I used to pull myself from ruts.
My bicycle and sonnets rule my days.
'Tis discipline, I think, which is all good
But days like this I feel somewhat enslaved
To both, but realize, try as I would
That habits, good, or bad, govern me still
I only think I've something like free will.

In Which John Roling Takes His Turn In The Birthday Barrel

John Roling, how I met you makes me laugh.
I don't recall just why, but some of us
Had come up with the zany, made and half-
Baked notion what was needed one day was
A pic of Oliveri all in drag.
Demurred he did, but told us all to look
At some twitpic in which, per that there tag
You rocked the Hooter's girl costume and took
The prize. I knew that any crazed and brave
Such soul must be my friend, and now you are.
Delightful man, who showed me how to save
Myself and friends from choosing a cigar
We'll hate. And it's your birthday now, today.
O Greyhawk68, enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In Which Wintry Weather Makes Me Reflect

I am no Bonaparte; my armies fight
Their best in winter's snows and wind and cold.
Alone I stand out in the freezing night
And look up at the stars and feel how old
This world is and is not. Dichotomies
Like these are occupying me of late.
I'm of the cast of mind such that it please,
Not anger me to sit and contemplate,
While crystals made of ice pummel and sting
My face, how things and people never are
As simple as they seem. Each little thing
They do results from infinite, bizarre
Tempestuous processes, chaos-tossed
Until at last they're frozen fast as frost.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Which 2012 Hoaxers Have More To Answer For And A Clarion Call To Party Is Made

OR, I'm Not Crazy, I Just Want To Be Famous Before The Lizard People Get Me

I should not be surprised that Richard Heene
Believes 2012 will be the end
Of everything, and wanted some more screen
Time ere it all went down. But as my friend
The Astroengine says, be grateful for
Such nutters and the fodder they provide
For bloggers and for skeptics. I want more!
We've two years ere the epic and worldwide
And non-event takes place. Meanwhile we must
Put on our party-planning hats: 12/22
Of that fine year: Chichen Itza or bust!
When ev'ry skeptic who has any clue
Must gather, drink and dance and launch balloons.
I'll bring the sake. Ian, do the tunes?

In Which Cheyenne Becomes A Hipper Place And I A Happier Cheyenneian

Cheyenne's martini bar is quite a place,
Suite 1901, in the Frontier shack
Downtown. The drinks alone will melt your face,
So good they are; nor is there any lack
Of other blandishments for such as I.
We missed the live bluesman who played last night,
But won't again, myself and funny, spry
Melissa. Owner John, to my delight
Says he has plans for tunes five nights a week.
There's only one TV and that is small,
And the decor? Quite tasteful, smooth and sleek
Mid-century modern - that's my fav'rite! Call
Me anytime, you locals, when you go
My second home awaits me there, you know.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In Which I Prepare To Cheat On My Love

Comes now the news: Deep Blue needs a new wheel,
Which won't be here 'till Thursday or perhaps
Wednesday if I am lucky. Do I feel
That way? I don't, not since my crash. Those chaps
At Rock on Wheels at least have found a way
To cheer me some: a loaner bike awaits
At yonder store. I feel that I betray
My love a bit, but man, I've got the shakes.
My bicycle is more than just my friend,
My ride to work, it's, too, my therapist,
Without whom I have gone right 'round the bend
Especially since fine weather does persist
That beckons so, a cyclists' siren song
I can't resist. Please tell me: is it wrong?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In Which I, Too, Feel I Am Getting Older

A party girl I've never really been.
I'll go out now and then to see what's new,
But generally I'm the type who's seen
Off in the corner, a good friend or two,
Sometimes a small crowd, list'ning to my tales
And telling theirs. But last night found me out
In noise among the hip-hop crowd. Details
Don't matter overly. We had to shout
To be heard, and the tunes were all the same,
Some chanting, thumping bass, an endless drone.
These days, to me, what music's worth the name
Needs more than just a heartbeat. On my own
I pine for something somewhat more complex
That makes imagination stretch and flex.

In Which More Birthday Greetings Are Extended

Steve Kastner, what a long friendship we've had
Since we were sixteen years of age and we
Were turned loose at UW. Too bad
It's been so long since we've managed to see
Each other. Since your wedding, I believe?
And now you and our Shannon have two sons!
Do rest assured on this, your birthday, Steve
That never will they know from me our runs
To fetch non-dairy creamer late at night
And light it off like hairspray -- unless you
Have told them this already. May delight
In fam'ly life and travel continue.
Here's hoping that your birthday, Steve, is swell
And that fair San Francisco treats you well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In Which I Plea For Less Talk Of Pus

'Tis hunting season. We know what that means:
Blaze orange clothes and hats, and pickup loads
Of animals and parts thereof, and scenes
Of game wardens beheading, 'longside roads
(To check for chronic wasting disease signs),
The newly-harvested elk, moose and deer
And checking paperwork, issuing fines
As needed. Then there's something that I fear
Most deeply, though my stomach's truly strong
(A fancier of insects needs one such):
That's graphic talk of wounds and pus and wrong
And pungent smells from parasites. Too much
Of that talk always makes me ill, yet lo:
It is my fate to hear it, ever so.

BONUS SONNET: SONNET DARE: Another One Bites The Dust

So warily does Steve walk down the street,
His hat brim pulled down low over his eyes,
That one might well guess that he's packing heat.
It's all good fun until somebody dies.
Let fly some bullets from a doorway; rip
They do through all, and one more bites
The dust, as oft is said by those real hip
Cats Freddy Mercury sang for. Such sights
Are common in Steve's world. They rip again,
As though to some drum beat, and, oh, these plays
Must end in blood; revenge is best served when
One has been cheated, beaten, left for days
As Steve has surely been. There goes one more
And sure more violence must lie in store.

Friday, October 16, 2009

BONUS BONUS SONNET: Sonnet Dare: David Bowie's "Queen Bitch"

From the eleventh floor my envy burns
As I watch that rare queen ply all her arts
To snare one that my shallow weakness spurns
To go after myself. She's broken hearts
A-plenty before now; tonight it's mine
Though it is not her that I want, but him.
Just watch her go in satin tat so fine
And bipp'ry-bopp'ry topper with a brim
I'd laugh at were I not at heart so sick -
I'm sure I could exceed her in her deeds
Of conquest were I to make e'en a lick
Of effort just to plant down there the seeds
Of lust for me instead of her? But no
I hang back longingly and watch her go.


Keep coming with the sonnet dares, my friends,
Like kooky Stephan Spiegel's done, in spades.
He knows I like a challenge, one that bends
My ingenuity and kills time. Shades
Of kings of old and court poets now haunt
My ken as I discharge this commission:
Its key is using "k" words on this jaunt
Through sonnet-land in each line. Kids, I've gone
Right out to lunch with this one. Karma claims
He owes me extra big for this big killer dare.
Take up the ukelele? Let the names
Of all his children be my pick? What's fair?
For now I'll blow a kiss his silly way
In thanks for what has surely made my day.

SONNET DARE: In Vedauwoo Or Denver, I Get Lost

While both are places I've been known to roam
With more than one six-pack of Guinness, one
I much prefer; it's closer to my home,
And lovelier by far in morning sun
Or eve'ning starlight: that is Vedauwoo.
In Denver's traffic I am always lost
Unless on foot on Sixteenth Street - though, too
I'm often lost in thought and at great cost
There, with the Wazee Supper Club and, yes,
The Tattered Cover, wallet beaters both.
As for the Mile High City in my car?
I'm hopeless. Better for me, by my oath
To climb on rocks and up there drink my beer,
And take in all the silence I don't hear.

Friday Flash: Good News Or Bad?

Sonneteer's note: this is the eighth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here and Part the Seventhuth here.

Pepito stands by, puzzled, bald and mute -
His portrait made him notice he's no hair -
While 'round him gathers cacogens, acute
Embarrassment just hanging in the air
As Queen Yectara takes it in the brain
From someone she respects as overlord,
Her face a mask of -- pleasure? or of pain?
It's hard to tell -- while ev'ryone aboard
Waits breathlessly. At last she gives a yelp
And looks like she'll collapse into a faint
Pepito tries to rush to offer help
But agile yet in zero-gee he ain't.
He overshoots and slams 'gainst a bulkhead.
Yectara floats unconscious - maybe dead.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Which I Muse On A Boy And A Balloon

So really, who's surprised there was no boy
Aloft in that great mylar sausage which
Went drifting just today? A mere decoy
Some cried, just to seduce us, just to switch
Attention from the issues of the day.
So Falcon Heene, son of a wife-swap team
Who also chases storms, betook to play
A joke of which a Cliff Irving might dream.
So what? We take diversion where we can
Amidst this vale of foolishness, don't we?
Now I, for one, felt envy; I'm a fan
Of soundless balloon flight. Had I been he
I would have been aboard, and prob'ly dead
From crashing down and landing on my head.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In Which Further Rage Is Vented

Construction as you know has quite f'd up
The only way out of my neighborhood
Into the rest of Cheyenne. Now I sup
On still more rage, though I know I'm as good
For blaming as the red and white Ford truck
That just plowed into Deep Blue's back tire when
I dared to cross the street where he was stuck
A-waiting his next chance to join again
The greater stream of traffic. I did think
He'd waved me on across like a good guy
But then he lurched. I stopped just on the brink
Of getting fully hit -- don't want to die
Just when things in my life are looking well
But how I wish that driver were in hell.

In Which I Shake My Fist At The Construction Gods

Dell Range at my end is right now a maze
Of cones and barrels and ugly VM signs.
I'm to the east, so should I get a craze
To go somewhere on business, my designs
Do force always a left turn, which is hard
Enough against the traffic when there's not
Construction out there. I am often barred
From moving as the minutes tick. I've got
A store of patience, but it sure wears thin
Now that the traffic's down to just two lanes
And those so hard to see. A hot place in
Street planning hell awaits, with bright orange chains
For those who made this happen, I decree.
Of course, I know that's not quite up to me.

BONUS BONUS SONNET: In Which I Reflect On My First Way After Hours Bike Commute

At 1 A.M. the city of Cheyenne
Belongs to me and Deep Blue, it appears.
My only obstacle - the odd trash can
Placed in the bike lane - merely draws my sneers.
I'm warmly dressed and ride into the fog,
And crow along with Kurt Elling's best song
With fear of neither emo kid nor dog
To trip me up, whatever could go wrong?
I pedal happily, look 'round and sing
Right at the top of tired lungs with Kurt.
But mind the ice, Kate, on the streets - one thing
I can't dismiss. A wipe-out would sure hurt!
And just between us two, O reader mine,
Jaybiking 'gainst the traffic lights is fine!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BONUS SONNET: In Which I Look Towards A Month Of Madness

October's near its midway point which means
A special month approaches - very fast.
My friends and I, oh such writing machines
Already, now prepare for that great blast
Of scribbling fury that's NaNoWriMo.
I have the germ of an idea in place
Thanks to a crazed white rabbit who with so
Small effort tossed it my way that my face
Just melted. Now I roar out: bring it on!
And hope that all of you will do so, too.
It's crazy and hard work but once it's gone
We have rare prizes, each: one bright, brand new,
If roughly written, novel, and the pride
Of finishing a project (somewhat fried).

In Which A Power Failure Gives Me Pause

A power failure, but in far from black
Do I sit here; the glare from off the snow
Lights up my house so I squint. I could track
The world outside: A hand-cranked radio
Sits here. Instead I peer deep down inside
And let myself feel all that's going on,
What is and what could be. I cannot hide
In shadows on a day like this. I'll don
Soon coat and boots, my new sunglasses, and
Ride on Deep Blue to where my work awaits,
But now my pen and Field Notes guide my hand
To lead me to some stillness. 'Tis the Fates,
Not I, who should be brooding. Let it be.
There's nothing I can do but wait and see.