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Monday, February 13, 2017

Brain Drain

I'm sitting in a vacuum
Isolated by my bone
Processing all the data
Delivered by my phone

I'm trying to find Truth
Capitalize the T
Force fed outright lies
It's all conspiracy

This search by its design
Conquers and divides
"I am right and you are wrong!"
"No I'm not, you lied!"

True Truth is defined
By one single conclusion
All the facts, they pave the way
But fork off to confusion

I have gotten lost
Exploring those back roads
There's so many places
There's so much to know

There's too much to know
Therein lies the issue
Controlling information
Makes it prone to be misused

A power that's so great
Used irresponsibly
Has transformed Truth itself
Into subjectivity

It's information overload
Stupefying human beings
Distracted by the size of it
We're blind to what it means

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Dual


A drop of sweat beaded down his forehead and rolled into his eye. He blinked, squinting at his adversary. The sun sat high in the sky, baking the Earth beneath. They stood just feet apart, facing each other on a dirt path behind the building. Rob opened his mouth to speak, Ricky interrupted.
"Time for talkin's over. Let yer pistol say it instead."
"Them's fightin' words, partner."
"I know it."
"You mean it?"
"Sure do."
"You'll wish you didn't."
"Oh yeah?"
"Yeah."
"Let's do this then."
"Let's."
They spun on their heels and took ten paces each in opposite directions. 
"On the count of three." Ricky said with his back to Rob. "One . . . Two . . ."
"Three!" Rob finished. 
They turned together, guns drawn and began to fire.
---
The woman stood at the sink, peeling potatoes, looking through the window into the back yard. Summer was almost over and she couldn't wait. Not that she didn't love having her chicks in the nest, but even a mother hen needs to rest now and again. She finished her peeling and gathered the shavings in her wet, raisined fingers. Carrying them to the trash and stepping on the opener, she realized it was still full. 
"Dammit, the boys were supposed to do their chores before they played." She said out loud to no one. 
The peelings were dumped on top of the overstuffed trash bin as she briskly walked out the sliding glass door onto the back porch. She could hear the boys whooping and laughing on the running trail behind the back fence.
"Ricky! Rob! Get in here, now!"
Their elation went silent. She waited a moment. Presently, her two boys slunk through the back gate wielding Super Soakers, their cowboy costumes from last Halloween soaked through.
"What did I say about chores?" 
"Chores before play." Rob said dejected.
"I told you!" Ricky said addressing his older brother.
"Shut up!" Rob said.
"Enough. Both of you. Don't make me get the spoon." The woman threatened.
"Them's fightin' words." Ricky drawled.
The woman raised her eyebrows.
"I mean, I mean, yes mam!"
They ran into the house.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Sheriff

A piece of flash fiction for your entertainment.
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The saloon was packed, roaring with raucous conversation. Old Joe Jackson, bartender and owner of the joint, pounded away at the piano by the stairs. Ragtime music clang from the instrument adding to the festive, cheerful atmosphere. The last wagon train before winter had made it into town the day before and the townspeople were making a point to show the newly arrived settlers a good time before they had to continue their treacherous journey through the Rockies.

The sheriff sat at the bar nursing a cold glass of beer. It was hazy, tobacco smoke hung in the air above his head as men sat smoking and drinking and gambling. Prostitutes scrambled their way through the mess of men and tables, exhibiting their goods and disappearing upstairs with interested prospects. The sheriff was relaxed, absorbed in thought.

People in the western territories had a fickle relationship with the law. They knew it. Some obeyed it. Others took it as a suggestion. Especially the natives but, as of late, they had made themselves scarce. In the past week, however, he’d broken up eight bar fights, hung a horse thief, and listened to a pretty young whore regale him with a tale of assault and rape as tears flowed freely from her glassy green eyes. Today was his twenty fifth birthday.

The music paused, pulling the sheriff back to reality. He looked at Old Joe Jackson who met his gaze and stood up.

“Gentlemen, ladies, if I may have yer attention fer a moment!” Old Joe hollered.

The ambient discussion dimmed to a whisper. He stepped onto his piano bench holding up a glass of whiskey.

“This is one of the best goddamn towns I’ve had the pleasure of livin’ in, I ain’t just talkin’ neither.”

“Yeehaw!” Someone shouted.

“An’ I reckon it wouldn’t be near as good a place if it weren’t for our courageous lawman keepin’ outlaws and scoundrels and them goddamn injuns in check and outta town!”

“Here, here!” The saloon agreed.

“I’d like to make a toast to our new Sheriff, Mr. Austin Goodman, on the anniversary of his here birth! Here’s to our lawman, long may he live, so we can too—“

An explosion rocked the building. Glass windows shattered inward. A concussion of hot air blew Sheriff Goodman off his stool and over the bar. He pulled himself up and looked around, ears ringing like a bell. People nearest the windows were dead, bodies twisted and bleeding amongst the broken glass and splintered tables. A fire was burning by the front door and spreading like the plague. People further inside began to scramble and scream. Smoke billowed around the saloon like a thundercloud. The sheriff shouted for everyone to follow. He stumbled out the back door, twenty people behind.

The night was clear and cold, the black sky blanketed with pinpricks of white light. Whooping erupted from Main Street. The sheriff told the disoriented people to stay put and sprinted around to the front of the burning building. The savage hoots grew louder as he approached, accented by screams and gunfire. He reached the road. Horses and cattle and people stampeded in the streets. Among the whirling chaos, war-painted Indians rode on proud stallions firing arrows and ammo at the scrambling townsfolk. The sheriff drew his pistol and began to pray as he loaded six rounds into the cylinder.

“Father God . . .”

He spun the cylinder and flicked it shut with a quick twist of his wrist.

“I ask you now for a steady hand.”

He pulled back the hammer and took aim at the nearest savage.

“Guide my judgement as I defend these people.”

He closed his left eye, finger tightening on the trigger.

“Above all else, your will be done.”

He fired.

The bullet smashed into the Indian’s chest, tapping a well of red. He fell from his horse like a sack of flour, sticks of dynamite spilling from a satchel around his shoulder. Other townsmen were returning fire too. The sheriff emptied his pistol, taking down three more natives. He ducked behind a watering trough to reload. An Indian kicked his steed to a gallop, heading straight for Sheriff Goodman. The savage gained ground screaming and brandishing a mean, obsidian tomahawk. The sheriff fumbled to reload his revolver. There wasn’t time. He hurled his gun at the galloping attacker and missed by a mile. Fixing his gaze on the wild eyes of the charging mustang he spread his arms, defeated. A shot rang out behind him. The horse’s skull erupted blood and bone and brain. It collapsed, face-planting, sending its rider sprawling into the dirt.

The Indian sprang to his feet, wielding his weapon with menace. The sheriff reached into his boot and drew a large Bowie knife. The Indian bore his teeth like an angry ape. The sheriff pitched his knife, end over end, at the Indians head. The savage had the same idea. The tomahawk met the knife in midair and the two weapons crashed to the ground between them. The Indian charged, screaming like a demon. Another shot rang out. The Indian’s forehead opened wide and spilled its contents into the dirt. He hit the ground like his horse, face-first, dead as a door knob.

Old Joe Jackson emerged from the shadows wielding a beautiful lever-action rifle and gulping whiskey from a brown glass bottle jaggedly broken at the neck. He cocked his rifle smoothly with one arm. An empty bullet casing dropped to the ground and slapped into the bloody mud at his boots. He tipped his bottle back, whiskey flowing into his open mouth and down his gullet. Amber liquid ran down his scruffy chin. He grinned, irises reflecting the orange light of his flaming saloon.

“As I was sayin’, happy fuckin’ birthday, Sheriff.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Anxiety

I live with the devil
He sits on my shoulder
Whispering bullshit all day

Walking through life
My mind’s filled with strife
Consistently tense and afraid

Constantly prodding
Poking old wounds
Ripping away scabs too early

If they do get a chance
To totally mend
Scar tissue puffs pink and pearly

But when one cut is closed
Another’s torn open
Filled with infection and germ

This cycle continues
Fear without pause
An incessantly smoldering burn

Try as I might
To ignore all the lies
Whining away in my ear

There is no escape
Or so it would seem
And that is my greatest of fears

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Election Year



Two bulls in a china shop
Locking their horns
Duking it out everyday
One brays like an ass
The other’s a rat, but
An elephant’s what he’s today
She kicks and she bites
He stomps and he fights
As the porcelain shatters and cracks
A culture so fragile
Unwilling to haggle

I’m afraid now there’s no turning back

Monday, February 15, 2016

Film Review with Fidel Reyel - 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

“You’re not giving orders. You’re in my world now.”

Michael Bay the man infamous for his love of explosions, fast cars, giant robots, sunsets, and beautiful women takes on the real life story behind the 2012 Benghazi attacks. So does Michael Bay still use his over the top firework explosions? Yes. Is the movie over-saturated like other Bay outings? Yes. Is the movie filled with an absurd amount of sunsets? Yes. Is 13 Hours an enjoyable movie? Surprisingly, yes.

Bay’s direction is surprisingly well balanced as he manages to build scenes around a well paced narrative, props to the screenplay, and manages to build scenes that are driven by tension and performances.The characters are, for the most part, adequate in representing their role to the story and adding their own touch to the script’s voice. However, the two standouts of the film are James Badge Dale as Tyrone S. “Rone” Woods and John Krasinski as Jack DaSilva as both men give emotionally driven performances and demonstrate that they have the ability to be top cavalier action movie stars. Dale gives a performance that evokes leadership, selflessness, hearoism, and heartfelt loss and guilt making Dale’s performance the most complex and intriguing in the film. Meanwhile, Krasinski gives a performance where he shows a grand emotional range demonstrating both rage, loss, and bravery with passion making it difficult to believe that he is not feeling the same emotions as his character.

Unlike his previous directorial outings Michael Bay is able to direct his actors in such a manner in which their performances are what added emotion and weight to the grand scale set pieces making the battles feel like a personal war of emotion and loss. Despite all the positive material that Bay managed to produce the film’s overall feel seem to be weighted down by his occasional slip into his more glamourous taste for sunsets, and miniscule instances of Bay’s juvenile humor.

However, the pace, small scale action sequences, set designs, performances, narrative driven tension, and overall direction make 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Michael Bay’s best theatrical outing since 1996’s The Rock. It is a not a perfect movie by any means and it does not fully explore the full scope, or politics, of the events surrounding the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but the film is an entertaining action thriller that shows a level of respect to a real life event and the people involved in it. Overall, 13 Hours is a tale of heroism that sets out to deliver genuine heart and light to darkness that is in the horrors and desolation of war.


Rating: C+

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Are you REALLY in love? Fool proof ways to know for sure.

Chances are, if you clicked this link to make sure then you probably are. There really is no way to describe love simply. It comes with feelings; empathy, compassion, trust, longing. It also comes with action. Physical acts of love through gifts, service, compliments, touch, and time express our commitment to those we love in a tangible way. I don't think love is a feeling. I think love is an action. It is a self-assigned responsibility to a another human that says, "I know you, flaws and all. I care about you more than I care about myself and I am here for you."
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