Poetry and Fiction
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A Haiku Suite
White-winged birds settle
Softly on beach sands, sunlit,
Dreaming of snowfall
Proud pine trees festooned
With coconuts, reminder
Of the desert Christ.
Vampires dream sweetly
Of nights too long to measure
And buy tickets north.
Because you can never have too much vampire poetry….
This one is an (obvious) homage to the poetry of Robert W. Service.
The Longest Night
There is a land where the cold winds blow
And blood runs chill in mortal veins
Where game is scarce and the hunt is cold,
And loneliness drives a man insane.
There is a place where the world is ice
And where even wolves are loathe to roam.
Where the earth is white and the sky is black
And the spirit frozen.
I call it home.
The living have given it fearsome names
The doomed have cursed it with dying breath,
But it draws them still, for passion and gold,
This frozen empire whose king is Death.
So they brave the darkness that has no end
And they curse the ice that swallows the day
While the madness beckons, that comes of the dark
In a world without sunrise.
I call them prey.Read More
‘Perfect Day’ first appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2012 issue.
When Stanley Betterman awoke Monday morning he didn’t know that everyone else in the world was naked.
His own pajamas were securely in place when his brainware buzzed his neural centers, cutting short a particularly nice dream about falling mortgage rates. The striped cotton might have looked a little more greenish than usual as he staggered to the bathroom, but his Color My World app always took a little while to get up to speed in the morning. Otherwise, there was no sign that anything was wrong.Read More
In May of 2011 I volunteered to teach a writing workshop in a juvenile correctional facility in Sacramento. In order to encourage my students to engage with me, I invited them to join me in crafting a science fiction story. They could contribute whatever plot elements they wanted, and I would help them weave it all into a single narrative. And it was okay if the elements were a bit crazy, I said, because this was science fiction; I wanted them to have fun with it.
So we wound up with a First Contact story in which aliens chose a junkie drug dealer for their first human contact. Because, you see, the aliens needed to buy some meth.
When I heard that the day after my workshop all the kids were abuzz with delight over having helped create a story in which a drug dealer was responsible for an alien invasion of Earth, I decided to write it up for them. It turned out kinda cute, so I thought I’d share it with ya’ll.Read More
I see you walking down the darkened streets
Wrapped in some secret, sullen loneliness,
Your empty steps the only sound for miles,
Your phantom thoughts an echo in the night.
What drives you from the fellowship of man
To these dark places, where no human voice
Sings out in fevered pitch the words of thanks
Which echo in this season on the wind?
What brings you to this street where thoughts unwind
In solitude, their secret undisturbed
by mortal means, or else immortal guile?
I follow without sound, giving no hint
Of my true nature, or of my intent.
As for my hunger, that is best unsaid.
The dead have secrets too.Read More
Celebrate, young ones
Safe in the night
What is the past to you?
Costumes and makeup
Meaning enough for youth.
Never mind darkness
Never mind death
Never mind Winter’s wrath
It’s just a party
Only a game
Played along lighted paths. Read More