Eulogy for a Princess

28 Feb

I didn’t know her.
I once saw her in a parade down the boulevard though:
Her nose was Greek,
Her eyes were kind,
And though I couldn’t hear her voice,
Her lips moved like nightingale wings.

She smiled at the man next to her,
But it wasn’t him that made her smile;
She smiled in joy at the all the world,
For all the world was at her leisure,
And to please such a nymph so,
The world recieved its own.

I didn’t know her,
But I’d heard stories of the grand parties,
Of tides of mirth and fascination
That were only murmurs until
She poured down the stairs into the room.

I heard from a friend of a friend
Of how she’d speak of art, love, and science,
And how between the art and the science
We only needed love to conciliate the two,
And even great masters would listen as students,
Their knowledge not renounced, but never learned.

I didn’t know her,
But through the world about me, I knew she lived.
The day she was born, a drought was ending.
Through her childhood, the groves bore fruit
Unprecedented in size and color,
And tasted of brave new knowledge.

Through her adolescence, the heavens bloomed.
The sun shone brighter, yet the rays were softer,
And the stars took to dancing in strange new circles,
And we consulted our almanacs, but they were no good.
Each year we’d draw up new ones, but they were vain,
For when she became a woman, the moon grew full
And from then never waxed and stayed through the day.

I didn’t know her,
But I’d have like to, and liked to know why
She laid down one night and left us this way.
Why she took a fever, and let her hands grow cold.
Why she would let all the beautiful color leave
In elegaic procession from her beautiful face.

Why, we ask, why, would she choose
To slip from her frame,
And slide out of bed onto ghostly feet
And haunt the halls of our corporeal plane
In a castle with far too many stories already
Of ghosts that weep and moan.

I didn’t know her,
But I like to think that she won’t.
It wouldn’t be her to be a grieving ghost
With all the joys that attended her and us in life.
I like to think that the laws of life could contain no more
And sent her packing, lest she thwart nature’s core.

The ghostly chores are ours to perform today,
And every day after, with no end in sight,
Until we’ve forgotten the sound, the feel, the smell
Of the true joy she brought, and every gray day
Becomes the life we know and trust.

Bad Djinn

2 Dec

O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by authority [from Allah ]. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?” – Surat Ar-Raĥmān, 55:33-34

Zbara says to follow mother’s instructions. And I do. I fly and flit above the road, out of sight until I’m needed, but I start to wonder why. Why does Zbara have a name and this one does not? Who is mother, and why must I call her mother? When I flit here just under the stars in whichever direction that pulls me without reason, I start to think.

Am I supposed to think? I don’t think so, but I do.

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Boxes of You

22 Nov

Paper is for jotting down notes
Notebooks, reciepts, backs of envelopes
For phone numbers and reminders
But your stained, yellowing papers
Sit in organized piles, and I could never
Jot, tear, or even touch without kit gloves
No matter what was on them
They are relics of laughter and broken hearts
And my box of you is a museum

I Want To Skirt Around the Stuff of You

19 Nov

I want to sit at the edge of your petals
With my hands clasped around my knees
And breathe deep the nectar that pools in the center;
And when that bee comes
To drink what I’ll only regard
I’ll hop off, and walk away.

I want to sit at the edge of the pool of you
And dangle my feet just above the surface
Wanting just a little to give them a dip;
But the stillness is perfect
As is the reflected sky within
And I already know what it would feel like to disturb you.

I want to skirt around the stuff of you
Press my face against your glass and fog it up
To come so close to the electromagnetic boundaries
That holds you within you
And me within me
So desire floods again down these dry canals.

I want you to smile at me, then look away
Just to invite back the pangs of lost chances
And I would smile, knowing I could have smiled back;
Eventually you will wander and fade
Into the crowd, maybe disappointed,
But from your edges, I will puddle and bloom and be.

Nashmeira’s Plea

10 Nov

The breadth of time that began shortly after take-off and landing ended just moments ago was a complete blank. He couldn’t recall if he exited the cabin by steps or by dock, or how the outside world looked. The sleep that overtook him mid-flight was as clingy as first love and still refused to release its grip as he shambled through the dingy, cinder-block and cement airport (he was assuming this was an airport) that looked more like a soviet-bloc gulag. From all he knew of Imperial domestic policy, he guessed this building may well have functioned as both. The Steyr-bullpup-toting guards and iron bars that filled the role of walls here and there reinforced the notion.

The seconds he was losing between islands of lucidity combined with the after-nap cottonmouth was making him irritable, and perhaps it was irritability that caused him to assume the best way for a first-world westerner to behave around less-than first-world authorities was to scowl and look dangerous. The guards scowled back. His comrades ahead of him weren’t scowling. They were giddy, bordering on obnoxiously so. They were jostling each other and speaking in the carefree, first-world naivety he assumed he should avoid.

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Candidate Interview Records: Lester Biggs

27 Oct

I’d like to thank you for coming in today. I hope your trip to our recruitment office was a pleasant one.

“Oh well, yeah. It was good. I, uh, hope this goes well, I spent most of the money I have left on the flight, aha ha…”

Goodness, well I apologize. We only have one recruitment office in the United States, and it does make things difficult for applicants. If it is of any consolation, I’ll make a note of your commitment to joining our company.

            “Thanks, I appreciate it.”

Let’s start by getting to know you. Why don’t you tell me about yourself?

“Well, as you probably know, my name is Lester Biggs… I’m 26 years old, I’ve graduated high school, I have an associates in political studies… People tell me I’m a pretty good guy. I’m a big fan of cars. And Clint Eastwood movies. Um, I’m not sure what else to say… Sorry, I’m not that good at these things… Oh, I went through a couple years of ROTC; I’m sure that will help, right?”

I’m very sure it will, Mr. Biggs. Can you tell me about your employment history?

            “Sure. I last worked for Titan Construction, for the last 2 years. Before that I was working at a car repair shop in my hometown. I did oil changes and stuff. I’ve been going to school off and on through it all.”

Okay. You said you had an associate’s degree in political science. Were you pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the same field?

“Yeah, I was – I am. I, uh, it’s been hard getting it done. It hasn’t been easy for me in the whole school thing. I feel like I make progress sometimes, but other times it seems I’m not going anywhere at all. I guess that’s what bring me here, huh?”

Many applicants come here with the same story. Bear in mind, that has neither a positive nor a negative effect on their placement, although a lack of attachment can be a healthy indicator for placement within our enlisted personnel. That is the depart your are applying for, correct.

            “Yes, ma’am.”

Let’s move on. Can you tell me what you know about Interceptor?

            “I know that it’s a private military company, or whatever. I know they’ve done good things, and I want to do good things too. They saved the Arabian Empire back in ’93, and they stopped the Brugaire Consortium and liberated the Phillipines from the pirate guys. I know it’s hard to get in, and that their commander is a hero that fights right alongside his men.”

Mister Cerregan is a unique man, to be sure. Many who have joined claim him as their inspiration. What is your reason for joining our company?

“I don’t know… I mean, I do know. I feel like I’d work out well. I feel like I can handle it. And I feel… I kinda just feel like… I can’t explain it. Doing anything else, getting a job, a career, getting a Ph.D. or anything… It’s seeming more and more pointless. Have you ever felt that way? I’ve been feeling more and more that way. Like there’s millions of people who are just cogs in the machine in the world, in business, in making money, and I think of becoming just one more of those cogs, and I’m like, why? What is my life going to matter? You know, I told my parents about me coming here. And of course, they were like, you’re going to get yourself killed. But so what? Not that I want to die. But I want to do something. I’m sure everyone says they want to change the world. But say I did graduate. Say I did become a political analyst or whatever. How many thousands of other kids graduated and became political analysts? How many political analysts are there already? Doing good jobs, doing bad jobs, doing nothing… what would I add to that?”

That’s an interesting take. If you were to be accepted into the training academy, the experience would be stressful and rigorous, to say the least. The failure rate is around 90%, and most of those candidates are military veterans. Are you willing accept the odds that you will very likely not pass?

            “Yes, I am.”

And you are aware that if you do succeed as a candidate, you will be relocated to Trebizonde, and will very likely have little contact with your family and friends back home?

“Yep. I’m kinda excited about seeing that place, actually.”

And that during your enlistment, you will have no pay, save a very small monthly stipend, and a discharge bonus of twenty-thousand dollars per year of enlistment upon the termination of your contract?

            “As long as I get fed, hahah!”

And you will be spending the entirety of your time on company property, in a very strict environment? Many recruits find that they have a hard time with the lack of freedom they experience.

            “I’m ready for it.”

Alright then, Mr. Biggs. We will notify you of the results of this interview within 48 hours. I hope you have accomodations?

            “I’ve got a hotel for a couple of days on the east side of town. How long will I need it?”

If you are selected, you will be asked to proceed on the following day to the UC Berkeley campus for entrance examinations and a fitness assessment. You should plan to be there the full day. Lunch will be provided, of course. Bear in mind, if you fail the preliminaries, you will be on your own, unfortunately.

            “Thanks, I guess that’s it then, huh?”

Unless you have any further questions.

            “Nope, I guess I’m set. Thanks for your time, I’m pretty nervous.”

Don’t worry, we all were. Good luck to you Mr. Biggs, and make sure you get some rest in the next two days. If you want some off-the-record advice, go to the beach. Often. It’s really nice out here, and it’ll be a good opportunity for you to think about things. You might not get the opportunity again.

            “I think I’ll do just that. Thanks again.”

INTERVIEW EXIT NOTES: positive attitude and motivation. less experience than the average applicant, but appears psychologically and physically capable.


An Absurd Prayer

7 Nov

Thank you, God.
Thank you for allowing me to be here today,
And thank you for the question of whether you were ever here at all.
Thank you for this sanctuary, and thank you for doubt, whichever way it leans.
Thank you for matter, and thank you for energy.
Thank you for the pond and the rock that disturbs it, sending silt in unpredictable and violent trajectories.
Thank you for breath, and thank you for death.
Thank you for all the pain I’ve ever felt, and the few joys that momentarily helped me to forget.
Thank you for all the dissapointment that certainly lies ahead of me, and the comfort I may never receive.
Thank you for meaninglessness that creates meaning that creates meaninglessness again.
Thank you for experience.
Thank you for listening, or if not, thank you for letting me hear myself speak these silly, important words into the void.
Thank you.


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