Archive for the month “December, 2013”

Having Breakfast I

I wake and find my door is open. I thought I’d shut it last night. I always shut it. I rise from bed and go out and down the hall to the living room because I can hear voices talking. I have no roommates. They are women’s voices. There is a bunch of heads floating near the ceiling with strings tangling below them. They are talking and laughing like guests at a party. I saw these before; they don’t exist. I’d imagined them yesterday. I’m dreaming.  I wake from my dream and find my door is open. I thought I locked it before going to sleep. I always lock it before going to sleep. I’m still dreaming. All that we seem is a-. I wake and my door is shut and the lock is bolted. My alarm clock is ringing and playing a country station on the radio. I hate country. I don’t have the radio alarm turned on.


Book Blurbs (Books on Fire by Lucien X. Polastron)

Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History (2004) is a historical overview of book burning and books written by Lucien X. Polastron (1944- ). The history begins with explanations of archaeological digsites and texts found that suggests the literary life of the ancient times in places like Alexandria, and Ninevah. The text then follows the development of books from clay tablets, to papyrus and paper and the developments of the printing press all the while maintaining a list of the destruction and censorship occuring in the various regions. Polastron concludes with a section on the modern era and poses a horrifying thought, “Based on how things have passed up to now, I would say the great electronic wave will more likely go toward intellectual simplification–meaning, mainly, the shortening of paragraphs, phrases and words. It will end with summarizing, as Photius did, the books that people do not have the time to read or the means to understand” (287-288).

Sorting Through Old Boxes

Today is the 21st day of December. It is the first day of winter, of Yule, and the rebirth of the world into light. I’m sorting through my boxes; these piles of notes I’ve kept for years on end. I’ve found old letters, buried in the piles of papers and memories. They are tucked away in their own folders and made distinct from the rest.

What importance do these letters have now? So many old thoughts and responses from someone I love or used to love. The letters I waited for with impatience from week to week and read and wrote with affection. Those little notes slipped into books and pockets as reminders of a shared affection. We called it love once.

What substance remains of these words now? We never promised ‘forever’ and we thought we shared a map of the future, or a dock at the pier. Those things had meaning when we wrote them. Maps are fickle, though, and as we explored the world our maps changed and I grew uncertain. “Wishy washy” she called it. Then she grew overwhelmed with life and I grew cold. She left our pier on her own boat, and I left on my own boat on a different course.

The letters don’t tell that part of the story. They don’t show the separation and goodbyes, or the general coldness that follows doused hearts. It happens when we’re afraid I guess. She was afraid of harm or harming, so was I. They don’t say if she ever came back to the harbor. These life details of letters. The characteristics of her handwriting and the lines of ink spanning page upon page of paper. Who were we back then? Who wrote these things?

Not the one reading now, who shakes his head remembering “I wasn’t thinking about my words.” and yet she said I seemed “matter of fact” when last we met. That’s progress I suppose. I wonder if she wept. Ah, but yes, she did a moment as we parted as she worried she wasn’t being fair. I’d waiting awhile for her as she wondered to and fro about the earth. After all the times shared and memories created the only remains are a handful of old notes gathering dust with other memories.

Alas, Life is not so bold a creature as Death and Death feigns to be a constant. These are like that then, the coming Yule; death of the night and birth of the light, then light passes o’er and night returns in this ever spinning wheel of the year. Old skins are shed for new skins to grow, and those are stronger for that little death.

These letters, then, these old thoughts; whether buried in ashy ruin, or returned to dusty oblivion their fate is yet unclear. I’ll see what else is in these boxes, then.

Pipe and Bean I

Pipe and Bean I

A new gallery “Pipe and Bean” featuring three pictures taken as experiments when I first purchased my Nikon

Butterfly V

Butterfly V

I found a butterfly outside one day. The creature was cold and could barely move, and so the wandering soul is here memorialized. This photo has now been added to The Butterfly Effect gallery

Movie Monograms (Food, Inc. A Robert Kenner Film)

Food, Inc. (2008) is a documentary that discusses where our food comes from, and takes a short look at the companies that have taken over the markets providing the foods we eat. The film features Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation (2012)and Michael Pollan author of The Omnivore’s Dilemna (2006) who help guide the viewer through the current state of food production. The documentary makes it clear that the companies that operate and produce our food care more for profit and less for health and safety, and that FDA and USDA regulations are subject to the capital biases of corporate demands. It provides an overview of the dangerous conditions farmers and meat packers work under, as well as the crammed conditions of chickens in dark barns and the hazards of corn-feeding cattle. It advocates organic foods, and says that buying organic tells the corporation that that is what the consumer wants, and doing that is one way to lead towards safer foods. The film also covers the lack of response from the government concerning Kevin’s Law, a law named in memory Kevin Kowalcyk a 2 1/2 year old who died of e. Coli O157:H7 after eating a contaminated hamburger. The law is designed to better establish safe food, but is currently under maintained and is being petitioned to be revived.



Book Blurb (Frankenstein by Mary Shelly)

Frankenstein is a Gothic romance written by Mary Shelly (1797 – 1851) and published in 1818. The tale begins with letters from Captain Walton as he journeys Northward to undiscovered lands. There, in the frozen wastelands of the North, Walton encounters Victor Frankenstein and there hears the strange sequence of events that lead the poor Doctor Frankenstein to those remote reaches of the earth. The Doctor’s tale is strange indeed, and explores the limitations of human knowledge while showing, through Frankenstein’s Monster, the way in which evil is created and how knowledge we’re unprepared for can destroy us.

Book Blurb (Dracula by Bram Stoker)

Dracula is a Gothic romance written by Bram Stoker (1847 – 1912) and published in 1897. Though Dracula and vampires are probably best known today through films, the book’s portrayal of these characters is considerably different than the moving pictures. The story is written as a series of letters, newspaper clippings, and journal entries compiled by Mina Harker as an aide to Van Helsing and company in their hunt for Dracula. It begins with Jonathan Harker’s journal as he goes to meet Dracula, a wealthy man wanting to purchase property in London, and develops as Harker and company uncover the strange truth of Dracula’s true person. The character Dracula is also different than commonly thought of: he’s a hairy, mustached man, with a wolfish demeanor who’s constantly referred to as childish and unholy by Van Helsing; a far retreat from the dapper, ancient sensuality of modern vampires. The story does, however, have a variety things for the reader to think about such as sexuality, gender roles, capitalism, immigration, and homophobia, all of which can be found and developed through close-reading of the text.

December: The Production

Dear You,

Production is underway on December and I’ve spoken with my main contact at Tate Publishing. Part of the production process is developing a promotional copy, and so they had me write a “Hook” and “Teaser” to send them. I have those included here, and I’m bound to be hearing from them soon if they have any suggested changes. Until that time, though, here’s a glimpse into what December is all about:

“Cole stood near the pinkish arm chair, this is where it takes place, it is placed here: here and now. Where is that? “Here and now”? Right now it is a living room, white walled, pink furnatured, with a flat screen TV, an old fire place, closed doors. Right now it is Sheila’s living room. Right now the here and now take place in Sheila’s house in Plymouth, England.
December begins on December First in Plymouth, England, and follows the thoughts of Cole Johnson, a young man of 19, as he finishes his term abroad in England then returns and readjusts to life in the United States. Cole’s thoughts guide the reader through December as Cole reflects on the places he’s seen, the people he’s met, his past, and his hopes for the future, drawing him half willingly into questions of faith, morality, and society as he tries to find meaning in the realities unfolding around him.

I hope you’re doing well,

Your friend,


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