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Be The Key

I’ll be sharing this at the January 12, 2017 Literary Conclave (a Stormwind University weekly public event on Wyrmrest Accord-US).

 

In this solitude I have come to realize
That I am no longer the same in your eyes
Twisted and contorted by vitriol and words
Happy memories of me have flown away like birds

But I protected mine, kept you safe from harm
With all of your idiosyncrasies, emotions and charm
And in time these memories will fade and disappear
Feathers falling from skin, my greatest fear

Our time together was innocent and pure
And for this loneliness those memories are the cure
I catch glimpses of you in my minds eye
Even when I’m not thinking of you, you fly by

I wonder if within us lays the ability to communicate
Our very life force sending messages of love, not hate
Consciousnesses somehow connected through dreams
The dancing, prancing, tossing, crossing streams

But the real world weighs heavily on me these days
And I find myself laying awake at night in a daze
Conflicted within, the dichotomy of love and reason
Watching as time marches by with seasons

Maybe you’ll never love me again, who really knows
A love the winter in your heart may have froze
But I’ll always keep you safe, tucked away someplace
I’ll be holding on tightly to you just in case.

元気ですか?知りません

あなたのために望みます
もあなたはすべています
私はこうかいしています
でも自分は愛しています
これは分かりましたか?
日本語からうれしいです

Schism

My mind is blown open like the expanding universe
This phantasmagoria is mine alone to traverse

I wonder who it is that appears to haunt me
But it’s sometimes impossible to see

Faces morph the closer I try to look
They’re the faces you see when you read a book

I’m filled with regret reminded of my mistakes
Ephemeral thoughts at my heart they do rake

I know I’m only one of billions of stars
In this galaxy we call the race that is ours

But I believe it’s possible to commune with others
In opposition to the superficial difference of colours

In the realm of consciousness exists the mechanism
That serves to make connections deep within a schism

In the domain of thought and dream
Intangible and unquantifiable crossing streams

And it’s within them that I consider the possibilities
The currently unknown and all our limits and abilities

The only conclusion I’ve drawn is that I believe.

The Darkmoon Faire

I shared this at this week’s Literary Conclave (held by Stormwind University on the Wyrmrest Accord US RP WoW server).

Purple and Green,
Strangest things you’ve ever seen!
Eerie woods all around,
Fun & Games will astound!
Days are long,
Come by for a song!
ETC will shred and slay,
They’ll make you dance all day!
Many prizes to be won,
The Dancing Bear weighs ton!
Monsters have nowhere to hide,
Just don’t forget your Adventurer’s Guide!
Every month we’ll come by,
Come mounted, by ship or fly.
Step on up to The Darkmoon Faire,
Bring the little ones to show you care!

This has been a message paid for by Silas Darkmoon.

Moan

The title of this poem is an allusion (maybe not anymore) to Moan by Trentemøller.

The journey well charted
Everything had its place
Until she came along
She was all I needed
She was all I wanted
The everything in my world
Everybody loved my baby
She came to the other side
But she saw madness and flew
My everything became black
My world suddenly so empty
Feeling she would return
Days become years
And silence a cold winter
The flame within my heart
Only memories to keep me warm
All the lonely ones
In the graveyard alone
I belong to them now
Ravens forming an unkindness
The black sentinels
We with sorrow laden
Daggers from the past
Moving ever forward
Remember and we are there
Haunted
Melancholy
Still
We will never know love again
At least we have each other
We are The Wretched
We are The Kindred
And in the end
We still pretend.

Neverwinter

Eternally burning in the darkness
Is Lord Neverwinter the ember
He is not in the slightest heartless
For while the snow falls in December

He is reminded of a love that burns
A love that has kept him alive
And it is for this love that he yearns
So he is ablaze in the cold, and thrives.

The Fire Line

Inspired by the events of the Fort McMurray fire and a story heard on CBC’s “The Current”.


Breaking into houses, it’s not a crime,
To rescue animals on our down time.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Family photos burning in the fire,
A motorcycle with melted tires.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Taking our trucks back to refuel,
The high revving ever so cruel.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Heavy hose full of rushing water,
In my suit thinking of my daughter.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Pure adrenaline keeping us going,
Exhaustion creeping, raging fire blowing.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Apocalyptic scene, we protect what we can,
Bulldozers pushing car, truck and van.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Brands floating through black smoke,
It stings my lungs, it will make you choke.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

We are retreating as it’s taking houses,
People are lucky to be with their spouses.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Burning embers allowing it to travel,
Yelling over it, we will not unravel.
Everything will be fine,
Just hold the line.

Things Still On The Surface

I remember,
the little lizards on the bathroom window
them eating the bugs attracted by the light
the smell of her shampoo on her wet hair
standing there putting soap on her back
when she was sick and throwing up
holding her hair back and watching helpless
her stomping upstairs clearly upset
waiting a few minutes before knocking
when she opened the door, a hug and a kiss
the skeleton that used to hang on the door
hearing The Planets for the first time
laying in bed, completely lost in the music
standing and being bit by many mosquitoes
when we took photographs in the backyard
the way she used to put on Burt’s Bees
a popping sound that indicated she was done
her tapping her thumb on the steering wheel
while she drove stick, all over the place
when she cried in my car, and I kissed her
I would cry, like I’d never see her again
I used to think she lived in a desert
with cacti, wearing cowboy boots and hats
when my body was just too slow for me
and I missed an opportunity to talk to her
feeling terrible for going out and leaving
when she called me and I was having dinner
there was a time when I wasn’t afraid to call
the often long and comfortable silences
being requested to do an asian accent
eating pizza while sitting on the floor
big spooning, not knowing where to put my arm
and the way her hair would tickle my nose
burning incense and her dad hated it
being a terrible gifter, but not her
getting her one good gift, a black dress
then not knowing where she could wear it
driving to Montreal, and having crepes
and the traffic jam we experienced
having beignets in a most familiar kitchen
all the many, many great home-cooked meals
when you would get drunk, quite easily
and not wanting to take advantage of you
even though we were lovers, it felt wrong
thinking not everyone felt that way
when I thought that she’d always be there
and the comfort that would bring me, always

The Compilers

Chapter I – “My Wetware”
Chapter II – “C++”
Chapter III – “The Players”
Chapter IV – “The Cutter”
Chapter V – “The Fortress”
Chapter VI – “Ben”
Chapter VII – “A Strange Protocol”
Chapter VIII – “The Halting Problem”
Chapter IX – “Torpor”
Chapter X – “The Compilers”

The air is filled with mingling aromas. Sweat, colognes, perfumes, and the overpowering smell of marijuana smoke. Ambrosia is making its way around the crowd and people are slotting it in and passing it along. It messes with your brain somehow, all I know is that you’re filled with pleasure and happiness for a while, a euphoria. It must use up neurotransmitters, because a second dose doesn’t do anything. This makes it non-addictive— a pirate’s grog that is often shared at events like concerts, amongst friends and not under the purview of the Police.

There’s an opening band playing right now, I haven’t heard of them before, but they’re not too bad. “The Martian Dream”, from the Mars Colony I bet. People don’t seem super into them, you know, they’re mostly just smoking marijuana or slotting Ambrosia and otherwise just standing around, waiting. I feel sorry for them, but at least people aren’t throwing things at them and booing— they’re good enough that that isn’t happening.

If the Cyber Division wanted to get rid of a bunch of their problems all at once they’d blow this place up with all of us in it. Thankfully, entrapment seems to be more their style. They could still bust in here any minute and start arresting people using their drones. Shit. Why did I come here it’s the perfect place to get caught. I need to get close to an exit.

I make my way through the pit to the stairs that lead backstage, I was given two backstage passes one of which is scanned by a bouncer standing at the bottom of the stairs next to the stage. I could have invited someone, but I don’t know many people who aren’t busy with work and their relationships these days. I could have invited Kagi, but I doubt she would travel from Toronto for a concert with someone she just met. Besides, I didn’t get her number.

We’re at stage right, me and the bouncer, he verifies my Apple chip containing the ticketing information and nods and steps aside. He’s a hulking mass of flesh and muscle— bald wearing dark sunglasses. I walk up the stairs and down a short corridor that opens up to the backstage area. There are people lined up along the walls, talking to each other. They momentarily glance my way when I enter and return to their conversations. I don’t see any of the band members, but there is an exit to the left. Perfect, if the Cyber Division busts in I’ll be on the street in a matter of seconds and they will never find out my plug has gone missing.

I look to my right and see The Martian Dream doing their thing on stage, bright coloured lights illuminating them, traversing the spectrum, morphing, changing, making them seem etherial and other-worldly. You know, they probably are from Mars, so I guess they technically are “other-worldly”, but you know what I mean. The bass line hypnotizes me and I stare at the bass player, watching him do his thing on electric bass, he’s at stage right.

Instruments haven’t changed much since ancient times when they were first invented. I mean, there are optical pickups and stuff now, but most people still use round wounds over magnet poles that are wrapped in copper wire. The tradition. Music is highly nostalgic in that sense, musicians honour those who came before and use the same tools. Pedals modulate and manipulate sounds, and those have gotten pretty fancy over the years with many boutiques like Earthquaker Devices creating progressively more advanced effects for the discerning musician.

I can’t imagine myself striking up a conversation with anyone backstage, even though we share an interest in The Compilers. I don’t know why, but I find it difficult to approach people I don’t know. Most people don’t even make eye contact with me. What is it about me that makes this so? I don’t know. My best guess is that my face doesn’t express emotion or interest as well as others. I don’t know. I’m shy.

The song changes, a really slick bass line leads the song in then drums, followed by guitar. It reminds me of Radiohead’s “The National Anthem”. This band isn’t that bad. The guitar is highly manipulated, etherial tones and wales that evoke a vast spacial soundstage. “Everyone. Everyone around here. Everyone is so, near”, I hear. No, it’s a cover of “The National Anthem”. Wow. It’s done in their own style, their flavour, it sounds different, but the bass line is the same now that I can piece together the layers.

I look around and people are staring at the band on stage, no longer interested in their conversations. Some are nodding their heads, tapping their feet, excited by the familiar track. They are killing it. I take some Apples out of my pocket and sift through them until I find an Ambrosia program. I slot it in and my head jerks back, overwhelmed. I am filled with an artificially produced euphoria and exhale slowly through my mouth.

The National Anthem is the band’s last song and they take their leave after thanking the audience, bright white spotlights now shining on them. Soon the roadies are tearing down their setup and preparing for the main act. No Cyber Division yet. As the Martian Dream comes backstage they are crowded with what I guess are fans, although you would never guess based on how they were conversing during their set. They play it cool and shrug off most of the crowd, except for the young women, who they magnetically attract. Soon they’re followed by a group of women who they show genuine interest in. Blow jobs and sex, you know how it is.

I wait in the backstage area, finding a place along a newly liberated wall. I watch the roadies pulling out an coiling cables and carrying equipment off stage towards me. There’s one unscrewing the high hat and cymbals, I watch him. He’s a slender, good looking guy wearing a t-shirt and jeans with tattooed sleeves. I wonder if he’s in a band, he probably is. As he tears down the drum set I begin to think about Kagi. I wonder what she’s doing right now.

After the last piece of equipment is carried off stage they begin to carry on The Compiler’s gear. The curtains are still open, so that the audience can watch, albeit now in almost complete darkness— I don’t know how the roadies work in this kind of lighting. Their gear is mostly black, black guitars, black bass, black drums, black keyboard, black laptop. Once the gear is loaded on stage I hear the crowd hush and a quiet anticipation comes over us all.

There is some music playing during all of this, I don’t recognize any of it, but I bet it’s some of the inspiration for The Compilers, you know, their favourite tracks and stuff. Anyway, I don’t recognize any of it and I pay attention to the movement of bodies and equipment. Then I see from my left a small group walking quickly towards the stage. It’s them. It’s The Compilers.

They walk past me in slow motion, I take in each member and imagine what they’re thinking; “Let’s do this! Right on. Wait till they see us. Are my pants too tight?” The crowd cheers outside, a loud applause and much yelling and whistling. “Ladies and gentlemen, the Constructs of the Machine, The Compilers!” The cheering gets louder and the spotlights are shining on the stage. They open with “Into the Machine”. I’m instantly drawn in.

I watch them on stage, lasers and a much fancier light show against a canvas of dry ice sublimating in water are synchronized to the movements in the song. First all red, then violet lasers flashing quickly and moving across the fog all enhancing and drawing my attention to the changes in tonic on Jager’s bass. The fog rolls over the crowd and lasers and lights follow it, covering the crowd in colour as the lead singer Xavier says “She was the Deus Ex Machina”. The crowd cheers as there is a pause in the song after Xavier’s words, and then the band in unison comes back with a visceral bass line and screaming guitar solo.

Their next song is “Turing Test”, another great song— all their songs are great. This one is about a girl who finds out her boyfriend is a robot. I think it’s a metaphor for an emotionally distant, tech-savvy lover who is predictable and whose intellect doesn’t match your own. You know, “I like him, but he’s a total robot”. It could also mean someone who isn’t very creative in bed, and has a routine. You know, start with this, then do that every time and then move on to the next thing…boring predictable foreplay. I don’t think the song is literal, but it could be, what do I know?

They go through their hits and sprinkle in a few of their lesser known songs. There is even an instrumental jam that seems to go on forever. They end their set with “Foundation’s Edge”. “They are on Gaia…WE ARE ON GAIA!” Xavier yells. The crowd cheers and all the lights begin to strobe, so that we can only see glimpses of the band; it’s like watching photographs. “Welcome to Galaxiaaaaaaaaaaaa!” the song goes into an outro after Xavier’s words.

The lights turn bright white and you can see everything. Xavier thanks the crowd for coming, “Thank you New York City! You’re beautiful!” And they all walk off stage. With the crowd cheering loudly the drummer (Atom) throws his sticks into it. They all gather nearby backstage as the cheering continues. And the cheering continues. And it continues. The band is standing in a tight circle, facing each other. They are discussing something, but it’s way too loud to hear anything. They all huddle together with their hands on each other’s backs, all of them slightly leaning into the scrum. Soon they break and head back to the stage. They’re playing an encore.

When they begin to walk back on stage the cheering inconceivably gets louder. There is incomprehensible yelling. They begin to play “The Solitary Walker”, which is well received. It is about wandering the streets of Neo Tokyo. They end the show with “Nightfall” a song about seeing the stars for the first time. You know, “the Galaxy Rise”. They now end the show as the white lights come back on, Atom throwing multiple sets of sticks into the crowd.

The band gathers backstage once more, this time with fans approaching them. I approach as well and catch Xavier’s eyes. “Great show!” one fan exclaims. There are more comments in this vein. I think I hear one of the band members say “Uriel” and the band members heads all turn towards the bass player Jager. “Did you say Uriel?” I blurt out. The crowd cheering progressively getting lower and softer, receding into the background. All the band members turn to look at me and I feel someone grab my sleeve and begin to pull me. The band begins to walk towards the dressing rooms, I guess, with me in tow behind Atom.