Monday, August 31, 2009

In Which I Muse On "Silent Communication"

An eyebrow twitch, a slump, can say so much,
As can a tone of voice, a squint, a moue.
But only if one sees it and, as such,
Has grown up watching for this kind of clue.
Do fluent texters even know they miss
Ironic looks or hostile postures when
They tune out conversations "to get this
One message" in a meeting? This has been
Cast in the Wall Street Journal, just today,
As something Generation Y must learn
To deal with, but I'm not so quick to say
That it's just "those durn kids" worth our concern
In this regard. Attention is sliced thin
In everybody's life. Look ye within.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

SONNET DARE: A Chinese Language and Culture Coincidence!

My love affair with Mandarin is old
And slightly stale; no one to speak with here
In Wyoming, but it has not gone cold,
Not yet. I try to keep it, but I fear
I've lost too much. I still read like a child
(Traditional not simplified) and now
Some Chinese lit is bound for me - how wild -
A new friend's sending me some Xueqin Cao!
The Story of the Stone will soak my brain
In 18th century China. He knew not,
My friend, that Chinese language was a main
Field of my college studies. He just caught
The drift of how my mind works -- and I am
The more amused: his blog draws Chinese spam!

BONUS SONNET: Wet And Grey, A Perfect Day

A grey sky makes me love the landscape more;
The greens and browns of it stand out so well
Against the steely dome above. Before,
A clear sky held me firm under its spell,
My eyes turned up and lost in all that blue,
The lazy drift of clouds holding my gaze.
With that distraction gone, I turn down to
The Earth around me, taking in the plays
Of heightened color. Then, too, there's the scent
Of misty rain, and of the moistened soil
And vegetation. This is what I'm meant
To know today, which nothing now can spoil.
A drizzly morning's bike commute lays down
A tone for my day: bliss in which to drown.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In Which I Ponder Some New Kind Of Slaughter

Sonneteer's note: The full title of the graphic novel reviewed here is Some New Kind of Slaughter - or - Lost in the Flood (And How We Found Home Again): Diluvian Myths from Around the World (and you thought my titles were long!).

Did this ark save or just delay us, asks
Ziusudra, afloat amidst the flood
That haunts our legends, dramas, myths and masques.
Some New Kind of Slaughter does not, in blood,
But water drowns the world as tales unfold
From all times and all cultures. Noah's there,
Uncanny figures all, each comes aware
Of what's to come, as in our present day
One woman sees the facts of what we've done
And knows it all could happen just that way
To us. As stories twine we're watched by one
Great turtle, who'll inherit a wet world,
So Mann and Lewis' nightmare is unfurled.

Friday, August 28, 2009

BONUS SONNET: In Which The Birthday Blast Claims Another Victim

So many writers born this month, I find,
I'm still a-sonnetizing for them as
It nears a close. Today the birthday grind
Doth claim one Brandon Ford, a scribe who has
A taste for things that grind and splatter up,
For scream queens -- and for sentimental songs.
Yeah, like most ghouls, at heart he's just a pup.
With sweet marshmallows - that's where he belongs.
(You see how well he's fooled me?). Quite all right.
Ain't never been a single-facet star,
Not even one who frightens one by night
Like cold Polaris in Lovecraft-y tales,
Whose baleful glow leaves one biting one's nails.

Bonus Sonnet Dare: An Encomium To A Show I Have Not, In Fact, Seen

A TV-free house is mine, but for one
Exception: I'm a total Netflix fan.
Yes, Hulu means I don't miss all the fun,
But laptop-watching's not part of my plan.
This means I've not seen Fringe, though I'll amend
That in September when it comes out in
A DVD set. This sounds like a blend
Of X-Files and Repairman Jack: pure win!
And I see Leonard Nimoy's in the cast.
So Barton Morse, who dared me here to write,
An homage to a show I'm too harassed
To watch until it's mailed to me one night
Next month, I must say thank you; I have made
A priority of it now -- nay, crusade!

Sonnet Dare: In Which A Friend And I Wolf Whistle At The Geologic Universe

I doff my hat to William Donahue
For pointing out a thing that's truly hawt:
Both Geo Hrab and his fair partner, who
Already easy on the eyes, have got
Classy new looks! The Maestro grew some hair;
Not on the pate (thank Bog), but on his face
(And yes, that makes him Evil Hrab), right where
It should be. And MsInformation's grace
Is stunningly enhanced by cute new specs.
Applause is due them both, I do agree!
Though crashes may result as rubbernecks
At their most fav'rite crosswalk bend to see
Them as they ward off those fools who would press
That button. This could all be quite a mess!

In Which A Gonzo Film Appreciation Society Goes On A Brief Hiatus

As all good things at some point will mutate
So #filmswithbrent must do, sadly, as well.
Our head-man think's he's got to go create
And learn Down Under. Sure he will excel,
But time zones are a challenge even now,
As Wyoming and Pennsylvania
And California, Oregon allow
Just barely what we do. Look we to the
Future of our film-watching and we must
Now figure in Australia! This we will
Once Brent is settled in and got the dust
Of travel off him, we'll resume the thrill
That is live-tweeting good films, for all love,
Until then we must keep the thought thereof.

BONUS SONNET: Friday Flash: Preparations For Their First Adventure

Sonneteer's note: this is the third 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 and Part the Twoth here.

Yectara as a tutor's mighty fine,
She made his zero-gee lessons a treat
As only she could do. Somehow, supine
Again, though, was not how she seeks to meet
Her first day with Pepito on her ship.
Dressed up at last and gazing at the stars,
Yectara says "Let's take a little trip!
How would you like to see the Face on Mars?
Or I know - there's this thing I love to do
Whenever we're near Earth. Just grab that wood
And ropes and call the boys to come with you.
And meet me at the shuttle." This sounds good!
And so Pepito hastily complies
And gathers up the needed, strange supplies.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sonnet Dare: In Which I Channel A Jedi Master For A Friend's Benefit

When Lethe claimed all that he could do was try,
I promised that quote Yoda I would not.
There things might end, but not so; let it fly
He did with dares. Since like him I a lot,
Down it could not turn I. Write it I will,
A Yoda sonnet, for him it just is.
For fun it is, and as a test of skill
Not beaten could it be. The pleasure's his,
I'm sure, while gloating he must sit
In certainty that fail I will at last.
Too easy it is, though, he will admit
Like Yoda writing is - also a blast!
Fear I do that for all of today
Talk will I now in this peculiar way.

Sonnet Duet: An Interview With The Magnificent, The Mighty, Mur Lafferty

O Mighty Mur, how go things with the War?
Quite well, Kate, it's a book worth fighting for.
Playing for Keeps was great; when is there more?
There is more story there; I'll open that door.
Parenting, fiction-fu, how big's that plate?
I'm never bored; my life is really great.
What's your best tool to keep all of this straight?
I'm old school with paper and pen with weight.
Infinite time is yours - what do you do?
I don't have time to consider - no clue!
And is there word on Heaven's print debut?
Not yet. The edits now I'm working through.
Mur Lafferty, what is the pow'r of PANTS?
Work from home, be productive, erase can'ts.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In Which Google Earth Becomes A Tool For Cryptozoologists

Comes news today that someone at last saw
The Loch Ness Monster - no, really he did.
'Twas Google Earth that showed it, to our awe,
Per Jason Cooke, who must have flipped his lid
When he saw via satellite a shape
That matches the supposed plesiosaur.
I just looked there myself and can't escape
The notion that there's something weird, but more
Detail would sure be nice. It's just a boat,
Most likely but it would be kind of neat
If something more came of this strange footnote
In cryptozooligical lore. Sweet
Though it would be at last to know for sure
I think I'd rather keep the romance pure.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When It Rains I Can Pretend I'm Camping

My house has metal awnings, front and back.
So when it rains, the water has a voice.
I sit beneath them, listen to the clack
And clatter of the droplets. Happy choice
It was, to build them on. All that ribbed steel
Is like a camper's roof. When I was young
And slept up in the bunk on trips, I'd feel
And hear drops inches from me. How I've clung
To memories like these as time has passed.
Now it's just me, my patio, cigars,
A border collie and the great contrast
Twixt grey skies and green yard, and passing cars -
But their noise is drowned out by all the rain's
Metallic noises on the awnings' planes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

BONUS SONNET: Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, STS-128

I'm sorry, but tonight I started late.
I left uncorking off until the hold
For our Discovery's liftoff. O Kate,
When will you learn that to propitiate
That dumb jock, Thor, you have to start off right
When Space Flight Now begins cov'ring it live?
'Twas clear he liked the asti, nice and light
And bubbly-sweet, like mead. Now I contrive
To be better prepared for our next try:
I'll stick to asti since I've got a lot.
You folk, try others. We'll yet see her fly
(This time sans bat). Let's give it all we've got.
Winos for NASA, now's our time to shine!
Tomorrow night, our efforts must combine!

In Which I Prepare To Escape Into Life

A new notebook's an empty, perfect thing.
Its blankness is intimidating. Yet
Shall I soon mar it. Watch me as I fling
Myself into a sexy new project.
When Lethe Bashar invited me to join
His magazine's new Moleskine art bazaar,
I said "of course" before I thought what coin
Of spirit I could offer. I'm not far
Along in choosing what to use to fill
My journal. Sonnets, sure, but something more?
I'm still excited, trembling with the thrill
Of trying something new, but will I bore
His public, who one day ere long will buy
Escape Into Life's wares? The aim is high!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Which I Dote On A Strange Amphibian

Pleurodeles waltl is one strange newt:
Acanthoplus discoidalus has got
A rival for the title of most cute
And gruesome defense. Fresh news it is not
That this guy has this capability:
Victorians knew of it, but we've now
A better guess on methodology.
He swings his ribs right up and out, is how
He first reacts, then comes some poison goo
To flow into the wounds these spears create
In any creature's mouth that tries to chew
Him up! Sometimes this ends in cruelest fate:
Death to the snacker! The newt itself moves on
Unscathed; even the rib-holes heal anon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BONUS SONNET: In Which I Wish A Motorist Ill

Convertible driver, you funny guy,
While it's hilarious, sure, I agree,
To honk your horn just as I pass on by
You on my bike while I go 'crosst the street,
And laugh a brutish laugh at my small scream,
It's funny, too, to hope that some day soon
A murder of foul crows cuts loose a stream,
A rain of well-used carrion, right at noon,
On you and your sweet ride. I'd not so curse
Were honking as I passed your only sin --
But revving up your engine with a lurch
Right for me? Lo, the harridan within
Me wakes and calls down all upon your head
A shower of shit. You'll wish that you were dead.

Sonnet Dare: Concerning M. Night Shamalamadoodad And His Role In All Our Lives

M. Night Shamalamadoodad is now
That film director's name, thanks to Nicole,
In my book evermore. And as to how
This happened? I can't say I know the whole
Sad story, but that's quite all right on a
Sad Saturday at work, stuck without light
(Outvoted on the dimmer switch, then, yay,
A flicker in the tubes meant an outright
Shut off!). Now as I sit here in the dark
I wonder what my "twist" ending will be.
One task light's shorted out; perhaps a spark
From the one left will bring my woes to three?
Or suddenly I'll find out that my chest
Is bioluminescent? T'would be best.

Friday, August 21, 2009

In Which Deep Blue And I Commune With The Greenway

Were I struck blind, still could I make my way
From work to home on Cheyenne's best bike route,
Just by the smells encountered ev'ry day
Along the path. My nose is more acute
After a summer's daily travel there.
Once past the city street and vulcanized
Smell of the tire place that is right where
The Greenway starts for me, as I am prized
From car traffic, the smell of fresh-cut grass,
Late blooming trees and cattails dominate
Until I pass the paddock where, alas,
A lonely horse stands grazing, with no mate.
The wet concrete and dust of tunnels, then
I'm practically already home again.

In Which Christian Weihs Gets Older, Just Like The Rest Of Us

Of Austrians I know a very few,
As Christian Weihs and I have often joked.
There's Robert Musil, Christian and, um, phew!
The rest are all Hapsburgs, as best invoked
In histories. My favorite is clear:
Christian is fun to talk to o'er the net,
Has taste in books and stars and, never fear,
In people, too. And I am not done yet!
The funny that he brings is super-sly
And often in a language I don't know
But closely parse; one day I'll have to try
To learn it right and will one day do so.
O Christian Cryo-Tank, happy birthday!
Go out and celebrate as best you may!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Which I Am Swept Away By Richard Holmes

o_simpson4, originally uploaded by escapeintolife.

We poets love our science; now there's proof
In Richard Holmes' latest, lovely book
The Age of Wonder. No one kept aloof
From gaping at balloons, or from a look
At where the Herschels found Uranus through
A telescope of William's own design,
His sister Caroline at last getting her due
For all she did to help. And there's the fine
Example Joseph Banks' trip set for all.
Erasmus Darwin, Wordworth, Shelley, mine
Own fav'rite, Byron, were all kept in thrall
As these discoveries were made and I'm
Only on Chapter Four! There's still more time!

In Which Mac Tonnies Takes A Turn In The Birthday Barrel

Mac Tonnies makes the internet more strange
Than it already is. That's quite a feat!
But he's an eye for signs of hoped-for change,
For beautiful decay, for all that's neat.
A diff'rent kind of skeptic, too, is he,
Who stresses what we don't know but could find
Were we but to try looking. When I see
The world through Tonnies' glasses I'm entwined
In future's promise, good and bad. Today,
His birthday, also is H.P. Lovecraft's!
And we can make of that whate'er we may.
Coincidence, I'll say - yet how I laughed
On learning that. So happy birthday, Mac.
How's that new book a-comin'? Don't you slack!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Which I Tap My Foot And Dare To Dream

Sonneteer's note: Special thanks to Felicia, the rainfairy, for the magnificently apt phrase "Jedi speed dial"

The last rainfall revealed a roofing fail,
Disclosed by a new ceiling leak. I called
The roofer who, like any male,
Said he'd call right back. Oh, how time has crawled
Since then. He came just last night, checked it out,
And mapped out just what tasks he'd need to do,
Then said he'd come today, would give a shout
To say what time he'd be here, see it through.
I've spent most of today beside the phone,
To find out when my peace will be disturbed.
But Jedi speed dial's not a pow'r I own:
I cannot stare and make it ring. Perturbed?
Well, just a bit. Meanwhile I'll take a nap.
That ought to make it happen in a snap!

In Which I Am A Few Hours Late With More Birthday Wishes

He named a zombie-killer after me
In his new book, James Melzer did, and I
Am flabbergasted still. How can this be?
But J.J. is that kind of crazy guy,
Unleashing podcast madness nonpareil,
First fiction, now he's doing interviews.
About to make a big splash all the while:
His zombie book's already in the news.
Permuted Press teamed up with Pocket Books
To bring it out in style next spring. Hurray!
You won't believe it when it gets its hooks
In you. His birthday was just yesterday.
Dear James, though this is a few hours late,
Just, thank you, and I hope that it was great!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In Which I Basically Phone One In

I've been invaded by my mom and dad,
And last night, as they say, I overtrained.
I've no regrets, but really I'll be glad
To see this day end. Really, I'm quite drained.
Much wine, too little sleep, too much to do --
My parents shop hard when they come to town,
And there is dinner yet to whip up, too
And dominos to play ere I lay down
To properly sleep off all last night's fun.
But no hangover's ever going to stop
My writing this, my daily sonnet. One
Day I'll falter, let this program drop
But it won't be today, so here it is:
A meta-sonnet. Sure, I am a whiz!

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Which I Go Wild About A Comet Sample

A sample from a comet called Wild Two
Has yielded up results that could support
Panspermia, the notion that the stew
From which we're made just could be an import
From outer space. Yes, found was some glycine,
Without which many proteins cannot form.
And lest you think that this can only mean
Contamination -- you're not even warm!
The Carbon therein has one more neutron,
Than what we mostly find down here on Earth.
We're stardust, perhaps also comet-spawn,
Enough to inflate anyone's self-worth,
E'en if, as may well prove to be the case,
It turns out we've got relatives in space.

In Which A Hero Gets A Little Older

If there's one guy who's made me like Cheyenne,
It's Jeremy Bouchard, who took it on
Himself, with friends, to draw them up a plan
To open up a comics shop. I've gone
Right off the rails, so happy, since I found
That place and met him there. And since I did,
It's rare a book or movie comes around
That I love, that won't make me call out "Kid,
You've got to see this!" And he often has,
Because he's sitting next to me, right there,
Conveniently. So, Jeremy, whereas
Today's your birthday, and because I care,
I proffer birthday spanks in sonnet form,
And my regards, eternal, real and warm.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday, Stupid Sunday

A horrid combination these two make:
Of torpor and of loathing do I speak.
A Sunday afternoon at work can take
All that I have and leave me feeling bleak.
It's August, but this morning bore a chill
That froze my breath in mid-air as I rode.
One tire was slightly flat, I think, which will
Make bike-riding much harder, as I showed
Myself anew. Hours later, I'm still spent,
And listless, filled with hatred ev'ry time
A task occurs, or question. Like cement
Undried this day pulls me down; it's all I'm
Aware of at this point; I feel its weight.
Oh MAN, three hours to go yet. That's just great.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sonnet Dare: In Which I Flirt With Trapping Myself In My Own Brain Loop

My expectations, met by District Nine
And yet not met... now just what does that mean?
This query, posed to me today online
Set me upon a path that, sight unseen
Is surely dangerous for me to tread.
Just as the centipede's dilemma does
Pose quite a threat to my poor tender head,
A hoops snake's shape looms also, just because
I try now to recall just what they were,
Those expectations I had, going in
To see the film. 'Tis tricky, memory:
I think back on my hopes with much chagrin,
Is what I think I hoped changed now, for me,
By what the actual exper'ience brought?
My circuits overload; my brain grows hot.

BONUS SONNET: In Which I Muse On My Visit To District 9

Johannesburg's an interesting place
To set some science fiction. District Nine
Proves this in spades as refugees from space
Are rescued there, where echoes of malign
And human stories linger. Mix in crass
Bureaucracy and mutual disdain,
And we start up a film that has some class:
Intriguing hints of darkness with a vain
Protagonist it's hard to like, but then
Explosions start and gunfights and we've lost
The thread of mystery. I'm not sure when
A buddy pic took over at the cost
Of giving up on exploration of
How these poor creatures got there, for all love!

In Which The AstroEngine's Odometer Hits 29

Such marvels did that #dirtyscience bring!
A running joke as we waited to hear
The Bad Astronomer doing his thing
On Coast to Coast in March of this fine year!
That's how Ian O'Neill entered my ken.
And now I know there's more to him than stars.
A fine DJ and bunny-lover when
He isn't writing articles. It's ours
To thank him on his natal day, today,
For all the fun he's brought, this crazy guy.
I think of him when weird news comes my way,
And always when I look up at the sky.
So happy birthday, Ian, you cool cat.
Now I recall... something about a hat?

Friday, August 14, 2009

BUG WEEK: In Which I Share A (Sort Of) Secret

When I was young, e'en to my eighteenth year
I had a weakness easy to play on:
For nothing in the world gave me such fear
As insects, in the house, out on the lawn,
Once memorably in a campground sink -
Saturniid, there, I picture in my head.
The merest sight would make me scream. You'd think
Me stabbed. Now, "phobia" was never said
Though surely it was thought, as I could stand
A dragon- or a butterfly all right.
By college time it was, though, out of hand
And Bard is a most buggy place at night.
My cure? I took a course and learned each part
An insect has, and thereby lost my heart.


So this bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate,
Seems omnipresent for a substance which
Has been suggested may cause neonate
Male babies' poor development. That's some glitch,
As miscarriages, too, occur. It serves
As plasticizer; medical gear needs such,
For blood bags, tubes, to help them hold their curves
And shapes. But is it oh so very much
To use in these something that, should it leach
Into a mother's bloodstream won't result
In men with smaller penises, who'll reach
With lower sperm counts once they are adult
That many fewer eggs? Tell me it's not
A most nefarious Viagra plot!


Sonneteer's note: this is a continuation of last week's Friday Flash. To read Part 1: The Bartender and the Babe, go HERE

"Now dress yourself," his erstwhile bedmate bade,
Her cooing tones perhaps not quite so sweet
As those had lured him to this pass and made
An abductee of him. Was it deceit
That brought him here? Or was it just plain lust?
He eyed her cybernetic limbs, could not
Decide. A lover capable of rust
Is not what he'd have looked for, though, he thought,
She's pretty in a post-industrial way.
She beckoned then, contralto, "Come with me."
As he complied he found to his dismay
That while he'd really love to go and see
What she would show him, he would have to learn
To move when gravity's not a concern!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

BUG WEEK: In Which We Prepare To Copy An Orchid's Strategy

A Vespa's more than just a motorbike --
It's also, first, a hornet who'll attack
'Most anything it nears that smells just like
A honeybee in fear, it's fav'rite snack.
There is an orchid, a Dendrobium
Which uses just these triggers for its own
Devices: pollenation. They succumb,
These hornets do, to a faked pheromone
The orchids make, that honeybees employ
To warn of danger lurking, and they dive
In search of food - but there's none to enjoy.
This knowledge soon may benefit each hive
Of honeybees that humans keep. We'll make
A trap that preys on this Vespa mistake!

BONUS SONNET: BUG WEEK: In Which I Dwell Upon Japan's Bug Buddha

I am no Buddhist but I know a bit,
That loss of self is something to be sought,
That meditation is one way to it,
And that such things cannot be sold or bought.
Consider then the man who made this shrine:
Inamura Yoneiji, just for love
Collected o'er six years for his design
All manner of insects, all kinds thereof
(But mostly beetles, like in Haldane's quote).
Collecting does mean killing, as he knows,
But hopes to bring them peace as they promote
Deep thoughts on life and time, death and repose.
Their beauty in themselves, there for us, too:
Admire their intricacy, shape and hue.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

For Bug Week: A Hymn To Be'gotcidi

Son of the Sun and trickster of our souls,
Be'gotcidi is Lord of the Insects,
A dirty god, as James Hillman extols
When he talks "Going Bugs" and the effects
These creatures have, in life and in our dreams.
Like these, his creatures, Be'gotcidi lands
Where'er he will, just to elicit screams --
Through us is how he souts -- as with his hands
He grabs at us to make us sing. Valery
In L'abeille knows this too, as he
Finds in a deadly, delicate small sting
Administered in warning by a bee
A "gold alarm" that is a wake-up call
To pay attention to the great and small.

BONUS SONNET: In Which I Geek Out On Some Steampunk Voodoo

A clockwork universe is what I crave,
The most of all when fiction's what I seek.
Machine oil, steam, and heroes who behave
Like gentlemen when helping out the meek.
These make me smile, so Adam Christopher
Was at a great advantage from the start.
In Devil in Chains mighty deeds occur
By men with a surfeit of brains and heart,
But nothing supernatural; they're just
Men who use ingenuity to fight
A Lovecraft horror dwelling 'neath the dust
On Britain's Isle of Man. It's a delight!
Oh how I love the romance of steampunk.
I want to fly next time. I've packed my trunk.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In The Golden Afternoon

Now here is an enchanting afternoon:
Insomniac, I go out to the swing
To read and laze a bit; I've nothing soon
That must be done, no not one pressing thing.
It's warm and sunny. My friend Adam's book,
A Danneman to smoke, the air is sweet --
Then through my front yard's trees I chance to look.
My neighbor gardens shirtless down the street.
I shouldn't, but I watch, and feel the breeze,
And slowly swing. The birds sing, insects trill,
And leafhoppers land on me. How they tease;
They tickle me with tiny feet. Hold still!
Around me, ants and beetles softly creep.
I close my eyes at last, and fall asleep.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Which We Discover What Mosquitos And A Refreshing Cocktail Now Have In Common

Anopheles is quite a pretty word
Until one looks it up and quickly learns
Of how her bites and habits long have spurred
The spread of a disease that in its turns
Kills millions of us ev'ry year. For most
Of history, at least that while we've known
Malaria is spread by this one host,
We've tried to kill mosquitos ere they've flown
To share their protozoans - though sometimes
Quinine's been pressed into this ageless fight
(Best served with gin, in tonic with some limes).
But now a newer method's come to light:
Transgenic work on skeeters makes them less
Hospitable to malarial pests!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In Which I Muse On The Weirdness Of Shift Work

It's early Thunday afternoon as I
Write down these lines at work and watch the clock.
Tomorrow, Fronday, quickly shall pass by,
My last workday this week. How it shall rock!
On Suesday I do all my chores so that
My Sednesday might pass without a care
(For Sednesday is when I go play and chat
With friends down at the pub, whoever's there).
Then Sursday is my quiet time. I plan
The week's priorities, go shopping, then,
I finish anything that I began
On Suesday but left undone. Once again
Does Mriday roll 'round, and I'm off to work.
With three days off I mind not: it's a perk.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

BONUS SONNET: Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mister Christopher Platypus Fancier

I entertained a fantasy quite wild
Back in the wild and hoary days of youth
That, 'pon my birth, the doctors said "This child
Will never be too smart." (I tell the truth!)
And that my parents were too proud to say
"OK, you're right" and raise me as a fool,
Instead betook to tell me ev'ry day
I was the brightest ever at my school.
That, furthermore, because I was that dumb
I swallowed whole their story and behaved
As though I were a prodigy. Now some
Still think I'm smart, but lo how I have saved
You now from this illusion and this fuss,
You Purple Hairy Spotted Platypus!

On Meter-Swapping, And Why It Messes With My Head

A sonnet every day has been my vow,
As I did undertake on New Year's Eve.
I've never missed a day - please don't ask how -
And once 'twas underway I did believe
I'd no more frets 'bout getting each one done.
But then I got an idea I have held
In check -- until I succumbed to the fun
It offered: a mock-epic that would weld
Space opera with farce. Yet woe is me:
Ottava rima is the classic way
Those are constructed, it is plain to see.
It's not unlike a sonnet, some might say:
Ten syllables a line, iambic, yet
The rhyme's scheme's off and so's the length, you bet!

Friday, August 7, 2009

SONNET DARE: What A Difference A Decade Can Make

In this pop-culture-referencing age
A few years diff'rence can prove quite a gap.
As time speeds up it's harder to engage
An older or a younger soul whose map
For territories we traverse may bear
Much older or much newer ref'rence points.
To say naught of the things which make one care.
Then, too, one may leap, one on creaking joints
May get along more slowly. In this case
To love is even more an exercise
In using one's imagination than
Already is the case. If one is wise
One sticks to one's own kind but there's no man
Or woman who is wise in love -- to which
Fact we owe all that makes us such a glitch.

BONUS BONUS SONNET: In Which I Drop A Subtle Hint

O Ian, dear, I wrote 'bout Sharks in Space
Just for your page; now for you I've a task:
What I want most in life's to see your face
Beneath a foil propeller beanie. Ask
Not why it's so; I no longer recall
Just how this project really got its start
(Though I know that it's my fault, after all).
My wish is true; it comes straight from my heart.
And such a little thing I do request:
Here even are instructions for just how
To build the hat. You can make up the rest!
As long as there's a spinner 'bove your brow
When it's all done. You think sonnets are free?
Now off to work. You've got 'til half-past three.


Mojitos were the lady's drink of choice.
Pepito's job, to make them up and serve.
But there was something 'bout the lady's voice
Vibrating in his ears, that stirred each nerve.
And so of course he wound up in her room,
With memories he thought he'd long recall:
Her kisses and her sighs, her strange perfume,
And smooth and fluid moves. He was in thrall.
Then suddenly the earth began to move
(Again, he might have snickered to himself)
And she came from the bathroom, and said "You've
Just joined my crew: your spacesuit's on the shelf."
And what he'd thought were lovely silver tights
Proved her real legs. 'Twas just one of those nights.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Which I Peer Out At The Sky And Back On Us

We go forward and back, just looking out
Our windows or through telescopes and tools.
The Kepler probe has taught us more about
A thousand-light-year distant world we fools
Had thought we understood already; not
A bit like any planets we have here.
But thousand-year-old data's all we've got.
Around Hat-P-7b it's old news. Fear --
So slight but real -- grips me: I ask what if
The star, the planet, are still really there.
Just sixty-four years earlier, our stiff
Resolve to end a war led us to dare
Will we still be here when some others scan?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BONUS SONNET: In Which I Chime In My Support For Keeping The Fremont Peak Observatory Open

If education is a public good,
As we so like to claim, then how can we
Allow this kind of thing to happen? Would
The savings made outweigh the loss we'd see?
The Fremont Peak Observatory has
A mission to allow the public's eye
To look out far beyond our planet, as
We should if we are to survive. That sky
Above us e'er should lure us to surpass
Our paltry buildings, cities, monuments
And think about our destiny. The glass
There opens minds. Yet I fear common sense
Says budget cuts will take it. So I dare
All those who love it to cough up a share.

In Which I Shamelessly Plug An Adventure In Criticism, or #FilmsWithBrent: The Sonnet

It started when Brent put Blade Runner on
(Conceptually it seems so long ago,
Can it have been just short weeks have gone?).
I said I'd watch it too, caught up fast, and lo!
Though Brent's in Pennsylvania and I'm not
We dug the film together and we shared
Our exhaltations in our tweets, thought
This should be a reg'lar thing. Now, don't be scared;
This isn't MST3K redux.
We're working with the films we love the most,
And unlike there, we've endless room for you.
At 10 P.M. on Wednesday nights, our host
And I don our best film geek hats. This round
It's Fight Club. Could it e'er get more profound?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In Which Black Super Ants Are Blamed

The next time all your lights go out you may
Pause for a moment ere you make that call
To yell at your utility, OK?
Another cause may be at work, is all
I want here to suggest. Take Gloucestshire,
A Lasius neglectus band, a pure
Unholy nuisance: black ants who are bound
To be drawn to electric currents more
Than even food and drink. These Asian ants
Can thus cause black-outs, fires by the score
And vastly outbreed natives. There's a chance
That they're already over here as well,
Ant overlords who'll make our lives a hell.

Monday, August 3, 2009

SONNET DARE: The Tauntaun And The Toucan

A common ancestry just might unite
These two uncommon creatures I've been dared
To put in this, my sonnet for the night:
Ramphastidae and tauntaun. Are you scared?
But toucans (as Ramphastidae are called)
Are birds and thus the dinosaurs' grandkids
(Removed some generations), while the bald,
Unlovely tauntans, living on the skids
Of Hoth, ice planet, reptomammals are.
The latter are made-up for Star Wars Two
(Or Five if you buy into that bizarre
Asynchronicity); the former flew
First through my childish thoughts as cereal pimps
And only in the zoos are mine to glimpse.

Huzzah! It's Bekemeyer's Birthday!

The mastermind behind my favorite
Of all homebrewed and funny videos,
An innovative maker who won't quit,
Whose family's fair game. That's how it goes
In Michael Bekemeyer's colony.
His wife writes great romances; he writes, too,
And daughters, lil' Elise and mad Molly
Will surely grow up well and go pursue
Some int'resting careers. As childhoods go
Theirs is well-documented. Just look here
And check out :60 Seconds and you'll know
That Michael's got a family to cheer
Us all. So happy birthday, dearest Mike.
And Let Us Make This Thing just as you like!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

BONUS SONNET: In Which I Bluff My Way Through Some Chat Show Aftermath

Ostensibly we gathered round to talk
On art and commerce and just what went wrong
With Fincher's Alien 3. It did rock
Though we digressed a bit as five quite strong
Artistic types will do. Then came a thought:
Since Ridley Scott is who's been picked to helm
A prequel Alien, who really ought
To take Sigourney Weaver's role? A realm
Of possibilities occured: J Roth Cornet?
Ann Hathaway? I won't embarrass Brent
By saying who he picked; you'll hear it yet
When CUT goes live. Then Tim Coyne went
With Minka Kelly, who I'd never think(a)
But sure, by all means, go link(a) with Minka.

Sonnet Recipe: Blueberry-Ginger Freezer Jam

Three cups blueberries first, you have to mash,
Until you've got a lovely purple pulp.
Next get four cups of sugar from your stash
Cook with the berries till it's gone - Oh, gulp!
You're halfway there! Remember, though, to stir
While on the heat; the sugar must dissolve.
The ginger, crystallized, comes next - of her
You need two tablespoons - this will involve
Some chopping fine beforehand. Mix that in
Along with 1T lemon juice and one-
Half teaspoon of ground ginger. The pectin,
The liquid kind, 3 ounces, follows. Fun!
Pour into freezer jars and let it stand
A day, then you can freeze or serve. How grand!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gutenberg Did Not Invent Printing, Either

Today we woke somewhat surprised to find
That Little, Brown invented a new style
Of publishing: the podcast novel. Mind,
We all had thought this happened quite a while
Ago. But Sarah Shrubb insisted they were first,
Which makes us ponder what it is that we
Were hearing at Podiobooks. The worst,
Of half-assed Google searches, sure, would be
Enough to prove this wrong. I'll bet Bi Sheng
Would be just as surprised to learn that Herr
Johannes Gutenberg had baldly wrung
A claim to type invention; ah, but there
I stray into rank silliness. We know
'Twas Morris, Sigler, Jeffrey made it go.

In Which Dockter Blow Gets Older

Two kids fresh on a campus, all alone
For one short week before semester's start,
Near twenty-one short years ago, unknown
To one another till, oh be still my heart,
The one TV on campus happened on
A movie we both loved, ripe for in-jokes
(The second Indy Jones). Though both withdrawn,
We bonded over Indy's flailing coax
To be compaired to Paul Atreides' fit
In throes of spice-trance. When that got a laugh
I knew I'd found a friend! I did not know that it
Would be a friendship that we'd have for half
Our lifespans thus far and still going strong.
Mark Delsing, happy birthday and live long!