Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Same Place Twice

Bad things happen. They have always happened. There has never been a single day otherwise. Dinosaur laid its eggs; turned around, they were gone. Oog created a family unit. Lost half to predators, half to sky. Lightning. No clue in his primitive brain that the fire it left was the world-changer he needed. Oog simply went away. But we found Oog's paintings in a cave. Oog preferred a mix of dark and red muds. Didn't know why. The words "personal" and "aesthetics" hadn't conjured themselves yet. Oog saw the world and placed himself in it, and here, now, we see the world through his eyes. Oog never had a single day that was not lightning, teeth or pain, but in every cave Oog huddled fearfully in while the night chased notions of strength and bravery away, Oog made sure to find the time to paint, even if nothing more than a tired, muddied hand slapped angrily against stone to show that he had made it another day.

There has never been a perfect day.

And yet we don't give up.

There's joy in repetition, so I repeat it: we don't give up. We will get kicked and we will get cut and we will die but, by the gods, we shove aside each and every day to get to the next in defiance of everything that tells us "No!" No matter how tired we get we tell this world with each breath that it has not...won...yet. Those who are lost and striking out have not won. The lightning has not won. We remain. We have slapped our hands against the wall before fitful sleep, but the reassurance of that stinging is the reassurance of the tiniest yet greatest victory: I am alive right now! And let not man nor animal nor principality dare to intervene.

The Glorious Revolution begins, ends, and begins each moment your mind allows you another day. May there be more illumination, more art, in 2014 and a lot less psychic blight. Tune out the false narratives of what passes for news on all our genius machines that forever scream hate's name. Tune out fear-driven bloodlust. Tune out the need for recognition. You are alive right now. That's all you need to know. Isn't that glorious enough?

A revolution of one toward the greater good.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I've got 3 books out. This makes me happy. Each is different, each is lovely, each is me, each is not me. If I were a more patient man willing to jump the flaming hoops of traditional publishing --which I will with other projects, I'm sure-- I'd have released them via the caring hands of Random Penguin or some such, but these 3 are me, myself and I.

Just as in any threesome, each has to stand on its own merits.

This they do.

Meet the willing partners.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Random Zombie Bits for A Tuesday Afternoon

Zombies would have to learn to be fast eaters.

Would Rush Limbaugh make a Zombie lose its appetite?

Zombies clearly have brain activity, and since they've got a jones for brains, shouldn't they be eating each other's heads? A lot easier pickings than going after fast, dangerous prey like the "living."

Would there be groups saying "Pray the zombie away"? I think not. That'd be ridiculous.

Slip a zombie inside the congressional chamber during a full session then lock the doors. It's better that way.

Attach a canister of neurotoxin to a Roomba and let that sucker go. It'd be like febreezing the Zombie Apocalypse away. Everybody chill indoors with gas masks and Morrissey records till over. Go out, clean up, yay humanity.

Zombie sharks would be way cool. Search your feelings, you know this to be true.

Eventually a zombie is going to want to start dating again. Tragi-comic romance up the wazoo.

It's pretty easy for me to evade a stumbling three year old, so no problem navigating a Zombie Apocalypse, unless the suckers take Pilates to keep themselves active and limber.

Vegan zombies. Can't be easy. Discuss.

Fuzzy woolen sweaters and bike helmets. Nobody likes wool in their mouth. Crisis fashionably averted.

Roland Emmerich's next movie while still waiting for Will Smith to bring the Manna: Aliens infect humanity with the zombie virus. A beautiful CDC worker (played by Channing Tatum) realizes the extraterrestrial nature of the attack and traces the virus' genome structure ("Don't you see? This virus' chemical structure weighs less here than it should. Almost as if it were fabricated...on the moon!") to there, setting off a desperate race to get the space program re-funded so a shuttle can get to the moon before the next full phase and destroy the aliens' zombie virus factory. Little did Channing know that falling in love with the shuttle's gruff, washed up commander who's the only person who could possibly pull off this mission (played by the Rock) would make saving the earth the most difficult decision of his life: the Rock is half-alien, half-human! Also starring Djimon Hounsou as Sacre Feshul, the brilliant African scientist who would do anything to see his former student Channing reach the end of his epic destiny.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I'm A Mer-MAN!

When I was a kid I thought I'd grow up to be a seeker of mysteries. I'd go off with a camera to find what I could find about the Loch Ness monster, about Bigfoot, UFOs, all kinds of excellence. If I found something I would share it, and if I didn't I'd share that too without any attempt to mislead. Fast forward to now and the plethora of bastardized "explorer" shows and I realize, wow, what a fool I was. Misleading is the way to go. Money and ratings hand over fist. Recently there was a program on purporting to be about mermaids, featuring "actual" footage. Well, just like those people in commercials who are said to be "real people"--because, technically, they are real people whether they're actors or not--actual footage is anything shot. It's footage. It's fake but it's still footage. Never mind that there wasn't even the courtesy of "dramatic re-enactment" flashed across the screen. The makers of this "documentary" on Animal Planet, a network purporting to be dedicated to the natural world (at the third purporting I will lose it), went out of their way to create footage as supposedly real as real gets. Video from a cell phone of a dying mermaid creature beached alongside several small whales; video of a mermaid swim-by from a deep water oil rig camera; video of a mermaid skittering off a rock in broad daylight, all of it very cinema verite. Kudos to the effects crews. But all of it as fake as the actors hired to play scientists and the stiff guy supposedly interviewing them. I didn't watch the entire program 'cause I call bullshit when I sniff it, but I've read online that at the very end of the show in teeny weeny sublim-O-vision there's a disclaimer that the entire preceding show was a dramatic representation of what might kinda sorta coulda happened if such footage was ever actually truly found. I wouldn't have had a problem with this program at all had they not gone to pains to portray huge bits of it as authentic footage by actually having the words "actual footage" on screen several times...but they went there. And that's when Wayne Brady has to choke a bitch. Reality has been so co-opted, particularly for the younger generation who think that tiny, invisible cameras hover around everyone at all times capturing wicked cool footage of choice moments, that it's irresponsible and despicable they'd put a show like this on without so much as a nudge nudge wink wink. You KNOW folks flocked to Twitter with the OMGs and OMFGs saying the mermaid apocalypse is upon us.

Why are they trying to kill our sense of wonder and replace it with sideshow fear?

File this under "Bullshit floats, doesn't smell," 'cause that's how it's packaged and sold.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mind Your Home-Training

Today I am guest-blogging on Deatri King-Bey's site. Dee has publishing knowledge six miles deep and a generous spirit twice that. And yes, I wiped my feet. Head on over to her house.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pulp Fiction

Paper, that is. Felled trees. Recycled toilet. What I'm saying is that, in no uncertain terms, Neon Lights is available in print via Createspace, Amazon, and other tentacled outlets. What I'm saying is this goofy book has a physical presence, not just in the ether, and that's how Cthulhu got started. What I'm saying is I hope it makes you laugh.

Not to get all biblical on you, but it is finished. Unless Harper Collins wants me to add a wise-cracking kid to the book, that's it. The mic is dropped, I walk away, there are other books to be written, other troubles to get into.

Many thanks and hugs to every advance reader, every purchaser, the cover artists and anyone who's tolerated me hawking this thing on Facebook. I like this independent thing. It's frustrating but fun, and truth be told, I couldn't write a wise-cracking kid if they force-fed me entire seasons of Diff'rent Strokes.

Direct link HERE, my glorious revolutionaries; purchase, review and skewer as necessary.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Father's Day Blog

If you're doing it right your kids laugh a lot and smile all the way to their teeth and think about things when you're not around.

You want your kid to be aware that her/his tiny, fragile body is made of the exact same stuff way out in space, so they're automatically superheroes with cosmic powers. In this way they will regard you, O' big, cool dude, as Galactus. What kid won't squee thinking his dad's Galactus?

You are in awe of their imaginations and have learned it's to your benefit to slow down and really listen to what they say.

If you're doing it right you're not trying to teach them that aggression is strength, and the phrase "toughen them up" does not compute.

If you're doing it right they like you and you like them. Together you're like Wolf & Cub: confident as a seed, silent as ancestral memory rustling high leaves, fluid in mind and deed as water embracing rock, and possessed of love that shames villains the world over.

I've said it before and meant it: I'm just an uncle. I don't pretend to know how trying kids can be 24/7/365. Parents know. And any parent able to keep it real and give their kid a sense of wonder to scratch 'neath the surface of daily sludge deserves way more than a collective Hallmark card. That calls for heartfelt, deep, sincere THANKS.

Happy day to all the dads and moms under the bamboo hats.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Professional Grade

Not only did they provide me with a sweet cover, but a sweet write-up too. In author-land that's double dipping with sprinkles on top. Put your eyes on this beaut, then click the link for their blog.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be writers.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sequester Deez

Obama’s second term feels uncomfortably like his first term. It’s like the déjà vu of that time when your underwear hiked and pinched during a big meeting and you couldn’t reach in and smooth that thing out. Click HERE and see if anything seems familiar to you.

While we wait, Eleven Ways To Generate Money For The U.S. Government:

We can already damn near defend ourselves against Godzilla, Klingons, Daleks, and Zombie Jeebus on a ghost rhino. Cut the defense budget in half. We’ve got this.

The government needs to become producers of some hellacious movie blockbusters. May I suggest at least one butt shot of Idris Elba and one full frontal of Sofia Vergara to seal the deal? CGI Komodo dragons growing 80 feet long. Cinematic gold. Billions worldwide. Many sequels.

All elected officials in the Senate, Congress and White House take 40 % pay cuts (or voluntarily give up their salaries if they’re feeling decent minded).

Barring that, put a Congressperson on every corner and teach them to say, “Got that weed.”

Porn. Look, we know there’s hot glory hole, intern, and filibuster action. Might as well monetize that sumbitch.

Constitutional amendment turning the budget over to 3 working mothers who’ll knock that shit out between lunch and making sure the homework was done correctly.

Two words: Promote peace. Social, economic, environmental, inter and national peace.

No more flag lapel pins unless whoever’s wearing it personally buys it.

Form a righteous band and tour. Certain states would pay good money to see Obama sing “I want you, but I want you to want me too..”

If you are an orange politician either give up tanning sessions or just eat Cheetos, ‘cause we know you’re expensing that shit.

Don’t raise taxes on the filthy rich. Bumrush the show.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tag, You're Writ! -- The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Author Ru Freeman invited me to play writer-tag. Read about Ru's newest book HERE (available mere months away) while I lace up my Chucks, and visit her blog at Below, my answers to the question "What Are You Working On, Writer Dude?"

1.What is your working title of your book? The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan (originally 'The Brothers Jetstream: Afropuffs Are the Antennae of the Universe' -- Yeah. We'll put that one away and save it for the sequel...)

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? A long time ago, in the library of Wayne State University, a group of white students were talking, I have no idea about what, but it had the feel of Dungeons & Dragons. When I--a tallish black guy--approached their table they stopped as though a switch had been flipped. Not a lull, a complete and total stop. I immediately thought "secret enclave" and became the character Milo Jetstream, on a mission to destroy secret enclaves everywhere. It was a funny, goofy name befitting a ridiculous, goofy situation, and this funny, goofy name stuck with me through the years, decades really, even getting Milo a brother: Ramses Jetstream. Now, if you have two black brothers named Milo and Ramses Jetstream, there is absolutely no way they are not going to be adventurers against the status quo, and raconteurs of mystery.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Science fiction adventure. Buckaroo Banzai by way of Ralph Ellison.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Milo, Michael Jai White. Ramses, Idris Elba. But this blockbuster movie would work best with an unknown cast.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Adventurers fight to give truth and art one last stand.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? There's publisher interest... but we know how that goes. Agents/Publishers, call a brother!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I started this between 2 other books that I wanted to self-publish to get a taste of what the whole Kindle/Nook bid was like, so it's been in the slow cooker on low for about 3 years. This year I kicked the temperature to high to complete the first draft.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? As mentioned, Buckaroo Banzai (but that was a movie), but book-wise: The Coyote Kings: Space-age Bachelor Pad.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? All the science fiction and adventure that told me to sit back while the daring white guy saved the world. The English Major in me said, 'Hey, I'm a daring guy... for a nerd. I'm sure there are some cooler, daring, black guys who could save the world.' Like to see them? Here they are!

10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? It features a beef with Bigfoot between the main characters. And there's a group of angels called The Battle Ready Bastards.


Friday, March 1, 2013

The Illusion of Wealth-fare

Money’s just not that into you. It’s time you realized that and stopped embarrassing yourself. The Capitalist Dream of ‘If you work hard enough it’ll come’—stop it. You’re better than that. 10 hours. 12 hours. 16 hours. What’s enough? Look at you. You’re always tired, always nervous, money never calls, you’re a wreck. The Capitalist Dream of corporate providers? Come on, really? I’ve seen what they do to you. They treat you like shit. Are you that desperate? Even the privately wealthy are just stringing you along. They can job-create a kiss under my ass. As your friend I have to be blunt: Money wants you to suck it off and then go home. That’s not what you want out of a relationship. No, for the love of god, money is NOT going to change. Seriously, what are you, 16 years old? Next you’ll say it’ll leave its spouse for you. Newsflash: Money screwed 700 billion people for the crumpled dollar in their pockets; how special do you feel now? Stop letting it use you, OK? It makes you beg for health care, wages; hell, basic freaking equity… and you’re going to defend it?! It’s a jerk! And if you’re not going to see that for yourself—No, don’t walk away. Don’t you dare. You’re going straight for a lottery ticket, I know you are. Seriously, hookers only benefit pimps. Yes, the lottery’s a hooker. Hell, while you’re at it why not go ahead and cut a platinum-selling album, or that novel that a million people are yearning to read. No, how about you get on Youtube, get famous for absolutely nothing, then sit back and let the offers roll in. When money puts you out of its house after letting you move in with it for a day, don’t come to me. Maybe SC Johnson will take you in. They’re a “family” company.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Poking Tigers

Poking a tiger is not like playing 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey.' If you plan to poke a tiger you'd best know precisely where its tickle spots are, otherwise shit will be the exact opposite of funny. The Onion thought it was being arch and funny over the weekend when it called a 9 year old actress a cunt. It wasn't funny. The actress was black. It wouldn't have been funny, cutting, or satirically relevant if the actress had been white, olive, or a glowing avatar. Some things you just don't do. You don't call a 9 year old a cunt and expect that to not get back to her. Then there was the fashion magazine, Numero, that featured a photo spread of a 16 year old white girl bronzed to look brown, captioned "African Queen." It's a fashion magazine. The only thing worthwhile to come out of fashion is the movie 'Zoolander.' Everybody knows fashion is fucking stupid. "No, he/she's not just a model, he's a supermodel." Expectations are automatically lowered in that arena. But we're in 2013 now. This is the future. Nobody gets to sing the theme song from "Kimba, the White Lion" anymore. Tarzan doesn't get to beat up an entire village of black folks. The African continent is not the supporting character/black friend of the cool white world. In case anyone is still unclear, that shit was foul back in the day, that shit is foul today, that shit will get your ass kicked. Race is a huge tiger. Don't pretend otherwise. Instead of celebrating a little 9 year old girl who'd done a good job at a difficult task, the decision was made to poke a tiger. That's as baffling as denigrating an Olympian because of her hair. Which happened. Instead of an editorial board nixing the idea of painting a child black in the pages of their pedo-fetishistic magazine, heads nodded in agreement and said, "Yes, this is a good thing." Will there be outrage? I actually hope not. Outrage is just publicity misspelled these days. Instead, I hope there's a gigantic, mile high wall of TIRED slamming their way. Bone-tired, gut-tired, Son of a bitch, what the hell-tired TIRED of this shit. Tired and bored with it. Move the hell on, get the hell out of the way, be thoroughly ignored to the point of eradication. Then there was everything that didn't get reported on the news or shared on Facebook. Sexisms, racisms, isms, schisms--petty fucks trying their best to get under the skin and rattle the bones just to hear what a full life sounds like in comparison to their empty homes. You can only hurt somebody who's more compassionate than you. Many, many examples of people poking tigers. I wish they'd realize how tiring it is to see that finger coming all the time. I sent a note to Numero magazine. It said this, clearly referencing their 'African Queen' spread: "We are tired of you. We are tired of the attitudes that foster such tunnel vision. Signed, Clarence Young, American of African descent, 47 years on this earth." That's it. We're tired of giving you the satisfaction of outrage. Tired of tolerating yet another "Ha ha, I'm not racist" moment from you. Tired of talents marginalized, heritages gentrified like so much cacao into Cocoa Krispies, tired of the stupid games you play in order to make money. We're tired of your laziness, your insipid thought patterns, and especially the ways you pander to your idiotic base. I'm not going to engage you in a dialogue, a diatribe, nor reverse demonization. I'm going to hope that you get a million billion emails and letters saying simply "We are tired of you," and that those million billion emailers and writers turn their backs on you. Forever. We know your pressure points. While you've been indiscriminately poking tigers, we've studied your anatomy. We know what gets you. We know what sticks in your craw. FTDS stands for 'fuck the dumb shit' my friends. It was something me and my friends in high school bandied about. I'm grown. They're grown. We don't plan to wait on you. FTDS. Good bye.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Politics Sucks Monkey Balls But Let’s Indulge A Second (or: Being 47% A-Hole should disqualify one from human contact, & Ronald Reagan was not a god)

Let’s see if I can follow the numbers. 1. When the powers finally convinced the poor that getting pissed on in the face, with patience, would turn into lemonade, things slid with the quickness. Reagan and crew didn’t invent the ethos of trickle-down economics, but they perfected the marketing of it. Trickle-down economics is a terrible psychology to live under. 2. Meanwhile the 1980s world felt like it was an itch away from nuclear annihilation so there was this huge, mass ‘Fuck It’ when it came to personal responsibility and caring about one’s future. 3. Bush One was elected only because of his link with Reagan. 4. Bush Two – same by extension, but more out of a sense of desperation on Republicans’ part than anything else. Hence all the voting shenanigans, outright fraud, and Florida. Beautiful Florida. 5. With no publicly viable links left to Reagan, GOP turned into McCain/Palin. Then Romney/Ryan (the same, only strangely stickier in the way that a noxious booger is), a team that came out of the most ludicrous batch of contenders for the highest office in this land that this country has ever seen. One would think we’ve been in the grips of a massively funded, national performance art piece, one which we’re not sure when it’s ended and we’re too embarrassed to leave our seats. That said, let’s move on to the polemic. Prosperity always comes at the expense of others. It’s been America’s heartbeat since day one. Worship the hoarders known as the wealthy, demonize all else; invest obscene resources into commercialization with which to buy expensive husbands, wives, cars and lives, and create intricate systems of industry-- like prisons or the cattle-car public school system-- designed to propagate social woes. Keep people focused on winning the lottery, becoming American idols, becoming instant chefs, eating diets of fool’s gold in the hope of ingesting enough iron to become lightning rods for that one good strike. Do that, and wealth can put the country (the world) on cruise control. I guess if you’re gonna “Thelma & Louise” you might as well do it in a luxury car, huh? “On Star? Hi, yes, I see a cliff up ahead and I have no plans on stopping so I just wanted to see if there was anything you could do before I kiss my ass goodbye. No? Ok, thanks.” Monkey balls.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wagging The Dog

Why is verbiage about a man's willy always in inflated form? You'd think we're talking about High Science. "Erectile Dysfunction." "Premature Ejaculation." "Men with erections lasting more than four hours should seek medical help." As well as an attorney for the very much deserved harassment suit you'll receive at work. Even the balls get to sound like Greek heroes: "Testicles, the hidden Argonaut." So much foofery, when willies are the goofiest, most Forrest Gumpish things on the planet. Even Idris Elba's willy is goofy. I'm sorry, ladies. Truth hits everybody. Whereas technical lingo for lady bits always sounds like something Jabba the Hutt's dentist might mention about Jabba's general oral health. Woke up with this on my mind, y'all. It's on my mind. There's a reason the "running in slo mo on a beach" scene is never of a man with "a lot on his mind," yes? This isn't to say there aren't some majestic ones out there, otherwise we would never have come up with the names "Sweet Dick Willy," "Goldenrod," or "Thy Rod and Thy Hammer." This isn't to say they can't be cute and cuddly. I'm sure if we men could get the message out it would be "Hold one every day," but, lo, we are prevented from expressing our true feelings. But such a tiny minority hardly grants every dong wearing a Gomer Pyle smile ambassador status. No more pomp and circumstance, Erectile Dysfunction commercials. As my man Willy Shakespeare said (y'all didn't realize that's the first porn name ever, did you?): "What a piece of work is a rupert, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust..." {pre-edited version. Historical note: "Rupert" wasn't seen as aristocratic enough so it became "Richard" and then shortened to the colloquial "Nixon."} What is this quintessence of dust, this schlong of such pedigree that Cialis commercials must interrupt my every waking moment? Willy Shakespeare (yes he will!) knew what was up. The rupert might have its recommendations, but nothing about it is like attaining Everest.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hopped Up On Chocolate Covered Peanuts, Ma!

There are so many people in this world who are better than me. Me? I’m going straight to hell, otherwise this whole heaven/hell thing is a dubious affair. I can just see me in heaven blaspheming away and wondering what’s a brother gotta do to get a copy of Emmanuelle in Space on VHS. Twice in my life I’ve been burned by holy water. I imagine that says something. I mean, my thoughts are absolutely vile sometimes. If I was psychic I’d be Firestarter, Carrie, Cujo (granted, he was a big, rabid dog, but if he’d been psychic he’d have been a big, rabid, psychic dog), a pissed-off Professor X and maybe even a little pissed-off Second Coming Jesus on the side. If my thoughts create bubble universes I’ve got a trail of death and destruction a mile wide and six miles deep in my wake. And a bunch of naked women. Sacrifice your pizza to me; I am come the Beast. See, I did an online personality test recently. I’m an INTJ, which is code for introverted think tank of a sexual dynamo. I added that last bit. Actually it means Mastermind, so you can see why I get to add that last bit. Astrologically I’m a Scorpio, which means I’m practically a dark, vampiric, mysterious god of sex. (D’you see the trend here? Women are supposed to spontaneously give birth after hugging me. Says so in all the pertinent literature.) Religiously I’m basically a neo-pagan heathen, which means I worship goddesses and nature nymphs so I can see naked women dancing around fires; my heathen-ness stops short of human sacrifice unless we’re counting the scores of dumb people I’ve mentally consigned to the squish of Rabinandrath Dragoon’s hoary hoof. I’m doomed also because when it comes to family less is always so much more, and when it comes to marriage there are times I wish I’d kept the receipt. It’s all about temptation, isn’t it, that sliding door to heaven or hell? I’ll bet temptation makes God jealous. God enters the room from one doorway and walks toward me. He/She/It’s wearing its best universe, it’s smelling good—then Rosario Dawson enters the room from another doorway. She too walks toward me. Here’s paint and a brush; finish the picture. But here’s the kicker: despite the raging cauldron of barely restrained meat muppetry that is my boon and curse… I am a rather mild dude. I don’t seek titles, don’t feel the need to impose outside of telling someone “Kneel before Zod,” and could quite easily live an entire week without saying a word. Yet there are many driven the opposite way. The ones always at war with the clerks at Walmart. I have never warred with a clerk at Walmart. This begs the question: If I’m going straight to hell, what’s the level below?