Friday, December 31, 2010

In Which The New Year Blows Blustery

White holidays are back, and so begins
The long and messy slog back to the sun.
This last day of the year blasts off our skins
With bitter winds and cold. There's little fun
To be had out-of-doors tonight: streets of ice
Assure nothing but falls and crashes -- yet
I'm sure there's plenty whose pursuit of vice
And silliness will lead them out. I'll let
Them have my fun. It's home for me and mine;
Tomorrow's just another work-day. You
Who venture forth, do hoist a glass of wine
On my behalf, and I'll think of you, too,
Especially my far-flung loves. Someday
I hope to pass these times with you, some way.

Interstellar Feller: Mu Ha Ha Ha Ha!

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

His steely hand disgustingly adrip,
His message from Bananta quite received
Pepito turns attention from his ship
To all of those whom cruelly he deceived
To reach this point. "I do assure you," he
Begins to say "I had no idea this
Would be the outcome, when, poor helpless me
Was brought aboard with just a sigh, a kiss
From that bewitching woman we all mourn.
We mourn her, don't we? You're not mourning. Weep!
Weep, wastrels, rascals! Rue the day was born
Your sorry selves!" Then there comes a beep,
And all aboard convulse in pain. "Uh, sir,"
Says one. "This message seems to be from... her!"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

In Which I Don't Make A New Year's Resolution

I'm contemplating something quite extreme
(At least for me), though I tend to eschew
Those resolution-things (each a pipe-dream
At best; at worst something that, when you fail to do
What they prescribe, you'll feel a failure for
Just acting like yourself). I need to end
A bad behavior, though, but think I'll score
More points in the success column instead
If I just pose a challenge: just how long
Can I go without doing what I ought
To cut back on severely? Just how strong
Can I be on a daily basis? Fraught
With tension this still is, but I do best
When it's a game, or just a tiny test.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

On Christmas Mornings Past

One Christmas in Chicagoland, I laughed
As Mark got ev'ry Beowulf there was
Except the Seamus Heaney. Photographed
There with my friends in my red dress, the buzz
Of being new-elected still had me
Bewildered at my fugure. That was eight
Weird years ago. At other times I see
Through watery eyes -- for it was once my fate
Allergic to the hay, to still take rides
Upon a wagon, stacked with it, through town
To look at lights, sip cocoa, at the sidea
Of childhood sweethearts. Weird what circles 'round
In memory, on holidays. This time
I'm just at work, but these are all still mine.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Brief Holiday Lecture

Be careful as you travel. All I ask
Is use your seatbelt, and if you should drink,
Don't drive. Just choose another for that task.
You're likely sparing much more than you think;
Blue Christmas is a thing nobody hopes
To add to her experiential list.
So many, though, have lost out to the dopes
Who hurt or maim or or worse, through thoughtlessness.
Don't be that guy; that way we all can share
A happy time (except for those who've lost
Already -- and if you can, really, spare
A thought for such as those - it doesn't cost
A thing!). And that's all that I've got to say,
Except to have a joyous holiday!

Interstellar Feller: In Which Pepi Is Judged By A Seasonal Visitor

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

Lo! Suddenly, there cometh from afar
A most unlikely sight indeed, to wit:
A Dan O'Bannon spaceship Chevy car,
Its driver helmeted and in full kit.
Its load of fruit looks unspoiled, luscious, ripe
And quite delicious. Soon a tractor beam
Shoots from the Grokulator. "So what type
Of goodies have you for us?" There's a gleam
In Pepi's eye as he inquires; the stores
On board are running low. Bananta strides
Across the flight deck, takes in all the scores
Of cacogens enslaved, but won't take sides,
Except to offer one small handful to
Pepito: Rotten pomegranate. Ew!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Fine And Fair Festivus To The Restivus

'Tis Festivus, and miracles galore
Present themselves, as I had just enough
Detergent for my laundry (one load more
And I would have to cross the street and stuff
To get more soap). And then, at one o'clock
My dog went in my yard and made some poop!
I know, it's really not that great a shock
But Festivus's miracles don't group
Like that without some intervention, no?
Say what you will. As for me, I believe.
Oh, and one more thing to tell you, ere you go:
Of one more blessing that I did receive:
The vacuum attachment for pet hair
Worked beautifully, if any of you care.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In Which A FiendMaster Looks At 40

What can one say on so august a day
(That happens in December), when the man
We call FiendMaster comes to, come what may
A birthday he'd avoid if e'er he can
(Though I found it unscary)? This guy writes
Foul stories, demonizing ice cream men
And most beloved muppets. Now his sights
Are set on unknown, new, bad vistas. When
He told me weeks ago that 40 loomed
And that his liver lillied, how could I
Not mock his cowardice? Yes, Paul, you're doomed.
We all are aging. These years do fly by.
Now quit your whining and write some more tales.
Your Fiendlings don't like waiting. Trim those sails!

Happy Holidays From A VERY Special Baker

Who doesn't like, this time of year, to bake
Some Christmas cookies? It's hard to resist
The impulse to get out the gear and take
A little time. How else would they exist,
These goodies that make holidays so sweet?
The Gonzalexx 3000, being one
Who likes, as much as anyone, a treat
Thought he'd surprise his family. Once done
What robot worth his bolts would let them try
His offering without a little test
For quality and safety? This lil' guy
Sure isn't such; he'll only give the best!
And so, from Jose Gonzales and me,
We hope your holiday's sweet as can be!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bring On The Dark

The moon's eclipsing on this solstice night?
Oh noes! Just how much darkness can we take?
We surely all shall perish from sheer fright
(Those of us whom the Great Old Ones don't bake
Into big pies for Festivus). As for
My part, a huge and blood-red, sky-borne orb
Seems emblematic of my mood. I'm sore
Of heart and mind - there's too much to absorb:
These holidays are stupid, crass and dull.
I'm longing for real winter, cold and long
And thoughtful; I appreciate the lull.
My pull towards winter I find just as strong
As e'er it was. 'Til then, I nod and sigh
And watch the silly season plod on by.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bring On The Solstice

The solstice looms, and while I like the dark
More sun will be most welcome, I now find.
Black scenes make mirrors of my windows, stark
And merciless, reflecting me: my lined
And tired face when my workday is through,
My dull stupidity as I prepare
To leave ere sun-up ev'ry morning. Too,
Not much distracts me on my way to where
I spend the day without a window, in
A room where others dim the lights by choice.
I used to like the winter best, to grin
My way through blizzards; now I raise my voice
With all the rest: the short'ning of the days
Must end but soon! 'Tis a most ugly phase.

Friday, December 17, 2010

In Which I Start Another Blog

Sometimes I simply cannot say enough
Within a sonnet, though the challenge to
Pare down and keep it pithy, short and buff
Is good for me, it will not always do.
Thus my return to prose opinions should
Be no surprise. I've started with a rant
About an adaptation. Is it good?
It feels that way, though I really can't
Claim it's a masterpiece of reasoned thought
It's honest and it's what I think. No one
Should feel compelled to read it (though you ought
If my opinion's what you seek). I'm done
With settling for a shoehorn job when I
Can ramble on like mad, yell at the sky!

Interstellar Feller: In Which Questions Are Asked

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

How did this come to pass? Into whose hands
Did who, exactly, play, to make this so?
How is it a cabana boy's commands
Are wordlessly obeyed by all who know
His presence? Who sent forth the pinkish beam
That swayed Yectara's plans for him at first?
'Twixt genocidal cocktails and a dream
Turned nightmare, must we e'er suspect the worst
Of our Pepito now? An evil laugh
That chills the blood (or coolant) has replaced
The throaty and inviting "hey" the staff
And guests at that resort enjoyed. Disgraced?
Far from it! Pepi now has in his sights
The galaxy entire it seems. Such fights!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In Which My Foot Taps A Bit

The fallen tree is gone, and, just today
The insulation in my ceiling's back
As it belongs (long story; there's no way
I'll fit it in a sonnet -- but the lack
Of same has left me shiv'ring, yes!).
Two days stuck home and waiting reached an end,
But now I'm waiting still, but must confess
This waiting is more pleasant, for my friend
Is breezing through my town on errands for
The house she's building, and we're soon to dine
(Though she has still got just one errand more,
Or maybe two, whatever, it's all fine
Except I'm hungry!). What a weekend, no?
Back to the salt mine, too, I soon must go.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Just fourteen lines, that's all I have to write
But just today, that seems like quite a lot.
I wound up staying up too late last night
For no good reason, later than I ought
At anytime; but graveyard work before
Has discombulated me entire.
Today was just a waste; I feel the score
Is Wednesday ten, Kate zero. I'm no liar:
A sonnet is not something that I want
To do right now, but habits do die hard
And though naught happened that I'd care to vaunt
Iambically, it's what I do. So here: this empty shard
Of poesy, a placeholder. I do
Apologize, but that's the state that's true.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bleak But Not Weak

The year runs down, and I run out of steam --
And cash -- but in the offing there's much good.
I've helped a good friend stride towards her dream
And cross my fingers for her, as I should.
My team-ups all go well, and solo work
Proceeds apace; my job is steady and
A rare security is mine -- a quirk
That almost seems obsence as, crossed the land
So many languish. I do all I may
To help, but mostly it's nowhere enough.
I know I'm not alone in trying -- hey,
This ain't the first time that times have been tough!
It's easy to lose hope this time of year,
But chances unknown may be very near.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In Which I Ponder The Future Of This Blog

Photo of me writing a sonnet in a movie line by Sarah Multiverse

Two years of sonnetizing; I shall reach
A thousand ere the year is done. Is that
Enough? Has this grown stale? Do I not leach
Some value with high quantities? I'm at
A point where 'tis an automatic thing
To write a sonnet. People photograph
Me doing so quite on the fly; I fling
Them forth in movie lines, just for a laugh
Or sometimes scribble them out over drinks.
In truth it's become something of a stunt,
And other pastures beckon now, methinks.
So: shall I follow where I'm led, or, blunt
And hack-like, cling to this well-mastered form?
Tell me, dear readers, d'you prefer the norm?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In Which PTSD Is Irrational And SUCKS

Four months ago, I did my best, and all
Turned out as well as anyone could hope.
When needed, I stood up and took the call,
Did what was needed, managed, then, to cope
As is my wont. I only fall apart
When crisis moments are well in the past --
A handy trait, but how it breaks my heart
When things are calm and I feel it at last.
Today the one I helped is back and I
Spoke to him for the first time, businesslike
And distant, as required, but, though I try,
To stop it, the adrenaline does spike,
I choke on tears and four months disappear.
It's like it's happening right now and here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

R.I.P. That Big Ol' Tree

Long have we thought it dead, e'er since I bought
The KATE STATION, this tall, unlovely tree
That blocks my bedroom windows (as it ought
If it has been placed for one's privacy),
Though it still sported sickly leaves, a bit.
This afternoon sometime, it snapped right off,
Left five feet standing and twelve gone to shit
Sprawled out across the front lawn, and the trough
That was my day already, deepened. Mom
Reminds me that it could have been much worse:
It fell away from this, my house. I'm calm
E'en as I wonder who runs the tree-hearse
Here in these parts, and also wonder, too,
What made this happen. Wind? It scarcely blew!

Interstellar Feller: In Which A Long Journey Is Sort Of Undertaken

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

He cannot follow, but it's time he, too,
Broke orbit 'round the planet where all changed.
Quodlaro, pillbug tight, is living through
A special kind of hell, slightly deranged
With horror at what's happened on the ship
Where he has served these aeons beyond count.
He watches Grokulator quickly slip
Into dimensions he'll never surmount.
His trip to marshal oppositioin shall
Be very long and slow, but must succeed!
Upon this cacogen, all the morale
And hope of this whole universe, indeed,
Depends. He vomits forth his final meal
For its propulsion (no, it's not ideal).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In Which Marco And The Red Granny Coulda Stood A Bit More Red

A blood-sport winnin' granny, why have there
Been few of these in literature? Thank
The genre gods: Mur Lafferty had care
Enough to fill this lack. Behold the swank
And cunning Heather, Red Granny, so sweet
At first, but a stone killer on the field
Of lunar battles! I'd have liked to see
More of her and her back story, but yield
To Mur, who may have more planned for this dame
(Let's hope so!). As it was, this book was fun,
Had had me sold since Balticon!). I'm done
With it now, but it left me wanting more.
A prequel, please? Red Granny Goes To War?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sonnet Recipe: Middle Eastern Chicken

Brown up a pound of chicken, cut up small,
Then add a tablespoon of chicken stock,
A can of diced tomatoes and, in all
Two cups of frozen pepper mix and rock
That in the skillet till it boils and cook
About two minutes. Then add half a cup
Of raisins and a cup more stock and -- look
Ya gotta have some garlic!* -- then mix up
Some thyme, allspice, cloves and a bay leaf, too;
Black pepper and some cumin. Stir that in
And simmer for just 20 minutes. You
Will dig what then results. Now, I have been
A-draining off some liquid from what's done
To cook the couscous in, but that's me, hon.

Spice amounts:
GARLIC: 2 cloves, minced
THYME (dried): 1 1/2 t
CUMIN: 1 t
CLOVES (ground): 1/8 t

In Which I Shall Return My Opposable Thumbs Soon

Complexities exceed my grasp when down
With fever or with crappiness. Though I
Did start with Dan Deronda, in my gown
And robe, to make the lonely hours fly,
I didn't grasp it fully, I suspect,
And soon restorted to much simpler fare.
The Planet of the Apes seemed quite perfect,
Campy, with many sequels and a share
Of faux profundity. Alas, Netflix,
Hath only the first streaming. I have found
A way around this; meanwhile for my fix
Where else but Heavy Metal was I bound?
I am not over proud, but so it is:
When ill I soon devolve into, well, this.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

SuperGod: Now That's How To End The World, Baby

With London Town destroyed within a page
Of starting the whole story, SuperGod
Is special. Gastonny gets to rampage
On many cities in this comic, broad
And quite ambitious in its concept: we,
Who once got anxious, made a Golden Calf
To worship when no real divinity
Did show itself, made our own gods -- a half-
Assed plan if e'er there was, and soon there are
A British fungus god, a Krishna and
Much stranger beings. "Save the world," we roar
But do not specify from whom. The land
Soon pulses with such horrors only one
(That's Warren Ellis) could make up. What fun!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Sonnet For My Tea Mug

I'm ill; the world shrinks tightly; I feel old
And, aching, pace the smallest space I may.
Some moments it's all I can do to hold
A mug of tea. When such times come my way
I dote especially on this one here,
Made just for me by one who loved me well,
But didn't know he'd done so, 'til by mere
And funny chance, I saw it, gave a yell
Of praise and picked it up. It fit my hands
Precisely; all its gnurls and furrows placed
Just where my fingers reach - just as if planned
For me. And, too, though it is plainly based
On any mug, it feels like it was found
Instead of made. I'll e'er keep it around.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Interstellar Feller: In Which A Course Is Set

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

One shrouder is escaped, but there is more
That claims this new Dark Lord's attention. "Set
Our course for Halcyon; I have a score
To settle there," Pepito bellows. Let
It here be noted that his face now bears
Resemblance to the greatest evil to
E'er dominate the cosmos, one that scares
E'en as it thrills beholders 'mongst the crew
Who'd grown up hearing tales of horrors past:
"Be good or else he'll come again!" The dread
Is evident upon each face. At last
The Grokulator breaks its orbit, dead
No more, and all is left behind
And none can guess what goes on in that mind.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Which December Nights Are Chilly On A Bike

Heat up some soup! Put on the kettle, please!
A nighttime bike ride I did take, and while
I cannot say exactly I did freeze
'Twas cold enough, and this transformed my smile
To a determined rictus as I raced
Against the chill that wanted so to set
Into my bones and stay there. I outpaced
It, but just barely. It sounds nuts, I bet,
But then I ask you, why, though, should I spend
The extra money that I made tonight
On gasoline? Much rather would I send
Me to Toronto in the spring, and light
In Baltimore as well -- and yes, I know
The oil firms are still getting all my dough.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In Which Decembers Comics Doldrums Set In But Are Somewhat Relieved

December brings us many things, as such,
But as I page through this month's Preview Guide,
As far as comics go, I don't see much.
The offerings are quite on the thin side
For titles new and int'resting, unknown
And debut works. Oh sure, there's lots of capes,
With one bright spot among them: my mind's blown
(E'en as my comics pushers' mouth just gapes)
To see it there, that my pal Cullen Bunn
Is writing Superman/Batman. I knew
Already, but it's really fun
To see it on the Preview page. Woo hoo!
There's no one thought he'd ever see the day
That I'd buy superhero books, but hey.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Which @JennyBeanses Makes Me Feel Funny

Sonneteer's note: I found this half-completed in my browser window and am still trying to puzzle out this situation with @Jennybeanses via Twitter. I still think there's something she's not telling me.

My cousin Jenny swears we're not from here,
And likes to give me cocoa that tastes strange
And watch me drink it all -- and it is clear
She will not let me be until it's drained.
I'll humor her, because I want to know
More of this story that she's spinning, as
Would anyone! Ooh, aliens on the go
And exiled, fam'ly feuds -- this yarn, it has
'Most ev'rything I like! Um, Jenny, I
Feel funny now, and dizzy, and my toes
Are itchy. With a kick, my slippers fly
And I see that I've extra digits. Those
Are webbed as well. And why are my feet blue?
Dear Jenny, you have got 'splanin' to do!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sonnet Dare: In Which Is Considered The First Appearance Of The Master

You think the Master is a scary foe
As Jacobi and Simms have played him? Ha!
As first he did appear, when Delgado
Brought him to life, his powers had no flaw.
A glance and you were hypnotized and quick
To try to blow the Doctor up, despite
Your loyalties. This was no parlor trick.
He was that awesome; t'was pointless to fight,
And if you did, he gave you creepy toys
That made you dumb somehow, so you would bring
Them in the house, e'en though such obvious ploys
Should never work: An ugly, funny thing
That's on the mantle for a while, then, ouch!
It sinks its fangs into you on the couch!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cablegate: No Secret Is One Forever

As Thumper's mom once said, if it's not nice,
Then say it not at all (I paraphrase
Of course). Would that this very good advice
Had just been heeded -- no need now to raise
The kind of fuss we've seen this week. Oh please!
Most schoolkids know it's better not to pass
Those catty notes lest any teacher seize
The evidence and read them for the class
To jeer at or get mad about. It's fools
Who think no one will ever know their deeds
In army life, in embassies or schools;
Likewise those whose dark plans or evil screeds
Depend on staying secret. Lesson learned?
I doubt it. Better just to look concerned.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 27th: A Lot To Celebrate

November Twenty-seventh, ev'ry year
Just overwhelms me, even when it's not
Thanksgiving. 'Twas my Grandpa's time to cheer
And celebrate his natal day. That got
The rest its start; my parents married on
That day, then some years later, Sister Kris
Was born, and stole the hearts of all. Jack's gone,
My grandfather, but there's no time to miss
Him when there's so much yet to celebrate!
Two writing friends of mine have birthdays, too,
Today. Last year I set myself a great
And noble task, a sonnet for each. Phew!
This year, tired from Thanksgiving, I use one
To hail them all and send my love, ere done.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In Which Is Inaugurated Tomato-Rama 2010

My parents went to Sam's Club this "black" day
And all I got were just ten lousy pounds
Of fine tomatoes. With these, they did say
"We like your sauce and paste," I think, so -- 'zounds! --
E'en as I munch on turkey re-heatings,
I blanch and peel two dozen romas, then
Will spend the rest of this fine evening,
A-cooking them on down. Such time has been
Ideal for catching up on podcasts, so
Here I begin, but, spoiled for choice, which shall
I start with? Quirks and Quarks? A novel? Oh,
There's Planet Money, too. How my morale
Doth rise as I so contemplate a night
Spent in the kitchen, growing e'er more bright!

The Interstellar Feller: In Which One Escapes

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

The Grokulator, once a merry ship
Is now a horror: all its crew save one
Slaved to its systems. Its eternal trip
Across the galaxy, unless undone
By unforseen occurrence, shall proceed
According to a tyrant's wishes. Yet
One has escaped: a Quodlaro was freed
Soon after it was pierced. Shaking and wet,
Rejected, it would seem, this one curls tight
Into a shell or capsule and drifts from
The bridge while Pepi roars into the night.
It passes a companion, sad and dumb
Who nonetheless is able to discharge
One task: Quodlaro's now among the stars.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

In Which There WILL Be Turkey Leftovers!

The turkey's roasting in the oven; soon
It's pop-out timer will emerge. I'll laugh
And think of a Jean Shepherd tale and croon
To hide my mirth; I'll not repeat that gaffe.
No horde of hound dogs will invade and set
In motion such a chain of happenings
That send this bird a-flying, though the threat
Is not outlandish; next-door's dogs do sing
Like Bumpus' pack. And the trajectory
Our dinner might-could travel's similar.
It could land somewhere odd and pop out free
Hilariously. But this won't occur
Except within my head and, just perhaps
The universe next door, where I may lapse.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Which Our Craftiness Is Tested, Or Brrr It's Bleeping Cold Out There

My house is warm with fam'ly, but outside
The wind roars bitterly, and it's damned cold.
When it's just me I let this matter slide,
Throw on another sweater, but, cajoled
By those I love I cranked my thermostat
Beyond the 60s. Then, 'cause there are drafts,
We nailed up a big blankie to combat
The frigid air from my back door. Such craft
As exercised here might seem to exceed
Our daily quota, but we're smarter yet!
When planning for the grocery run, indeed,
We planned for turkey soup and whatnot. Bet
We still have to go shopping Friday? No,
We roar, you cannot make us go!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In Which A Pork Roast Is Thawed And Thawed And Thawed

One might think that, with all that it's been through
This pork roast sitting on my countertop --
T'was frozen, partly thawed when Sears did screw
Me over last week, frozen again -- stop
Me if you've heard this one -- and yet somehow
Today, when time to cook it up has come
And it's been thawing all day, up to now,
It's still a solid rock of pork! It's dumb!
But microwaves, for these occasions, are
Appropriate, though, when one's slightly drunk,
A challenge to set properly. The bar
Is not set too, too high; I won't flunk
My cooking course tonight -- though I will say
I'm glad the turkey's fresh for Turkey Day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Which The Annoying Side Of Winter Comes Early

O wind, I've had enough of you. The snow
That fell so lightly last week blew away.
The trash you blew into my small yard, though,
Won't budge now. All of it is here to stay
Until I trudge outside and pry it loose
From plant stalks, branches, fenceposts - these all clutch
At what they've caught, tenaciously. Profuse
Enough, the snow we'll have -- too much,
Some folk will say -- but it at least can hide
The plastic bags and flyers, wrappers, junk
That flies around, breeze-tossed, both far and wide
Until it comes to me. Here comes a hunk
Of Taco Bell refuse right now. Come back,
Dear snow, and cover up the verve I lack.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSA: An Immodest Proposal

They hate our way of life, so they attack
Is what we're told, but seems to me the threat
Is more from our own overlords. Roll back
To feudal days; we shall be chattel yet!
A naked body scan or grope-down, just
Because one used his underpants last year
To fail to bomb a flight? There really must
Be nowhere that they'll stop to keep the fear
Alive and keep us feeling as bovine
As possible. Soon we'll fly in the nude
And have no baggage. We'll be told it's fine,
That clothiers in airports, wise and shrewd
Can sell us TSA-approved duds at
Our destinations, and that will be that!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Score 44 For The Border War

It almost didn't happen, but we got
As football rivalries go this is not
So famous as some others, but we shout
As though it were -- in truth, though, we've both sucked --
But someone had to win and yay, it's us!
As might be said, those Cowboys really bucked
The sheep this year, and that is worth a fuss
As you Wyoming fans all prove it's true
That if we only beat one team it's best
If it is Brigham Young or CSU.
Tonight in Laramie, the wild wild west
Will live again. My sister must regret
She chose the Boise State game, I just bet...

Friday, November 19, 2010

In Which A Secret Is Divulged

Root vegetables, they keep a Dark Side strong
And healthy, which is why we redesigned
The Death Star, but we sort of did it wrong:
It's planet killers currently have mined
For turnips solely -- and, as we all know
It's rutabegas that Stormtroopers crave,
That make them smile, that make their helmets glow,
But as Mike pointed out, we still can save
Our efforts to a small degree. Retune
Those mighty cannons, calibrate those guns!
It's ne'er too late to try, this lovely June
No wait, is it November? Call my sons --
And tell them to come back. Ackbar was right!
It is a trap. Turnips again tonight!

Interstellar Feller: In Which Reality Sets In At Last

The truth is now revealed. The cacogens
Keen out their recognition, "Master we
Knew not that it was you we'd rescued." Tens
Then still more of the crewmen try to flee.
Pepito simply laughs and says "Begin."
At this command, the Grokulator's walls
Erupt as wires and cables snake and pin
Each shipmate in his place, then snare and haul
Them close in. Now Pepito's former screams
Are nothing when compared to those of these,
His slaves, as each one's fused now into teams
With one another and the ship. Their pleas
For mercy are ignored. The consoles and
The crewmen are as one by His command.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Which A Lesson Is (Again) Learned

A Chamber Chick of old, I should have known
To take advice I've long been wont to give.
Now B&B doth reap what has been sown
By a much larger rival. What I'd give
To have these last few days back! I'd just go
To south Cheyenne, the big boxes eschew,
And take my money to where I well know
It will be much appreciated. You
Might pay more but it's worth it not to ache
In head and heart just trying to get a thing
Replaced or fixed. I swear I shall not make
This same mistake again when next fates bring
Me to a sim'lar choice. Your locals are
Your best bet -- and if things go wrong, not far.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Which A Customer Is Lost

Turns out I could have spent the day else-how.
Instead I got up, emptied out this fridge
That lows and mutters like a dying cow,
And waited for the new one. Now a bridge
'Twixt me and an old corporation's burnt:
'Twas dented in the box, that thing I bought,
And it's deliv'ry cancelled -- which I learnt
Long after, after waiting, as I ought
Per my last message from them. When I called
Long past the window, as meat thawed and leaked
And other things got messy, first they stalled,
Then finally admitted that my pique
Was justified. Now, back to the first square
I must prepare to seek a fridge elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Sonnet Of The Mundane: Getting A New Refrigerator

It's ugly, has a tendency to freeze
What I would merely chill, and then it tends
To make such noise -- sometimes it's just a wheeze,
Sometimes a rumble -- that most of my friends
Say they can hear it on my podcasts (yes,
At present I record them sitting at
My kitchen table). Icemakers you'd bless
When hooked up to the plumbing aren't all that
When they just run on nothing. It must go,
And soon it will. Tomorrow, around lunch
Some nice young men in clean blue suits will show
And cart off my old fridge. Till then, the cruch
Is clearing out the present one before
They come. It's mostly condiments, so score!

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Which I Muse On IFComp 2010

It's voting time in this year's contest, and
There still are games I haven't played, but that
Won't stop me rating what I did. Some bland,
Some very near unplayable (Oh, drat!),
And some that started strong but finished poor -
These I shall not call out here, but of those
I've played and liked, I'd say there's three or four
Which stand out. Some have had scenarios
Beyond inventive; others made me laugh;
Still others challenged, in the best of ways,
My faculties. While there's a bit more chaff
Than I'd expected (I'm new to this craze),
That makes the good ones shine.
Now one more game with Paul, then vote by nine!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sonnet Dare: The Mysteries Of Art

Rita, originally uploaded by qatesiurade.

A lovely face, done up in graceful lines,
A sonnet where the poet bares her soul...
Through these something of what is inside shines
But even so, they're under tight control,
Expressions such as these. Transparency
In art is just a myth. Deep in those eyes
Sketched in with charcoal, much we do not see
Remains unknown. Though naked, the disguise
That is its surface hides from us what true,
Intriguing secrets might be there beneath
Its calm. There's always tension between you
Who apprehend, and those who do bequeath
Such work to future ages. You may think
You know what's going on, but we just wink.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, @CullenBunn

O Cullen, that you wish us not to sing
To you today, does not really preclude
My taking on another silly thing:
A sonnet saying, "Happy birthday, dude."
A gross-out champ whose accent stuns me dead,
A daddy to the cutest child extant,
A storyteller whose shiny bald head
Doth blind us -- no, in fourteen lines I can't
Tell who you are, not adequately, so,
I'll simply hoist a margatweeta (or
An excreble concoction which we know
We'll never touch again). I shall wait for
Your children's book with interest; meanwhile
You keep that Sixth Gun coming, will you, chile?

In Which I Don't Want To Miss The @TuacaCon Boat (But I Might)

Debauchery, thy name might truly be
Tuaca, beverage of failed pimps
And DragonCan'ts. Oh, how I long to see
What orange-flavored hijinks all these imps
I call my friends might now engage in. Ware,
P.G., and Phil, and Brand, and Kim, and, yes
Miss Christiana, Val and Laura, there
And Starla, Patrick, Dave, Paulette (I guess
They had to let in Paul or else he'd sic
His bunny slippers on them), also Chooch
And Viv! TuacaCon is no mean trick
To pull off. Throw in Sigler and (O, smooch!)
As virtual events go, count me in
As soon as I get off work, for the win!

Friday, November 12, 2010

In Which I Go Out On A Limb -- Or Seven

These kids today, with their new-fangled memes --
Or rather Great Old Ones. Witness this guy,
Cthulhu, who, if we're to trust the themes
Of his vast media presence, still is spry
And waiting in his city 'neath the waves
As he has been since ere life stirred upon
This damp old rock. Someday we'll be its slaves
(Or worse), if all the cultists who have gone
Insane on his behalf achieve their ends.
These console games and books of smut both are
Great starts that way, created by my friends.
So mark my words: this thing will be a star,
This Great Cthulhu fad; man, it's got legs!
I say we drink it up, down to the dregs.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Which @BrettGlass Helps Me Find Another Way To Enjoy Cheyenne

Reunions over kimchee -- well that's new!
And though he lives just over these here hills,
I had lost track of an old friend, one who
I oughtn't to have done. To brave the chills
Of our first winter storm (a mild one) and
Dine with my old pal, Brett, in a place I
Had not known e'en existed in Cheyenne
Is quite a way to close my weekend (Why
I didn't know there was Korean here
Is to my shame, and it's fantastic food!)!
Korean House, on Snyder, you I cheer,
And in my future social plans include.
Bulgogi and geekgasms -- that's the way
To close out this, a dandy fine Thunday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gris et Jaune: In Which Grey And Yellow, Kill A Fellow -- Or Do They?

A walkthrough --or a shamble-through -- should not
Be vital to enjoyment of a game.
That is the case, alas, though, if you're caught
By all the flavor in this one, by name
Of Gris et Jaune. A zombie's point of view
Is decently explored until one leaves
The house in which the game starts. Once that's through,
The player's free and aimless. This achieves,
Perhaps, more mystery and atmosphere,
But secret goals are just annoying. While
It can be cool when who to trust ain't clear,
It isn't this time. I do like the style
And setting, but I yawned, having to guess
If what I'm doing might lead to success.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Which I Discover A Helpful New Tool

A TV show is good for quite a lot
Or so TV would like us all to think.
Once in a while, one truly hits the spot;
One's found that helps me as I sit and drink
Far too much tea and take up my sad task:
That NaNoWriMo project from '08,
Which I must edit down. So which, you ask,
Of all the shows, am I finding so great?
Community. Its genius is profound:
Both deeply stupid and sharply observed.
I watch it and my wheels go round and round,
Then break, refreshed, resume my work with verve,
My scornful inner snarker satisfied,
I sculpt with freedom and a kind of pride.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In Which I Tap My Foot And Try Not To Watch The Clock

Just 40 minutes now stand in between
Myself and freedom, and there's much to lure
Me out of here this Mridray: there's my keen
And burning lust for comics (yes, my pure
Delight in that crossover, Hellboy and
Those Beasts of Burden, has caused me to seek
Back issues of the latter), and -- how grand! --
My co-author has come through with a squeak
And zapped me chapter two of what we hope
Shall be a great weird western novel (I
Can't have a gander now though, because, nope,
My use of beta software wouldn't fly
Here at the day gig). And there's work to do
On my days off, oh yes. Oh, fly, Time, shoo!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Which My Aotearoa Vacation Lives Up To Expectations

New Zealand, were it full of dinosaurs,
Unspoilt, exotic - some of that is true,
And while this year has thrown a lot of bores
At judges, I played this game right on through.
Aotearoa, chock full of charm
And creatures one must placate and befriend,
And clear allies and enemies. My warm
And most sincere regard to Wigdahl! When
He made this game he clearly took all pains:
There's atmosphere, a story, goals, and -- yes! --
A lack of bugs. It starts slow, but it gains
In intrigue once the boat is left. I'd guess
That this will be the winner. If it's not
I wonder what there's left that's near as hot!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In Which Yes, It Does Make The Heart Grow Fonder

I'm spoilt, it's true, and have no right to long
For what is mine but is far out of reach
Just now. As I sit here within a throng
I find that I would gladly trade off each
Of them for one I choose instead: one guy.
I shouldn't sulk so that I cannot look
To one side, see a smile and catch an eye
That's sharing my amusement. Once I took
All that for granted, for a few weeks, there
In a far city; it was easy, felt
Like it had always been so. Now, I swear,
It feels sometimes like just a dream. I'm dealt
Such diff'rent hands at home, but well I know
I'm lucky to have someone I miss so.

Friday, November 5, 2010

In Which I Chortle At Some Fakery

I love a tale of fakery. El Myr,
And Clifford Irving, just like Orson Welles
Can never fale to make me smile. It's queer,
My fondness for a forger. Now my bells
Are chiming once again; in Germany
A brazen couple seems to have made fools
Of many auction houses, experts we
Let natter on about breaking the rules
Of form and color, loving to extol
Exemplary and striking qualities
They've just made up. I find it all quite droll,
How art is only art when someone sees
Just what they want to in it and declares
Astounding values on a faker's wares.

Interstellar Feller: In Which A New Man Emerges

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

"Her purpose is achieved at last," proclaims
Pepito when the fusion is complete.
His voice is deep and cruel; he calls the names
Of each remaining crew-group. "Now you'll meet
A just reward." The cacogens recoil:
E'en Tribruno, brave warrior, grows pale.
Pepito, now no longer just the foil
Of lonely cyborg pirates -- for the scale
Of transformation here is vast, severe
And stunning -- floats before them, a new man.
The beauty that entranced them would appear
To be eradicated; all that can
Be seen of it is scarred and riddled by
Plugs, grafts and circuitry - and he can fly.

The Interstellar Feller: In Which Union Is Achieved

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

Rage now. Unlike Achilles', his is cold,
Pepito's. His dark eyes take in the scene
Then fall upon the form which he does hold
Tight in his arms, his lifeless lady queen.
Removing her scant clothes, he reaches deep
Within her torso -- up past his elbows.
His eyes close, breathing slows, but it's not sleep
In which he sinks. His erstwhile lover glows
And Pepi shudders: fiber optics crawl
Across, then penetrate his skin, and soon
He's fused with all her cyberware -- and all
Beholding this cry out. The two commune,
The living and the dead, as bone and vein
Now pulse and glow in time with screams of pain.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

In Which I Close My Eyes Over The Blind House

I haven't finished yet, but I do find
That I'm already certain how I feel
About this game the writer calls The Blind
House: I'm annoyed and bored, for real.
The back-story's mysterious and all
And drama 'twixt the characters may be
Intriguing, but the game play's what I'd call
Pedestrian - the dialogue's a tree;
A sleeping puzzle strikes; and then there's this:
Not only must examining be done
But thinking's not included in it. Wish
They went together. One thing, though, that's fun
Is how the paintings change. Later I'll try
To finish but now others catch my eye.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Hobo Pool, Oh, The Hobo Pool

Of all of nature's gifts to man, the best
Must be the hot springs. Sulfurous of reek
But wonderful to soak in and just rest
A tired body, and to gaily speak
With friends both old and new; truly this place,
The Hobo Pool in Saratoga holds
A source for peace, extraordinary grace --
And yes, great clumps of algae, floating molds
And possibly unknown extremophiles.
Jump in and nearly boil, then go across
To where the river burbles past, all smiles
And chilly ripples: dip in, rinse the moss
From off yourself, then back into the pot
Of min'ral water, gloriously hot.

In Which I Have Another Bad Car Trip

Westbound and down, the wrong time of the day,
And I was driving straight into the sun.
My windshield's imperfections made a spray
Of glare that 'twas opaque. I slowed our run
To just a crawl. 'Tis what I dread the most:
To have to drive at highway speeds when I
Can't see a thing; delinator posts
And faded striping slowly crawling by
As though it were a blizzard late at night.
The world shrank down to squeeze in on my car,
And ev'ry forward mile a sep'rate fight
Until I knew no longer just how far
Or near the next town was. Lost, there, in space
I struggled not to curse that lonely place.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoThankYou, But Good Luck!

I've won twice, yea, but oh, the aftermath!
Two years have passed since my last victory
And I'm still editing -- and though my path
Is quite atypical, I still don't see
The benefit of yet more high-speed crap,
Which is what I produce this time of year
When I join NaNoWrimo. I'll still clap
For all my friends who do so, sip a beer
Whene'er you post new word counts (that's unless
I'm at my day gig, naturally). It
Is quite a fine thing, proving that you can
Write an entire novel, that you're fit
To keep on doing so. Ah, but for me
It's time to make what I've done fit to see.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween From Kate And @Isoban

"Sweetie Got Away" digital art by Christopher Butler, aka Isoban

When Rintrah caught a dragonet, his thought
To train it like a falcon seemed ideal
(When one depends on just the souls one's caught
To feed one's family every single meal
Some help is much appreciated). So
When Gamory showed little talent for
The task it was appointed, Rintrah's woe
Shook all the fires of hell, until Rintror
(His youngest daughter) tugged his pantleg, said
"It's pretty. May I keep him? Do say yes!"
"All right, but pull its wings off." "Ew! It bled
All over me!" "Well, leave them on, I guess,"
Quoth Rintrah. Then the darn thing burst out, free
(And Happy Halloween from Chris and me)!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In Which Monarch Mothers Medicate

To grow up sick with parasites is bad,
To pass them to one's offspring just seems worse.
But somehow, Monarch butterflies who've had
Ophryocystis bugs just know to nurse
Their caterpillars, in a fashion, by
A-laying their eggs on a milkweed type
That makes cardenolides that help to fight
The protozoans. When those eggs are ripe
And hatch, the larvae get their medicine
With ev'ry meal - and yes, it's proven, too,
That butterflies who simply haven't been
Afflicted don't do what the sick ones do.
We're not the only ones, then, who do drugs.
In this we are no diff'rent from the bugs!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pm Ejovj O {pmfrt Yu[pd. Noh Smf D,s;;

My fingers know I'm screwing up, e'en if
My eyes don't recognize the dumb mistakes
I've made while typing? I'll buy that as, stiff
Or nimble, fly my digits. My mind quakes
Whene'er I think of how those fingers know
What letter's where on QWERTY's dumb array,
How, just as long as they start on home row
They get it right (unless Mind finds a way
To interfere). I'm like the centipede
Of fables cognitive; please do not ask
How I can do this work when there's a need;
'Tis best that I have farmed out this dull task
To a more autonomic-type regime.
My brain's not always smartest; this I deem.

Interstellar Feller: In Which Someone Is Hardly Missed

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

"Where's Droze," demandeth Pepi as, confused
A smallish crowd surrounds him. They ask "Who?"
"The captain," snaps one whom no one is used
To calling Sir; a nuisance at best to
The Grokulator's crew. Somehow, though, all
Look to him as their leader now, and blink,
Uncomprehending, at him as they scrawl
And sign and gesture, trying hard to think
Of whom their leader speaks. "We know no Droze,"
The Tribrunos at last call out as one.
"He stood right there; he helped you strike the blows
That killed our queen." They shrug in unison,
These cacogens, perplexed. Their captain's gone
And lost his mind, it seems. They'll carry on.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Which I Get Up From A Nap With Little Ambition

I'm sure that I'll regret it later. It's
Already dark; I missed the afternoon
With sleeping. Evening now, my old dog sits
(Or rather sprawls) atop my feet, and soon
I'll have a cup of tea. It's glamorous
To be me, and at home, while on the mend.
I feel your envy, know that you'd be us
If given any chance. Well, know, my friend,
It is quite peaceful. Rush hour's died down.
Reflected in my kitchen window, I
Look like I might yet live. Outside, the town
Begins to power off. A cloudless sky
Looms dark and quiet over all. Tonight:
Continued quiet. Might be time to write.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Huh? What? Moar Cold Medicine!

I had to leave the house today: too soon.
It could not be avoided but, I'd say,
It set me back some days. Inopportune?
Try horrible. Now I just want this day
To close, though there is much yet to enjoy:
My folks came bearing dead cow for to grill
(Indoors, I think. The wind would sure destroy
Attempts to barbecue; though he's the will
My dad's a one-eyed monster just now, for
He got his mad bionics this morn, wears
An eyepatch while it heals up, all the more
To keep him indoors!). And, yes, meanwhile, there's
Some baseball game tonight, I hear. I might
Not make it through all that, though, not tonight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good Bye, Good Weather

This time last night, 'twas horizontal snow
And I could not see 'crost the street for it.
Today it's simply wind. I watch it blow
From safe inside where I shiver and sit,
(The vestiges of illness plague me still)
Behind a keyboard with a cup of tea;
I pretty sure this week is what will kill
Our Indian Summer. How long will it be
Ere just one layer of clothes will sure suffice
For bike commuting? How long till my skin
Can bare before the elements? Soon ice
Will force me to slow down; I'll pedal in
At half the speed to work, in darkness, long
Before dawn's chorus warms up its first song.

BONUS SONNET: Eyepatch Brigadier: In Which I Declare My Undying Love

A journey to an alternate world can
Be quite disorienting, even queer
(In that old-fashioned sense). That such a man
Exists as the great Eyepatch-Brigadier
(In Doctor Who: Inferno) leaves me stunned.
The Goatee-Spock, the Wicked Walternate
Have naught on him; he's got them all outgunned
With just a one-eyed glare. And what did cut
That fearsome Omar Little scar across
His face, and left him so bowel-chilling cold?
As mirror world chaps go, he is the boss.
Not even fair Fauxlivia could hold
A candle to him; he would blow it out
And strike her dead with just a single shout.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In Which I Manage To Catch Doctor Who But Almost Miss Writing A Sonnet

My sense of time's the first, always to go,
When some crud's tracked me down and taken me
Its hostage. Sleeping, eating, I don't know
The intervals when they occur. That we
Had plans to watch some Doctor Who, I knew,
And set my cell phone's clock to sound alarm
Whene'er the hour occurred to sign on to
The client where we chat while Pertwee's charm,
Venusian karate, knowledge, and
Dumb luck bring him to some dimension where
The Brigadier has no mustache, no bland
And bureaucratic style -- instead a stare
Through one good eye a scar to make one's blood
Run cold -- and leave this sonnet, well, a dud.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Has The Ded

I'm feeling kind of ill, so don't expect
Great poetry today. Each time I sneeze
My brain clears out; my thoughts all disconnect
And usually I bite my cheek. Oh please,
Won't my Prince Nyquil come and save me? So,
Like I just said, sub-par's the standard for
Today. I just don't want inflated hope
To taint this offering. In days of yore
I've scaled poetic heights, but I don't think
I'll climb much higher, just now, than my couch
From which I lie and sniffle and I drink
My tea, and wait for that next burst of -- ouch!
Don't bless me, though; just pass another box
Of tissues while I pull on warmer socks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In Which A Trial Is Postponed And A Dead Hitchhiking Horse Is Beaten Yet More

Yea, Prostnic Vogon Blago, we yet wait
The redo of your trial. Meanwhile one who
Seeks office, we're sure, thinks that this is great,
His mayoral ambitions safe. "So phew,
Green Putty! Pridsummer," quoth Rahm Grunthos.
Perhaps, though, it is we whose vast relief
Should here be celebrated. 'Twould be gross
Were both of them in court. I'd share the grief
Of those poor Pralites on Rod's jury, forced
To listen to such duets as they'd share.
'Twould harm Rahm Grunthos' chances, though, of course
Were he compelled to go and recite there
Such lines as might defend his Vogon pal.
Shall his intenstine intervene? It shall!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kindle Sharing: Whoop-De-Freaking-Doo

Yippie, for if my Kindle did still live,
Soon I'd be able, if I chose, to lend
Ebooks to other users (but not give!).
That fond tradition, sharing with a friend
May yet survive, attenuated though
It is. But while my pal enjoys, I can't
(Supposedly, but pirates always go
For bait like this, don't they? But no, we shan't
Cry piracy when sharing what we've bought,
Unless we're cretins), not for fourteen days
Until the lending time is up. This ought
To please me, I suppose, but I just blaze
With great annoyance: artificial brakes
On natural behavior? More mistakes.

Interstellar Feller: Alone And Angry In A Crowd

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

The crew consists, quite soon, only of those
Whose lives were never owed to the old bat,
The rusted cyborg lady. Tribrunos
And Vuhls abound -- there is no fear of that!
Quodlaros, too, and one Pepito, who
Is freaking out quite badly. Why just one?
Last time the weird effect of travel through
The blobs of time and space (that to outrun
Aggressors in his home system), the range
Of Pepis was as vast as others; now
He floats, mute and alone. It's passing strange
More so when he draws up and makes this vow:
"Yectara's death shall be avenged in spades."
It's more than Pepi's said in long decades.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In Which I Attempt Something Rather Silly

The story genre is "a sonnet." The
Release number is 1. The headline is
"An Inform 7 sonnet". "So, you see
I seek to write a poem that, on his
(Or her) compiler truly can be played".
Include Custom Library Messages
By David Fisher. "Oh, but now is laid
A cunning trap, baited with sandwiches".
The Iambtrap is a room. "There inside
You see a rhyming dictionary and
A list of words that aren't iambic. Slide
It open, read, and do the best you can."
The dictionary is an object here.
"Dare you to take it, or do you feel fear?"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In Which We Like One Doctor Harris At Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Very Much

We had some worry, in our family,
A health fair screening made us thus, and so
Off to Cheyenne my father came to see
A specialist. Today was time to know
If we had cause for any great concern.
Alas, the schedule lady said next week
Was when she had Dad booked. 'Twas not his turn
(But when it was, 'twas time for him to seek
Attention elsewhere: begone, cataract!)!
Frustrated, we booked with a P.A., but
Outside the elevator, who, in fact
Was waiting with us but the doctor! "What?"
He said, "Oh no, come during lunch."
And then he gave good news we liked a bunch!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lines On Seeing My Friend Play With Her Son

O Parker, soon enough school bells will toll
For you; this is your final Fall to be
Carefree with Mom, and as these last days roll
Of lovely weather, it's so good to see
The two of you at play out on the path
On this fine day, and marvel how you've grown!
It won't be long until spelling and math
Must occupy you. All of us have known
That toil, except for you. Your ignorance
Of what awaits you is perfect and clear
While you and your orange bike ride down where once
Bare pastures stood, your mother jogging near.
Change overtakes us all. Meanwhile, enjoy
This perfect day, you silly, lovely boy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

In Which Something Needs Tapped (And Not In That Way, Gutterbrain)

O Error, loyal, omnipresent friend
I wish I did not have, I often wish
You'd find another boon companion, end
Our bondage to each other. Sorry-ish.
I know this is, for you, a poor reward
For sticking to me like this, but until
The power of our partnership is stored
And harnessed (it could light and heat, fulfill
A city's power needs entire), what good
Are we a-doing anyone? It's not
A source, even, of comedy as would
A proper duo be, in which a spot
Of muffing lightens up the mood. Instead
We simply make me wish me still in bed.

Mac Tonnies: A Sad Anniversary

There's still a Mac-shaped hole, but when I peer
Into it now, I see a new world, filled
With people and ideas that help me steer
My thoughts away from sorrow, and rebuild
This life of mine. My awe at what I've found
Within that absence cannot be expressed
Except imperfectly. And though the sound
Of that dear voice still echoes, I can wrest
Myself from sadness, knowing what we'll make --
In part to honour him, in part to show
Who we are whom he touched, who cannot shake
His influence and would not -- how I glow!
The possibilities are just as wide
As they were when we had him at our side.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thoughts During The Mac Tonnies Memorial Skype-Up

They're real, and talking up there on my screen!
Our pre-Mac pasts, our shared experience,
And now our future plans -- we share the cream
Of what he brought and started. In a sense
We've brought him back. Excitement's not the word
(I wonder what I'm doing 'mongst them, though,
These giants of imagination -- heard
For real the first time on a day I know
Is hard for all of us. Oh, how did these
Rare beings enter my life and my heart,
Chris, Rita, Josh and Mark, and more who, please,
I'll count as mine forevermore? Our start
In sorrow's blossomed in a way
Not even he'd imagine -- so hooray!

Sonnet Review: Gigantomania

I like ambitious games, and this one brought
More than a little literary flair.
Gigantomania soon had me caught
Within the gears of Stalinism. There,
I played first as a farmer, then a brute
Stuck making steel, a Politboro type,
And Stalin at the last -- as his acute
And incoherent madness came to light
Amidst a chess game, I soon grew annoyed
(Not just because I couldn't interact
In meaningful ways). Till then, I'd enjoyed
The bleakness and dilemmas, and, in fact
I praise it for these, though I'm sure my friends
Went into it for somewhat diff'rent ends.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sonnet Dare: In Which I Contribute To A Genre

The choice to use this software's freely yours
As this and this proclaim. You needn't pay;
That's not our ethos. But, within the source
Please keep this license there, intact. That way
All credit goes where credit needs to be
For its creation (if binary's your pick,
This rule applies there, too). And if you see
A bug or two, remember not to sic
Your goons on he who wrote it; that is not
Within the spirit of a GPL.
And please, recall that just because you've got
An author's code within your stuff, that's well
And good, but don't imply endorsement when
You tell 'em where it's from or where it's been.

Friday, October 15, 2010

In Which You Learn About Inform 7

My reading for this day's been feather-light,
As I begin to teach myself a new
Computer language. I have plans to write
Some games in it, in hopes that someday you
Will play them. There's still ought to be desired:
This seventh version of Inform still leans
Toward the second person - it's still mired,
The IF tribe, in dogma that the means
Toward player immersion's in address;
The player must be "you." The disconnect
This generates is unnoticed, I guess,
By those who've long been members of this sect,
Accustomed to its foibles. I, though, move
That Paul and have something, now, to prove.

Interstellar Feller: In Which The Extent Of A Mistake Is Realized

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

"Who called for Field Maneuver Three?" one cries,
For suddenly the deck is crowded, as
Vast multiples of each appears and tries
To occupy the same space. Something has
Gone very wrong. Quodlaros get it first.
"The old hag was Yectara, too, and all
She's done now cannot be! This is the worst
Of outcomes for us. Hurry, we must call
For help. We cannot handle this alone."
"Alone?" say Tribrunos, "We're hardly that!"
And one fights off the others as each clone --
Though that is a misnomer -- this combat
Comes to a draw, of course. Meanwhile, elsewhere
Upon the deck, some types become quite rare.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Warbler's Nest

A peasant woman, searching through the reeds
Begins this interactive fairy tale.
One isn't sure at first just what she needs
Except for eggshells. This one's modest scale --
Just four "rooms" -- seems a limit, but within
This tight parameters, a story's told
Of faeries, changelings, temptation to sin
And possible redemption. I'm left cold,
Though by some game mechanics: "search" and "look"
(Or, if you like, "examine") often are
Just interchangeable, but this game's hook
Depends on using both. You won't' get far
Just using one. The Warbler's Nest, for me,
Gets decent marks; so far in my top three.

Sonneteer's note: If you find yourself playing a lot of these games I'm reviewing during the 2010 Interactive Fiction Competition, check out the competition as a whole and vote. There are more games than I'm getting around to sonnetizing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sonnet Recipe: Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roast up some garlic (to do that, just wrap
Some tinfoil round a bulb off which you've cut
The top; drizzle some olive oil and tap
The powers of your oven - easy, but
It takes an hour at 300F). While
That's going, grab your food processor and,
Dump in a can of chickpeas with a smile,
Add 1/2 T of lemon juice (how grand!)
And 1/2 t oregano. Now take
That yummy roasted garlic; dump it in
And grind and mix it well until you make
A lovely paste (you might need more oil, then,
But be judicious). There: voila! Chow down
With pita, veggies, crackers -- go to town!

NOTE FOR COOKING NEWBIES: Conventional abbreviations used here (i.e. T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon) (they fit the meter better)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Which I Get A Little Heated By A Game

I cannot say I've always wondered what
'Twould be to live a grungy bach'lor's life --
I sort of knew from dating 'mongst them, but,
Comes Heated, where Tim Peers shows me its strife.
My goal's to get work on time without
A loss of temper, and I'd best look well.
My foes are my own stuff and home, about
Which things are strewn that I need. What the hell?
Some normal is abnormal, like the sink
In which I rinse my keys but cannot wash
My hands? More effort's gone, I have to think
To atmospherics -- and they're far from posh,
As I have said. I won't say this was fun,
(The grammar's poor), but it's not poorly done.

Monday, October 11, 2010

SONNET DARE: In Which Is Considered An Abomination Of Flatware

O plastic cutlery, thee I eschew.
The many ways you're wrong are more than might
Fit in a sonnet. What I'm tasked to do
Here, though, makes me consider, in a flight
Of fancy, one of your kind. That: the spork
(If one in silver or in stainless steel
Has e'er been made, I know it not): a fork
That bears a bowl as well, the weal,
To stab something and scoop, too, gravy (if
Such is what you desire). Still would it break
If tasked with more than popcorn weight, I fear;
But as the butt of jokes there's few as make
So good a one as this; the very word
Provokes such peals of giggles. It's absurd!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In Which I Rant At Flying Purple Republicrats

I'm really mad at both of you. Bad kids
Should be sent to the corner, but instead
You both continue with your childish bids
To capture my attention. Neither red
Nor blue am I, and this is largely 'cause
You neither of you come a wee bit close
To doing what you've said (to much applause),
And both of you should take a giant dose
Of STFU juice. And yet, I know
That nothing I say here or elsewhere will
Suspend or even slow the endless flow
Of histrionic emails. They won't kill
America, your foes across the aisle,
Without your help. I'll vote, but I won't smile.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

San José, Chile: In Which Contact Is Made

Two months and change deep underground, with just
One's co-workers for company -- these men
Should all get hired by NASA (it's a must
To tolerate conditions like these, when
A-traveling through space). Today a drill
At last has reached them, way down in their hole.
It's been a mighty effort: time and will
On both ends of the shaft, spent towards this goal
At last met some success. When first I learned
That this had happened, when we thought they had
A mere two days to live, my stomach churned;
I sank into the dark with them, so mad
And worried that this tale would end in death,
I watch now with you all and hold my breath.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The People's Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game

I like a laugh when I fire up a game,
And I'm a serious Marx Brothers fan,
So, though it's got a most unwieldy name
For sonnetizing, I will say the span
Of time spent playing passes pleasantly
As one goes forth to stir up discontent
Amongst the masses (Played in company
Such as I had, it's even better), meant
To choose Red over other hues, one finds
A to-do list of challenges, each one
To win the people's hearts and sometimes minds.
The toys you get to use are lots of fun,
And though it's communism you must spread,
You're forcing Groucho quoting in its stead.

Interstellar Feller: Death And Aftermath

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

A shockwave -- this is not a metaphor! --
Spreads through the Grokulator's bridge as each
Stunned denizen thereof now sees the score:
Much more has happened due to one key breach
Of shipboard discipline. Yectara's death
Has caused strange ripples and appearances,
And something like explosions, too. As breath
Did leave her body (as the poet says
Though she's not breathed in decades), someone who
Has e'er been by her side, the Ancient, fades
And all the scene around her ripples. Two
Of those nearby her cry out, as if blades
Had rent their flesh. Then suddenly most there
On board that ship see treble, blankly stare.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Twitter: In Which We Are Not Impressed

Did someone clamour for these features which
New Twitter's thrust upon us all, I ask?
'Tis like a change in Facebook; with each bitch
I read about it, I put off the task
Of dealing with the update longer yet.
I am no neophobe, but do prefer
My stuff to work, and feature creep don't get
Me too excited. Now I see they err
Still greater; tweets are disappearing, too,
Except the ones I've saved as favorites,
From some accounts. It's April 4 for you,
Still earlier for others. As one splits
Until this all blows over, I am glad
At work I'm stuck on IE6! That's bad.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

12:54 To Asgard

A funny way to die begins this game,
And there are funny quips along the way
About a leak, one's pique -- more I'll not name,
Forgoing spoilers, but I have to say,
This game wants leaps of logic I can't make.
Each turnstile leads me to a realm where I
Must do something I can't intuit, take
An object I would never keep, or try
To pair ideas that don't match up that well.
I'm frustrated and bored, and many things
I'm told I see are suddenly not there
When I try to investigate. This brings
Me to my point: I cannot recommend
This IFComp game to a foe or friend.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Computer-building feels like it's an art
More than a science. I am Frankenstein
And monster both. Today I chose to start
A-using it, this thing I've built; it's fine
But has some flaws yet. First of all, no sound,
Though I know what to do when next I'm free
To play with it some more, to fool around
With parts and drivers. More importantly
It works for writing, as this sonnet shows,
The premiere composition on the beast.
Now, though, my houseguests beckon. So it goes.
It's almost time to drink, scarf down a feast
And plan tomorrow's outings. So, adieu,
E'en though I've yet some tinkering to do.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In Which It's Chicken Licken Gross

If Great-Great-Grandma would not call it food,
Then really it is not, quoth Pollan, and
I find this valid, though it's sometimes rude
To point it out. Today though, through the land
(Of Internet if not America)
Comes forth this tidbit: Chicken's only meat
If it all comes from one bird, which, no duh
But somehow many think it's fine and sweet
When it's extruded like soft serve, all smooth
And pink, and shaped at will, containing bits
We'd never eat, from many birds. I'll soothe
You not at all; this stuff just gives me fits.
It's why I don't go dining with a bird
Or other critter, sans the farmer's word.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In Which I Cheerlead Some Last Minute Procreation

Boxelder bugs, you must be frantic to
Begin another generation, for
Quite suddenly, I'm seeing more of you
Than I can count, in my front yard. The score
Is like this: winter's coming. Time, it runs
Out swiftly for you, little ones; a freeze
Could happen any day now, so the ones
Most near to you will have to do. Now please
Get on with it. It would not be the same
Without you when the summer's back, my friends.
As things go now, you're pushing it; your claim
To make a legacy runs thin, soon ends.
If I don't see you busy making eggs
I guess I'm gonna have to tear some legs.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Migraine Day 2

There's only so much time that may be spent
Within a darkened shower, crouched below
A torrent of hot water, limbs all bent
To fit within the bathtub. Soon the flow
Becomes a cold one; fingertips turn prunes
And joints begin to ache. If it's not gone
By then, it's going to stay. Forget those tunes
You thought you'd play, the plans you'd dote upon
For doing anything; the world is small
And cruelly sharp; it pierces senses, roils
The stomach 'til it empties and the gall,
Its taste remains e'en as the scen'ry boils
Before the eyes. I do not want to be
The person this is happ'ning to. Not me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

In Which A William Gibson Character Haunts My Migraine Dreams

Hubertus Bigend, Bond villain and one
With whom I'd hate to tangle, you inspire
Such awe and dread as would cause me to run
The other way on seeing you. Admire
A thing I do and you'd cause me to quake.
Show any notice of me and I'll think
At first of hiding, but I know you'll shake
Loose anyone who had the pow'r to sync
What public data there is on me to
More esoteric sources, and would find
A way to make them use those talents. Who
Has ever told you "no"? You always grind
The edges off that "no" 'til it's a "yes."
It's good that you are fictional, I guess!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Which Is Considered Glise 581g

We've found one in the zone called Goldilocks,
A planet that can hold on to its air
And might have liquid water. While this rocks --
No doubt about that -- we must have a care:
This doesn't mean there's life, or that we'll talk
To beings living there soon (and indeed
Those rumors 'bout the Datuk we must knock
As groundless). I know some, with undue speed
Have jumped to such conclusions in the press.
While Glise 581g looks just right
'Twill be some time yet ere we make a guess
As to life's presence 'round that red dwarf. Might
We have some neighbors? Maybe. But I find
Another home for us is on my mind.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In Which I Am Sick Of Listening To Myself

Some vocal chords, a throat, a head, each set
A little diff'rent, so our voices come
To sound just as they do. And when we get
To spend a day a-list'ning, they sound dumb
To us who bear them. Podcast marathons
Are exercises in humility.
Misspeakings, grunts, just sounding like morons,
Or losing track of character, ah me.
That anyone would volunteer to hear
What now results, is stunning. How I hate
The way I sound! And no, it's not my gear
(A Blue Snowflake is good, and, just of late,
I've made myself a pop filter); oh no!
Humiliated pride's what runs the show.

In Which I Am Sick Of Listening To Myself

Some vocal chords, a throat, a head, each set
A little diff'rent, so our voices come
To sound just as they do. And when we get
To spend a day a-list'ning, they sound dumb
To us who bear them. Podcast marathons
Are exercises in humility.
Misspeakings, grunts, just sounding like morons,
Or losing track of character, ah me.
That anyone would volunteer to hear
What now results, is stunning. How I hate
The way I sound! And no, it's not my gear
(A Blue Snowflake is good, and, just of late,
I've made myself a pop filter); oh no!
Humiliated pride's what runs the show.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Which A Beautiful Decay Is Much Admir'd

The toppling of so great a thing must make
A great and thundrous noise, to summarize
What once was said of Caesar. Now I take
This thought for one of, perhaps, lesser size,
But one whose fall we've watched, aghast, for years.
Don Draper, he whose silhouette doth plunge
Past all his noblest works; in him our fears
Of meaningless and empty toil do lunge
To grab hold of us. We are stalked, the prey
Of time and glories past, false hope; just vain
And flimsy props to hide behind. Decay
Is what we celebrate in Don; his pain
Is ours. Nor is it caution; there is naught
That we can do; in that same web we're caught.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Datuk Barata...

Because what's sought at first's a bureaucrat
Whene'er first contact's made, we've had a gap
In need of closing. Worry not! For that
August and needful body (shut your yap;
They have their uses) in New York we call
United Nations hath now chosen one
Datuk Professor Mazlan Othman (all
A Datuk is, is one her king has done
The honor of so naming; chivalry
Is still there in Malaysia) for to serve
As all our spokesdame. I am sure that she
Will do just fine, as long as she's the nerve
To wait while xenolinguists try to fish
Some sense out of some unknown gibberish.

Morning Sonnet: A Moonlit Commute

The sun's not even reddening the east;
It's dark, but there is moonlight, so I can
See what's ahead somewhat, be it small beast
Or bungie cord in my path, or a man
In shadows and dark clothes, walking his pet
(His ipod means he still can't hear my bell,
So he's the greatest hazard) -- though I get
The Greenway to myself, mostly. The smell
Of rotting leaves, the tick of them in wind
That still is warm and gentle, my escort.
Soon I'll be struggling to stay disciplined
Enough to fight it, and the snow, contort
My face into a grimace, pedaling,
But now I just enjoy. It's long 'til spring.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In Which Malice Is Afoot - Or Agoat

A "WTF" link first appeared,
With it a shortened link, and Twitter then
Became an IQ test, though somewhat queered
By curiosity, as shown off when
It spawned a tweet in your stream that announced
Your fondness for some outre naughtiness
(This is a fam'ly sonnet; won't be trounced
By those, censorious, who call for less
And more attenuated smut; I'll not
Quote what these said here). Few of you did fall
For its allure, but many mocked it. Got
To say, though, no Stuxnet jokes? Sigh. I'll call
You on one thing, though, O my silly birds:
If thus you tweeted, better change passwords.


Alas! The streak is broken. I forgot
To write and post a sonnet yesterday.
Somehow I got home and, I guess, I thought
I'd written one at work. I cannot say
How much this disappoints me, when, as well
My readers know, I've gone to lengths beyond
What any normal poet would to tell
A story, share a thought or news, a fond
And friendly greeting. Something always comes
To lend me inspiration. Once I could
Rely on friends to nag me when I'm late
A-posting, but that never was a good,
Effective way to keep me to my vow.
I'm sad and kind of desolate right now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

In Which An Alaska Commuter Flight Passenger Is Crazy As A June Bug

God told her she should do it, duly quoth
The woman who approached and did lay bare
Her buttocks (and indeed, she bared them both
To the propeller, spinning, with no care
Except that she would not die, per her Lord).
Was this a suicide? If so it failed
(Except in scaring those poor folk aboard
The plane!). O David Malki, I must know
What prompted you to seek this story out?
What Wonders in your comic will you show
Inspired by this weird tale? We all do shout
Together with you, 'tis a weird report.
Propeller plunging's now the latest sport?

Interstellar Feller: In Which An Ending Comes... And A Beginning?

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 Feller" tag below to bring up all installments. Start at the bottom and read your way up to today's...

Strikes first her erstwhile champ'ion; TriBruno
Brings forth a vibro-knife and plunges deep
(Or tries; Yectara's metal form doth slow
The fiercest blade; his glances off; dirt cheap,
Though, it is not). The screech induces pain
In all who hear it. Next Droze tries to slash
Yectara's throat. He fails to nick a vein,
But coolant gushes. Soon there is a flash
Of heat and light; a meltdown now occurs!
Quodlaro, Doctor Vuhl and others must
Restrain Pepito, whose cries now match hers
As she heats up and dies. No more does lust
Or longing stir at this, their lady's voice.
And now they all must live with this, their choice.