Friday, September 8, 2017

Definitions.

Ah, success so saccharine!
Here I shake in the corner
sand off the sides of my hourglass, 
remembering those grains spent
carrying leaky buckets for gold 
while hungry mariachis dodge pelted fruit.

Lying on a park bench, eyes clenched
afraid of the spotlight, afraid it misses me,
here on this bold tarmac where I've tossed my dice.
What if there is nothing more than empty boxes, 
these presents I’ve laid at your feet, 
my gumdrops of suffering and blood?

If I respin this roulette wheel,
with my chips on odd instead of uneven,
tell me how it would be for me
to pledge to art's uncertainty.
Might I have profited more to revel
in the scent of every petal?

Or rather should my sand be spent
on gold-encrusted electronic gizmos,
ceiling-to-floor plasma-screens,
Versace Barocco pet bowls,
diamond-studded fish hooks,
and a never-driven Lamborghini?

No, I'm keeping my chips on the table
betting my life grain by grain,
knowing every moment I toil
passionate, committed, self-aware
exceeds the assurances of myth peddlers
and their close embrace of bucking finality.

I'd rather have dreams and uncertainty
than the certainty of lost possibilities,
letting fear of gatekeepers cripple my strokes
of pens, picks, brushes, sticks, and the very spit of my breath,
as I sing the song resonating in my core.
It defines the currents of my life, who I am.

OK. Perhaps the fruit I harvest is not as sweet
but it's mine
and at least I can taste it.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Irma, please don't destroy Florida. Instead, take the Holy Land Experience.

Here is Irma, a Category-Five hurricane barreling towards the Lesser Antilles, projected to arrive off the coast of Florida in three days:

 

 Irma is a horrible storm. It will no doubt cause horrible damage, and, for now, it's coming first to us.
 

 America and Florida, in particular, has a lot of reasons to deserve to be pummeled by a storm, but maybe one of our crassest places is this abomination, as seen in Religiosity.















I'm not even religious, and even I am offended by a cardboard Jesus in a lake. It just doesn't speak to my soul.

 

Every day Jesus is crucified.




And, this is a real-life theme park. Here's the map.



Please, Irma, be kind. Take your anger out on the Holy Land Experience and leave the poor people of Florida alone.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Dunk and Egg

The Hedge Knight (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #1)The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A delicious short tale set in a brief hiatus of peace, a time when a knight like Ser Duncan (Dunk) could walk, ride, joust, and sell his sword to a worthy (or not) lord. This tale describes how he and his squire Egg attend a tournament, make some enemies and even a friend or two, and court danger and excitement. It's filled with the sounds, flavors, and smells of Westeros for good and bad. Martin's humor and narrative gaze are at their full strength. Great story too.


The Sworn Sword (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #2)The Sworn Sword by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 stars just for the world building. There isn't much plot here. Dunk is hired by a Useless lord who fights with a widower facing an unwanted marriage over water during a drought. There is unnecessary fighting and treachery. Dunk is gallant as ever. Egg is a boy with lore and a signet ring in a boot.

The Mystery Knight (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #3)The Mystery Knight by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised about the depth of this story and the plot's many twists. D&E #3 succeeds in its own right but also pays off on some of the earlier plots of D&E #1 & #2. I had doubted that GRRM could make a series of this, but it's clear that you could mine quite a good tale, if not from D&E, then from the events around the Black & Red Dragon tale that precedes D&E.

The world building as you might expect is excellent. The dialogue is so delicious. The humor, though, is the best, especially the wedding scenes. A must read for any Westerosi connoisseur.


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