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!