"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The modern kid

Rocco is a modern kid. He has been studying history for the greater part of his life so far, and fancies himself a more informed lad for it. His main areas of interest have been the era of the United Soviet Socialist Republic and the birth of the United States.

The USSR and all that it stood for frighten Rocco greatly, for he cannot understand how someone could run a country so poorly. Since he was born in the US, he naturally assumes that its chosen form of government is the best, and his readings on the genesis of said form of government make him unflinchingly proud.

Rocco has spent the last two summers traveling to weekly meetings where he and his friends pray and discuss how thankful they are that the US is not the USSR.

One time, one of Rocco's good friends told him a horrifying fact: that the president of the United States was trying to turn Rocco's beloved home country into the USSR. Rocco was crushed, but not surprised. The president was, of course, a member of the "commie party," as his grandfather always used to put it.

Every winter, Rocco and his friends refuse to attend "holiday parties" and vehemently agree with anyone who shouted, "Keep Christ in Christmas!" They never listen when someone tries to tell them that it "isn't a big deal" or that "nobody's trying to ruin the holiday." In fact, instead of listening, Rocco and his friends have discovered that it's much more fun to yell and scream and wave signs they made out of cardboard and magic markers.

While it would normally be an issue, it's okay that Rocco and his friends haven't learned to conduct civil, meaningful discourse yet, because they're still kids.

Rocco doesn't have all access to all the same sources of information his parents did when they were kids, so he tries to watch as much TV news as he can and be even better informed than his history studies have made him. All his heroes think the same way he does, and anytime one of them issues a warning about the president and his cronies, Rocco is sure to heed it without question.

One of Rocco's greatest hopes is that eventually, someone will come along and do the right thing: take the country back to its roots, and instill the brilliance of the founding fathers once again. "No more of this terrifying progressive nonsense," he and his friends scoff during one of their summer meetings.

Rocco thinks that someday, if he has kids, he will home school them, because he and his friends know that the liberal scourge of teachers is poisoning their minds.

While this sort of behavior usually raises concerns, the fact that Rocco hasn't learned to investigate claims and think for himself yet really isn't too big a deal, because he's still a kid.

Next week, Rocco will celebrate his birthday, and he's going to invite a bunch of his friends over to his house. He wonders how he will fit fifty-one candles on a single cake.

A shorter edition of quick links today:

Andrew Kaspereen lets us in on what he's feeling right now.

Peter Richter pairs a new poem with a fascinating painting by Brett Cody Rogers.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Masta Ace, Acknowledge

Monday, January 17, 2011

Not enough

With every dash of the pick,
          it swings to                    and lands fro

          devil's eye resting on
               the last place we've known as a home
          and the wires buckle
               to the sweet melody's broken tune

          swinging to                    and landing fro

          funny how one note
               can hold to curse our future work
          take beautiful music
               and make us dash the chords into fire

          bitter ashes fly.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Modest Mouse, Space Travel Is Boring

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stand still

If life was louder, maybe we'd be able to hear it when it tried to tell us things. Maybe it would send a message, cold and clear. Not that we'd listen, of course, because it's so much easier to mark the passage of time when we build our own landmarks.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Theory Hazit, I Just Wanna Go Home

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where this is going

There's no telling
what guile it took
to park the Lone Ranger back in his saddle
and make it home whole;
no whistling of metal,
no galloping, grunting chase,
no blue-green haze of the sky glazing over,
final submission for half-lidded review.
Just crackle and glow
and peace,
loudly entered into the records
by the desert's finest,
proud remnants of how things should have stayed -
or that's what they'd have us believe -
torn back by the last dim notes,
ghastly, rhythm-less breezes that,
despite their discord,
will always resonate the loudest.
Acoustic-string tremors
humming beautiful violence in crude, gold ripples;
If you're listening for the effect,
sound waves couldn't be more heartbreaking.

Quick Links:

From last month's decomP, Sam Meizlish gives us a short poem stocked with phenomenal imagery.

Brian Long has been busy, initiating a 50-words per day project.

Continuing a trend of very good work, Anthony Kirchner takes us on a wandering journey.

Apparently I've been doing a terrible job of keeping up with Andrew Kaspereen's work - he's got a lot of new things on his blog.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Bob Dylan, Song to Woody