Salvador

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Listen now to the roaring of great raptors bright with rage

The deep slow heave of tormented ground

As of Behemoth, ancient beyond knowing;

Thick in the jungles goes krump the mine,

A dull thud punctuated

By the screeches of macaws

And a human’s shrill hoarse cries.

 

Different times, different gods,

Under the same hot sky.

There stands a stone sculpture consumed by life,

A scroll-adorned portrait of a king;

In bold symbols a thousand years old

It claims the stars themselves for sanction.

At its feet, root-entwined, the forest floor is littered

With brass rifle casings

and the carved words they killed.

 

– from The Roaring Files

 

Present & Accounted For

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

So closely circled about,

Inside this calcium deposit

With a fat jelly center

Laboriously if absently

balanced

Atop this stilted stack of meat;

Halfway between

Earth and Sky.

 

– from The Roaring Files

 

Afternoon on a Dusty Beach

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

A bearded man darkly garbed, traveling north along a coastal road through a dusty golden afternoon land, deserted but for waves and sunlight, espied a rough figure squatting at the foot of the cliffs.  As he drew closer the figure resolved into an ugly demon perched upon a rude stone idol.

“Whither are you bound?” demanded the demon in a shrill oily voice that chafed the ear.

For reply the bearded man drew a revolver and shot the demon with a silver bullet.

Knocked spinning off the statue, it fell to the sand with a sticky thud, swelled up and burst with a foul stench, all the while chittering hideously.  A second bullet released it from earthly bondage and the demon fled in a plume of greasy smoke.

With a leather boot the bearded man kicked over the idol to reveal a strongbox hidden in a small chamber cut into the statue’s foundation.  A third bullet shot the lock open, and with a callused hand he lifted the lid and scooped out the soft velvet bags of power the box contained.  The man deftly untied the knot sealing one bag and selected a jewel to examine in the dusty sunlight.

This one was the color of twilight, its chatoyance a cat’s-eye band the color of fire sliding off into indigo on either side.  It glimmered with more light than shone upon its surface. An involuntary sigh of wonder escaped his chapped lips.

 

– from The Roaring Files

 

“All Tempests’ Labours, Or, Tone Poems For The Deaf”

Monday, July 1st, 2013

 

Originally published as a TwitterSkit

ACT I

SCENE 1

HERE — NOW — EVENING

A sylvan glen, dotted with flowers and rilled with a merry brook. Two creatures, HE and SHE, squat in the mud by the creekside, watching the sunset.

HE:
You smell good. I want to mate with you.

SHE:
You are not funny.

HE:
No, I am horny. Come here.

SHE:
You are piebald and smell bad and look two ways at once like a frog.

HE:
Frogs are good. Let’s eat frogs!

SHE:
Go away and eat your frogs.

HE:
Come with me and eat frogs!

SHE:
Go away or I shall bite you.

HE:
(excited)
Really?
CUT TO:

SCENE 2

HIS CAVE – THE NEXT DAY – DAY

He is laying on the floor on his back, buck naked, on some kind of huge weird pelt. There are signs of debauch scatted around the cave.
He levers himself upright and blears around.

HE:
Where am I?  Who am I?  Why am I?

A fur-buried body on a stone couch (She) stirs, farts and speaks.

SHE:
Does this mean anything? Go back to sleep.

HE:
But life’s mysteries perturb my equanimity!

SHE:
Your equanimity is the least of your perturbations.

HE:
How is it that we now converse in cultivated tones, when before we flung garbled grunts at each other like audible turds?

SHE:
Surely you grasp the concept of Deus Ludus, God the Gameplayer, who moves us about like pieces on a cosmic board?

HE:
Assuredly; I have often marveled at the capricious nature of life.

SHE:
Then you grasp your current predicament as one meted out by the Great Gamester, as the proper outcome for your rash move?

HE:
What move?

SHE:
Challenging that Neanderthal to a drinking contest!

HE:
(loftily)
I have no recollection of such an event.

She sighs, rolls over into her furs and farts again. He stares into space.

HE:
Truly, life here on Earth is a challenging test!

FADE TO BLACK

 

ACT II

SCENE 1

FADE IN.

EXT — MOUNTAINTOP — DAY

BEAUREGARD (He) and SAXIFRAGE (She) are encamped among other soldiers.

BEAUREGARD:
Marry, the Duke’s troops make handsome labor of the escalade! Do not their artillery breathe fire ‘mongst our men?

SAXIFRAGE:
Nay, ’tis not the guns that soak the airs with noxious fume, but poor Sir Thomas’ discomfort.

BEAUREGARD:
The serjeant doth assert Sir Thomas’s bowels are rent asunder.  The Blasting Flatulence, avert!

SAXIFRAGE:
Dids’t not I speak against this silly Cook, his greasy countenance, his beans and cabbage?  But others are less careful to guard our good knight’s portion.

Enter the WIDOW BUZZKILL with STOOP & GROG, her manservants.

 

To Be Continued…

 

Trouble a Bard

Monday, July 1st, 2013

“Sir, you must come with us, we have a warrant for your arrest.”

“What is that to me? No, I’m quite busy and can’t be bothered with such piffle. Now run along.”

“Sir, this is a serious matter and we are obliged to take you in.  Please don’t make this difficult or undignified.”

“I am not in the business of providing bored apes with entertainment.  The lord you dance for is merely an ape in gowns, and I have much more important matters to attend to than his diversion on a long afternoon.  Flashing a piece of paper in my face, a piece of paper which can be forged, copied and disavowed, is nothing, a gust of wind.  Have you weapons?  Do you think they will bring me to heel?  You know nothing of real power.  Now you will excuse me, I have work to do.”

With that he shut the door in their face .

 

 

Argus

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Bernardo looked up from what he was doing and across the street, where Argus slept the sleep of the just in the shade of a retaining wall.

Skin reddened and roughened by a fistful of summers showed where dirty cotton and denim pulled and parted.  Huge sequins of abalone, held in the hair net stretched over his dreadlocks, winked and stared into the warm afternoon space hovering above the hot pavement.

He may once have been Keith or Kyle or something white and guy-ish, but now he was Argus, like his namesake covered with a hundred eyes.

– Originally published on Twitter

 

Contract Debris

Monday, June 24th, 2013

(with sincere apologies to Frank Zappa)

 

The Gummit man, he come to me,

He said, “I’m outasight!

“If get in bed with me, little firm,

“You’ll reach Nirvana, all right.”

 

“Our blackity programs, the ones you don’t see,

“Are zoomy, weird, spendy and spry;

“Why don’t you sign on the dotted line

“And serve your country on wry?!”

 

*Chorus*

Mojo Rider — Who you jivin’ with that Contract Debris?

 

I signed us all up and received the Big Task,

But, in a sign of the Age we inhabit,

We also received, if it could be believed,

The junk mail of corporate habit.

 

From brochures on galactic cruisers,

And emails encrypted by dwarves;

To PowerPoints about flying submarines

And subsonic laser-beam noise;

From bionic bathrooms and helmets,

To folding assault boats with wings;

From top soldiers molded in mighty vats,

To the last arguments of kings.

 

We saw what was liked and encouraged

And nourished with money and gusto;

So we cooked up a program

That made us say “Goddamn!”

And painted its picture “just so.”

 

*Chorus*

 

We made them a monster to vanquish the world;

It rumbled and bumbled and boomed;

I can’t say exactly just what it did,

For then, of course, I would be doomed.

 

It cost a gazillion and dazzled the brass;

What the tech press could see just enraged them;

We sweated it all, both the tech and the show,

‘Cause the entire performance — we staged them.

 

Now who should we spy but the FBI

Just as we packed up the parts;

They accosted us all

And showed us the wall

And ushered us into their cars.

 

*Chorus*

 

So now I sit waiting behind a dull grating

Awaiting attorneys-at-law:

Those who once knew me

Would look right on through me

Should they even come see me at all.

 

You see, it’s not really the crime

Or the doing of time

That casts such a pall on a bloke;

No, the cardinal sin, the fix being in,

Is letting yourself become BROKE.

 

*Chorus*

 

…Now who you jivin’

With that Contract Debris?…

…Is that a Sears weapon or a real weapon?…

…Just asking…

No, it looks good on you…really…

 

©2013 Steve Weintz

Briefing With The Admiral&

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

While the scanner completed its vetting, Jack squared his shoulders and finished his own pre-flight check. With a whoosh of air the glass doors slid aside as the slight pressure differential equalized; the Admiral& liked to keep his drawing room a little thin and chilly with an elevated oxygen content, to keep petitioners’ creases crisp.

He stepped into a great curving seashell of navy-blue acoustic coating, lit with penlights that glowed like marine life. Overpowering the space was a vast window of a screen displaying an aquarium view of the Cortes Bank, 100 miles to the west of where he stood. The liquid aqua play of light from the screen made the seashell a theme-park tidepool.

The room’s sensors informed the Admiral& of Jack’s presence, and with all the skill the interface designers could bring to bear, the scene panned from the Cortes Bank to a Gilded Age study full of Victorian bric-a-brac and antique maps. Seated at his rolltop desk, the Admiral& now made an utterly convincing turn from his work.

Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan&, USN, appeared to be a tall, balding, elderly scholar possessed of military experience and bearing. His splendid uniform with its epaulettes and line-of-battle buttons accentuated his thin neck and gaunt cheeks, but there was no mistaking the mind behind those blue eyes.

The effect the developers had achieved was extraordinary. MAHANN (Massively Heuristic Analytical Neural Net) was the Navy’s most powerful and highest-ranking AI, a full citizen under the 30th Amendment (hence the ‘&’ sign), and held the official rank of Rear Admiral in order to run the Predictive Adaptics command. Such ghostly power was best accessed, everyone agreed, via performative and narrative means; hence the digital animatronic of the most famous naval theorist in history.

“Captain Taylor! How very good of you to see me again. What a welcome respite from my studies. Please make yourself comfortable.”

Jack sat down on a sofa the color of a peacoat, its shape, texture and firmness already adjusting to his profiled preferences with a subtlety he no longer noticed. Without a sign or word a cup of Costa Rican Terrazu single-drip appeared at his elbow on a nearly invisible end table.

The Admiral& beamed. “And now, Captain, how may I assist you?”

© 2013 Steve Weintz

Want to know more about the original Admiral Mahan?  See Lt. Benjamin Armstrong’s21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era

 

Welcome back, cotter pin

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Well, I’m in the midst of some, um, housekeeping about my affairs, and am updating my website, gallery and blog.  My other online data-depots are getting refurbished as well.  Many thanks to all of you in vivo and in virtuo with whom I enjoy connections, who have patiently wondered about my quietude of late.  Look for steady change and (it is hoped) interesting content.