Thursday, August 21, 2014


I’ve read that readers love interesting characters who defy the usual patterns because its a safe way to experience some rather strange behaviors without any of the risks. The emotional charge is there, but the consequences are controlled. Close the book, turn out the lights, and sleep in he security of your routines. But, another chapter of the unpredictable awaits. This is what we offer: safe excitement, free drama, easy thrills. That’s OK. The alternative is even more dismal.
The twist and reversal are so powerful. It’s one of those thrills we all love (except when they happen to us). My friend Solange builds her stories around these reversals. She lives for them, and I suppose so do her readers. Not a bad technique: develop a pattern of upsetting the patterns.
Umm, could you reverse the expectation that a suspected twist was sure to come? [Could you put a twist on the twist, like doing a "double twist" in Olympic Skating?] Now that would be challenge. I just saw “Now You See Me” on HBO. It is the story of one “bait and switch” after another, built layer upon layer by the mind-games of a group of magicians. The group is ultimately outmatched by the Master Magician who has spent many years setting them all up for the biggest reversal of all: he, who has played the role of the dimwitted cop chasing the criminal magicians is himself the ultimate criminal, and has played everyone. I found it a very satisfying experience, and I suspect it was the “ah hah” of each turn in the plot that made it work for me.
Now, to do that. Let’s see, where are my skates?

Monday, August 11, 2014


What if it was not our images seen in broken glass,
But our very ourselves who were broken?
Suppose our dalliance with the pieces of our lives
Was not a just a game of images,
But the substance of things ripped from our souls,
As a heart might be ripped from a lover’s chest,
Or a repentant thought snatched from redemption?
Suppose we took account of how in need we are
Of God’s mercy, so that even a devoted skeptic
Would kneel and cry out in desperation,
To find that God did not split hairs,
About who knocked, or how they came to be at the door.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Hatchet Job on the Consumer by Hachette

As an author registered with Kindle Direct, I received the following mass email from "Kindle Direct" concerning its fight over e-book pricing with mega publishing corporation Hachette:  

I'm persuaded by the case made, but reasonable minds may differ.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Facebook Postings: Neurology.

I post a tribute to the left hemisphere, where scientists dwell, in well-equipped labs;
I drop a line of poetry to the right hemisphere, where insanity dwells in mangled syntax.
I present an offering of the first born and unblemished 
At the altar at the corpus callosum.
Is God there, in the desert of my nomadic thoughts,
A cooling cloud by day and flame by night?  
Does he redeem the ancient, the present, and the ever so advanced future?
Or is He Marx's Opium, a song sung by The Grateful Dead?
I only know, like the song of the ancient slave ship master,
I was lost, and now I'm found. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Facebook Posting to an Old Friend.

I wish that you would not have aged,
Nor I,
But  that we would have owned the earth forever
Like gods, we would have watched birth and decay
With the casual indifference of painless creatures
Above the usual miseries,
And trite screams of agony
Called “human.”
Yes, we would have cycled reality around ourselves,
Boring God, 
And leaving generations deprived
Of repeating our dismal patterns.
Yes, we would be untouched by corruption,
Even unaffected by our own mistakes,
Not just “Play it Again Sam,”
But play it again perfectly.
We could do that . . . 
 Except death gets in the way.
I’m pleased, 
In view of the limitations,
That we have time yet to say 'goodbye.'

Dizzy with Disney

She emulated a Pixar creation.
A French woman
Of questionable depth,
Except that her skin deep
Was deadly enchanting,
The stuff of addictions
And quick fixes
Best unexamined in the morning.
Mermaids, Indian Princesses, independent village maids
And oh, the Beauty to the Beast,
Each the frail salvation of male madness
Needing only love.
In this, a tightly controlled script is best
To barricade the Truth.

The Calculus of Illusion

At the time
It felt like the heavens split
Exposing the deep wound of my loss, 
But inasmuch as the calculus 
Favored a standard deviation
From prevailing happiness
To be predicted 
By a regressive
The random occurrence of illusion,
We can conclude,
Explains everything.