The Secret Thoughts Of Derek Chauvin (A Prose Poem From The Abyss)

Look at them. All this fuss.

This is nothing new. My first was as a rookie. Got checked superior for adaptability on my evaluation. The same for attitude.

Young Black bitch with her video. Go ahead. I’d smile if I knew how. I didn’t think they were smart enough for smart phones.

“If he wasn’t trying to kill him, then what was he trying to do?” some of them asked. Are they serious? Did they really look at my face? My body language? Did they wonder why my hand was in my pocket the whole time?

I am a White cop and deserve my due!

I once stuck my baton six inches into an uppity Black bitch. Why not? Who’s to stop me? Back in the day.

But that’s not where the true bliss is. Let me tell you about bliss. About power. The hot rush below the belt.

Did you see the size of that motherfucker?!

Subjugating a Big Black Buck. I’m not the first. As old as the auction block- the whipping post. That’s power. That’s bliss.

That’s right. Hollar for your momma. Let’s do this nice and slow. Savor every second. Do you know how good I am at this? I could come in my pants and and none of you would know it.

Now my hands are cuffed as they take me away. Fuck every god damn one of you.

There is no justice in this new chicken shit world.

On Masturbation (A Lunatic Rant From The Red Wing Chronicles)

Whoa. What’s that in my hand? I didn’t put it there, but if not me, then who? And now, gentle readers, a few profound and salient thoughts on masturbation.

I recall hearing from an “expert” that all men masturbate. I don’t recall if all women do as well (clarification. I mean if all women also masturbate, not if all women do it as well as men because they would of course do it better, having superior dexterity in things like knitting and sewing on buttons and handling small diminutive objects in general.) Most male mammalian species masturbate, except for donkeys who have no opposing thumbs, which accounts for their horrible dispositions.

There are thousands of YouTube videos featuring voluptuous young women wearing sprayed on leotards doing intricate, contortionistic yoga postures. Spoiler alert. Women don’t watch these videos. In fact, serious yoginis are contemptuous of them. Only men watch them. Can you guess why? And are you aware that these videos are produced and financed by The American Association Of Carpal Tunnel Surgeons?

Not to get tangential, but not only do all men masturbate, but all men despise yoga as well. Men go to yoga classes for two reasons only: to gawk at voluptuous young women in sprayed on leotards doing splits, and to develop sufficient flexibility in their cervical vertebrae allowing them to perform autofellatio. Well, dream on men. It will never happen, thus proving that all men masturbate, despise yoga, and are stupid as well.

Is masturbation a sin? An unnatural act? Well if it’s unnatural, then why do all men do it? Even The Holy Roman Catholic Church has lightened up. For centuries, priests were told they’d go to Hell if they masturbated. Now they are allowed- providing they use an altar boy’s hand.

So there you are. Take it from an expert.

Take it from me.

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

On this day ten years ago the beautiful and talented actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away. I never actually met her, but just by being in her presence under special circumstances created a special and eternal bond between the two of us. This is my remembrance and tribute to this magnificent lady.

In July of 1961, at the age of eleven, I was hospitalized for six weeks with acute ulcerative colitis. As my family had no health insurance, I was admitted on an emergency basis to what was then Cedars Of Lebanon Teaching Hospital in Los Angeles. My temperature was a 105 degrees and I was immediately given a series of blood transfusions. It was not until years later that I learned I had nearly died.

Every day, the young interns would come by and make their stops before each room, observing the pediatric patients through the glass walls and taking notes.

Although I was seriously ill, the young boy in the room next to mine was far worse. I was told he had leukemia, and through the glass window separating our rooms I could see him, growing ever more frail by the day-ghostly pale, as if fading from the world.

One day there was great excitement outside my room. An entourage of several well dressed, important looking people were coming down the hall, surrounding a couple: a dark, somewhat slight man with less than perfect skin, and a woman who drew everyone’s rapt attention. It was Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor.

She really did look like the Most Beautiful Woman In The World. In her physical and creative prime, she radiated beauty- as well as style, elegance and that difficult to define, sadly diminishing quality called class.

She was there to visit the fading boy. I could see her through the glass, talking with him and touching him gently; and I could see the fading boy responding- this beautiful, compassionate woman came to visit him- responding to her grace and kindness and, however briefly, he glowed in her presence.

Within days, his room was empty.

After all these years, I’ve never forgotten the fading boy, or the beautiful angel who gave him comfort when it was most needed.

On Good And Evil (A Stream Of Consciousness Conjecture From The Red Wing Chronicles)

The big question. Are we Good or are we Evil? Such a childlike question, black and white, in a nutshell, either or, no consideration of nuance, gradation, range scale or continuum. What, for that matter, is Good and Evil? Are they relative subjective subject to change in an eternal state of flux influenced by evolving more’s fashions flavors of the month flavors of the millennia ebbs and flows fluctuations of the stock market of the Dow of the Tao the length of skirts and the shortness of breath? No. More likely Good and Evil are pliable, clay in the potter’s hands, bendable, pliant to the smithy’s hammer retooled revised reinvented by whatever authority rules the roost at whatever given time.

Absolute. Absolute definitions of Good and Evil? Says who? You have to believe someone usually god. What god? Whose god? Whatever god you were told of indoctrinated with as a child so many competing gods the god of Allah the god of Abraham or the angel named Maroni (ah an Italian god?) the Yahweh god the The One True God everyone they all think the other god is the false god the cult god who to believe what would happen if you believed in none perhaps you’re a searcher blind wandering with a white cane better go down the right path or you might stumble and fall into the abyss, But, having said all that, there could be a consensus a solidarity perhaps universality yes that’s asking a lot but The Golden Rule is valid independent of a god I don’t want to be whacked over the head with a two by four so I won’t whack someone else with one are empathy and compassion dependent upon the grace of god or are they inherent hardwired people who feel the pain of others and want to mitigate suffering I would posit are good and those devoid of empathy and want to inflict suffering are bad building an orphanage is Good burning one to the ground after the innocent orphans have been tucked in (probably after saying their prayers thus compounding their suffering good god do you need a hearing aid!?) is Evil. But here’s the rub the fly in the ointment the elephant in the room. In a materialistic world a universe of matter and energy and nothing else can Good and Evil be palpable measurable observable under the microscope detectable through the telescope in the world of science Good and Evil have no atomic code no gnome no fossil record therefore they are metaphysical why even waste our time so say the scientists why bother we have better things to do leave these questions to the fools and philosophers go away and debate among yourselves how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. A question. A provocative question. Can there be Good without Evil or Evil without Good? Can there be a Yin without Yang a North without South tall without short rich without poor? But. But what if there is no balance no polarity no eternal law of opposites darkness without light Hell without Heaven?

And so I have descended into the sinkhole the pit the abyss of pessimism of doubt of cynicism. I believe in Hell but am skeptical of Heaven. I have seen Evil. It hovers a malignant mist a halo of darkness I have seen it etched on faces a virus moving through assemblies becoming crowds then the halos appear one for everyone radiating darkness the crowd shifts becomes a mob I have seen the leer of Evil the smug jubilation of the mob the wide mouths obscene gaping holes grinning with glee at the carnival at the warm Summer night’s picnic smile for the camera try not to drool as Black men hang from the trees

swaying in the Summer breeze.

Superstition (Stream Of Consciousness Incredulity From The Red Wing chronicles)

Superstition. After all this time all the progress at least in science and technology we have made during the last several millennia superstition and its cousins the supernatural and conspiracy theories etc. etc. persist and seem to be gaining steam.

Just look at the flat earth believers once a derided amusing fringe group have grown in numbers and influence despite overwhelming evidence the earth is round as in sphere look at the photographic evidence amassed from space by the astronauts but hold on there they say it’s fake the astronauts were actors the moon landing never occurred if it had why didn’t the astronauts prove it by bringing back some green cheese everyone knows the moon is made of the stuff or at least some kind of cheese coverup! Armstrong’s actual first words on the lunar surface were “That’s one small slice of cheddar for man, one giant block of brie for mankind” and not only that when they planted the American flag Old Glory on a stick why were the stars and stripes fluttering proudly in the breeze there is no breeze on the moon it has no atmosphere although it is rich in ambience and is still embraced by romantics and werewolves alike.

The earth is flat? Then why don’t all of you flat earth true believers form a caravan of SUV’S and drive in one straight direction and fall off the edge thus proving your theory and relieving those of us who are rational from having to endure you.

How distressing depressing and boringly ironic that history really does seem to repeat itself the arrogance of ignorance rears its odious head time after time thinking it is competitive with or more probably superior to facts and science. Reliable sources tell me that there are people more than you might think who believe there is a conspiracy of powerful people politicians moguls actors media elites who comprise a cabal of Satan worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles operating out of pizzerias how can this be well into the 21st century a conspiracy theory of such flamboyant stupidity? They’ve got to be putting us on but nay they are deadly serious and I mean deadly. They believe the cabal must be exposed and executed who needs evidence facts proof that’s for those hoity toity high falutin’ scientific types no the truth is not under the microscope or observed through a telescope it’s not in the lab or the test tube look elsewhere for the truth it’s in the tea leaves the chicken entrails the crystal ball rumor has it read it in a tabloid go to the internet ah for the good ole’ days the witch burning days the Inquisition days ah yes those inquisitors would know how to handle Satan worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles put them on the rack tighten the thumb screws hoist them to the ceiling by their arms tied behind their backs oh those Medieval monks were such a playful bunch giggling as they plied their craft Science is the true Devil’s handiwork throw Galileo in the dungeon make him recant the heresy such heresy the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun- Blasphemy! The earth is the center of the universe the sun and the planets revolve around the earth how do we know tell us you inquisitors inquisitive minds want to know reason is a dangerous thing the earth is stationary solid in the center of the universe and oh by the way it’s as flat as a pancake.

On The Sadistic Humor Of Traffic Lights (A Stream Of Consciousness Rave From “The Red Wing Chronicles”)

Driving. Traffic lights. We can’t live with them and we can’t live without them. But they have buttressed a long held misgiving of mine a belief easily dismissed as irrational absurd unscientific and mathematically impossible. The belief? The belief is that traffic lights are not what they seem. They are intelligent sentient discerning discriminating all seeing beings watching us as we watch them and oh they have their favorites they smile at some and beam good fortune green green always green for the chosen- green as the grass after rainfall green as cash fresh off the mint green as emeralds polished by master gem cutters green as envy yes envy is what I feel watching these lucky souls glide through intersections with eternal e-tickets it’s a wonder they don’t have their brakes removed who needs them ?

Then, there are those who are despised by the traffic lights objects of eternal mockery shunned shamed cursed by them for no discernible rational reason. Those. Like me.

It’s not as if I have dishonored disrespected or denigrated those shining sentinels of safety and order recklessly ignoring their authority plowing through intersections when the lights are red shining crimson scarlet red ruby red no it’s something else perhaps prejudice for reasons even the towering traffic lights don’t understand but I understand for I am the king the accursed enemy number one for me there is one color only guess which it’s the color of blood and roses rubies and Hellfire yes red red interminable relentless red. The left turn lanes are the worst the light is green I speed up yes for once I am going to make it buck the system unravel the natural order closer closer still green I enter the lane only three cars ahead of me but lo! All three make slow lazy u-turns and as the third one begins to turn the light turns red. Or, late for an appointment I’ve got to make that light it just turned green just a little faster yes yes I’m almost there only one car in front of me the light turns yellow the car in front will surely make it easily and so will I if I step on it I pound the accelerator in the same instant the overly cautious driver in front hits the brakes oh how close I feel Mayhem’s hot breath on my neck my eyes widen like astonished saucer plates I slam the brakes that sickening screech of wheels no longer moving but the car still does the stench of burnt rubber I stop an inch before I rear end the car in front no not yet this time the traffic lights don’t want to lose me they plan to keep me around for future bliss oh the endless amusement I provide them as the light eternally turns red just as I reach the intersection and the innocent hapless souls behind me the collateral damage they also must suffer and when in the distant future the light turns green they will have nine inch toenails spider webs in their nostrils birds nests in their hair their mummified body parts torn off toted away and tagged by young, eager paleontologists.

From The Red Wing Chronicles- A Stream Of Consciousness Remembrance Of King Kong

I’m drifting drifting back in memory once again and I think I’m about seven and my parents are debating whether or not I should be allowed to see a scary movie. My mother was concerned that at my age the trauma might warp my mind ha little did she know of future warpings from myriad traumas but she was overruled by my father- who knows he may have relished the thought of trauma forever affecting the innocent young psyche of his only begotten son. And thus I was allowed to stay up late and watch the original 1933 version of King Kong.

I was fascinated. Mesmerized and captivated. The movie so dark and dream-like and years later I would learn that this film was embraced by Andre Breton and the French Surrealists. But I was confused, that innocent young psyche of mine having never been exposed to ambiguity, and wasn’t Kong The Magnificent 52 foot tall Ape supposed to be the villain abducting poor diminutive Fay Wray and all (God only knows what he intended to do with her and my innocent young psyche was not sufficiently developed to conjecture the possibilities, although Andre Breton and his pals probably could, what with them being French and all.) But I was on Kong’s side from the get-go and it felt strange. Weren’t there Good Guys and Bad Guys cops and robbers cowboys and Indians white hats vs black hats wasn’t it supposed to be clear and simple, self-evident a priori Yin and Yang? If Kong wasn’t the bad guy then who was? He didn’t go to the Big Apple of his own volition, no they gassed him unconscious and abducted him. He was a hostage and boy if there was ever anyone immune to the Stockholm Syndrome it was King Kong!

Shackled, debased, humiliated, a giant Broadway attraction a Gargantuan vaudeville performer growling pulling on his chains inspiring awe and fear in the heartless gown and tuxedo audience. Then, like self-destructive idiots, they cart out Fay Wray with her rescuer beau Jack, Kong’s arch rival. Snapping pictures, flash bulbs flaring agitating the big fellow a voice screams out “Stop-stop- he thinks you’re hurting the girl!” and with a mighty tug he is unchained liberated pissed off to high heaven running amok killing and crushing derailing subway trains- looking, searching desperately for her, Fay Wray where did they hide her there there she is and she is snatched away from the insipid Jack and my innocent young psyche absolutely bewildered, not the least of reasons being I sensed Fay actually preferred Kong over her rescuer beau Jack because he was pure and uncorrupted. I’m with you Kong I’m with you wreak havoc on the bastards grab Fay Wray climb up the newly built Empire State Building that concrete and steel phallic icon of civilization.

No no here come the planes yes that’s it knock them out of the sky but the cowards have you outnumbered blasting you with machine guns death by a thousand cuts and you fall fall to the street dead. The voice of his captor bellows “Twas Beauty killed the Beast.” Bullshit you killed him you exploitive bastard and before the closing credits I’m no longer ambivalent. I knew then I was one of you and not one of them, and as far as I’m concerned you should have laid waste to New York then moved on to Jersey.

Ode To The Asteroid People (A Stream Of Consciousness Rant)

There are people. Many more than you may think. People who can’t sleep. Caffeine? No. Sleep apnea? No. Eating before bedtime? No. The Great Asteroid making a beeline for planet Earth? Yes.

There are people obsessed with the Great Asteroid. It’s out there and closing in fast. They lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, eyes wide, saucer plates of angst, their bedclothes drenched in sweat. Why? Why worry about something that is immeasurably unlikely to happen within the next billion years? The dinosaurs didn’t worry, and look where they are today (oops, I fell into that one.) But having brought this up, there are people who deny the existence of dinosaurs. There never were such creatures because fossil evidence is fake, and they’re not mentioned in the bible. The Arc could never accommodate them, not even one let alone two of every kind plus it’s a known fact the Earth is only 6,000 years old and flat to boot just put a level on the ground if you want proof but I digress. Back to the asteroid neurotics the people who never worry about death by cancer or traffic accidents or homicide or stepping on banana peels or psychotic spouses rabid dogs lunatic clowns lightening striking twice in the same place plagues pandemics terminal restless leg syndrome uncontrolled gerd the careless wife who drops a plugged in heater in her husband’s bath old age aneurysms or simple natural causes while sleeping peacefully surrounded by family (a fate worse than death).

But they can’t get their minds off that asteroid. In an infinite universe there could be trillions of them floating around near the speed of light willy nilly cosmic pinballs no rhyme or reason one knocking into another changing course careening helter skelter onto a pathway to Earth unstoppable inexorable where the hell’s Bruce Willis when we need him there look up in the sky it’s Super Asteroid looming larger every day until it swallows the sky then boom the world and all of its denizens pulverized evaporated could be a blessing in disguise no more migraines traffic jams bankruptcies hemorrhoids boorish offensive neighbors a final cosmic analgesic

just ask the dinosaurs they have no worries.

Post Mortem Photography (A Halloween Horror Treat)

In honor of Samhain, or Halloween as those of you disconnected from your Pagan roots like to call it, I present to you a horror story from my new collection of macabre short stories “October Twilight.” If you find this tale inordinately disturbing, think twice before calling your mother.

It was an unusually warm October day in Willem Maryland as James Hundly loaded his photography equipment into the carriage.

        It was 1886 and he thought about the reports he had heard of inventors and engineers who were on the verge of creating carriages that could be driven without horses. Progress. Progress seemed to be everywhere, especially in his business – photography. Newer technologies such as tintypes and calotypes were beginning to supplant the daguerreotype, but James was loyal to the technique mastered by Mathew Brady. James believed daguerreotypes, better than the newer technologies, captured the essence of death, as in Alexander Gardner’s masterpiece images in “The Dead of Antietam.” The essence of death. Death was the special niche James had settled into. He was an expert in his field – post mortem portrait photography.

On a warm day such as this one, he was grateful that the deceased on his latest assignment had passed only two days prior, and wisely was placed on ice. During his career he had accepted several assignments in which the deceased was left at room temperature and several days had elapsed postmortem. Copious amounts of perfume sprayed throughout the house could not begin to conceal the stench of death, and rigor mortis made the subject less pliable during the posing process.

            The carriage pulled up to the large Victorian house on Dawson Street. James got off the carriage, and with assistance from the driver toted his equipment up the steps to the front door. He gave the driver a generous gratuity, then tapped the door with the heavy brass knocker.


            The door was opened by a woman. She appeared to be in her mid-forties and was attractive in spite of a harshness in her demeanor. Her eyes were cold and grey, and she was dressed in a black mourning gown that reached down to her ankles. Her dark hair was pulled back in a tight bun.

      She extended her black gloved hand. “Mr. Hundly, my name is Leda Brown. I’ve explained the situation in detail in my letter. I am the mother of identical twin boys: Polux and Castor. They are twelve years of age. My dear Castor has departed our world of sorrows, leaving me only with Polux. Come with me into the parlor so I may introduce you.” “Yes – yes of course,” replied James. “But first let me bring my equipment inside.”

            After moving the tools of his trade inside, he followed Mrs. Brown into the parlor. She walked with a decisive, almost frenetic gait. James had to step lively to keep pace with her.

   When he entered the parlor he saw them. Identical twins indeed, sitting side by side on an ornate burgundy divan.

            They were handsome boys. Blond, with delicately chiseled features. They wore matching outfits. Long sleeved white silk shirts with black bow ties. The sleeves were adorned with black pearl cufflinks. They were clad in knickerbocker knee pants with long white stockings. Their shoes were black leather, buffed to a glistening shine, with silver buckles. Somewhat incongruously, both wore white sailor caps, tilted ever so slightly toward their left eyes. The unevenness created an inadvertent appearance of rakishness.

            “Boys, this is Mr. Hundly. He is an expert photographer, especially with subjects whose spirits have gone to another, happier realm.”      

            James looked at the boys, a mirror image of one another. They both stared vacantly, their stillness unnerving. Were they both dead? Then, Polux blinked and turned his head toward James.

 “Hello Mr. Hundly. My name is Polux.” There was a gentle sweetness in his voice. He looked at his mother, then back at James.  A plaintive apprehension registered in his eyes.

            “Is that all you have to say to Mr. Hundly? Where are your manners?” Polux’s mother was visibly agitated. “Is that all, Polux? You forgot to say, how are you? – You forgot to inquire as to Mr. Hundly’s wellbeing.”

            James was becoming discomforted. Mrs. Brown’s voice grew increasingly shrill with every syllable. “I taught you the same manners at the same time I taught your brother. Castor would never be so rude!” It was more a screech than a statement. She was teetering on the cusp of hysteria. Then, she grew calm and walked over to the divan and embraced Castor. “Oh, my poor baby,” she cooed in his ear – “My poor, adorable baby.” She held his head to her breast, and gently stroked his cheek. “Mama still loves you, baby. Mama will always love you best.” Her eyes teared as she carefully repositioned Castor, straightening a lock of his hair that had fallen out of place.

            Mrs. Brown stood and and smoothed her dress as she regained her composure.

            “You must forgive me, Mr. Hundly. These are difficult times for me. The times have always been difficult. I’m a widow you know. My husband passed ten years ago, when my sons were only two. My poor, hapless Henry. His heart, dear man, had always been weak. You have no idea- a woman alone, trying her best to raise two boys. Boys can be difficult.” She paused and glared at Polux. “Some boys.”

             “Well, Mrs. Brown,” responded James, “It’s not abnormal for boys of your sons’ age to have an abundance of energy and cause mischief. But it’s usually harmless and they grow out of it. I’ve photographed dozens of boys who I was told were actually incorrigible. But once posed and under the lights, their misbehavior disappears.” James paused and glanced at Castor and Polux. “Of course,” he added, “misbehavior is not an issue with those boys who have escaped these earthly bounds.”

              Mrs. Brown continued to to stare daggers at Polux, then her gaze softened as she turned her focus to Castor.

             “All right, everyone, let’s get started,” announced James. From his assembled items, James extracted a copper plate covered with silver, which he buffed to a glossy shine with a pad. He then slid the plate into the rear of the camera, which he then placed on a tripod. “Now Polux, sit closer to your brother. Look at his face. Look at the expression of peaceful calm projecting from his eyes. Now I want you to relax and try to look just like your brother, and hold that pose for about two minutes.”

             Polux turned his head and stared at Castor. He could not see calm or peacefulness. All he could see was death. Cold, unflinching death with vacant eyes that looked but could not see.

             James placed the dark cloth hood over his head and made adjustments until the image before him was was ready to be captured, photographically, for eternity. Then Polux abruptly sneezed.

              “Now you’ve done it. Now you’ve ruined everything!” screamed Mrs. Brown.

               “It’s alright, Mrs. Brown. Nothing was harmed or damaged. We’ll just start over at the beginning. I’m sure Polux sneezed because the air is growing stale.”

                ‘No, it’s not alright!” shrieked Mrs. Brown. “All you needed to do Polux, was keep still and look proper like your brother. All you had to do was be good for two minutes. Castor was good for twelve years, and you can’t even muster two minutes of goodness!”

                 James looked at Polux. The poor boy. his situation was outlandish. Having to sit next to his dead identical twin was traumatic enough without his mother’s venomous scree. The tenor of her wrath was bordering on mania. The look of fear and hurt on Polux’s face was pitiful.

                 “Please, Mrs. Brown- try to contain yourself. Castor and Polux are identical twins. Everything about them, both physically and spiritually, is the same, and both were raised in the same household. If Castor was a good boy, then logically Polux must also be a good boy.”

                  Mrs. Brown was scarlet, and began to shake with rage. “He’s not a good boy; he’s bane. He’s nothing like my sweet Castor except in appearance.”

                  James felt that the situation was careening out of control. He had seen the wide swath of human emotion in his line of work, but this was unique, The overt hatred of a mother for her son was terrifying and unnatural.

                   Mrs. Brown walked up to Polux. She was inches from his face. When she spoke, her words came as hisses, as if from an enraged viper.

                   “Castor was easy. He was gentle inside me, but you had to get twisted inside my womb. You ripped and tore me inside and made me useless!”

                   She began to scream like a lunatic banshee. Polux recoiled, and in doing so knocked Castor off the divan. “You monster!” she screamed. “You should be the dead one- you should have died at birth!”

                   Mrs. Brown knelt on the floor beside Castor and lifted him back in position on the divan. She clutched him to her breast and kissed him softly on his head.

                   Now it was James’ turn to raise his voice. “Listen- listen to me, Mrs. Brown. Calm down. This is an opportunity which will never occur again. To have an image of Castor, together with his brother, captured as a photographic image for all eternity. You’re in grief. I’ve seen many grief-stricken people, and often things are said that people don’t mean.”

                   Mrs. Brown’s hyperventilating scree began to subside, and her excitability diminished. “I know how important this is to you ma’am, and I have a suggestion. Let’s take a break. Polux and I will go outside for some air, and you and your beloved Castor can be alone.”

                  Mrs. Brown complied with James’ suggestion. She embraced Castor, and whispered sweetly into his ear. Then James gestured to Polux to accompany him outside. The two sat down on a lounge on the porch. The October sun bathed them in warmth and light.

                  “I’m so sorry, Polux. This experience has got to be a nightmare for you. If you would like to talk about it I can offer a sympathetic ear. Sometimes talking about our trials and tribulations can give us some degree of solace.” Polux’s eyes were bathed in tears and he faltered as he spoke.

                   “It’s worse. Worse than you can imagine. No nightmare could be as horrible as my life. My mother killed Castor. She thought he was me. She has rages- violent rages. This time she went crazy with rage, and forgot to look for the birthmark on my back. It’s the only thing that makes Castor and me different.” He paused, wiping away tears and catching his breath. “There are people-neighbors-who speak in whispers, who believe my mother also killed my father because he objected to her mistreatment of me.” Polux held his face in his hands, then looked up to James. “Please help me, Mr. Hundly.”

                  James felt sick- sick in his heart and soul. He could feel this hapless boy’s pain. His own mother was often engulfed in moods of darkness, and would lash out in cruelty. But nothing like this. Mrs. Brown had transcended the status of abusive parent and risen to the position of malignant, homicidal bitch.

                  James embraced Polux, then gently lifted his chin and smiled. “I think I have a solution.” He looked back at the house, then returned his gaze to Polux. “I want you to stay here on the porch, and try to enjoy this beautiful October day. I’ll go back inside for a brief meeting with your mother. I’m confident that the solution will result in what’s best for everyone. Now relax until I come to get you. This shouldn’t take long.”

                   James walked into the house, and Polux looked about at his surroundings. He felt caressed by the day’s warmth. Across the street a huge red maple tree bore leaves that glowed with crimson and yellow. If only this moment was not fleeting. If only things were…

                   James came outside. The tension from earlier was gone. He looked light and happy. “Come inside with me, Polux.” Polux was frozen with trepidation. “But- but my mother. She…” James interrupted him. “Just come inside. Don’t be afraid. I think you’ll be pleased.”

                   They went inside and walked into the parlor. Polux stopped in his tracks. He was not sure if what he saw before him was real.

                   On the divan his mother sat next to Castor, their bodies touching. Castor’s hand lay on his mother’s lap, enveloped by her hands. They looked beatific. Mother and son, basking beneath a halo of bliss. He never imagined his mother could look so happy and at peace.

                  “I don’t do this sort of thing often”, said James. “We can relax now and take our time.” He smiled, happy in his work, the work in which he took such pride. “All we need now is just a bit of emulsifier to cover the markings on her neck. Then I’ll take the picture. It should be one of my best.” He bent behind the camera, his head beneath the hood. Slowly, the image came into focus. Yes, it was perfect.

                   Especially her eyes, opened wide, brimming with mother love, staring forever into the void.

On The Virtue Of Vanishing (A Stream Of Consciousness Lament)

It’s amazing the things that are dredged up from the dark chambers of the human psyche repressed memories dormant but forever vigilant lying in wait for that particular trigger allowing them to rear their ugly heads like periscopes rising from the sewer.

Perhaps repression is not necessarily a bad thing but a safety mechanism allowing us to maintain albeit tenuously our feeble grip on sanity. Sanity. How can any of us be truly sane? The horrors of life are omnipresent ubiquitous surrounding us all without respite without succor relentlessly absurd indefatigably barbaric the natural organic horrors the plagues earthquakes floods famines pestilences fires hurricanes tempests tornadoes simply aren’t sufficient no indeed we inflict upon ourselves far worse with wars pogroms holocausts purges genocides rape murder mayhem to say nothing of the vicious bastards who step on our feet as they cut in front of us in line. All of which pales when compared to what we do to the entire Earth.

Oh how it saddens me to state the obvious but the world would be a far better place without us the air and the water would be cleaner an endless variety of species no longer endangered the soil no longer putrid from pollutants the ozone layer no longer thinned and punctured the temperature no longer melting glaciers raising water levels causing endless drought eternal forest fires and yes my fellow bipeds hear my Clarion call think of the whales washing ashore choking on plastics the carnage the disgusting road kill the stomach turning wet markets dog carcasses hanging on hooks pangolins slaughtered for their meat that alone could be a persuasive argument for our annihilation what vile psychopaths would want to eat a pangolin probably the same ones who burn millions of acres of rain forests to clear the land for condominiums the adorable little koala bears falling off flaming trees fleeing for their lives alas the flames are too quick and engulf the hapless little teddy bears of the majestic rain forests oh shame shame on us all quick press the button on the doomsday machine we’ve clearly worn out our welcome let us depart in one fell poof can you imagine the jubilation of the surviving flora and fauna oh poor tuckered out Mother Earth picture if you can a global block party thrown by the mice and the lizards the fish and the flies the elephants and the armadillos the entire panoply of genus phylum and specie the entire realm of the organic yes they wail in bliss roar with ecstasy bark with euphoria hyenas laughing themselves senseless the lions dancing with the gazelles the rollicking rhinos the rabbits in rapture yes yes good riddance they bellow –