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30 March 2012

Midnight and time to dream

At night at times they shift in sync
like lovers dancing tango,
frenetic unison without purpose,
at least none known to me,
just movement to move,
soul windows with shutters shut,
darkness in the optic nerve halls,
yet inside such light and color,

28 March 2012

The best is all behind us

In the previous Page Turner (please tell me you read it), the issue at the heart of what I addressed in that scintillating essay was fear. At least, I posited fear as being the reason for the name Romeo disappearing from modern-day use.

But that was just some random idea that came to me last week, not related to anything having to do with my life. I have never been tempted to name one of my kids Romeo, not even one of my boys.

My theme this week is fear again, and I'm going to refer to two books that epitomize fear to me. If you think I'm going to mention Stephen King next, you're wrong. Well, actually, you would be right since I just mentioned him, but I am not going to use any of his books to make my point. Instead, I will reference To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone with the Wind.

22 March 2012

What's in a name?

Not too many people name their children Adolf anymore.

Strange how a figure can come onto the world stage and do something that makes his name forever his. Sure, other people might use it. A quirky parent here and there might name their baby Adolf because they think the kid is ugly. Conversely, Mexico is chock-full of bearded men named Jesus, though I don't think any of those guys can walk on water.

Still, both of these names in most cultures are anything but de rigueur. One name, however, really does seem to have left the lexicon of proper nouns, at least when it comes to mothers having it inked on a birth certificate.

That name is Romeo.

15 March 2012

Harry Potter and Rick Deckard

One of these days I'm going to write a Harry Potter knockoff.

Well, let me clarify.

One of these days, I'm going to finish my Harry Potter knockoff.

I've got about 80 pages written but I've put it away in a drawer. I don't think I'm at the right point in my writing "career" to finish it. Note the career portion of the previous sentence in quotations. In case you didn't make the leap, I meant career to sound ironic, meaning, slapping words on paper for a living is still a work in progress for me.

Let me explain why I want to pillage the HP universe. It's not just for money.

09 March 2012

John Carter, Tarzan, and Paul Atreides

I will spend a couple hours tonight with friends watching a film version of John Carter, a Disneyfied retelling of a tale that fired my imagination when I was an early teen. Edgar Rice Burroughs surged in popularity back in the late 70s. I'm sure a fair portion of that was due to some amazing Frank Frazetta covers, but once I discovered Burroughs, I read everything he wrote.

And when it comes to Burroughs, as great as John Carter is, Tarzan was really his ultimate creation. This gets me thinking about iconic heroes and how to create them.

In my opinion, Tarzan as a character will live forever, and I don't know exactly how Burroughs did that. Sure, Tarzan was strong and brave, powerful, noble, but the same could be said for a thousand other heroes created by other pulp writers of the day. What was special? What set Tarzan apart? Was it story? Prose? Setting? Character?

Burroughs himself wasn't necessarily a careful writer, not a master, one who ever improved his craft. He wrote pulp. He followed a template and, among other things, relied far too heavily on coincidence in his storytelling.

But the guy came up with Tarzan.

08 March 2012

Subway soliloquy

You are behind that counter,
your canvas – pastrami, provolone, salt and pepper,
these your fleeting tools, as I suppose,
like New Years pull poppers used and forgotten.
Surely the learned setting outside is your playground.

Behind that counter now, a way station of necessity,
smoke of engines soon departing obscure all but now,
yet in your future, I sense the tasseled-hat adieu to lunchmeats.

02 March 2012


Is it possible to consider any negative thing and, depending on your point-of-view, see it differently? Take a bad thing, take a "worst" thing, look at it from one side and then another, and tell me that it doesn't change.

Depression seems to follow that line for me.

Does life ever seem an utter waste? Sling whatever logic you wish, the feeling is low, there in your chest, an ever sinking pressure that nothing you ever do will make a difference, nothing you've ever done has mattered, and that life will end today or fifty years from now and the only thing that might change is the length of your obituary.

That is depression from one angle. Look to your wonderful family, a job that provides a living, a talent that might one day provide a better living, even faith in a benevolent God. Make a list as long as you wish, it doesn't matter, emotion and logic live in different area codes.