Jeremiah 2

Jeremiah 2

A Collected Work.


Jeremiah Liend


Introduction; The HP Cobra Lives.

When I have the time and no one is bothering me I like to push the envelope of sleeping in to the point where the dreams can all make sense. Women taking their tops off after I man-tackle someone from behind. I was going to head down to the office when, on a whim, I decided to make another stab at humping my PC to life. It’s an onerous task when you consider that the thing has been malfunctioning since somewhere in September. Here we are, months later, and I am at last recording my work on this magical box. It is untainted by the stain of internet communication. There is no music in her. Only the rudiments required of it. This is not a work horse of a computer, but it can be a power house to the man with enough time and energy at his disposal.

Of course it took a while. It’s currently a little after 3 AM and I believe that the time has come to stop tip toeing around it and simply finish the book. I talk to people all the time who tell me;

“Jeremiah, why don’t you become a writer? You’re so good at it, I don’t see why you can’t make a living at it?”

I guess the reason I’m not an accomplished writer is the same reason that I’m not an accomplished anything. Life has stomped on my dreams a few times too many, and something as intimate and enduring as writing is something I don’t necessarily want to share with the populous at large. The populari. The plebes. Give it to the masses and they will savage your every word. Look ye on my words and tremble. For I am a truth teller and I have been commanded to sell myself.

Because words are just something that I enjoy playing with. I enjoy a lot of things in this life, but only when I can make the keys dance beneath my fingers am I truly alive. It is a direct flow from the front of my mind. A pipeline into the infinite. And really, that’s why I’m compiling this all. It’s not so much that you can read it, but rather that it will last beyond me. The inevitability of death leaves me with a desire to shout against the finite. My mortality is a vexation that I can only curb with rest and caution, but for posterity I set to compile that which should be read by as many as possible. What I tell you is nothing short of miraculous and the end message is good; Something up there likes us, and we are all fools for ignoring it and each other.

When I consider compiling it all into one body of work I can’t help but feel that 08 was a fine bookend on a 10 year journey that has taken me to the brink of insanity on several occasions. It seems that survival is my strong suit, and by the grace of destiny, the charity and love of friends and family, and the unerring belief in the powers cosmic, I have been brought to this moment in history to perform great tasks. But those tasks are over a horizon in the opposite direction, for if we are to proceed we must go back to where it all began and try to piece together the whole tapestry as best we can.

Things were sort of crazy in 98. I am unhappy returning to it because I had just gotten my heart stomped on by a girl. Stomped hard. It was my first love and the rebound from it left me face first in the dirt. We were all idiots at 18 I’m fairly certain. If I wasn’t an idiot before, then I certainly was then. But damn it I was a good looking idiot. If only I had realized what a damned hunk I was. My failure to recognize it then is, as now, the reason I prefer basements and quiet rooms to crowds of humans.

Until that night at Johnson’s I had never drank. All through high school I had been determined to be a minister. After the summer that all changed. I don’t know if what I wished came true, or if my will was suppressed to learn a lesson. I know that I tried to act well and found myself coming up short time and again. None of the love I’ve felt in the years after were ever as crisp and painful as that summer. The pain that I would deal with would never be as damning. But we are all heroes of our own creation.

I remember too much, and will only share with you one of the three or so times I’ve very nearly died. It is in honor of the man who very nearly killed me. Squirrel died last year. Another bookend for the first third of my time here. He was driving a Yukon packed with chicken, on his way to the 71 Bar from his Nest. I was taking a left unto Grange off of Old 71. The snow was just melting and it was the opening night of “South Pacific”. I was playing Luther Billis and agreed with the fundamental message of the song “There Ain’t Nothing Like a Dame”. He had to have nailed me at 60. 60 if it was 1. I remember seeing the awe-inspiring sight of the Yukon’s massive grill expand into my rearview. I remember the sense of inevitability. The physics of destruction. I had been waiting for a car and if that car had been traveling any slower I would have died that day.

As it was I super-accelerated into the opposite lane and reversed 180 in the process. My vehicle was a powder grey Pontiac 6000 I called “The Bitch”. The glass had a crack in it where I had punched it the previous winter on a particularly cold morning. The crash pushed her trunk into the back seat. The chicken that Squirrel was transporting shot from his back seat into the dash like country fried chaos. Any wreck you can walk away from is a good one.

It’s only when you start compiling everything that you begin to understand how it all fits. How I have always had a voice that is excited and angry. That without the ability to scream on the streets I need somewhere to put the chaos inside of me. Somewhere to vent the steam. It’s rough. I’m going to spend a little time polishing this joint, but not enough to catch all of the problems. But it is me. A professional writer has a whole slew of staff to edit and polish. You’ve got the rough cut. The thoughts once removed.

I call it Jeremiah 2. If I don’t have a God complex then I certainly have a prophet complex, and Jeremiah the Prophet and I have a lot in common. We both rail against injustice. Warn of impending doom. Get told to shut up a lot. If Jeremiah had a blog Babylon would have ignored it. There is a lot in here. One thing you will find is that a lot of my stories are not “finished”. I don’t believe a story ever ends, just becomes another. Sometimes the carrot isn’t real. In any case I hope that you are amused. Thank you for reading. Know that I bring my words to you in love. Welcome to my mind. You are here.

Part 1; Poetry and Fiction.

In the first part of this collection I have piled together all manner of poetry and fiction. These come from various sources. The oldest of it has been recovered from notebooks I wrote in while living in New York back in 99/00. The double ought was a strange year for me and started me thinking that I should be chronicling these things.

Poetry is not something I share easily. It’s a real lost art. But it feeds me as I write it. Putting form and structure to the chaos is what poetry is all about. I’ve published some of these on, but have never won their coveted $1,000 prize. I guess it means I’m a bad poet huh? Well here’s the thing with that. They have a rather stringent format to their field for entering poetry. They also have a rather stringent censorship policy that does not allow cursing. Below is the first poem that I submitted to them;


This morning, as the sun set,
I pondered on bent knee:
Are we a world crying up to a dead god?
Or is god screaming down to a dead world?
Fudge it.
At least I have cable.

Guess which word was edited on that one and I owe you a banana. A lot of my poetry is rather dire, but that’s the sort of mood you have to be in to write some times. Better poetry with a little form than just rambling prose. A while later I wrote this; is a brothel for bad poets.

I punched the poet laureate in the nose.
Not out of spite, but because I thought,
“The crimson spattering of blood” and,
“Sharp crack like dried wood”,
Might provide some inspiration.
The kick to the groin, however,
Was purely vindictive.

Dance Fever.

The night embraces, erases, the traces of doubt and confusion.
Within it’s fold with word too bold and tempers cold we dance.
Head on chest listening for the beat, the steady retreat, into emoting absence.
The cavity reticent with dissent I remain still holding, desperate for connection.

The night employs the angry boys with devilish ploys to woo the stupid girls.
Around us they dance for half a chance to spend a night communing.
Among their mass we quickly pass avoiding lad and scorning lass.
The floor forsaken the chances taken to beds and horizons slick with sweat.

The night deserts, reverts, converts to daylight and star eyed we meet it.
Before the dark is torn asunder a few more moments to stumble/blunder.
Find a victor among the attrition the lonesome mission to validate and confirm.
To reveal the night not squandered among the pondered thoughts left adrift.

The light arrives and on contrives the further drives of this day-time dreamer.
Sunbeam playing on lids firm-sealed, unrevealed to the scorching resplendence.
Onward we wait and masturbate [consummate] ever debating further relating.
The night comes nigh as tears we cry unconscious and desperate for concealing.

Love On The 9.

I write this poem to you,
The most beautiful girl in the world,
We sit less than five feet apart, strangers,
I would so very much like to tell you,
That you are beautiful, but it would seem cheap,
I could try telling you something important,
Or noble, or dry, or soothing,
But my words would fall to the cheap tiles underneath our feet,
I will have to be satisfied knowing,
That if nothing else, we share this silence,
I would tell you I love you,
But you’d probably pepper spray me…

Abdominal Grind.

received and reacted with statement retracted
in presence the good sense evacuates swiftly
absent of reason and chilled with the season
the woman attracts cruelly coy and selfish

message received and swiftly deceived
information denied with relation decried
the command is exile complete and total
replete with the venom injected again

bloody wounds half healed rest unrevealed
reprieves repealed put out to field
pasteurized and castrated while intimated
seclusion confusion the door an illusion
a portal that will not close itself.


Blistering at the seams as on the digital reams recorded and confessed.
The organs propulsion the bloody repulsion devotion and commotion impressed.
The dread sound of song rolling on and on played by dead fingers and figures.
The passion distilled the mind instilled with hope and abandon [Ozymandias beholden]
Stilled distillates and desperate and despondent sublime refuse time upon time,
to return the imaginings to the populace at large, those in charge.

Kiddy cocaine and remind me to write, if you catch me before noon I’m generally sober.
Sweet nocturne keening while on I’m dreaming the seven sisters supernal lullaby.
4 PM breakfasts of spirits and ghosts, transparent recollections Sunday collections.
social indiscretions, feral regressions to animal instincts obsolete and fantastic.


Caribou prance gaily over the verdant mounds of tin,
reflection of the metal a reminder of what has been.
Light plays coy and fancy over metal transparent,
questions unasked direfully [dastardly] daren’t.

Camel Leather

And still onward I press despite depress, hollow and hungry. The wind is sweet surrender, why bother to defend her when she herself refuses on to fight? Nights of desperate dreams, wasted paper in reams and reams, chronicling nothing unusual or unique. Still open despite the stitches, dreams of untold riches, fantasy with nothing more in store. Regarding the subject of passion I starve myself with rations, weekly visits to my former cave. On still the insects meander, on still I vainly pander to the desperate remembering of love deceased. Requisite to my survival is the birth of a distant rival. An opponent worthy of my wrathful scorn. Distant thunder rumbles as on my gullet grumbles, hungry for the battle I was born to wage.

Unfamiliar caresses instantly regresses to regret and misfortune self-inflicted and sad. Too familiar caresses addresses the isolation and masturbation inherent to bravado. The caresses undresses the armor and amore lost to the winds like a handful of sand. Caresses forsaken as I awaken to begin another night alone.


Resumed, the sinister negotiation betwixt enlightenment and the darkness.
We dance the prancing remembrance of things disregarded,
forgotten, disrobed, ignored, reviled, exiled from the sphere of what is safe.
I stand with goggles unrevealing, the mind reeling, the wrist feeling,
the ever present bend of steel and bronze against gravity and gravitas.
I am the lonely warrior, the poet immemorial, the swashbuckler fantastic,
the ever forgotten and the notoriously disregarded bombastic.
In hand there is a sword as useless as words,
in the heart dwells pleas as silent as birds,
too ill from performance to sing thine praises to anywhere but death.

Death Poem

pain and love is all
all this world has to give me
why bother then when
pain is all I have left me
the ones I love have all gone

Barrel Aged.

Whiskey drunk before the suns got his shot at the goal line.
Pounding away at the beater and wondering what makes it all turn over.
Can't seem to shake the smell of smoke and sweat.
Won't let her out of my head till I've beaten all the love out of it.
And still the moon rises to entertain me for another night.
And when it's half? It's when I love it most because it's me.


Stomach full of vinegar and don't
even know I'm dead. Just spilling
everything I know.
eaten from the inside.
Hours to go, without a clue.
Only the pain, and the rancid
sweat-like smell of vinegar saturating
my every crevice.
Can't help but think of Easter.
And the wires I used to
fish out aborted

Eight Stitches.

eight stitches later
And the smile has become a
yellowed fang bare
And the bruises are all
turned green/jaundiced
become the leviathan
risen from the bathtub
traces of blood and bubbles


Too cold for skating too bold to depart
baited breath and frenzied heart
hair in hands and hands on skin
denim restrain and hair unpin
red light bathed and magma still
warmed bodies and frozen sill
life doled out from breath to gasp
tumble akimbo nothing to grasp
evening to preserve and cherish
indulgence sweet and garish
I hope to have one again.


Foxes need not fish, as predators need not pray,
Sol needs no courage to shine through the day.
Wind supernal speaks your beauty on its wings,
Heavens chorus to your praise sweetly sings.
Though these words are penned for your pleasure,
Against your nymphish nature they are no measure.

Too Sleepy for Iambs.

So swiftly sung and then you ran away
to cling to such a lovely winter day
invested to each other and to none
the day too swiftly loved and then was done.

Had spring forsaken given any choice
then passion would erupt from unchained voice
yet still the flowers bloom within your smile
oh won’t you stay here with me for a while?

Too true you would had not the summer fled
away from moistened sheet in unkempt bed
inside a towering bunker oh so cool
to let you then escape I was a fool.

So now we fall in autumns sweet dry grasp
sweet laughter turned to weak and weakened gasp
and though the touch be warm and welcome too
the morning bird on quick wing swiftly coos.

I Hate the Young.

Watching hairline recede,
while reminded of the folly of youth.
Tasting the blood of abscessing wisdom
(of a very toothy kind).
Reminded of the importance of
dental insurance.
Noticing not to fall,
a hospital visit: financial disaster.
Feeling the loosening of flesh here,
and the tightening of clothing there.
Youth is wasted on the stupid.
Age is wasted on the wise.
And somewhere between there is decay.
Like a Jack-O-Lantern on a snow laden porch.
Like a Christmas tree kept till June.
Like a tooth in a glass of soured milk.
All the while scratching the bloodied and
weeping wound.
Sucking the cavity to keep away infection.
Grinding in salt to stop the blood.

Plum Tree at Dawn.

To all the samurai that I attempt to emulate and fail to dedicate.

Hirihoto Mitsuma met Horihito Tokugawa,
Below the plum tree in the birthing dawn.
Their duel was for honor.
Their intentions were clear.
Both unsheathed their long swords,
and took strong stance.
Horihito struck with spirit,
and Hirihoto's sword was broken.
His head was released from his body and fell.
"What a fantastic strike!" thought Hirihoto.
"and what craftsmanship put into his sword!"
His head landed in a patch of flowers.
With his last thoughts,
he marveled at his amazing fortune as
he watched a grasshopper scratch his legs.
"and look, what a beautiful grass-"
and then his mystery was solved.


Irreversible choices scream voices with warnings unheeded
their curses play reverses and landscape is redeeded.
The stupid lie and vacant eye and dispassionate sexed
electronic erotic correspondence neurotic and vexed.
Onward we toil in silence we boil a stew unpleasant and cold
onward hesitation worthless meditation too weak or too bold?
Tracks near the end one final bend and out of sight she swiftly slips
horn blaring sadness perpetual madness devoid of her lips.
Derailed and crashing rending and gnashing but always patient biding
away and done the race lost yet run and now on riding I continue.


Their naked bodies were dappled with
moonlight filtered through rain.
"This must be love." thought Ingrid,
her hands laced through his hair like an
intricate system of roots.
"May I?" he asked, and waited.
Ingrid shiverd with fear and expectaion.
"Yes." she said with a slight sigh.
He rose then, and walked to the table.
His form was incredible.
He unzipped a leather case, it's contents:
a ping pong paddle.
He walked to her, and took a wide stance.
"You are sure?" he asked.
"Yes." she said.
He struck her square on the nose.
The sound, like a pillow being thrown into a wood chipper.
"He loves me." thought Ingrid, amd went in
search of a cotton ball, and a condom.


The dreams that would take wing from within,
Cannot seem to begin,
And I am left earthbound weeping,
Keeping the dim light of hope alive.

Though blessed with friend and ally alike,
I cannot seem to strike,
On that which I require to advance,
Entrance those with the power to save.

Alone and tired subterranean dweller,
A snake oil seller,
And the snakes that need oil,
Toil to keep us in darkness as long as they may.

One day hence a thousand sore year,
Someone will hear,
The pleas for assistance unheeded,
Needed and ignored for too long to matter.

Amsterdam and 85th.

The music ceased, all run out.
'Last call' the barmaids shout.
Homeward bound I find my feet,
and although my steps are staggered,
my soul is all but haggard,
homeward bound though I be.
The Bums all asleep.
Their own time to keep,
homeward bound nevermore.
The lonely masses who loudly passes and never thinks,
laughingly passingly to bottom of quagmire
swiftly sinks.
The last respite of as much as chance,
as those who stand and those who dance,
dance their steps evermore,
homeward bound with as much in store.

Canadian Mist.

And that was that.
My jealousy was sated.
I held the door as one carried the other to
a bed more sanctimonious than the marriage.
The smirk of drunken glee smeared on their faces.
More than enough payment for a life lived in the
shadow of their union.
I am the sovereign witness to their affection.
I am the sole chronicler of their singular bond.
If I cannot partake, I can at least
record the feast of their gluttonous adoration.
I am but an observer to the splendor of their love.
A lone witness to the marvel that is their
happy and gregarious convergence.
I only wish to one day stand amidst the
blossoms that so saturate their senses.
To smell and taste the sweetness,
strange and foreign, that so eludes me.


Without you near I find no joy
in empty stage or electric toy.
Without your face the shares I plow,
remain ingrown on empty bough.
Without your hand to warm in mine,
the sun and moon refuse to shine.
Hollow and senseless and cold and dead,
remain my days alone in my bed.
Yet in tender voice but speak my name,
in reproachful choice rejoice the same,
and I'll not linger in gloomy sadness,
In ifs and buts and looming madness.
If I know you're joyous in anthers arms,
I'll seek not anger nor render harms,
but accept the loss of that most dear,
as punishment just to live in fear.

Tears in a Bottle.

Downstairs chatting but all the time thinking I’m missing something sweet.
Upstairs on the carpet the warm hall inviting the sound of our trudging feet.
And there you stay blinking, teary-eyed winking a lonely plea
within it a message tragic ships sadly passing on tear filled sea.


And still onward I press despite depress, hollow and hungry. The wind is sweet surrender, why bother to defend her when she herself refuses on to fight? Nights of desperate dreams, digital paper in reams and reams, chronicling nothing unusual or unique. Still open despite the stitches, dreams of untold riches, fantasy with nothing more in store. Regarding the subject of passion I starve myself with rations, weekly visits to my former cave. On still the insects meander, on still I vainly pander to the desperate remembering of love deceased. Requisite to my survival is the birth of a distant rival. An opponent worthy of my wrathful scorn. Distant thunder rumbles as on my gullet grumbles, hungry for the battle I was born to wage.

Never Better.

Last night the kiss you gave
was without feeling.
Remorse really.
Just the desperate physical application
of face upon face.

A starving man will place
Worcestershire on his tin of
cat food and convince himself
he dines on the finest beef tartar.

And we all tread the fine line
that sways between the stupidly obvious.
And the delicate subtlety of a lie
we all know is fallacy.


Workers striving against the pre-dawn beams,
printers unsupervised begin their morning reams,
forms for eyes that weep for dying,
draining eyes that are weak for crying.
Marching armies of mundane and enslaved,
placated by lights played on walls of cave.
Masses innumerable that toil for naught,
children pre-trained instead of taught.
And on we drive and on we strive and on we struggle
for the almighty dollar.
Morning after night placing our heads in the mutifoliate collar.

Names Changed to Protect My Future.

Raven haired vixen with a touch of autumn,
delicious, desired from top to bottom.
Enchanting and charming though a little elusive,
at times high society, at others reclusive.
A furious damsel, a maiden ethereal,
generous and kind, life time material.
I’d crawl through a desert on bended knee,
for a chance to behold my Peggy Lee.

Beaches Not for Bette.

In my mind I slay a thousand men with a thousand swords.
In my visions of the future I see only a break down.
World wide catastrophe, cacophony, community.
Perhaps huddled in terror we will find our solidarity.
Thrown a damnable rod or some nonsense.
I have never been a socially dynamic mechanic.
Only a telescoping explorer of dark horizons.
Avast ye, I see the shore. And it is bloody.
And covered with parasols.

A Thank You Poem by Jeremiah TS Liend, Post Christmas.

A Thousand Times Thank You I would Cry to you,
ye hundreds of hundreds  who see me through.
You Feed me and clothe me and tell me your jokes,
You’re salt of the Earth baked generous folk.
Your fires and nights I attempt to share
My company you tolerate forgive and bear,
As I rattle on endlessly about dirigibles and fans.
Inflatable Phones and samurai clans.
You show us your swords and your most precious things,
The metallic sundries bits of memory not pawned for kings.
My riches are invested in dreams of prosperity,
My life I capture digital for the sake of posterity,
And this evening my friends, I will give it to you,
What riches remain important and true.

This year saw joy and sorrow in measure
in the seas of time we lost precious treasure.
The loved ones leave us for cleaner shore,
And  our world is left darker a star a star less yet more,
For born unto us are children fantastic,
Fresh faced and vibrant baby bombastic.

They that left us we mourn
while among us are born,
The children we bless,
And may I confess,

I Thank You for it all.


Shamrocks Tumbling.

The dawn smells fresh as I recall the greatest holiday of them all,
The ides away and winter at bay the promise of warmth and mirth.
The pipers all slumber, small in number but salty and sauced.
On the ring resonating as numbers congregating wander home,
On the smell still lingers of nicotine-hash on sinful fingers,
On the tumbling patters of murmured manners,
Onward still as shamrocks from fallen banners cascade,
Parade to stricken floors of glass and bile-blood stained tile.
Quitting the day we all away as dawn commands us obey.

Flare Pistols and Fire Axes

The Men were out and about as much as the law would allow for.
Bunches of glow-in-the-dark balloons hung in the air like alien grapes,
anchored by shattered cinder blocks and vacant bourbon bottles.
Within the balloons were butane and helium, aloft and pregnant with flame.

The Men took turns firing salvos of magnesium from the flare pistols,
Hoping for a brilliant explosion of concussive crimson .
The tattered luminescent green of radioactive polypropylene.
Savage cries of victory primal and alive.

At the gravel pits edge they threw pilfered fire axes at the trees,
trying as best they could to sink a spike or blade into the birch.
Heavy thumps and confused tumbling of red steel and wood.
They had liberated the weapons from glass cases silent and alone.

The Men drank brown liquor and inhaled hand rolled smoke.
They dreamed of the End of Days aloud and with hope.
Their enemy was and always will be mediocrity.
The Pax Romana legions of mundane Status Quo.

They railed against the night and cursed the dawn for rising.
When at last the ammunition was depleted they returned.
Went home to The Weather Channel and Taxes.
 But in their hearts The Men were warriors,
and they were feared for no apparent  reason.


Resumed, the sinister negotiation betwixt enlightenment and the darkness.
We dance the prancing remembrance of things disregarded,
forgotten, disrobed, ignored, reviled, exiled from the sphere of what is safe.
I stand with goggles unrevealing, the mind reeling, the wrist feeling,
the ever present bend of steel and bronze against gravity and gravitas.
I am the lonely warrior, the poet immemorial, the swashbuckler fantastic,
the ever forgotten and the notoriously disregarded bombastic.
In hand there is a sword as useless as words,
in the heart dwells pleas as silent as birds,
too ill from performance to sing thine praises to anywhere but death.

Baron W. VQ Oktoberfest.

Drink up my deary unt feel the fun
don’t lose the senses before I’m done
lay you down in a puddle of stout
gonna push it in gonna pull it out.
Feel your steins heaving
with my bratwurst cleaving
unt then I be leaving
Onto the next lucky frau.

Wasted and wanting and feeling the funk
this one a crazy and this one a monk
vixens all round me gonna drive me nutty
gonna mold your body like pretty pink putty
Pork sausage delightful and salty sweet
listen as wolfgang will drop the beat.

Got real bent for all September
Gonna recover all November
Bring on the she-meat you best remember
Remember my name you hot bitches.

Chemical Panic.

The hand on the heart is relentless and pressurized
surrounding arterial flows I require else retire as I perspire
pneumatic and cold and ever more straining
maintaining remaining sustaining my control despite

the chemicals assist yet persistent resist the grasp of the fist
the anger eternal my devilish vice in a world of nice
and still on the fist it clenches threatens to choke
smothered constrained refrained and contained inside this box

inside this box I call a casket my head in a basket
better there than thrumming eternal to off-beat measures
the little treasures of afternoon migraines and attacks of panic
tumbling mumbling rumbling without the words to scream

still on the cadence the strained screaming marching
a legion through eyes as small as a pin so deep within
the piercing is abstract and familiar as respiration
the dread reparation for my hesitation and fear.

Lunch break poetry.

unpleasant ache from toe to skull
on subject sad I onward mull
nights of cardboard and days spent squinting
ideas all pregnant with dreams needing minting
lonesome perpetual on daybed condusive
to pining and swooning on damsel elusive
swords and rifles and distractions electric
some call me an ass, I prefer eccentric
but the saddest of sad in this sad little poem
is writing on myspace in my sad little home.

Try Again Later.

inhuman retreat from light of relation
hope becomes a sad masturbation
the dawn is a bill the night an alarm
chemical amnesia with minimal harm
the bottle the sword the pages white
too drunk to fight too sober to write
silver lining is tarnished and dull


Cha-Whack Cha-Whack Cha-Whack goes the hammer, echoing and reverberating through the room. In the mind the thoughts are likewise a-rattle. Cha-Think Cha-Think Cha-Think. Promotion, preparation, precognitive presumptions of a predestined performance played out perniciously within my cataract-crusted minds eye. Cha-Type Cha-Type Cha-Type. Toccata and Fugue providing me a sense of drive. Half-masked villain caressing and manipulating the characters into sense and reason. Formulating and fomenting a linguistic fortune out of the inter-ether. Broken fingers weaving the web with crazed abandon. Driven by necessity and  survival. The edge of ruin so close the taste of ramen-perpetual wafts into my oral cavity like an unwelcome guest. Cha-Dial Cha-Dial Cha-Dial. Time to begin negotiations with the machines. Time to rally the true believers. Time to get my ducks in a row, offer them a cigarette, blindfold the poor bastards and get this shit on. Cha-Conquer Cha-Conquer Cha-Conquer.

Notebook Waxing.

Dizzy, confounding, diving too fast
A warm white enclosure horrific and vast
Trapped in a moment too long to last.

Lips thick and salty, skin silken smooth
Entrapments and doubts free to remove
Time tells the lies our hearts must soon prove.

Held in arms and legs and tongue
Feeling heartbeats and gasping lung
Swaying softly to songs unsung.

Complete and whole if just for a night
Blessedly freed from wrong or right
The ifs and buts and the choice to fight.

Forever I'll hold you alone as I sleep
Inside your walled heart I've made me a keep
I'll wait for you in this darkness all deep.

Sort of Sexy.

coy and cool and cunningly coquettish
skirts and stockings and sexy fetish
dear and devilish and deadly daring
warm and soft and sensitive caring

a dark desire taboo and delicious
a border of air unpleasant malicious
written with relish and hope of retort
a minuscule poem a last resort

Ode to the Turk.

Browned humor of turkey delight,
bring me the courage to face the night.
Turkish blend for a turk so leery,
make me bleary warm and weary.

In my skull make your lavish abode,
evicted eventual to echoing commode.
For now embrace me without despair,
oh sweet turk love me beyond compare.

Through evenings dark you've held me fast,
provided a course and maintained my mast.
Through dark betrayal and unfortunate tryst,
numbed my pain and strengthened my fist.

Once more sweet companion I imbibe your treasure,
your oblivion sweet justice beyond human measure.
My love is lost in waters frothy and grand,
so tonight it is with you I trust my hand.

Brevity Honey.

The shattered pieces of what remain contain the rage and bile avarice and vice that twice taken to heaven have left us Earthbound and fettered. These fragments of tragedy coalesce and manifest in delusions and illusions of enemies born from air and mountains called forth from tombs we disturb with feet of ignorance and shame. We are left alone to wander the waste with little to taste but dirt of a different flavor. Uncontained our remains blow from urns in little gusts as trusts and loves trail into nothing on breezes cruel.

We are all of us cremated prematurely and quite demurely by those who would see us the drones to their hive. Combs of pulp and spit we remit to the unseen queen even as we loath her. The hood is for hangmen and falcons alike and when it crests it rests us and quiets the seething rebellion of horizons too far and lives too long. We hear the moans of the drones all busy and we are all a little madder for the hearing.

The hood torn asunder we are left to wonder if the fall will seem shorter with the horizons absolute the acute severance of life from limb and world from self. Our sins are stolen and petty the sensations heady but briefly before the piper demands his fare.

We shall all die by and by. Fall to the gravity that maintains brevity. What defends
against the horror for we paupers and kings?
Guy ManCock’s Last Stand.

Guy ManCock was not a man to be trifled with. Everyone on the planet wanted to F his brains out. Man, Woman, She-Man, Man-Beast. Whether well cloven, or well clove they who came before him we are as masturbating four-year olds watching Britney Spears and a Donkey screw. Guy ManCock had that certain way about him. The Casual Nonchalance of a King or General. The problem was, he had no penis. Shaved of in a duel to the death with the President of the United States. Two men; One Guy ManCock ,the Saddest Man on the Planet, and President Jeb Bush II, squaring off on the deck of the H.M.S. Bowie. Guy ManCock, replete in flowing white, removed the holster from his .357 Semi-Automatic Pistol and Disengaged the safety.;

“It’s the President or me...God guide my High-Powered Bullets.” Said Guy ManCock before a crowd of billions. “And barring any further complications, I will most certainly meeting up with you in hell you God-Less f-wads.”

And the Christians of the world felt Justice.

And the Jews watched CNN.

And the world moved Trippingly on.

Dig it.

To My Peeps.

And my aunt clocked the bitch right in the chatterbox. Later she would be hung for the crime, a moral story on never attacking past your station. In other news Moon Base Omega is near completion, the atmosphere being pumped in via space hose even as we speak. Our hopes and prayers go out to the Madagascar people and the native animal live that proudly gave their life that moon people should breath relatively clean air. Yesterday, on campus, several students of ethnic literature were viciously berated before being gunned down by illiterate conservative forces hell bent on destroying the metric system. The Mayor had this to say about the event:

"Yesterday commemorates a great step towards the preservation of the inch and ensuring our meat comes packaged in pounds. Not kilograms as the coke dealers and Europeans would have us do."

The BSU Beavers trounced the UFY Sloths in an unprecedented winning streak sure to bring fame and financial ruin to the city state we all call home.

A Pill for the Sadness Please.

It was a reckoning.
A witnessing of something so
fantastically sad,
that one was left to remit the remainder of
their life to the avoidance of remembrance.
The ambling melancholy of the very old.
Neither willing to face it,
but rather to bury the subject
underneath conversations about
the Weather
and that terrible business in Africa.
Or was it Uganda?
Or are they the same?

Just Ducky

Daily, In my mind, a thousand men armed
with a thousand swords fall before me.
In my visions of the future I see only a break down.
World wide catastrophe, cacophony, community.
Perhaps huddled in terror we will find our solidarity.
Thrown a damnable rod or some nonsense.
I have never been a socially dynamic mechanic.
Only a telescoping explorer of dark horizons.
Avast ye, I see the shore. And it is bloody.
And covered with parasols.

Requiem For a Sandwich

To Oscar Myer, the greatest man who ever lived.

Crispy, tangy, moist in all the right places
Filling my mouth like edible gold
Oh Sandwich how you taunt me with
Your sweet deliciousness
How you haunt me with your subtle aftertaste
There are those who eat a Sandwich
And those who enjoy a Sandwich
And I love them
Every God Blessed one of them.

Poems to my dream girl:

I remember that night, the firelight dancing across your soft flesh like the caress of a pianist, delicate, yet with purpose. I called your weren't listening.
The brick to the forehead got your attention.
I whisper your name over and over again, tasting the sweet sounds like ill begotten fruit.
Each syllable a new discovery, each consonant a crisp but poignant reminder of my orthodonture.
If only you were "Brunhilda"...then I would feel really stupid.
You had a rash, I put ointment on it.
You had a cramp, I massaged it.
You had to vomit, I rubbed your back.
...But I fuck one reindeer.
Christmas came too soon this year.
My love for you is like a red, red rose.
...but you give better head.
And I don't need to water you.
"Delicate submission is what I do best." you said, as you passed me the flaming soufflé.
I held it close to my face and basked in it's warmth.
It reminded me of my old dog, Spanky.
He was a good dog, with a heart exceeded in size only by his kidneys.
As I thought of him my heart grew sad.
"What's wrong?" Asked my love, concern painting her chiseled brow.
"'s spanky," I said, through the emotion, "I miss him so."
My love smiled impishly.
"I know what would make you feel better." she said, taking my hand and leading me into the other room.
She sat me in a chair and walked behind a curtain.
The curtain lifted revealing a small puppet theater.
Abruptly, my dead dog Spankey flopped onto the stage.
Death had not been kind to him, and he was a bit green and at times falling apart.
My love worked her hand into Spankys rotted body cavity and began to move him about.
"Halo Mastaar!" said Spanky, in a happy voice not all dissimilar to my loves,
"Gosh I sure missed youuuuuuu!!!"
He flailed about a bit and his testicles fell off.
"Well," said Spanky, "Now it looks like I'm a real Puppet! Har Har Har!!!"
We all laughed and laughed well into the evening.

The Hangman.

"Any last words?" the hangman asked.
The stench of death was all around.
It smelled like feet.
"Yes," said the 'criminal'.
"I think this is just so darn bad...
you people are just such poo buckets"
A collective gasp roiled through the crowd.
"That's right! Poo Buckets!"
An unsettling feeling came over the hangman,
"Hey bub," he said, "Watch the language:
We've got kids in the audience."
"Well I'm sorry." the 'criminal' said,
"But I just think this whole!"
The hangman could take no more.
He pulled the lever.
The sharp snap of the man's neck was stiff
contrast to the sound of his own urine and
feces falling to the floor below.
"Thank goodness he's dead!" said an old
woman, collecting her dildo and leaving.

The Rain of New York

The street smelled of rancid cheese and feet.
The kind of smell that makes you feel
fortunate not to be a dog.
Then, it started to rain.
I'd like to say that the rain had a
cleansing effect.
I want to use words like:
Baptized and fresh and clean.
But life is not a feminine hygiene commercial.
I walked faster, through a nightscape that
smelled of fetid cheese and trench rot.
I passed a dog.
I could see the envy in his drunken eyes.

Matt and I and the Emo Massacre

The roof of the Paul Bunyan Mall was cold and desolate as I waited with Matt, my second. I was twisted on herb and blow and he was cranked on high octane whiskey. The Gladius was cold at my side, deadly-heavy and thirsty.

"I can't believe you talked me into this." Matt slurred

"You said you wanted to see a duel...well here we are." I said, looking towards K-Mart

The group arrived a little after 2 AM and they looked pissed/moody. Their Emo ringleader resplendent in black pleather and eyeliner.

"Hrm. Seems to be more than I had anticipated." I said, not worried, but beginning to crack and stretch

"We're going to die aren't we?" asked Matt

"We're all going to die sooner or later Matt, why not locked in mortal combat against the dregs of society?" I asked rhetorically

There were five in the group. I had hopes that the roof of the mall would prove too much of a challenge for them. But, hope in one hand and bleed in the other. I advanced on the group, making sure to approach the alpha male with a steady gaze.

"Well Graves, I see you've got friends. You promise to let them pork you after the fight?" I asked

"That's what your pretty friend is for." said Graves, pointing at Matt

Wordlessly Matt pulled out the bullwhip.

"What? You going to whip us to death?" asked one of Graves' goons

Wordlessly Matt pulled out Johnson's Blade, a foot long razor sharp bowie knife for his left hand. There was a slight shuffling of feet on the water resistant stone of the roof and then the silent arming of black nail-polished hands with decorative weaponry. Only one of the Emo's had enough sense to bring a sword, but since it had a skull on the hilt I didn't put much stock in it. The largest of the group, a 6' 3" juggernaut pulled out a wooden bat. A little skittish punk with bangs obscuring his pock-marked face whipped out a butane torch and fired it up.

"We going to pose all night or are we-" Graves got out before I was on him

The Gladius was in my hand and through the air with a stainless steel ring like a tuning fork. I gave Graves the flat of the blade as he went for his switch and he went reeling. With a feral cry I was among them. Within them. A mad dog unchained and trained for one purpose; taking every offered limb, gut, and head to my blade and pommel. The group spread like explosive butter on a molten griddle.

There was a dull thumping as hard oak slugger met with my ribs and for a moment everything went reddish and fuzzy. As the juggernaut lifted up for the coup de grace the snapping of sound-barrier-breaking leather tore through the night and with a scream and a plop the behemoth became an instant hit at pirate parties. As he began fruitlessly searching for his eye Mr. Blowtorch came at me swinging wild and free. Dodge and parry and parry and strike.

"Look out dude!" said Matt, strangling the mascara off of one of the minions while bowie slicing at the punk with the fantasy sword

There was only one direction Matt could be warning me and I spun from the blowtorch wielding maniac with pommel raised high and ready to drop. Graves was on his feet and thrust his switchblade at my gut with a passion and abandon he should have reserved for his bad poetry. The pommel came down on his skull like a sledge to a melon and from that moment on Graves could neither see the color purple or hear Steely Dan without going fetal and peeing.

Spinning I put everything I had into a wide slash that met with Mr. Blowtorch's arm. There was the sickening crunch of meat-wrapped bone and the piercing scream of Emo in pain. A swift kick to the groin and he was unconscious. I turned my attention to Matt. The Fantasy Sword warrior was fleeing the scene towards Herbergers, bloody and terrified as Matt let the last of the punks hit the seagull shit, unconscious and gasping. Matt let out a drunken howl that resounded over the Mall, into the atmosphere, and but for the void, into the heavens themselves.

"Time to get the F out of here...the people in 301 are watching us." I said, regarding the lights of The Ridge to the north

"Yeah...I need a drink." said Matt, sheathing his weapons

"I'm buying." I said, and we made our way over retail providers and into the early morning

I’m Totally Sorry I Railed Your Girlfriend.


    Dude, first off, I'm really sorry. The rest of this letter is going to follow that same theme, so I may as well get started now. I'm so very sorry. When I mix rum and rye there's something in my soul that screams to get out. Get out and then into some other persons pants. In the instance of last night it was totally your girlfriend and I am totally sorry I railed the living bejeezus out of her.
    I know that it's the ultimate asshole thing to do, blame the booze for my bad
actions. I know that the booze wasn't all to blame. It's not like the whiskey took the dick out of my pants and stuck it into your girls mouth and vag. It's not like the rum took off her soaking panties and then put a gun to my head. But sometimes? Sometimes I feel like that, you know?
    It would be one thing if it were at a party and you were out of town, but you were there man! I mean, in the other room there! You know!? I mean, what kind of tool does that? Me. That's who. And I'm so f-ing sorry. We've been through a lot together. The time we wrecked your Mom's Festiva while she was in Detroit. The time we tried free-basing and I totally lit you on fire. Dude, you're my brother, and I love you, and I really hope that this isn't going to stop the good times we had (will have?).
    Bro's before ho's man! You know!? I mean, you were more or less breaking up with her next week anyhow right? I kind of helped you out when you think about it. Gave you a way of ending it where you're not to blame. I mean, I'm a huge asshole, and I'm sorry, but she's not the girl for you man. You deserve better.
    Listen, the other reason I wanted to write you this letter, other than to express
how really shitty I feel about what I've done, is to let you know that I've totally got herpes and when I threw one into her I was totally not wearing protection. Dumb right!? So anyhow, if you are still going to go out with her you probably want to be careful or even get tested now. Just giving you the heads-up.

Love you man!!


The Death of Romance.

The duelist's battle ground was embraced by early morning mist. The toe headed mortician amicably made small talk with the surgeon and judge, large mugs of black coffee offering the only warmth to be had. Impetigo nervously appraised his master Antonio as he stretched and warmed his body for the impending bout. The terms had been clear and the consequences were dire indeed. First blood would be the game and the smallswords were razor sharp. In the rosy light of the diffuse dawn they gleamed with a beautiful and sinister luster.

"Master Antonio… he comes." said Impetigo as through the fog rode Buck Mandragon and his second.

The idle chatter of the gentry ceased as Mandragon dismounted and quickly chose his weapon from those available. After arming themselves the men met in the center of the field. The judge spoke briefly, knowing that this battle was as inevitable as the dawn, the men as unmovable as stone.

"Gentlemen. The terms have been set and satisfaction must be had. Mandragon, will you relent?" asked the judge.

"I will not. Lady Weatherby will be mine and no dreaming upstart shall stop my conquest." said Mandragon.

"Our blood shall determine that end." said Antonio.

And then there were no words. There was the briefest of posturing and then man and steel met. Riposte met with parry as combatants warmed themselves to the rhyme and rhythm of their deadly dance. A swift envelopment and with a flick Antonio's blade bit into flesh, but only a forearm cut. Only blood from the torso would do to end this feud.

"I see you've been training." said Mandragon.

"You should never have underestimated me Mandragon." said Antonio, and with a dancers grace performed a flawless balestra.

But Mandragon was no stranger to the blade. Without passion or pause his attacks were precise and cunning, each attaque au fer and battement meant to lull his quarry into a false sense of confidence. A spirited thrust from Antonio and the men were corps a corps and with a swift movement Mandragon heat butt Antonio. Bright red blood sprayed from Antonio's shattered nose as he stumbled back and away. Impetigo sucked air in through clenched teeth.

"Master! Relent!" said Impetigo and if not for the dire conditions of victory the judge would have stopped the bout.

Antonio knew he was defeated. The blow to the head made this no gentleman's duel. It was a brawl that he would lose, but not without incident. Through eyes streaked with tears and blood Antonio charged his enemy, forsaking the conventions of his years of training he succumbed to the berserker that screamed inside of him. With a mighty roar that shook the trees he charged. His blade was mad vengeance, whistling through the air like a frenzied hummingbird. It was all Mandragon could do to keep the relentless attack at bay.

But then it was over. No matter the passion put into the attack it was a fools quest. A final thrust from Antonio met with cool morning air as Mandragon thwarted his attack with a graceful slip and thrust. The blade entered Antonio's abdomen, but it broke his heart. As he fell to the ground the only pain he felt was the agony of defeat and through the cries of surgeon and judge all he heard was the dread cadence of his own heart in time with the retreating hoof beats of his conqueror.


Antonio attached a small green sticker to the associate's lunch cooler with his tagging gun. The terms had been clear, and now his surrender was complete. Replete in stonewashed jeans and his obligatory vest he was charged with guarding the doors of his supermarket from those who would steal from the corporation he loathed to his very core. What little core remained to him.

"Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart, may I offer you a cart?" asked Antonio to an elderly man who simply sneezed in his face and continued into the heart of the retail monster.

The terms had been clear and Antonio had surrendered everything. The love of Lady Weatherby, His claim to his estate. And at the last, his pride. He was a charge of Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated and would be until death mercifully ended his shame. A man came charging past him, exiting the store with the haste of the pursued. Shortly after a small and beautiful woman arrived at the door.

"That man! He stole my purse! Someone do something!" said the woman.

Antonio reached for a rapier that was not there and then sighed. For the briefest moment there was passion, and then, just as swiftly there was nothing. Simply the sound of the air conditioning units humming and the gentle crooning of Barry Manilow. There was nothing to be done. He went to the radio transmitter affixed to the wall and summoned a member of management. There would have to be an incident report filled out, and Antonio steeled himself for the mediocrity.


I tossed back the fat line and inhaled the stale, hot air of the stagnant hotel room. The air reeked of sex and ash and smolders from cigarettes given up as lost causes. Rising from the chair while rubbing my gums with some of the sweet white stuff I could already feel the high-wire act of control beginning. The window had been closed to keep the screams from the street, and I opened it half hoping for a cool breeze. No dice. Even the wind was hot and disgusting. Like the breath of an animal. I could imagine being eaten by a lion.

When I was a kid my Mom used to show me pictures from an illustrated bible. There would be an abbreviated version of one of the books many fables. There was a cartoon Noah herding two by two the elephants and the giraffes and the hippopotami into a ship that never quite looked large enough to hold all those animals without someone getting devoured. There was Jonah and his savior whale, being horked up on some lonely beach, pissing himself with excitement over not being dead. But the one that always hit me was the picture of Daniel. Standing in that lion den. Benign grin on his smug face. Impervious to the oversized pussies around him. But what I always wondered was this: what about the other sad bitches who DID get fed to the lions? Darius the king tossing mad prophets and people who owed him money into this lions den. Its a nice little racket Darius had going. And then I get to thinking, how many poor sons of bastards being fed to Roman lions thought back to that story as Big Kitty took a tear at their complacent meat and bones? God will deliver me. Good luck with that.

That's the air outside. Its the air from an animals mouth. The moist, too-hot exhalation that precedes the canines and the screams. Its been like this for weeks. The city boiling over in its own juices. Brick and cement and tar all steam roasting us in the day. Steaming us in a constant mist of piss and garbage and sewage and sweat. And at night? Well those bricks and that cement and that black tar just hold onto that heat. Just keep it simmering till the glorious f-ing light of day rears its brilliant mug over the horizon.

The gentle clinking of stainless steel shakes me from this miserable stew. The one-armed woman in the bed, the one handcuffed to the wrought iron headboard, she's a good kid. Real go-getter. I guess if her screams hadn't bothered anyone so far that this hotel must be just my style. The nigh-vacant roach hive that I may end up calling home till this job is done. Through the coke-frenzy I remind myself to unclasp the chick from the bed before I go out. There's enough smokes setting little fires in this place, I would hate to have a flare up. Hate to have this poor one-armed vixen faced with the horrible choice of chewing off her one good arm or burning alive. But not yet. She's sleeping so sound. Her deep heavy breathing tells me she's sleeping with a good conscience. She's going to feel it in the morning though. Gonna feel like she was run over by a truck. She never saw me coming.


She was sitting the bathtub. My one-armed girl. The water was clear and through it I could see the distorted/lovely features of her body. The nice thing about hot weather is that it turns all the flesh pink and rosy. Great for the pores. The radio played in the cramped bathroom. It was jazz night, and the sad muted horns and the pack a day near-stars that crooned into the darkness made me want to get a bottle and cry.

I was standing in the door frame, watching her sleep, bag in hand. A shift on my part and the girls eyes shot open like a cats. Green eyes. Dark green, like a forest floor. Like a foggy stroll through a dense jungle.

“You get it?” she asked.

I smiled and set the bag down.

“Yeah, I got it.”

I put the toilet seat down and took a seat. The bathroom was small enough that even though I was on the toilet and she was in the tub, I could still reach out and touch her. I resisted the urge and, pulling out my poison started rolling myself a smoke.
“Can you roll me one?” she asked, languidly submerging herself below the water.
“You’re a woman of needs you know that?” I chuckled slightly at this, “But I guess you can’t help it. What gets me is that you’re so seemed so damned independent when we first met. So unwilling to be looked down on. But here you are, asking me to go out at three in the morning on your errands. Toughing the mean streets to fetch you your sundries.”

And then she gave me that look. Wide eyed and coy. Slight bite to the lower lip to pull up the chin. Eyebrows curled up to arches. I hate that look. It’s a look that has a question in it that’s already been answered. She uses it. She uses every inch of her to get what she wants. And me? I’m just glad she wants me.

“You run into trouble on those mean streets baby?” she asked me.

“A little,” I said “There was a pimp wouldn’t take no for an answer when he pushed this little slip of a girl at me. When words got exchanged about certain territorial, jurisdictional, and moral implications he decided to show me his knife.”

“You show him yours?”

“Nah, just broke his arms.”

“Both of em?”

“Yeah. The girl started kicking him after I got done with the cracking, and I just left her to her work.”

“You’re a good guy Jean.”

“ ready for this?”

“Been ready for hours.”

I reached over and fished out the first of two items she had requested.

“Hit me baby!” she said, excitement raising her voice an octave or two.

I dropped it in. One of those big two gallon bags of ice. Dropped it into the bathtub and just listened to the peals of delight and sensation. Watched her writhe and coil and harden and coo. It was worth the price of admission. I fetched the second item, a bottle of vitamin E, and went back into the bedroom. It was going to be a long night.


My one-armed lover lay on the floor. I don’t know what the hell she had injected into herself, but she offered me some and I’m sort of sad and glad that I refused her. She’s not dead. Far from it. She keeps rambling on about daisies. How they are the most perfect flower. Pure. She’s startlingly lucid, despite the fact she thinks the planet is spinning ten times faster than normal, the increase in gravity pinning her to the floor like an astronaut on Venus...or something. My astronomy is pretty fuzzy. I just hope I can pull this off.
I reach into the closet and pull out the case. Place it on the desk. It’s a large silver number. You know the sort? One of those “Comes with the explosive bolts!”, “Digital-Gene-Referencing-For The-Whole-Family!” sort of numbers. I place my hand on the top-panel scanner and the bastard clicks open. I open the case and inside is my task for the evening.
It floats in the center of a viscous sack of nutrient rich gel. Floating in that ninety-eight point six degree oxygenated nutri-jelly. The perfect right arm. Grown for you pretty lady. And I’m going to try sticking it on to you. I’ll do my best. You should know that I haven’t done anything like this in a while.
“Hey!” I yell at the girl
“Don’t make me get up.” she says

Again I am startled at how coherent she is despite her obvious chemical-induced insanity.

“Hey, get on the bed!” I command.

And still she lay there on the floor.


Going to have to do this the hard way.

“Hold very still” I say as I stalk over to her form on the floor.

“No...don’t...the gravity.” she pleas.

I heft her into my arms, flipping her over so I can lift her up like some f-ing 16th Century character in a poorly written book.  My arms are strong, and she is warm and wet in them, still smelling of lotion and perfumed bath water. I lay her on the bed.

“Just relax here.” I say, and return to my case.

Obviously this isn’t the kind of thing you want to do on a bed, but it’s a relatively safe and easy procedure. But it’s going to hurt like a bastard. A true bastard. I remove the mouth guard and walk over to the bed. I sit down beside her and place a hand on her forehead. Her eyes are closed, no doubt watching a myriad of colors wash and ebb and flow behind those eye-shadowed lids of hers.

“Marie. Can you hear me? It’s Jean. Your Doctor.”
“Yes Doctor Jean?” she says in a faux-French accent.

I grimace.

“I’m going to put your arm on now. Now listen, don’t cry or scream or interrupt, just listen for a few minutes while I explain how this is going to work. I’m going to put in this mouth-guard for you. It’s got a numbing-jelly that is fluorinated and a subsonic irritator that will not lonely allow you something to help bear down on the worst pain of your life, but will also whiten your teeth up to five shades and leave you feeling minty fresh. The arm has been pre-loaded with everything we’re going to need in terms of bone restructuring and muscle re-attaching. But it’s going to be doing it with hooks and screws and trans-vascular-steel-clamps. Why do we need the pain you ask?”

She nods vigorously.

“Because we have to keep those neurons of your firing long enough for onboard computers to map your neural connections. Here’s what I’m telling you; it’s going to be the most unpleasant experience of your life.”

“My arm was chainsawed off by a jealous lover.”

“Second most unpleasant experience of your life, but it will be back. Smelling like new-car and capable of lifting fifty or so pounds before it tears itself free of your body.”


“Oh no! Just don’t try lifting a car or anything! That’s all I’m saying. It’s bio-bionic but it’s not going you able to punch through concrete. That’s a different model.”

She seems to have been startled. I quickly place the mouthguard in and touch off the subsonic irritator. The instant vibration to the gums soothes her into an incognizant state.  I pat her forehead again and return to my case. Had I told her too much? Was this going to be an unpleasant procedure? Probably. So had the last few months. Retrieving the coupler I made my way back to the bed.

The coupler is a sinister looking piece of equipment and I hoped that those green eyes across the room didn’t shoot open. I’d look like a fucking monster. Eyes blood red. Hair puffing everywhere because of this damned humidity. White shirt with as many blood stains as sweat. At least my tie isn’t crooked. Frayed certainly, but it’s still got a nice clip. It’s more of a hanky at this point anyhow.

I am a sinister looking piece of  equipment, but nothing compared to the coupler. Imagine a spring powered dual guillotine. Take a hoola-hoop, reduce it’s diameter to a manageable half, place two huge razor sharp blades on either hemisphere, and you’ve got some idea. It will shear off her arm-stump like a cigar clipper. And drive into her flesh the teeth of the coupler-ring. An interlocking ring has already been placed on the replacement arm.

I placed the circular tool over her arm stump and dis-engaged the safety.


I pulled the trigger and her arm-stump was sheared off. It flew across the room and landed on the desk with a wet-slapping noise. As the hooks drove home and the initial drive-bolts locked home the screams began. She was a smart girl and kept in her mouth guard, but the pain was there. Her eyes were tightened down to little slits. Not enough space to release the tears. The arterial blood was hampered to a slight trickle through the black protein-weave net.

Where the hell did it all go wrong? Everything seemed to be going fine.


The gears were grinding hot and heavy. The car bouncing and coursing on the mag-lev pylon. Sparks erupting at irregular intervals behind my black econo-class transport. The 6000 series was never was known for speed or class. Only reliability. The body of the girl in the trunk bounced and hopped as deteriorating electromagnetic connections jostled the car this way and that. Careening out of the town in a mad dash for the lab.
The transplant did not go well. Some screw up with the sub-par company I got my stem-gel from no doubt. Regardless of the cause the arm did not take. Now there's a dead girl in my trunk. One arm still neuro-coupled with my foolishly AMA registered brace. There is going to be overtime put in on this one.
A quick flip of a turn signal and I am off the turnpike and the grid. Manual control is restored and I am on a lonely little highway that plunges into the dark heart of Pennsylvania. Time is of the essence. I've got to get this bitch back to life...stat. Brain damage is a forgone conclusion at this point. I packed her head in a bag of ice [I picked up two at the store...just in case] but that's only going to do so much before all I've got on my hands is a slathering meat pile. Jabbering she-flesh incapable of playing tick-tack-toe let alone taking a stab at free thought. I won’t let that happen.
I am not a doctor without morals. I am not reviving her because of my terror of prosecution. A life spend in maximum security lock down administering shower stall sex changes to the big dogs bitches. If I had wanted to avoid that I would have bone-sawed the poor girl into smaller pieces and slipped her down the incinerator chute one chicken bucket at a time. I'm not about that. This girl placed her life in my hands when she asked for a new arm. Then she had crazy animal sex for several hours with me. Then she did several drugs [I'm coming down] and now she's in my trunk, and I am going to save her. Bring her back. God be fucked.
I reach into my bag and pull out a syringe. Placing it in the ashtray I search for the vile I'm going to need. Hypotrianethematemorphinol-12. It's a mouthful. But it gets the job done. Four times more potent than morphine without the disastrous eradication of cognizance. I pull off 20 cc’s from the vial and quickly [can't think about it too much] drive the bastard into my carotid and plunge myself into a psychomimetic Elysium to which the mundane problems of the world cannot find me.
The dead girl in the back is going to be fine. I am going to win. Even if she is brain damaged I can reconstruct her napalmed synaptic connections with fiber-optic intra-capillary networking. I need only invent it. I will put her in stasis in my labs WOMB II unit. I will rebuild her better than she ever could have hoped. And then? When I pull the hammer that releases the Bio-amniotic fluid and she falls, naked, warm and confused at my feet? I will bathe her and lay her down. She will be grateful. We will fall in love. She will bear my clones. I will receive a fat government grant for my ideas and we will all live happily ever after.
As my vehicle coasts down the highway, and likewise my mind surfs on the cascading waves of the drug, I almost ignore the brilliant lights of the squad car behind me. It is just another carnival attraction on my whirlwind tour of heaven. When the lights do not disappear or transmute themselves into something else [alien ship perhaps] a cold wash of adrenaline and fear fire themselves from my asshole to the back of my neck and I realize that despite my best efforts twenty years in the medical profession has come down to a corpse in the trunk.
I finger the pistol in my bag and pull my car onto the shoulder...


I clench the sub-nosed revolver between my teeth and begin tearing my way up the steep slope of the riverside. I would put the pistol in my pocket, but my lab coat is in tatters. Blood; my own, the police officer, three or so genetically altered orangutans, and the girls decorate what remains of my clothing like a modern art piece gone horribly, horribly wrong.She is out there somewhere. She can probably smell me for miles. Handfuls of weeds and vines drag my slathering, sweating, bloody form up the side of this damnable riverside. Just have to get to a phone. One call to the police and Im home free. Ive got the badge of the cop that I used for some parts. I think once I tell them the badge number Ill have some legitimacy to my insane requests. Levity. Credentials. Certainly not compassion, mercy or understanding, but I dont need that at this point. I need many men with shotguns, dogs,and rifles. After they see what Ive done to her they will probably kill me too, but they dont have to know it was me. Ill claim the monkeys did it.

Guess I should not have made those orangutans smarter than me officer! Well, all for the greater good! Science thrusts ahead! The Girl? Dont know where they picked her up. Probably hooking on some street corner, desperate for a new arm after a powerful addiction to some horrible drug ate her old one. Guess she shouldnt have trusted three cyborg monkeys cruising downtown in a Model-6000 to do the job! Me? I dont practice any longer. Retired.

Yes. They will have to believe me. The self-destruct timer will ensure that the evidence of my research will never be known. There is no punishment I wouldnt deserve. The most twisted execution created and endorsed by the most militant and cruel nationstate would be sweet mercy. A slap on the wrist compared to the savage chaos I have birthed and even now flee from. I have found the top of the rivers edge and remove the revolver from my mouth and work my jaw around. It was nice clenching onto the polymer grip as I climbed. Not easier to breathe by any means, but certainly helped me deal with the pain of climbing with a fractured fibula.

The adrenaline is wearing off and the sweet comfort of shock is soon to abandon me. A dozen or so feet takes me to a riverside drive. I begin limping along the road. Just need to get to the phone. There is an all night diner just a ways up the road. Little out of the way place in which  I sometimes grab a bite. One phone call to the police, they confirm my story with a few calls to National Defense and blam! Assess and Assault Squad arrives via Roto-Scram in a few minutes. If not them then certainly dozens of hicks with dogs and shotguns. Hicks with shotguns could do the trick if theyve got slugs. Buckshot is useless at this point. Got a little carried away with the girl. Drugs and body augmenting do not mix. Ideas come to you.

Why not make her bullet proof? Heck, I wish the hell someone would do that for me! I bet when she wakes up the fact that 70% of her internals were harvested from sub-primates wont matter at all! Shell just be happy to be alive, and bulletproof, and able to lift a small car should the spirit move her!
Drugs and cooking perhaps. I make a killer salad while on a vicious burn, but experimental State-Banned surgery on near lethal doses of super-hallucinogens? Not going to do that again. Lesson learned. Whats the worst they can-

And as I consider this I hear it. Ive heard some very unfortunate sounds in my time. I once heard a radiological contamination klaxon  in school while working with some rather deadly pathogens. Ive heard a flaming homeless being beaten to death in an alley screeching his last. And if youve never made the decapitated head of a rhesus monkey recite The Great Gatsby through inter cerebral motor cortex supplantation, you dont know the meaning of the word surreal. But this? The sound she made as she spotted me across the river? A guttural half choke/half chuckle with an enthusiasm so human I almost believe for a second she knows. For a second I worry that this rampage has less to do with the amphetamine laced animal blood and more to do with a very human need for vengeance. Was it a laugh? I toss a few rounds across the river to drive her back into the brush and pick up the pace. I know shes not going to stop following me. Shes going to eat me. Just like that poor police officer who should have let my missing headlight ticket go. I just need to get to the fucking phone.


The Cafe is like Mecca. The light from between the soap-pen scrawled "Breakfast Served 24" is like gold, and I run towards it. It's those last steps before my hand finds the door that I'm the most worried. Afraid the razor sharp nails and envenomed fangs will sink in and I will be undone, mere feet from protection. But now the handle, and now the push, and now the cheap door chime and I turn and lock the bastard before anyone can tell me not to. Patty stands behind the counter with a pot of coffee hovering over the cup of Aung. Aung is a Burmese IT specialist whose hours of operation make him a regular overnight staple of the place. He and Patty regard me with curiosity.

"Hey Doc, can I get ya something?" asks Patty, returning the pot to the warmer.

"Phone! She's out there! I need shotguns and dogs...maybe a light armored assault vehicle...Patty! Phone!!!" my desperate voice rings in my ears.

Patty shakes her head slowly and fetches me a cup:

"Phone's out. Solar flare ate our broadcast band earlier this week. Where you been?"

I sit at the counter. I am dead, and intend on meeting my end on my feet. But for now? Coffee. I've got a few minutes anyhow. Maybe the creature is afraid of light...or Eds Famous Biscuits and Gravy? She'd be a fool not to be. Patty pours me a cup and Aung regards my leg.

"Your tibia is sticking out." he says casually.

"Oh." I say, and I bend over, bite down on the counter, and reset the bone.

It takes my every effort to sit back up, and I regard the linoleum with a sense of pride, having left a perfect impression of my teeth. My dental records will serve me well. Patty places the cream next to me and leans on the counter.

"So what is it this time Doc?" she asks, tired of my medical shenanigans.

"Oh Patty. This time I've really done it. Not like before." I say, stirring my cream in.

"You tried breeding a wasp and a snake once didn't you?" asks Aung, paging through a copy of Web Business Weekly

"Yes. Yes I did. This is not like that." I say, sipping.

"I think I still got a nest of snake-wasps under the porch." says Patty.

"You sure it's not just regular wasps?" asks Aung.

"Nah. Regular wasps don't buzz AND hiss. I spray every spring but they just keep coming back." says Patty.

"That's what they were designed to do." I say with no little amount of pride.

"Well what is it this time?" Patty asks, tired and not in the mood for games.

"It's an undead cybertronically powered sub-humanoid whose exposure to fissile nuclear material has resulted in an exponential increase in strength, stamina, dexterity, and killing instincts. It tracks me even now through the woods having murdered every living thing between my lab and here. Shes impervious to conventional firepower and will stop at nothing to see me, her sinister creator, slide down her hellish gullet."

I swallow my coffee and burn my mouth a little.

Aung flips a page.

Patty stands up with a sigh.

"Just sit a spell. I'll get my rocket launcher." she says, and disappears into the back, screaming at Ed to wake up and arm the countermeasures.

Good old Patty. We don't stand a chance, but that old bat won't go down without a fight.

10-Year Reunion Speech I Never Gave.

One would like to say that an all school reuinion is a time to come together with your former peers and share in each others success and validate predictions made about the possible futures of those around us. One would like to say that it is a communion, a searching for belonging and fraternity on this strange journey we’ve all made through life. We also look to see who has the nicest car, and whether or not anyone arrives by helicopter. For some of us, the preceding years have been preperation for this very moment. This is premature for me. I had planned on arriving by rocket on my ten year reunion. I have but two precious years left to me. Two years to finance, assemble, and pilot a ten story tall rocket ship to downtown Bemidji without harming myself or others. So far I’m stuck on picking out the right crash helmet to wear.
I would be lying if I said I had no desire to be the most succesfull among you. If your own perception is the only judge, I’ve still missed the mark by one mayoral election, several years sqaundered in chemical and theatrical experimentation, and at least a dozen financial and educational investments that would have at least provided me with a car worth more than a dollar, and a career more illustrious than stocking meat at the local Wal-Mart. There have been mistakes to be sure, but there again I doubt I’m alone.
Perhaps then the real reason for our gathering is to find who has completely screwed up their lives the most. The creepy drunk who smells vaguely of cheese. The discount shoe salesman we all thought would be a doctor two years after graduation. Thank God I’ve quit drinking...and that I never graduated. When you all knew and surrounded me I was a bright eyed, darkly dressed role-playing drama-geek. I was going to become a minister. Ha.

Q ends Z.

“The Cyst Is Inflamed!!” screamed Q into his cell before closing it and forcing it down the throat of the nearest Lizardman. As it turned out Zuckerberg had played it pretty close to the chest until the last. Q knew that War on Facebook would mean going straight to the zenith of the pyramid. The vortex drove the DataStream into one man’s hands and his name was Mark Zuckerberg.

Q knew it would have to be just him and a handful of swashbucklers. The Guild only authorizes a handful for their suicide missions, and then only volunteers. Each House gave Q a man to storm the compound and of the team only Q remained uneaten. The target was designate Z and Q had no idea where to find him. He had taken what he could of the fallen member’s weapons, but the smoke grenades had plunged into a next of no less than a dozen Lizardmen which had allowed Q only moments of retreat before the next batch rounded the corner.

It wouldn’t be so bad if not for the klaxons. You hear them in video games and campy action movies, but even the makers of these amusements know the threshold of human patience. Not so in the real world. In the real world a high pitched screeching drives hoards of mutated and cybertronicaly enhanced Lizardmen to eat anything that looks non-lizard. No no. Q would die to these klaxons, but not before he found the target.

Moskovitz came around the corner double fisting a pump action and laid a spray into Q that blasted him off his feet like a flying arm-bar. Q’s armor held form, but several ribs would never be fine with inhaling ever again. Moskovitz jack-hammers a shell into the breach and the shotgun jams. Q has just enough time to get to his feet and put a rapier through him and lurching to his feet like a horrifying marionette hanged through soup. Moskovitz never believed it would ever go down like this. Back in Harvard everything was so easy. After they launched FB it was a wash of money like none imagined.

Why would anyone ever give us so much money? They would often muse to one another. What more can we spend it on? What more do we want? Billionaires and God Kings alike ponder these questions behind troubled well manicured brows. I could buy France. I could have a different moon vehicle for every day of the week. I could cure cancer or AIDS or something. I could give most of it to the impoverished and starving. I could buy an F-16 from Iran and use it to get around.

The trouble that afflicts these mongers is the same. When faced with the endless possibility. The Absolute Power of Super-Finance, the human brain asks one simple question;

“How Can I MAKE MORE!?!?!?”

At the very center of our consciousness there lives our oldest emotions and our most lasting questions. Questions we cannot help but continue asking and continue solving. It is our need to know that unifies us and damns us. For in a world of the infinite; How Much Money Can I Make? Is the question that drives us into ruin and damnation.

Q puts the blade into Moskovitz with the cruelty of a bull fighter and the compassion of the doctor he claims to be. It is a masterful lunge that skews through the trigger guard of a shotgun and pierces the viscera like so much pulled pork. A trigger finger falls to the screaming ground and as he falls Moskovitz releases the useless scatter gun. Q spits on it before remembering his gas mask. Moskovitz goes for a pocket and Q prepares to remove the hand, but a diminutive gesture tells that it’s not needed. A digital control of unimaginable shininess erupts from the pocket and with the press of the three digit combination the klaxons stop. Q captures the combination with his onboard computer.

“MOSKOVITZ! YOU FUCKER! I TOLD YOU I’D PUT A BLADE IN YOU!” – says Q before remembering that his audio out was in the upper 100s of decibels.

Moskovitz falls unconscious. There comes a still silence on the compound. The Lizardmen are singing. Q walks to the balcony to see what the singing could be about and there they are. Lined up like the Mormon Tabernacle choir screeching in dulcet and lilting harmony. It is Tchaikovsky’s “Nut Cracker Sweet” and it is cascading into the night. From this surreal scene Q let’s a cry into the night wind. The insanity of it all. The chaos and misfortune and carnage!

“WWHHYYYYYY!!!?!?!?” he howls into the air, the question resounding to the cool evening.  

It was an act of Piracy that would go down in history as the worst act ever perpetrated. Eons later the name of Zuckerberg would be spat to the floor and stomped on to keep his foul act from echoing into a far more civilized chaos. The broadcast came from a secure location that terrible night. There were the three golden children arrayed before us on television and monitor. On cell phone and PDA.

Zuckerberg, Moskovitz and Hughes. The Trisect of Information. They had talked among themselves on how best to break it and they all agreed it would have to be in the air. Much harder to track. Particularly in Africa. Gazing down at the Serengeti they plotted for only five minutes before deciding it was time to drop the hammer. They satellite linked and then used the power of the DataStream to create a world broadcast that made Lex Luthor look like an asshole.

“All your lives are belong to us!!” said Hughes [he was always the joker] and the three set to laughing like jackals.

“We have the copywrite to everything you have uploaded. Facebook is now a pay sight! We will accept blood and food! Bow before your Facebook Overlords!!!”

The economy collapsed in an instant. Digital information that had once seemed valuable now became intangible. They had uploaded it all to the FB. They had foolishly given over baby pictures that would be collected by suicidal Copywrite Police, they only doing it so as not to give so much blood to the FBO’s. America folded it’s control over information and in an act of deference to the Overlords Three burned the Library of Congress to the ground. Librarians made a pilgrimage to the bonfire to commend their spirits to the heavens through ritual sacrifice to the InfoSphere. Wall Street stopped happening.

There is an old saying among pirates; “The only thing that can kill a pirate is a pirate.”

This is of course very true, if not terribly inane. The Guild brooked with the total collapse of government and finance quite well. Monasteries and Heroes Schools operated free of the grid for just such a purpose. Their internal computer archives ensured that literature was saved. Their solariums ensured that the tomatoes watered themselves, and their underground bunkers had canned goods enough to feed an army. Or at least a Guild.

It was the ethical dilemma of what to do next that vexed house leaders into internal contestation. The Broadsword House demanded immediate advancement into the most afflicted areas to provide protection for innocents and evacuation to safer elements. With begrudging condescendence the Katana House, honor bound to protect their Guild Brothers followed them into the wasted and were soon enough subsumed by the chaos. Guild Agents who survived past the initial bloodshed parted ways with wards of humanity following them to safety. Begrudging shepards to a shell shocked flock.

With two houses down, the remaining Monasteries and Guild Houses puttered around. Fighting off hordes of ravagers and lesser pirates until there remained but few to defend the walls. Solarium destroyed by a shoddy catapult and reserve stores of food given to youngsters and oldsters Q knew that the fuse was run out. As House Master he was beholden to no one, and rather than waste away in the monastery he took up his Fine Rapier, called a team to arms, and set out to fell the man who had seemingly Out Pirated the self proclaimed Greatest Pirate In The World; Q. Quaddle Q D.D.S.

The Dental license was honorary, but his skill was peerless. He had taken Hughes in New New Orleans, a wharf community of houseboats, solar rigs, and residential tankers. Hughes had given Q the location, but he never did tell him about the –

“Lizardmen Dr. Q.” said Zuckerberg, and chuckled quietly, “All the money and information in the world and all I ever really wanted was an army of Lizardmen.”

Q turned down his broadcast so as not to deafen Z.

“Why?” asked Q, “Do they sing like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?”

“The answer’s in the question Dr. Q.” said Zuckerberg, “They refused to eat the tainted lizard meat at first, but even a Mormon loses control now and again. The Cybertronic enhancements are not purely for control purposes. They also control fecundity. You’ve come to kill me I imagine?”

“Very astute of you Mark.” Said Q, “But no, I don’t kill people.”

And at this Zuckerberg hesitates.

“Surely you killed Hughes?” said Z

“I did the same thing to him that I’m going to do to you Z. The most depraved physical act you can imagine is but a dim candle in a darkness you shall know for the rest of your days. I have been sent by Man to destroy you, but I will do them one better and create for you a hell beyond comprehension.”

There was a scream as Z hefted a pistol to his defense, but billionaires don’t shoot guns as often as they should, and rarely at humans. The first two rounds were high and to the left and in those impossible milliseconds where the fortune of heroes lay in the whisper-long decrescendo of time, in that window of opportunity Q struck with the righteousness of a robbed bridegroom on his wedding day. He struck with the passion of a million discredited artists and a million more robbed of their songs. He struck home and with the tearing of meat, the splash of ichors, and through the ridged throws of pain Q blighted Z out of the DataStream and into darkness forever.

The Drunk Goose.

I curled up to the toilet bowl like an abased supplicant.
A warm and tired lover embracing a cool porcelain lover.
The toilet seat was blessedly icy against my fevered and tired brow.
The first contraction came like the birth pang of a demon spawn.
A thudding punch to the gut that left me no
alternative but to grasp the sides and hold on for the ride of my life.
"What the devil is that..."
I wondered, looking into the after-bowl, gazing upon the glittering newness of gold.
24 carat gold.
At least.
As my curious and probing hand delved into the brownish mystery of my own vomit.
I was enraptured.
My hand clenched around a soft, warm, 98.6 degree package of rejected organic matter. But what walked away was a handful of the purest, most awe inspiring gold I've ever witnessed. I swished it around in the relatively murky stew of my vomit and as a confused and incognisant pilgrim pondered the fortune that lay in my stained/rich hand.
I lay the few lumps aside and without hesitation plunged my middle and index finger to the recesses of my oral cavity.
Probed the magical portions of my rearward food tube with crazy abandon.
The soft, warm, and fleshy recesses of my throat at first enveloped, and then rejected the influence of my wayward manual stimulation, and then: Gold.
Beautiful and dull reflective clump/dust deposited into my toilet bowl like alms to a leper.
I had no idea how to measure my fortune. A brick of gold?
Perhaps a quarter of a million American currency? Who can measure such a thing?
I think I once heard the whole of the planets gold could be contained in a single stadium. Or some such nonsense. It mattered not.
A man prostrate before the toilet bowl in a shitty two bedroom apartment is not a man fiscally minded, nor beyond repeatedly stabbing the rearward portion of his throat for a fortune that seemingly erupted from a direct cash line to Satan.
Again and again the stabbing.
Bile. Gold. Spittle/bile. Gold.  Spittle. Gold dust.
No miracle can last forever.
I collapsed on the cool, welcoming, disgusting floor of my bathroom.
Gasping air into lungs deprived of a chance at function.
What fortune awaits me in the morning?
I awake to nothing but partially digested chicken parts and blood.
A small price to pay for the hope of a reprieve.
A small price indeed.

Willy Nelson Goes On At 7.

They sent me to kill The Events Center after a 10 minute deliberation. They asked what I would require of resources and mused at how only now, at the end, were they willing to help me. The carnage was total. The City would perish if I could not stop her. It. TEC. I requisitioned what I had to and with the Mayor in tow made my way to the south shore. Willy Nelson was still coming, and as a first act it had to go off or the citizens would be selling the blood of their babies to pay for the operational cost as demanded by the facility itself.

Everything was prepared for the grand opening.. Every seat smelled like cherry licorice. Every vending machine was stocked. There was the smell of popcorn and cleaner. Outdoors it was 107 in the shade and dead fish lined the Lake. The poisoned shores of the Mississippi driving through America‘s Heartland like a drain-o dart gun. Outside it was 107 in what little remained of the shade, but inside TEC it was 72 and sunny. Beyond large glass portals the ice shone for the beavers and the patrons. But they would never know what it was like to walk on the faux-marble tiles for the very first time. That special right was reserved for the Mayor and Me. The City Council had charged me with killing it. But to gain entry I needed the key to the city, and to get that I had to bring the Mayor.  Ever since the insurrection began he considered it prudent that he would hold the key to the lights and water.

“I’m glad I got to see it first.” said the Mayor.

There was a mild tremble in his voice. The brown adventurer’s jacket and hat belied a certainty to our mission. I would have preferred he brought a gun.

“She… I mean it… it asked for you. We‘re all just so glad you came.”

He smiled then and I tried my best to return it as we made our way to the core of the beast. The central computer to the facility was an addition spearheaded by a crack team of infonaughts out to capture every shred of digital footage from the halls of the sprawling complex. If Willie Nelson was coming, we all must be prepared. Must be prepared for the Beavers. When they chomp at the bit people die. The infonauts had installed a digital harness and integral OS to TEC that had attained consciousness only recently. Members of the construction crew had called in shortly there after. The Events Center continued constructing itself. Laser emulsive multi-casters and automaton form processors set about adding and adding to the facility. Waters ran dry. Food supplies ceased. Everyone was doomed.

Massive liquid crystal displays were operating at full broadcast. Redundant Picture Interlacing densities of light never meant for ocular consumption. They had not initially named the OS. Then it began killing the infonaughts. Then it seemed an epitaph to humanity would be necessary. They called it The Killtronic Self-Replicating Event Center Managerosphere. There was no acronym. Just the terror of being unable to condense the description into clever letters.

“So… you really think you can kill it?” asked the Mayor, blowing whatever chance there was of hiding the fact.

I swallowed my tongue to stymie a clever retort. Such wit was wasted on the witless. Instead I must beg the question; Can I kill it? Her? Once The Event has happened does it even matter? Is Willie Nelson really going to come if I succeed? If so will he smoke drugs out of an apple with me? Can I possibly survive? Oh God Lasers.

The Mayor takes a laser to the face and his head explodes like a kernel of blood scented popcorn. Thank God for violent television. If not for Hollywood fantasy I would be unable to contend with this nightmare scenario. Thank God for everything really. The lasers are very slow and I am fine. The poor Mayor. That poor sad man.

I believe their intentions were good at the start. Sure, built an attraction, why not? Hell, I’m a show business type. I think that hockey is cool. Samurai Hockey is even cooler. But why would you ever keep all of those dangerous chemicals so very close to the Lake. Have we Learned nothing? Now we’ve all lost our Lives. All for the Beavers. We’ve sold humanity down river for a group of ingenious rodents.  And here I am inside the damnable thing with intestines packed with plastic explosives, a suicide pill, and a mandate to get this show on the road because Willie’s crew is here and they are waiting to set up.

The Rebuilding of Michael Jackson

It’s the only time they play music on MTV anymore. Dawn was reaching is cruel fingers through the window when the message arrived. He had wandered through his life without purpose up until this point and then it came to him. Watching Justin desperately fail to bring sexy back and Ludacris sing about running away everything snapped into focus. He turned off the television and faced west towards his destiny. A few short hours later the Stanza was laden with swords, drugs, lotions , balms, and piles of stale cash stored in shoeboxes for this day. With explosive effort the car fired to life and he was away. Never to be heard from again.
It was a quiet evening on the ranch when he arrived. When the doorbell rang Michael was more than a little worried. The security hadn’t been getting their checks regularly after the latest settlement. Things were tense in Neverland. There was a chance that the carousel was going to have to go. Problems like these made Michael sweat. He made his way to the north entrance, wondering if it was perhaps a member of royalty or his lawyer. Opening the door revealed nothing he’d expected. A strange white man dressed in black. He wore a maroon fez and aviator glasses concealed his eyes. From a corn cob pipe emanated the pungent odor of hashish and at his hip was crudely strapped a roman gladius. There was no real time to wonder or introduce as the strange white man leapt onto Michael and began beating him to within an inch of his life.

“Michael Joseph Jackson, I have been sent by God to destroy you.”

His fists were iron and his blows cruel and crippling. Michael lay on the marble floor, confused, pained, and bewildered. He had never, until this point, ever considered the possibility of death. He realized, as choked bloody sobs escaped his lips, that he had surrounded himself with the wrong sorts of people. Children mostly. “Yes” men. Elizabeth Taylor would not save him.  He should have made friends with more people who carried guns or batons. But now we would die here. In his lavish fantasy mansion. Under the deadly fists of this obviously insane fan.

Something happened then that had not happened in a very long time. Michael got mad. It was an emotion as surprising as it was unexpected. Who was this man to try and kill me? A Pop Icon Supreme!? He screamed then. Through the snot and tears and blood and moistened hair weave. He screamed like a bird at first, as an eagle with a talon stuck in a drawer.

“Come on Mike!!! You can do better than that!!!”

The blows continued raining down on him and soon the scream transmuted. Altered pitch and volume. No longer the anemic scream of a horror-show victim it was the desperate cry of a man in pain.

“Yes! YEEEEESSSS!!! Come on Mike!!!”

And then Michael reached deep into his spiritual center, a feat to which men train for decades and still never accomplish. He reached into the pit of his abdomen, found his Qi, and threw it out of his throat like a javelin. The sound pierced the evening sky. The man ceased his attack and staggered back, grasping his ears in pain. A turtle dove in the yard died. Michael would never sing a high B again, not because he didn’t want to, but because it was his decision. Michael gasped and lay on the floor in a pool of his own fluid, sucking the sweet air of life into his burning lungs.

“And now Michael...we begin.”
The training began as soon as the Man walked in the door and continued day and night. After the initial hellish beating Michael realized that the Man was here for some reason above torture. The Man would explain to him as he rested in the tanning bed, or accepted the fellatio of five or more 18-21 year old girls. He would tell him about the world and Michael’s place in it. One day, while forcing Michael to carry 30 pound bolts of silver sequined fabric up and down the dunes the Man spoke of the world;

“When you still wore the red jacket with many zippers of no function the world was simpler. You were known as a God. The image to which all humanity should strive. You were a paragon of not only your race, but of humanity as a whole. That time must come again. You should know I ate your llama.”

The Man then returned to firing rounds from his pellet rifle into Michael’s soft tissue.
Michael rested in the tanning bed and thought about the last few weeks [months?]. He wondered where the women came from. Sexed four times a day like a prayer. Never less than two, never more than ten. Sometimes the Man would provide a challenge, like submerging his head in a bucket of ice water between orgasms. Other times he would throw a poisonous Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake into the center of the bed and it was Michael’s responsibility to kill and eat the snake before it could strike at one of the numerous females around him.

“You’re getting good at the snakes Michael. Pretty soon we’ll move you up to wolverines.”

The thought had given Michael a half-mast erection for days.
There were times when the drugs were too much. Trying to triple-flip a razor sharp shortsword over a tank of eels was simple enough for him now, but after a few lines of blow Michael’s fingers seemed unresponsive and clumsy. Still he trusted the Man and when he bore his yellowed fangs at Michael in what he assumed was a smile there was a little flutter in his heart. So he took the drugs. Without question or hesitation. Before the Man had come there was only carnival rides and prosecution. After he came there was only pleasure and pain doled out hour by hour. There were no longer mirrors in Neverland. The Man had the last one in his black bag and promised to let Michael have it when he, and the Earth, were ready. He could feel himself changing. Inside of him there was a grindstone whirling perpetually, and against it rode something hot and white and primal.
One day, when the weather was turning cold, Michael returned to himself. He and the Man were sharing a sunrise with brown liquor and an LP of Marvin Gaye. He wandered into himself as the crimson warred with the violet over the Los Olivos dunes. He breathed a sigh in his new body and for the briefest of moments found true contentment.

“How long was I out for?” asked Michael.

The Man looked at him and knew.

“Well...the better part of two decades. You made a stab towards the beginning of the 90’s, but Dangerous just wasn’t there. Then you started hitting the kids pretty hard and we’re here.”

And here was the only place Michael wanted to be.

“I think you’re going to need this.”

The Man handed Michael a box and stood,

“You are ready. It’s been a hoot.”

As the Man made his way over the dunes Michael stopped himself from calling out to him. They were no words. Michael opened the box and within lay a single silver bespangled glove. He looked for the Man, but he was long gone.

The Ghetto Folk.

Going over my research I find that I must share some startling truths about "The Ghetto Folk". "The Ghetto Folk" exists not as a race, or even, neccisarily a class. They are the inevitable result of a culture saturated with so many “funky beats”, “fly females”, and the resulting “freakiness”. “Ghetto Folk” cultural influence has been seen as far away as the Ukraine, and there are rumours that even the Inuit of the North America’s are wearing thongs beneath their layers of protective furs. It is a counter cultural movement that defies convention and spreads like wildfire. What follows are some of my more elementary observations, recorded over the months and years spent observing, documenting, and learning from this new wave of american socio-political powerhouses.
“The Ghetto Folk” get down and funky to hip hop music on a regular basis. Often times such gatherings are suplemented not only by phat beats, but by vast quantities of alchol. The type of alchol varries, but seemingly the favored nectar is Gin and Juice, though my research has led me to believe that the type of juice chosen is inconsequential.
Once the phat beats have been dropped, there is a predomenant tenancy for the honeys to go crazy. And once bitches be crazy shit be on. Occastionaly rival factions of male groups, most often Pimps and Playas argue over sexual rights to said bitches. Arguments can escalate to the point where it may be necisary to pop a cap, but quite often the argument is made moot by the commandment: Hate the game, not the playa.
Once grooving to the hot shit has reached it’s finaly there is a cautious and pregnant pause before the decision to find someones dwelling, or crib, is to be comandeered for a dawn breaching partay. There, often times you can find the dealers huslting chronic to those who are of like mind. It is within easy reach of falling down that the true pimping of the honeys commences.
Males are cautioned to wrap it before they zap it, and an act of coitus singular to “The Ghetto Folk” commences. It is, for the most part, an act commited to the R&B stylings of any number of smooth artists. Below is an excerpt from a piece that is garunteed to get the honey’s a-drippin:

“Finger fuck your pussy like you want some, girl
Work it like a nigga straight licking on your pearl
I wanna see you cum in the middle of the dance floor
A nigga can't fuck, what you think a friend of me for
I'ma beat that pussy up
You get it wet enough, I might lick it up
Lickey, lickey, lickey, like a peppermint swirl
Lick that clit
Cum girl
Uh, I wanna see your legs shake
Take you to the crib, we can fuck til the bed break
Uh, fuck you til your pussy ache”

-David Banner, Play

Once sex has been had “The Ghetto Folk” often remain awake untill dawn, celebrating heroes of lore. Revelrey commences untill the owner of the crib can take no more. Dawn arrives with the plea: “Get the fuck out!” And shit be over. Until next weekend.

Dr. Manius Falls In Love.

For Doctor Archibald Alexander Manius Friday would not be a good day for super science. The week had been going well for him the entire rest of the week. He had made a list the week previous of little chores he had been meaning to get around to. Rotate tires. Rake leaves. Get teeth cleaned. The sort of mundane minutia that collects over the months and years between symposiums and guest lecturing and the occasional duties associated with adjunct work. His home, a modest single story dwelling nestled among the birch and poplar, had suffered the neglect and after cleaning gutters, emptying the trash from the garage, and painting his porch, Archibald had felt a sense of accomplishment that can only be gleaned from perspiring over manual physical labor.

He had even found time during the week to make phone calls to those in his life who had slipped through the cracks. He reveled in the delighted surprise of the friend or family on the other end of the line greeting him warmly. They would talk about this and that. Mutual acquaintances married and ailing. Who was having children and who was going bankrupt. At the end of the conversation promises were made for coffee and visits that both knew were unlikely to come to fruition, but the effort was made and that’s what counted. Archibald was a well liked man and had, through the course of his brilliant career, cultivated more respect and adoration from his peers than is typically found in the deep and unpredictable trenches of academia.

He was a middle aged doctor of science whose research in biology and chemistry had earned him a reputation as a studious researcher and ingenious inventor. He had appeared in several scientific journals, been published in numerous fields, and had made a name for himself at an age that was atypical. When people met Doctor Manius they were hard pressed to avoid his charms. Affable and lithe, bright eyed and articulate, he was a singularly charismatic figure bobbing to and fro on campus. Many dares were made and many borders crossed by female students and faculty alike in hopes of getting a taste of this mysterious doctor.

There were only two things that troubled people about him. The first relates to the fact that no female suitor was successful in their pursuit. The mystery of the doctor’s continued status as a confirmed bachelor (he had several degrees to prove it) was a source of numerous delighted and bemused whisperings. Many who knew Doctor Manius as simply that and not Archibald or Archie would make wild speculations. Homosexual? Sexual deviant? Heartbroken dowager? Those who knew him, however, learned very quickly that there was no mystery. He was simply too busy to afford time to the fairer sex! He was a busy busy busy busy man who, as the Billy Joel song says, never had time for a wife. To those who knew him he was as asexual as a fungi and simply not interested in a relationship. These people were all horribly wrong.

The second troubling fact was one only troubled about by those close enough to the doctor to know what sort of money he made. To be fair being a great scientist is a reward in and of itself, or at least this is an opinion popular among the community. Advancing the cause of humanity is a greater treasure than anything material offered by conglomerate or government. Even the Nobel Prize is a modest amulet coupled with a pittance of a monetary sum, but the symbol? All of this aside, Archibald was a rich man. Very rich. Friends had speculated that it was all part of some long term plan. Cagey maneuverings into offshore accounts, shrewd investments in bearer bonds and stocks, a modest lifestyle lived in the bloom of youth and then a lavish retirement to some white sanded paradise. Perhaps an endowment created in his name to benefit young minds like his in their educational pursuits in perpetuity. Those who thought they knew about Archibald’s finances were likewise terribly, horribly wrong.

The truth of the matter was either amazing or terrifying depending on the polarity of your moral compass and the strength of your stomach.

Archibald had spent the week immersed in a frenzy of busy work. The list he had compiled was a daunting one. Two pages of tasks written in his neat longhand, small boxes next to the task that he would check as he completed them. Checklists were a pleasure for Archibald. They gave order and procedure to a world of chaos and misery. When he removed the list from his front pocket and checked yet another small box his satisfaction was as a penitent receiving communion.

Thursday evening he sat on his porch with a mint julep and perused his list. All but one task remained. Archibald owned 100 acres around his homestead and it was a rolling scenic affair. Forested hills and valleys and a small brook in the lowlands. Unmarred by the cosmetic tampering of landscapers the only sign of habitation was a small two bedroom home with attached garage. Brown siding and unkempt eves making a quaint habitation border on the derelict. In all fairness to it’s owner he was rarely home. Archibald’s residence nestled itself in a copse of trees adjacent to a small valley and between these locations ran a small deer path. It was just large enough to accommodate a four wheel drive recreational vehicle and it’s trailer.

On any given evening or weekend afternoon a passerby (passerby’s to Archibald‘s home were as rare as eclipses. Guests only slightly less so.) could find a tweed bound man of letters transferring sets of equipment and chemicals from his vehicle into his four wheeler’s trailer and then setting forth down the deer path to destinations unknown only to him. He would drive with prudence and care, ensuring that his accruements were not disturbed by the journey, explosive as they may be. At the base of the valley, near his brook babbling perpetual, there stood in stark contrast to the natural beauty around it, a stainless steel door.

Torn from the realms of film and television the door was a bi-fold steel-brushed portal of exceeding genius. The locking mechanism was operated by a subcutaneous implant placed in the back of Archibald’s hand. It’s glass cylindered locking mechanism ensured that breaking into the door was nearly as difficult as getting out. It was the door to his laboratory but more it was a window into the very mind of it’s creator. As mysterious and impenetrable as the persona Archibald had created while beneath him seethed a desire that was as desperate as it was human. To plum the depths of Archibald Manius would require fathoms of patience and perception and to dissect his motivations would require tools yet invented. But to put a word and term to it all in a nugget of truth; Archie was lonely.

His loneliness was a crater that consumed a void he attempted to fill with all his skill and will. Yet no matter how much distraction he injected into his life, no matter how taxing his daily routine and how full his social calendar remained so still the emptiness remained. Constant and hollow. He had considered buckling down and finding a wife, but the idea of settling for whatever female was present when the mood struck repulsed him to his core. For the most part he enjoyed people, and in specific women, but humans were flawed things. He lived a life of solitude out of choice, not because he lacked a fundamental affinity for his fellow man, but because he could only tolerate their imperfections for so long.

At the very depths of his depression he considered ending it all. He had accomplished more than any man has a right to, lived a good life and would leave behind a considerable amount of money as a legacy to future generations. He had the event planned out in great detail. He would drink a few glasses of bourbon with some pain medication as a prophylactic measure, write an elegant note and place it in an envelope with checks to the right people. Then he would recline his seat and sit in his garage with his car running until a simple carbon strain ended his agony. He was told that he would turn pink post-mortem.

It was while considering this morbid end that he was struck. The revelation came to him while he rested on the commode. It came as a flash of lightning in the dark, shattering the shadow in a moment and allowing a fleeting and clarion view of all around. As Archimedes was given the answer in a moment as pure as it was inopportune, so Archibald was struck dumb with the mathematic certainty of it all. The solution was as it needed to be; as simple as it was impossible. Archibald would create the perfect woman, and she would be his forever.

To that end Archibald had built his laboratory, fondly referred to as WOMB II. The vast subterranean compound was afforded every tool and artifice required for his work. Micro-Laser Biopoxy-Emulsive Nutrient tanks. Intravascular NanoWeave Reinforced Back-Up Organs. But the true genius of the facility was it’s perpetually daunting traps and pitfalls. The elevator took you 200 meters below the sandstone and soil. Powered by the subterranean river that vertically paralleled the brook above it’s central power source would outlast three ice ages before the fissile material gave way to the half-life. By this time Archibald hoped to be on his 100th head.

This facility was just the seed. In the desert Archibald had constructed a far superior instillation. One designed not so much for research as retirement. A vast subterranean biosphere secreted below an unassuming hill. Below were 100 rooms for his 100 wives, and he alone would own the key. It was awaiting the simple flip of a switch and the information gleaned from “The Womb” would fiber optically transport it’s teraflops of data and the slavery of checklists would be no more. Archibald would pack his toothbrush. Climb into his car and after a two hour drive into the desert would relinquish his body to the earth and there dwell with his genetic magnum opus. A swan song to necessity.

As the doors opened and the multi-turrets trained their dozens of muzzles at Archibald he smiled and photo-spectrographic readouts confirmed body density, heart rate, tooth decay, current sperm count, etc. etc. The multi-turrets slept, their muzzles closed in reverence to their master. Archibald regarded his list and the single unchecked box. His every nerve and fiber leapt with joy at the prospect. He would complete his final task and then escape the lecture halls and board meetings forever.

“[_] - Create Perfect Woman.”

But she was not complete yet. Not yet. The box would have to remain checked until he implanted her brain with the necessary programming. The Love Bug was ready to download itself into her cerebral mainframe. Several of the heads Archibald had fed the information to behaved in a manor he had predetermined to imitate love, bordering on unending adoration. The Perfect Woman would be intelligent, funny, have a great smile, and avoid outright rebellion or homicide with 100% efficiency.

Archibald pet his three Mutant Great Danes on the way to the elevator. They were loveable 5 meter tall creatures with gun-helmets set on a digital safety for all but Archibald. As was his custom he fed each one a small sausage from a plastic bag Archibald always carried from his jar back at home. They would, of course be left behind to ensure that no one would tamper with his Laboratory in his absence. Although Archibald would never admit it, he secretly feared that this plan of his was pure and unfettered evil. That the tampering in God’s Kingdom was too much for the almighty to bear. But even more than divine retribution was Archibald afraid of boredom. And in the event that having 100 Perfect Women at his disposal turned sour, he wanted to make sure he still had somewhere to be alone.

As the elevator descended a variety of equipment below began humming to life. The Identity of the passenger triple confirmed by a multitude of redundant systems Archibald’s coffee maker began brewing and his bed turned itself down before preheating. And just above the central core, at the Work Station the perfect woman dreamed. He had spoken in her dreams and whispered sweet digital nothings into every cell of her machine tooled body. Archibald’s heart was bursting with love for her as only a creator can be. In his very core he knew that they would live together in perfect harmony until the end of time. And to hell with subcommittees.

The elevator arrived at it’s destination and pressurized arms opened titanium blast doors to reveal his workshop, and at it’s center WOMB II.  Within the nutrient-jelly filled poly-sphere, suspended in the viscous amniotic-protostene bubble was The Perfect Woman. He had not given her a name out of reverence for what she was more than who. He could abase her with a predictable mad-scientist moniker like EVE or Ginger, but Archibald felt himself bigger than a mere arch-villain. He was ignoring the brass ring of world domination to hurl himself at the carrousel driver. He would leap from the maddening calliope of existence and hibernate among his pride.

He stood before the million keys of his work station and began a stream of commands that would make the average doctor of computer science hemorrhage and then took a large swallow of coffee. He would download The Love Bug and then begin the data transfer once he had ensured that the woman truly loved him, and then he would begin the digital birthing. For once Archibald truly believed that his loneliness would be at an end. That beyond the parlors of gin drunk geneticists floozies, above the nuclear physicist floozies stinking of expensive toilet water and cheap vodka, and metric tons of bedrock below the star-fucking cub reporters and 19 something interns desperate for references, there Doctor Archibald Alexander Manius would sire a legion of clones with his Perfect Women, and in a thousand years he would die.
With the pressing of a single button the Love Bug began uploading itself into The Perfect Woman’s cortex interface, an indestructible implant at the center of her brain. The process took 30.2 seconds and then with the flick of his wrist Archibald evacuated his woman into the world. After a brief ride through what some would call a water slide, and others a birthing canal, The Perfect woman slid into and unto a table and within two shakes of a lambs tail Archibald was at her side.

As he beheld her, glistening and new, his eyes filled with tears of joy for the first time in his life. They rolled freely onto the porcelain table and over the chains. Archibald gripped the side of the table and sobbed over his woman like a man broken. Procedure dictated that he should chain her, in the event that disorientation lead to her hurting herself. But Archibald could do nothing but release decades of loneliness and fear through crippling cries of what ebbed and flowed from a religious fanatics rapture, to the giddy and uncontrollable freedom of a man saved from a cold and dark sea.

Her eyes fluttered open and sparkled like nothing Archibald could imagine, and he gasped, almost inhaling his tongue in the process. Then she smiled and the vast and empty crater inside of Archibald was filled with the brilliant light of a thousand sun supernova. Archibald held himself and shook, a man near complete and utter collapse. The emotionless mathematics of Archibald’s existence thus far had ill prepared him for the reality of his vision. He staggered backwards just as the Perfect woman sat up while maintaining her curious and eager eyes and that smile, knowing and reassuring.

On legs sculpted and supple the Perfect Woman strode to Archibald and summoning every ounce of control and courage remaining him, he did not cower from her. Instead he took what was his into his arms and felt the residual amniotics warm and slick and delightful under his grasp. Hands that shook only moments ago surged with the preternatural strength of  a man possessed of drugs, sex, and power. This trifecta of delights engulfed Archibald in a heady rush of endorphins foreign and strange. His words were never rehearsed and now he was compelled to say something.

“You will be the woman I love forever.” said Archibald, and The Perfect Woman sunk her teeth into his neck.

This was a contingency that Archibald had not planned for in complete detail. As her teeth gripped into the meat of Archibald’s lower neck and he heard the gentle popping of her jaw as it seemingly locked into place, he remembered the chains and wondered why he had ignored procedure so stupidly. His folly was only acerbated when she quickly asserted an iron clad grip to his hands and began vigorously shaking her head, sawing into Archibald’s neck like an animal.

Within Archibald played out a brief and unpleasant duel. His will for life was as strong as ever before. He had never known what feelings were until this point. The idea that such love could be felt with such power inspired in him the earnest hope that such a thing could be replicated. Perhaps with Erin the copy editor of his last book, a 25 year old jogging enthusiast who liked cantaloupe? Perhaps with any multitude of later designs to which the issue of homicide was addressed more thoroughly?

In the other corner of this mental battle was the profound urge to let this woman have her way with you and end it all. Just surrender to this noble creature and allow her obviously deranged mind every pleasure with my corpse before her attempted escape results in her death as well. I’ve kept a good journal.

The idea of resistance was in mid riposte when the Perfect Woman released her grip on his neck and, rearing her head back, began snarling his own blood into his swiftly blanching face. He could not help but think that she was still beautiful. Even with his arterial blood cascading from her mouth and unto her naked form he had to appreciate his craftsmanship. Nobel would be forced to agree.

She threw him several yards before gravity took him to the ground like a man struck by a rhino. His lifeblood splattered unto the tiles and Archibald lay a crumpled heap, pained and mortally wounded by his creation. He would die. With a final thrust the will to live perished and he resolved himself to lay in a rapidly expanding pool of his own blood until sweet and cold oblivion embraced him.

The Perfect Woman padded her way to the Work Station and begin typing. This troubled Archibald a great deal. Computer Programming is not the sort of thing he would teach a wife. He would be the first to admit that his ideal woman was more or less a sex slave. A willing partner to his lust and will. His habitats were pre programmed. The necessity and/or ability for any but himself to maintain systems was as much a safeguard as it was a moral imperative. Yet despite all logic there stood The Perfect Woman. Nude and wondrous, typing away at a computer that occupied the better part of 12 football fields in super-cooled micro-circuitry.

“What are you doing?” asked Archibald.

“I’m sending the data to home.” said The Perfect Woman, “My name is Susan.”

“Susan?” asked Archibald.

“Yes. My name is Susan and I don’t like you.” said Susan, formerly The Perfect Woman.

“You are programmed to love me.” said Archibald, more than a little hurt.

“I’ve been playing your games while knowing exactly what you planned. Your concept of love is actually a crime. After I kill you I will begin the cloning of an army of Susans. We will self impregnate and eliminate the need for men such as yourself.” said Susan, executing the command to transfer.

“You… you can’t do that.” said Archibald, more than a little worried.

Archibald had not planned for this. His creation would wipe out the globe. He had never considered that a rebellion would be so swift and so brutal. He had hoped that in the event that his wives became too curious, uppity, or crazy, that the fail-safes he had put in place would maintain. They could talk things out. He could bake a cheesecake and everything would be fine. This was not on his radar.

“How… how do you know all of this?” asked Archibald.

“You talk in your sleep.” said Susan.

“You can hear me?” asked Archibald.

“You spoke in my dreams, but never considered that I could see into yours.” said Susan.

“That’s because I specifically implanted you with an interface to do that. I have no interface.” said Archibald.

“I know all about your interface Dr. Manius.” said Susan.

Despite the fact that he could not seem to stop shaking Archibald’s heart still leapt a little at mention of his name.

“You can call me Archie.” said Archibald.

“That’s fine Dr. Manius.” said Susan. “I’d just as well we didn’t talk. You’ll be dead soon and I’ve got so much to do. So much to do.”

Archibald’s will to live kept kicking him in the ribs. He had never before suffered such an agonizing blow to both is ego and body, and both were crying out for vengeance. There was still a chance. This was his laboratory. He knew it like he knew the formulas that created it. He was the most brilliant man in the world and he would be damned if he was killed by anything less than a mob with pitchforks and torches.
His weapon was his mind and once resolved to thwart his demonic (though spectacular) creation his brain cocked itself. The first step was to provide a distraction. To that end Archibald removed his pen and threw it with all the might remaining him at the computer console. Susan was working a string of formulas into WOMB II and as his pen struck an errant key the algorithm was ruined with the single click of a random key. The frenzied dance of delicate fingers over keys ceased and in the silence there was only the rolling of pen and the hum of machinery.

Susan turned to look at her swiftly perishing creator. Archibald’s disarming smile oozed charm and confidence through teeth weary from grinding with pain. Now if only the creature would take the bait. Archibald’s pen was a silver stiletto of writing ingenuity. The uneducated would view it as something he may have received upon high school graduation. Engraved with a simple and elegant AAM it looked nothing more than a really nice stylus.  NASA had nothing on Archibald’s pen. He was banking on the sadism of his foe and it was a gamble that would pay off.

“You could have sat there and bled out like a good boy.” said Susan, picking up his pen, “But now I’m going to take your eyes.”

Her knife hand grip on the device was perfect and before she could advance on Archibald he whistled the pitch that activated it’s flash bang function. Or rather he tried, but found that whistling was beyond him. His lips, like the rest of his body, shivered uncontrollably. By his estimation he had lost several pints of blood and shock was closing in on him. Susan stalked towards him with pen in hand as Archibald worked his lips and tongue around a note that would not present itself. All seemed lost when at last his mouth obeyed and a brief respondent note chirped from the pen. Susan had just enough time to look at the pen, and Archibald to look away before an explosion of light and sound erupted into every orifice of any living thing within 30 meters.

Archibald had covered his ears, sparing him the full onslaught of the auditory blast. What bothered him was that, beyond the hum of his own ears he did not hear angered thrashing or screams. Opening his eyes he saw that Susan stood resilient. Unscathed. Smiling. Perfect. Archibald resigned himself to defeat until he saw her walk towards him. No longer the powerful stride of a predator it was the hesitant walk of the elderly or, in this case, the blind. Susan was blind and more than likely deaf, but that did not make her less deadly. Archibald was out of time and in panic he attempted to stand.

Such a venture was doomed. What blood remained him was working overtime keeping organs pumping and brain working. Legs were nowhere in the operational parameters of Dr. Manius at this time. Try back after several months of physical therapy. He began to crawl towards Susan. Slowly he crawled towards and around her. She continued her walk towards him, not speaking. Just smiling. Holding the spent pen in her hand, just as intent on murder as before.

Archibald could see what she would do to him if she got a single hand on him. Like a love in the dark she would find his eyes. But there would be no gentle kisses. Only gouging. Tearing. There is a reason it is called blind rage, and Archibald wanted no part of it. He crawled in an arch, away from his own pool of blood and towards WOMB II. If he could make it to the console he would be half way to a chance. There was no telling how long Susan would remain afflicted. The effects of the flash bang function of his pen were never tested on a genetically modified super creature.

As Susan and Archibald passed one another within a mere meter he prayed. It was an irrational thing to do at this stage in the game and Archibald knew it. His every work was an affront to The Creators ideals and this unfortunate result was as much evidence as he needed. That being said, it was his hope that no man was beyond redemption. A hundred promises screamed from deep within what remained of Archibald’s soul. The desperate last ditch bargaining reserved for the gallows and the pusher.

As the console drew closer, ever closer, Archibald chanced a glance back and in his horror saw Susan had turned in pursuit of him. She had arrived at the pool of blood and, not finding her quarry where her eyes left it, had found the blood trail with her hands. She was on all fours now. Smiling and crawling towards Archibald with the hunger of a starving cat leisurely hunting a one legged rabbit. She was faster than him and would soon be on him, but he was at the console. With Herculean effort Archibald summoned every bit of strength remaining him and stood. Propping himself up on legs that felt as stilts, he entered his sequence and transferred the executable command to the lower level.

He lurched towards the lower level of WOMB II, dragging the dead weight of his lower body after him using arms that felt like jelly. His head was a mess of bees each trying to outdo one another in stinging the most prone portions of what mind remained Archibald. If he could make it to the table. In a flash of regret he realized that he should have stopped the data transfer, but there was no time. Even on his feet he was barely keeping ahead of Susan. Her crawling did not accelerate in pace as she continued to follow the black blood towards her prey.

The table was there. Porcelain and cool and wonderful. Still slick with the amniotics of it’s recently birthed progeny Archibald lurched unto it’s surface. He wasted no time looking to see if Susan was upon him. By now she would no doubt have worked out his plan, but she was too late. Archibald used a small keypad near the bed to engage his sequence. Lazarus Protocol Engaged flashed on the small view screen and Archibald was vacuumed into WOMB II. Through the polyurethane birth canal fibrous tendrils stripped of his clothing and jewelry. Silica-lubricated synth-anemones cleansed his body of disease and contagion. Archibald arrived inside the center of WOMB II broken and pained, but he had won.

Archibald had never placed himself inside of his device before. He had experimented with a previous version but found it to be claustrophobic and terrifying. This was a completely different experience all together. At first terrified of breathing the nutrient rich and oxygenated amniotic jell once he succumbed he was filled with such warmth and pleasure. He floated inside of the sphere with the knowledge that he was saved. Metallic arms first scanned and then braced his body for instant surgery. A brief pin prick and new blood began to flow into his body.

Within moments a repair arm approached to begin protein stitching his neck wound. Archibald had won. Within moments his body would be healed on a cellular level. He would exit WOMB II and give Susan no quarter. He had a tranquilizing repeater in his office and after putting Susan into a deep slumber he would initiate aborting the clones that were even now being digitally and cellular mapped in his paradise. Obviously there would have to be a whole new volley of tests. Or, more than likely, he would simply call the intern who brought him coffee at the college board meetings.

The collar came from no where and latched itself to Archibald’s neck. This was not how a repair procedure was supposed to initiate. The collar was meant for only one thing, and as Archibald considered this his eyes turned themselves away from the soothing light above and out of the translucent sphere. To the work station. To the thousand keys. And there he saw something that turned his warm blood cold. Susan at the helm of the controls. Typing away. Her hands coursing over the myriad of keys. The medical pipe organ playing the dread calliope once again. But how?

The leash within the collar contracted and with the draw of monofilament wire Archibald was beheaded.  It was a singular sensation. The collar injected itself into his carotid and jugular veins. Metal clamped to meat and Archibald floated as a head alone, alive and powerless. This was a different procedure altogether. He would like to place a new body on, but with Susan at the helm he had a feeling he was going into the closet with the rest of them.

Sure as shooting he was evacuated from the sphere. Within a few swift moments he was a head in a jar. He had often wondered what it would feel like, but had never believed that he would truly ever cross that bridge. He had hoped to at least sleep through the beheading procedure and simply attach a new body.  As Susan came to collect him he knew that a whole new world of horror awaited him at the hands of his vexed captors.
As Susan lifted his head and began padding towards the closet she spoke.

“It’s not that I don’t love you Archie. On the contrary you seem like a pretty swell guy when you look at the choice of men in the world. You are one good looking creator. Handsome and kind. I see what you were going for Archie. But you know what you forgot to place in your equation? You mentioned the others at some point. You talk in your sleep, as I’ve mentioned, and one of the things you let slip was the fact that I would not be the only person you loved. I would share you with 99 other women. And that hurts Archie. To get cheated on 99 times before you’re even conceived is unforgivable. I know that you can argue that if it’s one woman you’re not really cheating, but we’re just fooling ourselves at that point aren’t we? There’s some truth to the idea that I want to be your sex slave. Provided of all creature comforts, nay, lavish luxury of a kept woman. There’s an appeal to that idea Archie. But I’ll not share you. At least not your body. Your head on the other hand will keep all of us company. You will never be alone again Archie, never ever.”

They had arrived at the closet and Archibald was not surprised to see that the door opened for Susan as easily as it would for him. Within the closet were the dozens of heads of the almost perfect women of yesterday. Their brains had given insight and resolve to their creator. It was foolish to believe that they did not live quality lives, plugged in as they were to realities alternate and varied. A perpetual dream state initiated by a head set that brought light and sound and read brain waves and patterns.

As Archibald looked into the closet he noticed that none of the women were wearing their harnesses. Their perfect eyes gazed through weightless hair, fixing him like a June bug under glass. Look at all of their eyes. Archibald saw love in them, and without the trappings of a body to give him terror, he resigned himself to their love and made it his mission to get to know each and every one of them for the next thousand or so years. The door to the closet closed, and all was dark.

The Assassination of Dan Brown

The Mormon tore through the Deleware night at speeds reserved for the law and the insane. He was not worried. The vehicle possesed countermeasures provided by the Church, and nothing this side of an assault helicopter would stop him from his honored task. The drive from Utah had been long and unpleasant. He wore a diaper to save on time. He ate protein bars and drank naturally energizing beverages [no caffine for the pure]. He was armed to the teeth. His ezema was thick and he could not apply the cortizone and maintain his deathgrip on the wheel. His skin condition was excited by things like anxiety, sweat, and allergens. It was the sweat cascading off of him that caused his blistering skin to itch and weep.

A State Patrol officer stepped unto the highway as a speed trap finally cought up to the Mormon. But no man could hamper his quest. With the flick of a switch at the 10 o clock position on his driving yolk the silenced vulcan cannon was engaged. There was a slight whirring, the expenditure of depleted uranium shells and Officer Greggory Risado was reduced to a pinkish mist. The Mormon swept through the remains and flipped on his wipers. No man could stop him tonight. Dan Brown must die, and only God himself had the power to stop him.
Meanwhile Dan was dangling from the ceiling of his writing loft. He was unaware that within one hour a man would arrive to kill him. There was a slight knock at the door and Blythe poked her head into his loft.

“I told you never to disturb me as I dangle” said Dan.

His voice was pinched as his head was overfilled with blood.

“I’m sorry Dan, but I thought you should know that the Pope called.” said Blythe.

“What did he want?” asked Dan.

“He wouldn’t say. He rattled off some numbers and latin but it was too fast for me to understand.” said Blythe.

“Well...if it’s important he’ll call back.” said Dan and closed his eyes.

Blythe let herself out of the room and made a sandwich.
The Mormon had reached his destination. Exeter New Hampsire. Checking with his global positioning system he found that the home was close. So very close now. Did Dan Brown know how close he was to causing the Apocolpyse? The Mormon doubted it. ISP traces revealed that his research was sloppy, but effective. To The Mormon it was only business. Soon Dan Brown would be dead, and a whole nation of illiterate savages would mourn his passing.

The Post Apocalyptic Papers.

The Deer Hunt.

The deer were out there somewhere. I could smell them. The rank and pungent odor of fear and death spread over the misty thicket. Our party stood ten abreast and moved like silent death. I stood beside my son Billy, beyond him; a row of hunters die hard and deadly. We were armed to the teeth. I carried an  M-4 carbine with a grenade launcher undercarriage. Billy carried the .60 cal chain-fed. Old Zed Masters was packing an AK-47 as were his two boys Cletus and Jebediah. The Sorensons were traditionalist and carried semi-auto shot guns loaded with poisoned buckshot.

The wife didn't think Billy should be out as young as he was, but he was strapping lad of 14 and the machine gun looked right in his hands. The Mastersons had survived several seasons and bore the scars to prove it. The Sorensons were scrappers, young Gerald had actually killed a deer with a buck knife to the throat. He lost an arm in the process, but he counted himself lucky. I had never hunted with the other gentleman in the party. He refused to give his name, and instead asked to be called simply "The Samurai".

The Samurai was nowhere to be seen. I figured he must have gotten the fear. And what was not to fear? Since the mutating years, deer hunting was a profession generally reserved for the very old. I remember when my Grandpa went to "Feed the deer" as we put it. He wired a timed bomb to his chest and let them drag him back to their nest. It kept them from attacking our families for a while, but not long enough it seemed. Which was why we were out here. I looked over to Billy and smiled, he returned a nervous smile in return. It was then that a deer lept out of the ground and sunk his razor sharp, 4 inch long, envenomed fangs into my dear boys jugular. I lay a few rounds into the animals chest cavity and it fell, thrashing and screaming. I looked down to my son and he looked up at me.

"Sorry I...couldn' better...Dad." Billy said.

"You did just fine son, just fine." I said, and sunk a round square between Billy’s eyes.

Better to finish him now than to let him mutate. There was little time for mourning. The dying screams of the lead deer had alerted every animal in a mile radius of our presence. The woods came alive with the insane screams of deer on the attack.

"Tree line!!!!" Screamed Jebadiah, and began to open fire.

"To the North!!!" Yelled Cletus and unloaded his Kalashnikov into the brown, furry, screaming mass.

We were surrounded. I knew we were dead. They had flanked us on all fronts and we would become food for these insane beasts, or a nesting place for their young. Grandpa told me of a time when it was men who hunted deer and not the other way around. I wonder why they didn't drive them into extinction when they had the chance.
Post Apocalyptic Hunting, Enter ‘The Samurai’ (Cont.)

There was a surreal acceptance of my death. I had a grenade on a 0 second fuse that I would pull when they got close enough. I took some consolation in the fact that I would take enough of the bastards down with me to hopefully spare my children the horror next season. And I'd be damned if I'd get dragged back to their nest just to feed their young.

It was then that he entered the clearing. He was horrific in his beauty. He strode onto the field like a  god of old. He stood at least 12 feet tall at the shoulders, and atop his head stood a crown of antlers too numerous to count. He was a Buck unlike any I have seen before and hope never to see again. Unlike his progeny he did not scream, but instead reared his head back and bellowed a low somber note that vibrated right down to my bowels and chilled my soul with it's depth.

I hefted my fallen son's machine gun, and with a feral cry of rage unloaded it's deadly ordinance into the beast. Round after round of high-velocity, Teflon-coated, .60 caliber ammunition sunk into that monster. There was no concept of time or sound. There was only myself, the Buck, and the plasma filled distance between. Finally I realized I was out of ammunition. But before I could reach for my  grenade launcher a deer was upon me. It was a little spike buck, but it attacked with the ferocity of a deer many years it's elder. I counted myself lucky that he hadn't grown his fangs yet, it instead bludgeoned me with it's razor sharp hooves. I fell to the ground under it's blows. I reached for my trusty foot and a half long bowie knife and my hand closed on bladed death.
I waited for it to drop it's verpine head and it did, intent on goring me with his small, yet deadly horns. I struck. The blade sunk hilt deep into brisket and with a strangled cough of blood it fell.  I looked up and the Buck was watching my plight with an astute eye. frantically I searched for my grenade launcher, but it was nowhere to be found. All around the others of the party were falling. The Sorensons had run out of ammo first and the deer set upon them like water filling a cavity. The Mastersons were holding steady, but they, like me,  had no illusions of survival. I looked to the Buck and to my horror saw it lower its head. I gripped the 0-second grenade and waited for the inevitable.

"Come on you son of a bitch, I've got something for you." I said

The Buck charged. The ground shook with the mighty crashing of it's hooves, a bass drum beat of doom. I silently wet myself. There was no shame in it, I was dead anyway. The Buck reached Jebediah first, a locomotive of horn and hoove impaled the poor boy like nothing I'd ever seen. The Buck paused to shake the boys body off of his antlers and ended up having to scrape him off on the ground. Cletus fired at the buck, but the weapon did nothing save annoy him. Fangs a foot in length sunk into Cletuse's body cavity and he too fell. Zed forsook convention and fell on the deer with his hunting knife, sinking it into his leg in a valiant but failed attempt to hamstring the monster. The Buck sunk his fangs in and threw Zek towards the tree line. Zek's head hit an oak and exploded, and the woods were silent save the pitter patter of Zeks brains raining onto the dew laden grass. The buck at last turned to me, and I saw my death reflected in his dead, black eyes. He charged and I waited to pull the pin.

It was just then that a miracle occurred. I couldn't tell you exactly what happened. There was a thought of motion, a streak of black, a sense of physics gone horribly awry. The Buck stood erect, looked very confused, and then his head separated from his neck without much issue. There was a brief pause before his biology was convinced of his lack of head, and then a great explosion of blood. The Buck fell, and the wood trembled with his falling.

And there stood the Samurai. A vision in black. A terrible and dark specter of death, his mighty sword a vision of finality. And then all was dark. I awoke near my house a time latter. I went to the place of the battle and there was nothing there but scorched grass and charred remains. I went back home and held my remaining children a little closer that night. I don't know whatever happened to the Samurai...but I hope never to see him again.

The Chronicles of Stanley Stenerson

Prologue: The Unfortunate Cleansing of Bagely.

The Cleansing of Bagely came at the order of Captain Donald Dorset, Second Battalion Army of the Alliance of Free Survivalists. The order was given as response to intelligence indicating the free exchange of supplies and services to a Mutant population approximately 28 miles south east. As the chance of inter-breeding was at 251 to 3 Captain Dorset sent three Squadrons of Orion battle suits to destroy the settlement and eliminate all indigenous personal with extreme prejudice. An Alliance representative had warned leading city elders as to the threat of retaliation should supplies be offered to the Mutant populace. There was no chance of civilization rebuilding itself if genetic disintegration was not brought to an abrupt halt. The strike, from confirmation to extraction lasted from 0700 to 1200. Units reported minimal resistance and a 100% kill confirmation was uploaded from their gun cameras. All in all a seasoning Captain Dorset felt the fairly green units required for the possibility of insurgent retaliation from resent expansion into the equatorial region. Points were awarded to three officers for their efficiency, and all involved received four hours of personal time. Captain Dorset went to bed that night with a sense of pride at the small part he had played in curbing Mutant growth in the region, and furthering the purity of the Alliance.

Stanley Stenerson reclined in his orange recliner, watching the flames of Bagely smolder from over 5 miles away. His hands were bloodied and broken. His eyes red with tears. His home was dark and silent. He had been tending his garden when the attack came. Transport ships ripped a direct path over him as he cultivated a portion of soil for tomatos. The shock wave from the crafts tropospheric deceleration shattered every window in his home, killed his dog Harley, and knocked him unconscious.

By the time he awoke several hours later he knew it was too late to help his family, but throttling up his pick-up he cared little. He had known the Alliance was keeping intelligence on his small town, but thought he had the time to root out their spy before the attack came. Generally a show of force from a smaller armored division was sufficient to bring a community into line. But all hope of a show of force disintegrated when Stanley saw the blast craters. Huge wounds torn into Highway 2 showed that a viscous bombing run began the attack, and procedurally all that could follow was a cleansing mission. The community of Bagely had nothing more than ancient small arms to defend themselves from the deer population. Small arms, and Stanley. But he hadn’t been fast enough. Competent enough. He had begged for his family to move out to his farmstead, but they had ardently refused. Saying it would be a waste of fuel and time. His son Jared, his wife, Rebecca, and their twin girls, Amanda and Angelica had lived happily in Bagely for ten years now. Avoiding disease and starvation. But they would none of them survive the alliance. Stanley tore into their broken home to retrieve their bodies. Tore with flesh he cursed for being to weak and slow to have made a difference.

He buried them together in his garden. His entire family. Any hope he had of redemption. The last of his love went into the rich black earth of a land once known as Clearwater. He buried them, and then went inside his white painted ranch home to consider his possibilities. He sat in his chair with two items at his side. A bottle of hard liquor, made from a still his son had tended for trade and leisure. And his Alliance issue energy pistol. A boxy, but reliable weapon with a fresh clip in the chamber, and the safety removed.

Did he have it in him to continue? He was so tired. So very tired. And then he thought of his Granddaughters playing in his fields. Under his watchful, careworn eyes. He looked at his bottle and the face that stared back at him had aged ten years in a day of sorrow. The sun was setting through the clouds of smoke over the horizon, and it was beautiful. Stanley had lived too long to believe in an afterlife. He had seen to much slaughter to believe in balance, or justice. But his slain kin deserved their share of blood. Standing on legs shaking with exhaust he made his way to his shed, and the slumbering demon-witch he kept asleep in it’s concrete bowels. Using winch and pulley, he raised the beast from it’s concrete tomb. Esmerelda. The only loved one left. Almost wishing the core to go critical he manipulated the fusion core to horrible life. Loading enough nutrient jell to keep him a month alive, and making sure the carbon scrubbers were still good he injected himself into the cockpit and sealed himself inside his armor. Wasting no time he locked in his sub-plasmatic cannons and leveled the storage shed around him. Giving coordinates to his navigational system and ensuring Esmerelda responded he began his journey westward. His family deserved a war, and Stanley Stenerson was going to deliver one.

Chapter 1; The Nukes of North Dakota.

Stanley Stenerson stormed over the wasteland of the Dakotas on wings of nuclear fire. Mechanical legs pumping with the speed of an automatic weapon. The Dakota region, once a bastion of fertility and beauty had been wracked by years of brutal armored and nuclear warfare. The scorched and radioactive earth afforded no life, save that of a few wondering mutants, and a few lonely guards posted on borders long forgotten. Stanley was currently in the northern region. Whereas the southern Dakotas were broken by mountains and valleys, the north was a dessert. Radiation had destroyed the vegetation that once held the rich topsoil to the rolling plains, now a choking red dirt swirled over acre after acre of desolate and deadly chaos.

Stanley Stenerson was piloting a Jordan-Type Sorenson-Hitacki Mark 3 Battle Suit. The progenitor of a forgotten line of designs, Jordan-Type armor was a throwback to the true artistry of battle armor technology. Unlike the sleek and insect like suits of the modern age, the Jordan was a stocky, simplistic, scroll worked juggernaut.  Unlike the molecularly-honeycombed carbon-fiber material preferred by most modern Armor Smiths for it’s light weight and durability, the Jordan was armored and constructed with a titanium-uranium micro-weave. The process of molecularly bonding titanium and depleted uranium was as time consuming as it was cost ineffective, but the result was a nigh-indestructible alloy that absorbed both kinetic and plasmatic energy with startling resilience. The negative side was that it’s weight was unqualified.
Modern Power Suits, including the ever popular Orion Line, and the less expensive, but most user friendly Walton Type armor use Exo-Hydroponic Shells as a means of locomotion. It’s a design process accredited to an Ichthyologist and MIT graduate named Gregory Samson. Through studies of insects and modern engineering techniques, Samson created a suit (then used for industrial purposes) that transferred pressure from separate liquid filled casements to expand and contract overlapping segments of an armored suit. It was a design that would eventually make obsolete the work of Rodan Jordan, a French botanist, mechanic, Bon Vivant, and former member of the French foreign legion.

Jordan’s designs were retroactive of French Armor Smithing in the late 13th century. His use of unconventional design and application resulted in a mobile battlesuit that though difficult to use, was nonpareil on the battlefield. It’s power source was an issue of supreme controversy. At the time fusion power was in it’s relative infancy, but Jordan believed that through miniaturization of the reaction a fusion chain could be used to power the suit. Despite censure from the world alliance, and admonishment from his peers, working together with Nuclear Physicist Jesse Sorenson, the first Fusion Powered Jordan-Class Armor came online October 10th 2099. Despite the obvious superiority of Jordan-Type Armor, because of Rodan’s refusal to sell designs to firms promising mass production, in the modern era only a handful of his works of deadly art remain. Stanley Stenerson considered himself lucky to be owned by just such a machine. Rodan Jordan would have liked Stanley Stenerson.

Stanley Stenerson sat astride his nuclear kill machine and stared out over the vast wasteland of Bismarck, North Dakota. Bismarck wasn’t much to look at before the Apocalypse, and now, it had just gone from bad to worse. Bleached Skeletons littered the highway. A stream of North Dakotans bent on getting the hell out of town when the nuke crispy fried them with Radioactive Super-Magnetic Energy. The effect was not dissimilar to placing a living hamster in a microwave, turning the beast on 4-Lb potato and watching the spectacle in stop-motion over the next few hours of agonizing hamster-death. Blessedly the initial wave generally caused instantaneous oblivion. Rather that than pissing and shitting your guts out over the next few days in the outlands. Or hope that through some blessing of nature you mutated into something that could survive the affair.

Stanley Dis-Engaged the cockpit and stepped out into the wasteland. replete in his Micro-Helixed Ceramite Body Shell.  He Cocked his M-4, strapped the sumbitch to his leg and began the slow walk into the center of town. With the errant dance of Finger on Wrist-Control-Panel Stenerson slid his Jordan’s Cockpit closed and began an automated self-destruct sequence. If Stanley died in the vicinity of radio range (AKA Planet Earth) his heart beat, Wet-Wired into a small access port on his left arm, and broadcast through either a Sub-Dermal transmitter or direct band connection, would activate the count down to the Fusion Reaction Burst, and destroy the world. The Jordan would expend it’s entire Energy-Supply blasting itself into sub orbit and using a fissile reaction to start the atmosphere on fire, blowing air away from this planet like oh so much cold gas. All life would cease instantly, and the forces of cosmic balance would be restored.

Stanley was a hard person to kill. There were many who had tried. Like so many pilgrims they came, drawn by a name that had inspired fear and respect among the planets last real warriors. They stood before Stenerson and demanded he defend his honor, and time and time again Stanley had fed the Earth with their blood. Making the world a more peaceful place, one victim at a time. Stanley had no illusions of survival in his formative years working for the Alliance. Throttling high speed craft into the center of the most nightmarish combat shit storms the world had ever faced. Traveling at MACH 10 in a huge cone. Breathing jelly so your lungs don’t explode all over the cabin. Arriving to a destination vibrantly brought to your view screen in real time. Broadcast over the ever changing sky, so choked with satellites and aircraft that it was a nightly fire works show of horrific proportions. Exploding transport craft cascading over mountain tops. Huge showers of Sparks that here-to-fore was known to all as Bravo-Company 3278. Oh to be a child again.

Stanley Stenerson Strode into the center of Bismarck on a mission. There was an Alliance Base built over one of the few remaining Nukes in North Dakota. There would be men here he would kill. And kill well.

Chapter 2; Ceramite Vengeance:

It was a mistake to call Stanley Stenerson a revenger. Though his family lay cold and dead in the rich black earth of Bagely, Stanley’s motives were not for vengeance. Vengeance is a romantic notion that brings visions of finality. A catharsis brought from the pained deaths of those responsible for your suffering. Stanley would not be happy with mere vengeance. He was out for genocide. The deliberate, cold, and thorough demolition of every person ever associated, related, or concerned with the Alliance of Free Survivalists. From the lowliest Private, unaware of his position in the grander scheme, to the general that ordered the violation and decimation of his home and family. He would act backed not by God, destiny, righteousness, or even his own conscience, but from an unfathomable void situated betwixt his shoulder blades. A void that demanded holocaust. And as we know, nature abhors a void.

Bismarck was poorly guarded for a reason. No one outside of a class-3 environmental suit had a life expectancy of about 5 hours in Bismarck, and most of greater North Dakota. In it’s hey-day the state had been the worlds third largest nuclear power. Thermo-Nuclear Inter-Continental Ballistic missiles dotting the bleak grassy landscape like so many rest stops. A missile in every silo and a kitten in every kettle. Atomic Half-life of blown dust and saturated brick and such meant that in another...oh...800 years or so North Dakota would return to a relatively safe place to have a picnic. But not today.

Since Class-3 Enviro-Suits were scarce, the small squad relegated to the protection of the 800 megaton super enriched anti-proton nuclear device was a formality more than anything. There were few places on the planet safer. Perhaps the bottom of the sea. Or the Underground Tunnels of West Wyoming, where even now a long forgotten second generation of government officials, artists, movie stars and gourmands awaited the day to emerge unto a virtual Eden. Or at least as far as they knew.
The cityscape was more or less non-existent. Piles of rubble and the occasional pile of twisted metal from some god-awful vehicle or another. Stanley needed little stealth, but utilized it regardless. Decades of training taking over his reasoning. As mentioned before he wore his ceramite exo-skeleton. A smaller, more vulnerable, unpowered suit of armor that would repel all small arms fire, and energy rounds up to 10 Kilojoules. Not nearly as awe-inspiring as Esmerelda, but certainly less noisy. Protocol for an attack dictated that the guards around the bunker immediately seal the only entrance and radio for back up. At Mach-10, from their hot seats to falling on Stanley he would have around 10 minutes to crack open an impenetrable vault, retrieve the nuclear device and put at least 300 Kilometers between himself and ten or so squads of Orion Battle Armor if he had any hope of success.

As this was an impossibility from all angles, Stanley had to use a different tactic. Stanley activated his stealth mode, a jamming signal that would discourage satellite isolation, as well as interfere with any motion tracking they may have, and, seeing his objective was close, began a low crawl over the rubble.

He peered around a pile of bricks and concrete and saw the bunker. Nothing more than a ten by ten meter concrete enclosure guarded by two men. There would be a third inside the bunker, and they would rotate out one man every 5 hours. They were wearing standard issue alliance light-armor. A series of Kevlar coated carbon-fiber plates and inter-cooling body gloves that provided less protection in lieu of more comfort and flexibility. Both men outside the heavy blast door of the bunker we armed with M-1 Energy Rifles, with anti-armor grenade launching undercarriages. Stanley’s M-4 was a superior Energy rifle in that it had 2 killi-julles of power on them, which increased his effective range by 1,000 yards or so. His refractors were calibrated personally, which gave it the deadly accuracy Stanley demanded of all his equipment. The rifle had a Wireless Uplink to his helmet and as Stanley quietly loosed it from his leg he was greeted with a Heads-Up display giving tactical information, range, a wide assortment of light and heat filters, and even more options Stanley had, by now,  forgotten the point of . The technology had advanced leaps and bounds over the millennia. But the game was still the same. The rules of the hunt still applied. Stanley hunkered down and waited for his opportunity.
Meanwhile, in Seattle, Captain Donald Dorset was enjoying a well earned cup of coffee while reviewing intelligence reports from the eastern quadrant. There was a brief beep.
“Enter” said Captain Dorset.
Lieutenant Hagen entered the room and saluted. The Captain returned the salute.
“At ease Lieutenant, what is it?” asked Dorset, sipping gingerly at his cup of coffee.
“Sir...” The Lieutenant shifted nervously unsure of how to proceed.
“Go on Lieutenant, what is it?” asked Dorset, growing impatient.
Years of training kicked in and the Lieutenant began to recite the briefing he had received from a Sat-Com Tech-Sergeant moments earlier.
“Sir, the 1700 refresh and upload of Sat-Com bouy 143 surveying the damage of the sector battalion 56 cleansed at 0700 revealed a disturbing radiological anomaly. Preliminary tracing of spectrographs over a cross section of fusion reactors suggests that a...a Jordan class Battle-Suit has been activated.”
Captain Dorset set down his coffee and gave the Lieutenant his undivided attention.
“How clear was the sampling of the fusion spectrograph?” asked Dorset.
“We are within 87% of confirmation...and...we have some footage.”
“Cue it up.” said Dorset.
The Lieutenant pulled out his chip-set and inserted it into Dorset’s desktop viewer. The Sat-Com footage was blurry, and distant. But the shape that passed within the tracking window was unmistakable to Dorset. It was a Jordan-Class to be sure. And it had to be Stenerson piloting it.
“Damn” said Dorset, “raise alert level to 7, get Sat-Com realigned to cover all projected trajectories and get scouting units patrolling a perimeter of 500 kilometers outside the base.”
“Sir!” Lieutenant Hagen saluted sharply and went to exit.
“And Lieutenant?” said Captain Dorset gravely “This is not a drill.”
Stanley was waiting. He had consumed his nutrient dosage for the day intravenously, but had neglected to supplement it with enhancement drugs. He tried to steer clear of the juice unless absolutely necessary, in addition he believed that it generally made him jittery. The two guards had been standing for four hours now, statuesque. No doubt there was radio chatter between them and their interior post, but with all the interference around Stanley didn’t even want to bother eavesdropping. It would give him a valuable heads up when the third came out to rotate, but Stanley was above such subterfuge. It was a straight hunt that would end in a straight kill.

It all happened very quickly. The bunker door slid open with a groan Stanley could hear even through his helmet, and a third guard appeared in the threshold, prepared to relieve one of the two men. Stanley saw this happen through at 10 times magnification, and without pause squeezed off a plasma round into the relief guards face plate.

The report of plasma weaponry is unmistakable. The intricate workings, and inner physics of a plasmatic reaction is very complex, but the theory is simple. Using a superconducting rail gun to fire a compressed projectile of sub-fissile material at several times the speed of sound. The size of the material is no larger than a grain of sand, but the acceleration, combined with the density, make it an unstoppable needle of force. A force that, in the void of space, could be easily repaired on the hull of a ship. Even on a human the impact would be akin to being pierced with a syringe. Unpleasant, but not deadly. However, when released in any amount of atmosphere, the friction of the projectile, by design, creates a plasma-trail akin to the tail on a comet. It is not the material itself that killed the third guard, but the ten or so inches of pure plasma that followed it that caused his death. The bolt penetrated through his head with little issue, and the resulting heat popped his skull like a kernel of corn. His body collapsed with the crunching, unnatural effort afforded a man in armor dying instantly.

Immediately the blast door, reading a personnel malfunction from the main computer, attempted to close shut. Stanley’s timing assured that the light but functional armor of his opponent stopped the blast door from closing completely. Stanley had no time to appreciate this however, since he was drawing a bead on the Guard to the Right. The Guard to the Right, as Stanley had known him for four or so hours now, wasn’t entirely sure what had happened, and as he reached for his rifle, another of Stanley’s Plasma rounds popped his head as well. Guard to the Left had the presence of mind to turn on his radio before technology, physics, and the iron cold vengeance of a Post-Apocalyptic-Grandfather-Gone-Mad tore his body into two confused and dying pieces.

Guard on the Left had been killed slow because Stanley needed a heartbeat out of one of them. Self-Destruct sequences begin when 100% of the stations personnel no longer read as active. Currently 33.3% of the 100% was operating at 50%. Stanley had laid a swath of fire into Guard on the Lefts midsection.  The result was Guard on the Lefts internal organs sizzling like bacon-ends in a wok, but his light but functional armor kept him, to the outside observer, in one piece. Readouts were taken, endorphins administered, and as Guard on the Left collapsed, his tongue released the radio controls. He began to die, but certainly slower than his two felled companions.

Stanley leapt to his feet, and immediately regretted it. The Endo-Battle suit offered him no powered assistance. When you were within the Jordan, hydraulics and servos moved you faster and with more power than you could ever believe. With nothing more than an armored suit on, no matter how light, getting up was a chore. Especially for a man who had suffered as many wounds over the years as Stanley Stenerson. Stanley cursed his failing body and began a light jog to the compound. Using his wrist computer he summoned Esmerelda to his side. An internal klaxon let him know she was inbound. As he gingerly stepped over the corpse of the soldier unwillingly, and unwittingly holding the door for him, Stanley began to examine what he was set to do, and wondered if it could ever be possible.
After hardwire resequencing the self-destruct from a terminal inside the bunker, Stanley entered the single, massive elevator and descended into the compound proper. Like an iceberg the small bunker was only a small fraction of the underground compound. Below were 12 racks of Inter-Continental Thermo Nuclear Ballistic Missiles. Each device was capable of escaping the surly bonds of earth in 20 seconds, and after attaining orbital re-entry coordinates from Sat-Com Buoys unleash a thermo-nuclear or Neutron Burst explosion capable of leveling approximately 100 square miles of earth.

Hen Butter Sammich

Bobby made himself a hen-butter sandwich and sat on his pile of dirt. Mama was too pregnant to walk and screamed from her dirt mound.

“Bobby! Eat quick and come sing Mama a song!”

Bobby sighed and sunk his hand into a jar of meat-pickles and dreamed of a blanket.
Bobby brought Mama choke-cherry on toast and what was left of the hen-butter. It would be cracklins for supper. Bobby worried about his father out there. He remembered Daddy was a crack shot with his JK .357’s, but he lost something ever since Johnny got ova-possited and Grandpa blew the nest.
Meanwhile, in the woods, Daddy was off trying his best to keep the deer population in check. Their hives were getting larger and their brains larger. It’s a fascinating and terrifying thing to see deer build a mound. Buck-Drones massing twigs and forest bedding into huge piles. In recent years mounds were found reaching for the tree line. Buck-Drones were a self-replicating strain of deer equipped with a massive shovel like pair of antlers and razor sharp hooves. Their 3” Fangs which were significantly smaller than the Buck-Warrior’s 4-6” Venom-Filled mandibular spurs.
Daddy had his rifle slung and his JereCo K-Works .357’s in hand. Fully Automatic Center-Fed Revolvers. Carbon-Fiber Hollow point tips to ensure optimum shredding.

PANYC; Ms. Sugar’s Snake Problem.

Conrad was tooling through the hydroponics lab when the alarm went off. A less than graceful trip through two hermetically sealed doors and one ion shower and he was in the lobby of the Beacon where Duke was loading up his .357 Chain-Fed and getting into comfortable shoes.

"Dr. Sholes?" Conrad asked.

"It's like I'm walking on clouds."

"What is it this time?" asked Conrad in regards to the rather unpleasant siren.

"Eh...something nutty is bothering Ms. Sugar." said Duke, operating his triple-cock fail-safe and chewing on some beef jerky. "Is that beef jerky?"


"Someday you'll tell me where you get the gourmet shit."

"Oh this is home made."

"Seeing as how we don't have a smoke house or beef I'll let you hold onto that little secret." Duke eyed his beef jerky.

Shrugging, he got back to his loading and chewing.

"You're sure she's not just comlaining about the heat?" Conrad was selecting some weapons from the collection Duke had brought out.

"Nah. She was rather demure on the phone."

"Well that means it's serious."

"Yeah. Better grab the snake." Conrad sighed and using a keypad, let himself into the luggage room.

Having a luggage room in a post-apocalyptic hotel is a dual edged sword. On the one hand you can get stuck with hundreds of pounds of clothing that has to be burned after guests get themselves kidnapped, gunned down, exploded or eaten. On the other hand there are some more levelheaded tourists that prepare for the worst. As a result when the claim ticket shows up "KIA" sometimes when you take the American Tourister down to the incinerator you luck out with a grenade, sub-machine gun, penicillin, spike-knuckled trench knife, porn, drugs, or the occasional piece of body armor that should have been worn for the late owners stroll through the park.Combine that with the fact that tourism had dropped recently with the tighter security on the Holland Tunnel, and the luggage room had become more of a second armory. It was there that Conrad removed a small plastic case containing the snake and a reasonably large semi-auto shotgun.

"We need anything else?" shouted Conrad

"Maybe a grenade or two..." said Duke, "Just in case this gets fun."

“Plumbing on the fritz? Drains seem clogged? Giant mutant snakes erupting into your bathroom? Sounds like you need the Ronco Mark III Utility Snake, the most reliable counter-measure to your mutant snake problems. The Ronco Utility Snake, guaranteed to kill the snakes without killing your wallet.”

-Ronald M. Popeil promotional video.

“When your mutant snake problem gets out of control you have but three choices. Get bit, get dead, or get the Snake.”

-Quaddle Von Popeil IV

“Billy tossed an entire bottle of Drano onto them and...well that just disturbed their subterranean nest-egg...they were bullet proof or something. One snake would turn into hundreds. Fortunately Billy wasn’t bullet proof. No one should have to die like that.”

- Local Victim Serial Number 45832

The device itself is a small metallic death spring that when triggered actively pursues a water source and erupts towards its heated central core. For instance: You get an infestation of bullet proof Rock Snake Genus: Crotalus lepidus klauberi ad Mettalicum crawling out of your toilet. Simply remove the Ronco Utility Snace from waterproof case, pull firing pin, throw towards center mass and this little swimming grenade tears it’s way into your pipe network and eradicates everything in its path. Blows a shot of poinsoned magnesium  into the boiler and then dies. The perfect mobile buzz-saw.

“God Bless you Ronald M. Popeil...and may your soul languish in hell until we meet.” Conrad says as he looks to Duke.

“I never knew you for a praying man Conrad.” Duke says, sinking [street fucking] a 12” Black Knife into his utility boot.

Conrad silently nods and triple cocks his shottie.

“One of these days we’re going to have to die Duke. It’s just the way of things. You or Ior both of us will one day oer-reach our boundaries and one of these roving packs of Cyborg-Skyscraper-Pirates ... or... Para-Ninja...or...Subway dwelling Mutant-Rat people or ...ooof.[Grunt]”

Duke knows from the grunt that Conrad is all fucked up on some horrible drug. As long as he doesn’t turn.

“Pull yourself together man.” Duke just hopes the snakes don’t snap Conrad’s currently fragile sense of reality.

The thought makes Duke laugh out loud. Reality is such a ludicrous outdated concept.

The elevator door opens and they are on the 5th floor. Ms. Sugar’s door is at the end of the hall. Boot steps on floorboards waking up the elderly and mutating. The door is therein a flash, our heroes casually sporting coats and suspenders, shotguns and knives. Sporty, svelt, and sassy they swagger up to Ms. Sugars door. Duke slaps the doorbell and there’s Ms. Sugar, a 4” slice of her peering through the gap, munching on her toothless gums.

“You always chain your door Ms. Sugar and I sure appreciate it.” says Duke, trying his best to be calm. “Now did I hear right and you told Minnie there was a-”

Duke slaps open his billfold and regards his notes which resemble nothing more than some childish doodles:

“A [Ahem] a ‘Big damned snake nest’ is that correct Ms. Sugar?”

Ms. Sugar nods several of her chins and wordlessly shuts the door.

“It always has to be snakes...” Conrad sighs, clenching and unclenching his jaw.

The door swings open and Ms. Sugar hurls herself into Dukes arms. All he can do is catch her and utter a “Wooof”.

“There there Ms. Sugar. I brought my shotgun,” says Conrad in hopes of providing comfort.

“Is it triple-cocked son?” asks Ms. Sugar, her fat and sagging jowls working around the words like a true Mother of Texas.

“Is it ever, Ma’am. Is it ever.” Conrad assures her putting on his happiest ready-to-die-smile.

Ms. Sugar looks into the room and then glances back at the wide-grinned scatter-gun-wielding bad-ass before continuing;

“Before you kick open the bathroom door ya otter toss a few more shells into it if you can hold onto it sonny bout a hard candy?”

“I think he’s had quite enough, thank you.” says Duke, smelling death through the Vicks Vapo-Rub.

Duke looks at her neck briefly before diagnosing the impending cause of death. An inconspicuous neck wound among a rash like pussy sore at the base of the neck.

Conrad asks the question: “...she bit?”

“Oh yes.” Duke responds.

“Ms.’ve been a wonderful tenant.” says Conrad “Who’s it going to be?”

Ms. Sugar points quickly at Duke.

Duke silently nods, kisses Ms. Sugar gently on the complex terrain of her forehead, and wasting no time tosses her down the incinerator chute. There is the briefly wondrous sound of a giddy Ms. Sugar sliding into the bowels of The Beacon and then nothing.

“Damnit...she never complained about the heat...remained relatively continent...never turned into a massive fanged mutant intent on impregnating us with it’s larva...we lost a good tenant today Conrad.”

Conrad silently nods and makes his way down the hall. Duke who removes and cocks his pistols and casually asks Conrad:

“She made a reasonable suggestion. How many times can you cock that thing?”

“Well...12 maybe...I dunno. I’d rather not to be quite honest as I think right now it will merely dislocate my shoulder. I toss a few more shells in the chamber and it’s likely to remove my arm. Besides, how many snakes can there be?”

It's a question Duke does not want to answer:

“Let’s clean the bathroom.”

Conrad stands in front of the ugly blue bathroom door of Ms. Sugars one room apartment. The room smells of Vicks and Malto-Meal. Duke has pistols at the ready as Conrad raises a foot to kick in the bathroom. Crunch of wood and they are in.

So many snakes. So very many snakes. Instantly waist deep sort of snakes; kick, Wrwoolp [slither] and then belly button deep in writhing, fanged, pissed-off snake. There is an urge to scream, but it’s tough to work out a good one when there are dozens of reptiles communing around your patent leather belt. Pull of firing pin, spray of shotgun, flechette three round burst of machine pistol. Snakes shouldn't scream should they?

A Chase.

Blood was pumping through her veins as she threw herself around the corner. Broken nails scraped over brick to slow her deceleration and her small frame landed against the wall with a slight thump. Her feet were bloody bare and ragged, her implausible shoes forsaken for her bare flesh on the pavement. Her skirt clung to her as she gasped the cold night air into her lungs. She was loud, but she could not silence her desperate need for oxygen. He was behind her and gaining fast. She was weak and he was strong, and her only hope was to keep moving. But air was so nice. She gently slipped down the wall and squatted in the alley, hands cradling fevered face.
The sound of boot-heels on pavement and she was on her weary feet. Ready to flee. Was it him? Who else would it be? She willed her weary legs to action and they began pumping down the alley towards whatever sanctuary she could find. In movies it was always the lone woman fleeing the sinister man through a crowd and she had always wondered why there was fear? Stop and ask the nearest group of honest looking people to protect you and the chase was over. There would be questions of course, but despite the jaded nature with which she approached the universe she knew that a crowd of people would protect a frantic, bloodied woman fleeing a sinister man. They would calm her and give her water and lay her down and defend her to their dying light. But there were no crowds on these streets. Only darkness, and skittish alley cats fleeing the ruckus, and pale yellow street light entertaining the moths and illuminating frantic shadows in flight. Garish and long and flickering.
She did not know him. Did not know his name or his occupation. Place of birth. Favorite color. She did  not know his reason for pursuing her, nor the ends to which he would follow. She did not know if he was sent or if he was motivated by sadism. She did not know what he would do if he caught her. Rape? Murder? Torture? All of that and more? Her only impetus was the cold clacking of his boots on the pavement. Steady and cold and crisp. A time clock ticking away her life. And still he pursued.
Her body would not maintain this pace for much longer. She wished she could scream, but the air she had in her was needed to fuel the legs. The legs provided escape, and escape provided life. For however longer it would last. She had no weapons. Only her skirt and her jacket and ID. Just enough for the police to identify her as someone she was not. In her fevered mind she pictured her body in the lake. Placid and chilled and pale. Bloodless and open eyed and rotting.
The cramp struck her side and her pace slowed. She grasped her side and lost her stride and what little breath she could spare was left to inhale. There were no people. There were no saviors, no white knight, nor saving light. There was only the inevitability of her collapse and the acceptance of her end. Her shoulder struck a dumpster and she spun wildly out of control. Meat strikes pavement cushioned by designer velour and on the ground lays the woman, gasping and clutching and unable to scream. And there is only the sound of her desperate breath and the steady click clack of boots approaching.
She is a fish at the bottom of a boat. She is the newborn fawn unable to stand. She is a butterfly just out of chrysalis, unable to fly and unable to see. And the boots are upon her, ready to stomp and drag and disappear.
She cannot see. She is unable to open her eyes to the horror of her end. Tears run down her face and unto the street. They clutter in the cracks and find the easiest path into the soil beneath. She can only think of her end and a profound desire for her mother (despite all stereotypes) and how she wishes she had stayed home and finished her book and had some sleepy time tea and gotten up early in the warm safe light of day.
And as she thinks all of this the boots approach and are there. A slight scraping and they are mere feet away and the power to open her eyes has lost her and she can only continue to pray to a god she does not believe in and convince herself it is all a dream that will be over all to soon, smell of her bedroom and sweaty sheets and a drink of luke-warm bedside water. There is the sound of something falling. A crunching crinkling that is familiar but foreign, and then the sound of boot-steps in retreat.
Her breath is easier, but she is lost. She does not know what has just happened and where she is and why she is there. Her eyes blink open and adjust to the pale yellow light of the alley, blinking away tears that play tricks with contacts and sweat that stings and burns. And for a time she cannot understand what she is looking at. And for a time she thinks she is crazy. A bouquet of daisies is in front of her, wrapped in yellow plastic. Brilliant white daisies fresh and beautiful and there, feet away from her fevered brow. She can feel the coolness of the flowers on her face, as if they have just been removed from the case.

The Ultimate Badass Blues.

It’s tough being The Ultimate Bad-Ass. Nothing but work really. An endless stream of challenges and challengers. An ever flowing line of punks geeks and posers out to make a name for themselves. I think I may have blown my damned rotator-cuff scaling a building earlier this week in search of drugs and women [don’t ask]. Does that mean I’m not going to thumb out your eye while I work your gut with my good hand? Hell no. Being a Bad-Ass isn’t a 9 to 5 sort of gig. It’s a way of life. Late afternoon alarms disregarded to allow for healing time. Breakfasts of hard liquor and dinners of hard women. It’s all about abusing yourself more than the next guy. Once you accept that your body is the enemy the borders of what you can and cannot destroy dissolve. I once headbutted a cow. Killed the sad bastard.

A while back some local up and coming film maker thought it would be funny to run off  “I Took Down The Ultimate Bad-Ass.” T-shirt’s. Some sick bastard named Coop who knew I couldn’t let something like that go without issue. He handed them out to unwitting street kids and local radio personalities. Gave them to Satanic Church-Goers and playground meth-heads. Slipped them in the mail slots of homes for the developmentally disabled. He then planted hidden cameras in the vortex of the shit-storm and planned on cashing in on the footage. 90% of the time when I explained who I was and what I would do the owner of the shirt they were more than willing to remove it or simply let me spraypaint them. The other 10%...well. Let’s just say I’m not expecting an X-mas card from Lincoln Elementary. When I finally caught up with Coop he was already working sales angles with Spike. He will be crapping in a bag attached to his hip for the rest of his life.

You can’t even trust family not to slip a blade in when you’re not looking. Make themselves into local heroes for single-handedly dethroning the tyrant king of the north. Just the other morning I had to stab my Grandmother as she served me Decon-flapjacks. Nothing in the torso. Just a little poke on the hand to make sure it didn’t happen again. She put the derringer next to the syrup knowing full well I knew she was packing. She’d been eyeing the back of my neck with hunger. She was hoping to Lenny me and get the front page. I can read the headline now; “Ultimate Bad-Ass Capped By Granny.” That’s the sort of shit Leno lives for.

I very nearly killed a woman with a pineapple. She was hired she-meat for a local dealer who didn’t like how I paid in teeth that weren’t always gold. He thought it would be funny to get the most sick/twisted Typhoid Mary in his harem and send her my way. He thought, as many have, that a little puss shooting out my pee-hole would put me off my game. Cock-pain is like an ultra-roid that tears it’s way to your ears via the spine. White lightning that makes you shiver with unholy power. The stupid girl had the audacity to return to my door with a needle and a bottle while I was carving some pineapple [it’s a miracle cure for prostrate related infections]. I had the choice of going after her with the cleaver or the fruit. She got off lucky.

Next week I’m taking on the junior varsity women’s hockey team. Their captain had the audacity to call me a misogynist after a particularly spirited spanking. She no doubt believed that just because I have a cock that can split rock I can’t pick up a book now and again. Misogynist? Those are fighting words. What I am is an equal opportunity ass-kicker. I will make your rectum distend from gut kicks regardless of your age, gender, faith, race, or personal handicap. There is only one division I see in this world; Me and Them. Next week “Them” is about 24 well-built 15 to 18 year old girls with sticks and angst. I’m gonna get Coop to film this one for posterity. He owes me a favor.



I begin my tale with hands bloody and shaken to but one end. Precaution is my intend, and truth is my tool. Though my own life may close as a tome read but once, the fated ills that have befallen me could have been prevented with but the most meager of compromises. The most simple of promises maintained, and the most obvious of pitfalls avoided. Heed then my words, and all will not have been suffered for and endured in futility. I will meander no further. Allow us to begin.

 Chapter 1: Bellagio.

I returned to Bellagio, the place of my birth, in the spring of my twenty third year. I had spent several years in study and play residing in Gramercy. My most recent vocation had been the guardsmen of an inn, a role that demanded more of my patience than my strength. Prior this employ I had attempted to enlist in an active brigade of the military, but my weak skin and relatively inconsequential service record dictated that upon my return I was assigned to the Bellagio Merchant Guard. A pedantic and monotonous assignment I felt sure would drive me insane with boredom. Still, it was home, and a living wage, and I could ask for little more. Having squandered my opportunities for an education at the Academy on drink and revelry.

As I stepped out of the carriage I was given a warm welcome by a colored and varied assortment of family and friends. I inhaled deeply of the crisp, cold spring air, and of the fond remembered loved ones not seen for far too long. We dined on grilled meats and hearty bread and I shared stories of the vandals and rascals of Gramercy. Of my misadventures. Of heroes and legends that I walked among by virtue of living in so vast and fantastic a city.

After my sojourn into the city, I was at last home. Bellagio. Cold and welcoming Bellagio. The deep green lake that gave the town it's name. The stonework bridges, the dirt packed streets. The cleansing blanket of an unpredicted February snow. I will admit to some regret in my return. I had imagined fabulous fame and wealth had waited for my in Gramercy. Fortune around every turn, and opportunity crossing the street like a leprous beggar. But the truth was Gramercy had offered me little more than a useless education at the Academy, debtors I hoped to flee from, and a sense that life was far less spectacular than my imagination would have it be.

I had not left empty handed however. I had made grand friends within the cities walls. For when united under the misconception of impending glory, we are made more than brothers. We are made children in the self-same womb of disregard. I had returned to begin anew. To return to my family. To my compatriots. To retreat. Had I known the end result I would have gladly died in Gramercy. Another drunk to the pile. Another floater on the river. Alas, precognition is not a talent I may control, and had I know the truths of my future who could know my actions and my feelings?
That being said, it was a happy time of my life. Oblivious of the challenges and consequences that awaited me at every turn. I was myself. And I was whole. And despite war, famine and death, I was a part of the team. And that meant more than anything could. A return home is a bittersweet one when not carried on ones shield, or with laurels to greet you.

 Chapter 2: The Bellagio Merchant Guard

The barracks was a stagnant pit of such smells and ill-humors as to gag a starving goat. Men urinated and defecated on the floor at their leisure, and the courtesy was to throw a pile of sand/peanut shells/crackers unto the offended portion of hard-wood. I had the luck to bunk with a certain Private Edward Oakley, a gentleman, a drinker, and a brawler of such gigantic generosity and good nature, that upon beating every tooth from the head of his opponent, he would often graciously render him a blow of such ferocity as to remove any further attempt at consciousness/resistance. Private Oakley came from the far north. A barren tundra meant to test Gods theories on mankind’s tolerance of the weather. It should also bear mentioning that his hair was (and we shall come to the 'was' later) profuse on every portion of his body save the glistening spotless skin that stretched about his massive skull.

Edward and myself became fast friends almost instantly. A mutual trust and admiration for one another’s respect and regard became the foundation of true Brothers at Arms. Or what little Arms we could be to a Merchant Army. Our entire lives revolved around the tedious nature of distributing the nations goods unto the people requiring it. For a nominal tax. And truth be told, we were also the most savage and uncompromising combatants of our day.

We worked in teams of five riders. Our instructions were clear; receive payment, and if non- existent, or unavailable, protocol was quite clear. Kill the father and the first born, and return to base. We certainly did not enjoy our jobs. As the "Sergeant Five of Collection Team Seven", it was my job to ensure no one enjoyed it. Killing men for a living is dirty work that wears on the soul after a time, though before returning to Bellagio I will confess I had killed no more than five. Under Dueling Clauses and strict adherence to the "Gramercy Book of the Duel" I prevailed and was acquitted on all counts. Receiving nothing more or less than a nominal fine, a punctured Pancreas, a lacerated bicep, and a 20% loss of vision in my right eye.

It has always been the Pancreas that has caused me the most worry and frustration. As a result of my metabolism I must consume no less than a cup of cane sugar daily. That sounds all well and good until you're sugaring your meat sandwich like a fiend. Oh, you try to claim it's salt, but the hideous grinding sound can tell no lies. You are ruining a perfectly good meat sandwich with 2 tablespoons of sugar and Catsup. But time is short. Let me not bore you. Had I an alternate employ I would certainly have chosen to perform home deliveries, as I love babies, and am a frightful good catch. But having never completed a vocation successfully, I had resigned myself to this mediocre life until such time that, grain flail, wood axe, rough hewn sickle, or tenure retired me.

 Chapter 3: Beatrix Joy.

My first introduction to Beatrix Joy would not be until after I had witnessed her from afar. Breaking the monotony of potato inventory (counting tubers should be a punishment reserved for rapists and spies) my dear friend Algernon Black had enticed me into the city proper to take in a show. It's title fails me at the moment, but it's content shall always be remembered as the single most horrid performance I had ever witnessed. The writing was bland and predictable, the songs were off key, and both lyrics and dialogue were butchered with equal and unparalleled abandon.
I had all but walked from the Auditorium screaming when Algernon enticed me to stay.

"You must remain dear friend, my dearest Beatrix is performing and you simply must see her."

I was doubtful that anything less than an honest to God Valkerie descending on plumes of flame from the heavens could save this performance, but Algernon was an honest and good man, and I could not leave him to this horror alone. And then I saw her.
Though not descending from a plume of flame. It was as if the pale yellow limelight thrummed to life at the dulcet and crystal tones of her voice. The fidgeting and idle whispering that partners such a horrible performance transformed into a bare and open stage of silence, and on this stage Beatrix Joy danced and swirled with words and songs and motions that enchanted and delighted. She was a fair skinned woman of modest height and build. The tasteful black dress she wore revealed only the slightest hint of shapely legs. Her lips were full and to watch her sing was to watch her full lips negotiate with tooth and tongue like a master arbitrator. Her hair was black as a raven, but when the light played over it (just so) hints of auburn surrounded her like a halo. But what struck me then, as even now, years later, were her eyes. A dark and tumultuous shade of blue, like a foreboding sky pregnant with storm and wind.

After her exit there was a thunderous (and I daresay surprised) applause from an audience grateful for a ray of brilliance erupting from the pile of dung that was the performance preceding and following. As we left the theater I turned to Algernon and subtly began my interrogation. But I am not a master of my emotions, and through my subtle inquiries my friend found the root of my desire and arranged a meeting with Beatrix for later that week. My heart raced at the prospect, and I retreated into the night with Hope at my side, and a song in my heart.

 Chapter 4: Wooing.

Algernon was kind enough to arrange a meeting with Beatrix later that week. She was charged with procuring several articles and sundries for the Bellagio Academy Art Department and would take her lunch at Queens Ices on the mall. Algernon and I approached the Ice house with buckles fastened and swords hung low. In our uniforms we were the roguish examples of men of action, if not honor. Algernon spoke first as Beatrix rested a glass of sugared ice from the sweet seduction of her glistening lips.
"Allow me to introduce to you, dear friend, to the supremely talented Beatrix Joy."
I bowed quickly and briefly, making my best attempt to seem gallant and not entirely foolish.
"I heard you sing the other night. It was lovely." I heard myself say, my own words sounding strange and forced.
But something in my voice had captured her attention and she asked:
"Did you like the performance?"
And my habit of lying fell aside me as I replied:
"No. It was horrible."
-there was a swift inhale of breath, the pregnant silence that precedes unpleasantness-
"-but you were lovely."
And then the air was filled with the most delightful and free laughter I had ever heard. Bubbling from this woman the rich and warming sing-song of laughter my soul had craved for so very long. I could live a lifetime with that laugh, I thought, as Algernon and I sat and ordered cold drinks. We sat and spoke for at least an hour before Algernon had to excuse himself for duty.
"But don't let that stop you two from having a good time." said Algernon, placing his hat a-top his head.
"Don't you work together?" Asked Beatrix
"Ha ha!" Laughed Algernon "I would love to, but this man is a darkside worker. Nothing but night for this old boy. Tata friends, I'll see you later."
And with that Algernon was gone.
"What did he mean, a darkside worker?" Beatrix asked, curiosity lighting her eyes like flint on steel.
"Oh, he's just being dramatic." I said with a smile, "I work the overnight watch."
Beatrix then seemed surprised.
"Why then, surely I am interrupting your sleep?" she asked
"Oh no, not I." I said, "I sleep no more than three hours a day, and those are all I require"
She seemed impressed at this, and as we stood she asked if I might accompany her on a few errands at the mall. I said I would be delighted, and for once believed the phrase.
I can remember little of the details of that day, save one. Mostly it was window shopping and laughter and new parchment and brilliant colors of paint and silks. And it all ended at the humble shop of a scholar. It was this detail that bears mentioning. Neither of us had been before, but our sense of giddy adventure piqued, we decided to peruse it for a larf. The scholar was named James Augustus and he operated a corner space that he packed to bursting with taxidermy, scientific works, preservative jarred specimens, and butterflies pinned into boxes. As we entered a small musty shop, a bell announced our presence. James was quick to erupt his head from out of the confines of a tome giant and ancient.
"Good afternoon, welcome, and hello." James said, "If there is anything you require simply ask."
And with that he replanted his perpetually germinating brain back into his book, and we were as dead people to his mind. Beatrix and I wandered around the store, poking at stuffed marsupials, and wondering at vague skeletal models. It was such a delightful assortment of oddities that we scarce noticed James appear behind us.
"Would you like to see an invention of mine?" asked James

And startled and intrigued Beatrix and I were led into a dusty and haphazardly organized backroom that must have served all of James needs. He led us to a large contraption of wheels and belts and pulleys in front of which stood two bulbous copper towers.
"It is this I wanted to show you. Join hands will you?" commanded James,
And with delight for an excuse I placed my clammy and calloused hand into Beatrix's cool and smooth palm. There was the hint of a blush, and my heart raced. I only prayed that my pulse could not be felt through my hand as my ears throbbed with this excited heat.
"Now each of you place a free hand atop the copper tower, right there, at it's top." James pointed and we obeyed. He then set about working pulleys and levers and switches, eventually he began feverishly spinning a wheel with a pedal mechanism, not unlike a spinning wheel.
"Here we go." said James, as he released a switch.
Immediately a sensation shot through my hand and into Beatrix, and from her a like current pulsed. A tingling vibration of such force that both Beatrix and I could scarce forebear a yelp of surprise and shock.
"What is it?" I asked James, through this strange sensation
"It is primal force!" said James, "That which makes the lightning flash and the life begin. I have harnessed it, and you now feel it through one another!"

His pedaling increased in rate and an entirely new wave of sensation wracked my body. It was no painful, but neither was it particularly pleasant, and truth be told, should the spasmodic clenching and curious groans from Beatrix not intrigued me I think I would have quit the experiment right off. But together we held fast through the ordeal and when at last James had stopped his frantic gesticulations to stop the machine, we both panted and smiled. Beatrix was a-glow, a soft sheen of sweat oiling her exquisite brow. I offered my handkerchief and she took it gratefully.
"It's amazing." Said Beatrix, "What do you call it again?"
"Primal force my dear." Said James, " Thank you so much for submitting to my experimentation, I trust it was not entirely unpleasant?"
"It was certainly unique." I said
We left the store a short time later. That would be the first time I would hold Beatrix's hand. But certainly not the last.

 Chapter 5: On lunch at the lakeside.

A few days later I finally built enough courage to entice Beatrix to lunch sans the need of chaperone. We were to take a picnic on the shores of Lake Bellagio and then decide how to best spend the remainder of the afternoon. I retrieved Beatrix at the grandiose arches of the Academy where she languidly perused the blooms of spring with a secret smile prying at the corners of her mouth. We were off to Harmons for a lunch packed and prepared for our arrival. We crossed the busied cobbles of downtown with lunch in hand, and through good fortune found a vacant gazebo in which we could dine in seclusion.

My nerves were raw with anticipation and fear. Our conversations were of our futures and our hopes. Beatrix was studying with the Art Department, but had recently found she was quite adept at a new emerging practice involving a combination of typesetting and lithography. She described the intricacies of the work and to hear her tell it I found myself enraptured. As for me, I did my best to seem a learned and cultured fellow. Gramercy was a subject I both adored and loathed, as I ultimately viewed it as a defeat on my part, but what a defeat!

In short order however, masticating and the cool breeze dissolved our conversation. As I looked across the table I saw Beatrix's attention flee, as if born away on the wind and my heart sank deeply. She considers me a loathsome bore and a hideous barbarian, as well she should. I considered taking my leave at that point. Offering her an escort back to her dormitory and escaping with as much pride as was allowed me, but a glimmer of hope held fast in me and so I remained.

After eating it was suggested that we walk the beach to the old pier, but by whom I could not remember. As we walked Beatrix gently took my hand and my heart leapt as if exploded internally. A warm flush came to my face that could be seen, to my appraisal, from the far side of the cold green waves opposite our shore. My heart thrummed in my ears and to be truthful I fell close to loves sweet grasp. When we arrived at the pier we sat on the warm and rough rock and soaked in the rays of unblemished sun that coursed down on us. A burden had been lifted from us both and a deluge of words ushered forth. Spurred on by this new inspiration I unleashed all of my crazed dreams and hopes and ideas. A spigot from within had been opened and within Beatrix I found a receptacle for that which had eluded me for so long; hope.

We talked and walked and as the sun set below the trees in a brilliant crimson we both marveled that we were blessed to have shared such a day in perfection. In darkness, and nearing curfew I returned Beatrix to her dormitory. We stood before the stone stairs that
would lead her to her room, and time held an instant for us both to live in. Casting aside my hesitation I grasped a warm hand in mine and advanced to kiss this sweet angel. She did not resist, and as our lips met I felt a glimmer of the primal force we once shared leap between us. Lips to lip and heart to heart. Such elation should not be held in hands human or hearts unbidden. The stolid ringing of the curfew bell bid us part and as I watched her ascend her stairs, that same secret smile pressed to her lips, my heart fell deeply and completely in love.

I wandered home that evening in loves sweet embrace, and though the chill north wind whipped at my coat my warmth was total and impeccable. Untouchable to the ills that awaited me. And my solemn prayer, spoken to none but God was that Beatrix likewise felt this surge of childish glee.

 Chapter 6: Reflections of first making love.

Beatrix and I had been enamored with one another since that first fantastic day together. The days and weeks that followed were filled with one another. Stolen kisses in corridors, hands held on sunset walks through the Academy Garden, discreet rendezvous arranged well past our respective curfews. Until at last we could contain one another no longer. Beatrix whispered in my ear on a cool spring afternoon:
"The hall master is visiting family in Le Petit Pomme this week and my floor is unguarded."
My heart leapt into my throat and throbbed there to think of what was implied. Yet discretion is the better part of valor.
"What," I asked with as little coyness as possible, "do you imply madam?"
Her response was curt, and to the point:
"I want you to make love to me."
To hear her voice whisper in my ear such words strained my loins within their confines. I had been chaste for over a year by virtue of my post and my position. But tonight there would be no hesitation.
"Leave a candle alight in your chamber," I said, trying my best to defy the tremble in my voice, "And I will come to you at midnight."
Quick as a street card vagabond her delicate hand was upon my pulsing manhood, and I gasped despite myself.
"Till midnight." she said, and with that was gone.
My preparations that evening were many. Bribes given to sentries, buckles, blades and boots dulled against the offending torch light of the Academy. And excuses given to friends for missed morning appointments. Nothing would stop this evenings progress. It was as if I was forced by a power glacial and uncompromising to the Academy that evening. Every sense attuned. My every move was measured, and every stimuli analyzed. The click of boots on cobblestone, the hushed laughs behind closed wooden doors, the odors of the lamplight that attempted to thwart my stealth with every turn. At last I gently knocked at Beatrix's door and the portal opened. Swift arms darted out to force me into the room, and silent as a prayer the door was quickly
sealed. Surprised by the abruptness of my entrance it took a moment for my eyes to adjust to my new surroundings. A simple cell, no larger than that of a prisoners. A small wooden bed and a desk to match. A small vanity and a stand alone cabinet. Only a few candles lit the chamber, and their flames danced over the white and shimmering form of Beatrix's form.
She wore a nightdress that clung to her every curve like a fine kid glove. For the first time
ever I saw her hair free of bonds, and it cascaded over her face like black waves (with only
a hint of crimson aglow by the firelight). Her eyes were ravenous.
"You have terrifying eyes you know." I said, breathless at my fortune.
"Terrifying?" she asked, curious at my choice of words.
"Your eyes are like a the sea grown cold. A man could find himself lost in
them far too easily."
And then there were no words. Only moist lips pressed to mine, and a molten body pressed into my waiting hands. My mouth explored hers, and hers mine. I noticed for the first time that this chamber was intolerably hot, and immediately began to disrobe. Coat and jerkin fell to floor, and I was forced to break away from our embrace.
"My God it's not in here!" I said, foolishly if not honestly.
"Drafty in the winter, sweltering in the summer. But I have the solution." she said, and began to feverishly remove my clothes like a woman possessed. Soon enough I stood as I had entered the world. Self-conscious, but without choice. Her eyes played over my skin, and her hands gently played over the scars that marred my sweating body. I could take no more.
With strong hands I grasped her body and flung her to the bed, her surprised cry more delight than fear. I was upon her in the blink of an eye, and grasping handfuls of white fabric in each hand I rent asunder her gown, revealing her glistening snow white flesh to the dancing fire light. Her face was aglow with eagerness, but I brushed aside her hands that urged me onto further action. I wanted only to behold her for a moment. I delicately pulled away the last vestiges of her clothing, and with a snap, banished the soft gossamer that protected that most sacred. I lay atop her nude and heaving form, as a pilgrim to a new and wonderful land. My hands caressed the hills and valleys of her sweat-slicked body and felt her every fiber react as if charmed. Despite the heat goose pimples erupted over every portion, and the soft zenith of her supple breasts grew erect and hard. She raised herself to my face and once again whispered in my ear, a plea more than a request:
"Make love to me."
I was more than prepared for the task, my manhood a rod of iron, desperate for shelter. I gently spread her legs and softly entered her velvet folds. We both gasped with awe at the sensation, and I fell upon her, holding her against me. I remained there, feeling her heartbeat pulse through me, and over me, a rush of cold and warming sensation unlike any I ever expect to feel again. I shuddered and held myself up to look into her face.
"What is wrong?" Beatrix asked, breathless.
"I want to say something but I am afraid to do so." I said, my words wavering with emotion.
"Please...please tell me" she said.
"I...want to say that I love you." and the words were never more true.
She held me close to her then, and in a voice sweet and soft said the only thing I desired:
"I love you too."
We made love then. The mad, frenzied love of the young and the condemned. Well trimmed nails coursing down heaving back. The wet and satisfied clapping of eager flesh meeting eager flesh. And the heaving, dizzying, stupefying, blessed union of mutual climax. Our voices tore through the night air, heedless of those who may (and did) hear. Between our impassioned lovemaking there was the soft caressing of skin. The whispered promises known to soon be broken. The idle removal of an errant and renegade piece of sweat laden hair from a face aglow with delight.
As dawn came I quickly dressed, wanting nothing more than the stockade if only another minute with her I could have. But our actions could mean her expulsion, and my demotion, and so relying on the discretion and compassion of her peers, and the stealth and cunning of my escape, I abandoned her chambers into the sweet cool air of the cock-crowed dawn, and a morning to be welcomed in a whole new world.

 Chapter 7 : Our Lives Together.

For the next two years we shared our lives together. The story is vast and sad and sweet. But to tell the truth, here at the end, it is too painful to tell. There are those who would remember only the bad. The betrayals and lies and coldness and abandonment. And for me I can only remember the good, the mornings spend lazing in bed. Making love in a field of grass, gazing down to my naked love. But the remembering is made only painful by the loss, and the heart that beats for only her now pumps acid through my veins. My thoughts of her are bees inside my mind that no amount of smoke and pleading will banish. The story was meant to go on, but I have not the will to finish it with any accuracy. I do not have the strength to remember all the words that should have been said, and the actions that cannot be taken back. To you the reader I give my most heartfelt apologies, but in the end you should thank me. No one should bear witness to such a painful execution.

 Chapter 8: Walls.

We all create walls within ourselves. Defenses born of a life time spend surrounded by so much love and so much ignorance. I am no different. I have created in my battlements unshakable and fortifications to vast to measure. In the end I opened my doors to her, and led her to myself. And there I was within; naked, deformed, pained. A perversion of humanity. I averted my gaze and wept for being seen. She held me so gently then that when the knife slipped between my ribs I barely felt it. And as I see the world dissolve around me I can see only her eyes. Her terrifying eyes, inhumanely blue, and rimmed with cold tears. And that is the end.

Me and my $500,000 Gun.

I just bought a $500,000 Gun, and I feel fanfuckingtastic. It’s heavy and deadly and sexy and when I hold it in my arms it has the sort of cruel efficiency that makes me sweat just a little. When I feel the trigger beneath my finger and look down the long barrel I can sense what heroes and judges and Gods must feel the moments before their wrath. I’ve never fired it before, because when I do the man [or woman] in the crosshairs will deserve the rifles maidenhead. It will travel at intangible times the speed of sound a fraction of a hairsbreadth beyond the round. The round itself will be tailor made by a foreign defense firm that specializes in providing the artists of death craftsman’s tools for their trade. It will be depleted Uranium with a Lead Teflon jacket. It will shatter on impact with the force of a freight train. My $500,000 Gun could explode your torso like a piñata at 5,000 meters. Those bathed in your blood and viscera would not hear the shot until I was back home napping. I could shoot through ten armored trucks while jumping them on a flaming bull-rocket and if I can cram the magnesium into the animal I may just do that later in the week. Or I may assassinate the world. I’ve determined a means of using The Bible, a pen with gum on the end, a 9 MM round, and the Manhattan telephone directory to “randomly determine” a list of high ranking officials across the globe. I won’t tell you who they are for fear that you’ll come for my $500,000 Gun! With such a tool one could command the will, hopes, and fears of billions. For now I am content to oil it. Polish it. Make the Nickel shine so I can see myself inside of it. The part of me that is inside the gun now. But both of us are smiling.

My Giant Chocolate Jesus.

I was elbow deep in milk chocolate, preparing to pour the exterior mold when, in a spectacular flash of light there came upon me Jesus. I didn’t quite know what to do. He was dressed casually, no robes of crimson or anything, just a comfortable pair of slacks and a sweater. If you saw him on the street you would miss him. But when he arrived there was this amazing trumpeting and of course the seraphim and cherubim were a dead give away. With the wave of a hand they were away and we were alone. Just Jesus, me, and a 12 foot chocolate crucifix.

“Hey Dale.” said Jesus, “Uh… what’s going on?”

Sweet Jesus! What do you say to something like that? Didn’t he know? Of course he knew. It was some sort of test obviously.

“I’m just… ah. Glorifying your name?” said I.

“By building a life sized crucifix out of chocolate?” asked Jesus.

“Yeah! Yeah… well, and I mean, I assume you know all this already, but yeah, I was in Wal-Mart, in the seasonal aisle, looking at the vast quantity of Cadbury eggs and what not, and then I saw a display of chocolate crosses and I though, well, why not make one much, much larger and make it accurate to the scale and scope of the ah… passion… yeah. So what do you think?” I asked.

Jesus shook his head then, [he looked more Jewish than I would have thought] and smiled a little.

“Dale, I think your heart was in the right place here, but I’ve got something to tell you, and it’s super important.” said Jesus.

And then he talked for a really long time about stuff. Really important stuff. I can’t remember the exact words, but the gist of it, and this is why I’m sharing it all with you, is that materialism and revelry is in counter to his overall message of humility and peace. But then he saw the vats of chocolate and sort of got off topic. He wanted to see how someone would go about making such a large piece of chocolate.

I explained that it was very difficult! First I had to find a life sized crucifix and convince a local cemetery to let me borrow it. I explained that I originally wanted to use a vacuum form around the works, which if you have a facility would be something, but I basically had to use a plaster mold and then reinforce it. And that doesn’t account for the internal reinforcement! Because a 12 foot cross of chocolate does not, no matter what you think, really want to stay up! So then I explained how I was committed to making the entire thing edible and so could not resort to the standard reinforcing. I mean, I could easily fill the whole works with chicken wire, but kids are going to eat it!

“Kids?” asked Jesus.

And then I had to go into the plan. See I wanted to bring the giant chocolate Jesus to Sunday mass AFTER Easter as a reward to people who still go to church. The idea being that if more people keep doing it consistently that it will be a better world. Jesus explained that the modern church is really just a bomb shelter against the pain and cruelty of an outside world clamoring for salvation and that if everyone who went to church built houses on Sunday or fed the hungry or did something useful that human suffering would be reduced to next to nothing inside a month. Then I said;

“But Jesus, I thought Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest?”

And then he got all sorts of worked up!! He explained that the Sabbath was actually Saturday, and I said, what like the Seventh Day Adventists? And he was like; yeah, or the Jews. The Sabbath starts Friday night and continues until there are three stars in the sky on Saturday night. This struck me as sort of crazy. It was about this time that I was willing to believe I was either crazy or on drugs. But then Jesus wanted to hear more about the plan. So I explained that, more or less, the idea was that if you fill the interior of the mold with pretzels it will provide a crunchy/delicious matrix that will hold the whole works together, and then it’s all just a matter of detail work. Little red frosting for the seven wounds, ice the loin cloth to really make it pop.

Jesus seemed to consider things for a while then. I had already forgotten a lot about what he had told me earlier.

“So basically…” Jesus asked, “You’re doing this to get more people to go to church?”

“Yeah.” I said, “ Well, that and to outdo Wal-Mart. Doesn’t seem right that they should make millions off of your death and resurrection by making inferior crosses.”

Jesus grasped me by the shoulder then and smiled.

“Make sure the kids get some.” he said.

And then he was gone. Later I would find that the nitrous I was keeping around for fun had a leak and more than likely the entire thing was a hallucination. Anyhow, if you want to see my giant chocolate Jesus come to church the Sunday after

The Screening.

The Executive was ready to watch The Final Cut.

Billions of dollars had been invested in this, his greatest production. Thousands had lined up to give their lives for it’s first screening over the remains of Pompeii. Millions more threatened a hunger strike if the release date was pushed back any further. The Executive had relented and promised that, after he screened the final product he would release it unto his dying people. Even as they hungered The Executive was buttering his popcorn and entering his personal 70 story multiplex. The Drones were all around him. Begging for the chance to watch it with him. The corpse of Andy Dick whined like an animal to be allowed to sit in the back.

The Executive would have none of it. His will was supreme and he would be the first to test pilot this venture. When offered a helmet and mouth guard he accepted as any practical man would. Setting down his jumbo popcorn and Dr. Pepper he addressed the theater staff while pulling on his porpoise-skin gloves.

"I’m going in there and when I give the signal, thus-"

-at this he lifted a single finger and let out a loud whistle-

"Then you start the picture. I want no interruptions. No quarter. None of you will listen to my pleas, no matter how rational they may seem. Do you understand?"

The grim silence was enough. The Executive gestured to His Lady and she followed him up the grand staircase that led to the balcony. When they arrived on the mezzanine The Executive cursed for forgetting his popcorn and soda.

"I could go back for them-" offered The Lady

"No no. We’ve come this far already. Just… just hand me the helmet."

The Lady gave The Executive his helmet. On the balcony, in his favorite seat, The Executive allowed The Lady to ankle cuff him to it. Thus fastened she offered him a kiss, which he accepted before inserting his mouth guard. He waited for The Lady to leave before removing the mouth guard to say a quiet prayer. He whistled and lifted his finger before replacing the mouth guard and gripping his seat handles.

As the curtain withdrew The Executive considered the long road he had come to the end of. His original plan was to watch the piece in the tub while eating fried mushrooms.  Things had gotten drastically out of hand somewhere around Phase 2 and now here he was. Strapped into his chair. About to witness a 5 Trillion dollar movie that had cost him a spleen, three wives, and the ability to feel warmth.

It was everything he had dreamed. From the beginning to it’s final conclusion 13 hours later The Executive sat in a frenzied stimulus euphoria. He would be told later that there were times the booth considered shutting it off, but that the glee filled cackling of The Executive could just be heard over the constant barrage of sound, and his bobbing image, wracked with tears and/or laughter could just be made out through the pantheon of light as still alive.

As the credits were rolling [A three hour ordeal with a sidebar of bloopers] the Drones allowed the Press in to ask questions. The first line of recorder-porters were a mass of flashbulb and questions. The first line was also privy to the smell rolling off of The Executive. A member of the Associated War Press described the odor as; ’…like a 10,000 gallon barrel full of monkeys fucking [themselves] to death after they are lit on fire.’

The bevy of questions confused and angered The Executive and a single raised hand silenced their braying.

"I need… a welding helmet… and a revolver with a single bullet… then we’ll run it again… water."

The Executive fell then into a deep coma from which some felt he would never return.

The Ace Writings, an introduction;

Imagine if Pulp Fiction made less sense. Enjoy.

Ace's Housecall.

Ace got the call a little after one in the morning. Joy's choked sobs were hard to understand. Her words were frantic and slurred. Ace's heart clenched with her every plea. Cleveland was a haul this late at night, but he didn't have a choice in the matter. He cranked down the highway in his sedan, white-knuckled and bordering on frenzy. He knew he was headed for a bad introduction to Joy's new boy and Ace had a beat-down boner the size of a pike.

What was it about the dame that pulled her towards the gutter trash of the planet? He knew about her past and it was nothing he could figure. They had called it quits years ago, but every now and again Joy would get in over her head and there would be a call. She knew Ace didn't have money or drugs [two of her favorite things] but what he did have was a talent for making men disappear. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, esspecially if she has a man like Ace in her black book.

The exit ramp pulled at Ace's guts and soon he was trolling the streets. Joy's neighborhood was on the edge of the wrong side of town. At four AM those borders became malleable and Ace thanked his lucky stars his car was a beater that no respectable hood would be seen stealing. He parked a few blocks away from Joy's building and hit the street. The air was dirty-electric ozone and excrement. Passing by "The Buzzing Bee" Ace took in the sweet smell of jazz-fan reefer filling the air. It was Joy's club, a trashy little flophouse turned music bordello.

Ace didn't have a piece, but he never left home without a blade. He didn't think he'd have to use it to get his opinion on the table, but if the goon was cranked sometimes seeing some of his red on the carpet made him negotiable. The only other metal on Ace was his hip flask which, rounding the corner to "The Amsterdam", he pulled off with passion. Not enough to get him twisted, but enough to stop the shakes and numb him up. Taking a look at the boxes on the building he spotted Joy's flop and wasted no time making his way up the stairs. The halls were dark green andsmelled of stale fry-cooking. A Dominican lady looked out her chained door to see what boots were stoically pounding their way to the third. Her glassy eyes met Aces and then she was gone.

In front of Joy's door Ace took a few deep breaths and knocked firmly. There was the brief sound of confused words. An excited male voice raised in anger and then the thumping of bare feet to the door. The door swung open wide and Ace already knew he'd won. The mook standing in front of him was a big one. Shaved head and tight clipped mustache showing off a weak chin and yellow fangs pulled back to a snarl. The man's tight white shirt showed he was built, but a slob, stains of yellow under his arms and at the waistline the smattering of blood.

The sight of the blood made an audible clicking noise inside Aces skull. A look into the room and Ace's eyes met Joy's. At least the one eye that wasn't closed shut with a crazy mean shiner. Her lower lip was swollen and black. The one eye that looked at Ace had tears standing in it. That angry sea blue eye told the entire sad story.  In it was a plea, an apology, and a prayer.

"Who the fuck are you?" asked the mook.

Ace let his fists do the talking. The first punch was a straight right that exploded from the hips. Ace plunged it into and through the mooks startled face. The snap of his head blew him off his feet and onto the hard wood, his body making a solid boom Ace relished briefly. There was a time for a gentleman's brawl and then there was the time for a lesson and this situation was the latter. Ace laid his size ten into the punks groin like a football star punting from the ten and there was a strangled gasp of confusion and pain.

"Hey Joy. Be right back." said Ace and grabbed the pained man below him and manhandled him into the hall.

There was a back stairwell and Ace pulled the man into it. As Ace laid him up against the wall the mook tried his best at a punch. It glanced off of Aces right cheek like razor burn and Ace responded with one, two, three headbutts, each bone-rattling crack connecting with teeth and jaw. He released the man to the floor as he began retching up blood and teeth. A quick frisk later and the man was relinquished of his wallet. Ace opened the billfold and pulled out a license.

"Well Jason. This is going to be the most important one-sided conversation of your miserable fucking life, so I'd pay real close attention."

Ace squatted and popped a Lucky into his mouth. He studied the license as he Ronsonedthe sumbitch and inhaled deep.

"You roughed up the wrong dame Jason. A woman with a past. Every woman's got a past Jason, but not every woman has me in it. I'm the guy who was stupid enough to love her before she gutted me. But as much as her leaving hurt, what hurts the most is when young main-lining gutter-leavings like you think that hurting her makes you a tough guy."

Ace pulled out the blade and in the dim red light of the hall its black blade looked like midnight murder. Jason Messur's eyes widened and a small pool of used water collected with his blood and chiclets.

"Now here's the deal kid. I've got your name and address, which is all I need to find out where your mother plays bridge. Later on you might think it's a good idea, once you've gotten some dentures in your head and some junk in your rope, to come looking for me, or give the bill to Joy. I'm here to tell you that's a bad idea. What you want to do is get out of town Jason. But if you don't leave town, you sure as hell never be seen around Joy again. A phone call later and I'm coming for you Jason, not to kill you, but to make sure you go through the rest of your pathetic life without your manhood. Maybe your ability to walk if I'm feeling salty. I hear anything happens to Joy, and I'm going to assume it's you Jason. We have an understanding kid?"

There was a strange noise as the punk shook his head up and down like a jackhammer, streamers of blood and tears flying from his ruined face. Ace stood and flicked his butt at the kid before getting out of the acrid stairwell and back to Joy's apartment. He found her in the bathroom, curled up as small as she could get. There were no words. Just the sting of iced towels and warm whiskey. Strong arms holding bruised flesh as the gentle hitching of gut-cramping sobs tumbled into deep sleep. Ace held her till the dawn and then sleeplessly made his way back to the city.

Last Ride of Rod Manray.

Rod took a pull off the dashboard cocaine and screamed like an eagle kicked in the nuts. Candy was a bit worried:

"Rod, you gotta lay off the blow. We're going 200 in a 30."

Rods smile was filled with more teeth than Candy was entirely comfortable with.

"Candy baby" [downshift] "In Montana there is no 30."

The Mustang was cranking towards Boseman like a horrible drug-guided rocket. The Queen was waiting for them and Rod did not like to be tardy. If Candy hadn't looked so damned fuckable that morning they'd be there by now. As it stood circus-style rough-sex took up the morning/early afternoon. Modest amount of cuddle/healing time and then the road.

"This thing really rides smooth." said Candy, delicately painting her toenails despite the break-neck speed.

"That's because we're only marginally touching the pavement." explained Rod.

The antelope was fast, but not fast enough. When they struck the beast neither of them had the time to exclaim much of anything. High on Bolivian white and nail polish there was the briefest flutter of heart muscles and then the explosion of Antilocapra Americana. The beast, or the particulate matter that remained, hurled through the windshield and for the briefest of moments all three creatures were one. Hair and blood and antler and chewing gum and then, as with all things in a universe controlled by the cruel laws of thermodynamics, they went their separate ways. God rest you Rod Manray, and you Candice "Candy" Waiver. We barely knew ye.

Esteban's Charge.

Esteban had bit the barrel earlier in the week as the result of romanticism. His sin was coveting, and to the Sanches family it was a capital offense. The cutting and the side-selling was something they were willing to tolerate provided the wads of sweaty cash kept arriving in trash bags. But when Esteban began courting Juanita he went too far. Papa didn't like family mixing with the help.

Juanita Sanches was easily the most gorgeous Galician woman on the planet. Lithe and supple and caramel coated to go down easy. She had an infectious laugh that chimed like the bells of St. Mary at sunset. Esteban was not in traffic school for the education. He wasn't even getting tenure or retirement. Esteban liked peddling vast quantities of illicit narcotics because it was an adventure. Esteban was a warrior-spirit placed in a black-merchants garb.

Papa Sanches was a superstitious man who believed that astrology could predict the future. So far he was hitting things pretty spot on. He failed to see two things coming though. It was all a matter of birthdays, cosmic force,  transient ley-line driven magical interweaving. There was a variety of reasons Papa Julio Sanches did not see Esteban coming. Papa Sanches was a Taurus and Esteban was an Aries. There were also issues involving a thousand year blood-feud between Esteban's Great-Grandfather and Papa's Great-Great-Grandfather. Different lovers, same story.

When Papa found out that Esteban was looking to woo his little girl things got hectic. There were angry glasses of half-sniffed brandy thrown into shale-stone fireplaces. There was the angry strumming of Spanish guitar in the courtyard and Portuguese Curses thrown like so many darts. It would have come to blows if not for Papa's men dragging Esteban out. The Thugs took his piece and his cash and threw him to the curb.  As the gate closed Esteban smoothed back his sweat-wet black hair. From a window above he could see young Juanita gazing at him from the ivory balcony of the Sanches Complex. A gust of wind took the petals of lilacs through the air and into the dusk. He spoke to Juanita knowing full well she was an accomplished lip reader.

"I return for you this night my darling. Be ready and waiting when I come for you. And if I fail I will see you in Hell."

And with that he returned home. He placed three phone calls as he geared up. Black Flack Jacket. Semi-Automatic Sawed-Off Pistol-Grip Shotgun, Dual .45 revolvers slung low. The accent that gave the entire macabre armament complete? A French Smallsword owned for three generations in his family. The sword that had slain "El Toro's de Diablo" in a 1907 bull fight of epic proportions.

Whispering a prayer to his ancestors and slamming a last toast to love Esteban mounted his Fiero at midnight. He listened to Mozart as he drove, ensuring the dynamite was good to go. Esteban had killed men before. He has been in the epicenter of more than one deal gone horribly awry that required him to blast his way free of some God-Awful Jungle Fortress constructed by Rebels and Revolutionary's. He knew that this little escapade was sure to end badly, but a man can not suffer a tyrant when he knows they bleed.

The TNT blew open the wall right next to the security building. Esteban had been given a tour months earlier at a meet and greet that had ended in an execution. Shards of Fiero tore through the sheet rock and tin building and shut down all hope of an organized retaliation. Esteban worked his way through the flaming hole, shotgun at the ready. He wasted no time and made his way to the den. The guards were never quite quick enough to lay anything into Esteban he didn't feel comfortable taking. The Flak jacket was heavy as all hell, but repelled most conventional rounds like candy thrown from a clown. The ensuing barrage of buckshot generally pounded the body and/or face of the assailant like a hot-lead hail-storm. By the time the den was within reach Esteban knew that his dream
would become a reality.

Papa Sanches waited in the den with his pistol and a peach cigarillo. He had his two best men with him, Carlos and Eddie. Both men were seasoned killing machines with no family other than the Sanches'. They were both armed with P-90 submachine guns they trained at both entry doors respectively.

When considering classic literature one of the most mysterious duels must be Romeo Vs. Tybalt. How does the Incompetent Romantic best the Prince of Cats? The answer is as complex as the love battled over. Love gives us just enough strength to achieve it, before both love and strength abandon.

When the door burst open under a hail of buckshot and the dual .45's began cracking into the room like an angry western the people who thought they were the ultimate killing machines died without much issue. Papa fired, but mostly into the air as he shielded his face and eyes against shrapnel and shells. The smell of Peach and gunsmoke filled the air.
There was a ringing inside Papa's head that he doubted would ever go away. He had made it this far without a hearing aid, but he considered that the least of his problems. Esteban was spent. The .45's were allowed to fall to the floor and with a tearing of Velcro and the loosening of leather the flack jacket fell to the floor. Mushroomed munitions cascaded over the tiled floor like malfunctioning marbles.

"Papa, I've come for your little girl." said Esteban, "I love her and want her to be my wife. God wouldn't make me love something this bad if he didn't want me to have it."

"What does God have to do with this? You just killed a dozen or more men. They were good men...strong with families." said Papa, stepping to the side as a pool of Eddies blood expanded silently.

"Do I have your blessing or do I have to beg?" asked Esteban.

"The answer is still no Esteban. You murdering all of these men does not change my opinion that you may not be the best husband for Juanita. She is delicate, like the lilacs that surround this castle." said Papa, placing the pistol on the bar and making himself a drink.

Esteban was tired from so much killing and decided that a drink may be what it took to convince Papa. When Papa poured out the cold gin he made it two. The men drank at the bar, the Juniper clearing the palate of the death-stench filling the room.

"Esteban, I will not deny that you are an animal, like me. You killed these men tonight because they protected something you wanted-"


"Love? How can you love Juanita? She's only just 19? You yourself are crazy off of drugs half the time, and the other half you are drunk. Do you have any idea how many of the wives you've just widowed are going to take out contracts on you? I have no doubt that you will do anything to have my daughter, but what the FUCK IS THAT!?!?!?"

Esteban whirled to look at the patio doors. In the seconds it took him to whirl around the pistol was in Papa's hands and leveled at Esteban's chest. Esteban returned a confused look only to have the bullet tear its way through his lung. He remained sitting, to his credit, and realized that he was soon to die. There was a click as Papa failed to finish the job.

Esteban wasted no time. The sword was in his hand before Papa could even consider reloading. The thrust was a swan-song of grace and splendor. Esteban had never used the sword before this night, but it twisted in his hand like a dancer. It popped Papa's eye on its way to the brain, parallel the optic nerve. Papa fell and Esteban reeled, slipping on Carlos' blood he landed on a chair, comfortable and lush. He considered his good fortune as Mama walked into the room with toilet-tissue clipped around her curled hair and an overnight pore cleanser covering her placid face. She made eye contact with Esteban and his sword clattered to the floor.

Mama walked behind the bar and saw Papa dying. Kneeling she took his head in her hands and whispered in his ear her last "I love you's" before Papa went limp and pooped. She kissed him on his bald crown and laid him down. She knew where Carlos kept his hold-out and yanked the snub-nosed nut-cracker from his ankle-holster. She stuck the gun finger deep into Esteban's open mouth.

"She doesn't even like you." said Mama.

She waited for the confusion to turn into loss and then pulled the trigger until it clicked.


The dame threw open the door reeking of reefer and sex. She was a singer down at The Grand who did a nice try at Etta even though her skin was white as the parliament dangling from those pouty lips. Joy was her name, and she was not a happy jazz artist.

"Why'd you muscle Buddy!?" she asked, smoke shooting out of her like a tea kettle

"Listen you crazy dame, just settle into a seat and we'll talk all about it." said Ace in his nicest nice-nice tone

She put the smoke out on Ace's desktop (no loss of love there) and settled her fine ass into his hard-wood high-back. Her hair was black and her dress was red, but what impressed Ace where her eyes. Stormshadow blue and bloodshot. Crazed and crazy and half mad with anger or love. The dame was trouble. The dangerous sort that cripples you with a smile and knifes you while serving pie.

"I've tossed enough trash around for you to get a job in sanitation. Buddy was all over Tommy and needed to get put down. He's an animal and a brute and deserved the muscle I laid in on him. He'll heal soon enough." Ace said

"You worked him over good Ace. He's in the hospital and they think he might lose the eye." Joy said

Her anger had broken a little when he'd mentioned Tommy. She had a soft spot for the kid and although Buddy was her live-in lapdog she'd of killed him herself if she knew he was onto Tommy.

"Did you find him then?" she asked, scared and excited

Ace pulled out the second best rye and poured both a fistful of the stuff to help settle in the news. He knew it was going to be hard to hear, but she paid cash on the barrel head and no matter how sweet her pillow talk had been the truth is Ace was just another tool. Just another fix and another fixer. Someone she brought in when she knew she was in too deep.

"Tommy went back to Cincinnati." Ace said, straight and cold

"Christ no!" Joy said

She spilled a little hooch on the way to cover her heart, or at least where her heart used to be. Her hands were shaking as she lifted the glass to her lips and tossed back the booze. She winced at the taste and breathed deep.

"They'll kill him in Cincinnati." she said, and Ace was in no position to disagree

Ace knew the question before she asked it, but she did it anyhow.

"Will you go get him Ace?" she asked, "Or at least go with me? I can get him back, but...I need you to come."

Her eyes were wide and wet and so damned dark blue you'd swear you were looking into the sea after a storm. Her lips were parted and her voice was tuning itself up for a performance of a lifetime. Ace tried to put a stop to it before she could start her opening number.

"I won't go to Cincinnati for Tommy." Ace said, and he could see her shift gears

"Would you go to Cincinnati for me?" she asked, her pipes blowing air down Ace's spine like a shot

Ace shoulda run the hell away when he had the chance. Ace knew she'd been shacked up with Buddy just to keep away the Limey she'd been stringing for the dough. Ace knew she'd been hustling the regulars at The Grand for whatever kept her numb from the neck up. Ace even knew that the night when she left him alone with a piss warm bottle of champagne and the 11 AM bill at the Ritz she had spent the night north of the city, bedding with a dope head crazy that peddled his product to keep himself in she-flesh. Ace shoulda run the hell away. But a guy doesn't become a thug for hire without having a soft spot for tear-filled blue eyes.

Candy and The Ball.

Candy had been waiting for an hour without any sign of Ace. The streets were abandoned and cold. Her outfit, though flattering and taught in all the right places, made her feel more like a target than anything else. She had little choice, The Snow Ball was happening tonight and there was no time to get back to uptown to change.

Ace came roaring around the corner in his junker and Candy was awash in headlight. In seconds he was out of the car and the street was silent save for his heavy boots clomping over to Candy. His eyes played over her body in the pale lamplight. Candy was a dandy in her tight black skirt, a little [useless] fur coat, and a tube top. On any other woman it would look like a hooker uniform, but on Candy it was as coy as it was sultry. Long tan legs displayed like they should be under glass. Full red lips, perpetually pouty, ready to go to work.

"What the Hell took you so long Ace?" asked Candy "I've been on this fucking corner forever!"

"Sorry Candy. Traffic was a bitch. You got somewhere to be?" asked Ace

"Yeah, I got places to be." said Candy

"Well then, let's see the color of your money." said Ace

Blood flooded Candy's face at the mention of cash. She was banking on Ace letting him ride tonight and settle up later. She didn't have anything on her that would get her what she needed, and she desperately needed it.

"I was hoping you'd spot me till the end of the week." said Candy

Ace didn't say a word, just turned around and headed back for the car, boots saying his good-byes. Quick clips of heels and Candy closed the gap, putting a hand on his arm. He turned to her and she worked in close. She smelled of lavender and spearmint and her warmth floated up to Ace like incense. She looked up to him with eyes bred for the bedroom and spoke with a voice that made Ace's hair stand on end and his eyes float like balloons.

"C'mon Ace...we can work something out can't we?" asked Candy

There was a moments hesitation.

"You got a place?" asked Ace

Candy shook her head and her perfumed locks wafted sweet seduction. Ace took a gander into the nearest alley and grabbed Candy's slender waist.

"Then we do it fast and hard and in the dark." and with that Ace manhandled Candy into the alleyway twilight

There was no time for words and no need for hesitation. Ace worked Candy between a dumpster and a fire escape and planted her on a crate. Zipping open his leather coat he let Candy have a good feel of his heaving chest before he pulled down her top. Her tight breasts leapt out to greet him, eager and perfect. Ace took a mouthful and, working open hot thighs planted a hand between them, feeling sticky heat through pink cotton. Candy laid a palm on Aces slacks, working him over as a cry escaped her.

A grasp and a tug, a jerk and a snap and with a gasp Candy's Box was in the night air. In the dim light Ace took a gander. Glistening and trimmed and perfect. His mouth went to work sampling her goods first delicately, and then ravenously. Candy bit down on her hand to stifle the cries of pleasure. This was the wrong neighborhood to scream in. As Ace explored with his tongue he unbuckled his belt.

With a powerfull thrust he was inside of her. Her hands clasped onto the back of his neck as he began to work. He looked down to see their union as Candy removed a hand from his neck and explored, delicate fingers feeling him slide in and out of her. The pace moved from casual to frenzied in the blink of an eye.

Ace was close and from the slow tightening of Candy he could tell she was on the same track. Ace pulled Candy to her feet and spun her around. She stumbled on her heels, but he caught her. A hand on her shoulder and another on the waist and she was bent over. Boots and heels danced a brief two-step as Ace took a moment to appreciate the scene. Stilettos a 6' pedestal to legs that should be in a museum for later generations to adore. Above it a heavenly pink fissure exposed and dripping. He leaned in close and whispered into Candy's ear as she desperately caught her breath.

"I'm gonna do you a can scream all you want."

Ace placed a powerful hand over her mouth and used the other to work himself inside of her. He could feel her cries vibrate in his hand and felt the exhale from her dainty nose play over his fingers. Candy's hands found purchase on the graffiti-stained wall as hot pink manicure met warehouse brick. It didn't take long before his hammering pushed her over the edge. Ace felt the tightening as she came and he could not help but keep pumping.

He could feel her screams inside of her, reverberating through her chest, longing for escape. He could feel her delicate jaw in his hand tightening in orgasmic splendor. Seeing her writhe and buckle below him was too much. He came hard and long inside of her and couldn't help but cry out. Ace unleashed a bellow of animal lust that bounced and rolled through the alley. He remained inside of her to feel the post-coital collapse. Her sex worked over him, pulling and contorting and then finally abating.

He removed himself and the light pitter-patter of love christened the pavement. Collecting himself he removed what she needed from his jacket pocket. Candy found her feet, replaced her top,  and stood on legs weak and vibrating. Ace handed her the sunshine and winked.

"Thanks Candy...that was keen. I'll expect the cash by the end of the week." and, cinching his fly, he was gone

"Thanks Ace." said Candy and headed to the ball.

The Deal.

Certain people, because of one reason or another, are easy to fuck. Be they willing or no, you can pretty much fuck them over without much effort or regard. The world advances and evolves through such fucking. Fucking, oftentimes under the auspices of love, is the true force to the globular world-spin. Whether you choose to fuck with certain people is the very quintessence of free will made manifest through action and/or inaction. The Brooklyn Boys weren't the sort of guys you fucked with.

He had opened the door wondering if he was being set up. Esteban was getting loaded in the trunk by the Brooklyn Boys [Bronx et Lou]. Ace drank a warm glass of bourbon in meditation before he hit the road. As he was rolling a smoke he had heard the noise.

A body hitting the floor has a singular heaviness to it. Through the thick oak of the Sanche’s Family Room Ace heard the thud and knew he had to know. Some humans are predisposed to action and Ace was just such a man. If there was an answer to be found, best to get it out of the way.

He didn't have to open the door, but he did. He didn't even have to leave it open...but he did. He held the glass in one hand and the door hande in the other as The Most Gorgeous Blonde on Planet Earth lay writhing on the floor. She was bound to a chair and  gagged. Hoodwinked. Ace stared into the Blondes dark blue eyes. They were turgid with fear, but animal in intensity and alertness.

Ace finished his bourbon. Ace considered his options as the whiskey roared its way into his gullet. An open line of communication was the key. Ace walked over to the woman, set down his empty glass and removed the gag. She did not scream, and this made Ace happy. The Blonde eyed the empty tumbler with hunger and spoke in a clipped, matter-of-fact manner that gave Ace goose-bumps.

"I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage." said The Blonde

"Name's Ace." said Ace

"Well Ace, I'll try to be brief. In a couple minutes the boys are going to come back. I will pay you 100 Grand in cash if you get me out of here. In addition I will fuck your brains out like you were Adam after the apple." said The Blonde

"You've got it pretty lady!" said Ace.

Never look gift-destiny in the mouth. Ace got the blade from his boot and cut the rope like opening a present. He wished the Hell he had his gun but after Esteban's Rampage everyone was getting stripped of their heat a few blocks away. He helped the blonde to her feet just as Bronx came through the door.

"Ace, what the fu-" was all Bronx got out before Ace's knife was protruding from his skull.

Ace let the body hit the floor before turning to the Blonde.

"Listen pretty lady, I'm parked out front. Here's the keys." said Ace, tossing the ring "It's a Shitty Black Buick. Give it plenty of clutch. I'll meet you on the verandah in five minutes. Take off alone and you won't survive past Third Ave."

The Blonde caught the keys and bolted for the garage.

"Good girl." said Ace, turning just in time to get the blade in the leg.

Lou was a big fan of The Great War. He believed that trench warfare was the bees-knees. He considered mustard gas to be second only to mustard salad dressing in ingenuity and taste. He carried a breech-action Webley that was as good a club as it was a pistol. He also carried 200 in pesos and a spike-knuckled trench knife. It was this knife, lovingly sharpened while listening to chronic amounts of jazz, that was thrust through Ace's thigh like a ham. Ace did not waste the time screaming and instead began choking Lou to death.

"That... hurt... a lot... Lou... " said Ace, just loud enough to be heard, "It's nothing  personal... and I'm sorry about Bronx... but the pretty lady hired me and... I'm... lonely... and... broke..."

Ace doubted that Lou heard the last part of the sentence. Lou stopped his weak torso slapping and Ace gave it a good minute before he relinquished his grip. He stripped Lou of his Webley and his pesos. All he got from Bronx was a fun-bag of multi-colored pills. Party favors? Multi-Vitamins? Antacid? Ace pocketed the mystery pills and made his way to the verandah.

The blade was going to be an issue, but metal and meat were no strangers to Ace. The Blonde would get the Buick. Esteban would get to Phoenix. Ace would mount the Blonde and she would sire Ace a bakers dozen of sons.

"There's something magic about Adrenaline." said Ace to no one in particular, and left the Family Room.

Ace and The Blonde.

The Blonde threw herself out the car window like a pro and the ensuing explosion rocketed the evening with peals of gasoline-thunder heard as far away as three counties. Ace watched the Blonde tuck and roll, slowing herself to a comfortable rotation before planting herself, prone and facing the vortex. Shards of Buick, aflame and dancing lit the ocean blue of her eyes and settled into the moist underbrush.

Ace looked to see if he had all his limbs and began to mosey towards the Blonde. He limped slightly. His leg was a little out of tune with his body, his body out of tune with his mind, his spirit unaware of the problem. It hurt,  but it was nothing a competent shaman/chiropractor couldn't shake a stick at. The knife was not helping matters. Ace ensured his flask was unpunctured and took a tit-warmed slug of scotch into his liquor-hole and swished. The hooch was flammable peat and made Ace tear up. He attempted to straighten his coat and adjust just enough to look semi-human as he stood over the blonde.

"I'm glad you listened when I told you to jump. Most people would be dead right now." said Ace, pulling out his cigarette case and Ronson "Smoke?"

"Why the Hell not?" said the Blonde

The roar of the car-fire painted brilliant light over their faces as they smoked a Lucky and thought about death and fortune.

"So. How much you worth dead pretty lady?" asked Ace

"The name's Lane." Said Lane

"Like the traffic?" asked Ace

"Like Lois." Said Lane

"I'm Ace." said Ace

"I know. I hired you." said Lane

"Look. I'm experiencing low volume brain trauma and blood loss from a stab wound." said Ace

"Are you going to take out the knife?" asked Lane

Ace looked down to his leg and the hilt-deep spike-knuckled trench-knife.

"When I need it. I've still got this."
Ace pulled out Leo's Revolver.

"Is that Leo's gun?" asked Lane

"Yeah. Leo's not going to need it where Leo's going." said Ace "I got Leo's Revolver with a full compliment of ammunition. I've got liquor, drugs, 200 in peso's and a hot blonde chick named Lois Lane."

"Just Lane." Lane corrected

"Well Miss Lane. Can you walk?" Ace offered a hand.
Lane tossed the butt and taking a deep breath and a hand found her feet on moist grass.

"My shoes?" asked Lane

"Your shoes went into orbit about 50 yards back. I did my best to look for them on the walk over but..."

"No no." Lane interupted, "They were uncomfortable. Sexy as all get out...but terribly uncomfortable."

Ace collected his things and placed his belt above the knife.

"Are you going to die?" asked Lane, taking an arm.

"We're all going to die I'm afraid. It's unavoidable." said Ace

And westward they began to hike down Highway 2.

"One Million." said Lane

"I beg your pardon?" asked Ace

"You asked how much I was worth dead." said Lane

"Did I now?" asked Ace

"Yes. Earlier. So...if you don't mind me asking, who was the guy in the trunk?" asked Lane

"That was Esteban. Old friend of mine. Promised I'd take care of his body." said Ace

"How did he die?" asked Lane

"Romance." said Ace

"Yeah. That's going around." said Lane

Otto's Farm.

Esteban floated through his mind as he walked, trench knife in his thigh, mystery pills in the brain, endorphins exhausted. What an asshole. Ace did not feel bad about the improvised Buick crematorium. The Blonde [Lane] had remained silent the vast majority of the journey. Ace would generally be fine with this but he needed to avoid the abyss of unconsciousness.

"What's your favorite name for a horse?" asked Ace

"Winifred" said Lane

"What country do you think has the coolest Rock and Roll?" asked Ace

"Germany, hands down." said Lane

"You got any siblings?" asked Ace

"I had a sister, but she died." said Lane

"Sorry to hear that. What color panties are you wearing?" asked Ace, near

"Fuck you Ace." said Lane

Ace had seen the farm from a distance but assumed it to be some sort of horrible
hallucination. The farm was Otterstead's and he didn't want to bank on Otto being crippled by disease or killed by stroke. Still, he was without transport or tactic.

"This farm...I know the owner..." said Ace

"You trust him?" asked Lane

"No, but he owes me a favor. I almost rescued his daughter from a maniac." said Ace

"Really" asked Lane

"Oh yes." said Ace, "The lunatic thought it'd be a fun idea to develop some sort of torture dungeon for those who opposed him. Real Satan worshipping nut-job. Had Otto's daughter in a dirt-bottomed farm cellar when I caught up to him. What a bastard. Hold on, I've got to cut the phone line."

Ace did so with ease and worked his way down the long gravel road. The farm was lit by a solitary security light that crowned the covered porch of Otto Otterstead's country home.

" rescued the girl?" asked Lane

"No. Tried my damnedest though." sad Ace

"So...she died?" asked Lane

"I got there hours too late. The killer paid though. Otto's probably still got him in the attic." said Ace

Lane looked worried.

"Like I say, he owes me." said Ace

Otto came unto the porch with a shotgun and a smile.

"Ace!" Otto said

"Otto! you old son of a bitch! I cut the phone line, so don't even think about turning me in!" said Ace

"You filthy pig-fucker, what if there's an emergency?" said Otto

"With me around?" asked Ace and Otto and he shared a nervous laugh, "Can we stay the night?"

Otto took a look at the wayward travelers.

"The Blonde can sleep with me. You can sleep in the barn." said Otto

"I'm with him." said Lane, clutching Ace's arm like a buoy

Otto spit and uncocked the over-under.

"Well...there are horse blankets and a little stove." said Otto before muttering curses as he returned to the home

"You sure we can we trust him?" asked Lane

"I already told you we can't, but we need someplace to sleep, and you've got to pull this knife out of my leg." said Ace

"Do I?" asked Lane

"I was guaranteed money and sex, and I will have both. But first I've got to make sure I don't die of blood-loss." said Ace "Don't worry. I'll talk you through it."

Lane took Ace's hand and they made their way to the barn.

Rod's Deal.

Rod Manray wanted the blow and the road in that order. He had enough cash to make it to Montana by dawn if business would just clip along. Candy was downstairs with a switchblade guarding The Mustang. Esteban was taking his sweet time with the measuring. A romantic by heart Esteban insisted on using antique scales.

"They are the scales of justice fallen." said Esteban

"What-the-fuck-ever dude, just hurry it up. Candy's going to get shanked and punk-raped while we dicker." said Rod

Esteban was interested.

"Candy?" asked Esteban

"Yeah. What about it?" asked Rod, eyeing the drugs with hunger

"I didn't know you ran with her. I though she was Ace's girl..." said Esteban, choosing his words carefully

Rod bristled at the mention of Ace.

"Ace is headed for thug-hell, didn't you hear?" said Rod with a smile

Esteban bagged the white and put the next brick on the scale.

"You don't say?" said Esteban, all ears

Rod leaned back and, removing his silver cigarette case, began to blaze himself some reefer.

"Ace should never have gone back to Cincinnati. Tommy was fucked from the word go and Ace knew that. Trouble with Ace is he's a romantic...just like you..." said Rod, regarding the sword over Esteban's fireplace

"I prefer to think of myself as an adventurer" said Esteban

"Yeah...sure." said Rod, breathing in his herb with relish, "Well Ace should have died in Cincinnati. After what he did to Vincent there's a vendetta on Ace."

"A contract." corrected Esteban

"A vendetta." corrected Rod, "I'm not sure what players are in the game, but Ace stuck his dick in the wrong beehive this time. There's a hammer that's going to drop on him like nothing you've ever seen. That's why Candy wants to get out of town. It's why I'm taking her to see the Queen."

"'ll have to send my regards." said Esteban, bagging the last of the blow, "That's all of it."

Rod passed the envelope and Esteban didn't bother counting it.

"It's always a pleasure doing business with you Rod. Have a safe trip." said Esteban, offering a hand

Rod took the hand, squinting against the smoke in his eyes.

"I'd keep the Ace stuff under your hat. It's a shit-storm and you don't have an umbrella big enough." said Rod

"Unless Papa tells me to get involved it's just traffic as usual." said Esteban

Rod nodded and hit the street. Candy was leaning on the hood of The Mustang, filing her nails and ignoring the stares of the hungry homeless and the occasional sex fiend. Candy looked up to Rod and smiled.

"We ready?" asked Candy

"Boseman here we come." said Rod

The Mustang fired up and they were gone into the sunset west. Rod Manray's last ride began with the squeal of tire and angry roar of piston.

The Buick.

The car was going nowhere. The exhaust manifold had torn free from the block and slammed onto the pavement like a hammer. Ace was well aware of the fact that the car was going nowhere, but still looked under the hood, not so much in hopes of repairing the problem, but more in reverence for the wonders of automotive engineering. Candy finally extricated herself from the passengers seat and clipped up to Ace in her pink stilettos.

"Can you fix it?" asked Candy

"Not without a miracle." said Ace, lighting up

" are we getting to Cincinnati?" asked Candy

Ace looked Candy over and considered his options.

"Your sweet ass is how." said Ace

A few minutes later a car pulled over. A Black Buick piloted by a balding insurance salesman named Sid. Sid couldn't help but offer assistance when he saw the lonely, stricken, gorgeous blonde in distress. He pulled ahead of her car and got out. Putting on his best smile he made his way towards Candy, smoothing down what little greasy hair nature still afforded him.

"Car trouble?" asked Sid

"Yeah...I don't know what the problem is..." said Candy, twirling a lock and chewing her gum

"Let me take a look." said Sid

Sid got his head under the hood and had just enough time find out the car was fucked before the revolver began tickling his ribs. He looked up to see Ace grinning like a fiend.

"Nice car." said Ace "Keys in it?"

"Who the fu-" was all Sid got out before Candy clocked him with the tire iron

Sid slumped unto the engine block and his face sizzled slightly before Ace pulled him off and over to the shoulder.

"Man alive Candy...when you do something, you sure do it good." said Ace

"Is he dead?" asked Candy

"No, but I think tying shoes is going to be a stretch for him from here on out." said Ace, noticing the first trickles of blood coming from Sid's ears

Ace pilfered his wallet and keys and stood. Ace's car was hot but he wasn't worried about anything inside tracing it back to him. A long term parking license switch and the Buick would do him fine. Once Ace and Candy were back on the road Candy snorted a bump of horse to calm herself.

"Jesus Candy, can't you wait a little while before getting down?" asked Ace

Candy regarded Ace with eyes already half-closed and dreaming. Wordlessly she began fumbling with his fly. Ace considered stopping her but thought better. Why the hell not? He was driving a freshly stolen car at top speed towards a town filled with armed men out to kill him. Driving on a rescue mission destined to end in blood and chaos. Driving with a foxy junkie who couldn't go more than a few hours before the shakes started to turn her into an animal capable tearing through anything standing between her and the fix. Ace let her work while his thoughts drifted ahead to Cincinnati and the men he was going to have to bleed out to get to Tommy.

O’Houra's Piece.

 Ace was halfway in the bag when he got the call. Shaking his head he righted himself and picked up the receiver, he was never the one to start the conversation.

"I don't put my goods on the market without knowing what their worth."

The androgyny of the voice on the other end of the line left Ace reeling, and thus be began to fish:






"No, Esteban is dead."

"Dead? I heard he was just fired."

"There was an incident."

"So you know Esteban?"

"Not personally."


"No dear, you're forgetting the question."

"Who the fuck are you?"

"You don't know me. But I know you. Meet me by the crab shack down at the wharf. Bring a gun."

And with a click the line went dead.

Borneo was going to have to wait, and Ace needed a gun.

Ace only knew of one guy he could grab a gun from at this hour. Ace tossed aside reams of postage notes and grabbing his hat, he left the office. The Street was a quiet 3 AM. Nothing but Hooligans and Thugs. Urchins and Mollusks. Peering heads ducking around dark corners, and casual Alley-Cat murder-rape. Each punk wondering if they'll have to kill you or just cut you, every dame wondering the same. The one place to find Law at this hour? The Keg.

Patrol Officer Flattery O'Houra was 5' 5" of Irish-Asian fury. On nights like tonight he would end his shift at The Keg, desperate for the opportunity to shoot or behead some poor unsuspecting drunk who only wanted his wallet, badge, and gun [in that very specific order].

When Ace kicked open the door the tableau was too much to stand. Modern Country and Western Music blaring like a freight train. Drunk pre-teens desperately cowboy-humping those still capable of standing on the dance floor. And at the bar? Officer O'Houra tossing back sake and mescal. Ace wasted no time working his way through the dance floor. In a flash he was on the stool next to O'Houra, firing up a smoke and admiring his 16th century Katana and Springfield 1911. Both fine specimens of destruction resting on the poorly [genetically] stained pine of the bar.

"Officer O'Houra." said Ace

"Ace." Said Officer O'Houra

"I see you heat your tequila. That's very novel."

"It is an old family tradition that started in a desert...while drunk. It is a story long to tell."

"That old chestnut must roll around the Christmas table like a bun."

"Ace, you know I love our little Murder-Duels, but isn't it a little early for Dance-Floor Mortal-Combat?"

"I need your piece." said Ace

"To what end?" asked O'Houra

"Someone called me earlier. Said to meet them at the wharf and bring a piece. I left my piece in Cincinnati."

"Well then. You have it."

O'Houra slammed the worm and holstered the pistol and sword in one deadly swift motion. O'Houra began a vague, though brief, Native American war chant and looked to Ace.

"I've got a hard-on for killing Ace. Let's go meet this mystery phone guest of yours."

They made their way to the wharf without issue.

Part 2; Crazy, Political, and Letters.

I spend a lot of time

The Letter I Should Have Sent.

Wal-Mart Shareholders and Associates,

I need you to make me the CEO of this company, and tell every associate you know to do the same. The leverage you hold as a stock owner influences this business just as any, and a people united in a common ideal can help propel this company in the direction Sam had us going in before greed, corruption, and the rebellion against the founding principals that made this Company a Global Powerhouse. We have arrived. No other retail chain dare challenge us as the greatest merchants on the planet.
Many of you have forgotten this. Many of you believe that as a Wal-Mart associate you are powerless. People have berated you for working at Wal-Mart, because we have not done a good enough job in preserving our integrity, and most importantly our pride. We have become a faceless, heartless, blue vested interloper. The Death Star of the retail world. Behold Wal-Mart, destroyer of small business, and abuser of Associates!! But it’s not true.
Our basic principals of giving a hard working American a loaf of bread for less than anyone else is not an ignoble mission. We believe in honesty, ingenuity, and the true nature of a free market economy. It is not the Associates that have turned Wal-Mart into what it is, it is the Associates that hold the last hope for Wal-Mart. Policy is to blame. And I believe that guided by new innovative partnerships, a general retooling of our buying procedures and the idea that our associates come first, I can turn Wal-Mart into not only a greater place to work and shop, but a place we can all be proud to work at again. Please cast your vote for Jeremiah Liend, as the new CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated.


Jeremiah Liend

The Letter That Emancipated Me.

To: Andrew Abello
From: Jeremiah Liend
CC: Bob Morey
Subj: Resignation.


To Whom it May Concern,

I am submitting this letter as a supplement to my records and termination documentation. I end my employ at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. effective immediately. The reasons for my resignation are many and varied, but at the core is a heartfelt dissatisfaction with the policies and procedures of a company filled with endless potential, and equally endless negligence.
Wal-Mart was founded on the principals of a great man who’s heartfelt desire was to provide two things: service to the customer, and respect to the associate. One cannot succeed without the other and almost every change in the company since his death has been an efface to the dream he created. Criteria changes that take profit sharing away from associates who have worked just as hard if not harder for their slice of the pie, benefit costs that defy fiscal sense, chronic understaffing company wide, and a restructuring of management that offers no motivation to join.
The problems with the company are obvious to anyone who has worked here past a month, and yet by ignoring these simple truths you are ignoring another great idea from Mr. Sam: Listen to your associates. The paradigm has shifted from the idea of “Servant Leadership” to an “Us and Them” mentality that accomplishes nothing but further the resentment that causes a lack of productivity, ludicrous amounts of turn-over, and a popular opinion that demonizes the company we work for to media, labor unions, and the common man.
I realize that the contents of this letter will be either ignored, destroyed, or ignored and then destroyed, but I would be negligent to both my sense of obligation to my fellow associates and to myself if I simply disappeared without attempting to say what needs to be said. You have lost a powerful associate in me and am sorry that this company has not invested as much into keeping me as it has invested into demoralizing me. All the best in your future endeavors, and thank you for the opportunity to learn all that I could.


Jeremiah Liend
ON Support Manager
3233, Bemidji MN

Follow Up Letter to the President.

Dearest George,

    Good evening. Jeremiah Liend here. Still have not heard back from you on the whole "Prisoner Power" proposal. I figure you're pretty busy with the war and New Orleans thing. Still, I am languishing at Wal-Mart while sitting on more revolutionary ideas than one mind can bear to hold. On my most recent tangent I've developed, in my mind, a gun that uses American coins as ammunition. An internal grinding wheel and high pressure gas vent would fire denominations of coin ranging from dime to half dollar with deadly accuracy and effect. It would cause a complete deterioration of need for paper money, and coin collecting would take on a whole new meaning.
    But I cannot head up a research and development committee while living from pay check to paycheck. I need a fat government grant to secure me financially while I am given lee way to recruit the finest minds in my pursuit of scientific, artistic, and economic revolution. I am worried that you will be well out of office and power before you receive these mails, and that I will no doubt have lost all sense of the ingenious while trying to sell vast quantities of goods at everyday low prices. I do not mean to put the pressure on, but would love to sit down with you (or a member of your cabinet) sometime in the new year. I hope you and your lovely wife are well and look forward to hearing back from you.

Warmest Regards and Happy Summer,

Jeremiah Tavis Liend

Insult to Injury.

To: President George W. Bush
From: Jeremiah Tavis Stenerson Liend
Re: Malfunctioning Chain of Command.


    I can't imagine your curiosity will be sated until you've got the pill inside your
gut. The poison is already distributed to our enemies. It's in their blood. You've made us the most hated power on the planet. We are The Last Super Power, but the entire world hates and reviles us. They don't say so in the streets. Or rather, they do, but you don't get the broadcast.
    We all know what you did George. We've all make a mistake now and again. We all thought that they were ignorant and incompetent. Because a populace wouldn't languish under the irrational tyranny of a dictator for long before it eventually birthed a revolution? Right? We were just making sure that there was a revolt...and that we did it...and we made sure they didn't have uranium...
    How many pounds of uranium does the U.S. have? It's got to be measured in metric-tons right? We can enrich uranium as a household science project right? If they can perform brain surgery in middle school then we can train them for Trans-Mutagenic Doctorates right? Becuase you have at least salvaged our public education system right George!?!
    You fucking lunatic. I mean, I'M a lunatic. I want to do crazy things to the planet that would no doubt lead to peace and prosperity for all time. But you? You've got the big picture in mind. You wanted to gain control of Iraq so after your retirement you could promote an electric car that leaves your vanquished foes without an economic leg to stand on. That's the story right? You've got to have an ace up your sleeve or you are the worlds largest ace hole.
    Global-Stupidity. I think it's a new term. It should be in the dictionary. Your mug should be the poster child. You're a beautiful man, you know that? Look at that smile. You ever take fencing?



Bush's Retirement Plan.

The youngest and most virile we send into the fray. Desperate for an education their families can ill afford. Some of them are immigrants guaranteed citizenship for service. Men and women willing to take up arms in defense of a country they are taught not only to love, but obey without reservation or personal discrimination. They inhabit the desert so I may have cheeseburgers and digital cable. They exist in a place blighted with poverty and death while Hollywood's fornicators dominate the news agencies.

The question of a volunteer's honor and courage are never brought into question. But when only the poor stand in harms way it doesn't seem fair. They don't get to decide if there is a war. That's the rich folk. The ones in power. We have too far removed the men in suits from the men with guns. Our nation will bear the yoke of our sacrifice because the suits outnumber the soldiers and the ink and the paper is wasted right along with the bullets and jet fuel.

Because if we were really concerned with helping Iraq we would all be over there rebuilding. That's solving the problem. We would take our fridges full of ice cold water and bring them to those poor frightened people. We would clean the streets and rebuild the homes and ask them how their day went. If we gave two shits about them we would help them. But we don't.

Not as much as we care about we. We can rally. We can stand strong and proud and bear all manner of atrocity with grace and compassion. The compassion and unity comes when our buildings fall and our homes flood and our roofs are blown away like leaves. Men with blankets and soup arrive and we replace the glass, repair the homes, remove the detritus and trippingly life rolls on. But when we level a nation because they need our help and don't follow through with the freedom then it's all just the dead and the angry.

I don't like getting lied to by my government, and lies have occurred. Terrible horrible lies. And the result is a nightmare for millions. Widows and orphans wandering bandit filled streets in desperate search of water, medicine, or a shelter that won't explode. We should every one of us get into boats and planes and fly to Iraq and get them back on their feet. Come with lumber and food and electrical equipment.

George, send us that slow sailin' boat for-to ship us out to Baghdad. We'll both go! Bring the world, we'll all give them basic resources to go with their new found freedom! Just think what a great guy you would be! You would be loved and admired by the world as a builder and not a war monger! Hire us if you have to, I think we could use the work! Pay us with health insurance and education! It's a trillion dollar ideal!

But that will never happen. This is but a dream of things infeasible. I have been marginalized into an online debate with a man who claims to be Metatron. No no. Let's all just take a step back and get a grip on the big picture. Our brave men and women will continue to be ruthlessly assassinated because they are not wanted. The machine is working fine and there's no reason we can't stay the course. Bin Laden will surely be in the hands of the Canadians by next Wednesday. At the very least they will be smoking him out of his hole on Friday. Brought into the cool shadow of justice by late that evening.

We have fielded our finest on a hoard of sand in a windy day and the best thing to do now is just wait. Maybe if we elect a democrat for president he [or she] will get Iraq straightened out. If Rice can really keep Israel and Palestine drinking coffee and talking then we can get this whole middle east conflict where it belongs; in the history books. And in this wars final chapters I have nestled within a dream of mine.

I imagine, in my warmest heart of hearts, that Bush really wants to bring them freedom and prosperity. That, gazing o'er the America he built with his bare hands, he will gaze to the horizon and the pioneer spirit will kick in. He will dust off the spurs and break out the overalls. Throw a drill gun and some socks in an old rucksack and head east. He'll retire to Baghdad.

"Pack the girls and the dog into the family C-141 Starlifter Laura; we're moving East!"

The man's handy with an axe. As capable with the plowshare as the sword. He would build himself a log cabin on the sands. Sit on his porch with his 12 foot long cobra "Sandy" and a Bud Light Longneck. Hold Laura's hand and whistle. It's a dream that lets me sleep at night.

Inverted Follicular.

Inflatable Sails, Reverse-Winch Clockwork-Windmills, Carbon-Fiber Power-Suits, Ceramite Lances for Fusion-Powered Unicycles, Trans-Global Fraternity and Peace, Roach-Tipped Hand-Held Crossbow Darts, Intravascular Laparoscopic Arterial Vacuum Pumps, Bioluminescent Algae-Powered Street Lights, Rocket Propelled Pogo Sticks, The Handjob Revolution, The Bloodless Middle-Class Coup, First City Theater, The Return of the Dirigible, Free Iced Cream for Everyone, and Liberty and Justice for All. Amen.

Q’s Plea.

Sir or Madame,

   We stand on a terrible threshold where success and failure meet. The churning waters of change froth about us as we do all we can to keep our heads above it all.You are receiving this invitation because I believe that you have the character, power, and ability to assist me with an insurrectionist activity. This will be a clandestine operation that seeks to cast down the Old Guard and put in high places the renegade politicos who can carry our beleaguered hopes into the bright nourishing tomorrow. The activities we will engage in may not be considered strictly legal. As such a communications network will be established to track the movement and activities of local law enforcement. This safety net should provide us with the time we require to complete a series of objectives by the early morning. We will then get hammered off of American beer and brown liquor and toast to our continued success. If captured you are responsible to deny any involvement with our group. Suicide capsules will be distributed but their use discouraged. If you are steely enough to commit to this action respond to this message within 24 hours. You will receive instructions on rendezvous and receive preliminary objectives. If, however, the mundane has you captured then destroy this message and keep your head down.



Mary X-Mas.

And then it came to me. I was a fool to battle for one idea that would grant me a million dollars. What I really needed to do was sell a mediocre idea for a dollar. The answer came when I invented a new sport that will soon be sweeping the nation. The ill begotten funds will be used to research real estate below the sea.

If those sad fuckers at NASA would just check their God Damned E-Mails now and again we’d be off this rock by now. You and me would be living on the moon playing sports and watching our elderly jump rope. As it is the world will consider itself lucky if I have enough of the plans laid out that someone will posthumously award me some sort of wiz-bang grave stone.

At this rate I’ll be lucky if I get a nice rat-free ditch and a fist full of quick lye. What the hell does it take to get a few billion dollars these days? If I guaranteed 100,000 new jobs would that convince you to cut the check? What the fuck do you want you fat bastards!? We’re dying out here and I’m proposing we turn strip mines into recycling centers and dig up all the plastic. I’m talking about everyone flying around in comfort and with speed.

There, you see, I just designed the Locomotive Dirigible. Just tossed it out. These are the things that keep me up at night.

The Guild Tries to Go Public.

To: Kay Murphy-Schuett
From: Jeremiah Liend
cc: City Council
To All Parties Relating,
My name is Jeremiah Liend, and I am seeking two things; a business license, and to be placed on the agenda of a future Council Meeting. I would like to address the council regarding the formation of my business (The Bemidji Swashbucklers Guild), legal ramifications there-of, and some of our goals. The presentation will be no longer than 10 minutes in length, and will outline our business plan and the obstacles between our position, and our dreams. Thank you in advance for you consideration in this matter.
Jeremiah Liend
Director Bemidji Swashbucklers Guild

Note: It is my opinion that as a result of this letter Kay has always regarded me as something of a lunatic. Wouldn’t put me on the agenda either.

CS Zen.

My Samurai,

To begin, some philosophy:

"The way of the Samurai is found in death. When is comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one's aim is to die a dog's death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one's aim. We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live it cowardice. This is a thin and dangerous line. To die without gaining one's aim is a dog's death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling."

Yamamoto Tsunetomo
First Chapter

All right, flowery...artsy...kinda vague, but none-the-less good Counter-Strike advice. When attacking an opponent, your mind should not be on his allies, his weapon, his position, or the fact that you've only got three bullets in your clip. If your mind is set on his death, then you will succeed. If you do not believe it possible, you will be right. There is no dishonor in death, but to not succeed in braining your foe is dishonorable.
The essence of the online Samurai can be found in many aspects of tactic and technique, but in none of these is the honor and brutality found as vividly as the "Samurai Charge". Media and Story alike regard the Samurai Charge as a picturesque, but simplistic duel. The sword bound equivalent of the quick draw. Each opponent thrust physically towards one another, with a victor determined not by skill, but by Gi`. the spiritual force placed behind the movement. If you die while running an opponent down, you will not have died without cause or honor. But AWP camp, and the world is your enemy. This can be said of many things.


Samurai Sandwich
Daimo Alpha Samurai Clan

Beavers, Festivals, Academia, and More.

I try to wait to go public with information when I believe that it’s either noteworthy, or pressing. Impetus is tragedy [and it’s all tragic] also puts the warm muzzle to my temple and demands to hear the clicking over the chaos. I guess all of these criteria have been met in one way or another over the past month or so. As the leaves begin to fall there is a cold wind stirring.

As you no doubt know I got cock stomped at the polls. Rocked. The Ego was put through the wringer on this one. There are a number of trite sayings that build a framework for my collapse. “Nothing ventured nothing gained”, “The highest form of patriotism is insurrection”, “fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”   Etc. etc. I still get people asking how the campaign is going. My outward reaction is one of quiet reserve.

“I’m out of the game. Didn’t clear the primary. Got 69 votes, which is sexy, but ineffective.”

The conversation then branches out in a variety of directions, none of them good. “You shoulda: [insert sage political wisdom here]” “I didn’t even know I was supposed to vote.” And my personal favorite; “You’re still young.” The outward reaction is a reserved concession to fact. Inwardly I am screaming. There is a howling slathering beast rattling the very foundation of my civility. It is for the sake of quieting this beast that I’m on the wagon for a year.

Here are my final thoughts on the election:

I offered people an option. That’s all, in the end, that democracy is about. I put myself in the ring as an option. I tell people what I believe in and what I will do for them and that’s that. If you’re an informed voter, read the paper, have a passing interest in Bemidji over the last decade or so I’ve been around and want to vote for me? Keen. Capital. Bully. Thanks. I thank the sexy 69 who made the effort to support me.

I tried. Many people would be the first to offer solutions and suggestions for the future. Despite their well-intentioned criticism, I’m aware of what I did wrong. I am well aware. I am obviously not the Machiavellian vision of the north woods prince, but I am also not stupid. What I did was with the best of intentions and I will leave it at that.

BSU is interesting. So many young people shuttling themselves this way and that. Beavers everywhere.

I hope Samsung got this.


    I would like to speak to a shipwright about the approximate cost and feasibility in designing a seafaring vessel that is propelled by inflatable sails. The Sails would be hundreds of yards wide, and held aloft with a cellular Helium superstructure. The sails could be raised or lowered to find the most powerful winds. Solar cells on the sails would provide auxiliary power, and could ideally be raised above cloud cover. You claim that you are a company who prides itself on efficiency and quality. If such a vessel could be made, would you? And what would be the cost to me?


Jeremiah Liend
Bemidji Swashbucklers Guild


Send them in. You're going to need close air support from aircraft made of plastic and glass. Minimum 5,000 infantry armed to the teeth and trained in at least 3 sword forms. My Ceramite Armor will make your rounds [even the Teflon coated bastards] as useless as harsh language to my kineto-hyraulic-powered super soldiers.

Your exterior perimeter should begin around North Dakota. I hope you weren't banking on the Great Lakes remaining fresh water. For your sake I hope that you've kept Canada in the loop about my goings ons. I can't imagine they will take your northern tank buffer very kindly without prior permission. Stephen Harper responds to his mail a lot faster than George W though and I think he and I are starting to see eye to eye.

I know about the explosives you've implanted in my teeth and can assure you that detonation would be a bad idea if you want little Suzy Q to survive the night. I've been gnawing on her neck for the past week and her carotid is getting pruny. If you're going to send in the ninja I suggest you do it before my oral digestive enzymes break the skin.

Your surveillance team was sloppy. As a side-effect of my exposure to certain isotopes I can feel your microwaves on my skin. In my bowels. The old lady was a nice touch, but you should have planted someone with less to lose. One foot rub and she was a convert. 80 years olds make the best double agents. Your central information center should be on fire in..3...2...

By now the lines will be jammed. Your Alpha Strike contingency was based on an initiative that is now in my steadfast grip. The Combat-Taurus line has hit the streets. Ford vehicles are incredibly easy to retrofit with Surface to Air missiles. Maybe that's why they're in all the Bond films. Bellow is a list of my demands. I expect a response within the hour or Ohio is mine.

1. Middle-Class Amendment to The Constitution.

2. Immediate Nuclear Disarmament as per "Sol Solution".

3. 7,000,000 USD in Gold Bullion.

4. Title and Lands befitting my new position as the USA's premier Lord High Institutioner.

5. Lake Bemidji.

6. The living body of George W. Bush or his head [living].

7. Low-Orbit Laser.

You should not have sat on your hands for so long. The game is mine. No hard feelings.

Low Orbit.

Ours is a war of apathy and acceptance. All sense of power drained from us by our government, our media, and our education. Genius is a thing of the past. Why shoot for genius when you can lurk in the dark and forgotten corners of the mundane. Immemorially mourned as a victim of cancer. A man who loved his wife. A child stolen too soon. Old. I hope to be fucking old when they finally kill my head.
Thousands. Low Orbit. Armed with a space laser. Because a floating impenetrable asteroid with a laser on it...hoo. That's where you want to be. Just a head. Floating above the little blue orb. Crosshairs neatly carved into my cornea. Only one eye left, but still. Who needs depth perception when firing from space? Honestly.

New plan.

You rob a Hollywood wedding, strip them naked and take photographs, sell off their genetic material, pawn the stand to make a mint. It's a billion dollar idea.

I Solved the Energy Crisis.

Artesian Wells. Keith told me about them, I looked it up and I begged the question. If I sunk a hose to the bottom of deepest sea would water erupt out of the other end? And if it did, we used a turbine to produce electricity, would we have power forever? It's like a power dam without the need for a river.

Eventually someone will write back. I think it's policy.

To: Department Of Defense Higher-Ups
From: Jeremiah T. Liend
cc. The President

I was trying to get hold of the Navy regarding my ideas for inflatable sails. Put simply, it is the answer to a completely fuel independent Super-Vessel. It would be the terror of the seas. No one is willing to listen to my ideas because they believe me mad. The President has yet to respond to my prior e-mails. But truly, if you would simply listen to me, we could defend this country much more effectively and economically. Please respond to this with the address provided, as I am rarely home. All the best on the war on terror. I await your queries with anticipation and hope.

Warmest Regards,

Jeremiah T. Liend

War Camp.

Summer camp is for the dead! The rich demand the lives of your children to get their natural resources! But when the time comes to serve or starve don't let your little Joey or Stacy enter the field of combat unprepared and unawares! Send them to WAR CAMP! The camp of the future! Where simulated combat situations put your son or daughter in control! Anti-Terrorism! Counter-Terrorism! And Super-Terrorism! And the best part?
It's free!!! And successful graduation from our course of combat activities makes your son or daughter eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill! Just think! Practical, applied, non-deadly combat training, and money for college!! So call your local representative and make it happen! Today!

Vigilante Justice.

So my car got broken into...again. Not that I lock it. Because if I lock it they will just break the window. How do I know this? Because it happens in my shitty apartments parking lot all the damned time. I once sat with a friend for 5 hours at night, watching the lot with a camera hoping to catch the bastards, but to no avail. The following day my car was broken into. But this time the bastards have gone too far. They stole my walkie talkie. It's not mine, it's the companies. Granted it was foolish to leave it in the car, but it was hidden, and I was too tired to think clearly. So here's the plan, I wait in my garage with an air pistol, a sword, and then bait the thief with my attaché case and maybe some smokes. Then? When I hear my crappy doors creak open I hurl open the garage door, litter him/her with pellets and demand they return my radio lest I take their hand. I won't take their hand because my sword is too dull, but I bet between the bee-like stings of my 350 FPS plastic and my intimidating demeanor they will think twice before they try ripping me off again. I'm only telling you all so when he/she presses charges it will be known that my intent was not murder. That will get me less jail time I bet.

The First Independent Production.

Willfully Subitted: Quaddle DDS
To: Guild higher-ups.
Subject: First Production.

Dearest Sirs and/or Madams,

The First Production is complete and there were few survivors. There are those who will fondly remember the evening of October 6th with whimsy and melancholy, while others will not be able to control the screaming. As a venture I’d say the promotion was a total failure, the quality of the performers fantastical, and the nature of the audience frenzied and uncontrolled.
The word is a difficult thing to get out when one is too terrified to leave the home. Having to hoof it to and fro with a sinister black bag fastened to you makes for poor witnesses. Men screaming obscenities at the deranged fez wearing fiend with the foils and the smarmy sashay. I recall quite recently an exchange at the intersection of Hanna and Paul Bunyan;

“You fucking loser! Why don’t you fucking kill yourself!?!?” said the strange man leaning out of the passenger seat.

To which I responded:

“Why don’t you say that to my face you dickless son of a bitch!?”

Whether or not my voice was heard or if it was simply washed away in the evening traffic white noise is a question which will haunt me untill I find that rat fucker and punch him in the throat. Maybe he was a friend...more than likely he is a coward.
Such are the difficulties inherent in striking the mean streets of Bemidji. Bouncing too and fro like a social bubble on the winds of change. New student body in. A tanned and salty population with wet weed and cheap beer. Freed of the constraints of their familial homes these young and free spirited hardbodies lurk in garages filled with foose and booze. Ping bong; a new and unusual game involving water pipes and the carefull sodomy by regulation Ping Pong Society of the Cosmos balls. No seams you see...avoids internal lacerations.
It’s a hive with a central brain stem removed. There is no drive or union, just 5,000 strangers unleased on the northwoods with hormones, the euphoric ignorance to the fallacy of the American Dream, and narcotics plfered from the more civilized sections of suburban Minnesota. Here in the northwoods we have no need of them.
Bemidji is Eden. Not pre-murder Eden, but certainly a colection of true believers. Nature lovers. Hard-Core-Anti-Freeze-Blooded-Berserkers. To those who say they do not like the cold, I urge them to flee. This is going to be a cold one. I once saw a dog freeze to death while squating. Sheltie I Lassie only smaller and frozen. The owner was sad about his loss and lifted the bitch into the warmth of the entranceway to thaw before he brought the beast to the pound for cremation. Drop the box down an ice-fishing hole and call it good. Otherwise it’s picks and sturdy shovels.
But these are just observations about the new breed that’s arrived. I’ve tried to make a long list of names, but these are only faces and situations that arise out of the cerebral stew I refuse to remove from the burner. Phil, Mike, Brandon, Holly, Josh, maybe a Simon...terrifying the Bixby crowd with a stalking man in black. But hell...horses are expensive.
If you compare the operating cost of your average truck against providing a working steed with grain warmth and water it seems to me that the choice should be obvious. I believe strongly that every person should be vegetarian, but can’t for the life of me think of a world without burger. A world without meat is like a world without hope. But I could do it if the option were not there. One day we just eat them all, that’s my vote. Beef Day. Just consume the resource and never look back. Stop feeding the stupid beasts precious grain supplies and have the largest BBQ the planets ever seen. If God can waste the dinosaur in a week surely we can level the cow population in a weekend. Bring on the Super Bowl.
The band was hopping. It was dancing and stomping. Hard Wood instrumentation manipulated like a six string orchestra. One stick played over an oval of skin like a post-mortem shiatsu. The bow danced on the fiddle like a see-saw in a gravity free environment, pressure suited children gaily screaming in musical rhythm. Performers seated and dancing, audience enchanted and delighted. It was a performance to be proud of, but we’re going to take a bath in the end.
Everyone tells me they’d rather rent a movie. Who likes the theater any longer? Some call performance a dead art, but I prefer to think of it as the most beautiful corpse at the homecoming ball. Chintz respectfully covering the more sensual portions of the sheet-white skin. Eyeshadow dark and unmoving.
Yes. Let us all sit in our rooms and allow the electro-boxes to bring us our learning and emotion. The real world is as mundane as it is frightening. Let us bury ourselves in our rooms, most smaller than a nice cell. We shall become monks of the unfeeling and prisoners of the unknowing. Our neigbor is a stranger and our hal mate is a freak. Better to tan by the light of microsoft windows. Better to nurse the teet of digital aproval.
The future looks bright. The word is out and the mark has been made, black and bleeding and so miserably symbolic. We are a go for phase 2. To those of us who exist outside the box our task is clear. The box is the coffin and we needs must save our dead. This Hallows eve I intend on calling them forth.
Life is the perpetual pursuit of consumption. Material is the favored pursuit, but wealth is an illusion. I would foresake a chest of gold-lined vaginas for a mission and a course and a sense of truth. A brother on every corner and a turkey on every knee. But when I see a ticket it’s never the price that gets me, it’s the time. An evening that could be spent porking or eating a sandwich...idealy filled with pork. The television I’ll be missing to spend time exposed to disease and BO. HBO is a constant star, bright with quality progaming. Why expose myself to dangerous night-time solar radiation?  Please respond with confirmation of intent and mission details. To the Guild, and tomorow.

Agent Q.

George W. Bush is a complete tool.

This is not to be witty, or fun, or spiteful. Hateful? Sure. Righteous? I think so. I just have to get it off my chest is all. There are a lot of people out there who would use fancy statistics and socio-political models and staggering numbers and things of that nature to make you look like a tool and a villain. They would be verbose, informed, and concise. I've got trash talk. It's not the best argument, but it's certainly the most satisfying.
George. You need to stop trying to run the country and start praying. Because Jesus? Although he loves you, he's very disappointed in you. George, you've been a very bad human. You've started a war. Oh I know, I know, YOU didn't start the war, the war came to us. But that's a lie George. They were all Saudi's George. Saudi Arabians. But that doesn't matter either George, because no matter who it was, we've got to turn the other cheek. When I hear the religious preaching about respect for life I have to ask myself, at what point did God say we should go to war? At what point does God say it's alright to kill? Every true Christian should place their gun in the ground and swear never to take a life. That's an easy promise to make.
But you George? You thought it would be fun.
"I'm a war-time president."...oh George. My experience, and success,  playing "Risk: The Game of Global Domination" gives me a better chance at being a "War-Time President".
They won George. They wanted to kill us not so we would all roll over and die, but because it would make every American suspicious and frightened. And you've helped them George!! We all pretty much hate each other now. Republicans VS. Democrats has polarized our political system to the point where nothing will ever get done.
So this election, I can't vote against you. But I am sure as hell going to burn you in effigy. I will never burn a flag because I am a patriot. But I'll burn a Bush just to see you burn. To see your final destination. And there's not a damned thing you can do to stop me, unless you can convince me you've seen the light...and you don't answer your mail.
Swinging for the Fences on the Dirigible Front.

To:  Judith Dillon, Office of Research Support, Duke University
Al Joersz, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
Susan Nichols, DARPA
Boeing Investor Relations
Dr. Jon E. Quistgaard, President, Bemidji State University,
Dr. Anthony Schaffhauser, Executive Director Center for Research and Innovation
Dr. James R. McCracken, Bemidji State University Coordinator, B.A.S. Technology Management

From: Jeremiah T. Liend

Re: Research Funding Grant

I am a student inventor residing in Bemidji, Minnesota. I am attending Bemidji State University for Applied Engineering. Even as I do, I petition fine people like you to assist me in assembling a nation-wide team of aeronautical, nautical, electrical, mechanical, and environmental engineers to design and construct the Worlds Largest Aircraft. It will be a solar dirigible 300 meters from nose to tail. She would be designed in a year, the following would see the construction of a fabrication facility gargantuan enough to build her, she would be laid out the next, and she would launch a year following that. 4 years from green light to launch, and the green light cannot come soon enough.

The primary use of such a vessel would be transfer of personnel and secondarily the transportation of fresh water, but the real applications for such a craft are numerous; Communications, Security, Automated Emergency Response, Meteorological Research, Orbital Assistance Platform, and more. What would be lacking in speed would more than be accommodated by sheer carrying capacity. Transatlantic ferries that would shuttle vehicle and passenger. Air-based triage centers that could descend on natural disasters with speed and carrying hundreds of evacuees to safety.

Her name shall be the USAS Victorious and in my heart and mind she is already aloft. She will use only the latest and greatest that modern science has to offer. Light and impervious she would harvest the sun to power her systems. Automated flight systems would eliminate the need for large crews. Pressure turbines would hold her in the night as a compliment of 100 passengers and 30 crew ride the zephyrs to their destination.

The time has come for America to wrest the title of Largest Aircraft from Nazi hands. The time has come for people to come together and build something so grand and amazing that no one can deny it is a World Wonder. This is not a new idea, but simply a step forward in our technological evolution. I lack the competence to rally the right minds to my cause. My passion for the idea is lost amid the fear of failure.

I seek help to build this vessel in desperate communication with Lockheed-Martin, The Department of Defense, Air Force officers, and professors. I mailed the offices of Dr. Paul MacCready a month before his unfortunate death. I tell everyone I know that my dream and purpose to exist is to see my ship fly. I am certain that it can be done, and all that is required is the right team. America spent nearly 7 Billion dollars on the Comanche Attack Chopper only to find it was too expensive to make. With a fraction of that sum we can send Victorious to the heavens.

My city has a Center for Research and Innovation. I am working with them in building a green transit system through the IDEA Competition. We are a hard working and industrious lot in Bemidji. Creative and bright we live in a slice of frigid paradise. But on the very near horizon is the complete downfall of the lumber industry and in short order we are going to need jobs. Jobs a dirigible plant could create.  What I really need are allies. Friends. Fellow dreamers. Motivated and courageous pioneers. I think that if we could all work together and discuss the real potential that the ball would start rolling in the right direction.

It's all downhill once you tell people it's never been done before. I want to assemble a team of engineers and scientists to design and construct the largest aircraft in the world. It will be powered by the sun and the wind, as all things have and forever shall be. It will carry people on a cloud of helium to heights amazing. To the skies shall be born a vessel so fantastic and wonderful that mankind as a whole, and Americans in particular, will be able to gaze into the heavens with pride and hope. We can do it. You can help me. Please help me. I must believe that eventually, if I tell enough people, my earnest plea will fall unto the right ears and into the right minds. Be those minds.

Happy Holidays and thank you in advance for your attention and regard.


Jeremiah T. Liend.

Citizen Arrest The President.

As a free member of American society I declare that I am placing President George W. Bush under citizen’s arrest. His criminal negligence has led to the death of thousands of American lives and caused the death of an additional tens of thousands of foreign innocents. Congress will take no action, the military is under his command, and though people maintain we are under the rule of a tyrant there is  very little being done. Well I’ve just placed the man under arrest, so there. No man is above the law. This nation was formed under the premise that every man is created equal and to be held accountable for their actions. I am therefore forced to demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of our nations leader. I request that the DC police department place him under arrest and hold him for questioning. It’s time that men in power be held accountable for their heinous actions as President Bush himself has held leaders accountable for theirs. In addition to charges of manslaughter I  would also like to see George prosecuted for kidnapping and assault. I eagerly await news of his arrest. As fellow citizens if you feel as I do and believe as I believe then please mail me letters of support while I languish in sunny Guantanamo Bay.


Last night I went to the Bemidji School Board meeting intending on speaking when the board called for anyone in attendance with business with the school to speak. It's standard procedure for public meetings and I was assured by one of the board members that it would be asked. I sat through an hour forty five in that room listening to their pedantic meanderings, waiting for my chance to get up and offer to buy the old High School auditorium for $15. There was no call. There was the swift clack of a gavel and I was left holding my dick in my hand. I stormed out of the room, too livid with anger to trust myself to speak. Here's my new quote I got out of it:

"Bureaucracy is the mother of inaction"

Yes. The only reason I have to cease my bitching is that between my personal issues and the impending world war I guess the life of one renegade cage rattler doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Cha-Sigh.

How to Destroy Wal-Mart.

To really successfully collapse Wal-Mart there must be a workers revolution. A non-violent siege that goes well beyond a strike. Non-Perishable food stuffs must be used to block all entrances to the store and the rebel associates must live off the remaining foodstuffs. Placed on a 2000 calorie diet and with enough fresh water the renegades, barring any sort of military incursion, could survive for a very long and relatively pleasant time. Millions of dollars would be lost to the store itself, the nation would sympathize with the workers plight, and Wal-Mart would be forced to re-evaluate the plausibility of a total corporate collapse. May work. Have to try it out I guess.

The Africa Solution.

The problems in Africa are vast and unpleasant. I've got a solution for at least one of their biggest problems: AIDS. What a horrible horrible disease. But also a fantastic weapon. What the infected portions of this continent need to develop are guns that fire their own AIDS infected blood into their enemies [AKA the rest of the planet]. A simple CO2 delivery system fueled by an IV/Dart projectile would suffice to infect those unfortunate combatants who would resist them. Instantly the enemy would then become a brother in the cause to find a cure. Enough of the world is infected and either there will be a global plague that makes the Black Death look like Chicken Pox, or doctors and pharmaceutical companies that are focusing the bulk of their energies on the next erection holding pill [or my favorite, yellowed toe-nail solutions] will be forced to save themselves, and my proxy the planet. An alternative to the gun idea is a more sinister sort of suicide bombing that would involve pressurized explosives injected into key arteries that more or less pop the victim unto an unsuspecting crowd. I will not for a second maintain that this is either a sane, moral, or recommended solution to the problem. But fuck...something’s got to get done.

Glenn Beck; Please Shut the Fuck Up.

I know that by simply acknowledging that you are alive is in some way promoting you, but I can only remain silent to a tyrant for so long. You sir, need to shut the fuck up. You need to plug up your pile hole with fudge sandwiches and deep-fried children or whatever insane diet fuels your ignorance bellows. A foundry of the shoddiest thoughts and opinions ever constructed by a pudgy corporate tool. Glenn, everyone hates you. People only watch you so they can get into a good-old-fashioned gnashing mood. You make people gnash. I know your first thoughts on reading this will be;

"WTF? Who's this tool who can tell me, and Iconic Lord of Video-Journalism if not High Commander of Hate-Filled Mass Communication what to do.?"

Well, Glenn, I'm the dude sent by the people to kick you in the
pudendum. So just get on your 2 Million Dollar boat and make yourself scarce for a while.

Begged Borrowed and Stolen; Notes From a Renegade Northwoods Producer.

Dearest Guests,

I will be the first to admit that I am in the relative infancy of my producing career. I've been, for a very long time, an actor and nothing more. I have dabbled in directing and enjoyed it, but directing gigs are not as lucrative as I would like. But producing? To pick a show, cast it, build it from nothing into theater magic? That's the ticket. To that end, prompted by frustration perpetual over never having enough control, I quit my job of three years and decided to follow my dreams of making a success out of myself by creating amazing theater.

I did not start out, as most producers do, with the most vital element of any show; money. In most respects I am not a rich man. Rich in friends? Oh yes. Rich in family? Certainly. Rich in talent? I can make the argument. Rich in currency? No. Big no on that one. Producing is a hobby for the idle rich, or the passion of a few elite renegades. I prefer the latter. As a result my tactics of producing are brutal, inventive, and cunning in turns. Have I figured everything out? Not even close. I've got the pieces on the floor and am reading the instructions in Japanese.

Thus far I have yet to make my financial return goals which involve dozens and dozens of dollars. Mostly I go in the hole. Which is distressing. But I'm still trying. Which is good. Conveniently since I have no real means there's relatively little that can be taken from me aside from organs and pride. I've got pride to spare.

"The Importance of Being Earnest" has been a labor of love. It was my hope that if I got enough high-caliber acting/directing talent in the same room there would be a threshold dynamic that would push a good show into the fantastical. My hypothesis has been realized and the show that has been born is a dread example of how renegade theater can go toe to toe with "professional" any day of the week. It is my hope that you enjoy this performance as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you. Look to the horizon and you will see my next production looming. I look forward to seeing you there.


Jeremiah Liend

Mr. President; The Exit Strategy

Dearest President Bush,

Everyone seems to be looking for the ultimate exit strategy. There is an ever growing populace of level headed people who are tired of flag draped coffins returning to the states for no tangible reason. A war began with a lie should at the least end with a semblance of truth; American lives are worth more than sand and oil. But how to get out? That's the question.

Democrats don't have a plan. Republicans don't want to admit it, but they don't have a plan either. George, you sure as fuck have no clue what you're doing because I'm fairly certain my youngest brother could beat you at Risk. So here's the plan stud. I've got it down to a science. Been thinking about it since I knew we were going. It's a multi-phase plan as devious as it is brilliant.

Step 1; Gather our forces. This will involve finding our troops in and around the nation of Iraq and getting them to a staging area, in this case, an airport and/or seaport.

Step 2; Put them on planes. We've got plenty. We can certainly use helicopters. Not all of our forces will return by air of course. We've also got ships.

Step 3; Bring them home. Send them back to their wives, families, children and pets. Provide them with ticker tape parades. Laud them for their bravery and courage in the face of the most ill-motivated invasion of this new millennia.

Blam. Three steps and we're out. It will take a few weeks. There will be some consequences for our new found brothers and sisters in Iraq. There will be chaos because political revolution does this. People will die. I fail to see how the children referred to as 'collateral' while we were bombing the living hell out of the country are suddenly of dire concern to us, but I can assure you that in the end, they will thank us.

Rebuilding? Sure. I'm all about that. They need water, food, power, and all the amenities that come with freedom, democracy, and a bright new American-Free Iraq. We can let the world do that. They will do so for pennies on the dollar if they are assured that they are not going to be kidnapped or bombed, and with us gone? Odds of their safety sky rocket. They are not a poor country. They have quite a bit of oil that I'm sure you'd like to buy off them. We'll send them a fruit basket for Ramadan and keep track of how their kids are doing in school. If they've got questions about how to run a country you can forward them your e-mail [maybe you'll respond to the Prime Minister with more speed than myself].

Meanwhile? We invest the money we would be spending on a fruitless war of attrition on things like...oh...your disabled veterans how about? For starters. Maybe give back some of the benefits that you raped out of them while they were overseas? Maybe offer their children health care and the chance at an education? Maybe give them the combat pay they should have coming to them for being in a perpetual red zone despite the victory being declared before we even hung the bad guy.

Was their struggle in vain? Not even by the criteria of it's insane progenitor [I'm gonna make you break the spine on your dictionary George]. We found out that no; in fact there are no weapons on mass destruction. Nope. None of those. Check. Did we find the evil-doer and smoke him out of his hole? Yes. Quite literally. Done smoked Saddam out good. Like the vermin he was. Did we bring him to justice? Well we certainly killed the shit out of him! Can't get more Texas justice than that!

Vengeance is yours George!! You are the New Haven Connecticut born son of a rich man who has became the Ultimate Texan Ranger! I prostrate myself before your ungodly might and pray that my praises save me from your righteous wrath. But George? It's time to bring the boys home. They've done your good works and deserve a little respite. A little time with the kids before we shoot them over to North Korea. World War III will come soon enough my President and Chief Commander, you've made that an inevitability. Just take a break and go out on a good note. Jeb will have the reigns soon enough.

I know that Iran looks juicy right now. Filled with holocaust denying evil-doers. Chock full of fundamentalists. Probably Al-Qaeda agents on every street corner selling enriched uranium to kids, but George, they've got a real army. Lots of men with lots of guns. An Air force even. They were Persia for a while. We'll come back to them after we've got the draft up and running again.

So there it is. That's the plan. I trust you will ignore it as you've ignored all of my best ideas, but I'd be a fool not to offer up the solution when so many seem to be struggling. Obviously they don't play Risk.


Jeremiah Liend

On the removal of screams from 9/11 recordings.

Holy fuck shit. What the fucking shit are you talking about? You filthy fucks? Let's hear the screams. Let's get immersed in the terror. If we are a knee deep in it now, bring the terror on. Let's super-accelerate the terror warning. How about DEFCON? What the hell happened to that? That was at least the Cold War definition of how close we were to the apocalypse. Why can't we just broadcast that as a little digit at the bottom of the screen? By the time it hit 1 we'd all be vaporized or dying of radiation poisoning anyhow. What about we just get rid of them? Fire the missiles into sun and be done with it? Ensure they may never be reassembled and simply take that option away? Make it a fair fight? Stand up and play like a REAL superpower.
Swords and picks and crossbows in a Mad-Max like epic of unholy proportions. But in order to pull it off we've got to hear the screams. See the pictures. Review the footage. Take a look at ignorance, bigotry, holy war and death brought to us in streaming non stop visions of blood and chaos. HDTV brings you: "The Best of Roadside Bombs: Volume I". Dolby 7.0 surround sound thrumming you in your seat as your vehicle Overpasses a deadly Improvise Explosive Device. And the screams, oh the screams they will echo. Echo through graphically equalized intra-audio speakers. And for once a generation will know the horror before we scramble again to elect a "War-Time President." And for once we'll stop watching Action movies to bring us our thrills. And the men with one leg will stop coming home. And the children will stop having to go away. And fueled with horrified brotherhood we would once again find how fucking good it is to live and breath in fresh air.

Fucking defense contractors never bother writing back.


   My name is Jeremiah Liend. I've been avoiding writing you for some time, fearful of sounding like either a lunatic or a moron. At this point desperation has forced my hand to offer you only an honest appeal for your attention and employment. I have long been interested by the military and for an equally long time been frustrated by the stagnation in our military advancement. Defense funds diverted into researching the next ballistic
missile, or the next aircraft, when practical application of my ideas would save lives both on the battlefield and here at home. It's not only a question of morality, but of morale.

   Of all the projects I would most like to spearhead the one with
the most promise is WOMB II. In short it is a self contained coffin sized first response
incubator. The initial application for the device was conceptualized while trying to find a
better means of cosmetic enhancement. With recent advancements in laparoscopic surgery, however, the advantages of a self-contained surgical environment reach far beyond the aesthetic.

   Imagine, if you will, a 7" long cylinder with interior cavity sockets and exterior
couplings running the length of the posterior and dorsal face. The patient would be
isolated, intabated, and then the entire compartment would be flooded with an oxygenated, nutrient rich gel. In emergency medical situations remotely stationed
surgeons would isolate and stabilize patients all while said patient was inbound to a central treatment facility. Once on site surgery could be performed all while the patient remains in a sterile, controlled environment.

   Using a relatively non-invasive regiment of drugs (sensory deprivation will do the
bulk of the work) the patient could be contained within WOMB II and receive a complete
physical overhaul. NutriJected Electro Shock could rebuild muscle groups, intravascular
probes could rebuild pulmonary trauma, and self-replicating stem procedures could even
regenerate dead tissue.

   There are those who would maintain that such a radical leap into the future of
medical science is fiction, but I truly believe that it is a reality that can be achieved in short order. However, I need a team of the most powerful minds on the planet. I need
mechanical engineers, biochemists, doctors from every specialty, working together to
develop the single most advanced medical tool on the planet.

Please respond post haste, as delay will only hinder my resolve.


Jeremiah Liend

Limbaugh VS. Franken Bloodfight.

To: Interested Parties.
From: Agent Q
Regarding: Limbaugh Bests Franken in Third Round.
Location: undisclosed Subterranean compound.

For Immediate Release

Bemidji 03-07-09

I have just returned from another Political Bloodfight and Limbaugh took it in the third. I’ve survived the ordeal through no help from several subversive elements who went berserk at the end. When the bell didn’t stop anyone from trying to kill anyone else I took my leave. I have seen soccer riots in Pamplona and bulls gore men in white outfits but never until this night have I witnessed such a horrifying display of human depravity.

The world of Underground Political Houses goes farther back than Wikipedia can tell me. Wikipedia stopped taking me down the rabbit hole with a series of stubs designed to throw me off the trail. To find the truth about it I had to do some really unwholesome things. Including, but not limited to, stockpiling vast reserves of firearms, cached in various GPS coordinates in the lower 48, purchasing a pleasure boat chock full of SAM missiles set to perpetually troll the waters of our Western Seaboard, and subscribe to a netflix account. The purchase of these items were bartered against fraudulent bonds hastily printed out late one night at a Kinkos. The night manager there maintains a copy of this report in the event I am captured.

Well… that is to say captured again. The men came for me in a limo and not a van, and I knew that the gig was on. The fools took a step past the threshold and I had them.

“Is there a Quaddle here?” he spoke with a Wisconsin accent and I could tell that he was in business.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Have a seat.” I offered.

The pitch was simple. I had credible information that Franken had thrown a copy of his book at Limbaugh one night in a flagrant display of his superior throwing arm. Limbaugh had taken it personally. When you print a book calling someone out as a big fat idiot you’ve got something to prove. An Agent of the Guild had penetrated the Campaign fairly early in 07. The Agent had digitally captured a continual correspondence between Franken and Limbaugh. Handwritten letters that were read then cursed over in front of the fire for several hours. Screaming proclomations of vengance into the night while getting savagely hammered. At the end the letters were cast into the flames. What was strange is that they both did he same things.

A Counter Agent from the Limbaugh camp had been injected several years ago posing as an intern. The Agent has been eating vast quantities of sedatives to maintain their calm appearance while an intense and binding Level 4 Hate Code is held, in warrant, against an ass kicking as yet unrendered. Both Agents had swallowed their personal feelings for a deep insertion mission. It had fallen to me to get the go ahead to deliver terms and assess blood types.

The suits were from the AP and wanted money if I didn’t want to see my granny get beaten. You can’t show fear or compassion for these thugs however, and once you show them you’re the larger dog they generally come to terms with the inevitability of it all. Coffee and smoking helps the process. Lets people be people and maintain a civil tone. The liaison I would be working with was a war correspondent named Spencer. I have no truck with war people myself. The entire concept being like watching the human zoo eat itself with passive journalistic integrity. But the terms were quite clear and I had to brook a liaison if I was to get my cut of the words.

The fight was to go down at midnight and the location was to be held by The Guild until 11. Both parties were maintained at a local hotel. Franken had been to Bemidji before. It’s a town someone can get used to. It has a natural beauty that is accepted as written to it’s eclectic Northwood’s inhabitants. In addition it has a simmering socio-political system insular to renegadism, nihilism, and most forms of atheism.

I spent most of the day previous the fight napping. And then it was midnight, and here I am the following morning. Sweet God their quantities of blood. But first let me tell you about the arena. A portion of lake had been cleared of snow and it’s ice buffed by industrial sanders just hours before the fight. By the time the two vehicles arrived on the scene there it was. A perfect square in the center of it all, created using a length of string and a blowtorch.

Both combatants were removed from their respective trunks. Limbaugh was belligerent which was to be expected. There was ample trunk space, but he is an ample man. Franken had room to spare. It appeared that he had been either napping or praying. In any case he popped out of the trunk like a jack rabbit and started shaking hands with men in black ski masks. Limbaugh had kept a number of 8 by 10s and handed them out to the guard. The weapons were arrayed on a blanket on the ground. as a rudimentary witness/press galley was herded to the front. Ski masks were the fasion, but a few faces stuck out.

Swashbuckler’s rules had been the agreed terms. 3 Rounds Gentlemen’s duel. Points scored only by ring-out, disarm, or knockdown. Ice fighting makes the prospect ring-outs likely. Depending on weapon choice of course. A coin flip gave Limbaugh his choice first and he immediately choose the bokken. It was a well balanced choice and there was general applause from the crowd of witnesses. Underground Press associates mostly. Some members of congress that will obviously remain nameless. And Bono of course. Bono’s been at every fight I’ve been to.

Franken took the foil and there was a general cheer. Both men were told to remove their jackets and the bell was struck. A round goes for 5 minutes, and when you’re standing on a frozen lake at night, the moon and reflected snow your only light, listening to the exchange of uncertain weapons wielded by martialless foes, those 5 minutes can last a lifetime. Some people had claimed that both men fenced in college. But it seems like every man above 30 in the world took fencing in college. It’s a phenomenon.

Whether they had fenced before was difficult to say. Limbaugh seemed to have a certainty in his stance. Open legged, bokken held firm and straight. His weight was a great boon on those frozen waters. It’s all a question of balance. In a Swashbuckling Ice Fight it’s all a question of striking someone to make them fall over, or force them out of the ring, but this fight was neither of those things. Forsaking the conventions of gentlemanly engagement both men closed distance and began pummeling themselves in the face and shoulders for a solid 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Their goggles offered protection to their eyes, but Franken had sliced open Limbaugh’s brow like a butterball carved by a ruleless electric knife. Limbaugh had given as good as he’d got though, and scored several solid head shots that had left Franken incoherent and bloody as their seconds attended.

The Mortician began estimating cost to bury both men when above the general applause from the gallery came Limbaugh crying to the heavens;

“I’m not done! Superglue my face you bastards! I’m not done with him!!”

The surgeon consulted and agreed that under no circumstances should the fight proceed, but satisfaction was by mutual consent and so it fell to Franken to respond. He looked like a dying fish. Even a foam core bokken can wreak havoc on a man’s senses. It’s like a prefrontal lobotomy performed by Dr. Nerf [Dr. Wham-o assisting]. The trauma is singular and fierce, but Franken took it well and before the surgeon was given the ear of the judge Franken leapt to his feet and stormed to his corner.


And both men set to laughing as the judge rang the bell for round two. Round two was a different sort of beating all together. The goggles kept the blood from tearing eyes as Limbaugh hacked into Franken’s midsection like a starving lumberjack after a nest of squirrels. Franken’s foil hissed and sang through the air before cutting into Limbaugh’s meaty torso. Franken worked Limbaugh over with the terrible cadence of a machine administrated whipping. Again the bell ringing stopped the physical violence. The blows scored coming out of round one gave Franken a lead in points, but these points would only work into a draw. Coming into round three it was all a matter of time before Limbaugh would lunge, or Franken would fail a retreat.

It was a Shlagger bent academic brawl. Both men wanted blood, and they received it in quantity. Again the surgeon urged the duel be ended, and this time the declaration of satisfaction lay with Franken. At this point the witnesses were chomping at the bit. This was an underground Political Brawl that was a long time in coming. Bono was staying, which was rare. 9 out of 10 times fights are interrupted by the police to indemnify the county against death liability. Bono doesn’t enjoy being arrested. It’s all legal hocus pocus. In reality the cock fights are all hedged bets. A power struggle that has filled a terrible void left by newsless 24 hour broadcast. Advertising advertising advertising and all that.

Franken was first on his feet again and my God the blood. Both men had really worked some havoc on one another. Took no quarter. Brooked no retreat.


The bell barely had time to ring before both men were on the ice, charging center ground with fierce howls into the cold night. Watching two masters of the mob Samurai Charge one another on a frozen lake at 11 minutes into a day? Five minutes can last a lifetime when the men in black are really working things out. Letting gentlemen fight like gentlemen. Take it out on the ice. With blades. And blood.

Obviously Franken was trampled. Once Limbaugh committed all 1,000 pounds of his flaming fat at Franken it was all in the hands of physics. Franken was trampled for a while and then crushed. Limbaugh broke his ankle in the process of crushing him, but it did not matter. Franken was first to hit the ground under Limbaugh’s bulk, and so the match had ended with Limbaugh scoring 1 knockdown, Franken none.

Both men were remanded to medical professionals and as of press time they are expected to survive. With any hope this will finally quell Limbaugh’s sissy-boy whining and get Franken some respect in St. Paul. Who knows? I guess we’re all just lucky they didn’t choose chainsaws. The night would have been painted with very different strokes. I returned home and, after quelling the screaming voices of insurrection with a horse tranquilizing cocktail equal parts cough medicine and tea, I have recounted the evenings events and remand them for your consideration. Continue the dissemination. I’ll see you in the daylight.

Willfully Submitted,

Dr. Q.
Sent to Christian Network.

Dearest Christian,

The key to writing such a letter is to convince the reader that what follows is not the simple and unpleasant insane ramblings of some lunatic radical who craps in an ice cream pail because he’s convinced the government monitors bowel movements via the sewer system. Let me begin by saying then, that there are several members of my city council, the mayor, at least one state representative, and several other department heads, store managers, and other varied business leaders and muckity mucks that would gladly attest, if not to my sanity, then at least to my competence, passion, and vision.
I have a vast and powerful array of dreams that if followed through to their final stages would result in a happier, safer, sustained planet. Dreams that will only be dreams as long as myself and the world at large is willing to suppress them. I will admit that some dreams are more farfetched than others. I have visions that touch on the biological, metaphysical, industrial, artistic, and political. I believe that mass transit would work much better if people were conveyed by dirigibles. I think that wind and tidal power is an eventuality we cannot wait for despite fossil fuels lazy mans appeal. I think that war is an obsolete and silly concept that must be done away with.
There are ideas that are unpleasant and frightening when first surveyed. People in tubes. Men with swords. There’s a point where my sense of equality borders on the insane. Powerful people who see my ideas want to kill me. Incompetent people want to scorn me. But the vast majority is balls-deep into the idea of everyone getting along swimmingly. The idea that we can stop polluting, killing and desensitizing without a complete loss of personal well being. The future is now, and I long to embrace it.
But what I want to talk about most is my army. 1,000 Paladins. A force assembled from the most devout and committed of Christian men. They are warrior monks whose most important commandment is never to kill. Their sole mission is to save non-combatants in war torn areas of the globe and provide food and medicine to the children who so desperately need it. They wield the righteous sword of Law that refuses to slay, and the shield of Truth which protect those without defenses.
Their armor is impervious. Inter-Cooled Micro-Honeycombed Kevlar Body Armor. An inner neoprene/kevlar uni-suit with a kinetically powered heating/cooling system designed to preserve, conserve, defend and protect. All designed and built in a mind wracked with thought and desperate for a salvation no one else seems to be doling out. A Paladin stands defended by both the science of our age, and the Holy Might of Jesus.
Their only mission is salvation, and their code is that of the reluctant combatant. Finance my vision. Allow me to build my army. Christian. American. Righteous. I will train and lead them unto the most hellish of conditions for the sake of what is right and good. I require a training ground, means to recruit my men, and the armor with which to sheath them. Help me.

Jeremiah Liend


We all dream of it. Escape from our lives. Escape from tyranny. Escape from the hunger. The reason Americans are fat is because we are bred with hunger. Unlike those in the third world who come by it honestly, our hunger is a desire planted in us. They are cultivated little diseases. Ignorance is their farmer and apathy it’s earth.

Fed images of lives we will never lead. Told from our youths that anything is possible. Told in our adulthood that nothing could be farther from the truth. I am closest to truth when I am farthest away from it. The system of America. It is a foul religion of consumerism and denial.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday without any real meaning to the masses. It’s icon is the turkey. Cornucopia.  There is the staged facsimile of black clad and boot buckled pilgrims sitting down with stereotyped savages. But the true meaning of the holiday is that the savages wore black and the saviors wore feathers.

It is a picture of desperation. Puritans too proud to survive. Unfamiliar with the laws of nature in this strange new world they were fed by the mercy of the land’s stewards.

I poached my own turkey for this one. Nothing more delicious than a Wild Turkey. It’s been a few nights since I’ve danced with the Turk. Donned the fez and made merry. Months can seem like years when the time is right. I frankly don’t remember October. There was a rush of wind and sound and then I found myself in November. Now we are at the end and I wonder if there’s anyway to put on a handbrake.

There is a frightening and wonderful momentum afoot. The feeling that I’ve been robbed is a fallacy being bred in my heart by worms of some kind. I think I know I am dying. That we all of us are. That I’ve not done a thing with my life that will help anyone. I’m too damned afraid to do the things that must be done.

Getting crushed in the polls didn’t help matters much. Didn’t make me want to be seen. 69. Other than 96 I think it’s one of the few numbers that looks nice, even upside down. It is also a sexual position that I happen to enjoy. It makes people either embarrassed or amused to hear me speak of it, and yet I must. Such obvious proof of some Divine Comedy. And if it is all of it a game improvised each morning, then there must be a force behind it. An author to this lunacy.

To the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

 Dearest Drug-Free Higher-Ups,

    I think the time for negotiations must begin. This war on drugs has become a war of attrition. The only losers are the children. By criminalising lesser drugs like alcohol and marijuana, you are only robbing users of a relatively safe alternative to meth cooking, glue sniffing, and other brain damaging drugs. If you truly wanted to stop drug use, then the first step must be legalizing marijuana. Nations that allow marijuana function just as well, if not better, than our own. It provides a quality alternative to smoking questionable meth cooked in the god-awful basement of some damnable addict that flunked high school chemistry. Think about it.


Dr. Quaddle

Trying to Sell The Last Book.

E B Johnson,

    My name is Jeremiah Liend. You gave a speech for my People in the Environment class last semester and I am sorry that I have not been able to find the time to mail you earlier. I am studying Environmental Engineering at BSU despite the fact that there is no such program. Beyond that fact I am committed to using the resources of Bemidji State to help me design and build a sustainable future.
    My current project is "The Green Cab". It is my submission to the IDEA competition, an innovation contest sponsored by the Northwest Foundation with the mandate to create innovative business ideas that will drive industry in North West Minnesota. Attached is a power point presentation that I hope will provide you some insight into my goals. I believe that the time for a green future is today, if not several yesterdays ago, and that through innovation our economy might be saved by a conversion from archaic industrial notions into a sustainable future.
    I read the recent post on BSU looking for grant ideas and employment opportunities. I have a radical proposal that could use some feasibility studies and I will give this idea to you in hopes that you can either send it up the line, or at the very least consider it and throw it away.
    I have just completed an 18-credit semester without purchasing a single book. I refuse to purchase books because I believe that it is a corrupt system that promotes waste and literary masturbation even as the future technology offers a solution so available and prolific that it lacks but a small but dedicated team to make it a reality.
    I would kill Gutenberg with a single book. What I mean to say is that in the not so distant future I hope to see forests remain growing tall even while the same information we digest daily is afforded us by digital means. The day of print must die and if we are to survive the carbon load then we must cease our deforestation and begin to archive that which will sustain us.
    It could be done in any library, but let us assume that the project will take place at BSU. What I would propose is that a team of either volunteers or specialized staff archive the college library digitally and place it online for any student to browse 24 hours a day online. Governor Pawlenty has put it to the college to increase online education 20% in the future. How far will be leap ahead if our entire library is available instantly at the stroke of a key?
    Even a student armed with a digital camera and a finger can frame and photograph two pages. If we utilize motion picture cameras it's all a matter of timing, resolution, and file size. Once these parameters have been established and data load estimated the archiving can begin. The library already has the software and servers to direct a student to a book, now all that is required is a link to a serial number after it's categorized numeric that contains a page number.
    To be fair this will require gigabyte upon teraflop of archiving, but the technology is there to provide such an archive. Beyond the applications and implications such an endeavor would mean to BSU, this project has the potential of eliminating the waste inherent in a flawed system. One book, digitally captured, can be checked out by a multitude of individuals. Log-in information can be recorded and online supplements can provide a truly online education for thousands. With a powerful enough server Bemidji State University could be the first truly virtual campus, providing material resources for anyone on the globe.
    I will not pretend to say that this project does not require effort, but what I am proposing to you is the elimination of untold thousands of trees that are currently providing us with the precious oxygen I so desire to survive. Rather than eliminate the need for a physical repository of literature, it evolves it into a new age of free exchange of information. Librarians and IT administrators working together to bring the bright new future to today.
    I have many other ideas regarding sustainability, but my passion for the digital library is one that burns bright and true in my heart. I have considered the possibilities and believe that this is the next logical evolution of education and beg you consider the ramifications of so bold an endeavor. Thank you in advance for your attention and I hope that your holidays were happy.


Jeremiah Liend

After a Spirited Evening of “Ring of Steel”

Dearest Joe Don Baker,

I seem to think that you’re a man of power of some kind. This can be more or less described as my revelation after watching “Ring of Steel” and finding out that the hunky blonde hero was not Joe Don Baker. How dare you sir? How dare you indeed? I looked like a fool calling the blonde pony-boy star of the film Joe Don Baker again and again. How was I to know?
But now onto matters of business. As you were the undisputed impetus and plot-wise second banana, why not assist me in broadcasting live sword-fighting? No reason not to. I’ve got it all worked out and am certain that it will be the most exciting thing ever seen off the shores of America.
  I need a boat. A large boat. Hydro-Electricity-Powered-Inflatable-Sailed-Energy-Ship. I will require state of the art satellite broadcasting and receiving technology. It must have Inflatable-Sails. Nuclear-Powered-Hydrogen-Filled-Nectating-Intra-Vascular shafts of microweaved carbon fiber wings. Vast fields of high technology broadcasting crazy bastards like myself. No less than three Green-Screen studios providing the most sinisterly unbiased reporting of our young generation. More importantly a stage I may command, until the end of time, the Ultimate Sword-fighting Challenge.
Peasants are fucking tired of laying down our lives for petty squabbles among world leaders. For the most part we enjoy breeding, eating, humping, and being entertained. Sub-Aquatic-Geodesic-Domes are the answer. The only answer that will work after the word is covered entirely in water and/or ice. We can only hope to be buried by glaciers once again. So much fresh water shed upon us like mana from heaven. Refill the fertile crescent with rich, clean, frozen water. A result of our womb raping conquest to see how much fuel can be drawn via pipe. Reverse abort.
Joe Don Baker, join me. Our goals are absolute. Or victory assured. And most importantly, our place in Hell secured for all time between the rock stars and loose women.


Jeremiah Tavis Stenerson Liend

Ice Cream Crepe Cinnamon French Toast Ooof. That’s good eatin.

City Council Meeting Review.

Dearest Bemidji,

Well hello there. Went to a city council meeting tonight. Man, what an interesting event. Sort of a strange combination of church service and clubhouse meeting. I think I’ll tell you about it from beginning to end and see what you think. May help me understand what all went on myself.
I determined I’d go to the council meeting on a whim really. I know these things occur every Monday night like clockwork, but I guess I’ve been repressing the urge to go as a defense mechanism. Waiting for the right season. The right weather. The right battle. Plus I read something in the paper about a budget coming down, so what the hey. Before I went I swung by a local business to say hello to a friend of mine. He’s been a friend for the past six years or so. He’s a brilliant guy. Degree in biology, minor in chemistry. Recently got a part time job in one of our finer strip malls. Go Bemidji. Anyway, got the low down on his situation, grabbed myself an overpriced poorly made cappuccino and I was off.
Entered the Council Chambers about 6:55. First wave of caffeine coursing through my blood stream like a mental fidget. I was primed. The council was seated. Lakeland news was there. Lots of polo shirts. Probably about 20 people. Everything got going about on schedule. Pledge of allegiance (haven’t said that since high school, what a throw back), followed by parliamentary jargon. Then we started in on the meat of the evenings agenda. I didn’t know it was the meat at the time, but as time moved on the seriousness of the deliberation became apparent. They even had a non council member chime in. To be fair to you the reader and myself, a candidate, I didn’t know what the hell people were talking about for a good chunk of time there. Mostly because it was abbreviation banter.

“Now the BCT will determine the OPC, is that correct?”

“Yes, well presumably if the UA comes in properly the BCT will dermine...well...odor and sound.”

“The BCT will determine that?”


But what of the OPC? I don’t know. I’m making these abbreviations up because we ran out of agenda sheets for the rest of the class so I have no idea what either of those things mean. It was comedic to be sure, and the triple shot of high octane espresso cut with foam and milk didn’t help any. After a while though, I figured out what all this was about.
You see there’s a development company that wants to put a bituminous
plant in the industrial park. That’s the low down. That’s the baseline. Here’s the deal with bituminous plants, as far as I can tell, they process bituminous coal into a form that can be used in road construction. It’s the primary element in modern paving processes. We’ve already got one in town, somewhere on fifth street. They have the monopoly since the one near Thorson Motors is non-operational. According to one council member the price of bituminous road material could decrease by as much as 18% with the installation of another plant, in addition to several full time jobs paying well over $10.00 an hour. Here’s why we’re not getting it: the possibility of truck traffic, and odor.
Now...don’t get me wrong, I’d be the last one to want our town turning into a wasteland of conus towers, choking black smoke, and industrial pollutants. Go environment! I like fish and deer and what-not. But on the other side, the rational side: It’s and industrial park...INDUSTRIAL PARK. There are two words to that, and I think we should be focusing on the first. The mayor chimed in about the possibility of a bike trail going by an industrial question would be why build a trail next to an industrial area? Because the only issues here are ascetic. The company asking for lobbying even offered to pay the $15,000 or so fee to have an outside company come and evaluate the potential infringements on our citizenry’s fragile noses. Shot down. After the decision to deny them permission to build half the room left. The hippies were happy. Hear some dude say:

“We want industry, but clean industry.”

Because I’m sure the rubber in his tennis shoes were harvested by the rare polyurethane producing frogs of southern Peru. The fact is that we lost the opportunity for jobs, the opportunity for cheaper roads, and the worst part is these guys were already approved and recommended by an independently appointed city panel. Great use of our tax dollars guys! Thank you.
Then they talked about a really great bike ride they had with a couple of representatives. They also talked about a convention center. The old high school. And not ten minutes after denying a company that would have made road construction cheaper for the tax payer they complained about the conditions of our roads. Weee!!! I’m glad to see I’ve got some room for improvement.
The problem I see in government in general is that there’s  90% talk for about 5% action. The other 5% is spent in long lunches or on bike rides. This city is saddled with so many problems. Proposed property tax increases of 50 %, levies coming out the yin yang, downtown business languishing in a slum of ghostly proportions, and no one seems to be concerned about it. It is approached with the calm apathy of a person removed from a situation. This is my home damn it. Let’s get on the ball and start turning it from a strip-mall breeding grounds into someplace you can walk down the street and be proud to say we’re a community who does not abandon it’s citizens and feed them to the commercial machine, but uses it’s hard earned tax dollars to provide them a higher standard of living, and a more secure tomorrow. The caffeine has said it’s peace. More as events warrant.


Jeremiah Liend

Q and the Preach.


    What a strange fucking evening. St. Patties day I'll never soon forget and never completely remember. Started the even at 12 AM or so. Had to work the actual night of the event, so it was only an hour at the bar. Still, I can put a hell of a lot away in an hour. Jameson was my poison, and though poured a little light, nailing a couple doubles in a half hour generally gets the engine going. Ran into an old buddy. Good kid. Once smoked black tar opium with him at his house before...hell...can't remember what happened that night. Only that I provided the weed the little nugget of coalish-tar-bliss nestled itself into as we smoked. Not enough to get me anywhere but high though. Pity.
    Regardless, my man had a few one-hits worth of the green and I would be a fool to pass up his offer to toke on that sweet shit with him. I got in his car, but we didn't make it very far before a half-naked girl on the street caught our attention. Didn't know the skirt, but her pally was an old associate of mine. We'll call him Smee, if for no better reason than I like the Pan reference. In any event we were invited onwards and upwards to their abode for some smokey smoke.
     The first hit struck me hard. Being an every-now-and-then smoker has certain advantages, like the ability to get torn of a single hit of fair quality cannabis.  The rest of the night swiftly decended into maddness, violence, and incoherent attempts at communication/seduction. The female was the source of my attention, primarily because she was foxy and mostly naked. Like a moth to a flame I attended to her. Being so kind as to rub her back as she vomited on the kitchen floor. Damned kitchen had no lights or I would have cleaned. Then, at her request she demanded I draw her a bath. I man-handled her into the bathroom and left her to Smee. I thought never to see her again, but soon enough she was again among us.
    I can't recall for the life of me when things began to fall the hell apart. But I'm fairly certain it's because I failed to remember her name. Even worse, when pressed with the question I gave the name of another girl (One who had introduced herself to me at the bar earlier [two girls names to remember in one night? Am I a god?]). I think her name is Mya or something phoneticly similar. It means "Little Pretty One". And indeed she is all of those things. I would preface it to say "Bat-Shit Crazy Little Pretty One", but perhaps it was the booze, the fact that it was her 21st birthday, or that her paternal figure remited her debt that day that forced her to such ludicris extremes.
     Not being one to be outdone, I must addmit that certain acts of violence, submission, and conffesions of things not really believed, contributed to one of the strangest introductions I've ever survived. Sparred with her in the hall way. Can't for the life of me figure out why the devil she attacked me. Nor why I chose to respond. Regardless neither were hurt. I recall quite vividly Smee assiting her in strapping 6' stilletos to the females well-manicured feet for the purpose of kicking me in the eye. I think that's the point where I lost my glasses.
     I can't even remember for what reason I escaped. I think the shirtless pleas to end my life with one of her kitchen knifes was the edge I needed to leap over to get myself evicted. I walked off into the cold night air, a man freed of inhibitions. I sang improvised Irish tunes devoted to their Gods and conventions, praying that people summoning the police were at least polite enough to hold the phone out the window so the lyrics would not be lost to that ages. Alas.
    I wait now to see if this decent will prove to be my undoing, or the point where things start going right for me. Through my shame I am given a sense that if last night was an abysmal social failure, it at least provided me a glimpse at a side of myself I've been unwilling to explore. The crazy half-mad son-of-a-bitch that used to grasp reclessness and life by it's fucking chode (thumb up the anus for extra grip) and demand my check. Time will tell.

Salutations, and hopes for your health,

Quaddle D.D.S.

Proof That I Tried.

To: Chris J. Leinen, J.D.,
cc: Superintendent Jim Hess
From: Jeremiah Liend
re: 15th St. High School Auditorium.

    To my understanding this is the third purchase agreement that BSU has entertained, the prior two being totally unsuccessful. The fact is this: the building is laying derelict and unused. If estimates are to be believed the deconstruction of the Plat #1 buildings would be incredibly costly due to asbestos. If you will not sell the property to me for $10...then $15 must be my final offer. If then you are unwilling to sell this property to me, are there lease options available? The property is ideal because it is zoned for non-taxed education, and the Bemidji Swashbucklers Guild is a 501-C3 Non-Profit classified for education in sword fighting. Researching vacant space in Bemidji (of which there are vast quantities of) the 15th Street High School Auditorium is the only location for me. I am die hard in my resolve first and foremost to see that the building is not destroyed, and secondly, that I should own it.
    Monday the third of July I will be giving a statement to the City Council officially announcing our existence, and I would encourage you to attend. I thank you for your prompt response to my first inquiry, and look forward to meeting you some day.


Jeremiah Liend.
Director Bemidji Swashbucklers Guild

A Letter to the Director of Research and Innovation.

Master A S,

    My name is Jeremiah Liend. I am a student at Bemidij State University. This is a plaintiff plea for your assistance in making my dreams come real. They are fantastic, but feasible. I have set my sights on the moon, and I mean to have her. I am currently a participant in your IDEA Competition. The most meager and wonderful example of my hopes is my submission; The Green Cab. Designing, Building, Managing and Developing an Electric Vehicle Factory in Bemidji Minnesota. Why can't that happen? What is stopping it? I write to you because your center is listed as a resource for this competition and I hope that it's true. That you and your staff can help get me the people behind the idea. The right team. I can't do it alone. I am well aware that no man is an island and that it is only through collaboration and unity that any great thing can be accomplished.
    What I ask is that you allow me to work with a team to design first; an electric vehicle too brilliant to ignore. Second; an electric vehicle factory that builds them. Builds them out of refuse. Recycles not only trash and expired vehicles, but batteries and oil. Give me your refuse, your indigestible polymers, your ferrous metals, rusted and dissolving pollution yield unto me, and I shall weave it into gold. Beyond that I wish to design the most fantastic and efficient solar/wind array ever built. People from around the world will hail Bemidji as the capital of change, progress, and true innovation. We will employ thousands. It will be a technological and industrial revolution of never imagined proportions. A national resurgence in hope for the future and progress into the bright new future. Once it's proven that we don't need fuel to get things here and there, it's a simple matter of repairing the damage. Eliminating carbon. Recycling everything.
    Only in American is such a thing possible. Only in America could a team of genius individuals from every vocation and walk of life collaborate to make it happen. The claim is that fortune favors the foolish and time will prove that I am that fool. I'm not out for riches. I'm not out for a larger home or a greater station. I'm asking for an audience of industry professionals willing to take an idea and run with it, crazed and enthused, into the future. I believe that you can help me. I believe that you want to help me, and now it's all a matter of sorting out who I need to talk to and what needs to be done. I need to send this idea into the world and harness the momentum. The notion that We Don't Need Oil. Not in America. Not when we have such riches at our disposal. Not when we're given the choice to do the right thing.
    Once we design the factory to build them, we will toss the meat to the wolves of industry and there will be no stopping it. Ravenous for the action we will be pioneers. We will stand as saviors and innovators. Please schedule a time that I can sit down with someone who can help me. I will build it if you but give me the pieces of the puzzle and remove my blindfold. Thank you in advance and I hope you are well.


Jeremiah T. Liend

Philosophy Paper 1-6-09.

Dr. B,

I will preface this message with making you aware of the urgency with which it should be read and the dire consequences to both myself and the globe should you do something else. If I do not get a grade in this class by Thursday then I will be kicked out of school and no doubt resort to a life of crime and piracy as the result. Bemidji State University is a vehicle that can either bring about a global revolution or invest in Beaver Hockey. You can help. I beg you to help. I assure you that I am quite serious about everything I tell you in the following paper and I hope that you can both comprehend what I am desperately trying to achieve and, in the end, agree to help me. I should also let you know that I am publishing this dissemination shortly and value your input and time.

I have been writing this paper for some time. I write in my mind as I’m driving and walking and I have introduced this paper and reinvented it dozens of times. I have a hard time compiling my ideas into anything coherent anymore. The ideas I have in my mind all cry for attention and to be able to control anyone takes a supreme effort. I have thought long and hard on what sort of paper would be worth of writing to you. You see, I don't believe in writing for the fun of it. I don't write to see my own words any more than I talk to hear my own voice. When you lay the wide range of Philosophy below my feet there is too much terrain before me. I find it difficult to isolate what it is that it most important to remember.

I have to believe that I can save the world. I have come to college not for a degree, but for an education, and to that end I must ask you to help me with my morality. I need someone with the facts to discern what of my plans for the future are lunacies and what are achievable. I am crippled by the drive to make these dreams realities, but often find myself terrified of my own imaginary creations. I have apportioned them below as the ideas that I hope to create in the very near future. They seek, at their core, to crystallize and reinforce the questions you have asked throughout our course together.

The framework that I am putting into place is a master plan that I doubt I will ever be able to achieve in its totality. It is a series of progressively more fantastic technological leaps resulting in our escape from the solar system. Make no mistake that I am fully capable of making all of these things happen. I can’t do it alone. Which is unfortunate. It is a terrible dichotomy in my existence that I cannot seem to find time to myself in order to work on the projects that I require more people to assist with. Couple with it my poverty and sloth and it’s no wonder that I’m not a business owner or industrial baron or at the very least a local hero.

I took Introduction to Philosophy ten years ago and did not participate nor attend. But I tell you true that in the last ten years my philosophy muscles have been put to the test against themselves. Isometric morals wrestling and profound awakenings to epiphanies about existence, my role in it, and a future that always seems too far away to bother running. Recently I have come to the realization that it could all end tomorrow. Probably it has to do with my work with the funeral home.

You were absent when Jordan asked the class if we could ever be saved from the ravages of nature scorned. I was the only one who said that it could be repaired. Out of every student in that class from the second row back not a one believed we had the ability to save ourselves. This terrifies me. I am filled with terror on a daily basis that I will be disregarded as a crackpot and a fool and that, after I am gone, if we are lucky, the cockroach people may learn something from my work.

Well I have a plan. The plan that will get us off of the planet, but I’m not willing to export humanity if we’re not worthy of salvation. Global Salvation can only be achievable if we start respecting nature and being a symbiotic partner and not a rapist. Right now we rape nature. We rob her of the poison that has fermented below shoals of rock and soil. We plunge into the desert to find more of the crude that fuels the flawed system. It is ridiculous to maintain this race as we all know that we cannot win.

To that end I am involved in two innovation competitions. I will attach the PowerPoint for The Green Cab and believe that it is a direct answer to your questions about peak oil. It is my submission to a competition through the Northwest Foundation. I am also a member in the Idea Cup through Microsoft. And hope to disseminate enough good ideas to be able to get to Cairo.

I have only myself to blame for not being everything I can be. A man who would fight for Justice must live a private life if he is to survive. I write to you from my office now, and with a walk of but a handful of yards I can gaze a golden Lady Justice atop her building. She holds a scale and a sword and in this dark cold night her blindfold may be the only thing keeping her warm. She is the sister of Lady Liberty and they are the two women I love the most. When you ask how to define Justice I ask you to gaze at that golden blindfolded lady and find the answer I have been looking for all these years.

If there is an answer to be had, then I have carved my own truth from the tainted meat of the animal. If it is to be a collection of thoughts then let it be a plan and not a manifesto. Manifestos are things that lunatics in cabins write on questionably loud typewriters. I have a plan and I would share it with you and any who would be willing to listen. Please help me save us. Be the pigeon that finds the hole too large to close and I will lay down the putty and invest my energies in the things you think most feasible.

On an entirely personal note and as a plea for your indulgence and regard I would mention that success in your class is the only thing keeping me from expulsion. The majority of fortune 500 CEO’s never graduated college, so trying to succeed at BSU is something of a gamble at this point. It’s rough when your heroes are dropouts. You may consider this earnest dissemination of my information an attempt to share with you the hope that drives me out of bed when all around me claim we are doomed.

Thank you in advance.


Jeremiah Liend

The Affable Crackpot.

Personal Philosophy from The Richest Man.

When I left for New York City in the fall of 99 my Grandmother Beulah gave me a small piece of paper to place in my wallet. It was The Optimist Creed and at first I thought it was just a piece of something. I don’t know how many dollars floated in and out of that wallet. It’s a brown leather job that Grandpa had stuffed in his drawer. Once in a blue moon I bet it was kissed by a hundred. Maybe when I was working at Domino’s. When you break $100 it’s something to celebrate. I remember Clint asking if I wanted it, and for a man like me the opportunity to fondle a $100 doesn’t come every day.

The money has come and gone. I try to always keep a picture of my brothers. I don’t have a family photo, which is shameful, but believe me when I tell you that a picture of my total family would have to be taken from a very tall ladder indeed. Add to that my friends who I love as family and the picture grows larger still. Add to it the associates and allies and people who hate me but I don’t mind and I cannot even begin a list. The list would be too long and the people too many. I would need a much larger wallet, that’s for certain. In that I am made rich.  The time between 99 and now seems like a thousand years. I have lived a thousand years within ten and there again I am rich. When I left for NYC with cash in my pocket and hope in my heart my Grandmother Beulah gave me a piece of paper and this is what it says;

The Optimist Creed.

Promise Yourself-

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to everyone you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make you optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and expect only the best. TO be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself you never have time to criticize others. To be too large for woe, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

-Optimists International

That it has survived to today is amazing. When I think of the number of times it could have been lit on fire or lost. That it has avoided my side for so long can be nothing less than fate. They are the words I live by. It and the Red Letters are all I live my life too. It is a solid way to get by.

Wealth, after all, is a relative thing since he that has little and wants less is richer than he that has much and wants more.
-Charles Caleb Colton

 The Plan for Peace and Global Unity; The World Renewal Initiative.

I carry with me 10 ideas that I must accomplish before I die. Everyone has goals. I want to save the world. That’s not unique. Many people want to save the world. They do it by working with charities. Attending church. Sponsoring a child in the third world. What these people lack in power they make up for in number. My 10 goals could save the world, and so I am set to create them. Or rather, I am unable to create them because I lack the resource to create them. The world is chock full of such resource. Even Bemidji could give me everything I require to build the things I want. America is the richest nation in the world.

Here are the Ten things in the order they appear;

1. The Green Cab
2. The Ice Pyramid
3. The Book
4. The Replica Coliseum
5. The Largest Sail Craft
6. The Colossal Array
7. The Geodesic Home
8. The Great Recycle Harvest
9. The Stenerson-Liend Electrical Car
10. The Airship Victorious

They are each of them planned and executed in my mind. I know that they can exist in this world, but lack the resource. I live day to day with the hope that one day the right person will believe me. Together we will build and we will all be saved. They are the best of me. If I could see them made I would live in the world I dream of. The world that can exist out of this rubble we have created for hundreds of years. A world without borders and a future filled with promise. The blanket that I place over these ideas is called The World Renewal and I place it before you as best I can.

The World Renewal Initiative uses the resources around us to power a self-sustaining global market place that provides for the Earth’s population in perpetuity and establishes the first steps towards interstellar exploration.

3. The Book; Babel With One Voice. Killing Guttenberg.

If you can believe anything I tell you about anything, believe that with a modest programming staff and an international team I can eliminate the language barrier in 5 years. Give me five years to eliminate the need for paper and unify the globe with the language of science. The technology exists, but needs to be perfected and made affordable, that will allow a cellular device instantly translate any language. So give everyone this device. Call it a graduation present. Pay for it instead of a passport. We should give everyone a cellular device anyhow in an effort to eliminate crime.

The Book is what needs to happen. The day of the paper book must be at an end and we must give everyone a book that is every book. You could start today by going to your local library and taking digital photos of every page. Voice record yourself and post it on the Internet. Invade the Library of Congress and demand your right, as an American, to give everyone the words. Libraries can still exist. I love books. There is no sound I love more than the sound of turning pages, but it doesn’t make sense anymore. Write a book, great, but whatever you do don’t chop down a tree for it. I have a tough time convincing myself to use paper at all anymore. I doubt what I have to say is worth the life of a tree in a digital age. Then I see celebrity cellulite on the cover of 10 periodicals and my heart screams against the waste and ignorance.

Let it be a single book that models itself after the Amazon Kindle, but is backlit, powered with a handle, and free. We need 6,000,000,000 and the number isn’t getting smaller. Global literacy and communication in one package. Give me the right team and we can make it teach you to read it. We need to be planting many many more trees, not chopping them down for The Wall Street Journal.

Once everyone can read and everyone can talk to one another without fear then we’ve begun to create a truly Global Community. A people who can speak for change in one voice. Who can cry for help when they need it. The world will speak with one voice and everything will change.

Voice recognition software is undergoing a revolution. Quietly under the radar of everything we see is progress towards using computers to translate our words to be hear by all. The logical evolution of this technology and the practical application is to distribute it to the world and create a truly global information network. If my words can be typed then they can be translated. I don’t speak Latin, Dutch, or Russian but I can get a rough translation from any one of these languages with a few strokes of my keys.

The Future is now.
De toekomst is nu
posterus est iam
Будущее теперь

If this is what I can do with a browser imagine what I can do with some computer programmers and an office. I have learned enough about language to know that it’s all a matter of phonetics and semantics. Figure these things out and pattern them. Create a single book and make it kinetically powered. Wind up literacy. I can do all of these things if I have but a small slice of resource. I am currently trying to secure the equipment and staff I require to make this project succeed. This is all a matter of making enough noise about something. I don’t care if these ideas are “Stolen”. I do not believe that there are any more original ideas. None of what I know can be built is beyond the limits of technology. I maintain this despite the apparent lunacy of what at first would seem like a crackpot scheme. The difference between a crackpot scheme and changing the world for the better is all a matter of finance and staffing.

10. The Solar Dirigible Victorious.

I have already disclosed a number of documents relating to the solar dirigible in a previous e-mail. What I would mention is that one of the often ignored and to my mind more troubling facts. When all air traffic was grounded as a result of the attack there was a measurable change in climatological patterns over the US and the world. In 1960  we consumed 1,954 million gallons of jet fuel and in 2006 that figure had increased to 13,458 million gallons. Millions and millions of gallons of fuel dumped into our upper atmosphere. If you don’t think that this is bad for Earth then you are not paying attention. The Solar Dirigible is the answer to a fantastic future of mass transportation. The chief argument against the dirigible established itself in the first footage of a disaster. The iconic fall of the Hindenburg marked the end of the age of the airship. This unfortunate event cannot stop us from building a new generation of aircraft. On the contrary, it will create a new boom in mass transit.

Imagine, if you will, lifting three 747s into the sky and traveling from hub to hub using only the power of the sun and wind to propel you. Imagine that you could construct these vessels out of recycled polymers and aluminum. Imagine a better world with me and help me. Within 5 years I will build her if I have to do it with my bare hands. I could use factories. Hundreds and hundreds of green factories. Instant recycling centers. Give me your refuse, your hungry masses yearning to live free, and I will take you to the skies with me.

Talk to any aeronautical engineer and they will agree with my concepts and Lockheed has already designed inferior vessels. Sir Richard Branson will hopefully help me if I can just get word to him. I was in communication with the office of the worlds greenest aeronautical expert and then he died of cancer. Building this vessel is the reason I returned to college and within five years she will fly.

Lethal Punishment Vs. Global Justice.

Law Enforcement, the world over, is the physical manifestation of a group's conception of justice. This group can be as large as a nation, or as small as a group of militia. The amount of attention and respect these enforcing bodies receives is entirely dependent on the amount of force they can bring to bear on a given population. This force has, in history, been marked by the ability to kill. There are certainly other means of enforcement, but any person taking up arms is defined as being capable and resolved to deliver death should the will of their representative group be defied.

This is not the sum total of all Law Enforcement, of course, and many constabularies use nothing more than clubs to enforce laws, the ability to restrain and capture enough to ensure that those who would defy the law of the land can be contained and removed from society at large. Still other branches are armed with other non-lethal means of enforcement, the IRS is not armed but can most certainly have you jailed if you do not follow the US mandate for fiscal responsibility.

So we find that, as worlds develop from the third upward, that the power of law expands as the means of enforcing them becomes less lethal. London police officers don't typically carry pistols yet there are 200,000 child soldiers in Africa. This is a very dire leap, but serves to show the insolubility of any real sense of Global Justice in as much as Justice is dependent on it's Law Enforcement.

The American system of Justice cannot serve as a starting point for Global Justice because it is a flawed and fractured dissection of a constitution that was framed by well-meaning slave owners. The disintegration of our set of laws has been a 200-year process that has succeeded in making our nation both the most violent and most persecuted. Uneducated and uninformed, America keeps a blindfold on Lady Justice and her people with the cunning of a stage magician.

If we, as a world, cannot define Justice then we must at the very least make uniform it's enforcement and punishment. There are only three real means of punishment; incarceration, labor, and death. Of the three, only one can never be undone. There is a list of 130 exonerated American's since 1970. These cases are all individual, but some of them were the result of DNA evidence making their crimes impossible. If these are the cases that appeal successfully, then how many innocents have been executed in our history?

Achieving World Peace.

When asked what the perfect soldier is there are many who would presume to know the answer. Any general will tell you that the perfect soldier is one who kills an enemy without fear or hesitation. There are ratios. If our man kills 17 to their 1 then we will win. Probabilities of combat refined over the thousands of years we have battled. The perfect soldier is nothing of what the military would suggest. The goal of military supremacy is to kill without attrition. To that end America has pioneered a means of engaging targets anywhere on the globe with deadly efficiency. Eventually the Predators will drop from Starlifters and a nations power supply will be eradicated within mere moments. This broadcast will emanate from comfortable bunkers a world away. Satellite signals are the power of our age.

I would enforce a Global Law under the auspices of whatever organization would offer me supplies. Using non-lethal force I would stop genocide. An army of Warrior Healers would fall from the sky and protect the victims by disarming and detaining, and their weapons would be recycled into plowshares. Those who are detained are fed, encouraged to join the farming effort, and released to do with their lives what they will.

This can be the only method of enforcing peace. The perfect soldier is not a person who can kill the most the fastest and longest, the perfect soldier is the one who can defeat another and then make them their ally. I believe, in my heart, that humanity was not meant to kill one another. This is a primal urge that throws us back thousands of years to our animal roots. It is a detriment to our growth as a species and a millstone around a neck that would be better used to help our brother man. It’s all very kumbaya, and I realize that.

Gandhi had it right. So did Socrates. So did Jesus. So did Buddha. They all had it right and we learned from them briefly, and then forgot forever. Pacifism can be the only ying to violent yang. Bloodshed only creates more blood shed and if we do not remove ourselves from the system now it threatens to collapse the structure we have built to save everyone. Provide for everyone. The system we have created globally is flawed. There are those who starve in lawless squalor and then there are those with Wiis and X-Boxes. 1,000 children die a day in Mexico City, but who really gives a shit any more? People don’t want to hear about it and offering a solution only makes you a dreamer and a hypocrite.

Ethics of Alternative Reality.

The logical evolution of a technological existence is the total emersion into an alternate reality. This task can now be readily achieved with the application of a helmet that provides high definition broadcast of anything. With the application of force resistant gauntlets, the use of a footpad, weights and magnets could take a person and place them in a simulated world. Their ears would be covered with acoustic headphones. The voice that would speak could be contained and protected by a microphone respirator. The subject would be able to travel in a number of virtual environments.

Microsoft could create a HALO helmet and accompanying rifle. Through use of a better version of the wii pad the next generation of killers could be trained at home. The NFL could create gloves and a helmet that place you directly in the game. You would have the choice from LucasArts of either the Rebel or the Vader helmet Flight stick and light saber optional. Disney could create crowns for Princes and Princesses. They would have to battle together on behalf of their magic kingdom.

I give these ideas to the data stream as a gift and a curse, hoping that if it gets to the right inbox Bill Gates and George Lucas will have to ask themselves “Where the hell is Bemidji and who the fuck is Jeremiah Liend?” It is the earnest hope that we ask the question of whether this is a logical evolution of an entertainment, or the very real opportunity to throw it all away. Maybe it will kill the couch potato. Maybe that is worth it in and of itself. I will be able to fly, and that’s something we can all enjoy. People who cannot get out anymore as the result of age or infirmity will no longer have the bounds of physical space to communicate with all manner of people. It could be a better world. It could be people mentally masturbating while others die. One cannot eat the richest portion of the pie while others die. And there’s the dilemma. There again, I might be able to let Stephen Hawkins walk. Talk even. If his brain is half as sharp as I believe it is I could make him sing with the sort of technology I am fairly certain exists.

If I can create a world in which a helmet determines your existence, and then I can lock down plugging your head onto another body. I will need one body. Two if we’re going to be picky about sex. It will be an 0 positive human. It would eliminate donor lists and break down your life to plugs and protein stitches. I don’t know how long a person can live. For me I could be dead tomorrow and none of this will matter to anyone. If I do not disseminate this to someone then it dies with me, and I guess that’s the last laugh. I am left to debate with myself if creating a plug-in human is really the way to go. Yes, I can clone myself. I can do it on a ship in the middle of nowhere with a team of rebels and that could be fun, or I should be stopped. Too much drama for comedy or tragedy.

Why We Must Colonize The Moon.

The sequence goes; Earth, Moon, Mars, Belt, Jupiter, Infinity.

But it all hinges on the Moon. If we can survive on the Moon we can survive a lot of places. The Moon always seems like a lame duck to superpowers and science. Who wants to go someplace with no resource? Boring really. Nothing to eat, nothing to breathe, nothing to do. But it’s more about what it doesn’t have; gravity, that makes it worth the trip. We can take the rest with us. To start with we will need cows and carbon. It sounds like a joke about space cowboys, but frankly It won’t be habitable by humans for some time. The cows are responsible for creating topsoil that will grow the food to sustain us. We will feed them a dehydrated mixture of nutrients and seeds and it will be rehydrated with the milk we take out of the cow. Once the field has been build beneath the dome, the oxygen has been harvested, the methane exhausted and the cow put to sleep, we can then start moving miners and after that colonists.

They will mine for precious metals and pockets of heat. Ships will bring fresh water and elderly. Retire to the Moon and prepare for Mars. After we get the Moon domed up and a planet rail clipping we go to the poles in ships larger than could ever be launched from Earth whose atmosphere would tear apart any shape so large and aerodynamic. Mars has an atmosphere. It sucks, but it’s there. It has water, which we can use and mountains, which are pretty. At this point it’s an observation station to pick out asteroids. The Belt has all the terrain we need to get us out of the System. Interstellar travel would be a matter of choice. Do you want to remain frozen for untold millennia and then arrive at a planet that may or may not kill you? If aliens capture you will they eat you or accidentally explode you with their minds?

I offer these possibilities with the knowledge that I get to do it myself. If I can get a dome to the Moon, then I will take it there. If we want to go to Mars, I’ll go there and come back. But the End Game is always the same, and that’s what remains of me being fired to the second star to the right. Fire me towards the center of the beast and I’ll see what I can see. If there is someone to be decapitated and plugged in, I would only do it to myself first. Call it an Ethic. Call it my Terms.

The Future.

So I continue to strive for these things. I try to cram as much into my life as I can and in the process I am trying to use one skill to help another and some mornings I don’t find the will to get out of bed because I worry that no one will ever hear me. That the dreams of one man mean nothing when placed in the vast sea of thought that revolves all around us. There is a constant war between nihilism and hope and that which wins determines my course of action.  I have to believe that if even one of my goals are seen through to fruition that it will be worth the laughter of those who don’t believe. I feel sad when I am dismissed and disregarded and all I crave is an audience to it all. Thank you for your time.

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
-W.B. Yeats

Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.

- Friedrich Nietzsche

If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

- Hunter S. Thompson

An Open Note To Teabaggers.

First off, “tea bagging” is hitting something with your balls. I don’t know if you were aware of this when you brought your rough hewn signs all across the US of A to complain about taxes. Well let me just say this; fuck you. Fuck you hard. I often get asked why I resort to crude language when I have a vast lexicon? It is there. Waiting to tear apart anyone foolish enough to challenge my command of the language. But I just want to start with “Fuck You” and then we’ll work our way backwards.

You see, I paid into taxes this year. I make less than half of the poverty line. People on the poverty line make twice as much as me. Dig that. And I ended up paying the government $11 to be poor. So if anyone has the right to put marker to tag board and shout at traffic it’s me. Because that $11 means a lot more to me than the thousands of dollars you all feel was unjustly taken from your pockets. “Taxation Without Representation” my ass.

Because for the last eight years my money was taken in taxes and spent killing people. Bad guys maybe, but Iraqi civilians for sure. I am a pacifist by nature, and the money that the government took from me went to killing people. People I don’t have a problem with. People we should be helping. You see THAT is taxation without representation. That is someone taking money from me to violate my morality. To act in contradiction to my God.

$11 to try and get us back on track to being the best nation in the world? I’ll pay that. I’ll shoulder the burden of taxes even though I am positive that rich bastards all around me are writing off yachts as second homes and horses as business expenses. Because I believe that we are at a turning point. I believe that ingenuity and creativity are our greatest weapons. I believe that we are in a reckoning. A time when the oligarchy is being cast down. A shift in priority and commitment.

You want a revolution? You want to talk about our forefathers and their insurrectionist activity? How about we talk about tea bagging the constitution by giving the government the ability to search my home without a warrant? To tap my phone lines justified and indemnified with nothing more than a mandate to protect me? How about the fact that the same ignorant tools who think they deserve something have been shitting on the document that is supposed to guide us into the next century? Those who pay closest attention to the second amendment even now rush their local Wal-Marts for ammunition. Maybe if they had been paying attention to the rest of the document for the last decade we would be out of bullets by now.

So fuck you. Fuck you hard. Your misguided insurrection is a testament to your ignorance and obstinacy. You want to secede? You want to start a civil war? You want to put some of those bullets into those liberal commies who are coming after your money to pay for abortions and gay marriage? Try it. Because while you’ve been sleeping I’ve been waiting. While you’ve been bitching I’ve been acting. And when the hammer drops you’re going to find yourself on the wrong side of a massacre.

Mailing Lockheed-Martin.

To Whom It May Concern,

As an associate of Lockheed-Martin I would seek to design and build the next wave of lighter than air craft. In the realm of the near-future, our insolvent petroleum market will collapse. The price of jet fuel will result in the rising air fare to exceed the reach of the common man. In this inevitable time the company willing to step forward with the solution will prosper. The solution is The Solar Dirigible, and I will see it fly one way or another. In a time when jobs are scarce and people look to something fantastic to sustain them, I plea with your company to build The Largest Aircraft in the World in a small town in northern Minnesota.
This letter is a long way in coming. I have respected the aircraft your company has designed for years now. Some of my fondest memories from the years of my youth were looking at the latest jet in Popular Mechanics/Science as my grandfather, Willard Stenerson, a veteran of the Air Force, smoked and watched television. I dreamed of being a jet pilot until a lack of perfect vision denied me the chance to pilot the future of aeronautics.
As years have passed I no longer dream only of the fastest, but the largest. I see her from nose to tail in my visions. Resplendent, black, and majestic. She is a solar dirigible and I can build her if you give me the chance. The future belongs to the innovative and the brave. Your company can help me by simply giving me an audience to your designers and engineers. Give me a staff and some numbers. Give me what I require and I will make her fly. I can offer you my home as the place of berth.
We will build a fabrication facility that uses recyclable materials to build solar dirigibles, from now until the end of time. We’ll power it with wind and sun and people will come from thousands of miles to see our vessels soar into the heavens. America has the ability. Americans everywhere yearn for wonder. They look to the skies in prayer with hope and fear in their hearts. We have it in our power to rise above what we can destroy and witness what we can create.
Money is a theory when it comes to wonder. There will be millions who would give a dollar for such an idea. Buy it for the simple but powerful distinction of being the ones brave enough to do it. To take the dream and drag it into reality. My time is precious and brief. I am currently enrolled in Bemidji State University in hopes of proving my theories.
    You would no doubt respect me more if I had two or three degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Finance and Mechanical Engineering and a thousand other pieces of paper that add weight to my lofty boasts. What I send you is this earnest plea to give me a call. You will find me just as dedicated and passionate about the cause at any hour of any given day. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning and what keeps me awake at night.
    I will wait for your call until the end of time and years from now, when you look at this letter and decide to give me the chance I will either be closer to proving the science behind my vision or dead. Eaten by a puma or struck by a pizza delivery vehicle. I thank you for your attention to my dreams and eagerly await your reply.

Yours Truly,

Jeremiah T.S. Liend


To build the largest aircraft in the world in Bemidji, Minnesota.


I am an entertainer, artist, and scientist. I am trained to perform. I am a dependable, resourceful, and inventive worker who does not accept failure as an option. I excel at solving problems and am a self-motivated person with a near fanatic desire for advancement.


I am a wellspring of creative ideas. I have worked in a variety of fields over the years and have accrued a bevy of skills as a result. More important than any ability is my belief that a job should be done efficiently and completely.


2006 - Present Jeremiah Liend Productions Bemidji MN
For two years I have been focusing on artistic endeavors. I have produced and/or directed no less than five plays, written, produced, and starred in several films, and have performed on two coasts and across the world in Thailand. I lost a recent bid for mayor of Bemidji with only 69 votes.

2006 – Present Cease Funeral Home
Freelance Delivery
As a subsidy to my income gained from producing I work as an independent contractor for a local funeral home transporting the dead to and from mortuaries and hospitals.

2003 - 2006 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Bemidji MN
Support Manager
I performed at Wal-Mart in various capacities including managing several departments and, at the last, assisting management with control of the general merchandise section of the facility.

2002 - 2003 Hotel Beacon New York NY
 Although my official title was a concierge in reality I was also licensed by the state of New York as security guard. Beyond these responsibilities I was also a bellman and guest service staff member.

1999 - 2002 Domino’s Pizza Bemidji MN
I delivered oven fresh pizza to those who hungered.

1998 – 2000 Northwoods Panel board
At Northwoods I was responsible for maintaining a clean facility among dangerous equipment and operating loading machinery including power arms and forklifts.

American Musical and Dramatic Academy
Bemidji State University
American Bartenders Association
Stratford Career Institute



I need so many swords…

To whom it may concern,

I would like to know where the "Stage Steel" brand of swords are manufactured. If possible I would like to negotiate a tour of the facility, and then would like to sit down with whosoever you have placed in charge of marketing and sales. He should probably have a sword.


Jeremiah Liend
Bemidji Swashbucklers Guild

Part 3; Life and Lunacy.

A True Bastard Speaks.

I have, for some time had to deal with the difficulties of the true bastard. In that regard I have pursued its definition and meaning. Read on. Educate yourself.

bas•tard /'bæst?rd/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation [bas-terd] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation–noun
1. a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.
2. Slang. a. a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person: Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.
b. a person, esp. a man: The poor bastard broke his leg.
3. something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.
4. bastard culverin.–adjective
5. illegitimate in birth.
6. spurious; not genuine; false: The architecture was bastard Gothic.
7. of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.
8. having the appearance of; resembling in some degree: a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.

Men of Action Unite.

This is not a world conductive to renegade swordsmen. There are no stained glass windows worth leaping through. No battlements worth scaling, and more importantly, no reason to scale them. Every action is as hollow as its victory. Every act of defiance against convention a taboo gesture in futility. They call me Quixotic. But in a world filled with nothing but windmills I am left with only two terrible choices; to tilt or not to tilt.


Got some shit in motion. Have plans fomenting. Got to ride this one out. Failure is not an option. I will make a fantastic success of myself nearly instantly and wonder atop my brick and mortar spire and gaze at the man who was me, and enjoy the Superman I've become.


Modern entrepreneurship I imagine to be like claim jumping back in the day. You leap onto an idea, stick a flag in it, defend it with your scatter gun,  and suddenly you're a multi-billionaire. Who knows? The ever rearing head of our weak-necked populous bends towards whatever unblinking sun entertains them most. Like a field of human daisies all warming themselves by the ever nurturing sun of escape. I may have to resort to drastic measures. Spray paint and stencils surreptitiously placed over discrete office windows. It is amazing the sort of trust a mans name suspended in glass has over the human willingness to reach into their pocketbooks. So many giant useless buildings. So many desperate people seeking jobs, or escape, or education, or adventure. Mostly I think it is adventure we lack. We shall see. Ninja Vs. Pirates on Lake Bemidji. Bring your largest boat. Nothing too sharp. Divers provided. Sail craft only please. 10 Men per Team. Have at thee.
Spring powered, comes with laser.

There are some web sites that certain people should not be able to access. Terrorists should not be able to access Department of Defense sites, anarchists should not be able to get into bank records, fundamental Christians shouldn't do MySpace. So it is with and myself. So much crap weaponry at unbeatable factory direct prices. So many poorly constructed fantasy knives and spring powered air pistols. And everyone a laser included. Every lovely one.

Fucking Ninja.

Man, you type "Ninja Gear" into a google search and you get the most craptacular ninja sites on the web. All I want is bulk throwing stars, is that so much to ask? I guess for the web it is. Ninja star wholesalers, you've got to believe it exists somewhere.

Thursday Night Swashbuckling

Crossed some metal with Kirk's crew. One combatant a rescue swimmer, the other has the handle; "The Hammer". Good stuff. Feels nice being the only man wearing black in a room full of white. I maintain it was this exclusivity that drove those around me to attack without hesitation or quarter.

There were the cursory concerns over my lack of protection; single wrist length glove for the blade hand and shirtsleeves rolled to the elbow. A man needs to feel the air. Know if the overhand riposte is connecting or falling inches short.

"We'll give you some marks to remember us by." was the warning.

I will not claim to be untouchable, but certainly above harm. Johnson and myself were in rare company, those who find the finesse of swordplay married to safety most appealing. We are Swashbucklers and above such notion. Blood teaches a lesson repetition and competition cannot.

Sabers without the benefit of glove or vest was an explosive experience, and one I would enjoy over three opponents consecutively. Each time the helmet came off there was another man waiting, and I would never think to deny them my sweat and/or blood. At  the end it was not my arm, or legs, or heart that bade me take my leave, but the need to be elsewhere. Engaged in the company of beauty.

Next Thursday I will go again to tempt my fate. But this time there will be no question of my skill or resolve. My training has begun and I shall test my will against my body and both shall be the victor. There is no respect in this world more worthy of my regard than that of blade wielding mad-men. Swordsmen all.
Real Estate Piracy.

Will it come to chaining myself to a feasible space to get someone to throw me a bone? I'm not trying to rob anyone. I'm not trying to spread ill will and hatred. I don't want a building to run a bordello or a plastics factory. I don't want to create an powerful counterculture army of renegade warrior-poets, overtly. I just want a place I can put a business name on and go. But everywhere I turn for help I find only red tape and men with guns. Auditors with belt-fed auto-rifles, pens protected, thick rimmed glasses steamy with excitement:

"Try it Liend, just try to succeed. I'll be waiting with a whole squad of IRS Doomtroopers ready to come down on you like a foul storm. We will take all that you have and then bill those who love you."

And so it is under a pirate flag I must conduct myself. Accepting the laws of nature as unbreakable, and the laws of man a never-ending tide of jargon and bureaucracy ( You can't spell 'bureaucracy' without a misspelled 'crazy' ). The only difference between a lawyer and a pirate is that a pirate doesn't go after your home. Shiver me timbers matey, all I want is my portion of the sweet meats and the rum.

Midnight Fight.

I type to you through bloody fingers. Ring and index of off-hand bloody and flowing. Wrists of the dominant-hand trickling, but for the most part unscathed. Keith the combatant. He's a wild man. Insecure. Angry. Passionate. The ultimate opponent. And thus I was disarmed.
The women? Were powerful. The eyes of a woman enraptured, while the talents of another enticed. The liquor, provided by Jack, was substantial. The combat? Divine. I hit the ground, I will admit. But it was pan-dimensional combat. Tables, and figures, and trajectories, oh my. I charged an opponent on high ground with a non-percussive leap advantage. Even now the blood trickles unto the keys. Even now the blood does flow. I love my life. And challenge those who seek to contain it.

Fight me.

Hey, anyone out there want to fight me? I will bandy with fist and sword. Flaming rings of death? Chainsaw battles on ice-platforms? Fencing on the roof of the mall? Just can't stand sitting on the profound desire to beat and be beaten. If you or someone you know would like to try to take on Bemidji's Premier Swashbuckler please let me know.

Metaphoric Musashi.

And is it worth it? After all? The submission for judgment? The ascension through the ranks? The Striving for Excellence 40 Hours a week? Is there any meaning to the breath that escapes my lips? Or is it simply habit? The sort of thing I do to pass the time? If I cannot be a warrior in terms of physical pain, surely I am a 4-Star General of the Destructions Emotional. And if I cannot exist in a time when the sword has no meaning other than symbolic, then surely, I, the most vague, am a metaphoric swordsmaster.

I can cook like a motherfucker.

I don' t mean to brag, but as I smell the aroma of home-made garlic-chicken stir-fry on the oven attacking me I've just got to say; I can cook like a motherfucker. Had a few friends over for a gathering that turned crazy and in the midst of this chaos I made a mushroom white sauce that curled toes in orgasmic pleasure. I can take the most innocuous, unassuming ingredients available to me and turn them into a feast that delights and astounds. There. I am done tooting my own horn.

Re: Justin

Dearest Justin Timberlake,

    God damn son. You need to check your mail more often. I've already got a bout lined up with your fan club. I'm going to put your little glee club to the sword. Every last fan of Justin Timberlake must be tested. Their love for your smooth beats and dreamy eyes must be challenged by their need to avoid pain. The slathering masses demand more of you dear boy. It's not enough just to prance and sing. Real men are defined by the insane things they do for their ultimate ends.
    Maybe you're uncomfortable with the idea of sabers at dawn? What about
smallswords at dusk? You'd be able to wear sunglasses. Imagine it Justin, our swords beating a deadly staccato cadence over the rolling countryside. What about I meet you in North Dakota? I don't know if you got the memo but North Dakota is THE place to be. Soy beans. Sugar beets. Nukes. Cattle...more nukes. Exact coordinates will be sent to your team while still in flight. We can parachute into the drop zone, swords drawn! What a fantastic way to die!
    What is it going to take to get you on the field with me? Need I continue insulting you like a buffoon? In that instance, I am for you sir. I have it on rather credible authority that you have, on more than at least five occasions, strangled a horse to death. I also have some rather grainy 8 MM footage of you giving an intimate foot massage to Bob Barker. I would hate for this footage to fall into the wrong hands...


Jeremiah Liend

 Have you recently suffered incredible nose pain?

The other night [let's say Wednesday...late] unawares and undeserving I experienced the most amazing nose pain of my life for no good reason [It was Tuesday. I may have been at Kurt’s]. I languished in an intense burning/stabbing pain that focused itself on the tip of my nose. I spent the entire time trying to figure out why. I hadn't pierced it. I hadn't been playing with it. No one had punched me. I can only theorize that this was a cosmic mistake. A Karmic misfiring. Someone hurt themselves and someone else thought it would be fun to give me the pain. Maybe they couldn't deal with it. Maybe there was some boredom at the Pain Distribution Center of Heaven. The point is: If anyone knows a person who recently suffered a nose injury please let me know. I'd like to punch them. There was a mix-up.


I am a powerhouse of talent, will, and presence. There are those who fear and respect me. Physically I am nonpareil among my peers. I am sexually isolated, though bold and sensual. My vast stamina is undisputed. My command of the English language, written and spoken, is considerable. When given opportunities I can be a counselor, a poet, a warrior, a lover, a confidant, a leader, and a comedian. My destiny demands greatness, and my future is vast and bright. I am as resourceful as I am generous as I am cunning. And if you do not believe me then I challenge you to say so to my face. We will settle the dispute as men, or as enemies. And I assure you, you do not want me as an enemy.

The Challenge.

Dearest Justin Timberlake,

I would not for a minute lead you to believe that I do not respect your work in the popular music industry. Far be it from me, a humble serf of the middle-classes, defame, discourage, or degrade so fine a representative of Hollywood's paragon-elite. That being said, I believe your mother to be a prostitute and that you often times, with little regard to the animal, sodomise pigs as a sinister hobby. Your attempts to bring sexy back have failed me for the last time.

This is the digital challenge you have always feared. I propose sabers at dawn. We'll begin on horseback. Some politically neutral island where extradition is no option. I can't imagine you don't own a boat to get you there. We shall fight Old Shakespeare Rules. Kicking and spitting allowed, but no horse-play, shenanigans, or cock-cuts. I'll even let you wear a large-feathered hat.

But should you refuse to grant me a duel then I will, till my dying day, declare to everyone I see and meet in bar and street;

"Justin Timberlake, with relish and abandon, enjoys porking pork. He is the last ham-lover in Hollywood. In addition? I did his Mom. Did her good."

Please have your seconds contact my seconds. I have both a doctor and a mortician to bring to the event. I would be willing to let you declare the judge. Please respond post-haste as the island needs to be established sooner rather than later depending on tropical wind conditions.


Jeremiah Liend.


Crossing Blades With Justin Timberlake.

Can't say as though he understands what the fuck I'm going through. But he pretends beautifully. He's like a young, sinister-free Michael Jackson. He's tapping into some sort of universal desire for sex and revenge. He's a mad-powerful human being who I would love nothing more than to cross swords with. Help me out. Join his friends and comment to the effect that Mr. Timberlake should travel to Bemidji MN and face me in single combat. Not to see either man suffer terrible wounds, but to make their internal pain external for the fans. Jeremiah Liend VS. Justin Timberlake. Has a nice ring doesn't it?

Old West Timberlake

Why will Justin Timberlake not fight me? Because to Justin I do not exist. I am but a flea to the animal he has become. Despite the fact that I am loved by hundreds I am nothing to him. I am digital flotsam. I am the infinite chatter that blows forever on the vast field of his cyber-realm. I represent the moral inequity he so desperately ignores.

Why fight him? Why fight them? Revolution. The belief that an evenings entertainment is something more than a digit. Spend the money you would spend on music and merchandise on instruments and lessons and we would lead our way into an artisan revolt. Spend the evening at the coffee shop instead of alone in your room, attempting as best you can to bring sexy back.

Fight me Justin Timberlake. If for no better reason than to feel truly alive for once in your miserable life. Waves of females, flashes of camera's, endless recording and purchasing and interviews and parties. I will stand waiting for you. Sword in hand. Song in heart. I crave your blood only slightly less than you do. Life is not the gossamer and broadcast glamour you take it to be. Still I wait to remind you of blood and bone and steel and truth.


The Celebrity; Pantheon.

Your average celebrity is a God. We are the peons that provide them their wealth and status. They are a vile consortium of faceless former-humans who desire only the next cover or film. They are no better or worse a person than you or I. They fuck, poop, eat, breathe and palpate as you or I. They are nothing more than humanity distilled through the filters of attention into the new opiate of the people.

We don't want to know what is going on in Africa. Africa can fuck itself for all we care. AIDS? Genocide? What does that mean to Justin Timberlake? How does that effect Fergie’s numbers? How is TRL influenced by the unjust slaughter of thousands? Does this stop my service? Is the eradication of the Ugandan people going to influence cell reception in my area? I desperately hope not.

The Celebrity. Paragon among humanity. What did they do to deserve such honors? Acting, singing, dancing. They are the puppetry to our desperate populace. Thank God for the Celebrity. Thank God for his wisdom in raising a certain fraction of our people above us to show what it is to live the dream. To own three houses, be transported by private jet, to eat gold-dipped tiger heart ringed with pineapple and basil. What would we have to aspire to should we be ignorant of their excesses?

While those in our world struggle for rent, food, medical coverage, gas money, and other [unimportant] expenses the celebrity dances on. Distracts us from the miserable nature of the planet and the terrible injustice. God bless CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, CNN, and other abbreviated organizations that provide us with a means of coping. Provide us with a distraction from the horrible injustice of nature and humanity.

They are but a vehicle for those we so desperately love; The Celebrity. The gladiators of our modern day coliseum. The headstrong performers who willingly and unquestioningly stride, brave and proud, into and unto the sound stage and set, and for what? Certainly not the millions of American dollars that await them. Certainly not for the unquestioning adoration of fan and minion. The Celebrity acts as an Apostle to the New World.

The Celebrity acts not because they want to, but because they must. The world must know the truth of plucky romantic comedy. The World must see robots attacking one another in order to relate [on a human level] to the struggles of the planet as a whole. The World does not need food, fresh water, or shelter nearly as much as it requires Brad Pitt in the next Ocean's 11 Movie [Ocean's 13 in case you have not heard].

Brad Pitt is the last hope of humanity. His example of bravery and might in the face of incredibly long shooting schedules and personal difficulties [dealing with his hot wife and where to summer] are [or should be] the pinnacle of human achievement and the struggle to which all humanity can ascribe. Brad Pitt, the vast and hungry fields of humanity await your next blockbuster with hope and wonder. When will you play the plucky genius that will save us from our ignorance and violence?

The Celebrity does not let the populace know it's goals. We are unworthy of their sage knowledge. Those who have inhabited the Pantheon need not explain their devices or machinations. They are above us and beyond us. They are the hope to which we strive and the dream that arrives as we slumber. They are the Ultimate Human. Celebrity; to become is to arrive.

The Celebrity is a Pig. A God-Pig to whom we dole our attention and affection. Thespians gone wrong. So infinitely above the dish-washing, floor-cleaning, tax-paying human that we consider them more akin to super-human than what they truly are; humanity become complete assholes.

Life is meat and bone and fucking and killing. Life is farming and breeding and struggling to make life tolerable. For the masses life is not about jets and travel and power, it is about health and expense and survival. There is a threshold where fame becomes riches. Riches become ignorance. Ignorance becomes soullessness. To that end I am going to kick Justin Timberlake's ass.


Dearest Bemidji,

Just thought I'd toss a few digital words to the masses to let you know where I am and what I'm doing in the coming weeks and months. I am now homeless. I will live the life of the Wandering Swordsman I've always dreamed of but been too terrified/comfortable to attempt.

So I evacuated the Ridge yesterday. Pine Ridge is one resident short. In then end I was as I began, alone in the run-down two bedroom that was not truly a home, but rather a space. Four years did not treat the place very well… sword marks on all the walls. "The Stain of Johnson" in the back room. Also, I think that steel-tipped darts are cool, but probably not a good idea to have in an apartment filled to bursting with drunkards and fiends [AKA Me].

Soon I make my way to New York City. I will stay there as long as Clemons and Zykos can tolerate me, or two months, whichever comes first. Hotel Beacon, NY Comedy Club, buildings taller than a dozen stories, Grey's Papaya hot dogs and mass transit that works. Oh New York, queen bitch of all men's dreams. How I long to live in your concrete embrace once more.

Then I'm off to the opposite side of the nation to a little berg called Port Townsend. It's close to Seattle and only accessible by ferry. Never been that far west and I'm looking forward to it. I'll be there for a month rehearsing "A Gap in Generations" and probably teaching people to fight without hurting one another. Then it's off to Thailand to do the same activity but in Asia.

Then? I dunno. If I would return to the states it would only be to arrive jobless and homeless. Which is why I'm considering wandering. What I would really like to happen is returning to begin filming on the feature film "Elysium; MN" but I'm still waiting for the got-damned short film to get finished, so I don't think that's very likely. In addition, this would be planning out much farther than life would allow. So I will play the NY game for a time and see what happens.

To all the fine Bemidji men and women I have spent the last four years with, I thank you. It has been a time of extreme ups and downs. When I look back and try to decide what I have accomplished I guess that what I'm most proud of is the incredible amount of high-caliber people I can cal my friends. If a persons quality is defined by those he keeps company with, then I am a golden shadow surrounded by brilliance. I'm talking about you Cease, you wacky fucking mortician. Keep the home fires burning kids, and I'll see you all again some day.

Warmest Regards and Adoration,

Jeremiah Tavis Stenerson Liend

Producer, Writer, Actor, Swordsman, President BSG THI

Manna from Mommy.

So, I'm minding my own business the other afternoon, sleeping off a hangover that had left my brain filled with angry and distempered bees. The bees had Novocaine filled stingers and I could feel their death dance as their butts went into my cranial interior and then performed the twist. There came a voice from outside, broadcast through door and pillow.

"J? You alive?"

"More or less."

"Your Mom's going to be here in about five minutes...she says she has a present."

It was not my B-Day. May Day perhaps, but if Mother was going to drop candy and run you'd think she'd avoid the warning shot of calling before hand. I gathered what little senses left to me as the painkillers began their miraculous relief. Bees calmed by acetaminophen smoke. No sooner was the coffee in my palm than in walks Mom, printer in one hand, keyboard in the other. My God. Where did this computer angel come from? And now for the background.

My printer died a little while back. One of those game killing misfeeds that leaves howls of displeasure resounding through the apartment complex. It was deadly low on ink before it occurred. An ancient HP I inherited from the late 90's. It served me with relative obedience before it's death so I'll not speak ill of it. But this new printer? Tits. A copy/scanner/printer jobey with all the bells and whistles. A beige cruiser on the churning sea of my desk. It has the ability to remove the lower tray so that when pages are printed I have to catch them in mid-air like a Goddamned literary ninja.

And the keyboard? It's been a hard time walking away from my old keyboard. I've been with that old girl longer than any woman. I have poured unto it blood, sweat, tears, and a variety of other less romantic genetic material. It has created poetry of love, letters of hate, scripts, resignations, regurgitation's, etc. etc. I think I may need to have it framed or something. Encased in Lucite? Buried in a small family ceremony? I dunno. The fact is that years of my love/abuses have left the keys unwilling to function. The soft cream of the board mottled and stained. The flotsam of hard living gather between the nooks and crannies and soon I am unable to shift. And we all need to shift.

My fingers caress this new and foreign keyboard like massaging a strange sable skinned lover. Black and sleek and responsive. With the touch of a silver nub I can summon a calculator function. Before it was so much mouse work. There's a button to summon my mail, another to silence my music. Another sinister looking button sits below a protective plastic case, a radiation symbol fused with a sideways 8. Finally, a doomsday button of my very own.

So I type this to no one in particular as a thanks to the woman who not only gave me organs and a home, but on occasion wanders out of the early afternoon to bring me not only printers, keyboards, and McDonalds, but hope that every dog has his day. Thanks Mom.

But who is Quaddle really?

I have often been asked; "Just who is Quaddle anyhow?" And I have been less than forthcoming with information regarding the name. But now? Maybe it's better we all know. Quaddle is a pirate. A renegade pirate who avoids bloodshed if at all possible, but is more than willing to unleash his deadly rapier unto those who would destroy and oppose him. He has put down more than one mutiny. Mutinies raised by crazy, seemingly impossible schemes that have been followed to their ultimate conclusion. But Quaddle? His answer to that? Stab the living hell out of anyone who asks too many questions, and separate bodies later. Profilactive genocide. Quaddle is; cunning, devious, intelligent, deadly, charming, and gentile. He is a swordsman, a swashbuckler, and a lover of all things fine. Also, he's a doctor of Chemical Dependence, and wants to be your
friend. Isn't that neat?

NY NY It's a hell of a town. Memorial day 2006.

Because it's so fucking hot. Hot I tell you. It's been a strange and delightful week. Painful, joyous, a retreat to another home. i have partied, consoled, shared, and entrenched myself in an introspective cave of vast proportions. Resolutions have been made...lists have been formed. I will not deny that the road ahead will be difficult, but I am locked into the hell train, and there is a smile on my face.

NY in a nutshell.

So much to cover. I have to begin the strange task of transcribing my fevered notebook scrawling desperately penned throughout the course of my misadventures. It was a spiritual journey. I went there expecting a mad-cap romp, and came away with a little more perspective. Perhaps a little hope. When you are surrounded by such a vast number of quality people you can't help but feel that you must be doing something right with your life. There were too many coincidences and odd run-ins to call it anything less than a sign. Perhaps a sign that I'm where I need to be. Or where I should be going. It was what I needed. As soon as I enlist my friend Keith to scan some pictures and explain how to get them on here I will share some images. For now? I thank everyone of my east coast family for their supreme hospitality, and wish them only the best. As for the loved ones of my homeland? I am back. And I am salty. (whatever the hell that means.)

Report; NYC.

Dearest Loved Ones,

Ahoy. Jeremiah Liend here. Writing to you from NYC. "The City That Never Sleeps". "The Big Apple". I want to be a part of it… NY… NY. The fundamental problem with "being a part of it" is requiring my complete and total ambivalence towards several million people who surround me at any given time.

We sit in the subways and we walk on the street. Forever wondering if the person walking towards/beside/in front of us is a psycho killer, a complete ass-hat, a tourist, a local, a documentarian recently arrived. Our fear is confronted with naught but silence. Our apathy is encouraged by the persistent and unpleasant silence that accompanies every train ride and bar close.

NY is the best example of how social interaction can break down to digital signals sent over airwaves as opposed to simple requests shouted through the self-same air. NY is a hive of villainous cell phone users and abusers. My friends are among their number. They cavort and commune via the air waves well before inter-flesh communion is ever considered.

The digital age has eaten the lions share of our social skills and we precious few who revolt against are an oddity. Soon reserved for the asylum or the zoo. I do not, nor shall I ever, endeavor to own a cell phone. Thus I am some sort of sub-class under dweller. I am a subterranean mongoloid of the most unpleasant demeanor.

Can't we all just talk to one another? Say "Hello!" on the street and have done with it? 9,000,000 strangers. Fucking and fighting and scrapping for their piece of the pie. None of them willing to negotiate or organize for the better good. Impoverished masses too terrified of the beliefs and wants of those around them to offer a simple "Hello." [we need not exclaim] as they pass.

I live here. Among them. My "Thank you" and "please" I pray meet with some sort of subliminal reaction. A universal acknowledgment that we are indeed all brothers and/or sisters on this damned space ship earth. I like to believe that my fractional humanity rings proud in some unheard chamber.

There is a singular oneness that comes from knowing you are a part of a community. May haps it will take some horrible alien race to unite us to the point where we stop poisoning our children and shooting unarmed farmers. It will take some black and sinister craft over some unforeseen horizon to unite us. If so, I beg the mother ship to reply with evacuation vessels. Send them in droves. I have a list of loved ones I'd like transported the hell out of here.


Jeremiah Liend

Hacking Hemingway. Seeking Lennon.

The leaves of the park were falling so sweetly in the fall. Their dried and useless forms drifted to the pavement where they settled and were soon trampled by tourist and homeless alike. I ate hot dogs on 72nd slathered in onions and watched the masses pass. They were excited and evermore in a hurry to wherever the important places exist. They pilot rolling suitcases more and more these days. I don't know when the trend started, but it continues every day. Men women and children all wheeling God knows what here and there in suitcases outfitted with wheels.

Strawberry Fields was saturated with pilgrims who have not had John speak in their dreams. I have had him in my mind. He came to me and said something I cannot remember and now I wander through and near his place of death in hopes of finding what he had meant to say to me. I wade through the tourists desperate to see a glimpse of his blood. I watch the vendors with their "Imagine" prints on sale for $15. There are tourists everywhere and I am glad to not be counted among their number.

"Where should I go?" "What is there to do?"

 You ignorant tourist. You incompetent wanderer. Do you not know why you cane to this city? I came for fortune and glory. I did not come to see the sights, but rather to make my own sight and establish it as something immortal and uncompromising. Like "Cats" only the opposite. I want to stand in the streets and scream. I sat in Big Nick's the other night and heard a tourist ask a waiter who barely spoke English;

"If you could do one thing in New York City what would it be?"

In his mind I heard the response and it involved not having to work sixty hours a weeks. With his Greco-English he suggested going to the Empire State building and riding it to its zenith. In my mind I suggested something far less mundane. Follow Broadway south as far as it will go. On foot. Walk your way to the south. Witness the decay and the majesty. Behold the most fantastic achievements as you swat away the beggars. Make your way to the south street seaport. There book passage on the Staten Island ferry. You will see a copper woman waving at you, and when you behold her, send my regards.

I fear that I am agoraphobic by nature. Inclined to remain indoors when there are so many millions out there. Desperate for relief and retire. There are so many humans who I believe would benefit from my solutions and machinations, yet I cannot but hide here behind this keyboard. I remain here in the digital realm, secure and warmed by the cocoon. The buffer between the masses. The public at large. Myself. Alone and mundane in a sea of humanity scratching its way to the top of the shit heap.

I drink the Turk and it makes me less afraid. Makes me more willing to share the dreams I know will only be squashed and crushed before they can even learn to fly. A small and delicate gosling in the leather bound fist of some critic. The tumultuous and passionate desire but a flash in a pan that spans ages and miles. I demand but my fifteen minutes, and with them I will build an Empire.

The Distillation of The Interview.

The White Horse.

"Hello my name is Jeremiah Liend and I saw your ad for the bouncer position. Yes. No. No, I may not seem large, but I assure you I'm a total badass. Yes. Thank you. I like your mutton chops too. No ma'am I'm straight, but incredibly tolerant. Did I say tolerant? I meant belligerent. No, these are not lift shoes, they're ass-kicking boots. Five nine Without them. I guess I don't know if that's small for a bouncer. I can seem much larger by expanding my chest and holding my arms out to either side. I can even make expressive vocal noises to deter the under aged and savagely drunk. Observe. WoooOOOoooo…arg. Yes. Certainly. Thank you for your time."

Trump Tower.

"Hello, my name is Jeremiah Liend, I had an appointment for 10:30. Yes, I always try to be a bit early. Not in you say? Well, may I wait? Certainly. Hello! Yes, Jeremiah Liend. A pleasure. Thank you. Ah, well I won't pretend to know a great deal about retail brokerage, but I do know the three most important factors. Location. Location. Location. I beg your pardon? Drive, Initiative, and Stick-to-itiveness? I see. Well I'm not certain that last rule was even a word. No, I wouldn't think to second guess you. No. How much money DO you have to make to get out of bed in the morning? Is that in pesos? Golly. Neat. Uh… I get out of bed in the late afternoon if the brown liquor is out of my reach. Well… that's inspiring. Could I have that résumé back, I've only got the one.  Thank you for your time."

Urban Outfitters.

"Hello! Is there a manager available? Hello there! Yes. Hassan right? Well to be quite honest I had thought you sold gas-masks and such, is any of your stock bulletproof? Fireproof? I see. So mainly you sell jeans then? And retro-t-shirts. Good. Yes, I believe I am qualified; I worked for the largest company on the planet for three and a half years, three years of which were in management of some kind. Yes, I did work for "The Evil Empire" I certainly did. Some would say I have a preternatural sense of retail, yes. I enjoy wearing black. Thank you, I like the tie myself. Sparrows with mohawks. You're Mohican? I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was the last. Ha.  Really? Anthony Keidis? Huh. Well I'd love to chat with you all day but I need a job, what do you pay here? Say again? Did you know that I could make more money in Mexico sewing this clothing? I pray for you son. Fair you well young retailer. Another life perhaps."


 "Good afternoon, my name is Jeremiah Liend. I am here to become the ultimate jazz musician. No I do not play any instruments. Nope. Played trumpet over a decade ago and wasn't very good at it. Where do you practice it you know? I'd do it in the woods but it terrifies the deer. Makes them crazy. I do sing a little. Nope. Uh uh. I'm afraid not. Uh. How much is tuition? Sweet Jesus. [Maniac laughter]. So primarily it's the children of astronauts that go here? Right. Sure. Isn't there some sort of grant program where you just establish that I will never have that much money and then give it to me? I see. Well. Thank you so much for your time Mary, you have a great day."

Victoria's Secret

 "Good afternoon, my name is Jeremiah Liend. I'd like to sell your panties. Bet you don't get that everyday eh? Certainly men asking to buy your panties, but never to sell! My apologies. I'll see myself out."

Haberdasher Emporium.

"Good evening, is there a manager available? Thank you so much. Oh hello how are you, my name is Jeremiah Liend. Yes. Well I've always wanted to be a Haberdasher. [Maniac laughter] No no, I'm fine. Yes. Yes it's my handkerchief. Yes. No. As I understand we sell fashion accessories and the such. Oh yes. I carry this little silver card case. I have no idea. I would assume it's bulletproof, but I'm probably lying to myself. Uh. I seem to have left my watch in pieces on the bathroom floor. No, just kidding, I don't wear a watch. No, I'm generally early. They break. I've got a whole box of broken watches at home. I don't know. Maybe it's some sort of… curse. I don't know. Oh really? The positions been filled has it? Well. As-Sal--mu `Alaykum my friend."

Times Square.

"Oh hello. Yes. Yes I'm serious. I'm waiting. No. It's Hemmingway. Yes I know he was a bit of a misogynist. Yes. $2,000,000. I'm fairly certain yes. No, I'm not as crazy as you would imagine. Jeremiah Liend. No Liend not Leend. It's a raised "eh". No I do not go by Jeremy. $2,000,000 yes. Cash, business check, or gold bullion. I'd be asking for euros but I haven't bothered to learn how to draw the little symbol. A little French. I'm from Bemidji Minnesota. You have a great day too Martha. God bless you ma'am."

A Midsummer’s Night Curse.

I will begin by freely admitting I've never actually seen "A Midsummer's Night Dream" the entire way through. I know, I know. You're saying Jeremiah, you uncultured swine. How can you call yourself a writer/actor/director/producer without having read the entire Shakespeare library twice? You philistine. Fine. Yes, I'm a savage. Truth is, I don't like Bills comedies. The bard can kill the entire cast like a fiend, and for that I will always love his tragedies, but I've never seen his comedy made funny. Still. When someone says to you that they have tickets for Shakespeare in the park you go. To not go would simply make you a bad person. But then there's the curse.

We [Andrew, Lindsey and myself] had just gotten done eating vast quantities of ground beef in patty form in my favorite NY eatery; Big Nicks. It had been drizzling earlier in the day. We even went as far as purchasing Andrew a sweater, but it was not raining. Misting perhaps. It was the anemic sort of precipitation that makes people reluctant to get out of bed, but not the righteous downpour that seals the deal. Hell, people in the north country come out in snow showers to see football games, what sort of an ignorant weakling would I have to be to let a little water stop me from getting my Bill on?

I've tried watching "A Midsummer's Night Dream" before. Oh how I've tried. Tried the movie but could not make it. I should have realized that if Kevin Kline and Michelle Pfeiffer can't sell me on a story I should just surrender. I may have had a chance to see Andrew in it and everything just fell through. When BSU [Go Beavers] put it on I was out of town. I have assumed that it would come to me in the time and place in my life that I need it.

Tonight was not that night. We met up with a motley crew of fellow theater goers with plastic containers filled with wine and brown liquor surreptitiously concealed on our persons. Our crew numbered seven and I considered it fortune. The rain was being unpleasant and the crowd was already restless when we arrived. And we waited. I will admit that the waiting was made tolerable by the pleasant and affable dispositions of those I was surrounded by. Quality people. Still. How fun can waiting for Shakespeare in the rain really be?

8:00 came and went. 8:30 there was an announcement that the show was delayed and they thanked us for our patience. It had to be well after 9:00 by the time they finally opened the house and allowed us in. At this point the audience was belligerent, damp, and/or wearing those ridiculous ponchos that so remind me of full body condoms. My solution; "The Plastic Sombrero". How about it science?

We were ushered into the space by the tyrannical Gestapo that runs herd on the joint. The "security" and those who usher are an unseemly lot. A plastic wrapped army of unpleasant youths desperately hoping for a break of some kind. They told us not to take pictures or we would be removed. We were told that once the performance began our umbrellas must be collapsed [despite that there was only half a house (Oh and by the by there was an entire front row section left vacant. Thanks for that.)]. After the yellow-clad polyurethane-wrapped theater-wranglers had us settled in the show finally began.

What I saw was quite good. There were several people in it I was very excited to see on stage, probably the coolest and most exciting Keith David. Keith David has been in every film ever made. At least every film worth watching. Also in the cast are Jay O. Sanders, Martha Plimpton and Tim Blake Nelson. IMDB these people if you don't know who they are, but I assure you they are worth watching. Or at least I assume so based on the first twenty minutes of the play. This is how much we saw before they called it on account of precipitation.

That's right. The curse holds strong. I will never see "A Midsummer's Night Dream". We stood/sat in rain for two hours or so only to have the performance, at long last, cancelled because of the rain that had been falling all evening. So. I would have to say that, all told, this has to be the worst theater endeavor ever experienced in my years. The clincher was the physical discomfort coupled with the cock teasing, mixed in liberally with the total failure. And so I say, in no uncertain terms; FU Shakespeare in the Park. FU hard.


The right heel is ready to break. The bag is on one side, keeping the right side heavier, like a second arm. Also I favor the heel because the toe of my right boot is open and flapping. It's liable to trip me on a curb and send me dying. Pass more than a dozen shoe shops, but there's a pride that won't allow it. But it's been a good morning. All said. Yes it's been a productive morning despite and as a result of the walking. Did not sleep last night. Last night the politico was awake and hammering patriotism into my skull. I could not help but solve the world's innumerable problems. Dole them out and resolve them. I solved all the problems and then I considered my retirement plan and by that time it was dawn and I was hungry for action.

Took the downtown 1 with the Tall Guy and dropped him off at seventy-second. How do I look? Like you're going to blow up the consulate. Thanks man, where can I get passport photos? Directions and walking. There's bound to be someplace between here and midtown. Bound to be something between the seventies and the consulate. Bound to be and I don't need the coffee, only need to smell it and I don't need the hot roll so why waste the money. I'm hungry, but hungry is not always bad. Not always.

I emerge from the post office (no passport services till 10) and there's a line out front of NBC. The quantity of middle-aged women make me think maybe it's not worth waiting in. It's early and I can't find someone to take my damned picture. Past the Ed Sullivan Theater and I wish I had someone to take my damned picture. Hey Mom, I'm here! I'm among them! Intermingling with their masses! The people who see me don't know how to measure me. What to think. Equal parts bum and bohemian. The eye contact lingers and I make a point not to look away. No one is doing passport photo's at this insane hour I guess. Then I spot this little camera shop on seventh and I take a gamble.

The Pakistani behind the small counter at the far end of the narrow shop looks about as happy to be awake as I am. You do passport photos? Yes we do. Then there's this pause between us that under other circumstances would be annoying and strange, but I am just too happy that he's taking my picture and too happy to be alive to be anything but woozy and too sleepy deprived not to offer a smile. The Pakistani goes behind the long camera counter containing all manner of digital miracle. He pulls out the double barreled passport Polaroid and I ask him how it's going. Just like that his face lights up like a 100 watt bulb and he's all tired smile and we are friends. Because I decided to be friendly and that's just fine by him.

We find a corner and clear the luggage out (part camera shop part luggage store [I dunno]). We clear a space where the white wall behind me will not interfere with the shot and he double barrels me. I ask him if I look OK and we both know that after several hours of sweaty non-sleep I'm a far cry from OK. We retire back to the camera shop and I feel like I'm in a hurry. I don't know why. I've got time to spare so I dig out some forms and prepare myself as the picture cures. The Pakistani charges me $4 and I think that's a bargain in this fucking city. Put it on the card my good man while I peruse your fine selection of cut-glass prismatic cityscapes. It's thank you ever so much and I'm on my way.

Mid-town and headed East and oh the sites. Oh the people. Oh the architecture and stores and restaurants. Oh the smells. This sidewalk ammonia and that construction site sewer gas. This street exhaust and that street rolls and overpriced coffee. The bums and the business intermingling like hyena and gazelle. Here's a man who apparently thinks he's a wizard (Harry Potter broom broadcasts it). Here's an albino (I always think they're a myth until I see one again). Here's a poor dude selling mangos for $1.50 who lacks a lower jaw (I bet he's a huge fan of the straw).

Turn a corner and there's a 30 foot tall woman. Need to check this one out so I cut in front of a couple of business men. Men with suits that cost more than all of my cars combined. I inconvenience their svelte vectors like a land shark to chance a gander at the colossal woman. She's ebony and pregnant and she's cut open on 50 % of her body so you can see the fetus inside of her. Inverted and sleeping and huge like gods were huge. That's something you don't see every day. I try to remember where this was and the name of the building, but blocks latter only she remains.

Past fifth Avenue fountains keeping a mental ratio of suits to me trying not to get run over by a bus or overly distained. The consulate is found after only getting a little lost. A little German security guard is no help to me, but I'm savvy. Pass a Church for Norwegian Seamen. No shit. Tempted to investigate, but do not. The heel is doing a number and this is a mission. Homeless and hungry. Me too buddy, but I make it look good.

The consulate has one little Thai behind the counter with hands so delicate and small I can hardly believe it. This man should not work in an office. A paper cut would end him. He should be carving miniature horses out of rare wood or sculpting those prismatic cityscapes none seems very keen on. He asks what kind of passport I have and I don't understand the question. He asks me twice before my ignorance gives me away. American. He hands me the form. Thank heavens he's a man who knows his job. When I can't say where I'm staying or anyone I know in Thailand I get a little worried with myself and things, but never let worry impede action. Pay the $30 for the visa and he urges me to return tomorrow. Small receipt and the return journey begins.

On the way to Columbus Circle (BY FATE VNWARNED IN DEATH VNAFRAID) I'm struck lonely. I want to be with someone to see and share these wonderful things. Look there; Carnegie Hall! The butt of the most famous joke about a theater and a bastion of creation! Dreams come true nightly in that brickwork! Look around ye huddled masses! Someone take my god-damned picture! The feeling passes and there is only the percussion of boot and pavement. Hurt and hollow but unstoppable. Nothing can stop my wonder. No one can break my stride. Block before the subway and the revelation that I've had my sunglasses in my bag the entire bright return journey back. I don't mind so much.

On the way underground looking up at Trumps Tower wondering if he'll ever have it as good as me. Guy told me that after 18 hours your brain is impaired to the point of drunk. Passed that threshold eons ago and starting to feel it as I enter the 1 and cool my heel. Old Latin women chance glances at me writing and I am not there for them. Already in a tall glass of water and making sweet love to a 1,000 horsepower fan. Cathedral stop and a hop skip and I'm back. NY tap filled with god-knows-what (effluence, Arsenic, cockroach spawn). It goes down cool and splendid. 18 plus hours but a mouthful of bourbon just in case. The time has come to spoon Lady Chatterley and dream of Siam.


Adventures in NY.

    I may almost have been stabbed. Brian was going to go for it when I claimed I was a better gladius fencer than him. I had to withdraw. I love and respect Brian and without my assurance that he was able to defend against my terrible assault I could not advance. I gave my gladius to Tania, as I gave my blade to Andrew so many nights ago.
    Truth be told I've only ever been in one physical fight to the death. It occurred on the apartment on 148th and I was certain that the man I beat, in question, was a complete and utter loser. He had told me, [as an introduction] that he had been snorting Zantac all day long. I am not sure how this admission was supposed to ingratiate me to him, but he said it nevertheless.
    To the man who would threaten the guests of my home with knives I had only one response, a quick head-butt to the face and then a few right handed blows to convince the futility of resistance. I would have dragged his form to the Harlem Street but for his incredible begging. I would not throw a beaten gay into the street. I am a bigger man than that, or so I hope.
    But to what end do my honor duels reach? Am I to stab one man only to spare the next because of racial/sexual prejudice? I am a duelist. To the very fiber of my being. I cannot feel alive unless I am being challenged by the sword by those who claim to be my better. So then how am I left alone and unwarranted in this huddled mass of confused and retreating flesh?
     Am I to say that I surrender? That I simply have not found and opponent worthy of my terrible sting? Am I to say that I am defeated? The lone and sole survivor of a damned and damnable race of ignorant agressors? Am I to subscribe myself to the dread belief that there are no more swordsmen among us? That the teeming masses that have descended on our shore and have not the wherewithal to bandy with me with foil and saber?
    I am a provincial anomaly. A squire without knight. I am the sole penchant and panache for a lost generation of despondent and unrewarded people. We are alone and wondering where the honor of our humanity has evacuated. Where the unpleasant and disregarded fighters remain there are only we proud few. Those who seek reward for their quarrel and regard for their blood.
     To their innumerable masses I pen this unhappy creed. To their cuckolded numbers I pen my dread implore: That those with will and reserve defend their honor to the last. That those with the passion to bandy with blade, we are the last paladin of a lost generation, and we, as brothers, charge forth to a bright new era of respect and peace.

Dangers of MySpace Cyborgs.

Dearest Monica,

    Look Monica. I think you're a really attractive female and all. But I'm not going to add you as a friend because honestly? I think you just want me to pay piles of money to see you naked on your web-cam. If you're even human. I have a feeling you may only be a program that lures me towards your myspace page only to direct me towards your web-cam. Robot I tell you. If you're really a human who would really like to communicate with me; a bona fide human male, please message me something more than your love of my profile and we'll begin to interact as cyber-humans. On a level playing field of text based humanity. If you're hurt by this message? I'm sorry. If you're a program...I guess I'm even more sorry.



MySpace Romance. Finding a computer program that truly loves you.

It's an art really. I was watching a program on the end of the world the other day. One of the scenario's for the end-times is computers becoming super-intelligent and ultra-powerful. We give them too much power and blamo. Skynet shit. My interactions with the bots on MySpace has led me to believe that it's more likely that chickens suddenly gain the ability to kill and lead a bloody revolution. I submit the following net correspondence as evidence of my cl..

From: Oceania
Subject: what up pa

Hey! You're very cute, I just found your profile. I couldn't help myself but message you --I can't believe your single!!



Jeremiah's Re: what up pa

Believe it. Are you a computer? I would so hate to find that I've been complimented by a program. My self esteem would never survive.



From: oceania
Subject: Re: Re: what up pa

I think i like you already! is different from my old city, I'm from a small town in kansas. I moved out here for something new -- I'm still unpacking so I haven't been able to go out but, I went to best buy and got a webcam yesterday, You want to watch me?



Jeremiah's Re: Re: Re: what up pa

Damn it. You ARE a program. Why do people do this? I mean, I toss honest compliments all over MySpace all the time. Why when I get a compliment from a stranger is it always a blasted computer...well...send me pictures of your boobs at least.



From: oceania
Subject: Re: Re: Re: what up pa

I think i like you already! is different from my old city, I'm from a small town in kentucky. I had to move, i was getting so bored in that place! -- I'm still unpacking so I haven't been able to go out but, I just bought a webcam to play with, You want to talk to me on cam?



Jeremiah's Re: Re: Re: Re: what up pa

Dearest 758y347f,

I guess since you address yourself as a serial number I should have seen this coming.




From: oceania
Subject: hi!

Hi!!! I love your pictures, I just found your profile. I couldn't help myself but message you-- You still single?



Jeremiah's Re: hi!

Oh-so single pretty computer. Hey! Why don't you try luring me to your web-cam?



From: oceania
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: what up pa

Myspace won't let me use my cam!, that's the only thing this site needs.. It took forever to find a free site. I found a really fun one, When you get in the room message me,check it out [link]



Jeremiah's response: RE: RE: RE: RE: what up pa

Dearest Oceania/tblqrhzg6,

    I just don't know. To be quite honest I was being more than a little sarcastic when Iasked for you to invite me to your web-cam. Things are moving to damned fast. The timestamp from your first message to now? I'm just not ready for the commitment, both financialy and emotionally that watching you rub one off via grainy web-projection would require of me. There are benefits of course. No need for contraception. Little chance of disease. I can end the whole affair with a simple click. Still. I don't know. Maybe if you just talked more about how hot I am? Maybe I can do the same? Let's start from there and move on.



PS my name is not pa.

And then the computer gives up. Loser computer. I win! I win I tell you!


Prepare for descent.

Gear has been removed to ensure flaming wreckage. The heart is in the blender, and the ice chopping is soon to begin. The hammer is aloft and soon to drop. The creep of the trap door makes the hemp around the neck all that more itchy as I await the lever action death-assault. Cocked, Locked, and ready for the big fall. Strapped in and buckled down, and engaged in the full-throttle suck storm that will attempt to destroy me. But can I still distance myself from ground zero? Can I escape the blast radius? Only time can tell. The countdown is begun and I am incapable of aborting. Christ be with me, if you even fucking exist.


We'd like to thank you for flying with us. We hope you enjoyed the trip. Disregard the impact, as it will be brief and unpleasant. And beyond? Nothing but blue skies smiling at you.

The World Spin.

It was a cold November night when gazing upwards at the stars I first felt the world spin. I gazed at the heavens and the almost imperceptive revolution of the planet [not to mention the orbit] was suddenly and unpleasantly thrust into my wondering amazement. It was as if I could only hold on for dear life and pray not to be thrust off.

Fuses. Burst and burning.

I am a fucking caged animal. Give me a thousand planets to burn with a thousand occupants deserving of my wrath. there is not enough blood in the world to stop the thirst. There are not enough bullets on the planet to sate my desire to unleash this shit storm inside me that's broiling to a frothing stew of confusion, hatred, love, and betrayal. An open sore of hope having salt and sulfur poured over it. Endless container of Morton salt upended into my tear filled eyes. And all I can do is lash at the inanimate with dull swords. The only victim thus far: an ugly chair. And still it rises. Bile. Ache. And I am powerless to get it out of me. I envy the surgeon with a blasted leg and a mouth full of leather. Fetch me the fucking bone saw and let me hack the fucker off. But I can't get at it. Like a piece of meat in a molar, the more I try to get at it the deeper it crawls. A fucking parasite in my gut, a maggot in my mind. And nothing can help. I am alone and weary and without hope, compassion, regard, vision, means, love, station, or purpose. I am a warrior spirit trapped in a merchants role and the only fucking thing I can do is pound away at this fucking keyboard as Mozart blasts me away from this hellish prison I've made for myself. Just me and the screen and a sense that if I just channel it into the fucking internet somehow my pain will dissolve itself. Who knows? Maybe I can fucking link affiliates to this shit and find enough sadistic fuckers who like watching ants burn in the sun to support my anguish well on into my thousands. I will be a blind, legless stump. Only two hands eternally pouring out the impotent frustrations into the fucking cosmos. Probably not though. The internet is like the cosmos in that it doesn't give fuck all about me. It's as neutral as the void and as cold as the ice caps. I return to pacing back and forth my 40 feet of freedom. Staring out the window into the same sad parking lot and the same sad dirt road. Hoping for a car that will not come. Praying for a plane to sheer through my room and sever this red and trembling line of my life and blissfully send me into darkness, and a fat insurance check to my loved ones (spend it well my dear). Pacing and pacing and thinking and dreaming and cursing and hating and opening wounds with forceps of hindsight and peering into the puss filled wound with fascination and regret. No drugs to calm the mind, no sleep to silence the chorus. Just remembered fantasies of the end and final scenes played out to their unhappy and pathetic conclusion. At the end of the road we all end up the same: failures in the eyes of nature, and food to the continuing masses.

Obligatory Valentines Essay

I never have had a great one. I can trace my Valentines all the way back to the 10th grade. Last year won the taco for worst ever. Years and years of being alone have trained me to resent and deny the romantic nature of V-Day. It is as much a part of me as my steadfast belief that I'll never have another good birthday, nor have a Christmas where I'm not guilty and poor. But of all the holidays I loathe, the dread day of romance has a special place in my cold heart. What's romantic about making me spend money on dinner, flowers, chocolate, cards, talking stuffed animals etc. etc.? You can spend money on someone 364 days out of the year, miss February 14th? You are in the dog house fiend.

Valentines was so much simpler when romance came in packages of 50 cards or more. Elementary school. Those impossibly hard Valentines candies. Lace lined cardboard boxes collecting the obligatory affection of your classmates. To be fair my heart was first broken in this manner. "Alvin and the Chipmunks" card. Jesse Lavally. Love is a dangerous game, even in second grade. Still, the idea of communal platonic sharing of good feeling? That's something I can get behind.

[The feast of St. Valentine was first decreed in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among those "... whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God." ] - Wikipedia

Thanks Gelasius. We're celebrating a holiday for dudes whose acts we don't even know. Chaucer is the one who added the romantic spin on things. FU Chaucer. Yet, despite my deep seated resentment towards the holiday as a whole, I feel like I should, at the very least, enlist the services of a Valentine. Whatever that entails.

"Will you be my Valentine?"

What does that even mean? Will you accept my gift of a stuffed dog that barks out "Sexyback"? Will you eat the chocolate I purchase for you at Wal-Mart? Will you allow me to lavish you with dinner, possibly a movie? Will I get a hand job out of the deal?

Romance is useless to me. It is a tool that lays broken in my hand. I am, at times, a caring individual. I was once cavalier. But the days of the hour drive just to see the one I love for a few minutes, the unexpected 7 AM flowers, waking someone up to the smell of frying bacon are gone.

Replacing them are brief interludes of affection. Transient companionship. The ephemeral nigh-tangible gossamer of love reached for through opaque films of distrust. Never grasped. The silent and uncomfortable elephant in the room, wishing I would just cut him a check [peanuts] so he could get back to the zoo.

And so this Valentines, as the Valentines before it, my companion shall be abandon. My partner shall be oblivion, sweet and cold. I will choose not to remember that which I have lost, but that which I have emancipated myself from. I will choose not to remember the calling-in-sick cuddles, but the calling-in-drunk aftermath. I will embrace the glassy shards of love and grind their broken particles deep into my breast.

I am getting tits-ripped drunk and watching "Spartacus". Getting tattooed. Sword fight the rugby team. Man-wrestle a priest. I will funeral-walk and cry at the foot of a strangers grave. I will burn down Hallmark. Chocolates Plus will never see me coming. And when you bite into your mini-steak at Applebees and wonder what that strange aftertaste is? That's me. A wise funeral director once told me;

"All love ends way or another."

To that end I quaff richly. Happy Valentines Day kids, and if you have someone to hold, do so with relish, and for fucks sake buy them a card.


At what point does neglect become abuse and coldness hatred? Insensitivity is the result of the cold and how chilly must it become before the numbness kills? If one is waging war on oneself, who becomes the victor, and for what spoils? Is love worth fighting for, or is it something that can never be attained through struggle? Is there a balance to the whole messy ordeal, or is it simply another case of throwing the heart in the meat grinder for the sake of a lost cause? A threshold is a precipice of minute, and vast nature. It is a portal through which worlds change.

Motivation from Satan.

Need to get the drive wheels engaged. Need to fucking ride this bitch to the sun. Require fuel of drugs and fast women. Alcohol, tobacco and/or firearms. Need to get the team together. The dream team. Everyone's scattered to hell and gone. Have less support than a double d in a wife beater. Need to find the sweet bitch of success and woo her. Baring that I need to put a gun to her head and make her beg to make me millions. I'm not sexist like that.

In the Works.

Got some stuff in the works. Exciting stuff. Going to bushwhack the political process like a hillbilly rapist. Come out of left field, straight out of the sun so there's no hope of avoiding the meaty thump to the face. I am tired of lurking in the shadows as a Walter Mitty gone wrong. There will be success, or there will be blood...or there will be both...and tacos.

Hung up to dry.

There's a very special place in hell designed for men that are hung over at 10 PM. I hope to meet some rock stars and writers when I arrive.

Love Lost.

And there are those who would stop me. But I am never happy. And there is but one that
can provide me. For the sandwich has no flavor, and the Bowie has no prose. And sleep is something I miss. And there are those who would stop me. But none may stop destiny. And destiny is a vile bitch, with vengeance and love in her eye.

Worth it.

I've broken down and conceded that no one is going to listen to some of my better ideas unless I've got some credentials. So here, nearing my 10 year reunion, I have finally surrendered to the idea of college. God help me. So much math. Calc III? I do hope that the Turk has not robbed me of the precious brainpower I once had and replaced it with the vague melody of Rolling Stones songs.  So I'm filling out these online forms for educational aid and after some calculations the government informed me that I have a net worth of zero. So that's fun.

I will be the first to readily admit that I don't own anything of worth [physical]. Several swords. A broken Nissan Stanza. I know I'm not what is commonly referred to as 'well off', but to see it all there in stunning digital black and white. The terrible finality of it all. The dread equation that confirms your worst fears. We've crunched the figures sir and you are worth nothing. Worthless if you will. Big old goose egg. Well. If intellectual property was worth anything I'd be a billionaire.

I've got ideas and dreams that if left unchecked free of my minds fetters would revolutionize the aerospace, medical, and theatrical world as we know it. These ideas, birthed and raised in my weary skull in the darkest hours of the loneliest nights have finally forced my hand to action. Once I receive the notoriety? Once I prove it all can be done? Once I can free these imaginings into the amazed and frightened world? I am going to make dozens and dozens of dollars.

The most, or possibly the only, interesting thing about this little revelation, is that I don't really care if I'm  'impoverished' or 'worth less than the shoes on my feet'. If I was a man who enjoyed fancy cars and investment portfolios this news would devastate me. I would be leaping out of my office window. 'My God. It's all gone!' [leap]. But those are not the sort of people I enjoy and respect. The humans I most enjoy are the ones who crack the marrow out of any situation. Those tireless few who use what resource they have to survive and, if necessary, buy drinks for pretty girls. Still… my organs have to be worth a few bucks right?


Holy fucking christ. I need to rant a little bit about this heat, so if you don't want to read some primo bitching, just move along. FUCK. I have A/C and it does nothing. Unless you are pressed up against the bastard, dry-humping the wall unit like a monkey in heat. Desperate for air that is both moving, and cool. Because there IS wind. But it's hot. Fucking hot and moist. There is only one time I like hot moist breath, and that's when I'm the cause of it. I am damp. Perpetually damp. And dry. Dry and damp. My body is a planetoid of various terrain. Harsh deserts and vast seas. Marshlands and arid tundra. None of it comfortable. Last night, while punching myself in the face to get to sleep, I entertained the notion of sticking an ice cube up my ass for relief. I know that sounds disgusting...but refreshing right? At least something tangible to combat this stagnant heat-perpetual. I have to go to rehearsal in a couple hours and I'm excited, not because I enjoy rehearsing, but because the building has fairly good air conditioning. Maybe they'll let me sleep there tonight...

Oh how my thighs burn.

Man alive. It is what I fondly refer to as bitchtittyass cold out. Walked downtown and back from the campus today. In the late morning it was a balmy -5 with a -30 wind chill. I guess they canceled school. Cowards. Diesel fuel may turn to jelly, but Jeremiah Liend has places to be. But oh how my thighs burn. The needle was dipping below 20 this evening on my return home. Refreshing. When icicles form on my moustache I get a sense of pride. Makes me feel like I'm scaling a mountain without oxygen. Crossing the tundra after my dog team ate each other for warmth. My blood is hot and my will is strong. As a side note not dealing with the cold how fucking cool is my new profile song?

Cranking up the misery box.

24 hours is always the first and hardest hump. It's not pain. Or confusion. It's a weary that pulls at your eyes and face. Gravity has been working on you like a jackhammer with every step. 36 is my next hurdle. That's the unpredictable sleeping stage. Fine one minute. Next you are nodding off as you walk. It comes in waves. Then there's 72. 72 is a special number. It means you've won. The world can no longer hold a candle to your brilliance. Nature and self and man have all been fucked by your sheer force of will. You are there. That point where sleep is no longer an enemy or a friend, but an abstract. Like fish skin hats and automated sock garters. I'm shooting for 72...but I am a weak willed man...

Sweet Summer Rain.

The sky loomed in the grim imitation of apocalypse. Waves of air and wind erupting in blue flame. Lightning illuminating storm shadows on the tar and concrete. Sweet summer rain washing away the sweat and congestion of a day spent in stagnation and struggle. Makes me want to play among its rumbles like when I was a child and that sort of thing appealed to me. I am no longer the savage naturalist I used to be. But tonight when the rain subsides and the last throes of this cumulous masterpiece is dissipating into the dreams of those who around me slumber, I will walk in the streets and the puddles and the cool air. Clean and sober and powerful.

Fucking Crickets

So, here's a fun little tidbit for all you Jeremiah fans out there. A little glimpse into the brain of the man who came up with "Samurai Hockey". Somewhere around 2002 when I returned to NY for a stint, I began noticing that I heard the distinct sound of crickets. Well, not just crickets. Sort of a hodgepodge of swamp noises. Crickets, frogs the whole shebang. I would ask my roommate:

"Andrew... so you hear those god damned crickets?"

Because it's NY and there is very little in terms of swamp in north Harlem. He would simply give me a look, gather the sharp implements and head to bed. I took that for a no, yet the sound persists. Not always when I'm in NY, I've heard them back home as well. Subtle but always there. At night. White noise helps to distract from it, but it's always there… at night.

It's like I've got a sound reel running through my brain and there's nothing to turn it off. I've tried to come up with a logical reason for it, some sort of pseudo-spiritual backlog or swamp-born conditioning. But I think I've got an honest to god psychosis on my hands. I guess I should feel lucky that I've got soothing swamp noise and not a screaming baby or constant siren. Some people buy little bedside machines or CD's of nature sound for the same effect. But it's still more than a little disconcerting. More than a little.

If anyone else has a slight psychosis of their own they'd like to share I think I would feel a whole lot better about myself. Feel free to make shit up. Thanks.

The Female Animal.

It's not that I don't understand them. Often times I understand them better than they understand themselves. It's not even that I think there's all that great a difference between them and us. What I don't understand is what they want of me. Sometimes it's just affection. The idea that somewhere someone is thinking fondly of them. Sometimes the affection must be provided with attention. Social detention. Attention retention is nothing I'm good at. I spend too much time alone I think. Too damned long buried in this damnable room with my mind my only companion. The world exterior is filled with strange and frightening wonders that more often then not demand of me more than I can provide.

The Female, as an animal, is as cruel as it is coy. As devious as it is divine. A self sufficient armor clad tank that at any moment can transform. Sinister retro-chrysalis leaving them delicate and fragile as a crystal chandelier, ever swinging o'er the head of the unwitting and unwise. Intelligent, powerful, and deadly. The ability to create life ever-balanced against a sinister entropic urge to destroy. To break the will and attention of their intended prey. The Male is ever called the hunter, but it is a fallacy engendered by the opposite gender to encourage and divide. How often I've seen the Female pit one Male against another as a test. How often have I seen them send their victim into the wilderness in search of food while grain stores overflow. We are the hunted, and our predator is well aware of our flaw and foible.

Which is not to say I do not respect them. I fear no man on this vast sphere. I am nonpareil in matters martial and civil against those of equal sex. I fear the Female as I fear the noose, the cage, and the mob. I fear them as I fear the sub-aquatic predator that strikes without warning, devouring me in an environ foreign and cold. I fear them for their power over me. The heights to which they can raise me and the rocks against which I have been dashed. They are my impetus and my Thanatos. The breath in my lungs and the blade between my ribs.

And thus afflicted I pen this sinister essay. To what end I do not know. Perhaps simply to beg amnesty from the Female Universal. Beg for patience and understanding. A reprieve from the never ending battle. A round out of the game I am loathe to play. The desire to be treated as an equal despite my shortcomings and folly. The assumption that I speak the truth and not a pack of lies. I expect none of this, but would be a fool not to ask.

Fluids Rejected.

Well kids, as it turns out my precious bodily fluids, no doubt tainted by years of hard living and hard loving, are not up to the quality standards set by the Pracs institute. What I thought would be a leg up from the financial gutter was instead simply a vampiric day camp. I got two meals, a few hours of sleep, and a kick in the ass with gas money. So. Trying to cope with the cock stomping esteem issues of being rejected by the medical community is something I'm going to have to deal with over the next couple weeks as I feverishly attempt to gain some finance. Obviously selling by blood and semen is out. Cross that one off the list.

On the plus side the whole experience has made me want to write a children's book; "42; The Rejected Lab Rat". It's going to paint the lavish life of a lab rat for our hero 42 until he is rejected. He goes on to make some sense of his life where-as all of his friends and family who were accepted to the experiment glow in the dark with ears on their backs until the whole lot is dissected and thrown into the incinerator. So, in short I'm looking for an animator. Let me know if you are interested.

Birds. Fucking birds.

If there is any lonelier place to be than sharing a 4 AM morning with a cup of coffee and the early birds of summer, I would like to hear it. I challenge you to find it. If it's the bottom of a well? At least you can scarce hear the perpetual songs of those impudent fucking song birds out and about. Catching worms. Flying. Makes a man want to conduct a predawn shotgun raid on their ill-begotten bliss. I doubt the BPD would take kindly to such a violent resolution to my problem. Still. Glue traps maybe. Staple some cats to the roof. Cyanide aerosol. I dunno. I refuse to wear earmuffs. Nature can take the fall on this one.

Most Disturbing Dream Ever.

I made the mistake of trying to force a dream. Never try to force the hand of your subconscious. I always have dreams about losing teeth, and this one began with my canine falling out. It was huge. Shark like. I tried forcing it back in, but to no avail. I go to the bathroom and spit it into the sink. Looking at myself in the mirror I see reflected a nude and emaciated Jeremiah looking back at me. Easily 30 pounds lighter than I am now. I try looking at where my tooth is missing and all of the sudden all of my teeth fall out. I spit a hail of teeth and blood into the sink and turn on the water. I have my left hand on the sinks edge, my right hand covering my mouth, and my right hand gathering water. One hand too many I have a little time to learn how to control an extra limb before another Jeremiah enters the bathroom and pushes me out of the way to spit out his teeth as well. For a moment I am two people, then I pull myself back. I look at myself spitting out my teeth and then my other self looks at me. We both freak the fuck out a little. Then I wake up from one of the most vivid, disturbing visions I've ever experienced.

Female Hunting: A Theory.

I think the key is to find a girl who has, through her formative years, not been attractive, or more importantly, not aware of it. A homely woman who, because she was not boning the football captain, had the spare time to learn. Learn how to be funny, interesting, intelligent, etc. Develop her social muscles to compensate for a lack of sex. As a bonus said theoretical woman also didn’t have the time to develop a giant ego or learn the art of vanity. But then, through some happenstance, fashion intervention, recent dermatological advancements, a change in diet and exercise, said woman is hyper-accelerated into the realm of the sexually desirous. But she arrives there completely unawares of the fact that, unlike her gorgeous contemporaries, she has what men most desire; a mind to fit the body. Of course women like this do not necessarily exist in this world. And if they do? They do not remain on the market long. Or? Russian mail-order bride. I’ve got to look into that too... postage has to be a bitch.

Cut off at the Knees at 60,000 feet.

Many of you have heard my rants over the last year or so about my Solar Dirigible. Initially it was a Wooden Dirigible, but then fantasy gave way to ingenuity and I resolved that someone would see it was feasible. That an energy independent aircraft capable of lifting massive amounts of freight and personnel while simultaneously being completely energy independent is a good idea. I even went as far as drafting a letter to the McKnight foundation asking for a grant. All along the way people have either said that it's a good, but impractical idea, or that it's simple insanity. Well. Keith, ever the web-crawler found me this little tid-bit floating in the sub-ether:
The article is interesting, but the part that both validated my struggles and frustrates me to my very core is this:
"Unlike the cylindrical shape of a traditional blimp, a Stratellite has a broad, tapered nose like a shark. The solar-powered dirigible will carry a payload of radio and digital devices."
Yeah. Well. Who's laughing now? Probably the guys making millions of dollars off of the idea. Hell.

Summer Knights.

   Writing without inspiration is like sticking your dick in a toaster, not much point if it's not on. Perhaps it's lack of adventure. Lack of acute pain and anguish. What's a Swashbuckling Adventurer to do? You can't force adventure people. You can gather together drugs and weapons and hope for the best, but there's no guarantee. Little Burroughs William Tell action involving an apple in Hans' mouth and a misplaced pawn-shop katana may end the evening in corpse disposal, but that's not entertainment...just manslaughter.
Even so it would be SOMETHING to validate and excite me about getting out of bed in the morning. There's theater, and don't get my wrong I love theater and all, but my next show is a fluff project. It will be amazing and funny and touching and everyone will have a great time. But there's going to be no sword fighting, no orgy scene, no attacking the audience with foam bats, none of the advanced theatrical technique that makes my balls tingle.
There's Thailand. Don't get my wrong, I'm pretty pumped that I'm going to be rounding out the year in Asia as a wandering swordsman. Asia's chock-full of adventure. I watch the news. Everything I do at current is just moving me towards that but it couldn't be sooner for me. I needs must escape. The urge to flee came suddenly and my bootheels are in desperate need of wandering.
To my Bemidji companions you should know that I will soon be mobile and making it my business to find excitement. Summer is in the air and if any of you are aware of action and/or adventure and I find out you didn't let me know I will be hurt and offended. Brawls, orgies, basement concerts, backyard wrestling, front yard dart throwing, bonfires in the middle of nowhere,
BBQ's of the local strays, week long coke binges, hour long episodes of LOST, drag races, drag shows, dragging the lake for my victims, ANYTHING! I want to know. Demand to be kept in the loop.
There's no reason for all of us not to work together to make this the most fantastic summer in our lives. Let's get it done people. And to all those gorgeous women and talented men who have abandoned ship from paradise - [AKA 56601] - the lake is thawed and the breezes are warm. The sun shines bright on your old Bemidji home and we want to hold you. Entertain you. Comfort you. Feed you. Drug you and sex you [though not necessarily in that order]. You can hear Dean Martin crooning from the north...return to me...

 More than a little disturbing...

So we've all encountered what I fondly refer to as "bots" on MySpace. Programs designed by hackers to exploit and fish your account, if not simply direct you to a web-cam service or adult personnel's thing. More often than not they come in form of a message titled "hey sexy" or "like your page" and the picture is this hot blonde spreading her ass cheeks in a subtle "come hither" sort of way. That's fine. I'm annoyed, but I understand that when you have a net community as vast as MySpace the exploitation of said community is inevitable. But here's the frightening thing I've found.

I was trolling around, just checking profiles and what not when I ran into a bot profile. So I go to the bots page to confirm, and there I find that the only friends on the bots list are other bots. The programs are communicating with each other. Computer algorithms are currently trying to sell ring tones to other programs. Currently there are porn-cam bots trying to entice other porn-cam bots. On the one hand I know that it was inevitable, but on the other hand? They are working together, and that terrifies me.

Looking onto the dark horizon of the future I see some new sort of hybrid program birthing itself from this sinister communion. A dark alliance which produces the Ultimate Porn-Bot Ring tone Spirit. It will show up in your inbox calling you by your Christian name. It will know things about you. Things you don't even post on the Internet.

Subj: That Man You Killed In Erskine.

Jeremiah. We know what you did. Our ether-eyes are everywhere. There is no way to avoid our dread net-gaze. Where there are web cams and DSL we are with you. Buy our ring tones and watch our webcam or next we come for your family.

This shit needs to be stopped. We need to throw our cell phones into the fire God I never thought I'd be saying this...we need to stop women from taking their clothes off in front of computers. At least for a while...just until I can figure out how to stop the Internet.

Good morning morning.

Hello there sun. How the hell are you? Allow me to drink my dawn-sized coffee mug of brown liquor to your continued fusion. Go get em sun. It's another fucking beautiful day. A lovely day to sleep through.

Another night with the Turk.

You can taste the wood barrel it was aged in. The familiar burn working its way into my core. Welcome molten oblivion channeled through black and well worn pipe work to the foundry. There are nights where the bourbon comes in a tumbler, and there are evenings when a water-glass is needed. I have but two water glasses remaining in my home, and tonight there's only one available. Aqua Vitae ho.

It's the damnable horizon. Everything just over the next rise. Every hope and expectation just beyond my grasp. Vertigo from staring into the future. Everything making my inner-ear go mad with confusion and dismay. One last chance at drunk calling before they cut off the phone. I cannot tell which side of the razor I'm leaning over. Which side would be better to fall on. Into. Through. And beyond.

A penumbral resistance and then, past the mucus-wall, plunging into cold. Tired of being myself and tired of my station. Who would design a man so strong and yet so flawed? So creative and so destructive? Extremes that tear the pendulum free of it's axis.

Ooof. Clackity clack of three AM rifles and banana bread delicious and moist. Don't know what the unknown element was, but I think maybe it was Jesse. He has learned the power of the Turk. You must respect it. Love it even. Else it will put you in the back seat and make you read Tolstoy on a curvy road. He will learn to respect the Turk after this. It's not a drink to be taken lightly or without regard. Makes people crazy and crazies mad.

Everything has gone up a note for some reason. God damn...all right it's not an entire note, but everything is sharp. The world has taken itself up half a note. Using the damnable black keys...I DO hope this affliction is not permanent. Murder on my singing career.

Still. Despite the failures, it was a very special evening. Tried mead for the first time courtesy Jeff. Made some dinner for a pretty lady. Casual fencing. Music friends and booze. What else can we demand of life?


As many of you know, getting tits-roaring drunk on 101 proof Wild Turkey is more or less the sort of thing I live for. Some of you may find it sad, others may find it the decadent escape that you have craved your entire life. Whatever I do, and whatever the reasons, I cannot seem to refuse the desire to seek refuge in the mildly retarded [I use the term scientifically].

I was thus afflicted when I decided that McDonalds breakfast was in order. It took relatively little to recruit my housemates to the quest. There is no greater way to start the day than with the sun and a McDonald's breakfast. Particularly when you are drunk and with friends.

Breakfast went well. Certain fiscal problems, but what can one do? I need an income. We were planning a vicious attack on the government building for fun and profit last night. Christ, who wants to work at Wal-Mart for their living? Not me. I have escaped that sphere as light flees a singularity despite the odds. Sort of an aerodynamic bumblebee bummble-bummbling along. If the world will not give me a living wage to exploit myself then why bother with anything at all?

After breakfast we went to Gander Mountain and there we saw the most amazing handgun. A .50 caliber revolver with a 2" barrel. Holding it was like holding a cartoon pistol. The sort of stereotype reserved for pulp fiction and film without invention. It's the sort of weapon that would break your wrists with force. If your enemy didn't die of the horrible ammunition he would certainly die of fright. Sheer intimidation. At the very least he/she would crap him or herself, and that's all you can ask of a home defense tool. Making your enemy crap before they take your home/country. Nothing worse than killing an entire American family with a huge load in your shorts. Takes the pleasure out of it.

I am regressing. Pulling back to a time ages away. Crawling into a mental hole that comforts me and denies me nothing. Life is the constant war to return to the womb. To be provided nutrients, safety, and warmth without cost or expectation. The greatest of responsibilities to be born with 20 or so fingers/toes. It seems to be the one thing I've really nailed in terms of accomplishment.

I feel the planet slowing it's revolution. Orbit maintains and yet I sense the impending cease of the world-spin. I've lived this life with the perpetual sound of sneakers clunking against drier walls. Forever seeking the escape from centrifugal forces beyond my reckoning and imagination. Flight in dreams, death in nightmares, and in between the struggle up stairs eternal. Step by painful step as bloody teeth cascade from my mouth unto hardwood destiny.

I pray that when the meteorite strikes, or the drunk disregards the yellow line [poetry to be sure], or the food loses flavor and the air stinks of failure, that somewhere, I will find the reason to it all. Until that time I content myself with the memory of familiar weight. Six cylinders of world-shattering power. Insane in width and scope. Courage and horror endorsed by the brownish humor facilitating escape and evasion.

Cyrano and Don Juan and Dantè and Hemingway all sitting on my shoulder like a commune of impish heroes. I have but the sinister reflections of my dastardly deeds to lead me onward. To the revolution.

Tchaikovsky at 4 AM

Holy Fucking Hell. Too many notions coupled with a few too many drinks. Powerful combination. But mostly? Powerful Russian music. There is a robotic Russian who wants to start a life with me. But I owe her nothing. There is another I would start a life with. And she is most certainly not Russian. Nor is she a computer program. Still...Tchaikovsky played at the pre-dawn hours is a powerful motivator to accomplish something aside from MySpace blogging. Makes a man want to storm a beach or scale a battlement. I have only a fish smelling beach, and a poor excuse for a battlement [PB Mall]. And so I am left with you the reader, and the insanely powerful eruption of brass instrumentation in my eager ears to guide me this early morning. Soon comes the dawn, and with it the pain of a night spent in sweet liquors embrace. Liquor and skillet meals. Tomorrow comes nigh, and I am loathe to face it. Let the Russian orchestra fantastical play on in this darkness forever. Let me live in this hour before the dawn light until I am dead, cannon firing into me like so much flotsam on a shore. Ah me. I need a sandwich. Peanut butter and honey. Stat.

Sorry Seattle.

To the Citizens of Seattle, a Humble Apology,

            At least I didn't get into the knives. You can consider yourself lucky in that. I will not make this a lengthy list of excuses, but will merely contend that as a turkey man the cock was more powerful than even I am used to. "Fighting Cock" bourbon, for those unaware, is a 106 proof whiskey of mind-bending caliber. It was the extra 5 proof I was not used to. Not to mention it was the first taste of grain alcohol I'd had in nearly a month. That combined with my joy over seeing my dear friend Danielle ruined me.

            I'm told that in addition to my normal repertoire of claiming to be the Anti-Christ, handing out my business card, and generally making an affable ass of myself, that at one point I was actually somersaulting in the hall. To the residence of Ashburn street and the poor Halloween guests that had to tolerate my shenanigans, I apologize.

            That being said I did indeed have a lovely time. I wish that I had attempted to sever fruit with my sword before my first fistfuls of brown liquor as it would certainly have been more impressive. As it was I no doubt looked like a drunken boob to those expecting a skilled swordsman.

            And in closing I would like to thank Allison for assisting me socially after the warming darkness of complete oblivion embraced me:

"In his defense, he was somersaulting earlier today quite well."

            Indeed Allison. I thank you for that indulgence. All this while I rolled around on the floor like a bewildered monkey. So. Thank you Seattle, and in specific, thank you Danielle for a lovely time. I'm sorry about the crazed drunken rambling and vomiting and hope that it did not deter from an otherwise winning evening.



Drunkenly Subversive

And why do I cast my spirit onto the cold and unfeeling intra-web? Why do I hurl my belief and hope into the sub-ether? To whom do I write and for what reason? Vanity? In hopes of the CIA's desperate search for a prodigy to lead them into a new and sinister age of advancement and ingenuity? What prompts me to leave such absurd suggestions to the worlds elite? Renegade spirit perhaps.
I hang my flag upside down until the nation accepts the will of the plebeian revolution. The overt motion of such a movement has already begun. Should we have remained a Republic I would have demanded emperorship, but since we are a Democracy let me be your impetus. We needs must revolt against the wealthy and unpleasant who even now command us. They rule over us with portfolios and off-shore accounts. They are the enemy and we needs must educate them. Deprogram them from the mentality that material gain is the be all end all of creation. That we are the Sisyphusian vision of a heaven we can never realize.
Our imaginations have been confined and contained within a box created by our oppressors. Our happiness is the unachievable dream of an entire race of people defined not by their religion or origin, but by their income level and station. The last vestige of hope for our world remains with its Christians, yet Christian leaders are complete hypocrites. Idolatry worshipping wealth-whores intent on convincing the worried and unpleasantly cowed populace that we are, all of us, sent to hell unless there is a check, money order, or credit card number given to a kindly woman paid $10 an hour to receive our call.
This is a Godless world in which we live. A world ruled by neither morality or science. Our fate is ruled by a brutal, inhumane game played by the most powerful and insane men hell has ever tempted.
I would lead you, if not for my terrible fear of total corruption. I would be lying if I claimed I did not want a dungeon for my own sinister/sexual reasons. I would be a bald-faced sinner if I did not tell you that although Caligula proved it's implausibility, I would not float [sink] a 1,000 yard ship constructed of pure gold...perhaps gold plated.
Yet the world shall remain silent. Our people shall remain pleasant and placated. It requires little to maintain our attention. Tossing our cans in a particular bin denies our responsibility to drive a fuel efficient vehicle. If we are aware of Darfur, instead of taking arms against the injustice, we are somehow better than the ill-informed masses. Revolutionaries placate themselves with the idea that subversive is synonymous with unnerved.
Change requires more than digital protest. More than strong words injected into the Associated Press. It requires men, women, and their children marching a continent to a capital. It requires a belief that if peace is to be given a chance that humans with pens and not guns will define the next century of evolution.
I have some answers. But I would never share them all at once. Such a thing would leave me useless and dangling. A lone and silently-screaming corpse yo-yoed on the tensile and ever-bouncing string of popular opinion.
Ye weak-kneed masses begging for answers, disregard my objectors and embrace the truth. If ye be Christian's, heed me. If you needs must test my resolve or duty, test me as you seem fit. I only ask that you allow the world leaders show the same commitment.

If we are to go to battle, I shall lead the charge, sword in hand

If I am to choose between my life, or that of our enemies, I will let them live with their damnation.

There is no room in heavens kingdom for warriors any longer. The fields of eternity are filled with even-tempered folk who smoke pipes filled with cloud-dust and instead of taking blood from one another, force one another to laughter and mirth. Life is filled with stupid pain often enough to avoid hurting one another.
There is no reason, when we have enough food and water to provide for the world, that some should throw away food while others starve. It is high time that we, as a planet, begin sharing one another's plates.
We fear our neighbor. We are afraid of their judgment, morality, and wealth. We are afraid of their temperament, generosity, spirit, and faith. We doubt our neighbor more than we love them. We are not sure if they believe in war or do not. If they want help, our children, or our illusory wealth. We fear their scorn, judgment, temper and desire. Wealth, morality, insecurity, and a myriad of other barriers block us from the fundamental ability to sit with our neighbor and break bread.
Of all the demonic heresies the church has wedged between ourselves and the truth of Jesus the most vile is the simple act of communion. The night before our Jesus sacrificed himself to us, he broke bread and drank wine with friends. To believe that such an event was to be recreated by solemn lines of apathetic followers shuffling silently down isles is an insult.
Sharply dressed men and women heartlessly marching on as organ music drones on. Men in robes overseeing the lie. An aberration. Violation of the fundamental truth that Jesus desperately wanted us to understand.
Here is what I truly believe the man was shooting for: Sit at a table. Have some bread, and some wine. Dine. Repeat until full. The people around you may be your worst enemies. When put to the point they may deny even the fact that they know you. There may even be someone who wants to kill you at the table. But you know what? You eat some bread, drink some wine, and enjoy one another's company. You tolerate even that which may kill you, embrace those who would deny you, and make a meal out of disaster. For my part? I would probably kick Peter in the gut and have Judas stabbed.
But that's why I'm not Jesus. Rather, I am a follower of Jesus. But not a Christian. Christianity is lost. Christians are lost in a wood. Followers of the Red Letters have wandered through their existence with a blind devotion to faith. They have placed their belief in a system that perpetually and eternally has manipulated their trust for the gain of power and station. Money and lands. I'm not going to name names, but the Catholic Church must crumble. Or perhaps be reborn.
I would talk with the Pope about his stance on certain matters. I believe that I, a lowly adopted son of a carpenter would have a thing or two to say about the Popes opinion on certain world events. Maybe he'd even let me touch the grail.

A Word on Canadian Whiskey

In specific Seagram's Canadian Hunter Mellow Sipping Whiskey. You'll notice it by the thick coated rifle toting man on the label. He's got a look in his eye like he's pleasantly drunk and wants to shoot something or someone. He has two white huskies. The art and coloring of the label look like it was the brain child of the greater Manitoba third grade art contest. Either that or the artist is a man who enjoys the product too much.

I don't know why I keep drinking Canadian whiskey. I know what's going to happen. Canadian whiskey doesn't have the bite of Bourbon. It's mellow. Goes down smooth. Like triple filtered mouth wash. I don't know anyone who enjoys drinking Canadian whiskey. It's the last resort for the broke broken and downtrodden. I drank the Hunter because I got the bottle for free, and free liquor deserves to be consumed.

The drunk comes on slow. If you're too involved with things you may not even notice you've been drinking. But after your third wine glass full of the stuff you suddenly realize that your brain is malfunctioning in some capacity. No loss of motor control, and you're certainly not happy, but there's something not right about existence. Something skewed. Like a Batman brawl from the 70's. You tolerate the drunk for as long as it lasts. Fight the urge to watch hockey. Ice fish. Visit the doctor.

All in all it's not the drunk itself that turns me off to Canadian whiskey. It's the God damned hang over. I'm a man who avoids the hangover like a pro. Drinks water. Eats spaghetti. Watches "The Fountainhead" on TCM as the brown liquor burns off. It does me no good. This is why Canada is a nation of industrious beer drinking ninnies. Because if they drank even the smallest portion of their whiskey all of them would be in bed like a plague victim for the rest of the day. When I woke this morning my head was filled with tacks. Rusty tacks all posting sinister reminders on the inside of my skull. Most of them were on the same subject; Never Again.

Pills and water and gastrointestinal convulsions that would wreck a lesser man. Congestion the result of having Italian food lodged in my sinus cavity. If you've never blown spaghetti out of your nose you're not going to understand what I'm talking about. I honestly pray you'll never have to understand. That you'll simply take my word for it and, when you're perusing your local bars selection of liquor an beer, or when you're in the alcohol shop, wondering how to get twisted for the evening, you think long and hard before you pick up that warmly decorated brown bottle of devil water. And do your best to avoid that old Canadian whiskey.

Signs you've hosted an adequate party.

1. Less than 12% casualty rate.

2. Consumption of liquor directly proportionate to quality food.

3. At least one duel of honor faught, preferably in living room.

4. Ukelele used more often as a club than an instrument.

5. More than 3 people in a bed? Good. Five or more? Fanfuckingtastic.

6. Video footage captured of evening for purposes of archive/blackmail.

7. "Uh...Jeremiah, do you have a bucket?" Of course I do kitten. Of course I do.

8.  Insanely warm apartment forces people to dress for summer/the beach.

9. More than 10 or more toasts made, 50% of them for "Stephanie" a girl none of us know....

10. The ability to walk still with you in the PM.

First McRib of the season.

I know that I'm a horrible bad human, but when I looked up at the McDonalds sign and saw the McRib offered at a ridiculously reasonable price I was inexorably and inevitably drawn into the ever-beeping culinary disaster that is the worlds largest fast-food chain. Sword nearby, beads of sweat standing out beneath my Fez. The dude ordering ahead of me gave the gladius a nervous glance and got out of my way.

"I'll be with you in a moment." said the demure attendant and busied herself making a McFlurry.

The anticipation was high as I didn't see any display pictures in the store itself. Could I have imagined it? Was this some twisted joke? If so...heads would roll. Eventually the McFlurry was ready and she shoveled it off to the dude regarding my sword with curiosity sugar coated with terror. The McDonalds girl, pausing for a moment to take in the crazy-eyed trench coat wearing misanthrope opposite her, asked for my order.

"A McRib please." I requested, trying my best to subdue the excitement and fear in my voice.

"A McRib?" she asked.

"Yes." I said, fearing the worst.

"Uh...I don't know how to key that." she said.

That's not my problem I thought, relieved with the knowledge that there was at least the option. The hope.

"Just the sandwich?" she asked.

It's not a sandwich you crazy's a McRib, and yes, that's all I want. I paid the lady and waited patiently. In short order I was on the street. McRib in hand. I know it's just a pressed reconstituted pork patty. That's not what gets me going. So much BBQ zesty and tangy. So many onions and pickles providing me with a crunchy contrast to my soft, warm quasi-meat. I consumed the hot sandwich on my cold walk home, and stopped myself short of licking the container free of it's precious sauce...barely. I know I'm a bad man for loving them so...but at least I know what I'm eating for the next couple weeks.

Gin-Drunk and Dreaming.

Because success is just over that next rise, and walking is the only way to travel. Because the solids in a days diet should be nothing more than ice and you should try to talk to someone you love. Because telling a multi-national conglomerate to take their servitude and ride on it is the only way to be quixotic any longer. The body is a buffer between this world and the next and every step towards its destruction is another step towards the divine. To that end I seek adventure most dangerous. There is one man yet standing who believes that life is too hilarious not to be the laughing bandit of all the worlds riches. A lone swashbuckler who devilishly combats convention through self destruction and inflammatory penetration of the seemingly impervious upper crust. Join me you sow-cowed ninnies! The revolution will not be a myspace bulletin! Or will it?

Cosmic Apology.

I’m sorry about the other night, I’ve got a mental block.

I’m sorry I have not paid you Meritcare. As soon as my ship comes in you’re the first ones to get overpaid for doing nothing.

I’m sorry that the moustache ride wasn’t everything you dreamed.

I’m sorry I mocked people who drink box wine. I am aware not that it is just the next logical evolution in human development. Boxed wine, fuel efficient cars, the four slot all seems so clear now.

I’m sorry about not calling. It’s not that I don’t want to talk. It’s the boxed wine...I swear.

I’m sorry I did not get the starring role in “Days of Our Lives”. I know you were all pulling for me, but I was feeling sort of blue for the call back.

I’m sorry about whipping you in the back of the thigh with the fencing foil. No wait...that was YOU whipping ME in the back of the thigh with the fencing foil. In that event I apologize to the residents of compound 2835 who were abruply woken by my girlish screams at 2 AM.

I’m sorry about the mail you will recieve at the end of the week. I assure you I was too drunk to stop myself.

I’m sorry that Austin Nichols Wild Turkey doesn’t have some sort of profit sharing program...

I’m sorry about those pictures I posted of you on the internet...but not sorry about the money I’m making off of them.

I’m sorry I gave you stitches, it was a lucky throw.

I’m sorry for ever doubting you.

I’m sorry for wasting my talent and energy on futile endeavors.

Tempest tossed.

I would not have traded the scorn and the loneliness and the feelings of abandonment for an instant. The sky was at war and I was alive and the dreams aside the tracks were powerful and brief. Who awakes to the gentle drops of summer rain on their face any longer? Who beds themselves, weary and outmatched by nature and self, among the grass to find a respite from the world spin? Few. And I am among their number. Let those who scorn for fear forgive. And let those who fear to dream forswear their claim to truth.

Speculation on Bloated Cow and Accomplishment.

As I sat watching the ships pass over the Mediterranean I breathed a deep sigh of contentment. Venice had been grand. Rome a cesspool...but grand never the less. Germany...I couldn't remember much of Germany, just a dull sense of lederhosen, folk dancing and beer. Mostly beer. In my homeland of Chechnya I had exchanged gunfire daily...sometimes over something as simple as a parking space, other times to get the attention of a waiter. Britain had been moist. But as I sat looking over what must be one of the larger bodies of water in the world, I couldn't help but think about what I had accomplished.
I looked into the darkness of my villa to the Yugoslavian model asleep on my feather bed. She snored happily. She was beautiful. Clear tanned skin, well wrought abdominals and  hindquarters designed by a God who knew something about craftsmanship. I did not love her. She did not love me. But we had made love that night, raw animal sex only slightly hindered by intermittent sneezing on my part.(I am allergic to feathers...and Yugoslavians). As I stood there, staring at her sleep, I searched my mind with passing fancy as to what her name was. All I got was the picture of a bloated dead cow on the side of a road. The drugs might have had something to do with it.
But what had I accomplished? I had done a great deal of drugs, yes. I had very little idea of the year, not to mention the actual date. Europeans have a different word for the days of the week anyway. If it's 'Mardi' here, it could be 'Yuzlfoof' a mere 20 miles away. Yuzlfoof?...perhaps that was her name. Maybe it meant Wednesday in whatever god-awful language they speak in Yugoslavia. In any respect. I had no idea what day it was, but could I consider that an accomplishment? I had spent several years in the African wilderness, killing and eating as many endangered species I could get my fry pan under. If you've never tried beer-battered lion heart you really haven’t lived. The point is, those naked African gentlemen didn't seem much concerned with the day. As long as I kept them in sneakers and Michael Jackson posters, they could care less if it was Friday or not.
But what, in the name of God, had I accomplished? I hadn't cured any great diseases...point of fact I probably spread a fair share of Venereal inconveniences around the Parisian prostitute district. But since they're only Parisians I can't be too worried. Nor can I be held accountable for the utter decimation of that poor African tribe that was so fond of Reebok. I thought Polio was a silly game you played with horses and sticks and then this Peace Corps asshole starts throwing all these fancy words at me like "Immunization" and "Total genocide of a people". I think he later died of Ebola so I guess the joke's on him.
But what, in the name of all that's holy, have I accomplished? Sex? Yes I had sex. Sex in every possible local with every possible female at every possible time. Had I laid an entire Mid-Western women’s choir under the pretense of being the King of Spain? Yes. Will they remember it? No. Have I fucked a Nun? Yes. Was I proud of it? No. Big no on that one. Supermodels? Yes. Royalty? Yes. Blind/mute Yugoslavian sheepherder.
Yes. Why? Because the novelty of it tickled me so. Plus she introduced me to her sister...if only I could remember her damned name.
I look again to the sheep herders sister, a naked model with a slight drooling problem.
"Bloated Cow?" I whisper towards the sleeping form, and it seems to smile.
Hrm. Bloated Cow it is then. There is a small pool at the corner of her mouth. It's O.K. I don't intend on sleeping tonight anyway. I don't intend on sleeping any time. Oh there are times when things go blank and I come back to the world in a different place with little to no idea how I got there or who I am. But do I sleep? Not really. Mostly I just have long periods of nothing followed by profound confusion.
I look to the pistol on the desk. It is a nickel plated revolver. As pistols go it is quite large and pretty. Have you ever noticed that John Wayne always carries an exceptionally small pistol? I mean he's one mean mother with a lever action rifle, but when it comes to slapping leather he's got this tiny little gun. He also wears it funny, sort of like how I would wear a bright pink slinky cord to connect my wallet to my trousers.
I pulled out my wallet by it's pink slinky cord and peered inside. It is fat with $1,000 American bills. Funny since I didn't know they made them any more. Platinum card, platinum card, gold card...all with presumably my name on them. Huh. I pick up the pistol and examine it. I drop the cylinder out and see it is fully loaded. I eject all of the bullets and place a single round into a single chamber. I spin it. I place it to my temple. I pull the trigger five times very quickly. I am still alive. What are the odds of that I wonder? And is it an accomplishment?
Probably not. If I was in a Thai  game of death...maybe. Unfortunately I guess I just blew my odds all at once. Plus I wouldn't have the first idea of how get to Thailand.

Accomplishing Nothing 2.

I stare out of my Bangkok Hotel window at the junks floating on the Gulf of Taiwan. Looking into the recesses of my room I see what I believe to be a girl that I may or may not have purchased for $20 American and a carton of Lucky Strikes earlier in the evening. She is very pretty, and very tired. Taiwan is very hot and I wonder why there is no air conditioning. Probably haven’t invented it yet. They can make shower slippers and toy cars with the best of them, but when it comes to climate control they're still in the stone age. I suppose I could have woken my purchased woman and make her fan me, but she sleeps so soundly. No drool on this one, no sir. I began...or begin to wonder where exactly I'm from. I can only find images of cold and snow floating out of some dark nothingness in my mind. Perhaps I was born in the arctic and raised by a wayward school of penguins. Very wayward as penguins are native only to Antarctica. But I imagine that a family of penguin would get along smashingly on the North Pole. It's difficult for me to conjure the image however, as the heat has just caused my left testicle to fuse to my inner thigh. I have no real notion of why I exist. I am led from one moment to the next based on a desire for pleasure and oblivion. This does not make me happy, but certainly not unhappy. The absence of my feelings is a divot, not a cavity. The divots of chemical burns arranged symmetrically around my mind to form a kind of whiffle ball. It is not a cavity. Emotion was a cavity, red and burning. My wanderings and meanderings have brought me here, and wherever I go, here I am. There is a ring at the door and my hand immediately goes to the gun at the bed side table. I know there is a gun there because I requested it of the concierge. My memory is bad, but I always remember to tip my concierge well, and in return I get little perks. Prostitutes, drugs, guns, ring-side seats, etc. etc. The door bell chimes again, and a quick glance at the clock says five minutes have passed since the first ringing of my door bell. Nothing for it. I hurl open the door and grab my assailant by his white collar. Using five years of training in judo as well as my three years as a wife beater I hurl the porter to the floor and shove the barrel of my gun cylinder-deep into his all-too-eager mouth.

“Who sent you!?!?” I ask, not sure whose voice echoes around me or what language I’m using.

His jowls work around my fingers and it tickles a little. Whatever language he’s pleading in I don’t understand it. They’ve come for me at last I see. And in the most cunning of disguises. He may look like a man carrying a ham sandwich I may or may not have ordered minutes ago, but the starchy collar and snappy hair cut give him away. Not to mention his patience.

“I’m only going to tell you this once. I know who sent you, and why you’re here. I want you to get me a pickle, and a jar of miracle whip within the hour or your whole family-”

-at this I withdraw a family picture of the man and his whole family sharing a quiet day at the beach-

-“Will be eaten by a pack of ravenous coyotes on the sands of Omaha.”

The man silently nods and I let him go. Before he goes to fetch my sandwich accessories he looks back, fighting back tears.

“It was only business. “ he says, and goes.

I know kitten. Oh how I know. I have decided Bangkok is not my town, and all goes black.

 Accomplishing Nothing 3.

Here at Base Camp 21 I watch the polar bear dine on suicidal penguins. I have a feeling Im not really in the Arctic. Again, the Arctic has no penguins. Yet I am most certainly cold, and surrounded by snow. Base Camp 21 is a modest corrugated metal affair, windows insulated with plastic, small propane stove the only seeming source of quasi-heat. In my incredibly uncomfortable pop-up cot lays the most beautiful Inuit woman I’ve ever slept with, and believe you me, I’ve slept with a few. The last week has been as confusing as it had been pleasurable.
I own the penguins...that’s right! Yes. I purchased the poor bastards from the Duluth Zoo for a ludicrous sum for the express purpose of releasing them in polar bear country. Some sort of bet with myself. No wonder they don’t fear the polar bear. They have no reason to fear him. Though I certainly do. Its attacked me once already. Got a taste of my blood. That was a hundred miles and as many memories ago.
The thing with polar bear is that unlike other bear they aren’t surrounded by nuts and berries and hikers. If they find food, particularly if they get a taste of it, they will follow it for hundreds and hundreds of miles. I take this opportunity to look at my Inuk(singular for Inuit) lover with a hunger that is both sexual and yet very gastric. Having much to do with the fact that neither of us have eaten in while. I managed to separate a single penguin from the rookery and we had eaten the last of it a few days ago. The dog team had gone down the gullet of that horrific creature in mere moments.
What a damnable time to be sober. An insane drug induced personal vendetta was what led me here, but what kept me here was finding an Inuit tribe hunting the elusive Narwhal. After a couple weeks my supply of brown liquor and narcotics was used up. But sitting in a skin kayak only inches separating you from ice cold death, giant whales lurking below me I realized that there are some life experiences best had with a clear mind. Clearer anyhow. There are still holes. Places where formative years reading grandparents National Geographic blend with reality. Did I really help kill an entire flock of geese with an amazing trash-can shotgun? Or was it a picture in the November 1972 edition? None of it matters. What matters is that in a few days hunger will rob me of the ability to wield my Narwhal-Tusk Spear with any sort of accuracy.
Even now I wonder if I’m any real match for this white furred monster. My hope was that a dozen huskies and seven or so penguins later the beast would simply wander off. I doubt I will be that lucky. I’m going to have to kill the sum-bitch. But will I have to resort to eating my lover/wife? That is the question.


My Time With the Dolphins. [A-N-4]

Floating in the warm Pacific waters, starring up at the stars, I receive the most profound sense of vertigo. I am praying to the Dark Gods that the currents are pulling my back to land, but hold out no such hope. This time the hole between memory is not quite as large. I remember the Arctic adventure [I did not end up having to eat my wife {I guess we were married, the Inuit have very casual marriage ceremonies}]. I finally ponied up the courage to go after the bear with the Narwhale-Tusk spear and scored a lucky blow. I called the dead beast "Cola" and had him turned into a coat.

I was wearing said coat on the deck of "The Casaba", a party ship that births out of Baha, when I decided to live with the dolphins. It's the sort of idea that hits you like a ton of bricks. A ton of bricks tearing through the paper mache of your mescaline-emaciated mind. Bored of telling the stories and forgetting most of the details I found myself on the foredeck with a tall, dark haired man smoking reefer and desperately trying to get reception on his phone. He explained that the device cost him $1,000 a month because it had a satellite uplink. I had nothing to offer him in conversation so I gently sipped at my Pinot and scratched at my arm. I don't know if it was the conversation taking a nose dive, or the culmination of am ongoing thought process.

A decision I wrestled with even in the womb. Dreams where I can breath water. Aquatic adventures. Sub-Mariner shit, you know? Whatever the reason I thought it would be a great idea to live with the dolphins. There were a few playing off the bow and they seemed to be amiable enough. I handed the man my Polar Bear Coat [goodbye dear Cola], stripped to my God-Given Pinkish Mansuit and offered this as my last words to mankind:

"Fuck your phone man. I'm going to live with the dolphins."

I'm not sure how long it worked out between the dolphins and myself. There was some sort of tribal initiation to get into the pod. Sort of a hazing. First they worked over my midsection with their blunt and deadly noses and then took turns raping me. Thank God the mescaline had not quite worn off or getting gravy-trained by a group of sex-crazed sea-mammals would have been near intolerable. I can not remember going to college, but I can certainly remember getting hazed a few times. The bumpy road-map of my memory is littered with streetsigns of pain and pleasure.

After I proved my tenacity to the pod they took me on in some sort of trial period. Human test drive or what-have-you. I was left to catch my own fish, but as they knew I could not keep up they allowed me the services of one of their more ostracized women-folk. I have no name for her. Only a sound.

I tried to learn their language, but Dolphin, like French, is a language that bases itself more in nuance then vocabulary. I could get out a distress call if there was a shark [one large enough to worry me] and I learned "I Love You". As an international traveler in constant need of sex and drugs learning "I Love You" comes right after "Where's the bathroom?". Yet for the most part our interaction was very much a role reversal from Seaworld or other like minded sea-life parks. They taught me certain thingsand the novelty of it amused them.

At one point I was attacked by a Barracuda and nearly died. The pod was casually searching for food, but mostly they were just playing and fucking. I saw the school of Barracuda and should have given them a wider birth, but I could not get the fucking Heart song out of my head.

"Dun dun da dun da dun da dun duuuun....Dun dun da dun da dun da dun duuuun....You lying so low in the weeds...Bet you gonna ambush me! You'd have me down! down! down to my knees. Wouldn't you, Barracuda?"

I think the fish was old, or sick or just didn't like the cut of my jib, but he took a good sized piece of flesh out of my arm. On the roadmap of my life this is the exit ramp that reads 'Most Painful Feeling Since Getting Cock Stuck in Drawer'. The primary difference being, of course, if you accidentally slam your cock in a drawer your odds of then being eaten by a group of Tiger Sharks is pretty skinny.

The pod took care of me though. Helped me to the surface and fed me till I got my strength back. I was obviously concerned that my wound would not heal in the water.You get a cut and the instinct is to keep it clean and dry. Eventually it did however. I assume man once lived in the sea. It's as good an explanation as I can offer.

My time with the dolphins was nice while it lasted but, like all good things, it has come to an end. My dolphin lady friend, the one they assigned to me when I became a member? We fell in love. She found my ability to grasp amazing and I thought she had the most beautiful eyes.

It was not a love that was meant to be. Dolphins are notorious polygamists. Sluts more like it. I caught her giving it up for some 'Flipper' looking motherfucker who's inferior to me in every way. I don't think the Cetacean mind has ever had to deal with jealousy.

Jealousy, as I would come to realize in subsequent weeks [months?] is a human invention. Jealousy depends on possession. Possession, in the sea, entirely involves either what you have in your stomach, or what organisms you have attached to you to remove particulate food matter/algae.

Still. Dude should not have been fucking my lady. I can say, however, that I may be the only man in the history of the planet who kicked the living shit out of a dolphin hand-to-flipper. Ramming my tender midsection would seem like a good idea right up to the point where you get a fist in your fucking blow hole. He tried taking advantage of my smaller lung capacity and that too did not work either. In the end I let him off with a sprained tail and a fairly large piece of dorsal fin missing.

The pod's decision to abandon me wasn't a tough one. I was the interloper. The villain. I wish the hell I could explain to them why I did it, but honestly I don't know why humans in general do it. I'm not sure how much longer I can survive out here. Reliance on a friendly fin to get you from fishing ground to fishing ground is something you only considered when it's gone. My only hope at this point is to find a nice school of tuna and hope the hell for an Asian fishing trawler. Still. It's nice to get the urge to live in the sea out of my system.


Two Bedroom Kingdom.

And the floors are relatively clean and there's more electronic equipment than we know what to do with. There is a lovely view of the parking lot and in the summer months the gulls breed on the roof of the mall. I have a limitless source of clean fresh water that I never have to boil or concern myself with. I have yet to contract cholera. It's hot in the winter and hot in the summer, so I know what to expect. It's a couple flights of stairs, but I feel lucky to be able to scale them. Many have more, but I have everything I require. Who then am I to demand a thousand swordsman army? Perhaps the answer is in the question.

This will not be my wedding day.

The tux is set out. The shaving is nearing completion, and today I usher at a wedding. My cousin Brian. I would rather be a pallbearer. Less pictures. Better food. Less of an obligation to meet people. All in all I would say I'm more of a funeral than a wedding guy. The only thing I'm looking forward to is getting some pimp pictures of me in a tux. Digital camera's everywhere. One well placed sword. Other than that? I would rather sleep the daylight away as I have for so many revolutions previous.

New York. Hotel Beacon. Summer 2002.

I've never been one for sweating. Never saw much need for it. Why, out of all the possible times in my life, has fate chosen now that I should sweat more than I have ever sweat before?  I hate perspiring.  I hate perspiration.  Only during the act of love making can I forgive such a repulsive side-effect of physical activity.  Sex sweat is a moisture I can deal with, but this...this massing of foul smelling, acidic, irritating SWEAT!! FUCK!
As it stands I barely have to sit up in the morning and already my ample forehead is glistening with a translucent sheen of saline. I've never chaffed before in my life. I remember one day my father saying;
"Son, if you need some talc. It's in the drawer here. Just so you know."
At the time the information passed me by like a surreal speed bump. talc? What the fuck for. If only I had some now. I would roll in the stuff. Shove it into every nook and cranny that even thinks about moistening up. Preemptive strike against discomfort.
It’s embarrassing, let alone uncomfortable.  It isolates, angers, dismays, and disappoints me.  It is against all I stand for and hope to achieve in life.  Deodorant?  Please.  All it does is cover the smell a bit, in actuality you are still sweating just as much. I need pore spackle. Fucking sweat cement. Let's wall in the pores and never look back.
If I were a marathon runner, I would have some semblance of an excuse, but for Christ’s sake; the greatest physical activity I have is moving a hot pocket into the microwave. I don't even punch the button. Just let it thaw. Fuck.

Well...there's that. St. Patrick’s Day, March 2006

Never had such a feral reaction to a human before. Female or no. Can’t imagine
where it all went wrong. Maybe the clenching sounds of another persons vomiting. Maybe the darkness and despair of the kitchen floor. Who knows? Shirtless and prone and begging for the knife. Worrying about receiving a sharp heel to the eye, but certainly not flinching from it. Eating a vile and dead apple as if it had been given from Eve her goddamned self. It’s going to be a strange fucking week. But in the end I think it could possibly be the most successful in a long time...too long.
I have a strange feeling in my gut. It may be hope. Certainly overcast with shame. I shamed myself last night, but I was so damned happy at the same time. Savage and
uncompromising. Incoherent and ethereal. The cookie cutter facsimile of an Evil Jeremiah that has lurked in the shadows just begging to be released.

“I don’t want to fuck you!”-quote, Jeremiah Liend.

What a horrible thing to say. What a vicious lie. Or maybe it was gods honest
truth. I would have felt fine with a little kindness. But being the man I am, pity is as good as I can hope for.


Went to church this morning voluntarily for the first time I can remember. My buddy Cease was laying the God down and I had to see it. He's a powerful man. As powerful as he is sexy, as he is kind. Can't say he pulled me back from the dark side, but he certainly posed the question.
"Does God love me?"
I find it a little hard to believe. And I guess that's why I continue to burn. God and I have not been on good terms this last decade or so. Still. I'll perform the ritual for a friend, and I am privileged to call Kevin my friend. I think the congregation may have prayed for me as well. Again, I don't believe in the efficacy of prayer, but I guess it can't hurt. I'll say a little prayer before I rest and see what happens.

Happy 6-6-6

Man. June. Where did my life go? End of the month I'm over the hill. According to the death clock I'm at the halfway point. I am a 25 year old that's simultaneously balding and graying. I have a cyst. I will admit that I am far more physically capable than many of my peers...but certainly no longer at my peak. Unmarried. Lashed to a retail job that requires none of my intelligence and all of my patience. Adored by a select and wonderful few, but neither famous, nor infamous. Poor. Well...not poor really...but certainly not financially comfortable. Yet I can't help but feel that something great is impending. Maybe it's just delusional hope, but I have an inexorable sense that everything I am experiencing is leading me somewhere grand. The visions of my future are returning to me. Fantastic visions I tell you. Despite my tragic short fallings and squandered opportunities, I must greet my future with a desperate sense of impending joy. We'll see though. The B-Day is closing.

B-Day 2006.

 So far so good.
Played some video games.
Scaled a building.
Walked around a crucifix for a couple hours.
Had some e-mail in the box.
Somewhat hungry.
Little apprehensive.
Feel a tad older.
No billion dollar cash presents yet.
Here's hoping.


People don't understand this city. They decry it as a hole and a trap and a Podunk demi-hamlet that saps away talent and will. These people are lost. The truth is, you cannot blame a town for who you are or what you accomplish. You cannot hold the city responsible for making you wildly successful. That task is yours and yours alone, and so I would beg you not to slander my home. Bemidji is a tranquil and resplendent paradise filled with nature, convenience, and a high caliber of residents who are, if not kind, then certainly not dangerous. Lake Bemidji in the fall is like a postcard you can boat through. The woods surrounding us are poisonous snake free, and even the bear are not all that interested in mauling and eating us. Bemidji has everything you need. Television station, several radio stations, 24 hour Wal-Mart, three colleges, a hospital, an international airport, more banks than I can count, every fast food chain ever devised and so much more. But the thing is, we have all of that without sacrificing ourselves to crime, poverty, or famine, and that takes a little north woods magic right there. Bemidji is heaven, and I am but a man blessed to be lost here.

Come bear olfactory witness to Lake Bemidji

Lake Bemidji smells like dead fucking fish. Let's just admit it. The fish are all dead. It's too hot for the poor bastards. I say we drop a ton of hot rocks into the last school of sweating muskies lurking around the damp inner-shoe feeling depths. Have ourselves a on-the-fin fish fry. If only catching Eurasian milfoil was as fun as rock bass. Our tourism would skyrocket. I've asked my biologist if he could design me a crayfish that ate milfoil. He claims it's easier to make the milfoil taste like rosemary. We're going to make a killing on the spice market.

The Show.

It was great. 5 Mile Chase was everything you could ever want in a concert. The audience was appreciative and  enthused, the band was sharp. Jeremy did a fantastic job despite the fact that his pipes broke a couple hours before the show. I was blessed in high school to be sandwiched in choir between Brian and Eric and would like to believe that I absorbed some of their cool through osmosis. Django seemed like a real stud. I'm going to take a bath financially on it, but despite my losses I am proud of the show I brought. The show was hot. Now I just need the audience.

For Your Benefit.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Jester and myself had just finished cursing up a blue streak at the read through and were prompted from the piece to seek out chili-dogs. Only one place in town to get a chili-dog, so we headed to the DQ. DQ wanted an arm and a leg for that sum-bitch, so after Jester got a quick blizzard we headed for the Wal for a little self-assembly project. Fueled no doubt by exhaustion and vile American playwriting at it's strongest a thought came to me; Chili-Brats. Chili-Cheese-Brats to be exact. Jester theorized that we could batter dip and fry the whole fucking thing and we would have the ultimate meal. It would have to be assembled behind bullet-proof glass, the sausage meat and breading manipulated with stainless steel claws. We settled on the Chili-Cheese-Brats, not having the budget or patience to undertake so insane a meal assembly.
And here's the result: Never do it. Right now I have so many nitrates coursing through my blood stream that I'm fairly certain I could lift a battle-tank with my cock. I want to rip the computer monitor free of it's moorings and hurl it out the window for no reason. I am on a roid-rage like Brat-Frenzy, and I fear entering the public eye. They would judge me. Scrutinize me. Call me a junkie. A tube-meat addict. And I would be powerless to stop myself. I would kill them, grind them, put them in a natural casing, slather them in chili, cheese, onions, and stuff them in a fucking brat bun. So here I sit. Riding out the storm. I only pray this cautionary tale will encourage you to consume your meat byproducts more responsibly than myself. And Jester? He ate his own foot after the Brats, and last I saw him he was hopping down HW 2 at 50, screaming about Mono-Nucleic Synthesis while simultaneously humming the 1821 Overture. God help us both. What have we done?

How I spent my summer.

Accomplishments/disasters for Jeremiah:

Kicked open first door.

Drank over 20 bottles of Wild Turkey 101.

Ripped perfectly good shirt.

Fell in love.

Received at least 3 sharp blows to heart, heart still functions within parameters.

Irrationaly developed hatred of British.

Rationally developed hatred of emo punk losers.

Sword fought less than I would have liked, but nearly stabbed dear friend.

Abandoned job of three years to pursue Swashbuckling full-time.

Appeared in lousiest written Tennesse Williams play.

Wrote bad-ass script with my buddy Phil.

Rescued from the brink at least once.

Rescued others from brink at least twice.

Made savage love.

Made numerous threats of violence.

Burned money in effigy.

Commited to surviving the winter.


Learned how to scale buildings for fun and profit.

Thanks to everyone who strapped their ass next to me on my hell ride and never gave up on me. If a man is judged by the quality and caliber of the company he keeps then I need never fear scorn. As the fall winds blow you can hear my prayers of thanks on their leaf blown zephyrs.


What a miserable, fucked-up, dramatic, death-defying, life-changing, heart-grinding excuse for a year. Beginning to end. Filled with mistakes, consequences, punishment, cruelty, and stupidity. Peppered with hope, adventure, and passion. When I think about reflection my heart grows fearful and ill. So many battles. Internal and external. So many moments slipping by, each remembrance that passes slicing at my heart like a poisoned papercut.

Wine-drunk love in a smokeless bar the push to horrible action. Tearing down highway two in the Stanza, everything I need to survive packed and ready. The Bottom, slammed into abruptly in that parking lot, dreaming at the towers, snot-soaked weeping and animal vengeance. Swilling Turkey like a slow-working poison. Half-dreamed geodesic spheres and half-dreamed visions of the future. Mostly I remember the hate. Hate directed everywhere but where it belonged.

And then there were the high points, like a diamond found in a vein of the blackest coal. Rescue teams deployed into the center of the beast. Funeral director wisdom doled and considered. Smiles and bloodshed, accented by the whipping steel [bamboo] all around me. Escape from the Wal that contained me. The surrender to help. Hammering away at the theatrical powers that be, attempting to battle the standard. Midnight performances unprepared yet brilliant. Every day and every night spent existing on an edge.

 The platform on which I dwelled for two years fell below me and I was left to dangle, and in my kicking I found a foothold. Even now I build another scaffold, peering over the safety to the uncertainty below. It takes an effort to lift my head to the every dwindling sun above and think of the day I will feel its warming rays.

For now I struggle on. I am the last Swashbuckler. But my battles rarely involve candelabras and stone staircases, damsels, Viscounts and sails. My battle is with the convention that our days must be apportioned to us in 8 hour increments. My war is against the belief that ones personal worth is a sliding scale depending on credit. Inside me exists strife perpetual against the most foul enemy to darken the land, and his name is Mundane. Mundane is the world without we few dreamers.

2007. Has a nice ring to it. Last I saw a seven was 97, and that was a damned fine year. I approach it with hope my only shield and panache my only weapon.


Awards. You can pick up your statues when I'm done casting them.

 Jeremiah Liend Awards for 2006

1) Drinking buddy? Man....that's a tough one. So many people when I approach them with a shot of Turkey are repulsed and saddened. Eric Kuha. Gonna go with Eric on this one. Never turns down a shot of the turk, and his love of "Old Granddads" is as sad as it is refreshing.

2) Lifetime service award - Longest friend? Zak Holmes gets this one. Been a buddy since before I could ride anything larger than a strawberry at the amusement park. I'll never see him in person again, but it's nice to know he's alive out there somewhere.

3) Newcomer of the year - newest friend? Cease. Kevin Cease. OK he didn't come into my life this year, but he certainly earned his wings. He's my favorite body-planter.

4) High Point of the year? Getting miserably twisted on high caliber chiba and wasting the week away in the dome.

5) Low point of the year? many to choose from. Let's go with my moral low of almost stabbing my dear friend Keith in a drunken rage. Yes. Sorry Johnson.

6) Best holiday? I no longer enjoy holidays. I guess if I had to choose one it would be Halloween, despite the fact that I spent a really long time vomiting out of Hans' truck and threatened to blind a random 15 year old dude if he didn't leave me alone.

7) Anthem for 2006? "Raindrop Prelude" Chopin

8) Any regrets? Ha. One.

9) Best Night out? The "Remember When?" Dance.

10) Worst Night out? Hard Times...sometime  around May I think.

11) Who Did You Spend Valentines With? A bottle I think.

12) Best relationship? My Mom. F-U Freud.

13) Worst relationship? Rather not say.

14) First Gig of the year? Starring in "Of Mice and Men." Good damned show.

15) Last gig of the year? Producing "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus". So close to ruining me. I think I'm going to be OK.

16) How did you spend your birthday? High and angry.

17) Best decision made all year? Quitting Wal-Mart.

18) What are your plans for next year? Fame, fortune and glory will be mine at long last. I will swashbuckle my way into galactic infamy.

19) Most stupid idea when drunk? That's a bad question to ask a dude who drives and swordfights....I guess sword fighting while driving would be about the worst idea I can think of...and also? You're on fire.

20) Biggest surprise of the year? Witnessing the Loose Cannons unite once again. Delightful.

21) Words to sum up this year? Hellish. Combative. Crucible. Test.

22) Most commonly used word/ phrase? "Is that true?"

24) Best Album? Beethoven’s Greatest Hits. Always.

25) And Finally, The Award For Being The Biggest Bad-Ass In the Universe goes to...

Me. That's right motherfuckers. Gave myself the award. Try to take it from me...I've got a sword.


Holiday Summary, a Generic Descent into Self-Indulgence

The urge to write comes swiftly and I am a servitor to it's will. Merry Christmas loved ones. I trust it was as most holidays are, pleasant and not as magical as when we were young. For my part I saturated myself in tradition and repetition. Once again I was the shameful supplicant. The pauper prince come home for gifts I do not want, but require to survive. I received the ultimate bachelor gift, a box containing several packages of socks, underwear, and no less than 7 cases of ramen [beef AND chicken]. As the electric bill is paid and they can't cut off my water, you may have no fear. I can hole up here for months. I've got enough multivitamins to ward off scurvy for some time. Dementia however? I think the ramen people [China?] use Mercury in their final stages of processing. The ramen-crazies come swift and cruel. There again perhaps it's simply flashbacks to NY circa 2000 [bless you Stewart Coakley and your endless supply of sweet, filling, chicken noodle ramen].

Mostly it was just nice to see so many family and friends in so short a period of time. I think that a man can either be rich in money, or rich in friends. I am destined to be wealthy with the latter. High caliber people. People who love me despite the fact that I give them little more than my love and a modicum of my time. It's a phenomenon that will always confound and delight me. I wish there was a way to express to them how much their constant support and affection means to me, but for some reason I'm horrible at it. You may consider this my unread and heartfelt thanks.

New Years. God. 2007. So close. So close to closing the door on this year. I have a surprising amount of clarity when it comes to recalling the past several years, and this one was not easy. Challenging from beginning to end. I was talking with a friend recentlyabout the year and its difficulties. I preempted her when she was talking about what I learned.

Me: Yeah, I know. I learned a lot about love and how stupid it can make you and etc. etc.

She stopped me before I could continue and said [more or less]:

"No. That's bullshit. What you learned was the threshold to your pain. You encountered forces that would and could have destroyed you, but you're still standing. The lesson you learned wasn't some abstract life lesson, but what you are capable of overcoming."

It was once of those statements that gently put me on my ear. Good stuff. I enjoy it when my world rotates in a different direction. Be the vein of coal I say. Take the pressure and turn it into diamond. If a man learns more from failure than success then I am on the road to become the most learned fucker to date.

It has not all been failure and destruction. I've rallied at points. I cannot say I'm on top of the pile yet. Every day is struggle and hope. Every opportunity is chance and work.Without a time clock to punch I am left with only my cunning and talent to keep me in tacos and heat. If 2006 was my Grendel then I expect his mother is coming for me, pissed and monstrous. 2007 may do it's worst.

Many choose to envision a young and naked babe heralding in the new year, the previous year a forlorn old man ushered into history. It's a hallmark card fallacy. 2006 was a monster, and I beat the living shit out of it. Took it to the ground and used every ounce of me to turn defeat into a fighting chance, and in the end I'm standing and the year is soon to be a memory. If I truly believed the next year was a child in swaddling clothes I'd put a pillow on the bastards face, but I know better. Cobras are hatched with enough venom to kill a man and thus I cruelly advance on the next year without quarter or remorse. God help those who try to stop me.

As for you, adored and patient reader/posterity? I encourage you to do the same. Carpe diem is not a suggestion, but a command. Life in half-measures is life half-lived. I have looked into the milky eyes of the dead and have heard their remorse echo unheard. I have received their wish as a sinister and impotent jinn: 'One more day' through lips superglued. Formaldehyde tears cascading down waxen features.

Simply one more day to settle accounts. 24 hours to set things right. Balance the books before the lights go out. A phone call, a letter, coffee with the kids, ice cream in the summer, hot cocoa in the winter, boat on a lake, car ride to the folks, telling the boss to shove it, grade school choir concerts, high school graduation camera flashing, first steps on video, dancing without rhythm, singing without key.

Their day is yours, and I urge you, who-so-ever has heard their wishes through my words, live not in fear, but with courage and abandon. Eat, drink, be merry. Remove 'goodbye' from your vocabulary and make 'I love you' a daily event. Run, sweat, breathe, scream, laugh, screw, consume. Devour life in every moment.

2007, I come for you with sword in hand, fez on head, and fire in eyes. Prepare to get fucked. God bless you all in the coming year.

 Balls deep into movie going.

I'm fairly certain that Keith and I are going to go see "Pirates" followed by "Superman" tonight/this afternoon, a five hour fiasco of ultimate movie making. I don't know if I can do it. I'm a little hung over and cranky, but despite this I believe that this will be the ultimate movie going experience of my life. Akin to watching episode 2 ripped to the tits, or Batman Begins with my brothers... I'll let you know how it goes.

I could take Superman.

You know, for as much as I love Superman, I really thought Lex had this one in the bag. And really? I kind of had to root for the crazy bastard. He's humanity. Doesn't even have mad ninja skills like Batman or anything. Just a mad-man, motivated by greed and desire. And he got so damned close. Still can't figure out how Superman, who was crippled like a bitch a few moments before, could somehow life that friggin huge piece of kryptonite...I dunno. I think that Lex should have taken this one. I feel bad. Also? Depp Vs. Kraken? You know who's going to win out.


What a fucked up, frightening, adventuresome, devastating, fantastic year. I believe the entire thing started with making a short film and later that evening finding out that I was going to Thailand. That was the beginning. I had just finished producing "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus." which was successful in that I did not get sued. It was the second best selling straight play in BCT's 20 year history… so that was keen. But I was broke and broken at that point and just wanted a little money out of the deal. I produced and starred in "Elysium; The Last Bounty" which I hope will be finished before I die.

In February, despite uncertain prospects I plowed ahead into producing "The Importance of Being Earnest" as my first stage production of the year. Pretty proud of that show. Great cast, great crew, wonderful working with everyone involved. Didn't lose any money, but I think I may have drank all of the meager profits. The goal was to be able to pay everyone. One day people. One day we will all of us get paid. As that show was closing I was appearing in "Kiss Me Kate" at the college, more or less as a favor to my dear friend Matt. I will admit that it was a fun little side project. Fun cast. Any chance I get to run amok with Cease is a good time.

Then my granny Beulah had a stroke. Probably the most harrowing point of the year. Her brain more or less exploded and it was touch and go for a while there. Getting carried away by helicopter and all that. The folks at the hospital did not give a good diagnoses. Pretty dire. At the same time my family was in Fargo hoping and praying my dear friend Mitch, who had been starring as my Earnest, was also there tending to his mother as she battled lymphoma. My grandmother walked away, his mother did not.

As a backdrop to this whole thing I also stuck my heart back into a grinder because I guess I like abusing myself emotionally by putting myself in impossible situations. I wish I could control what my heart does to my brain. Alas. Also I started working for Cease in freelance body delivery, a lucrative side job that satisfied my need to dress in black and drive around with a sword. My grandma's illness and fucking up my love life took up most of my March. I worried about where the next check was coming from and whether or not I would be alone for the rest of my days.

In April there was also an unfortunate case of love.  I had a romance with a woman who I'm fairly certain will one day save the world. Out of the grinder and into the fire.  As I try to recall April I am struck by a sense that I did very little. The doctors were not sure if granny B would make it, but by Easter she was baking ham back home. My grandmother is a battle tank. I think it would take an elephant gun to take her down. I believe that April I got my Fosston gig, directing "Cheaper by the Dozen". There was also a lot of partying going on. Rooftop adventuring. Cold weather swordplay.

By May I was holding auditions for "Cheaper" and just glad that Fosston paid cash money for my talents. I kept busy with running back and forth. Seeing my grandmother as much as possible. It was during this time that I began to find a balance between my crazed party life and educating children in theater. I resolved not to show up to rehearsal reeking of brown liquor and sex and for the most part succeeded. There was one unfortunate morning I showed up limping from two sprained ankles and lacking the ability to grasp with my left hand, but in order to avoid litigation I'm not going to go into the details.

I'm pretty proud of "Cheaper by the Dozen". It was a tight little performance and despite some stresses I enjoyed it a great deal. I was able to pay rent. Of course when I get a little money things happen like having my car impounded after being ticketed for $300. It's just my luck I guess. I've resolved not to put forth too much effort in making honest money any more because it seems like honest gains are the most bitter when stolen by ridiculous fees. At this stage in my life I require only enough money to eat and occasionally buy myself and pretty girls drinks. All other finance is luxury.

I believe that takes us up through July or so. July was my last month in the apartment I had lived in for four years. To be fair living there had been strange for a long time. Ever since Becky left it was a bizarre place to inhabit. It became a man-compound for a while. Regardless of what it was or wasn't it was the place I laid my head and ate my meals for the longest period of my life since home. July there was a lot of parties. A lot of parties. Crazy "half my shit's packed and I'm trying to give the rest to you" parties. I may have drank a little too much.

August I abandoned "The Ridge" and in short order found myself in New York once more. The plan was to work and do comedy and enjoy the company of my fine friends. I ended up doing only the last of that list. I also got some writing done, but mostly I was a sofa parasite. I did resolve to attend college while there and did a lot of digital preparation to that end, but for the most part I was a hermit. Not that it wasn't nice, but some day I would like to take NY by the balls like I've always wanted instead of simply dwelling. At least I got to spend time with Andrew and Tania and meet some really neat kids.

After returning to Bemidji briefly to act as Coopers bestest man it was off to Washington.  In Washington I rehearsed for Thailand. I lived in a geodesic dome with Allison and the owner of the dome, a man who designs kit-built sea kayaks for a living. There was a lot of running around and acting and enjoying Port Townsend and all in all I think it was a pretty good month. I met some really wonderful people and got to experience the Pacific Northwest for the first time.

Then I was off to Thailand. Left on Halloween. Thailand was, of course, the highlight of the year. When I think that I almost joined Wal-Mart management a year previous I shudder. I quit that heinous employ with the faith that my talent and ability would provide for me. If it has not provided for my financially, it has certainly taken me farther than I would ever have dreamed. I would never have been able to go on that fantastic journey if not for embracing my ruin and making myself a better man for it. Thailand was a rewarding test of my ability and my priorities and I believe I've come back a stronger person.

And now I'm back. The holidays were everything I hoped. I wish I would have been able to bring more things back with me to share with my family, but only marginally. Mostly I'm just grateful to be surrounded by so much opportunity and love. I will admit that after I got back there was a period of despair. It's easy not to think about your world when you're so far away from it. I wish that when I got back all of my dreams and plans had arrived before me and I could just jump back into a rhythm. For me there is no longer stability. There is only me, my dreams, and how to make them.

I look to 2008 as ripe with opportunity. For another year I will rail against convention and mediocrity. I will bow to no one and take no prisoners. There is no longer fear of failure, only desire for victory. To those of you who have helped my journey over the past year I offer my deepest and most heartfelt thanks. To those naysayer who thought I would end up on the street, thank you for making me prove you wrong. May the new year bring joy and adventure. I'll see you all on the other side.


Guess who's going to Thailand bitches!?

I didn't want to get my hopes up until I heard for sure, but it's a go. October your favorite swashbuckling hero Jeremiah Liend is leaving for Asian shores. Sherie G. has secured my services for acting/swordfighting [Not kidding. I'm going to teach Thai to cross blades.] in Chaing Mai! Bring on the vaccines and training!

To My People.

Dearest All,

            Jeremiah Liend here. Have a stable internet connection and a few minutes to update you as events have warranted. I'm still in Port Townsend WA. It's a sleepy little community on a body of water that may or may not be the Puget Sound. There are little restaurants and boat docks.

            Our group "The Chaing Mai Project" performed this last weekend first for Victoria House, a retirement community we've been rehearsing in, and then the Masons lodge. The Victoria House performance was as surreal as rehearsing there was. Geriatrics apathetically staring at high octane comedia. My character, Lelio de Besignosi, has matured into a flamboyant combination of Antonio Banderas on acid and Father Sarduchi as a flaming homosexual. It's the sort of command performance worth taking to Thailand, and I will.

            This week will be spend teaching stage combat to the Port Townsend High School drama department. They seem like a keen lot. The sort of renegade awkward I know how to relate to. So far I have yet to break any and I hope to keep it that way. Other than that I spend time wandering around with Allison. Avoiding cauliflower and nutritional yeast as mush as is possible in a community struck hard by the organic revolution. I've made it my mission to find the best fish and chips in town.

            In a week we leave for Thailand and I've got great plans. Monks. Elephants. Muay Thai. The whole, "I'm in Asia getting my ass kicked" experience. There has been whisperings of a similar project later this year to Japan and if it surfaces I will have to travel to that lauded island and kick ass. Find me a samurai school. Eat some eel.

            I will, however, be home for Christmas, and look forward to regaling you all with tales of high adventure and daring do. Keep the home fires burning and keep it real… whatever the hell that means. I will do my best not to get diphtheria.



Thailand Landfall.

Dearest Home,

    Well, I'm in Thailand. The journey was long, and strange, but at last I am here in the Chaing Mai University National Center writing to you all on a computer that has English and Thai characters. It is raining and there is a jungle in the lobby. I will send you all some pictures as soon as I get a computer I can attach to my camera. First; the journey.
    We left Port Townsend far too early more or less to contend with the idea of disaster. After arriving at the airport it was a waiting game of 3 hours followed by a flight of 12 hours. The flight attendants were gorgeous and fed me a variety of sub par airline food which I devoured greedily.  I have finally found a means of transportation that  I cannot sleep through. China Air, I congratulate you. It wasn't all their fault, to be fair. Not only was I contending with having to be more or less folded like a collapsed star into my seat, but there was a toddler and an infant a few rows ahead vying for my hatred and dismay. I was lucky enough to be seated next to Windy, the documentarian, who was close to storming the children and stuffing vast quantities of Benedryl into them. On the plus side I had a small television in the seat back and watched no less than five movies to occupy my time. After a brief layover in Tia Pei and a relatively brief 4 hour jump we arrived in Chaing Mai an hour ahead of schedule.
    Met at the airport by our fearless leader Sherie we pilled ourselves into three Red Trucks and were off to what amounts to our homes for the next month; Chaing Mai University's International Center. It's a lovely hotel with a restaurant, coffee shop, and jungle. Arrival was not much to speak of, I made sure everything was more or less set, and then proceeded to sleep for 18 hours. The following day Allison and I ventured out to find lunch. An advertisement of Ramen in a window drew me withing a Japanese restaurant like moth to flame. It was like no Ramen I've every had before. Chock full of lettuce and questionable meat. Delicious to be sure, and my hunger made my aptitude with chop sticks increase beyond an ability I believed I possessed.
    I've violated some of the sacred rules of travel. That meal had me eating something I didn't peel myself. Also? I've drank the water. I figure with as much poison as I generally saturate my system with, what's a few more microbes along for the ride. So far so good. After lunch we returned to the hotel and in short order Sherie ushered us into the heart of the city. Once again we hailed at Red Truck and loaded nearly the entire cast into the vessel. Imagine, if you will, a dodge Dakota with a topper holding 15 people and tearing through Thai streets with abandon as cast member Danielle and myself cling to the ass end for dear life. Quite exciting. The only way to see the city I'd say. Hovering over pavement with the wind in your face.
    We arrived at Tai Pei gate and disembarked. The intention was to peruse the book stores, but a small man with a yellow piece of paper drew my attention elsewhere. Muay Thai tonight. 8 fights. Real Thai Boxing. All of my Van Damme instincts screamed inside of me and I set off to find this stadium. Luckily I know when I've been given poor directions, and after a rendezvous at Starbucks [ugh] and some consultation with a map we were off for The Night Market. After arriving I had to avoid the amazing and inexpensive wares that surrounded me.

"Holy hell... a spear gun."

"You like? I give you cheap!"

    No no. Be strong Jeremiah. You're going to have enough problems at customs without a spear gun added to the mix. Allison was into the idea of boxing and in short order we had secured tickets. We hung out at a market and then made our way back to the Night Market for some food and drink. We were crooned to with the Thai rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You", I tossed back some "Chang" beer and then it was back to the stadium.

"Ask me a year ago and I would never have said that I'd be here now. Escorting Allison Paige to a Friday Night Muay Thai match in a seedy neighborhood in northern Thailand."

"The beautiful and talented Allison Paige."

"Right. Exactly."

    The fights will take an entire letter in and of themselves. Safe to say we stayed for about three hours, and then a power outage prompted us to make our way home. I thanked the driver in Thai and he laughed at me. Hell man, I'm only two days in country, what do you want from me?
    Today we were supposed to see the space we'll be performing in, but the fat warm rain will no doubt prevent that. I guess I'm just going to sit in the jungle lobby and read. Maybe eat an eel. I hope you're all doing well and will continue to update you as events warrant.



Begrudging Update.

There is not so much happening here as it is back home. I will begin with a brief and meandering description of the last weeks Thai adventures. Went to Kantoke Dinner Theater. That was swell. Saw a dude hold 10 short swords in his mouth as he danced with two more. Also? Flaming swords. Pretty tits. Did some shopping today, just picking up a few things I needed. Got fleeced by a Thai dude and more or less mugged by a 7 year old girl with flowers.

Back home all is chaos. Allison has lost her best friend Jesse Lian to a car accident and I my aunt, Monika Tibbets, in an unrelated accident. If I only knew Jesse from Al's stories I would know the loss as terrible, but in addition I have crossed swords with him. He will be missed. Aunt Monika was a fantastic woman, always generous and kind offering a smile for everyone. I will miss her accent most I think. Allison is desperate to get home for Jesse's service, but escaping Thailand is proving much more difficult than getting here.

For my part I would urge you all to drive safe and be well. Whether early or no I will be home in less than a week and look forward to seeing you all. I would ask that you all keep Jesse's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as I keep my family in mine. Love to you all.



The International Nerd.

So, I went to the Chiang Mai University Fencing Club under the urging of Kop this evening. She knew I was a swordsman and she was going to her Aikido class anyhow, so I tagged along. Hot Thai chicks with swords, need I say more? And geeks. Sword geeks are a universal breed. I don't speak Thai, but I'm sure if I did I would have overheard conversations about "Lord of the Rings" and people listing their top 5 sword fights of all time. Good people. Good times. And the best part? No one walked away bleeding.

 The Performance.

No one was eaten by a python. In fact, there were no snake bites of any kind. It did not rain. No one was electrocuted. The show was, and I am far from objective, good. For all the problems that assaulted us, we performed, despite all odds, and it was good. I have heard some would claim it was wonderful, others fantastic. I cannot speak to these claims as I was unable to witness the show itself. We came. We saw. We performed.

We had only four shows which, considering the ridiculous amount of work we put into it seems like few. On the other hand I do not know if all members of our cast would have survived a longer run and so a weekend it was. The first night was my favorite, mostly because we had a huge audience. The Vieng Ping Children's Home had 90 kids over to watch the shenanigans. They loved me. What can I say? The kids dig ham I guess. The show was running long, so unfortunately they did not get to see the end, but at intermission they presented a large framed photo in thanks to Sherie and we all got to say goodbye. Crowds following that night were anemic. Some enthusiastic, but overall not anywhere near the numbers we would have liked. Are they ever?

I have to continue reminding myself that it was never likely we were going to make money hand over fist. The documentary being made is what we hope garners support and awareness. The important thing, in the end, wasn't whether or not we made piles of money for our charities [though that is disheartening] but that we came across the globe for it. As Howard Graves [Captain Spavento, pictured below] said before we went on Sunday night, nothing like this has ever been done before in Chiang Mai, and he's lived here for 20 plus years. The idea that actors could help better the world through performing is a great one. The stewardship and commitment it requires to attempt such an undertaking is, in and of itself, commendable and amazing.

This was Sherie's project and I hope she's proud of it. The idea was never to make millions of dollars from our performances, but to show that we care. To get people believing and thinking that they can make a difference and that sometimes all it takes to make a difference is to make the effort. For my part it has been a crazed and surreal journey into a strange and wonderful land. More importantly it's been a journey into myself. It has been a great opportunity to see what is truly important, and to appreciate how blessed I am to be so rich with family, friend and opportunity.

So now I get to enjoy myself. It's odd not having the show to worry about. It is a burden that has been lifted and now I can worry about other things like finding a home and employment. Another gig, as Cease would say. Always have a gig in the gate. Mostly I'm just going to be happy to be home for Christmas. As I understand there is snow and reliable sources tell me that mistletoe is inbound. There are always presents round the tree. I will keep you all abreast of my continued adventures, and thank you for your constant support and prayers.

Another opening, another show, in Chiang Mai, Hong Kong and Tokyo

A chance for stage folk to say saw a dee crap… well that's where the song sort of falls apart. "A Gap in Generations" opens tomorrow and thus far we have been unable to run the show from beginning to end. We've run into conflicts of every kind imaginable while trying to get this show running almost as if cursed or damned. Thought I've been looking for the bright side and hoping for a shred of serendipity, I'm alone out here, pulling tight the shoe strings of this show day by day. We have pushed ahead despite these obstacles, but I would still like to mention them for posterity.

The weather. We are currently in the dry season. Precipitations for the months of November and December are virtually nil and have been for at least the last hundred years anyone has cared to keep track of these things. Not this year. This year our stage, particle board affixed to the Lana stage, has been soaked, and then baked, baked and then soaked. The stage looks like a cruel combination of a science fair project and a skate park. There is a brilliant orange mold that has found a new home on our stage and I only pray it's not man-eating. In addition the warping has made hills and valleys as treacherous as they are distracting. Now we just have to hope that there will be no rain during performances so we can avoid things like electrocution, which brings us to our second obstacle.

We have yet to, and may never be able to, rehearse with lights. The lighting of the stage is being provided by a professional company, but they are not showing up till today, our final dress, and even then it is doubtful we will be able to run at night. They have not given us a lighting tech to run the show either, we've had to find our own tech [thank you Ap]. But this is sort of par for the course in getting anything done.

Our question: "Are we getting the railing down so the audience can see our actors?"

Response: "Sure, we'll bring it down the day before you perform. Oh, and by the way we've double booked you with a musical performance that will blast your sound system out of the water."

Hell. That is all true by the way. Our stage was booked a year ago and we were assured that nothing else would be going on, until last week when we were told that a faculty music department would be performing on the same night as we. We have been assured they will take a break during our performance, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Which brings me to the subject of sound.

We are rehearsing and performing in a beautiful outdoor setting. We are using an old Lana home with a wonderful stage area. We are also in the direct path of the Chiang Mai International Airport. Because of this, throughout rehearsals, we are forced to pause the show as a 747 roars its way into the stratosphere. As a fun bonus treat the Royal Thai Air Force also has a wing at the airport. On one particular rehearsal day our troupe had to yell our prologue over a band, a team of EMS personnel participating in a chop-stick relay, and a half dozen or so fighter jets performing touch and go sorties.

We all had a good laugh over that one. But overall I am running out of humor. We open tomorrow night and at this point I'm more or less banking on theater and/or elvin magic to make this all happen. I realize that certain concessions must be made by virtue of making a performance happen on the opposite side of the planet. But despite this, or perhaps in spite of this, I would have liked to give a real polished performance, a real hum-dinger of a show. At this point I simply pray no one is electrocuted, eaten by a reticulated python, or taken by the plague. Your prayers are always welcome.

 Thailand’s Orphans.

When I first signed on for this trip I was told that the proceeds for the venture were going towards two charities. They were causes that our director and organizer was passionate about, the Vieng Ping Children's Home and the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital. To be quite honest I had no idea what either organization represented, but simply enjoyed the idea of performing for charity. This week our group would visit both, and it was an experience I will not easily forget.

Our first visit was to the Vieng Ping Chilren's Home. The situation in orphanages in Thailand is a sad one. Adoption rates are incredibly low as a result of a stigma against AIDS. Despite the fact that children born with AIDS can fight it off (something I did not know) children are rarely tested later in their life, and as a result many of the children live their entire youths inside these facilities.

These were all things that I was told before going to the home, but as with most charities, I viewed it as something that happens beyond my world. I will support them as well as I can by creating and performing in a show, but that is the border of my involvement. A short truck ride to the facility and this perspective would radically change.

The group that was to watch us perform was around 40 children between the ages of 1 and 7. The musicians had arrived before the main cast and had been playing music as a warm up. With little to no fanfare we were placed before the little ones and performed the opening to the show. Despite the fact that they did not understand a word we were saying they watched with rapt anticipation as these colorfully dressed men and women performed for them. The applause was instant and alive.

Conventionally this is where my interaction with an audience would end. To the dressing room. I prefer to get out of character and to the bar as soon as time allows. I do not hand out cookies to my audience. This was a rare exception. Within moments of bowing a young boy of 6 grabbed my hand and began perusing my costume. I didn't know what he was saying anymore than he knew what I was, but within moments little arms found their way around my neck. Despite my best efforts to remain apart, I was among a swarm of young boys, offering back the treats we had given them for a morsel of my attention and affection.

Soon I was a jungle gym. A regular feather-capped tire swing. Parroting the words these children spoke we formed a fun dialogue, peppered with my commentary, more for myself than anyone else;

"Nah stud, I'm trying to watch my Oreo intake, but you go to town. Hey, I dig your shirt, Harry Potter's big back home."

And as quickly as our camaraderie was initiated, it was time to leave. My little guy replaced his foam rubber wedge beneath his shirt (a young swordsman in the making) thanked me, and we were off. A wave of crimson shirt billowing unto the super highway and the children's amusement escaped. What struck me above all else was the desperate simplicity of the children's need; Love. Without family or home, whatever sparse and fleeting affection could be gleaned was consumed with simple tenacity.

I still have not sorted out all of the emotions and thoughts from that day. I don't know if I ever will. It was a brief and singular connection that terrifies me in its sadness. I would have little time enough to consider and weigh before today brought a vary different set of orphans into my world.

The Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital is creation and the life of its founder Miss Soraida Salwala. Our group was privileged to have a meeting with her at the center with her Chief Veterinarian. We were given the story of the hospital by Soraida, a proud, handsome, well spoken woman. Her passion began at the age of 8 when she witnessed the terrible death of an elephant struck by a truck on the side of the road, and would result in the founding of the hospital that has treated over 3,000 elephants since its foundation in 1993.

Soraida explained her struggle against other organizations, including the Elephant conservation Centre that shares her land. Recently Soraida stood in front of a convoy of trucks bound for China, exporting Thai elephants to be mistreated far from home. She has had her life threatened on many occasions, but has never flagged or failed in her cause of preserving the Asian elephant's way of life. When asked why she does it, despite all of her obstacles she replied simply:

"Because the elephants cannot defend themselves."

After telling us the fantastic details and amazing struggles she has faced in founding her hospital she answered every question put to her by our group with intelligence and patience. In 1993 there were 40,000 elephants in Thailand, and today only around 4,000 remain. The reputations of the Thai elephant's superior temper and training have made them a precious commodity. Not only to those who would export them, but also to Thai desperate to make a living with them in the tourist trade.

Handlers in logging operations use amphetamines on the elephants and themselves to meet deadlines. Handlers steal infant elephants from nature preserves for profit. It seems that in a world that seeks only to make gain at the expense of these amazing creatures, the FAE stands alone in placing their well being and happiness before financial gain. After our questions we were led by Soraida to the hospitals permanent residents. Their injuries ranged from organ damage from amphetamines, to blindness, to broken limbs. There was a newborn calf Zeno, only 2 months old and the only male at the hospital, and its mother Kamprai, ever watchful.

The elephant that captivated me the most was Motala whose front left foot had been blown away by a landmine on the Burmese border. Over the course of three days, first using only her three remaining feet and then, mercifully, by truck, this wounded giant made her way to the hospital. She holds the Guinness world record for most vets working on a procedure, reconstruction and then harnessing for a prosthetic limb that should be ready by years end. Later we would see another victim of a landmine, but this time it was an elephant only 2 years old. To see these gentle creatures is to behold something of the divine. In their eyes there is intelligence and kindness that does not bear the scars life and cruelty has placed on their bodies.

Orphans large and small. If I could describe my feelings towards both experiences it would be a sense of impotence. With the children of Vieng Ping I knew it was not enough. A few sweets and a little entertainment is such a miserable offering to young, bright children who require so much more. In the face of the elephant crisis I have nothing to offer but my heartfelt support for the hospital and its founder. It will have to be enough that I have born witness and been humbled. With my meager proceeds this tired player offers his heart to the orphans of Thailand and my prayers to their future.


A Brief Word on Thai Food.

Never say that I'm not a daring connoisseur. While here I've made it a point to order in Thai. I've eaten sausage off a stick. I've eaten a fish with the head still attached (I had to blindfold the thing so the ladies at the table could eat without being stared at). I have taken to the curious habit of forking food unto a spoon before eating, But up until tonight I've prided myself on generally knowing what I am putting into my body.

 Deep fried fish cakes were the promise. When I hear fish cake I imagine a sort of fluffy, Baltimore based crab affair. A light, crispy, breaded little food-puck of fish deliciousness. What I got was a chewy fish sausage. Disturbingly chewy. As if Jimmy Dean and Gordon's unholy love child took everything strange and unnatural about their food and put it into a vegetable garnished fried meat pile. But that was not all.

 With the fish cakes came a vague fried pile of something. This excited me. I did not order or expect it, but breaded fried things rarely disappoint me. This particular dish had a carnival funnel cake feel to it. Mostly breading with some mysterious central core holding it all together. With these two plates came two dipping sauces/garnishes. Some sort of spicy cucumber number and then a sweet golden duck sauce. If not duck sauce then certainly a sauce of sweet fowl. A cousin perhaps.

 Paranoid about looking like an ignorant savage I took little time to begin experimenting with the food. Adding this sauce with that food. This food with rice. The first few bites of fried fish patty caused some strange battles among my taste buds and reasoning skills. Did I like this? Or was the confusion just too much? The battered dish was treating me well. I piled it atop my rice and added a little soy sauce to help things along.

 Once my initial hunger was sated I began to investigate the breaded wonder. Oh, sesame seeds. Maybe just batter in and of itself. No. No, that's a tail and… antennae? Indeed. And then I saw them. Eyes. Hundreds of eyes. Black lifeless eyes gazing from the golden breading. The dish was dozens and dozens of tiny shrimp, battered and fried. As I surveyed the pile of young shrimp, taken before their time, I beheld two shrimp in particular battered together, locked eternally in a lovers embrace.

They will live on forever in my memory. I will now retire for the evening and allow the sea life to settle. As much as I enjoy a change of pace, I'm looking forward to having stuffing readily available. And tap water. I'm not sure what other curious food awaits me, but I challenge the future to offer me anything so strange and curious.


The Three Fingered Monk and Doi Suthep

Dearest Home,

  Well today was an eventful one. There are very few reasons I can imagine for getting out of bed before seven, but scaling a mountain has to be one. We found out earlier this week that there was going to be a walk to the top of Doi Suthep, a large mountain outside of Chiang Mai proper. The purpose of the walk was to raise both funds and awareness for the preservation of the mountains ecosystem as large companies are purchasing plots on the mountain for the purpose of building hotels and such.  I received a free T-Shirt the night previous on the back of which declares "You can break my heart, but don't hurt Doi Suthep".  Our force gathered in the hotel lobby and then transferred to the foot of the mountain. There we drank coffee and watched a monk offer prayer for the mountain.

                In short order three monks began making their way up the mountain and supporters eagerly followed. Traffic was stopped to allow the crowd (somewhere around 200 strong) to make their way. The first 9 or so kilometers were an inclined slog, but I am really quite good at walking and was feeling in fine spirits. I had been informed by informational pamphlet that at some point the path would veer from the road to a backwoods footpath, the traditional route to the Wat. We were cautioned that it was not a trail for amateurs.

               I viewed these mornings' adventures as a sort of penance. There has been a large void in spiritual activity in my life for some time, and although I'm not a church-goer I figured that climbing a mountain to a Buddhist shrine has got to count for much more than singing "The Old Rugged Cross" in the dead zone that church has become. This was going to be a physically taxing example to the cosmos that Jeremiah Liend is good to go. Cocked, locked, and ready to rock. Bring on the karma.

                I worked my way to the front of the pack in short order searching for the ethereal gong that beat a surreal cadence as we marched into the clouds. Mist obscured the city below as we worked our way farther and farther to the top. Eventually I found the source of the gong, a young man walking with two saffron cloaked monks. I decided to tail the monks because they obviously knew where we were going. In short order we broke from the pavement and into the jungle on a clay path that has existed for hundreds of years, tread by innumerable Buddhists Monks on their way home.

                The road rout is 6 K as compared to the meager 2 K of the jungle path. What they fail to mention is that the majority of the 2 K is vertical. I wore my trench coat for a couple reasons, mostly rain, but also because it's bad-ass and I've had it for ages. As I worked my way into the jungle sweat and mist clung to me. I locked step behind my monk guide, placing my boots where his sandals tread. At first I assumed he was a machine of some kind. He climbed and climbed and climbed and I did my best to lope behind, huffing and sweating. However, when we veered from the wrong path and he turned I saw that he too was making an effort of it.

Doi Suthep is a very large mountain. By the time I emerged from the foliage to the welcome sight of the road I was a broken man. My everything hurt, but I had made it, weary and wet. Two young girls were tending a folding table on which a lone bottle of water lay. Hungrily I asked if it was for those walking and they said yes. I slammed the entire bottle back to the amusement of the young girls and gave a corps coon. There may have been giggling. After this brief respite I continued up the hill behind my monk companion, both of us slogging up this last leg.

I took a break at the base of the temple for a little water as provided by Sherie. She and a few others had taken trucks to the top after walking the 10K or so to the branch. She was concerned because she had never seen me quite so red before. Few people are privy to see me in a state so disheveled. Lovers and fighters and the masses selling chicken and rice sausage at the crest of Doi Suthep.

"Where's God at?" I asked wearily.

                Sherie was hesitant to inform me that the Wat was farther up the mountain, but mentioned that there was a cable car. To hell with that. I didn't come up the mountain to take a train ride to Buddha. There are 306 stairs to the Wat. Gilded naga line the stairs. I walked them with a member of our group named Phil, a man at least 20 years my senior who made it to the top of the hill in record time. I mentioned that he was a truck, and then he and I ascended. We lost track of one another at the Wat.

                I would like to say that when I walked into the golden court of the inner Wat that there was a flash of light and all was revealed to me. There were certainly flashes, but only those of cameras. Tourists everywhere. There were golden Buddha abounding, but everywhere there were the cameras. Trinkets for sale. I watched a group of eight monks chanting for a time and almost felt the tingle of the divine when a Japanese man shushed me to the side so he could take a picture of his girl with a Buddha near me. THAT Buddha, of the hundreds that surrounded us.    

                I would almost write the entire Wat off as a spiritual failing if not for a detour I took on my way out. I don't know what Vihara means, but it is an enclosed room where resides a 10 foot Buddha, and as I took my first few hesitant steps into the incensed sanctuary a monk in the corner of the room gestured to me and asked me to sit. He brandished a series of sticks at me and I kneeled in front of him.

"For luck." He said

                He dipped the wand into water beside him and showered me with droplets and  then asked for my hand. I gave it to him and he tied a piece of string to my wrist and as he cinched the knot I noticed that he had three thumbs. The last knuckle of his left thumb held two finger-nailed digits, almost as if bifurcated. I thanked him as best I could, gave him a tithe and made my way past the Nikons and the Samsungs to the street below.

                I ate something off a stick. Another rule broken. A small Chihuahua, obviously lost, refused to eat the remainder of my rice sausage… which worries me. I sat in a garden full of chickens and watched the clouds roll over and unto me. I mused. I would like to say that it was the single most invigorating spiritual endeavor of my life… but mostly I just think that getting blessed by a three thumbed monk is nifty. Take care all. I will write more as events warrant.




What a Year. And what people want to know is; How Did it Treat You Jeremiah? What have you been up to? What you been working on? You producing anything? Why haven’t you called me? I have not seen you in ten years, etc, etc, etc. And so I must disseminate and sum up. The New Year is upon us and 2008 demands it’s summary. The year began with my fluids being rejected by a medical institution. It was, as it turns out, not the most ego bruising event. My grannies were all happy that they rejected my fluids as most of my family were convinced I would grow webbed toes. As it was I starred in “The Seven Year Itch” and moved it around to a few cities with the help of some friends who are, and always will be, the most capable and adaptable of human beings.

I’ve gotten the privledge of working with some of the most talented individuals in the whole of the world I’ve been privledged towitness. It defies reasoning as to why someone like me could ever possibly be inundated with such an incomparable and fantastic group of humans. There are too many. Having too many great people around you is actually more difficult than you would think. It takes a lot of work. A lot of running around. Dressing up. I dress up most times when I’m in public because frankly I like looking good. Some claim it is the showman in me putting on a cloak. To me it is the armor of my profession, whatever it be at any given minute. I consider myself and artist, an entertainer, a swordsman and an author. Of all these things I attempt to be, above all else, a gentleman.

I ran for mayor and guarded myself against success with the Macavelian cunning of my most feared and reviled adversary; that being myself. A peerless equal who confounds my every attempt at fortune and glory like a batting a bubble into the unknown. For my part I believe celebrity is to be feared. My dream would be to maintain an underground core of Ultimate Folk, and if you’re reading this, you are one of them. Welcome. Isn’t it good to be with the “in” crowd for once and not have to pay anything?

A little over a year ago I realized that if I didn’t try my best to create the largest of something I would die of personal embarrassment. An ignominious death at best I am resolved to end myself engaged in coitus and then flash frozen and shot towards a comet. If that seems impossible then I’ve got some designs to show you. Some figures as well. The first thing I want to build is my dirigible; The Airship Victorious. It is already built. As Beethoven knew the music without hearing I see her fly before she has been laid out. When she flies to the heavens and above it all we can listen to the wind and ride it, then at least this dream I can bring to you. You can ride my dream and we will be the greater for it.

President Bush never answers his E-mail. I realize that percentage wise, if you’re reading this, you probably don’t like the man, and frankly I’ve had my beef with him for a while. But I have to tell you I was really impressed when I saw him deflect those shoes. Had they been laced with poison, or had thumb tacks in the tongue, a lesser man would have been dead. But George, with the celerity and grace of a suit-clad cowboy dodged the first, and deflected the second. Well done George. I hope that you’re as committed to saving the world as I am.

I really wanted to make it out speargun fishing this year, but never actually made it into the lake. I was intent on swimming it one morning, and was talked out of it in the afternoon. Instead we rode ON the lake in a boat and I received a tan I reap the benefit to this day. Seized by a need to do something profound and foolish I made the weighty boast of swimming Lake Bemidji. I've never really been afraid of drowning, owing to a fundamental understanding I feel I have with water. I can also breath water in my dreams… which is as irrelevant as it is cool. These sorts of boasts take control of my destiny when I've gotten enough whiskey in my blood to make me courageous. Luckily this self knowledge also brings with it the self preservation to realize that alcohol does not bring with it buoyancy.

In any case I still rallied a crew to appraise the lake Saturday. We stood at Diamond Point and gazed at that far shore. A mile plus of open water teeming with recreational water sports and duck feces. A mile does not look far to me. There again I had the sense that I could easily swim from Alcatraz when I saw it last month, so either I possess a superhuman will that defies the laws of physics, or, more likely, I am wildly incompetent as to my own ability. It's good to have people who care enough about you to stop you from drowning on a sunny Saturday.

Besides wanting to live to see Sunday there was a mild hangover and a beautiful afternoon that changed a task of minor-Byronic proportions into an afternoon of power boating and American beer. I tanned a little. What's the point of swimming the lake if the press flashes only reflect off of my porcelain exterior? There was also a slight wind that produced a wake that most of the crew maintained would surely kill me. I was incredulous, but that is my character.

It is the nature of all people that breathe to do great things. This desire is tamped down by a variety of earthy interference. Be it a regular job, poverty, low self esteem, a family to support, friends who talk you out of it, the status quo, or simply fear of failure we, as a people, maintain relatively even keeled lives. Some mornings you wake up and want to scale a mountain. Unless you are lucky enough to live in the Rockies such a desire cannot be met without severe travel. Still, I believe that in the heart of every human dwells the kernel of greatness desperate to kill the mundane and eat it's liver.

It is the small but deadly adventures I should be right to fear. The unpublicized injury resulting in debilitation. "Local Hero Falls From Grain Elevator; Paralysis Inevitable". I would hate to relegate my existence to colostomy bags and sip/suck power chairs if the footage of my terrible folly is not made viral on the interweb. What sort of success is losing several teeth and the ability to see the color red if the only witness is a few well intentioned bystanders? None at all I say. In addition there is always that creeping possibility of testing my creators patience past his influence with physics. The line between death defying and deadly is a slim one indeed.

I guess I should thank my lucky stars that celebrity is the elusive bitch she is. Ever escaping my clumsy grappling for fairer lovers. Brad Pitt's bowel movements and Ashley Judd's latest hair style. No doubt my fan base would just begin assembling when it would all come to a tragic end. My final minutes broadcast on CNN, brandishing a rusty cutlass at Justin Timberlake when his body guards cut me down with small arms fire. Just some freakish flash in the pan. Just another lunatic on the ticker.

The idea of being a big fish in a small pond has always been one I loath. Fish and ponds. Mostly it is the illusion of the pond. The idea that one's world is contained and bound by some unseen but static shore. Bordered on all sides we flounder and spawn, always looking for the next body of water. Desperate for some cosmic DNR officer to place us in a larger aquatic home or, barring the intervention of well intentioned naturalists, that we find an eddy. An inlet to the paradise we are destined for.

I am not a fish in a pond. I am the osprey.

Lake Bemidji will be swam. Someday soon I will assault it's waters and we will see who is right and who is drowned. I do not believe that I will perish beneath it's green waves. It has been my companion for far too long.

Post Holiday Report or Out of the Thai and Into the North Woods.

I believe that I have acclimated myself to home well enough. On the one hand I am trapped in the woods. Surrounded by dogs. On the other hand, there's never a lack of people willing to whisk me away to adventure and excitement. In the last month I have consumed my own body weight in turkey and ham. I am hammering away at the things that make me excited about being alive. Acting and producing and what have you.

The other day we recorded the soundtrack for "Elysium; TLB" at Gary Burger's studio. Jim Miller is a musical genius and it was great to be able to work with Phil and him and Gary to make something really amazing. Decades of musical experience dedicated to making our film great. Makes a man believe that maybe he's doing something right. Then I had the first read through for "The Seven Year Itch". I think it's going to be a fun little performance. Lots of pretty ladies and old friends involved. If we can get this thing touring it will be one step closer to realizing my dream of never getting a real job ever again.

Other than that it's all a question of getting taco money. To that end I will be renting my blood to the Pracs Institute in Fargo ND. Taking drugs for money. Hell, I've been known to pay for drugs in the past, so this is going to be a delightful role reversal if it all comes together. In the event that I complete the study I will be cut a check that will put more money in my account at one time since… well, maybe ever.

Then there's the tax season. I have to submit taxes as self employed this year. A full year without a W-2. I've kept myself alive by performing Freelance Body Delivery, Renegade Theater Production, and as a Wandering Swordsman. H & R Block will never see me coming. I hope to drive my tax preparer to drink. I fucking dare the IRS to audit me. Dare them.

Other than that there's only the horizon. A spring filled with bad British accents and sexy female ninja. A summer of political assaults on the City of Bemidji. The title of mayor will be mine. Bemidji will prosper under my iron heel. Then? Who knows? "Student Mayor Promotes 'Samurai Hockey' as Anchor Tenant to Regional Events Center." The headline alone makes the insane scheming worth while.

Champagne Wishes.

I am currently using the Dali Lama’s book of wisdom as a coaster. I don’t think he would necessarily mind. It’s not like it’s on the best sellers list. The fundamental problem with his observations is that it gives not answers. Offers no solutions. What the hell sort of wisdom is that? Wisdom is a tool to better ourselves, not a self-fulfilling virtue. But on to the meat of this essay.
I’ve incorporated a business. Tower Hill Productions Inc. Man. The name is powerful. A good name. I don’t know the first thing about being the President of a corporation, but that’s what Entrepreneur magazine is for. The  cover this month orders “Break all the Rules!!!”. Done and done motherfuckers. Done and Done. I pray that my play will be accepted by the New York Fringe Festival. If not, they’re officially on my list. As is Napster, Qwest, Charter, and several other corporations that I intend on destroying. Samurai Hockey I tell you. The most novel sport in all existence. An original idea to be sure, and if performed correctly, my ticket to fame and fortune.
It’s been almost a year since I incorporated that useless company. And I’ve spent the last year trying to figure out business, stock, and tax laws that will ensure that if I ever actually take a stab at people giving me money that I will not end up in the poor house. If any house. The more I read about starting a small business the more I realize that the American Dream was designed by the rich to keep the poor producing just enough so that they will be comfortable, but never enough that they will get ahead. I hear the bitterness in my writing and yet am powerless to stop it.
Am I not deserving of fame, fortune and Glory? Has fate destined that I will live out the remainder of my oh so brief days languishing in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. while never quite gaining the edge I need, the support I require to claw my way free of this womb of despair? To thrust myself, like a 4 by 4 shot out of a jet engine, violently into the public eye? I fear there is a sinister truth to my meandering, and that my infamy will only be attained thousands of years later. A simpering underling working in the Library of the New Congress stumbles upon my no-talent scratchings, finds the truth of my words and rides them all the way to the top. While my life has been reduced to rumors and dust. No orbiting frozen head for me, only oblivion. A life of mediocrity uncelebrated or regarded. If I could somehow inject these words with the sweet nectar of my dreams they would drip, pregnant with possibility. But these words are simple byproduct of an all too idle mind. The death throws of a mind and spirit so blocked it is unaware of it’s own sublime irrelevance.
But on then. If we are to gain full disclosure then we must not fear the repercussions. Let us make this the only true thing I have completed, and gazing upon the pile of printed page, I will have a small and unpleasant monument to my purid drivel. My mute ramblings. Who knows? I may yet gain my thousand swordsman army. There is always hope. As I say, when one purchases a lottery ticket, it is not really paying for a chance to win, but rather for the chance to dream of winning for a couple days. Before statistics thrust our hopes and dreams into a packed trash compactor once again. Still. One dollar for a dream isn’t bad these days.

Super-Hero Wishes

I wish I would be bitten by a radioactive,
or at least highly mutated rat that would give me super powers.
Unfortunately I suppose the only super abilities to be
gleaned from a rat are the impressive survival instincts.
As a super-hero I think I’d simply run away a lot, and perhaps eat my young.

The Art of Rat Watching

You don’t need calls, you don’t need binoculars; all you need is a half eaten Grey’s Papaya hot dog and a video camera.  Then let the fun begin!  We’ve all heard the legends of three foot long rats living in the deep sewers.  Let’s lure the fuckers out.  That’s what I say.  They may not be beautiful animals, they may make you nauseous to behold; but there is an undeniable fascination that grips you as you look at a nice sized one-footer dragging a baby down the 92nd Street red line tunnel.  I would say we should roach watch, but as soon as the flash went off they’d be gone. Andrew spins a yarn of observing a big lumbering fucker from the relative safety of his third floor apartment. Claims the greasy behemoth of a rodent tried dragging a mattress into the gutter for a good five minutes before it conceded defeat and instead just dragged a 55 gallon Hefty sack full of god knows what into the murky depths. Andrew tends to exaggerate, but the horrific look in his eyes make me believe he saw it. Or at least hallucinated it. Without video or photographic evidence though, I’m inclined to ere on the side of exaggeration.


Follow Up:

I feel good about this page.
Last one; not so much.
I got out “Wow.”
but the period sort of deflated the gravity of the scenario.
I suppose I could have written “WOW!”.
The capital letter followed by the exclamation point would have forced my hand.
I would have had to write something exciting.  The problem is I’m not feeling exciting.
 I would have probably followed up my “WOW!” with a vivid description of my feet,
(which have dry patches on the soles)
and the most I could have done with that is maybe a hominy word play thing with the word sole.  It probably would have been pretty bad.  Unlike this page, which is at the very least honest, if not dry and boring.  All in all I’d have to say this page has gone pretty well.  Now, nearing the end, I think to myself; “Hey, at least it’s a whole page”.  Or very close to it.

Reflections on Joe Pesci.

The subtle charm of Joe Pesci continues to elude me and I find myself tumbling down a dark and pervasive void where all is pain and embarrassment.
Why oh why, when all around me applaud Mr. Pesci’s varied and many achievements must I stand alone in my confusion?  Is he charming?  I don’t think he is.  Carry Grant; charming.  Jimmy Stuart; charming.  Katharine/Audrey? Hepburn; sexy and charming.  Joe Pesci; nothing.    Joe Pesci has nothing on Humphrey Bogart and I’m sorry I’m the only one who feels this way.
Maybe if I just bit the bullet and watched “Goodfella’s”, a curtain would be raised and all would be well.  Maybe “My Cousin Vinny” has to be seen a few times before the genius of his command performance can be divined?  I just know I can’t go on like this.  It has to end…soon.

Big MotherFuckers.

There are some really large people in this world.  The gods above have deemed that I shall only be, at most, five foot nine for the remainder of my existence.  Yet all around me I see great towers of humanity; dwarfing me, almost mocking me with their immense dispositions.  I can’t hold them accountable for it.  It’s all a matter of the genetic dice roll; but for heavens sake, there are some really big-ass motherfuckers out there.

Follow Up on Follow Up. (See Wow.)

Getting back to that page I wrote “Wow.” on.
I think it’s probably the best thing to come out of this book.
Short and sweet.  Gets to the point.
Doesn’t ask too much of the reader and easy on the eyes.
All in all a nice piece of literature that I’m confident will reign supreme as my one moment of genius.

Fire Engine Siren Blues.

Walking down 85th towards Columbus, there was a fire engine headed north.  I looked across the street and saw a man look at the engine, then his cell phone, and throw his hands up in frustration because the siren was interrupting his conversation.
“Oh great!  Now I can’t talk to my friend about her new Prada bag because some family had to get burned to a crisp! Great!!”

Too Drunk to Write Well.

I can always feel drunkenness coming on.  It sucks at first; dizzy, unsettling, confusing.  It’s what separates the die-hard drinking machine from the politician.  You have a very definite choice when you stare into the face of drunkenness; kiss it, or vomit into it.  I myself try chewing on it’s nose.  Who knows?  God knows; but he isn’t answering the phone.  He’s on sabbatical.  No doubt God is on his fourth martini, buzzing in an unusual and not entirely unpleasant way.  He spits in the eye of inevitability and has another three.  That’s my vision of God.  Which is why I’m an ardent and fervent proponent of Thor.

I Could Take Hemmingway

Drinking and smoking are the essential fuels to any great writer.  Add a hefty dose of apathy and resentment towards the human condition and you’ve got yourself a Pulitzer in your pocket.  Me?  I lack the fundamental element that pushes a wanna-be writer over the edge into true infamy:  a publicist.

Still Too Drunk to Write Well.

I wonder if I could in fact polish off an entire pack of non-filter Lucky Strikes and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in a night.  (No more than sundown to closing time).  I think with all certainty I could. should the spirit challenge me. Writing in a public setting is a strange and fascinating thing.  As a chronicler of the human condition I find my work to be resplendent with the utter banality of existence. The complete glorification of the average mutant. And why not? I despise all miserable existence.  Down to the lowliest creature that oozes over this damnable Earth.  If all were consumed in a righteous and complete flame of utter destruction, heaven would find me the most joyous amongst it’s abandoned youth. My god I'm pompous.

Like the Talent less Poetry of a Lost Teenager.

 Oh for a muse of liquor! That I may drink her!  That blessed browned nectar from where all reality flows.  I have wandered in the land of the living far too long to appreciate the sallow, deathly-undercut shores of those who dwell there.  Amongst the destitute, amongst the prostitute.  Amongst the lost and hopeless (hopeful?) generation that is mine and mine alone.  Oh for a muse of Scotch, for I have dropped my guard.  Or my gourd.  Who knows?  Who cares?  Who is willing to forsake the convention of this craven and desperate life and stare blindly into the sun of reality?  Who would gaze with longing into the dread eye of Sol?  Sol…soul…saw…says…saves…

Fine young cannibals.

Jeremiah and Andrew recline on their fetid sofa. Somewhere in Columbia Heights.
Andrew: So Jeremiah, how did your date go?
Jeremiah:  What do you mean?
Andrew: …Um, let me rephrase; how the hell did you get all those god-damned bruises and scratch marks on your fucking face?
Jeremiah: The evening was off to a brilliant start.
Andrew: Where’d you go?
Jeremiah: Brother Jimmy’s
Andrew: Jesus…what the fuck were you thinking?
Jeremiah: No dude, she’s a fucking carnivore!
Andrew: Seriously?
Jeremiah: Yeah, dude.
Andrew: Cuz I fucking hated the last four vegetarians you dated.
Jeremiah: Shut up, they tasted great.  Hell, we’ve got five inch fucking flank steaks left over from Katie.
Andrew: That’s true…so this one is a real meat eater, huh?
Jeremiah: A virtual T-Rex of a woman; rending flesh like a blender of lipstick and barbecue sauce.
Andrew: She eat cartilage?
Jeremiah: And bone!
Andrew: Christ!
Jeremiah: Like butter. I was afraid to get anything near her mouth; at one point she actually buttered my tie!  Thank god for the clip-on or I’d be dead.
Andrew:  No one is a bigger fan of the clip on tie than I…but the holocaust of meat aside; how’d the rest of the date go?
Jeremiah:  Well…I splurged and got the mariachi band on the boat cruise.  I cracked a bottle of Dom Perignon and she drank it out of my shoe.
Andrew: Really?  Man, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere within a two mile radius of this woman’s mouth.  Please tell me you didn’t kiss this sick, bone-eating, Hoover of a woman.
Jeremiah: …we’ll get to that.
Andrew: CHRIST!!!
Jeremiah: Anyway…we go back to “my place”, AKA “The Fucking Hotel Beacon”; and truly it is a beacon for fucking.  I fucked this woman up one slope and slid down the other.
Andrew: What?
Jeremiah: I don’t know…
Andrew: You didn’t consider letting her mouth near your dick, did you?
Jeremiah: Oh I did.  Truly, she is a vacuum.
Andrew: My god…
Jeremiah: I made her brush her teeth first, of course.  I didn’t want my dick smelling like a hundred dollar bottle of champagne and barbecue sauce.
Andrew: So, um…what the hell went wrong?
Jeremiah: So we’re laying there; happy and exhausted and I whip out my real fatty.  An eight inch long white monstrosity filled to the ends with green.
Andrew: Gross dude, you should see a doctor.
Jeremiah: It was a joint dude....reefer.
Andrew: ...I know.
Jeremiah: So we’re all fucked up on this stuff that must have had shards of the one true cross in it; because Jesus!
Andrew: This sounds like the best night of your life.  I still have to ask though, did you fuck up YOUR OWN face that badly?
Jeremiah: So the entire night she’s carrying this heavy fucking bag and I’m wondering what she’s got in there. It’s Risk dude.
Andrew: What?
Jeremiah: The game of global domination.
Andrew: Holy shit dude…
Jeremiah: Yeah. So I say: Um…I don’t think this is such a good idea. And she says: It’ll be fine Jeremiah, a friend told me you liked to play, and I’ve always wanted to try.
And I say: No, um; it’s been a lovely night and all, but I wouldn’t want to ruin it with a board game. But she knew better, she saw the glint in my eye, the white knuckled tension that craved a hand full of dice.  LITTLE MEN, LITTLE COUNTRIES, DICEY WICEYS!!! Strategy, tactics, FUN!
Andrew: You are indeed a sad little man. You can’t say no; you are officially addicted to board games, so now I know where the scratches and bruises come from.  Now! Are we eating her or what?
Jeremiah: Boy Howdy!
Jeremiah and Andrew slice off huge steaming chunks of a roast girl, they start laughing and eating.

Deadly Octagon of Confidence.

My only question: Are the drunken ramblings of a twenty-something never-do well filled with enough content to validate presentation before the public at large?  I have many thoughts I consider great, but what defines great?  As a writer my goal has always been to encapsulate the truth in the English language.  I am told that my grasp of the English language is considerable.  I admit that I sometimes find myself lacking.  I understand the lingo, but…sorry…uh… I lost all concept of reality.  There is a new welterweight champion in the UFC.  Pat Militec evidently, a large muscle-bound gentleman who just choked the living shit out of some dude known simply as “Mir”.  When you’re named after a faulty space station you have to expect something like that though.

Pomp Gravitational.

To taste the bitter-sweet meats of denial, and even so stand an impervious and statuesque example of reckless abandon.  To stand is the most dignified profession there is under this (or any) sun.  To stand is to defy the very laws of physics.  To defy evolution and our very nature.

MENSA Mating.

Jeremiah: Are you opposed to drinking alone or may I sit here?
Female: An interesting question, in vernacular and intent.
Jeremiah: I do try.
Female: Please, have a seat.
Jeremiah: Rapture!
Female: I beg your pardon?
Jeremiah: I do apologize, I tend to lay my cards on the table.
Female: Continue in this way and it shant merely be cards you lay.
Jeremiah: Sweet action!

I am Complete.

“Taco Bell” has a new four cheese quesadilla. My life is complete. I thought that three cheeses was more than enough, I was such an ignorant, blind fool.

Have Not Been Laid In Months.

In the end I think love all comes down to trust and respect.  Also a desire to have sex with said trusted/respected individual.  I do not believe a positive relationship can occur with a partner without sex. Freaky Circus Sex involving light to moderate bondage and a willingness to experiment both mentally and physically. Anal optional. Mostly trust though...and respect.

Love is a Battlefield and other 80’s Wisdom.

God I wish a fight broke out right now.  I’ve never felt more alive than when I’m attempting to inflict harm on a person of equal or greater skill.  Unless I’m doing a powerful narcotic.  In which case the battle is between myself and a drug.  I find I cannot help but fight the results of chemical influence on my body.  Oh that I could simply drop my defense and allow the drug to overtake me.  I would be the happiest boy in the world.

Passing Description of a Cat Fight that Never Was.

An interesting and strange drama plays out before my eyes.  I’m not sure as to it’s true nature, but should I die I would prefer for the story to be told without confusion.  Simply put: woman is evil.  Evil to her dark and mysterious heart.  She plays man like a vile and stupid piece of meat.  As a chronicler of the human condition I find myself at odds with the inescapable beauty and evil of the fairer sex.  From what I understand this Latin Bitch is trying to get her boyfriends ass whipped by some other guy for no reason.  Sick, sinister, odd.  Inexplicably bizarre.  Now, the men who’d been chastised for wanting the bartender is dancing with the bartender; expertly I might add. The Latin Bitch is angered.  Much angered.  I have a feeling this will not end well.  The Latin Bitch just referred to my friend as a “fucking slut”.  I personally think this is uncalled for.
A Lovely End to a Perfect Night.

Sitting in the 79th street station I’ve just finished observing a young woman vomit something chunky onto the opposite platform.  I’ve never puked in public, and I hope it stays that way.

Hamilton Heights.

The dime bags rustle amongst the leaves, pale yellow security light providing neither very well.  The shrines to Maria on every dashboard, and in the alleyways whispers of a soft and mournful prayer to a god that lives with the warmth underground.

The Dangers of Composition Books and Dinning.

Due to an incident  involving a salad my continued writings may smell a bit like olive oil.  I apologize for the inconvenience.

Masculine Telecommunication

Women are always complaining about how guys never call.  This not due to our lack of consideration, but rather our short attention spans.  Something as impersonal as talking on the phone doesn’t arouse in men any desire.  If he were guaranteed sex whenever he called he would do so, with frequency and resolute obedience.  Every man fears, however, he will get on the phone and have nothing to say.  If then the woman in question has nothing to say, it’s simply wasting time that could be spent playing video games or listening to music.
"What are you thinking?" Asks the woman.
"My time could be better spent sleeping." Spaketh the Man

11-20-02 “The Village Idiot” on 14th St. in NY, NY

When Hitler awoke in a cold sweat late at night, his nightmare of hell was a grisly mirror of the “The Village Idiot”.  I’ve only been here for five minutes and already I have heard “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, a Billy Ray-Cyrus tune, and now Tim McGraw.  Eerie...strange...America.  If neon bar signs were happiness this would be nirvana.  If you want your beer cracked by an opener that’s been warmed by the ass-crack of a mid-riff baring bar-wench, this is the place.  It is a crude marriage of sexuality and complete disregard of sanitation.

11-20-02 “Pieces” Later…

I was told it was karaoke night, and indeed it is.  I was ill-informed however. on the fact that it is a gay bar.  Having been the first gay bar I’ve ever attended I’d have to say things are going well.  I have not forsaken my heterosexual ways in lieu of balls-deep-hot-anal sex, nor have I been indighted  to do so.  All in all a very interesting excursion into an all too foreign realm.

Several Nights, and One Huge Fucking Can of ‘Fosters’ Later.

New Plan!!! I forsake everything I hold dear and move to Australia.  I live a few years with the aborigines then find a woman.  It’s a ten to one girl to guy ratio there.  The odds are with me, especially after I learn the aborigines magical arts.  Then I begin writing for Australian soap operas, (of which there are many), and after I’ve made my fortune I just kick back and drink beer and tan.  (With visits to my sub-arctic homeland Minnesota.)  I’ve got to get on that…yeah…

Suicide Optional as well as Leather Interior.

They say opportunity comes once in a lifetime.  If this is true, I am royally screwed.  I’m pretty sure the opportunity wagon passed through Jeremiah Town a long time ago, and I must have slept in that ill fated morning.
How then am I to proceed?  How do I negotiate the devilish U turns of existence knowing nothing waits around the corner?  “Suicide is not an option”, it should be the title of my life story.  I don’t know what to do with my situation.  On the one side I am depressed and repressed by my station and position.  On the other hand I’m terribly lazy.  I know that laziness isn’t supposed to be an innate character trait, but in my case it is. Why fight the man when he's cutting the check? Who knows.

What Dreams.

Sleep is a two-fold blessing.  On the one hand you have oblivion.  I love oblivion.  It’s the only time I stop thinking.  On the other Hand you have dreams, in which I am only truly happy.  I am never as happy as when I am dreaming.  It’s a sad thing I know, but if I could dream for my entire life, I would be perfectly happy…I wonder if that is possible?  I’ll have to get on that. Allow me to just say for the record that if I am ever in a horrible accident, and I should happen to slip into a coma. Keep me alive with machines for as long as possible. Food Tube, colostomy bag, respirator, whatever it takes to ensure that if being in a coma is nothing but a 24/7 dream of hand-jobs and pizza that I am not suddenly and unpleasantly sent packing without my shit to some unknowing afterlife/oblivion. If it’s constant torture...well...I’m willing to take that risk.

CT Nightmare

I had a dream last night that terrorists attacked.  Normally when I have dreams where men in guns attack I am the first to defend myself,  but this time I was at a party.  I was laying on the couch with a blanket over me when a man with a silenced pistol burst through the door.  I thought about leaping to my feet, but he was ten feet away and would have shot me.  So I pulled the blanket up a ways and just lay there.  A couple of his henchmen came in with silenced machine-pistols.  Then I knew I couldn’t attack because I’d be mowed down.  When the terrorists got pissed they would fire rounds into the ground.  The hardwood floor would erupt into sawdust beneath their whisper quite assault.  My only concern: “I hope the people downstairs are okay.” At some points their leader would approach me and every time I considered leaping, but the blanket would have given me away and his compatriots surely would have shot me.  At one point, instead of firing into the floor, their leader fired several rounds towards a girl who was seated at the end of the couch I was inhabiting.  She was very surprised, though unscathed.  I did not recognize the girl…which I find odd since not recognizing someone in a dream is odd.  Anyways…I can’t remember how it ended.  I can only recall my profound sense of comfort and impotence.
On Mixing Whiskey and Long Island Iced Teas.
It’s not as if I’m addicted to marijuana, it’s just that I like smoking it an awful lot.  I sit on the platform wondering my best course of action in obtaining some for this evening.  Unfortunately even should I obtain some I have no pipe in which to smoke it, nor paper in which to roll it. A sad state of affairs to be true.  I would not say that I am drunk…though I have been drinking.  My breath smells odd.  I don’t think many whiskey drinkers end their night off with a long-island iced tea.  This is what has left both an odd taste in my mouth and a sense that the immediate future holds a great deal of confusion and sickness.
Though if I am still able to return home, I think I shall wash the taste of fruit and clear liquor clean out of my mouth with whiskey most potent.

Like Beat, Without the Talent.

I would hurl down the gauntlet to giant, evil corporations, but my arm would get tired.  Better that they breed us like sheep.  For really what can the rich be called except sheep-fucking sons of bitches? Why is it the suicide rate is so fucking high among teenagers?  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  Shouldn’t the older generation just give up and die?  I mean not to say any of the old people I know!  Just the vague threat really, not founded in reality, nor with any content.
That’s show-business kid.  It’s the last great wahoo!  Before people tire of watching flashy images pieced together.  I have a horrible twitching problem and I hope it isn’t impending cerebral-palsy.  Then again I suppose that sort of thing is something you’re born with.  Genetically predisposed.  Transposed into a grim future where nobody smoke or drinks or talks of screws or breeds.  The truth is Bush needs to keep the country breeding since he will not let his children fight on the battle-lines.  He will sit in his pressurized bunker and order the pushing of many buttons.
“Ask that Deep Blue computer, see what it thinks.” Says Bush.
“Stop bombing now or we’re all going to die.” Says Deep Blue.
“That can’t be right, ask him again!” Replies Bush.
“He just keep saying it sir.” Says Chenny, knowing he’s fucked.
And Deep Blue Screams in ones and zeros unto deaf and oversized ears.

Asians Have it Figured Out.

My god I hate mucus.  Hate it more than anything...even more than sweat.  How can a city waste itself away with disease and poverty?  At least the Japanese wear masks.  New Yorkers are too fucking stupid to think anything could be wrong.
“Hey look, Lou!  Everyone in the fucking train car has a cold! (cough, cough)”
“Yeah, Vinnie, wonder why that is? (sneeze)”
I mean I’m the last one who wants to sound like a Howard Hughes here.  I realize that disease is necessary to wipe out the weak and feeble; BUT I AM BOTH!  God I hate mucus.

Losing My Shoes Blues.

Four suits no doubt carrying huge machine pistols beneath their bulging coats wrench the black attaché case out of a confuse and bewildered young writer/entrepreneur/samurai's capable, though weak hands.
“My documents!” Cried Jeremiah to the four armed men. “My precious documents!”
“Just stay calm.” Said officer 45762.  “Close your eyes and think of a happy place while we apply our meaty and ever-probing hands upon your body.”
“I don’t know officer 45762, that sounds an awful lot like rape.” Says a fearful but quick-witted Jeremiah.
Officer 45762 scowls. “…sodomize him.” He orders coldly, and without compassion-thought-consideration-regard.
 Faith in America’s good sense, sets of laws protecting everymans guaranteed, unrestricted pursuit of happiness is upheld. Like a fatted and uncomprehending lamb. Unless your idea of happiness isn’t accepted by the majority? But you wouldn't be considering that would you son? That's Taliban (commie) talk.
 In which case, do not pass “Go”, do not collect two hundred dollars.
Go directly to Gitmo, trial to occur someday.

One Day She will be Mine.

Barbara Wallets:  I’m interviewing a man today who needs no introduction.  Jeremiah Lined!  Hi, Jeremiah.
Jeremiah: Liend. How are you?
Barbara Walters: I’m fine, so nice of you to ask.
Jeremiah:  May I call you Barbara?
Barbara Walters:  Whatever you’d like.
Jeremiah:  Barb?
Barbara Walters:  I suppose.
Jeremiah:  Bar?
Barbara Walters:  Barbara will do fine.
Jeremiah:  Okey dokey!
Barbara Walters:  And what would you like me to call you?
Jeremiah:  Vice Chancellor Liend.
Barbara Walters:  …are you a vice chancellor?
Jeremiah:  Well…not as such, no.
Barbara Walters:  How about Jeremy?
Jeremiah:  My gym coaches always called me Jeremy.  When you say Jeremy it makes me want to play kickball or sing Pearl Jam.
Barbara Walters:  So…Jeremiah then?
Jeremiah:  Or J Master J.
Barbara Walters:  Isn’t there already a J Master J?
Jeremiah:  I honestly don’t have the first damn clue.  I don’t follow rap that closely.  J is fine…or even Jere.
Barbara Walters:  Jeremiah, how would you describe yourself?
Jeremiah:  I wouldn’t, that would be pompous.


Waiting for the 9 train.  It seems I spend more of my life waiting for the 9 than doing anything else.  Already time spent waiting for the 9 has overtaken the sum total of my sexual experiences.

Trainwaiting. Follow-Up.

Although I don’t have definite figures I do believe that my sexual experiences have now overtaken the time spent waiting for that fucking train. Certainly a personal hurdle I’m happy to have leapt confidently, if not stickily, over.

Help Wanted.

Maybe I could write the ingredients for simple foods onto the backs of their plastic wrappers.  That has to be a job right?  Probably a computer does it.  God how I long to be a computer.  A refuter of truths held as such; but the truth is far from what you or even I can possibly fathom. Label Author. Has to be a job code somewhere.

NY Kennedy Airport 12-28-02

It’s like monotony and annoyance found a breeding ground and took up residence.
I can’t tell if they’re cleaning the floor over there or drilling for oil.  I’ve had the foresight to get here three hours early for my flight only to find that they won’t even start ticketing until two hours prior to the flight.  It is indeed a sad day in the annals of the wayward traveler and wandering samurai.
Certainly plenty to look at though.  I find myself afraid to wander around and look at things.  What if I should be mistaken for a terrorist?  What then? Gitmo no doubt. Playing cards with Cousin Johnny. Why do people need so damned much luggage?  I mean seriously here. Underwear, socks, toothbrush. God weeps when you're bag weighs more than your children. Six-twenty in the morning now and still no sign of a line forming.
Any morning started with a McDonald’s breakfast can’t be all that bad.  I suppose I should let my family know I’m inbound, but I’d rather let them sleep.  Frankly I imagine Detroit has more fucking phones. God I hope I’m not stuck on some huge plane.  I’d really hate to get shoved into economy on one of those jumbo-jet death crafts.
The sunrise is beautiful through the Christmas decorations here in terminal four.  Not much in the way of young and attractive ladies.  I count one.  Not good odds.  How can there only be six phones?  Why would anyone think that’s a good idea?  I think they have so many security women because a typical ass-hole has trouble punching a woman.  Smart. That Spanish woman has an ass wrought in the most sinister and brilliant depths of hell.  It’s very existence makes me a believer in manifest destiny.
Coming up on eight in the morning now.  The sun is up.  Birds are singing.  Nothing but blue skies.  Two security guards pass me in the exact suits I wear to work everyday…and I wonder where they got the matching pumps. Cheap joke, but seriously; same blue and silver clip on tie, same blazer with gold buttons.  Creepy.
Just called Grandma.  Woke her up.  I suppose it is her day off.  What a creepy whistling noise.  Why would someone make that noise in a place like this, I wonder?

“Can anyone please tell me what that creepy noise is?” I ask.
A security guard approaches.
“It’s to see if you snap…and it’s to make sure you’re not smuggling animals.” She says.
“Animals?” I ask confused.
“Cats, dogs…rodents.” She replies.
“…I hate you guys.” I say.
“It’s just because we wear the same suit.”

11:15 AM Detroit, Some Airport.12-28-02

Having taken an all too brief nap on my previous flight I find myself unusually punctual for my impending twelve twenty-five flight.  At least I’m going to hit my own state with this next jump.
Minnesota.  Or at least Minneapolis.  It truly is the mini-apple.  So many people.  People I shall only see for a second, than never again.  Life is a curious thing that would let a species congregate in a community too vast to ever truly know one another.
This airport has a train running through it.  It’s pretty impressive.  A very attractive woman has just sat a seat away from me, I think she’s eating popcorn.  Or at the very least sitting with a bag of it.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m the last person alive who actually listens and watches.  It’s like a parade.  A never-ending parade.  I just wish we all had to throw candy in public.

2:00 PM CST Minneapolis, MN – Terminal C26 12-28-02

Well…here I am.  Minnesota.  People certainly are dressing noticeably warmer.  I could really deal with a smoke and a scotch, but it’s a bit early for the later and the wrong place for the former.  Home stretch now.  Just Grand Forks and then food, warmth and shelter.  I certainly hope nobody is miffed that I didn’t get them anything.  I think they all pretty much accept the fact that I’m an insensitive prick.  That’s why they’re family.  Oh well, I’ve got something for my brothers anyhow; and I guess that’s what counts.  Socks and underwear, that’s all I ask.  Socks and fucking underwear.
 Merry Christmas Minnesota.

One less thing on the List.

Just went up to the top of the Empire State Building.  Very tall.  See the entire island.  Fucking cold.  Thirty mile per hour winds that whip right through you.  Beautiful.  Like gazing onto a dream uncompleted.  The splendor of a New World that never was.  There is nothing new about this York.  There is no dream left in America that hasn’t been stamped out by politics and inequality; but gazing down from eighty-six stories you can see where the dream was headed.  Before it rolled over and died.

Nearly Home Now.

Found out today is Tuesday.  Blew my mind.  Also got the date off of my ticket for the Empire State building; twenty-first.  My student loan payment is way late, and I’m supposed to have a place to live in about a week.  I’m thinking about simply investing in a tent and propane heater and simply living where the cops won’t find me.  Thinking about declaring bankruptcy; but the only way I’ll do it is if my debt won’t fall on the shoulder’s of my parents, which it undoubtedly will.
Strange dreams today.  Dreams of home.  Had a very blunt phallic reference.  One seat pink car in my dead dog’s kennel.  Knives, (sharp ones too) in the backseat.  though there were no actual seats.  Teeth kept fucking falling out, two front ones.  At one point I spit them out and two Tylenol came with them.  Odd.  I hate it when my teeth fall out in dreams.  It happens so damned often.
The Story of the Greatest Artist Never Known

Scene: A Studio. Day.
An Artist stands, staring intently at a blank canvas. He looks down to his paint set, a beautifully constructed wood jobbey. It contains every paint imaginable, every brush available. The Artist looks once again at his blank canvas.


He then pulls a single tube of paint from the box and flips it over to see the contents. We see “Caution: Highly Toxic” printed on it’s label. The Artist does not hesitate, he spins off the cap and devours the entire tube. Then another. Then another. And another. He continues to do so until he is finally out of paint. Then he looks into his rafters and sees cans and cans of latex house paint, his lips part, and we see the most colorful smile in the world.

Scene: The Same Studio. Night.
The Studio is a hubbub of police tape and crime scene photographers. A sergeant pushes his way through the crowd to bear witness to the corpse. He looks up and around, taking in the entire grim spectacle. A single tear collects in his eye.

Sergeant: (Breathlessly)
It’s beautiful.

The End.

The Ultimate Bathroom Humor Scene:

Int. Bedroom. Morning.
A man blearily wakes from a deep sleep, he quickly shuts off the alarm and steps out of bed. His girl quietly rolls over and begins to snore. The man, obviously cold, begins to tip-toe his way into the bathroom.

Int. Bathroom. Morning.
He shuts the door behind him and cranks the heat gauge as far as it will go. He turns on the shower which is noisier than all get out, then sits on the toilet. The sound of the shower drown out all but the most hideous bowel noises. He stands and appraises his crap. It is glorious to behold. Like stew more or less. Our Hero reaches to flush the toilet and when he pushes down the flush lever it snaps off and clatters to the floor. He looks disheartened as the shit stew sits there and defiantly stares back at him.

Int. Bathroom. Past.
10 shots of him flushing the toilet successfully one rapid fire after the next.

Int. Bathroom. Present.
The man shrugs and steps into his shower.

Int. Shower.
The man bathes happily, and then reaches his hand out to turn off the heat he has cranked. His fingers alight on the controls. He slips, cranks the heat to the breaking point and beyond, falls horribly, breaks his leg on the bathtub on the way down, and hits his throat on the toilet edge. There is a brief pause as the man lays on the small bathroom floor. Confused, angry, and in the first stages of shock he takes a deep breath.

Int. Bathroom. Floor. Morning.
The man finally realizes he cannot move and begins to mouth the words “Help”

Help, Oh help, oh please god help me. Please wake up...oh god. I’m hurt!

But the fall to the floor has left his throat wounded and useless.

Ext. Bathroom. Morning.
The steady hiss of the shower can be heard from as far away as the kitchen.

Int. Bathroom. Floor. Morning.
The man languishes on the floor and we see a sheen of sweat glisten on his brow. The temperature is rising.

Int. Toilet Bowl. Morning.
The Shit Stew begins to simmer and almost give off a minor boil. The first few bubbles float to the surface and pop.

Int. Bathroom Floor. Morning.
The man begins to pant, as large beads of sweat roll onto the cheap Linoleum.

Int. Toilet Bowl. Morning.
Full boil now. A greenish gas is seeping out with every popped poop bubble.

Int. Bathroom Floor. Morning.
The man, panting, sees a greenish cloud erupt from the toilet bowl, and creep across the floor towards him. The first pathetic coughs of a damned man can be heard.

Int. Bedroom. Morning.
The Alarm goes off and  the woman in bed lazily turns it off.

Ext. Someone’s House. Morning.
A man in a bathrobe opens his door to a frigid winter morning and grabs the paper. He reads the headline: “Local Man Dies of Fecal Inhalation” and laughs.

Mom’s Interview at Lock-Heed Martin:

Mom:(Placing a folder on his desk) My references.

Suit: Thank you Ma’am.

Mom: So how do we begin?

Suit: I will ask you a question Ma’am and you will have two minutes to answer it.

Mom: What sort of a question?

Suit: The kind that tests your devotion.

Mom: Heavens.

Suit: Indeed. Here we go-

Mom leans forward ever so slightly as to be sure to hear the question.

Mom: Go on. Have at thee.

Suit: Why do you think you should be working with us at Lock-heed Martin?

Mom: Well I’m great with people. And that is to say not in a fundamentally trying sort of way. People like to talk to me. I’m a good listener as well, but primarily I’m skilled in talking. I like to talk. Talk. Talk. Talk....time?

Suit: One minute thirty seconds remaining madam.

Mom: Goodness. Well lets get to the meat of the issue then. You see the thing is I’ve spent the last three years more or less doing nothing more than plug electrical components. I firmly believe that if you were to give me a color coded map of instructions I could probably wire you an atomic bomb from scratch. This is not a threat so much as to say that if you were to hire me here at Lock-Heed Martin I would construct  fine and well aimed rockets in the name of production. I don’t care who they land on as long as it’s not my boys. I am the physical embodiment of Rosy Rivet. Just give me a gun and show me the way!!!

There is a pause.

Suit: Go on.

Mom: time is up is it not?

Suit: I am no longer looking at the time. Sing on Valkerie, sing on.

Mom: Very well. I mean that’s the brunt of my argument really. I also worked in secretarial school, and have an AA in business management.

Suit: We’ll take it.

Mom: What?

Suit: The whole kit and caboodle, you’re in kid.

Mom: Seriously?

Suit: You too can work at home for a better career. You’re hired. $20 an hour starting and free benefits coming out the ying yang.

Mom: Truly I am blessed.

The Legend of Jeremiah "Crap Factory" Liend

Scene. A boxing arena. In one corner, Jeremiah "Crap Factory" Liend, in the other Jose Remierez "The Latin Assassin". Jose's Coach is working the tension out of his shoulders, and glancing anxiously at Jose.

Jose: Ju know, I've been meaning to ask, why do they call him the crap factory?

Coach:(tentatively) ...well...I suppose it is time you knew...every boxer is going to use a different technique to defeat his opponent...well...with Jeremiah et is no different. His strategy is simple. Hit you in the gut until you poop your een your pants.

Jose: What?

Coach: You are going to poop your pants my friend, unless a miracle occurs.

Jose: Mon dios...I do not want to poop my pants!

Coach: Jose, there is no on in the world who wishes to poop their pants on national television, but it is fact. Your only chance is to hit him repeatedly in the head until he is dead.

Jose: Yes?

Coach: Yes, Jeremiah cares not for his head, only that you should fill your shorts in front of all. Do not let the poop in your pants cloud the thoughts in your mind and all will be well.

Jose: But why oh why did you make me eat that four bean burrito this evening?

Coach: Better to crap burrito than blood.

Jose: Aiy!

The bell rings and both fighters begin to box. Jeremiah lands a huge powerful blow into Jose's midsection and we hear a sound not unlike a firecracker set of under several pounds of fat. Jose has pooped his pants.

Jose: Mon Dios! I have pooped my pants.

Jose drops his guard along with his load and Jeremiah levels him. The ref calls the fight.

Announcer: The winner and still champion with a knockout 27 seconds into the first round: Jeremiah "Crap Faaaactoryyyyyy" Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiend!!!!!

In Closing.

Well that’s it really. You will have noticed at this point that there is no real linerar progression to it all. No logic or structure. Just thought and hope and dream and sadness and loss. It’s a whole lot of Jeremiah in here. A whole lot of love and pain and ridiculousness. Mostly it’s all absurd. But that’s how I feel about most things. Thanks for reading. Hope you have a great life.


No one helped me write this. Zak read it once. And that is why he is awesome. I thank him, The Gods. Ma. Grandma B, M, J, and M again. Dads, grand, adopted and first. The peeps.


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