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Showing posts from March, 2010

Things Move Away

Away is such a nebulous word,
a direction,
movement towards the
"not here."

I went out for a bike ride
yesterday afternoon
on the washboard roads
a little ways away from my house
just as the sun was racing away.

As I approached a graveyard, I noticed
a small dog in the road snooping about,
maybe a puppy.
It heard my un-oiled wheels and scrambled
away from me, into the tree line.
With difficulty it bent its little body
twisting itself underneath the branches,
going through all sorts of pains
to escape my reach.

There were no houses around.
I took it to be a runaway
So I called out to it
to no effect. I gave up,
rode away.

An hour later, upon my return to
this tract of road, I saw the puppy again,
in the road,
mangled and broken.
An old farm truck had struck it
little noticing its fatal effect
and drove away towards the last rays
of the day's light.

The dog was not quite dead,
but close. I stood there for a while on this quiet road
straddling my bike
as the poor thing squirmed uneasily
still looking distrus…

A desperate man's last thoughts

the door the door stay out of its way flat against the wall back to the wall quiet. breathe. mask on gun loaded bag ready. no identifying marks? good. breathe.

...

ready. try the handle GENTLE now, damn it. dark and quiet this is eerie as hell is this hell? too harsh - everybody has to eat

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Hungry men sometimes must steal in order to survive. Sure, they can beg. The rude ones beg. The lazy ones beg. Or, they can go house-to-house, stealing food from this person and that. But multiple thefts increase the likelihood of getting caught, and besides, why inconvenience so many people? That's just as rude as the bum on the street. Much more polite to find a rich person (they deserve it anyway, more often than not) and make one big steal. A frugal guy can eat for quite a while off of one good steal. Maybe his entire life.

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stairs are really q…

Stealing the Elephant

One time, my friends and I went to Alden to steal something. Nothing big, important, nothing that, once stolen, would devastate the ex-owner. We drove around until we found the most luxurious house in town (which isn't saying much for a town like Alden) and spying out their front porch decorations. Aha! An elephant trumpeting its trunk. How majestic! How noble! How theft-able! Scott spotted it first, actually. He said, "There it is. We're stealing that elephant." So we circled the block once, talked over our plan, and got into position. The house was well-lit, so we parked the car half a block away, out of the light. Mind you, we parked in the middle of the road, so we weren't exactly inconspicuous. Still, the owners of our target couldn't see us. Michael got out of the car, ran up to the porch, and wrapped his arms around this large and (as we were able to deduce from his body language) very heavy elephant. Michael struggled with it so much, in fact, that he…

On Seeing in Grays

Human beings are pattern-seeking creatures. Look at some shag carpet or a textured wall. Chances are, you'll find a face or even an animal. Kids recognize this. Ever seen a small child lying in the back yard staring at the clouds? Children intuitively know that they can easily find patterns in things. It's not surprising, therefore, to (for example) hear "hidden messages" in reversed Led Zeppelin music or the face of the Madonna burnt onto a grilled cheese sandwich. It would be really surprising, actually, if we didn't find such patterns in random events.

People can find patterns where patterns aren't intended, and in the same vein, we can draw delineations where none are intended. Scientists differentiate one species from another by asking, "Can they breed and produce fertile offspring?" If the answer is yes, the two animals are in the same species. If no, they belong to different species.

Great, so we have natural, clearly-defined boundary lines …

The Theotritionist

*** for the privacy of my clients, I have altered the names of some of the deities mentioned in this article ***

My name is Daniel Beeber, and I am a Theotrionist.
Theonutritionist(n.)
One who is an expert in the nourishment and dietary intake of deities. Also, theotritionist.

On a practical level, this means I always have work. Deities are notorious for their digestive complications. But who doesn't have digestive problems nowadays, right? Our governments subsidize shitty food and big business makes it impossible for good food to become popular. Anyways, people think deities are different, but they really aren't. Input always affects output. Oftentimes, deities have trouble in the shitter because of lousy nourishment.

Early in my career as a theotritionist, I worked with a god named Joe Hova. Although Lord Hova had a robust and zealous following, his diet consisted primarily of grazing mammals, like goats, sheep, and bulls. Occasionally, Hova would consume some bird or another…

Appalachia

So why was Appalachia the way it was? That is, why did the conifers sing those haunting tunes every Autumn? Why did the mountains spill down and roll away from heaven, God's linens tumbling out of the dryer? Why did the air excite the skin? The dirt the feet? The moss the eyes?

Why, standing in a snowy forest in the late afternoon, did it seem like every living thing was holding its breath?

There is a fragile magic in natural things. A mystical momentum in that marmot's movements. A mountain of meaning in that muddy muskrat mound. Magic.

But why was Appalachia this, and not some other, way?

It reminded us of of what we are.

we are not abandoned. we are not yet abandoned

In the 1950s, the United States military installed a series of missile silos throughout the Midwest. It was a key component of the West's defense against the perceived Soviet nuclear threat.

These silos were fully equipped with computer stations, living quarters, and military command terminals, as well as an anti-nuclear missile capable of taking down enemy nukes.

In the following years, a peace treaty mandated that all said missile bases be deemed useless by filling them with water and dirt.

However, outside one decommissioned Atlas missile base near Lyons, Kansas, the soft dirt testifies to the continued activity beneath the surface and around the large silo blast doors floating above the hidden military compound.

A small family of raccoons live here. The father collected pieces for their den from an old fallen tree near the blast doors. They made the den in an old, expanded prairie dog burrow, just across from the emergency escape ladder. And the mother collects acorns from th…

Disappearing Act

Often, as a child, I would
slip into silly daydreams -
not of being a pop star,
an astronaut,
or superhero -
I would dream of
fighting my father.
My father, whose
temper was as short
as his moral stature.

Few boys have the
chance to live out their
daydreams.
But I did.
From upstairs one night,
I heard my father
yelling,
angry as Hell.
This had been brewing
for some time, I thought.
I grabbed a knife from my bookshelf
and headed towards the commotion.
Thwack, "You whore!"
Thwack.
"Deric!"
"What is it, dad? Just calm
down."
"Call Pastor and Mickey"
And so I placed the call,
and placed my weapon on the pool table,
and tried to calm both of them,
hysterical
spouting nonsense
crying
frantic
"Calm. Both of you, easy now."

Randy arrives, wife trailing
behind.
Dad lunges, yells, knocks
Randy to the ground
straddles him, right next
to the pool table.

Here it is:
I love my mom
I love Pastor Randy
I loathe my father.
But when I grabbed my
knife, I…

After Summer Sosltice

my very first priority for the day
was to sleep in as late as
possible.
when my foul roommate woke me up
I had to shift to
priority number two:
be as comfortable as
possible -
normal routine be damned.

Upon shuffling my way
into the kitchen,
I discovered a moth,
wet-plastered to a dirty pan.
"I feel your pain, buddy."

Sitting on the couch
next to a glass of water,
I wish I could
devise a way
to get the water in me
without having to
move my arms
or head.
My vacant glazed gaze gathers
itself toward a brochure on the
coffee table:Tips 4 Teens - Alcohol Abuse
I laugh
(only mentally)
and for a moment,
the shaking stops.

Jesus, it's good to
be alive.

Storm, in Black and White

The following poem is based on the photograph taken by James Karales, Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965.

It looked like quite a storm
was brewing
that March day
when Karales snapped his photo.

The ominous clouds seemed to
dip down
Heaven itself
trying to intimidate the oppressed.

But the line of protesters
remains unaffected
by this heavenly threat -
extends into the horizon
fronted by what looks
like a row of chorus
dancers.

Will their audience be impressed
by their bold footwork?
Will the gods in heaven
relent?
Will those protesters still be dancing
in 100 years' time?

or will the rain cloud burst?

Lies From Heaven

In the beginning, the LORD God made the heavens and the earth. With the appearance of age He made them, and when He made them, the LORD God saw that it was cleverly deceptive, and the LORD God smiled upon his work.

Next, the LORD God surrounded the earth with a multitude of stars, so that man might be tricked into believing that he is not special in the eyes of the LORD.

The LORD then created the animals. Male and female he created them, and with great number and variety, that man might believe foolish thoughts, even that the higher animals were evolved from the lower ones. And the LORD saw that this also was deceptive, and pronounced it good.

Finally, the LORD God created man out of the dust of the earth. With vestigial organs he created him, that man might believe foul and devilish voices, even the voice of Charles Darwin would he believe.

And so, removing all evidence of His creative acts, God stepped back and waited.

And the LORD God said, "Verily, unto those that heed the w…

I'll Be Barfing Creativity...

I'll be posting quite a bit this semester. My creative writing class requires that I, at the end of the semester, submit my best 50 journal entries of writing. I had been writing a lot of them down, but I wasn't crazy about the idea of typing out 50 entries at the end of the semester or finding some way to mark all of the good entries and hand my entire notebook into the hands of my teacher. Some things in there are better left seen only by me.

Warning: Some of these prompts come from a creative writing book, Writing Wide. It's awful. Thus, some of these posts will be awful. But I hope most of them are pretty good. More than that, I hope some will be great. I really need to practice, after all, if I want to do this professionally some day.

I don't know if anybody is still following this blog, but if so, great. You can keep me accountable and critique my writing. Please excuse any tackiness. I'm new at this.

Bubbles

Jesus, man: just blow!
These retards have no capacity for the fine, incidental skills the rest of us have: rolling a joint, folding an origami swan, blowing a goddamned bubble of chewing gum.

A cynical bastard like me has no business volunteering at the local nuthouse. If I say even half the things that are in my head, I would crush the very shriveled, splintered core of every loon in this place.

Yet here I was, sitting with Kevin from Portland, a middle-aged man who can't string a full coherent sentence together; Kevin, who has been drooling over my shiny black shoes for the past 25 minutes. I mean that quite literally - he's a drooler. A retarded, shoe-obsessed, non-bubble-blowing drooler.

Christ, what am I doing here? I can feel the backs of my ears getting hot from frustration. My patience left me long ago. Who the Hell decided this would be a good bonding activity, anyway?

Kevin is having about as much fun as I am, by the looks of things. His eyes are glazed, fixed on my sh…