Sunday, February 28, 2010

Grocery, Ah Me

Eye contact we must shun by any means;
The grocery store is certainly no place
For human moments as we shop for beans
And milk and fruit and dog food. Let no face
Make an appearance in our field of view!
So seems the modus of my fellow man
As we peruse the aisles, as we look through
The wares from which to choose. Was this the plan?
That we lapse into middle-distance stares,
Our eyes glazed over; people now no more
Than obstacles to navigate? Who cares
That human life teems by the score
And still there's loneliness. At last I meet
One pair of eyes; a smoker on the street.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

In Which I Ponder The Next Big One

As long as just one planet is our home,
Our legacy is hostage to its whims.
We've changed a lot, change still more as we roam
It surface. But lo, how our prospect dims.
We burn on through the fuel that's easiest
To use to go beyond this atmosphere,
This gravity, and with it burn our best,
Perhaps our final hope of leaving here
As we are now, bipeds with hair and hands
And hearts of flesh. Will only memes escape?
Some fragile proof that we were more than bands
Of a tool-using, hooting, talking ape?
Today an earthquake shook our world anew
And we went surfing on the waves it threw.

SESTINA SATURDAY: Insomnia And Her Aftermath

I wake up in the night; the urge to write
Implacable, that or the urge to draw.
And at their bidding I answer the call,
As ever I'm an abject slave to hope
That I'll produce something to match the thought
I had on waking, and not what I fear.

Futility and poor work, these I fear,
Twin demons sit my shoulders as I write
And torment me, disturb my ev'ry thought.
To banish them I grab a pencil, draw
An insect or a friend, all in the hope
That I will placate that creative call.

Sometimes, though, what I want to do is call
Out to someone I'm thinking of. I fear
Disturbing him or her; this trumps my hope
That I am in those thoughts as well. I write
Long letters that I never send to draw
Myself from my paralysis of thought.

My life is nothing like what I once thought
It would be at this age. I would not call
Me old, though it is true that I do draw
Near to the middle-age. I do not fear
What it will bring, that stage. I bow and write
Like always, still a-chase after my hope.

That I can do this still renews my hope
That something yet may come of all I've thought,
That one day something that I yet may write
Will place at last that longed-for, unknown call
For peace and calm to quiet all my fear
Before it all must end and I withdraw.

So by the lamplight, late, I sit and draw,
My totem creatures, in each line a hope
And in each empty space a kind of fear --
Of what? I dare not entertain the thought
Through darkest watches. One day it will call
And I will answer, though. Till then, I write.

When sleep eludes me, then I write and draw.
My heart still makes the call to what I hope
Will justify my thought or prove my fear.

Friday, February 26, 2010

In Which My BrotherMan Visits A Humidor Hoedown

He travels west to see his girlie, and
Along his route there is a strange truck stop
In Rock Springs, not what I would call the land
Of civilized pursuits, but one can shop
Therein for something that I love most true.
This photo shows its glory, for within
There lies a walk-in humidor! I knew
He'd have to check it out, for he has been
A-telling me about it for, oh, weeks!
He's not quite a cigar man, though, just yet,
So as I bought my fennel and my leeks
(It's for a pie), I knew that I would get
A cell phone call, requesting a consult.
Connecticut, I said, as a result.

Friday Flash: Interstellar Feller: In Which Evidence Is Found

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 mighty stench now greets Yectara's nose,
E'en through the mask that she, too, has to wear.
Across her party's path, in one of those
Unfortunate occurances, right there
The corpse lies rotting, of a massive beast
And of one of the red men, still upright
And rigid, limbs asplay. To Vuhl, at least
This makes much sense; he crows out his delight.
"See here," he says. "A mortal wound was dealt
And bravely he stood here and his display
Distracted then the monster, which beheld
It all quiescent, easy then to slay."
He's soon dismissed, though, as another's found
A trace of cord with which Pepi was bound.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Which I Rewind BSG For Myself

My days off, and I'm back on Battlestar
Galactica, to see it all again;
A fun and strange experience so far,
As I know what nobody knew back then,
Not even Moore. Of course I play the game
Of "Spot The Cylon" in 'most ev'ry scene.
So many diff'rent flavors do proclaim
Themselves as plots unfold. This is no mean
Or paltry feat. The Final Five are there
Before us almost from the start -- well, some.
I'm going to scream when all the rest do stare
Back at me from my monitor. I've come
To like the show more deeply as repeats.
I'm just on Season One. Lo, lots more treats.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Do Robot Cars Dream Of Electric Sharks

Sonneteer's note: this is a more detailed account of a dream I had two days ago. I wanted to record it while it was still somewhat fresh, and also to answer those who had questions about it.

A makeshift small arena, somewhere far
From anyplace I know, they circled 'round
Each other. Mayhap more robot than car,
I knew they each had shark's minds. With no sound
They tested out each other for a time.
A feint, a probe, a whiff of engine grease,
Then whirring came a power saw blade, primed
To gut the other; soon, just to increase
The menace, from the other shark-car came
An apparatus, swift and deadly which
My vision yet preserves but I can't name.
As they tore at each other, for a switch,
The impresario turned loose dogs, who
Came to no harm midst all this battle. Phew!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A P.E. Flunkee's Visit To A Gymnastics School

A skill I never had's in practice here.
These earnest children tumble, twirl and turn --
The elders even fly! This is no mere
Diversion. I see Bethany and learn.
I love the pride on Bonnie's daughter's face,
A run of cartwheels now beneath her belt,
Well executed, at an even pace.
Accomplishment's a thing I never felt
Upon the mats in element'ry school.
For me, this sport brought on a sense of shame;
In mind quite sound, in body such a fool
I felt an utter failure at this game --
And never even saw that it is one.
Say nothing of the thought it might be fun.

For @Michbek's Birthday

Michbek, you goddess of the old-time smut,
You Henry-Fielding loving, goofy gal,
Who can but love you, who indeed can but
Adore you and your work, my dear old pal
(I say that for your birthday; naught but tact
Comes from my pen, as oh so well you know!),
Companion through the long nights when I act
As a bitch-goddess puppet. How to show
My true esteem? Your husband's shown a way
So here I am, on his blog and on mine
To wish you hrair returns of this great day,
To wish you cheesecake, chocolate and wine,
And thank you for the entertainment. You
Are quite a wonder, dear girl, through and through!

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Which I Wonder At Wicked Water

Two hydrogen, one oxygen; that's all
A water molecule contains. It's just
So simple. In a cup, a pool, rainfall
It's strange enough, though still innocuous.
But should it freeze, there seems to be no end
To mayhem. People slip and cars may crash
That cross it. Then consider, too: the blend
Of alcohol and ice cubes brings on brash
And indecorous manners. But for me,
Why, water is most wicked when it hangs
As icicles from rooflines, menacing,
And looming o'er our heads in heavy gangs,
Assailants and cruel weapons both; they cling
But lightly to their perches, waiting for
A hapless soul's approach to the front door!

Happy Birthday, @ParadiseTossed!

I love a guy who takes a notion to
Carve out a niche that's largely unexplored.
John Ladd has done just that, exploring through
His magazine one that might go ignored
Without his efforts. Poetry and tech
And how they interact; he's made that his
Milieu, and taken it from just a speck
Of thought into a full-blown venture. This
Is Paradise Tossed, and it's growing strong.
A podcast has been added, and it's fun.
The list of its contributors grows long.
It might just be a new thing 'neath the sun!
And yes, today is our John Ladd's birthday,
And yes, dear John, your essay's on its way!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sonnet Dare: A Dote Upon The Honeycomb

Geometry is with us ev'rywhere.
We've need for order bred into our bones.
Nor are we near the only ones who care,
As witness hymenopt'ran honeycombs.
Small hexagons in wax, so tightly packed
As to make structures of surprising strength
Within which grubs mature, safe and intact --
And other stuff is stored there, too, at length:
Sweet honey and raw pollen. Dizziness
Must sure confront one, wandering among
These structures -- but the builders always guess
Just what is where; the food and fed, the young
And old maternal queen. What's more: surprise!
The cells are viewed therein with compound eyes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I like the snowfall, how it makes us stop,
Makes us stay where we were when it began
(If we are wise), how it can make us drop
Our plans and schemes, at least during its span
Of closed-down roads and endless, downward fall.
Late February, there's no holiday
Distracting us. It's winter, and that's all,
And it's enough. We've time in which to play
Within our minds. It's pointless to complain,
Get anxious, focus on some other place
Where we think we just really must be. Fain
We pause and contemplate th'actual space
In which we find ourselves, hemmed in by white
And drifted water, cov'ring so much blight.

SESTINA SATURDAY: A Sketchy Offering

Sing gaudeamus; notice them and watch
Their movements and their natures when they're still.
There's much they can reveal; and careful eyes
May linger long on details. Just those wings
May fascinate with their venation, form
And color, all together in one line.

A kind of prayer it is, within my line,
Observing insects is. I keep a watch
For them where'er I go and form
A judgment of a place based on what still
Is there, take my delight in what takes wing
Around me, an intruder in their eyes.

Minute and captivating, how my eyes
Are strained to take in each and ev'ry line
Of these small aliens among us. Wing
And tarsa, spiracle, cerci - just watch
Each tiny miracle emerge, and still
There's more to see within this strange life form.

My love for them takes on, now, this new form:
I sketch one ev'ry day. Before my eyes
My pencil conjures them, though I am still
A duffer at this art. Each shaky line
That firms up is an offering. I watch
This happen e'en as all my thoughts take wing.

That entropy increases, says this wing
Beneath my gaze, must be a lie. This form
So intricate and tiny; the innards of a watch
Are not more orderly. These compound eyes
Assembled of mere proteins, all in line
Embody order. Hush now, and hold still.

As yet I still must work from just a still,
Unchanging photograph. Gone are the wings,
Just eggs and nymphs sleep underground. Each line
I make is secondhand, but soon each form
Will be there right before my own two eyes
In nature; all I'll have to do is watch.

Till then I must keep watch through the long, still
And wintry chill. My eyes long for those wings.
For now I am content to form these lines.

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Which I Prepare For #BrainHackWithDrums

I've had me one fine soporific day
That could lead to a listless, hopeless night.
To free myself from ennui's bitter sway
A weapon I'll turn loose for this, my fight.
The Jedi, IsoBan, says music is
A way to hack your brain, and this is true.
The cobwebs being thick, I'm choosing this:
A lot of great drum music, shared with you
On So tune in if you please,
For Buddy Rich, Jon Bonham, Cozy Powell,
Some gamelan and Ondekoza. Jeez!
So much to choose from I am like to howl!
So pound those skins, boys, shake me from my trance
And look the other way; I might just dance.

Friday Flash: The Interstellar Feller: In Which We Learn Just What They're Up Against

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...

This time the landing party's to be led
By none but our Yectara. Down they fly
To where they lost her swain, from where once fled,
His captors, with Pepito. Soon they spy
Faint traces of this passage. As they walk,
The science officer shares with her views
On just what kind of species they do stalk.
Yectara bites her lip to hear the news.
"Their warlike traits are nothing but a show,"
Says Doctor Vuhl. "The way that they survive
Is a display they make when harmed. They glow
And hum when death is near, and thus contrive
To hypnotize their predators and call
For help ." Yectara likes this not at all.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Atomic Robo Volume 4: Keep Calm And Trust In Science

Is ACTION SCIENCE not the greatest gig
For which a kid could ask? At Tesladyne,
Be careful when applying, though. A big
Job interview may lead one to a fine
Old mess of vampires! Such, in this brand-new
Atomic Robo volume, is the fate
Of Fischer. What starts as an interview
Erupts in madness. So begins a date
With Robo and with Jenkins, who kicks ass
In ways not even Wegener can draw
(Methinks though that it gives a touch of class
To just show the reactions and the awe
Of his workmates to his deeds in the fight)
Keep Calm and Trust In Science. Yes, that's right!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

With Love For The @BardoRobot On His Birthday

Lake Marie Runoff, originally uploaded by qatesiurade.

Dear Rob, you came to me, a parting gift
From someone we both loved and lost, and I
Can't say enough how easily you lift
My spirits when they're low; and when they're high
You send them soaring higher. How I love
Your raccoon stories and your photographs,
Your drawings and your models and above
All else your kindness to us all. Such laughs
I've had from your creations and your tweets,
Those tingles that you told me to await
Come to me every day, O sweet of sweets.
So let me, ere it becomes far too late,
Wish you the best on your birthday, my dear,
Dear Bardorobot. Start a wondrous year!

In Which A New Strategy Is Entertained

pinebeetle, originally uploaded by qatesiurade.

The use of sound in war is nothing new --
Just ask ol' Noriega -- but now we
May see its workings elswhere. Now those who
Like I do, fear for lodgepole stands, may see
(Or rather hear) some hope for them. Their foe,
Dendroctonus, a chatty beetle, makes
Agression, and/or mating sounds that, lo,
May drive the beetles well apart. This takes
Imagination! Kudos to the lab
At Northern Arizona U
, who've tried
This out. If we can keep these tiny, drab
But devastating creatures checked, those fried
And dying trees up in my Snowy Range
Won't come back, but we may stop further change.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In Which I Am Sheepish After Placing A Large Order

I bless and curse the day that I was shown
The magic of the Diamond Preview book.
A show of weakness and a paycheck's blown
Just moments after taking just a look.
I don't go for the manga or the toys,
The superhero stuff still leaves me cold
(Except for Astro City), but the joys
Of finding new and stranger stuff (and old
And much-loved favorites, collected in
More durable editions) lures me to
These pages ev'ry month. To my chagrin
I never have, as yet, gone paging through
This grimoire without bumping up my subs.
In boxes? Hell, my comics come in tubs!

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15th

Those roses, so much cherished yesterday,
Clutched close and sniffed, then put in water, look
More than a bit diminished, though they may
Last days yet ere they're cast away. It took
A moment's thought to get them at the store --
A quick stop, mayhap, on the day's commute.
The hope still lingers, though, that they mean more
Than just some token holiday salute.
Have they been given just to keep the peace?
Would they appear without this odd mandate?
When they fade and are tossed does that release
An obligation for the year? Such weight
To put on fragile blooms, and yet we do
Keep using them to say that "I love you."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

In Which An Iron-Clad Snail Is Considered

Crysomallon squamiferum's the news,
Not as a brand-new species but because
Defense contractors seek to make some use
Of its sulfur-and-iron shell. The buzz
Is 'bout it's layered structure and design:
An inner layer, highly calcified,
A middle that's organic and a fine
And tough exterior: iron sulfide.
To piercing, crushing, bending, this shell is
Resistant as all hell. It would be great
If people could wear armor such as this
When needed - so damned hard to penetrate!
So cheers now to this funky steampunk snail
And to our friends who hope to don its mail!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In Which I Finally Actually Watch Fringe And Find Much To Like

Weird sci-fi stuff, I'll always give a chance,
So Fringe has long been on my growing list
Of shows that may deserve more than a glance.
I've all but the first season's ending twist
(Which I think I see coming) 'neath my belt,
And have to say that, while the jokes are stale,
The casting makes my cynic's heart just melt
A bit. John Noble's perfect, and the pale
And pensive Anna Torv stands up quite well
To all his antics. But really, the lab
Is why I keep on watching. It's just swell!
Rube-Goldberg analog tech is a fab
Kate-baiting tactic, e'en without a cow.
I'm queueing up the first finale now!

Friday, February 12, 2010

At Work With A Sinus Infection Makes A Sonneteer Very, Very Cranky

Cheese graters scraping raw nerve endings; that's
What hearing human voices feels like now,
Or having been thrown in a sack of cats
All on the fight; I cringe at each meow.
The purest air still singes at my nose
As though it were an acrid, poison gas.
My ears implode, and just touching these rows
Of keys to type this in's like nails on glass
Or slate. Infected sinuses - a curse.
My temper flares; it's well that I'm unarmed.
A murder rap would only make things worse.
When Mom reads this I know she'll be alarmed,
But she knows it's just something that I do.
I'm worse, please be assured, when it's the flu.

Friday Flash: Interstellar Feller: In Which Not Much Happens At All

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...

Meanwhile, we left Pepito 'mongst a crowd
Of aliens behaving strangely; they
Emit dull hums that, like their eyes, doth cloud
Pepito's cogitations as they sway
Around him. Now across their ruddy skins
Begins a swirl of subtle colors, and
Pepito's lost indeed; his poor head spins.
A last mojito tumbles from his hand
E'en as the leader's grip on him goes slack.
A pretty scene is this, our hero caught
Within a web of something that we lack
The knowledge to explain well as we ought.
For hours this plays out with not a sign
That anything will change. Is this benign?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In Which Mockery Is (I Hope) Gently Rebuked

A fragile grasp on how things really work
Online or off is much the common thing.
This doesn't mean one is a fool or jerk.
If just a little knowledge seems to bring
Desired results, why plumb into it more?
We all have areas where this is how
We function. Take the Facebook fluff: before
Today most of us knew not that, e'en now
So many others still use search engines
To find a login screen, and so did fall
Into a trap that no one set. Gremlins
Did not hijack them. Do not mock their call
For help; Each cry is from one who might know
Much that you don't, if you'd but ask them so.

In Which The Birthday Bonfires Are Lit for @MrsNic08

You see that Bonnie Nic has got great taste
In books and many other things as well.
And though these lines are written in some haste
(Your sonneteer is in a kind of hell
Since Bonnie's baby daughter shared her germs),
A day like this cannot pass by unmarked;
It's Bonnie's birthday, and like all good nerds
She needs a sonnet; now the Bonfire's sparked
(For that's her nickname and she's earned it so!),
And celebrations must commence anon
(They have been going on since Tuesday, though,
A pirate raid on bookstore close upon
The heels of sushi-scarfing), Bonnie, dear,
Congrats; you've made it through another year!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Which I Test Out A New Online Rhyming Dictionary

For John Ladd there's not much I wouldn't do
(Online at least), so when he asked me, Kate,
What's your take, we were won'dring, on the new
Web dictionary? How does Rhymebrain rate
Against what you are using now, since as
A formal poet you must do so lots?
I've played with it a few days now; it has
Potential to be useful, though it clots
One's screen with nonsense when asked for a rhyme
(Non-dictionary words you may weed out
Though it will list them with the rest, first time),
So much so that I'm quite inclined to doubt
It shall replace Rhymezone, though I shall try
It for a few more days to clarify.

Sonneteer's note: I shall write on this topic at great length, and in prose, soon for Paradise Tossed, the online journal of poetry and technology. I'll Tweet an alert when it is live and put a link to the article in the "Articles and Appearances" section of this web page. And yeah, this sonnet will probably be the springboard for the article, so you just got a sneak peek.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In Which I Enter Shortwave Heaven, Even Before The Slinky Goes Up

Nerdvana I've achieved, in old-school style.
Antenna wire's been hung, I've found the spot
Where Hal should go. Now fiddling with the dial
I can't believe the signals that I've got.
The air through which we pass all day's alive
With signal, voices calling out to us,
Some faint, some thund'ring (Moscow, must you strive
To blot out all the hams? You make them cuss),
And all have something someone wants to say,
'Bout Jesus, gold, Chinese vocab and such.
I've lost four hours already, here at play,
My Hallicrafters, yes, I love too much.
I warned you all that this would be the case.
I'm listening for signals now from space.

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Which The KATE STATION Gains A Family Member

Forget about me for a little while.
My Hallicrafters radio is here!
Naught but a spaceship launch can make me smile
More broadly than this new toy, without peer.
The vaccuum tubes are utterly pristine,
The whole thing is in perfect shape, a peach.
There's nothing like a vintage fine machine
To rob me of my power, lo, of speech.
Next step, I have a slinky, soon to be
A curious antenna, then I'll rock
The shortwave. Can you, readers, hear my squee?
This shouldn't come, let's face it, as a shock.
I've written oft before of coveting
A radio like this. It's so my thing!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Sunday: In Which I Make A Somewhat Controversial Choice

I've tried, but I just can't seem this year to
Work up too much enthusiasm for
The annual Handegg excitement. You
May surely differ, loving this sport more
Than e'er I did. My heard inclines toward
A game more beautiful than this. Except
For when the Denver Broncos play, I'm bored
A-watching overpaid man-tanks, none kept
In check by normal standards, on the fight.
It's fun sometimes but I don't feel it now,
So I'll do something else this Sunday night.
The Netflix fairy brought me Torchwood. How
Could so-called football e'er compete with such?
To each her own, though, thank you very much.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

In Which I'm Early To Rise To Watch Endeavor Fly

Were I allowed, I'd cry into my wine
Tonight, but I'm a shift worker who must
Eschew the alchol ere work. That line
I'm tempted, though, to cross tonight. It's just --
Tonight's the last night shuttle launch, which means
We may not have a chance like this again.
I've watched the shuttle's launches since my teens
(Though often had to cheat to do so when
They went up on a school night). Just five left
All told, and we've got nothing to replace
This program. When it's done we'll be bereft
Of any means to send men into space.
There've been a lot of promises -- hot air
So far. When did we lose our nerve? I care!


To write sestinas, first I have to sit
And ponder on a topic. As I think
I take strange journeys deep within my mind
And memories, until at last I stop.
Ideas are tricky to pluck from the dark,
But till I do I really have no peace.

This one is all about my search for peace.
Twice daily I take time out and I sit -
Ere sunrise, a quick shower in the dark,
While eve'nings, it's my living room, I think
That is best for my effort to just stop
And tame the monkeys rambling in my mind.

For many years, I've given little mind
To anything that you'd call inner peace.
Too much to do; the chore list doesn't stop
Because I'd like to take the chance to sit
Without having to talk or write or think.
Lights out? I'd still be toiling in the dark.

But now I'm stumbling blindly in the dark
Most of the time, just trying to calm my mind.
Just for a little while, just not to think
About what's pressing me, a bit of peace
Is all I want. Still mostly when I sit,
My ass on cushion, I can't seem to stop.

But one day soon, I know that I will stop,
That I will find there waiting in the dark
Some things I need. Until then I still will sit,
And treat with patience all that plagues my mind.
(I'm sure among them is a thought of peace
That's way off base). That's what I hope and think.

I've spent a lifetime learning how to think,
'Twill take a long time, too, to learn to stop
My dwelling on the things that threaten peace
And quiet. But it's quite good to go dark
For its own sake meanwhile, and I don't mind
A little space and time to simply sit.

This poem was my chance to sit and think
About how much my mind just needs to stop
And let the dark sink in and bring some peace.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Birthday To @Netta50

A writer must have resources beyond
The norm; an editor needs even more
To cope with what comes at her and respond
With grace. Annetta has these by the score:
Wit, humor, fortitude and all the will
She needs to make things happen, as she's done
For many, many years. I'm sure she'd kill
Me if I said how many, e'en in fun
(Not really; she's got too much style for that,
Though for My Little Pony she might yet
Demand revenge. She knows how to combat
Its ill effects, though). On this day I'll bet
She's drowning in good wishes, but I'll add
One more birthday hello. Call it a fad!

Friday Flash: The Interstellar Feller: In Which Deep Thinking Occurs

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 tremulous voice now sounds from behind,
A loyal voice speaks out from love and fear,
"What's stopping us from going down to find
The tracks of those who took him, mistress, dear?"
Yectara spins around now to regard
The eldest of her crew, ancient and worn,
Her limbs ashine with grease meant to retard
The centuries of rust, the white hair shorn
As though with a dull breadknife. "Frelling hell!"
Exclaims Yectara. "At least someone thinks!
We've been aboard ship far too long. Ah, well,
That's why I keep a crew." The elder blinks,
Then sighs, a melting kiss her sweet reward
From her delighted queen, all faith restored.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In Which The IsoCore Shall Have A Western Brother

This looks more like a spaceship flown by Borg
Than a computer, I'm first to admit.
Ere my laptop is shipped off to the morgue,
Though, I must poise to replace it.
I want one to play games on and to keep
Ungodly files of media, and that suits
My strange aesthetic, so I shall go deep
Into the hardware catalog: the roots
Of PC architecture I know well,
Though it's been fourteen years since last I built
A new computer, I say what the hell,
And lo shall I go at the plan full-tilt.
I've chosen a processor and a case
As you may see above. So starts the chase!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In Which A Conversation Is Continued

A Twittering, sad panda showed me this,
To use the net and be depressed are linked,
This work suggests. I follow there my bliss,
Though sometimes am made sad, to be succinct
(As sonnets and as tweets require). But, see,
Depression far predates computers in
Both human and in pers'nal history.
A stigma still exists, a taint of sin
Still hovers over mouseclicks done instead
Of "real life." But on this point I've got news:
That life is life, in body or in head
No matter how you spend the time. I choose
To pass a lot of time with those I've not
Met in the flesh; I gloat at what I've got.

In Which Steven T. Seagle & Marco Cinello's SOUL KISS Gives Me A Fat Lip

Whoever said "you hurt the ones you love
Must never have hurt someone they despised,"
So says our heroine, standing above
A slimeball of a boss she's pulverised
And sent to hell as part of her new deal
With Mephistopholes in Soul Kiss, now
In hardcover. The story packs a real
And raw punch, leaves a fat lip, telling how
Miss Lilli, rescued from an awful fate
Must pay an awful price. Cinello's drawn
A hot tomato, acting out of hate
But also out of love, which seems forgeone
As such conclusions go, till Seagle's twist
Makes this book something that must not be missed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Which I Squee For Star Trek Online

A tiny box of squee arrived today,
Star Trek Online, a time sink nonpareil
I'm sure, or will be when I get to play
(Th'initial patch is taking quite a while;
Release day and the fanboys and fangirls
Are signing on in droves to make their start).
Oh, my delight when the first screen unfurls,
You'll surely hear from far away. My heart
Is full. An MMORPG's not
A thing I've ever played; this is the first
I've wanted to. It's Star Trek, though! That's hot!
And even if as games go it's the worst
E'en so shall I play till I hurt my wrist
Unto the point I cannot make a fist.

Mike McIlvaine: Feb. 2, 1970 - April 25, 1989

Just three years old, we met at the ballet,
Not knowing then just how close we would get.
We'd be together almost ev'ry day
For sixteen years. I never will forget
Our kissing at the movies, the front bench,
While "Jack the Giant Killer" played onscreen,
Just little kids but there was love. The wrench
Of losing you, I still feel, very keen.
Though our last talk in person was a fight,
We made up on the phone. Then you were gone.
It felt as though someone put out the light
Of my entire life, but I pushed on.
Each day since I have lived my life for two.
Today you would be 40. I miss you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1: A Death Knell Or A Clarion Call?

On paper it so often sounds so good:
Dismantle something big, unwieldy and,
Refocus it to do just what it should,
No more. Let others take what's out of hand
And run with it. As smaller, nimbler beasts,
Adaptable and flexible they'll make
A better show of what always defeats
The lummox. But each one has less at stake
And less to work with than the big one did,
And must, like buzzards, fight over the corpse.
Now, sure, this keeps them lean and hungry, kid,
But all that competition sometimes warps
The progress towards the goal we once all had.
So I can't help it; this day still is sad.

Possible supporting quote passed on by Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer: "Quote of the day from space telecon: "If you create a beast so large all you can do is feed it, you've done a disservice. "

Happy Birthday, @SurlyAmy!

O Amy Davis Roth, you claim to be
A surly girl, but we all know the truth.
No one could make the art we daily see
O'er at your Etsy store, yea and forsooth,
And not know that you're happy, as you make
So many others with your stuff for smart
And skeptical hot chicks and dudes, who take
A lot to please, in science and in art.
Today, officially, you're older; this
Means that you're also wiser, if a bit
Hungover. Amy, dear, I blow a kiss
For this, your birthday, and I proudly wear
A Surly ev'ry day, to make folks stare!