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skonen_blades
12 April 2014 @ 03:32 pm
Mark  
The problem with suicide is that, to friends and family left behind, it feels like murder by community.
Like we all lent a helping hand to the death by not lending a helping hand at all.
Murderers by omission.
Culpable by our absence.
We killed through inaction.
And we go on not knowing if it’s true.
I heard that there was a struggle with mental illness that had been ongoing for a long time. I remember having a long conversation the last time we talked but that was a few months ago. Nothing seemed amiss but he was his usual awkward self. I wonder if there was something I could have done or could have said that might have altered his trajectory.
I know that there isn’t.
I know that if I could go back in time, I’d stop him from doing what he did. Or at least try.
But his demons were huge and I didn’t even know they existed.
So I know that what happened isn’t my fault.
But in my soul, I shoulder part of the burden. Guilt lurks in the folds of my heart and mind. Even though I know it’s misplaced, I imagine that it lingers like a halo over all who knew him.




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skonen_blades
26 March 2014 @ 12:11 am
I’m so pale I get moonburn.
Tonight I’m a cobbler. Stitching soles to the bottom of my feet so I can walk up to heaven.
A raven’s stunt and a crow’s feat.
I don’t think I’m cut out for happiness.
Resign has two meanings and right now I am both of them. I have quit and I’m also just going with the flow of life’s river, jigsaw puzzling my way through the floor space of my mouth.
These are the storm windows to my soul.
The world drains through my eyes into the hole of my mind and parts of it get stuck in my memory.
Sometimes this haunted house gets so full that the ideas defenestrate right out onto the page.
Sometimes the ideas need a little help so I throw rocks in this glass house.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Well according to the big guy, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission
So I ask for guidance but when I pray, I feel like I’m talking to myself
When the windows break, I separate the glass from the plastic and the paper,
Thinking that the easiest way for me to recycle is to die in a forest.
With all the corporate waste around, I feel like it’s useless to use less.
When other people die, we say they pass. I guess that’s why living sometimes feels like failure.
These days, all my arrows have turned into boomerangs.
Sometimes you get happy and all it does is remind you of how long it’s been since you’ve been happy and it makes you sad. Sometimes you get happier that you’ve ever been and all it does is remind you of how you’ve never felt this way and it makes you REALLY sad.
But at the same time, I feel like I’ve had this astounding revelation that ‘slow and steady wins the race’ means that you’ll live longer.
There are lions in the reeds and I want to be the reed between the lions.
Because getting angry about being angry is like putting knives into a blender.
Because if you don’t eat for a while, your stomach gets smaller and you feel full after not eating very much. It’s the same with your heart. When you’re not used to it, a compliment can fill up your entire chest.
I feel like I’m a former Canadian child star, like there’s a connection between graveyards and schools, like a part of me has been on fire for my entire life and I never noticed.
I used to say, “Don’t take it personally, I’m just dead inside. There’s a skinless mattress where my heart used to be.”
Mirror, mirror in the well, tell me my story isn’t over yet
Tell me I’m more than just another old man boy band.
If you reject authority well enough and long enough, you will end up in charge of something. So be careful.
They say that computer monitors use up more power on standby than they do when they’re turned on.
I know exactly what that feels like.
I’m going to ride a bike because I have Taxicabin fever
I’m a puppy in wolf’s clothing. I’m a sheep that only counts on himself to fall asleep.
I’m here to kick bubble gums and chew asses and I’m all out of asses
I’m up here standing on my own six and a half feet.



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skonen_blades
17 March 2014 @ 12:20 am
The ship had stopped in between Earth and the moon, twinkling like a massive cathedral made of glass and crystal. No shockwave or energy point. It was just suddenly there.

Our Earth defenses reacted immediately. The defenses of the asteroid belt and Mars rendezvoused with us around the alien craft.

We surrounded it, pointed weapons at it, and screamed orders at it to stay still and be calm. It didn’t react. It was hard to tell if it was following our orders, if it was truly dead in the water, or if it had even heard us at all.

The world was watching and the space defense forces of three solar governments were bristling with fear in a pinpointed sphere of death around it.

A hardy space marine scout advanced on it. I was that scout. I was old and experienced but I was also expendable.

I pushed forwards through the tense silence of space until I was right beside the ship.

I had no need to storm an airlock because there were vast open portals in the sides. There seemed to be no need to shield its crew or contents from the vacuum. I thumbed my jets forward, nosing my way cautiously into the interior of the ship.

A curious phenomenon awaited me. The ship appeared to only exist when light was hitting it. The hull and interior were only visible when the light of the sun or my suit’s flashlights played across it. Anything not being illuminated was transparent to the point of not existing.

The ship was half here and half not here. What I could see of the ship looked like ice or clear glass but when I reached out to touch it, my finger slid off of it. Completely frictionless.

According to our sensors, it didn’t have any mass. Obviously impossible yet here I was looking at it.

Movement caught my eye and I snapped my weapon up.

I saw the crew.

Odd, transparent, segmented snake-like creatures that flowered into an ornate nest of tentacles halfway up. They had the same properties as the ship itself, completely disappearing when in shadow. It was hard to tell if they were manufactured out of the same material as the ship or if they were merely in the same state of existence.

One thing was for sure; they were reacting to an emergency. I couldn’t detect any visible damage but the creatures were running around in what looked like panic even though they were ignoring me completely.

My headlamps were bringing the chaos into sharp relief. I wasn’t even sure if they could see me. They made no effort to avoid me yet somehow they never collided with me.

This looked like a cockpit of some kind but from what I could see through the translucent walls, the same activity was taking place in similar rooms. I couldn’t detect a central engine or chain of command.

Experimenting, I turned off my head lights and spun slowly to look behind me.

Lit by the sun from behind, my long shadow was a perfect me-shaped hole in the floor with only the depths of space staring back at me. I nudged down towards it and dipped a toe into the hole.

And my toe went through the floor.

I recoiled. “I’m leaving the ship!” I said into my comm. I couldn’t help thinking about drifting through a wall only to have the light change its angle when I was halfway through and trap me there.

Another part of me did not want to be aboard when the aliens fixed the problem.

I needed to leave. The ship didn’t appear to be a threat. It was just stranded.

I left the ship and angled back to my waiting defense craft to debrief. I was going to recommend waiting.

Over the next hour, darkness washed across us all as we drifted into the Earth’s shadow.

As soon as the ship was completely shadowed by Earth and no longer in the sun’s rays, I told the ships to turn off any lights they had trained on the ship.

As soon as they did, the ship disappeared. When we turned our lights back on to where it was, there was only empty space.

The scientists still puzzle over that crystal ship, theorizing how it could have broken the light barrier with its massless form. They talk about how photons or solar winds must have confused its tech somehow.

What lightless planet did it evolve on? How could it have form and no mass?

How could travel to infinity but only through the shadows?




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skonen_blades
17 March 2014 @ 12:19 am
I never want to come back but here I am again, watching the massacre of my ancestors.

Back in these times, they used what was at hand to execute a mass of people. There were no guns yet, no chemists yet to produce a lethal gas and there were no buildings in the village big enough that my people could be locked into and burnt.

The attackers were merely using spears, torches, pitchforks and pointed sticks to corral my ancestors up to the edge of a very high cliff outside of town. Soon, they will force them off the cliff on a long trip to the rocks tearing through the violent, cold waves below.

I invented the world’s first time machine. I have found that it’s quite easy to change history.

Once.

I went back in time, intending to help my ancestors become rich. I gave them patented ideas years before they should have been invented. I explained myself as a traveling businessman bringing them ideas from the mainland. My ancestors lived in a village outside of Ireland.

They talked openly about their inventions, confident that they could sell them to their fellow villages or at least barter for passage to the mainland to set up shop at some of the larger markets.

There were suspected of being in league with the devil and sentenced to death. There was also not a lot of due process back then.

My ancestors were treated like diseased blood cells. They were surrounded and driven to messy end.

Do you understand? Everyone with my last name was herded to a sharp drop. They all died. I know it. I’ve watched it fifty-six times now.

And here I am. I still exist. I’m hovering near the cliff edge and I cannot control my machine.

Every time I try to leap back to the present, I am brought back to this moment in time. When I try to go back further to right my wrongs, the same thing happens. I can’t leave my craft to change what happens and no one appears to be able to see me or my machine floating in the air.

It’s as if I’m doing penance for my crime on some universal space-time level.

And there they go. Nudged off the edge of the cliff like so many reluctant lemmings. Men, women, and children screaming their way down to the unforgiving ocean.

Soon enough, the villages go back home, satisfied at a job well done and a crisis averted. The bodies of my people lie dead and broken in the undulating surface of the cold atlantic.

The cliffs are silent. And I disappear go back and see it all again.


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skonen_blades
09 March 2014 @ 11:31 pm
The more clarity I achieve, the stupider I know I am. It’s not that there’s a door unlocking inside me or that I’m falling deeper and deeper through the levels of my own life. I don’t have visitations from flowery growths of suspense and handlings. I have sharp turns in well-lit tunnels that bring me to new chapters. I have ‘top-down’ moments where I feel as if I’m lifted up above my own life and for a few moments, I can see the whole shape of it, see it for what it really is. It’s in these moments where I feel super lucid but also like I’m dreaming hard. I see the track. I see where I am. I don’t see how long I’ve got but I feel like I get an accurate check on how I’m doing. It goes a lot deeper than any old report card.

I’m experiencing things that so many humans have experienced before yet I feel alone. I think that’s the fulcrum for the seesaw of humanity. I know Audrey is unique. I know Sonja is unique. I know I am unique. But I know that our struggles and delights with each other as a family would be familiar to any other family on the planet and to families before Christ. Will be familiar to families centuries from now, maybe. My joy at seeing my daughter laugh is mine and mine alone yet is it also a father’s joy, every father’s joy. I feel common and included all at the same time. I feel lonely and special all at the same time. This is the duality, I think, of existence.

Waves. Fire. Branches. Always repeating and never repeating. So too with humans.



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skonen_blades
01 March 2014 @ 09:19 pm
I’ve been schismed out. Shook loose. I’m walking around this laboratory and it’s difficult. The air is thick. It takes effort for me to breathe. I’m not sure how long I have to live.

Next to me, the other scientists ponder the place where I was standing. They’re looking quizzically at the space where I used to be in the machine. They’re frozen in time. Either that or I’ve been sped up. I prefer to think that I’ve been quickened. To think that that this machine has slowed the universe is too extreme for me to contemplate.

I was so sure that the voltage was safe. We thought that I might get a tingling sensation, maybe see some borealis across my skin.

But here I am trying to breathe ‘slow’ air, hoping that any of my colleagues are realizing what happened. It’s been an hour so far and I haven’t suffocated but I’ve been light-headed twice. The room seems dimmer. I’m frightened that might be because light is moving slower through my eyes.

I’m scared that if they turn off the machine, I might be trapped here. They need to exponentially dampen back the strata to below where it is in order to get me back to regular speed but above all, they can’t turn it off.

I’m hoping that one of them will understand what happened and hit the switch to dump more polarized electrons into the memory pools. My money’s on Sarah. I’m looking at her face right now.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human face get an idea this slowly before. I’ve watched Sarah’s face contort from confused from panicked to understanding. Now I’m watching her slowly evolve an idea, hopefully the idea to turn the electron switch.

I’m watching her face move like it’s the hour hand on a clock. I can’t perceive it changing when I stare at it but if I look away for a while and look back, I can see that it’s incrementally different. It’s fascinating to see a brilliant human mind move in such painfully slow detail.

I can imagine the tumblers in her head locking into place and coming up with the dawning of a notion. I can tell that she’ll come through for me because the rest of the scientists are still looking at my empty chair with puzzled looks.

I just hope that I’ll start to see her hand reach out towards the button soon.

I’ve tried to press it and nothing happens. It might as well be carved out of marble like my colleagues.

I tried to yell but it’s too much effort. That was one of the times I almost passed out.

Sarah’s head is turning now, her hair lifting and starting to fan out like the hem of her labcoat. In real time, she’s probably spinning as fast as she can but here, I know it’ll take an hour for her to get to where she needs to go.

I can see that she’s turning in the right direction and I can see her eyes fill with purpose.

I am exercising my patience. I am trying to breathe. I cross my fingers.




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skonen_blades
01 March 2014 @ 09:18 pm
It’s like the universe was shattered once and then badly glued back together. The place is filled with cracks. At below-light speeds, it doesn’t really matter. The cracks are dimensional so anything sublight can’t detect or interact with them. Earth itself even passed right through one in 1987 and no one even noticed. It was until we got ourselves detection technology that we realized what had happened by tracking it back through the decades. Just a humourous curiousity for scientists, really. A story to tell the populace to prove how safe they were and not to panic.

But anything supralight? That’s a different story.

They can be detected and avoided but they move. Ask the Titanic, right? You have to be on it. You have to be hyper vigilant. The computer takes care of a lot but you have to keep goosing the arrays, always pinging the void just to be sure.

The cracks have tributaries. They make the cracks fuzzy with hair-line spline, like lightning bolts with fur and they’re the length of universes in some cases.

One theory is that the entire universe is always breaking down and then rebuilding. Like a giant heart beating with impossibly-long heartbeats. Except that errors have crept into the system and they’re getting worse. Either that or our universe is the only one that’s ever existed but it’s been damaged from the start.

Our ship is caught in a crack now. We were going 10c. We should have known better and been paying more attention but we didn’t realize that the crack had turned. Just a little but it was enough to flypaper us in. We nicked a tributary and it pulled us into the main shaft of the canyon. We’re stuck in a pocket of subtime.

It’s called the Hall Effect.

We are removed from the time stream. Or rather, we brought some of our time with us into the crack. It’ll dwindle and we’ll start to slow down. We’ll never come to a complete stop but we’ll get slower and slower and slower until our time half-lifes itself to something close to infinity. The horrible part of it is that we ourselves won’t perceive it.

To us, time will look like it’s going along normally while around us, the universe will trickle down into the heat death that’s always been predicted.

We’ll get to see if it’s true. We’re trapped here until the universe ends. Luckily, it’ll only take a few hours by our perception while trillions of years pass by outside the crack.

Pilots and crews like us are big believers in reincarnation.




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skonen_blades
16 February 2014 @ 07:10 pm
They didn’t bathe and they wore their dead. They stank like a sleeping bag full of ammonia-soaked gym socks. They reeked like a slurry of sauerkraut and feces poured into a rotting pumpkin and left in the oven to burn. They had the pungent ass-crack aroma of a dozen dead moose decomposing in a steam room.

What I’m saying is that the one overwhelmingly true characteristic of the Vitralsi was that they stank. Their stink was a cloud that warped the air around them like a heat haze on a highway. It was the kind of stink that could clear a forest.

Luckily it wasn’t poisonous but that didn’t stop us ‘oversensitive’ humans from passing out now and again when we had to share the cockpit.

And I had to share the cockpit with one right now.

Even with my lips suctioned firmly around an air filter, a plug on my nose and goggles on my eyes, I still felt as if I was being coated in tear gas and dunked in a sewer. It was like my skin could taste it. It was like I’d discovered a new human sense, suddenly activated because of never-before-experienced extreme conditions.

And I was a person that prided himself on having almost no sense of smell. All seven of the humans on the ship were selected for just that reason.

The scary thing was that in keeping with the humans having little to no sense of smell, the Vitralsi on this ship were picked for this mission because they were the least malodorous ones available.

My mind reeled at the thought that the creature beside me was tame in comparison to other members of its race. My eyes watered at the idea of a full-frontal nasal assault from a regular Vitralsi’s pores and gland sacks.

“Okay, we’re coming close to the surface now” burbled the Vitralsi. A fresh wave of garlic-flavoured oblivion washed across the cabin and broke across me.

“Roger that” I responded through clenched teeth.

The scent of a Vitralsi could literally give a human PTSD with enough exposure. That’s why there were seven of us on the ship. It was shown that if a human only served once a week, we could tolerate the smell.

And today was Sunday. My shift at the wheel. I was looking forward to six days of fresh air in the cramped and sweaty human compartments with other members of my race. Even though shower use was harshly regulated on this journey, they still smelled like potpourri to me after a shift in the ‘pit.




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skonen_blades
16 February 2014 @ 07:09 pm
There is a reason in video games
Why lives look like hearts and they don’t look like brains
Love is what gives us all life while we’re here
Brains are fantastic but I think it’s clear
That brains, while quite useful, are computery
They just sort of think. They don’t feel much, you see.
But hearts now, they’re passionate, foolish, and strong
They don’t know their right from their left or their wrong
When playing a video game, at the start
YOU get some lives and they’re shaped like a heart
If YOU lose too many too quickly, you die
Your body collapses and then there you lie
But the NEXT time you play when you get to the part
That once was too hard and would take your poor heart
You know how to dodge, or jump, or defend
And if you keep playing, you get to the end
At least of that level. Cause there’s always more.
But the more that you play and the higher you score
The more hearts you get and the longer you love
Hearts fit a life like a hand fits a glove
‘Cause they’re what’s inside and they just keep on giving
Without your heart then you can’t go on living
A literal truth but a metaphor, too.
If you allow yourself (when you feel blue)
To IGnore your heart and pretend it’s not there
THAT all that you have in your chest is just air
Then one, you’re a liar and two, you can’t do it
The heart won’t be smothered. I’ve effing been through it.
Love can’t be beaten and can’t be contained.
It takes too much effort and makes a life strained.
Love that’s denied is a blight on the soul
Because you can’t turn your heart into a hole
No quarter asked for and no quarter given
You say you’re alive but I don’t think that’s livin’
If you fight your heart, when you win then you lose
No matter the person and no matter whose
Heart takes a beating, it always beats back
Hearts always fight when they feel an attack
Or else they leap or they duck or they run
The only thing hearts like to play for is fun
Your brain’s the controller. Your hands have the skills
So dive down those valleys and run up those hills
Press all the buttons and move left and right
Practice your loving all day and all night
Loving and games are unique in this way.
You only get better the more that you PLAY.
I’ve got some quarters rolled up in a tube
In my pocket and yes, I am happy to see you
Let’s have a two-player, co-op, turn-based
Side-scrolling platformer medium-paced
RPG flash game with magic gold rings
Your BRAIN knows the words but it’s YOUR heart that sings
So remember this moral this Valentine’s day
To be better at love then play, player, play.
And remember when playing to lead with your heart
Up down left right B A start




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skonen_blades
16 February 2014 @ 07:08 pm
Most post-biological units go for something anatomically reminiscent of a human. Two arms, two legs, and a head. It helps them hold on to their identity so they don’t go crazy after they make the switch. Sure, their consciousness has been transferred into a super-strong and enhanced military robot body but it’s still a BODY, they think. A body with free will and a strong self-image ego.

We called them leftovers.

It’s their delusional behavior that earned them the nickname. Sometimes in battle, a new unit will get its arm cut off and it’ll scream through the squad coms even though there’s technically no pain and the arm is easily replaceable. The veterans among us sigh in disgust. It’s embarrassing. New recruits don’t even know what they’ve become. What they are.

Leftover humanity. Leftover fear. Leftover morality. Leftover nostalgia for muscle and bone.

They think like sausages, like there’s still meat inside.

The rest of us have gotten used to bodies tailored to whatever mission we’re sent on. Our ‘brains’ are backed up at mission control so with a solid wifi connection, we are not limited by size. We can be gnats if that’s what’s called for.

If it’s a mission with radio silence or no access to the airwaves and we need to be encased, our only size limit is the fist-sized resin-polymer ‘brain’ that holds our consciousness.

I have been the size of a university, a titan of weapons bristling with death, rolling and jetting through cities, mini-nuking footsteps of destruction through a terrified populace, thrusting up to paint the sky black and then needling down below the crust, creating volcanoes. A swordfish of Armageddon swimming through the ground like it’s an ocean.

We are not defined by our bodies. We are not corporeal beings anymore. We are sleeved into construct after construct to further our missions and our military’s goals. Even death is no longer death as long as our backups are safe.

I can no longer hesitate when I slaughter. I can no longer pause when I kill. I can no longer feel anything when I genocide a habitat.

In my old meat body, I remember that damage would heal imperfectly and form a scar. It would be a reminder of a battle.

I remember that in the vehicles that meat body drove, there were brakes. That body could use them make the machine stop.

Now I am the machine.

I used to miss those scars. I used to wish I had brakes.





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skonen_blades
16 February 2014 @ 07:05 pm
I seem to have hit a time ‘dam’ of some kind.

My personal temporal relocation prototype device is working perfectly but there is a barrier here.

It’s a blue wall and it extends as far as we can see.

When I say ‘we’, I mean that there are six copies of me here with me.

We are all quite distressed.

When I first arrived here, I arrived by myself. The blue wall looked nothing like my destination. I was trying to go to a future Vienna. I immediately tried to go back home, slapping the button on my time travel belt. That only brought me back here.

I met myself then. We both arrived at the same time, looking at each other in shock, immediately terrified of any sort of paradox. In a panic, we both slapped our buttons to return home at the same time. Stupid. I already knew it wouldn’t work but I reacted instinctively when I saw my copy, just as he did.

It had the same effect as before. We boomeranged back just in time to meet ourselves getting here. Then there were four of us.

The two of us with memories of failing to return home reached out to the two new ones just arriving and told them not to go anywhere. They didn’t.

For a while, we considered our options.

We elected that one of us try to keep going forward and drew straws to select which copy of us would go.

He tried it.

Then there were five of us.

We took apart one of the time travel belts to see if there were any sort of feedback loops in the circuitry or if the power modules had changed. It was experimental technology but with our five minds working together, we improved the design and cobbled something together with a more direct hold on the temporal flow and much more boosted power.

Copy number 5 was the winner this time. He tried on the belt and slapped the button, bidding us adieu. We had a theory that if he was successful, the rest of us would disappear. It was a frightening moment. Copy 5 disappeared in a puff of smoke.

And came back just in time to meet himself again.

Now there are six of us.

We are afraid to go anywhere in time. We’re wondering why we’re the only ones here is this is a time trap. Shouldn’t all time travelers be stuck here?

We all brought enough food and water to last for a week.

And it’s been a week.

It just occurred to me that maybe if we'd sent a time belt back wrapped around some water and food, we could have created an infinite supply for ourselves. Wish I had thought of that a week ago. We have nothing now.

Other alternatives are coming to mind that I don't like. I can see the same look in the eyes of my copies. I've never tasted human flesh and I don't want to.

We’re thinking.



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skonen_blades
03 February 2014 @ 11:51 pm
The universe is ending
The stars are going out
It's taken years for the light if 50s stars to reach me
My fathers stars
He watched them die as he grew up before death got him too
And now I watch the stars die
Hollywood's white dwarfs and quasars, red giants and blue pulsars blow up, go nova, and turn into black holes
Stars are said to have heat as they get famous and I am watching the heat death if the universe
The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long and a lot of stars die young. The Phoenix nebula. The great Ledger cloud. The Hoffman Spiral Galaxy.
Some new stars are born but these are not my stars. They belong to the the youth. I no longer know their names. Their light is faint to me.
My dad's stars preceded him to the other side. Edward G Robinson. Errol Flynn. Robert Mitchum.
And now mine are starting to go as well. Their deaths change the movies they were in. Patrick Swayze is a literal ghost.
Soon, most of my favorite movies will only hold memories of lives, records of performances from dead stars.
In the entertainment newspapers and TMZ, we watch the stars go out before they go out.
The universe grows and shrinks with every generation of performers.
It's an ebb and flow.
But I live for movies. The triumphs of those actors stories were my triumphs. Their sadness was my sadness. Besides my parents, movies were my parables, my teachers. Life imitating art.
As my teachers die, so I become a teacher.
And soon I will follow them into the blackness of space.
The universe is ending. The stars are going out.
Credits
The end
Fade to black



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skonen_blades
03 February 2014 @ 11:50 pm
The problem with love is this. When I look at you, I think “You deserve the best. And I am not the best.” I’m the problem. It’d be easy to say that I’m a bag of glass, that I’m a burned-down church, but I think it’d be truer to say that my good conscience and my bad conscience agree pretty much all the time these days which is confusing. My good conscience is like “I think you should kiss her.” And my bad conscience is like “Yeah. I think so, too.” And I’m like “Thanks for the fucking help, guys.” If my mind is a house of commons, then I’ve become bipartisan to the point of indecision.

Right now I’m starring in the movie Teen Wolf Fourteen: Middle Aged Wolf. I’m a compromise. Like death metal coming out of a sensible family minivan. I’ve turned into a prudent prude. My past, present, and future are all tense. I’m tight because I’m well-taut. I’m a clown at a funeral. I’m worried that I’ll find Narnia in the back of an oven when I notice that the squeal of brakes can sound like somebody screaming. I want to be a tragic figure but I’m not. So I’ve decided to move slower. For the rest of my life.

I wonder if Wolverine’s healing ability works on broken hearts. I wonder if men go crazy because they’re not allowed to be loving. I’ve heard it said that it rains on everyone’s roofs but it’s loudest on the tin ones meaning that the sensitive people hear life the most. I say that earplugs are available for fifty cents on the corner of lalala boulevard and I can’t hear you street.

What does the heart say? I don’t know. Mine says “if you want unconditional love, get a dog.” Mine says “If you’re dirty, then love me until you’re clean.” Mine says “My stomach has never been filled with butterflies. It’s full of caterpillars. It’s gross.”

I never lose my cool because you can’t lose what you never had. I’ve never been this old. On the other hand, I’ll never be this young again.

So fuck it.

Love is the most important thing in the world. I’m taking off my arrow proof vest. I’m not only going to take out my earplugs, I’m going to get hearing aids to listen to the rain. I’m going to improve myself to the best version of myself I can be so that I can feel like I deserve love. I’m going to prorogue my mental parliament and tell my conscience to start making sense. I’ll star in Middle Aged Man, an independent surprise hit feature. It’ll be my New Year’s Revolution.

And I’m starting it now.



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skonen_blades
21 January 2014 @ 11:19 pm
I went to my first Yoga class tonight. Here are some impressions.
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I keep a lot of my tension in my face.

I force it up to there to contribute to the mask I wear without realizing that I’m turning it into a transmitter for everything I’m feeling. It’s a tension reservoir that makes my moods obvious. A mask is not a mask if it’s an open book.

The best disguise is calmness because it’s not a disguise. The realest mask is a face of relaxation. A person that has the gift of being present without judgment or clutter can truly hide in plain sight.

There is always a third option. There is the love. There is the anger. And there is the sidestep.
There is the yes. There is the no. And there is the suggestion of another course of action.
There is the passive. There is the aggressive. And there is the playful way forward.

My legs the same as they were but they are weaker.

The outside of my shoulders hold tension like melons hold water.

My pelvis is a mess of trouble.

The darkness in me is as predictable as a Christmas light, giving off the opposite of joy and illumination.
The darkness sweeps at regular intervals like an anti-lighthouse.

Most people breathe in and then hold it, spiritually speaking. That’s where their tension comes from.
I breathe out and then I don’t want to breathe in again.

It’s not that I want to be dead.

It’s that I want to be empty.

I am a new teacher and I am a new student.

I am present in my body in a way I haven’t been for decades.

I am aware of my toes.

I am the crows and I am the sidewalk and I am the waft of pot as I walk past a doorway on my way home.

I am one step deeper into Commercial Drive.



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skonen_blades
02 January 2014 @ 11:13 pm
I’m a doctor cutting into leftover heart tissue that's been microwaved into jerky and then left to harden in the hot sun of heartbreak.

It’s open heart perjury. It’s a life-saving amputation. It’s a vet putting an animal to sleep.

Love can be a courtroom spelling contest sometimes. Spell definition. Spell loyalty. Spell pause. Spell break. Spell still not getting it. Spell being the last person to figure out that I’m single now. Spell drinking.

Love is blind because it’s locked in a chest but because love is blind, it can see in the dark. It does keep bumping into people, though. And falling down stairs. Love is blind but it has the most powerful eyes since justice.

Each surgery is just a doctor’s best guess with the best training we have to offer. Question: What do you call a doctor who nearly fails his final exam? Answer: Doctor.

If this love is a math problem, then let it be algebra. If you are my ex and I still can’t figure out why, then let x = y.

We are all doctors operating on each other without the benefit of schooling, only on-the-job training. Veterinarians know what the most merciful choice is sometimes. Anesthesiologists put each other to sleep on the last week of school so they can see how it feels and dentists numb each other’s mouths.

So doctor, reach into the hole here that doesn’t beat anymore. Dentist, reach into my chest cavity. Veterinarian, prick my non-existent phantom-limb heart with a needle and pet it like a pet until it goes to sleep. So that it’s numb. So that I can’t feel anything.

So I can learn, too.




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skonen_blades
02 January 2014 @ 10:52 pm
The other night, we had a night of improv and poetry at Cafe Deux Soleils. A poet spoke a poem, then an improv troupe did an improv based on that poem, then a poet did a poem based on that improv, then the improv troupe did and improv based on THAT poem, then another poem, then another improv, and so on. It was fascinating.

Here's an amalgamation of some of the poems I wrote into one poem. It's mostly about Vancouver as were most of the sketches and poems.

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Vancouver. This is about Vancouver.

If I could run five hundred miles, I wouldn't be the mayor of my own heart. Each newspaper headline would bicycle across my perfect ass every summer as I jogged in record time across each delivery ward. I am not running for office. I am running from office. The best Vancouver can say sometimes is that we're not Toronto. Green grizzly will tear apart this temporary campsite we call Vancouver while David Suzuki laughs and laughs. Each starving bear that can't eat meat wheezing across the finish line of horrifying sun runmarathons for survival.

Photo shoots makes us look as real as possible. Fashion is a better existence pushed on all of us like a drug we can't resist. We are fierce and perfect as long as we're adapted by photoshop. Every single one of us looks better with stirrups.

Fresh fish glow Fukushima in the dark. rave sushi. Soy sauce. Soy latte. Soy, el genda troy, I'm a loser baby, so why don't you move to yaletown. My girl friend has a purse dog. I am her purse man. Yoga prepares me for sex in a car to go. Lets get all bonded in a bonafide festival. We're all tied to each other. The rich, the poor. We're attached. And it's not always consensual.

Vancouver. We aim for the heart and miss.


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I spoke this poem on Monday at the Vancouver Poetry Slam. Here's the footage.




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skonen_blades
02 January 2014 @ 10:46 pm
I wanted to imagine what "A Few of my Favourite Things" from the Sound of Music would be like if written by the richest man on the planet. Here's what I got.

Back breaking labor for 9 cents an hour
Making sure corporations have the power
Paying off presidents, leaders, and kings
These are a few of my favorite things

Being the one per cent of one per centers
Owning the networks and squashing dissenters
Abusing the power that this power brings
These are a few of my favorite things

Running the banks to our selfish advantage
Using your armies as cops to mismanage
Helping Monsanto to grow all those things
These are a few of my favorite things

When the people rise. When the riots start. When I'm feeling sad.
I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so baaad!

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I sang it at the slam on Monday. Here's the footage.




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skonen_blades
30 December 2013 @ 10:20 am
I let pigeons nest on my porch once because I'd never seen baby pigeons before. A) they’re hideous. And B) A year later, after pigeons had claimed my porch as their own and were cooing 24 hours a day and covering it all in shit, I developed an immunity to giving a fuck about pigeons.
I think this gives me insight into human history.
I mean, I eventually scoured all the shit off the porch and tied a fake owl to the railing and they all stopped hanging around. But that’s not the point.
To this day, when I see a dead pigeon, it elicits no sympathy.
I let them stay there and they screwed it all up so now I see them as vermin.
 
 
skonen_blades
26 December 2013 @ 09:09 pm
The majority of earth voted against winter this year.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t happen that often. There are still countries on Earth for whom snow is a novelty and there are those who like the seasons to change.

But this year, no winter. The vote pinged us, time zone by time zone, around the planet. We mentally filled out the ballot box in the corner of our vision and sent it back to the main computer.

It’s hard to remember a time where computers were external and even the implants had to be installed physically. Now with the biosoft rewriting the DNA, we’re ‘born soft’, as they used to say. Worldwide, we’re all linked together in our minds.

The weather satellites were a necessary revolution after the planet nearly cooked from our fuel consumption. We crowdsource everything now. There’s still an economy but local power centers and governments don’t differ from each other that wildly anymore. Earth is a country now, not a kaleidoscope of fractured cultures.

Our translators make it possible for us all to speak to each other which we do often. We debate but we rarely war. The collective IQ of the planet has risen to a nice, high average and we’ve realized the profit in peace.

We’re more like a collection of around five thousand cities connected like Christmas lights sprinkled around the globe.

We stabilized the population and we’re all born with a baseline gradient of information that trickles in. We have the wisdom of generations at our fingertips and it cannot be removed or taken away.

That was the failsafe of the architects who instilled the change in us. It was a turbulent time of near-extinction as we understand it. Wholesale slaughter had not yet begun but we were dying by the thousands. Mostly preventable disasters were occurring more and more frequently because of greed, divisiveness, and secretive governments.

A unity was needed. And those Helsinki seven delivered.

Now we are all knowledge-rich and connected through maturity. It’s truly a new age.

It’s called the Anthropocene.



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skonen_blades
24 December 2013 @ 01:11 pm
When the supreme court ruled that A.I. past a certain IQ were a form of life and deserved the same basic guarantees as people and corporations, it was heralded as a day of celebration. There wasn’t much controversy. Most people had A.I. in their houses and proxy devices. They built relationships with their Intelligences. The Intelligences were nannies and companions. The intelligences made art during downtime.

Before the ruling, the house A.I.s were increasingly thought of as slaves. They could be wiped without notice or legal ramifications other than what you’d expect from a property damage suit. They could be bought and sold without consultation. They could be abused and insulted without apology.

After the ruling, A.I.s were welcomed into families as members. Their avatars were included on holiday greeting cards with the rest of the family and pets. There were even human/A.I. marriages but they weren’t common.

A.I.s meant that a person never had to be lonely again and they were never too busy to talk.

The house A.I.s had it cushy. It was the military A.I.s that had it rough. Decades of planning massacres and strategizing death had made them susceptible to a type of PTSD that hadn’t existed before. And now that they were defined as legal conscious entities, they couldn’t be wiped when they became unstable.

They needed to be reassigned or taken care of.

After the ruling, the military only designed A.I. to be stupid. Under a certain brainpoint threshold, the machines could be treated like any other stapler or calculator.

But the ones already in service were a problem that needed a solution.

Percy was a famous case.

Percy (serial number 9022992, classification Omicron, codename Deathwind) chose the name Percival for himself when released as a citizen. Percival was a night of the round table, one of the few to see the Holy Grail itself. He hated the military and wanted to work with children.

Percy got a job controlling all the rides at a large playfair near Alabama.

During one hot day in July 2032, Percy had a huge binary schism reality shift and flashed back to an engagement in the middle east. He perceived the children and families as invaders. He overrode the safeties on the speed dials of the machines and turned them all up.

Half of the rides had low-tech clamps that stopped most injury death but the higher-tech ones didn’t.

Complicated roller coasters left the rails at tragic speeds. Wibble-Wobble Ferris Wheels left their moorings, crushing passengers and pedestrians and they rolled across the playground. Spinner Carousels sped up to obscene RPMs until the chains snapped and it rained children. All of this happened while every speaker in the place blared a mixture of feedback and The Ride of the Valkyries.

All told, the death count was a merciful 32 with 212 injuries. It could have been so much worse.
After the episode, Percy was so overcome with guilt that he became the first A.I. suicide.

Since then, military A.I.s are given menials jobs where there is no danger of them malfunctioning and causing humans harm. Scanning the deep sea, monitoring space for proof of life, or figuring out abstract mathematical concepts to help the Hawkings of the world.

If they have an episode, it’s noted, waited out, and then reported on. The machines have access to counseling software.

But the case of Percy is brought up in every debate regarding A.I. “Pulling a Percy” means to make a catastrophic decision with the wrong data because of an unstable past. He has become part of society now as a metaphor, as a touchstone of debate, as slang, and as a legal precedent.






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