DrSemicolon
Partner
Born of pansavants, suckled by celebrity wetnurses. https://www.amazon.com/Gerard-DiLeo/e/B00JE6LL2W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1501427445&;sr=1-2-ent
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Explore the concept of Infinity in a Poem
Chapter 9 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Poetry & Free Verse

The Golden Triangle

Fibonacci gilds my way

Triangulating in;

The mainspring tightens with Hell to pay

For mortgaging Original Sin.

Half of half and halved once more,

Infinitesimally,

I shrink toward that dark offshore

Cardiovascularly.

My end will come when nothing is left,

But nothing is unstable;

So erupts anew, of rules, bereft,

My next forthcoming fable.

Ninety-degree turn at the speed of light

I'm off the number line

And dance macabre in my new flight

Of unfettered redesign.

6
2
2
Juice
23 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Explore the concept of Infinity in a Poem
Chapter 9 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Poetry & Free Verse
The Golden Triangle
Fibonacci gilds my way
Triangulating in;
The mainspring tightens with Hell to pay
For mortgaging Original Sin.

Half of half and halved once more,
Infinitesimally,
I shrink toward that dark offshore
Cardiovascularly.

My end will come when nothing is left,
But nothing is unstable;
So erupts anew, of rules, bereft,
My next forthcoming fable.

Ninety-degree turn at the speed of light
I'm off the number line
And dance macabre in my new flight
Of unfettered redesign.




6
2
2
Juice
23 reads
Load 2 Comments
Login to post comments.
Advertisement  (turn off)
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 8 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Politics

Ass-clowns to the left of me...jokers to the right...

There are only two types of people it's OK to kill in video games and movies, where it's not considered offensive:

Nazis and Zombies. 

Ever wonder why? Let's examine this suspension of sensibilities, shall we? Zombies are dead already, so killing them only impacts you--keeps you from being eaten, besides the fact that killing them is redundant. On another but similar level, Nazis have already lost their souls, so the horrible fates they suffer in video games and movies is irrelevant to the human condition. 

Zombies are dead and want to eat you alive to make you dead too. Nazis are soul-dead and want to eat your soul to make you soul-dead, too. Their thinking is purely amygdaloid. They make a big deal about us vs. them in their pseudophilosophy. The videos games and movies that kill them are just making them "them," for us. 

(I wonder how they like being "them"?)

Now, I'm not condoning harming anyone--alive, that is. Zombies are fair game. But Nazis are just soul-bereft anachronisms who should be simply ignored. Counter-demonstrating against them is announcing that they matter. They mattered...THE FIRST TIME...but they don't matter now, because they come with the 20/20 retrospective of history. And that history says that anyone who resurrects such mind sets as supremacy, the Confederacy, eugenics, segregation, and...I could go on and on for lessons learned...anyone who resurrects any mistake of historical proportions as a pretty good idea is an ass-clown.

I went to LSU with David Duke. I would listen to this charming ass-clown at Free Speech Alley every Wednesday just so I could be aware of the sugar handed out that causes mental cavities.

I have bumped into many ass-clowns in my life. Political ones, religious ones, health-fanatic ones. And yes, even Nazi ones. You can't fight them, because you'd have to get on their own turf to do that. You can't argue with doubletalk. They use phrases like, "The record clearly shows..." and "It's been proven that..." They use tangential logic. You can't fight them, I can't fight them.

As with any ass-clowns, I just ignore them and get on with my life. Why should Nazis be any different than all the other ass-clowns that cross my path? Don't counter-demonstrate against ass-clowns; don't give them press; and for God's sake, don't make them "Breaking News!" That makes you another kind of ass-clown. Don't let them deserve this attention. And don't confuse ignoring them with silence. It is a message loud and clear. It is a weapon. 

They are self-parody. And at their very essence, they are scatological--that's why they're ass-clowns and not just clowns, who are pretty creepy to begin with. It's OK to kill Zombies. It's not OK to kill anyone else.

0
0
0
Juice
15 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 8 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Politics
Ass-clowns to the left of me...jokers to the right...
There are only two types of people it's OK to kill in video games and movies, where it's not considered offensive:

Nazis and Zombies. 

Ever wonder why? Let's examine this suspension of sensibilities, shall we? Zombies are dead already, so killing them only impacts you--keeps you from being eaten, besides the fact that killing them is redundant. On another but similar level, Nazis have already lost their souls, so the horrible fates they suffer in video games and movies is irrelevant to the human condition. 

Zombies are dead and want to eat you alive to make you dead too. Nazis are soul-dead and want to eat your soul to make you soul-dead, too. Their thinking is purely amygdaloid. They make a big deal about us vs. them in their pseudophilosophy. The videos games and movies that kill them are just making them "them," for us. 

(I wonder how they like being "them"?)

Now, I'm not condoning harming anyone--alive, that is. Zombies are fair game. But Nazis are just soul-bereft anachronisms who should be simply ignored. Counter-demonstrating against them is announcing that they matter. They mattered...THE FIRST TIME...but they don't matter now, because they come with the 20/20 retrospective of history. And that history says that anyone who resurrects such mind sets as supremacy, the Confederacy, eugenics, segregation, and...I could go on and on for lessons learned...anyone who resurrects any mistake of historical proportions as a pretty good idea is an ass-clown.

I went to LSU with David Duke. I would listen to this charming ass-clown at Free Speech Alley every Wednesday just so I could be aware of the sugar handed out that causes mental cavities.

I have bumped into many ass-clowns in my life. Political ones, religious ones, health-fanatic ones. And yes, even Nazi ones. You can't fight them, because you'd have to get on their own turf to do that. You can't argue with doubletalk. They use phrases like, "The record clearly shows..." and "It's been proven that..." They use tangential logic. You can't fight them, I can't fight them.

As with any ass-clowns, I just ignore them and get on with my life. Why should Nazis be any different than all the other ass-clowns that cross my path? Don't counter-demonstrate against ass-clowns; don't give them press; and for God's sake, don't make them "Breaking News!" That makes you another kind of ass-clown. Don't let them deserve this attention. And don't confuse ignoring them with silence. It is a message loud and clear. It is a weapon. 

They are self-parody. And at their very essence, they are scatological--that's why they're ass-clowns and not just clowns, who are pretty creepy to begin with. It's OK to kill Zombies. It's not OK to kill anyone else.
0
0
0
Juice
15 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Why so serious?
Chapter 5 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Comedy

Why so serous?

Why am I so serous? Oh, I don't know, could it be the inversion of all of my mucus membranes turned toward the outside world, dripping, discharging, and weeping such that no one wants to see me, much less touch any part of me? Could it be that? Could it be the gurgling in my throat if I haven't remembered to clear it in the last few minutes? Could it be that?

Why? you ask. I'll tell you why, Mr. Oblivious-to-the-obvious. It's because--oh! You said "serious"! I thought you said "serous." That's a completely different thing, idn't it? O.K., serious...why am I sooooo serious? 

I'll tell you why. I'll tell you why I'm so serious. Maybe it's because I'm so serous. You'd be serious, too, if you were serous like me--dripping, discharging.....

3
0
0
Juice
19 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Why so serious?
Chapter 5 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Comedy
Why so serous?
Why am I so serous? Oh, I don't know, could it be the inversion of all of my mucus membranes turned toward the outside world, dripping, discharging, and weeping such that no one wants to see me, much less touch any part of me? Could it be that? Could it be the gurgling in my throat if I haven't remembered to clear it in the last few minutes? Could it be that?

Why? you ask. I'll tell you why, Mr. Oblivious-to-the-obvious. It's because--oh! You said "serious"! I thought you said "serous." That's a completely different thing, idn't it? O.K., serious...why am I sooooo serious? 

I'll tell you why. I'll tell you why I'm so serious. Maybe it's because I'm so serous. You'd be serious, too, if you were serous like me--dripping, discharging.....
3
0
0
Juice
19 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Chapter 4 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon

(94% + 6%)/100% = Me

6% of people self-report they are below average, but they are way above average in self-reporting. The 94% of people self-reporting to be above average are actually below average in self-reporting. The first shall be last and the last, first. Unless, of course, you're EXACTLY average. Then, you'll have to just wait in line with the rest of 'em. Average wait time for this ride is 80 or so years, unless you can somehow get a FastPass, which is by walking into a concentrated ghetto of ethnic homogeneity, chanting anti-ethnic slogans and slurs about said ethnic residents who live in the said ethnically concentrated homogeneity. When asked, 94% of people self-report that they can do this above average, but they only say that because they feel the other 6% live in said ethnically concentrated areas. 

Only 12% of researchers say they've never fudged their results; 22% say they have. And 97% admit that they would do it if it proved they were in the 94% of those who are above average. 15% of all women are lesbians, but another 30% say that, while denying it, they still think about them all the time. 4% of women are bed wetters and 9% of these are prostitutes. 

57% of those living in trailer parks say they have real class. The other 43% are only between trailers at the time and expect to have class real soon. 87% of people report they find Charmin advertisements effective because of an unreasonable fear of inadequate toilet paper. The other 13% have no problem using a gas station rest room or a Port-o-Potty. 100% of Americans, on average, state they have never been to North Dakota, including 39% of people who are from South Dakota. 

92% of Catholic nuns prefer Coke over Pepsi, creating a severe, secret schism that has ravaged all of the orders for over 60 years. They say that Pepsi is NOT O.K. Don't even get 46% of them started.

87% of plumbers expose butt-crack when working; 86% of housewives turn away. According to skin area studies used in burn patients, the "Rule of 8s" says that 8% of you is one leg, whereas 73% of people report that they think 100% of you is asshole. 49% of people see their cups as half-full; another 49% see them as half-empty; the remaining 1% are half-full of themselves, constituting the 94% of people self-reporting they are above average. 29% of people see their wit as half-full, and another 18% see everyone else's wit as dim. 

95% of people feel that God is love; 67% of these feel that love is blind; 100% of these know that Ray Charles is blind; 36% think that Ray Charles is God. 47% of people know the difference between shit and Shinola; 53% of people have the shiniest shoes in town, but are plagued by dogs everywhere they go.

72% of alcoholics say, "Bottoms up!" 28% of them say, "Arghwewcrrrhuggh..." 100% of the vaginal lining is stratified squamous epithelium, but only 31% of vaginal linings are satisfied squamous epithelium. 82% of those who watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians have never read a book; 100% of those who have read a book have never seen Keeping Up with the Kardashians. 40% of people think O.J. is innocent and 60% think he is guilty, but 100% of his two victims are dead.

96% of the beautiful people are only beautiful on the outside; the other 4% are losing their remaining scruples more quickly than 2nd Place winners in beauty pageants. 48% of people believe strongly in Climate Change; 45% are Climate-Deniers; but 100% of the Earth will survive long after everyone and everything are extinct. 34% of people who believe in Climate Change believe people can change.

If you add up all of the %'s there are to report, it would be 9,463,965,397,348 x 10 to the 23rd power %. If you divide that by the 94% of those who feel they are above average, each of them think they should get way more than what they deserve from the remaining 6%, who are behind on their student loans. Of all the dollars and cents there are up for grabs, that comes out to 96 per measly cent. This proves there's never going to be enough to go around--less than 100%, and it's dropping fast.

8
3
0
Juice
83 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Chapter 4 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon
(94% + 6%)/100% = Me
6% of people self-report they are below average, but they are way above average in self-reporting. The 94% of people self-reporting to be above average are actually below average in self-reporting. The first shall be last and the last, first. Unless, of course, you're EXACTLY average. Then, you'll have to just wait in line with the rest of 'em. Average wait time for this ride is 80 or so years, unless you can somehow get a FastPass, which is by walking into a concentrated ghetto of ethnic homogeneity, chanting anti-ethnic slogans and slurs about said ethnic residents who live in the said ethnically concentrated homogeneity. When asked, 94% of people self-report that they can do this above average, but they only say that because they feel the other 6% live in said ethnically concentrated areas. 

Only 12% of researchers say they've never fudged their results; 22% say they have. And 97% admit that they would do it if it proved they were in the 94% of those who are above average. 15% of all women are lesbians, but another 30% say that, while denying it, they still think about them all the time. 4% of women are bed wetters and 9% of these are prostitutes. 

57% of those living in trailer parks say they have real class. The other 43% are only between trailers at the time and expect to have class real soon. 87% of people report they find Charmin advertisements effective because of an unreasonable fear of inadequate toilet paper. The other 13% have no problem using a gas station rest room or a Port-o-Potty. 100% of Americans, on average, state they have never been to North Dakota, including 39% of people who are from South Dakota. 

92% of Catholic nuns prefer Coke over Pepsi, creating a severe, secret schism that has ravaged all of the orders for over 60 years. They say that Pepsi is NOT O.K. Don't even get 46% of them started.

87% of plumbers expose butt-crack when working; 86% of housewives turn away. According to skin area studies used in burn patients, the "Rule of 8s" says that 8% of you is one leg, whereas 73% of people report that they think 100% of you is asshole. 49% of people see their cups as half-full; another 49% see them as half-empty; the remaining 1% are half-full of themselves, constituting the 94% of people self-reporting they are above average. 29% of people see their wit as half-full, and another 18% see everyone else's wit as dim. 

95% of people feel that God is love; 67% of these feel that love is blind; 100% of these know that Ray Charles is blind; 36% think that Ray Charles is God. 47% of people know the difference between shit and Shinola; 53% of people have the shiniest shoes in town, but are plagued by dogs everywhere they go.

72% of alcoholics say, "Bottoms up!" 28% of them say, "Arghwewcrrrhuggh..." 100% of the vaginal lining is stratified squamous epithelium, but only 31% of vaginal linings are satisfied squamous epithelium. 82% of those who watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians have never read a book; 100% of those who have read a book have never seen Keeping Up with the Kardashians. 40% of people think O.J. is innocent and 60% think he is guilty, but 100% of his two victims are dead.

96% of the beautiful people are only beautiful on the outside; the other 4% are losing their remaining scruples more quickly than 2nd Place winners in beauty pageants. 48% of people believe strongly in Climate Change; 45% are Climate-Deniers; but 100% of the Earth will survive long after everyone and everything are extinct. 34% of people who believe in Climate Change believe people can change.

If you add up all of the %'s there are to report, it would be 9,463,965,397,348 x 10 to the 23rd power %. If you divide that by the 94% of those who feel they are above average, each of them think they should get way more than what they deserve from the remaining 6%, who are behind on their student loans. Of all the dollars and cents there are up for grabs, that comes out to 96 per measly cent. This proves there's never going to be enough to go around--less than 100%, and it's dropping fast.
8
3
0
Juice
83 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Writing with Authenticity 100-300 words. No rhymes accepted.
Chapter 6 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon

Between the Bookends

My scanner is my archivist, with days, weeks, and months of taking each photo out of its sleeve and bequeathing to them 0s and 1s before they disintegrate. Albums off a shelf that contain a lifetime between two bookends.

"Mom Before Dad," photos of a baby, little girl, posing or not, happy or not, alive--life documented. Even though they're her memories, I'm with her from girlhood to pubescence to adolescent coquette. Didn't she feel my presence? I'm not just observing, I'm visiting.

"Wedding." The day I realized I was truly happy. I liked the way that felt. Human. Earlier that day, the family posed, as stiff as the old emulsion portraits from another album. Just in color, this time. Fade the color and they're like previous monochromic generations.

"Honeymoon." Acapulco poolside--casual innocence of dedicated monogamy. Quotidian sex. The gift of expressing love physically. Every honeymoon shot hints that we had been without clothing moments earlier. That smirk on my face. That smile on hers. So beautiful, nubile, and willing. Sex is a beautiful surrender. 

Unconditional love for her as she sleeps one wall away, face softened, brow unfurrowed, lips slightly north of a neutral smile. The dark airbrushes her features. There is my young beauty again. I have walked with you today through your childhood, honeymoon, births and birthdays, and real life going on in the expressions on our children's faces. So beautiful.

Loving her is seeing her as I always have: holding my hand, dancing with me, marrying me, postcoitally clothed for the honeymoon camera, bellies with the unborn, mother of the born, co-parenting in the joys of raising children right. The bookends on the shelf fall.

But I don't need the dark. She glows in the dark for me. Framed forever for viewing later. Suddenly, mortality sounds lovely.

2
1
1
Juice
29 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Writing with Authenticity 100-300 words. No rhymes accepted.
Chapter 6 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon
Between the Bookends
My scanner is my archivist, with days, weeks, and months of taking each photo out of its sleeve and bequeathing to them 0s and 1s before they disintegrate. Albums off a shelf that contain a lifetime between two bookends.

"Mom Before Dad," photos of a baby, little girl, posing or not, happy or not, alive--life documented. Even though they're her memories, I'm with her from girlhood to pubescence to adolescent coquette. Didn't she feel my presence? I'm not just observing, I'm visiting.

"Wedding." The day I realized I was truly happy. I liked the way that felt. Human. Earlier that day, the family posed, as stiff as the old emulsion portraits from another album. Just in color, this time. Fade the color and they're like previous monochromic generations.

"Honeymoon." Acapulco poolside--casual innocence of dedicated monogamy. Quotidian sex. The gift of expressing love physically. Every honeymoon shot hints that we had been without clothing moments earlier. That smirk on my face. That smile on hers. So beautiful, nubile, and willing. Sex is a beautiful surrender. 

Unconditional love for her as she sleeps one wall away, face softened, brow unfurrowed, lips slightly north of a neutral smile. The dark airbrushes her features. There is my young beauty again. I have walked with you today through your childhood, honeymoon, births and birthdays, and real life going on in the expressions on our children's faces. So beautiful.

Loving her is seeing her as I always have: holding my hand, dancing with me, marrying me, postcoitally clothed for the honeymoon camera, bellies with the unborn, mother of the born, co-parenting in the joys of raising children right. The bookends on the shelf fall.

But I don't need the dark. She glows in the dark for me. Framed forever for viewing later. Suddenly, mortality sounds lovely.
2
1
1
Juice
29 reads
Load 1 Comment
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 8 of The Life and Times of Climax Johnson and other Stories
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Stream of Consciousness

Rose-colored Lens

In my retirement, I finally got around to doing it. I stacked the uneven wedges of photo albums, binding left, binding right, so the stacks wouldn't fall. Epson V600 Photo scanner, you are my archivist now, days, weeks, months of taking each photo out of its sleeve, positioning it just so, tinkering with the contrast, saturation, and hues. Bequeathing to them 0s and 1s before the paper yellows them into only 0s.

Album "Mom Before Dad," 120 photos of a baby, little girl, posing or not, happy or not, in the mood for a snapshot or not, nevertheless, alive, her life documented. But I live it. I wasn't there, but I can be with her. Paul Simon sang, "I have a photograph. Preserve your memories--they're all that's left you." Even though they're her memories, I am with her throughout this photo album. I am more than peeking in. Since we became one, 37 years ago, we're off the number line, off the time line. I am there as she passes from girlhood to pubescence to adolescent coquette. Fun with her friends. I'm having a ball being there. Didn't they feel my presence? I am not just observing, I am visiting.

Album "Dad Before Mom," 89 photos of mostly professional poses. Me as a baby, me as a serious young man who gave the photographer fits although one couldn't tell by the little gentleman in the picture. Black and white in a black and white world. Looks like "olden times." How can that be when it was me? Like when that teenager in the parking lot told me, "Go to hell, old man!" Me? Old man? When did that happen? Photos of my family, Mom and Dad and us little shitlings, then those back a generation. Or two. Old emulsion, silver long gone. No smiles. Dressed impeccably. Every hair in place. Stares that beam straight out to me. All dead. Back then, there would only be one or three photos of someone. Now folks have thousands and thousands, with duck faces and peace signs and an outstretched arm as the vantage point of origin. Me on a bike--a big deal at the time. Me crying in the bedroom, courtesy of my Dad who took it just so that I could process the Polaroid according to a protocol that my brother wouldn't let me do minutes earlier. Set it up with a wipe, seal it with a wipe, let it dry. Photos within minutes--we thought we were living in the future then. But it was the past. My past. High school poses. Prom femmes pro temps. Girlfriends who lasted longer. Even some who met the parents. My first car, rigged with an 8-track, then a cassette player: real stereo...in a car! The girls would certainly go crazy.

Album "Wedding." That evening, on the plane to Acapulco, realizing that for the first time in my life I was truly happy. I had no idea. I liked the way it felt. Human. Earlier that day, the family poses, no less stiff than those on the old emulsion portraits. Just in color, this time. Wipe away the color and they're no different from the grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents.

Album "Honeymoon." What the Wedding Album was really hiding behind the starch poses and generational tableaus. Poolside--casual innocence of dedicated monogamy. Quotidian sex. Anytime. The gift of expressing love physically. Every honeymoon shot, bikinis and bathing suits, underscored the fact that we had been without them moments earlier. That smirk on my face. That smile on hers. So beautiful. Lean, smooth, nubile, and willing. Sex is a beautiful surrender. No wonder it's best with unconditional love. I think of her now as she sleeps one wall away.

Next the albums by the year. The 80s, the 90s, the 21st Century. First born, second born, and on and on. Parties with the children; parties without the children. Vacations, eschewing the predictable shots of landmarks in lieu of capturing only those with life going on, framed for viewing later. The growth curves within 35 mm, and the school years, their prom dates, perhaps even one with crying in the bedroom over an insensitive sibling slight. Reliving my life by living with them in these moments. Didn't they feel my presence then? Not from my presence...then, but my looking in, now? Now duplicate photos--mine, yes, but theirs, too, in their own stack of albums on the shelves in their own homes. No longer this home, this empty nest.

Thousands of photos more for me to scan, but the stack is getting shorter. Now is the time to simplify my life, so I do not replace these photos in their sleeves, in their albums, for the shelf again, but fling them carelessly into the large box that will be their coffin in a landfill. When my life has been simplified. Decluttered, even from the joys of these shelf-wasting precious items. They'll still be mine. Digitized and safe. All fitting on one disk and backed up on a cloud somewhere. An entire life on a disk. Like the gold record sent out on the Voyagers. A disk can be given to each of the children. I suppose shelves of disks will accrue, and only the future will say how one will go about simplifying life then.

It is another late night, following my wife to bed long after she's retired. I am satisfied with the shortening of the stack my Epson and I were able to accomplish today. Sex is no longer quotidian, but it remains special. Quotidian can even be mundane, but there is nothing mundane about sex nowadays. She is asleep, face softened, brow unfurrowed, lips slightly north of a neutral smile. I observe her in the dark. The dark softens her features, like a good airbrushing. There is my young beauty again. I have walked with you today through your childhood, Acapulco--with and without the bathing suits, the births and the birthdays, and the parties and the trips where landmarks served only backgrounds for the real life going on in the expressions on our children's faces. So beautiful.

But I don't need the dark.

Age may be the great equalizer between people like us and the beautiful people in the media (the current ones I have no idea who they are), but my love for her is like the stack of photo albums. I can only see her as I have always seen her: holding my hand, dancing with me, marrying me, postcoital bathing suits for propriety's sake, proud bellies of the unborn, mother of the born, co-parenting in the joys of the indescribable amount of work known as raising children right.

In the dark, her beauty, airbrushed by how I will always see her. But the dark has met its match. She glows in the dark for me. Framed forever for viewing later. Suddenly, mortality sounds lovely.

2
2
3
Juice
30 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 8 of The Life and Times of Climax Johnson and other Stories
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Stream of Consciousness
Rose-colored Lens
In my retirement, I finally got around to doing it. I stacked the uneven wedges of photo albums, binding left, binding right, so the stacks wouldn't fall. Epson V600 Photo scanner, you are my archivist now, days, weeks, months of taking each photo out of its sleeve, positioning it just so, tinkering with the contrast, saturation, and hues. Bequeathing to them 0s and 1s before the paper yellows them into only 0s.

Album "Mom Before Dad," 120 photos of a baby, little girl, posing or not, happy or not, in the mood for a snapshot or not, nevertheless, alive, her life documented. But I live it. I wasn't there, but I can be with her. Paul Simon sang, "I have a photograph. Preserve your memories--they're all that's left you." Even though they're her memories, I am with her throughout this photo album. I am more than peeking in. Since we became one, 37 years ago, we're off the number line, off the time line. I am there as she passes from girlhood to pubescence to adolescent coquette. Fun with her friends. I'm having a ball being there. Didn't they feel my presence? I am not just observing, I am visiting.

Album "Dad Before Mom," 89 photos of mostly professional poses. Me as a baby, me as a serious young man who gave the photographer fits although one couldn't tell by the little gentleman in the picture. Black and white in a black and white world. Looks like "olden times." How can that be when it was me? Like when that teenager in the parking lot told me, "Go to hell, old man!" Me? Old man? When did that happen? Photos of my family, Mom and Dad and us little shitlings, then those back a generation. Or two. Old emulsion, silver long gone. No smiles. Dressed impeccably. Every hair in place. Stares that beam straight out to me. All dead. Back then, there would only be one or three photos of someone. Now folks have thousands and thousands, with duck faces and peace signs and an outstretched arm as the vantage point of origin. Me on a bike--a big deal at the time. Me crying in the bedroom, courtesy of my Dad who took it just so that I could process the Polaroid according to a protocol that my brother wouldn't let me do minutes earlier. Set it up with a wipe, seal it with a wipe, let it dry. Photos within minutes--we thought we were living in the future then. But it was the past. My past. High school poses. Prom femmes pro temps. Girlfriends who lasted longer. Even some who met the parents. My first car, rigged with an 8-track, then a cassette player: real stereo...in a car! The girls would certainly go crazy.

Album "Wedding." That evening, on the plane to Acapulco, realizing that for the first time in my life I was truly happy. I had no idea. I liked the way it felt. Human. Earlier that day, the family poses, no less stiff than those on the old emulsion portraits. Just in color, this time. Wipe away the color and they're no different from the grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents.

Album "Honeymoon." What the Wedding Album was really hiding behind the starch poses and generational tableaus. Poolside--casual innocence of dedicated monogamy. Quotidian sex. Anytime. The gift of expressing love physically. Every honeymoon shot, bikinis and bathing suits, underscored the fact that we had been without them moments earlier. That smirk on my face. That smile on hers. So beautiful. Lean, smooth, nubile, and willing. Sex is a beautiful surrender. No wonder it's best with unconditional love. I think of her now as she sleeps one wall away.

Next the albums by the year. The 80s, the 90s, the 21st Century. First born, second born, and on and on. Parties with the children; parties without the children. Vacations, eschewing the predictable shots of landmarks in lieu of capturing only those with life going on, framed for viewing later. The growth curves within 35 mm, and the school years, their prom dates, perhaps even one with crying in the bedroom over an insensitive sibling slight. Reliving my life by living with them in these moments. Didn't they feel my presence then? Not from my presence...then, but my looking in, now? Now duplicate photos--mine, yes, but theirs, too, in their own stack of albums on the shelves in their own homes. No longer this home, this empty nest.

Thousands of photos more for me to scan, but the stack is getting shorter. Now is the time to simplify my life, so I do not replace these photos in their sleeves, in their albums, for the shelf again, but fling them carelessly into the large box that will be their coffin in a landfill. When my life has been simplified. Decluttered, even from the joys of these shelf-wasting precious items. They'll still be mine. Digitized and safe. All fitting on one disk and backed up on a cloud somewhere. An entire life on a disk. Like the gold record sent out on the Voyagers. A disk can be given to each of the children. I suppose shelves of disks will accrue, and only the future will say how one will go about simplifying life then.

It is another late night, following my wife to bed long after she's retired. I am satisfied with the shortening of the stack my Epson and I were able to accomplish today. Sex is no longer quotidian, but it remains special. Quotidian can even be mundane, but there is nothing mundane about sex nowadays. She is asleep, face softened, brow unfurrowed, lips slightly north of a neutral smile. I observe her in the dark. The dark softens her features, like a good airbrushing. There is my young beauty again. I have walked with you today through your childhood, Acapulco--with and without the bathing suits, the births and the birthdays, and the parties and the trips where landmarks served only backgrounds for the real life going on in the expressions on our children's faces. So beautiful.

But I don't need the dark.

Age may be the great equalizer between people like us and the beautiful people in the media (the current ones I have no idea who they are), but my love for her is like the stack of photo albums. I can only see her as I have always seen her: holding my hand, dancing with me, marrying me, postcoital bathing suits for propriety's sake, proud bellies of the unborn, mother of the born, co-parenting in the joys of the indescribable amount of work known as raising children right.

In the dark, her beauty, airbrushed by how I will always see her. But the dark has met its match. She glows in the dark for me. Framed forever for viewing later. Suddenly, mortality sounds lovely.
2
2
3
Juice
30 reads
Load 3 Comments
Login to post comments.
Advertisement  (turn off)
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Written by DrSemicolon

Second Date with God Challenge Winner

I would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry to my challenge. I had no idea what I was getting into--talent-wise! The entries ranged from slapstick to ethereal to profoundly spiritual, but they all pointed out something interesting in the human condition. There were several that expressed anger at the bad things that happen--allowed by God--but then there was a rebirth in faith nevertheless ("Are You Listening?," "Second Chances"). There was a metaphor of baptism beautifully written that linked continuity from the writer to her offspring ("The God Affair). There was the painful, spooky ending of what it feels like to push God away ("Visions of Undetermined..") and be without him. Many focused on the solipsism of faith--how one's religion (faith) is an intensely personal affair. There were allusions to the Mother of God, the Son of God, and the demons in all of us. 

It was painful for me to pick only one (which is a cop-out cliche, I know). There wasn't a stinker in the bunch. All of them reached deep into the most personal sulci of the writers' minds. What a wonderful collection of spiritual explorations. (PROSE should consider making it one of their books like they did with the zombie apocalypse. Hint.)

But I did pick one: 

"The Face of God." First of all, I hope this piece inspires those who have never read Les Miserables before to do it. Forget the musical and the movie--they did the best they could in two hours or so--but the beauty and impact of that Victor Hugo classic is so moving and memorable, I myself am inspired to read it again just from the one phrase (of many from Hugo) that was the theme of "The Face of God." Love = God no matter where you have it. If you love, you're with God. Prodigal sons, stumbling out of Eden, even dying--all trivialities compared to unconditional love. How do you describe love? How do you describe the indescribable? You call it God and don't ask any further questions. It is. Just like when he said, "I am."

3
2
3
Juice
21 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Written by DrSemicolon
Second Date with God Challenge Winner
I would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry to my challenge. I had no idea what I was getting into--talent-wise! The entries ranged from slapstick to ethereal to profoundly spiritual, but they all pointed out something interesting in the human condition. There were several that expressed anger at the bad things that happen--allowed by God--but then there was a rebirth in faith nevertheless ("Are You Listening?," "Second Chances"). There was a metaphor of baptism beautifully written that linked continuity from the writer to her offspring ("The God Affair). There was the painful, spooky ending of what it feels like to push God away ("Visions of Undetermined..") and be without him. Many focused on the solipsism of faith--how one's religion (faith) is an intensely personal affair. There were allusions to the Mother of God, the Son of God, and the demons in all of us. 

It was painful for me to pick only one (which is a cop-out cliche, I know). There wasn't a stinker in the bunch. All of them reached deep into the most personal sulci of the writers' minds. What a wonderful collection of spiritual explorations. (PROSE should consider making it one of their books like they did with the zombie apocalypse. Hint.)

But I did pick one: 

"The Face of God." First of all, I hope this piece inspires those who have never read Les Miserables before to do it. Forget the musical and the movie--they did the best they could in two hours or so--but the beauty and impact of that Victor Hugo classic is so moving and memorable, I myself am inspired to read it again just from the one phrase (of many from Hugo) that was the theme of "The Face of God." Love = God no matter where you have it. If you love, you're with God. Prodigal sons, stumbling out of Eden, even dying--all trivialities compared to unconditional love. How do you describe love? How do you describe the indescribable? You call it God and don't ask any further questions. It is. Just like when he said, "I am."
3
2
3
Juice
21 reads
Load 3 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Write a humorous limerick.
Chapter 3 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Comedy

Introitus Interruptus

There once was a man named Ned

Who dreamt dirty dreams in his head

Of Shakira, Selena,

Beyoncé and Gwen:

Almost...but he'd fall out of bed.

6
5
4
Juice
44 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Write a humorous limerick.
Chapter 3 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Comedy
Introitus Interruptus
There once was a man named Ned
Who dreamt dirty dreams in his head

Of Shakira, Selena,
Beyoncé and Gwen:

Almost...but he'd fall out of bed.
6
5
4
Juice
44 reads
Load 4 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 7 of The Life and Times of Climax Johnson and other Stories
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Horror & Thriller

Siren, a Song in Three Entr'actes

Prelude: Odysseus

There was a taste in the air. He did taste it, although his lips were pressed firmly together in a clasped defense of wrung creases. It was that salty spray taste that could penetrate even a closed mouth accustomed to sea. He bit against himself until he tasted his blood instead.

He felt for the terror of this night with only his ears, for he also squeezed his eyes tightly so that he could experience, without distraction, the sound that the night and the salty air would carry to his unfettered ears. He thought of the music of the spheres, that harmony of cosmic order heard by Pythagoras. His most modern astrolabe was still a crude instrument, he regretted, yielding only vectors and triangulations, deaf to the blessed vibrations from above. He pivoted his head down in concentration to continue his search.

For now he hoped to hear something divine on Earth.

His balance had motion. There were the rapid forward and backward lurches which were skewed by his subtler left and right list. He flexed and relaxed his muscles and joints in urgent preparation, equilibrating his center of mass to accommodate to the waves of his body. He called upon the strange gravity that poises those who choose to live unanchored to the firm ground, a seaman’s sense that the mundane, the sensible of his time cannot feel when what they pound beneath their feet is firm and adherent and restricts them to shorelines.

His hearing had no such equilibration. His vulnerable ears—open, inviting, and en garde—heard only the nautical wind toward which he feared his heed would be erroneously diverted. His men toiled at their duties on his ship, but each was primarily fearful of their captain’s expected madness. Each knew they had gone too far to be led by a madman. But they obeyed, nevertheless, or so the story goes, when they were ordered to discard the last of the hot wax before pouring it into their captain’s ears. They obeyed, or so the story goes, when they were ordered to tie their captain to the mast as they neared Anthemusa, the island of the daughters of Melpomene. And they dutifully disobeyed, as the story goes, when he ordered them to release him so as to be willingly consumed by the Sirens who sang to him divinely.

The song was of six voices but from three.

He ordered them repeatedly as their captain, warranting the fair justice they would receive for their mutinous refusal. He pleaded with them as their victim, his own salty spray issuing forth from his gasping mouth. The wet binding cut painfully into his ankles and wrists as he flapped and thrashed impotently on the mast like the crying ropes in the wind. His ears could not believe the honored invitation—a request to rejoin the universe in glory.

The rest of the world had no importance at all! He must go, he knew.

But the mast held him fast, its firm curves dissimilar to his own, bruising the very prominences of his spine as he struggled in panic to accept a destiny no one with wax in his ears could understand. He heaved against the mast with all of his might. Its creaking added to his own as he hoped to snap it—he must snap it. He launched himself so mightily that even his men, wide-eyed with horror and amazement, thought he might succeed.

But he might just as well have been impaled.

He slumped in defeat, disgusted with his hated traitors, glaring at them, scorning them for having only wind blowing through their heads. His collapse signaled the knives that cut him away from his crucifix, several of the men lifting him upright.

A final harmony drifted through him from afar.

“Is it safe now, Captain?” they asked. They strained to hear his response through their sealed ears.

“Finally, it is!” he said, searching out each set of eyes that prayed for his good sense to return. “It is safe—for me!” he cried, each flexed elbow carrying a man with him overboard. Falling with them, it seemed so beautiful to him how their howls harmonized with the song from the island.

It was a longer way down to the frigid water than he had imagined. The concussion was his final defeat. When his crew fished him out alone, he had no remorse for his friends who had died by his attempt to reach the singers. As he lay on deck, sputtering and draining brine, he knew that their deaths and all the usual tragedies were jokes.

Neither abandoning Circe nor absence from Penelope, nor even the mixed turmoil of both torments, was a hair’s breadth compared to the miseries of the Sirens’ lure unrequited. His men stood witness to what longing can really be, amazed at how it can drive a man to kill or how it can drive a man to surrender to his inviting killers—surrender to their divine singing his body, his life, his soul—his very reason to exist. But unless one heard what he had heard, no one could conjure the shame and self-loathing that befell all who were to refuse their seduction.

Hundreds of generations ago, he and his men would out-distance their peril, but he knew even in conflict with his rational thought that he would never be whole again until he returned to their sublime melodies that never ceased ebbing in his mind. Worse, this yearning was final and immutable, to be resolved only when these Sirens were to taste of his living flesh. And from the time his mind was so seduced—so poisoned—he was doomed to forever long for this consummation.

Interlude: Orpheus

There was a taste in the air. Orpheus did taste of it and he relished it. He searched the still, strange night with his eyes and his ears. He saw the stars above, harmonizing in their secret way with the men who toiled at ropes and sails. He heard the music of the spheres, wafting in waves, seeking musical accompaniment.

He swayed, balanced in a complex rhythm with these perceived sounds from above. He would welcome the song of the Sirens as his men readied themselves to enlist his protection. The winds had ceased and the sails were down. The masts were secured and the ship floated, buoyed, with all hands attending on deck. They stood still in relation to the world, the ship gently swaying their feet under them. Soon even the most boorish among them could feel the euphony Orpheus channeled to them from above. The celestial orchestra came around again, but still no accompaniment from the island that sat nearby. Orpheus waited with his men.

They had no fear. They had a different understanding of the Sirens than did Odysseus. There was no wax to plug their ears, only the lyre of Orpheus to stand at the ready to transform the threat into an embrace for the universe which still was playing to them from above. Orpheus understood the meaning of the music of the spheres, the power of the Sirens’ song, the connection between the two that needed a bridge to harmonize the universe.

They all waited. There was no wind. All else was dead silent, save the stars and orbs, lush in their introduction. Once again the melody came around but no one joined in. It was as if the island Anthemusa were waiting for the right moment. The strains became louder and louder to the men, who became more ebullient which each pass of the introduction. Orpheus prayed to the celestial exchange and the music became even louder. By this time the men were chanting, stomping a foot each in unison. The ship throbbed with each collective footfall. The melody came around again. The men were shouting their collaboration, and the ship swayed to the rhythm. Their participation filled the void, it appeared, so just when there seemed no more room for any further accompaniment, the song from the island entered, taking the helm of the opus with the loveliest force of lyrical radiance the world could withstand. A few at a time the men quit, dumbfounded, having no idea the ears could bring such pleasure. They felt the need for communion with the source of this divine elocution. They felt the need, and they saw the reason, for wanting to be consumed by the throats that sang this song.

Orpheus fixed his lyre on his lap and found the right key to complement both the heavens and the island. The world became connected with the stars and the planets above on that magical night. Melodies and counter-themes flowed through his lyre in both directions, the sky and the island each receiving blessings while bestowing them. The men were on their knees, weeping in happiness.

On their island three Sirens sang divinely with the voices of six.

The interposition of notes from the heavens with their own vocal renderings was an epiphany made possible by the bridge of music trafficking across the lyre at sea. The circle rounding the heavens, the lyre, the Anthemusa island, and the heavens continued until the men of the Argo began to softly glow.

Consumption wasn’t necessary after all!

Hundreds of generations ago, he and his men would outdistance the aural waves that splashed against their ears and would live to tell this tale, but they would never get the song out of their heads. Others would call them mad with this affliction, but they would all die happy, with a song in their hearts as well.

Postlude: Rhea

It was supposed to be a three-minute, three-chord song with a simple hook, like what could be heard churning the thick, tropical New Orleans gumbo of humidity in any of dozens of venues that evening. The words fit the measures of the song tightly as Rhea sang them over and over. She posed her petite body stiffly, an inert chameleon, the fitful lights changing her camouflage from instant to instant. She had turned her back on her keyboard to face the audience. Only her lips moved, and it was impossible to imagine the power that came from such limited animation unless one were there to hear her. The decibels were not good for anyone’s ears and her vibrato mated with the din.

Then came the familiar rest, when she stopped singing so that the instrumental hook could go around and around. It was a private annoyance among the band members as to when she might jump back in, the circular hook building momentum with each pass, the crowd getting more frenzied with each cycle. Their stomping became her metronome. Her bandmates marveled at the power she seemed to have over her audience but wondered whether it was a good thing. At this point she ran the show, and this tease was one of the two things that had gotten her kicked out of the band before.

She stood on the raised stage and slyly waited, her inanimate stance in contrast to the audience mania below.

The guitars churned out another cycle; still she didn’t jump in. This was the longest she had ever waited and her fellow musicians strummed and plucked and drummed with ever increasing intensity. Then she did what she had promised them she would never do again—the second of the two things that had gotten her kicked out of the band before. The concentration of heads in front of her was solid enough, she calculated, and she dove backwards onto the carpet of hair and hands. The undulating support for her bobbed her this way and that until, like the supernatural properties of a Ouija, she felt she was willing them to send her back to the stage.

By this time there were only a few more octaves to jump within the known limitations of the instruments, so the saxophone player began a pair of rising cords an octave lower than the finishing chords of the guitarist, and the guitarist repeated the trick, creating the sonic illusion that the rise up the frets was never ending. It was a necessity, an emergency: Rhea forced such trickery out of them. Additionally, the bass and drums began to slow down the rhythm to give them more time for their singer who seemed unconcerned. The stomping metronome agreed. The trip up the frets and the sax’s progression up the scale raised the tension of the song, awaiting the hammer blow of Rhea’s voice only her stage presence would provide. The rough mob had a gentle touch in placing her back on the stage—a hive of killer bees beneath the placid illusion of a colony’s singularity. The band, the crowd, the whole world waited for her to join the chant of strings, winds, and skins and the trickery of the never-ending cascade of octaves.

Rhea sang at last.

She belted out the blast that untied the knot that had bound the sound and crowd together. To the crowd it was worth the wait. She brought the acoustic tension crashing down to the home note that defined the song. A great weight lifted from the crowd and went somewhere unknown into the universe. It was less of a hammer blow than it was the uncocking of the hammer of the pistol, perhaps not gently enough to prevent firing. And although it had been worth the wait to the audience, it was a hard day at work for the band.

The walls of sound came crashing down and the crowd had fun. The band slipped back into an instrumental version of the refrain, which Rhea should have overrode with the home note, but instead she paused again. On the backbeat she belt out a vocal attack composed of a wavering, dissonant tritone.

She jumped back into the pit of hands and heads, but the crowd was different. This time the hands were choppy seas, tossing and jolting her. She was rolled face down and saw their eyes—she looked a singular mob right in the eye and became very frightened. This time her will was helpless to drive her back. Hands and elbows struck her in her face, throat, and mouth. At one point she bit to remove two hands at once. The fans slammed her the wrong way some distance before the bouncers ran to her rescue, making a circle of floor for her to alight. She was back on stage quickly.

The guitarist and bass player studied each other and then jumped in with a hard driving heavy metal hook that begged for Rhea. The drummer added a snare and high-hat cadence. She behaved this time, jumping in at the expected time. The place rocked, guitar chords punctuated by drum kit strikes and bass licks, but Rhea heard between the notes.

She heard an ominous musical phrase drifting through the lumineferous aether. She looked into the crowd and saw a man in the back of the room, sipping a tall, dark drink. He was dressed in a businessman’s office uniform, minus the tie and cuff links, his shirt and coat sleeves folded over his forearm the perfect one and a half times. She knew this man. He had hurt her in the past and now wanted to hurt her again. With otherworldly ears she could hear the song from within him, and it grew menacing. She heard his threatening song that brought down any other vibrant songs the world had to offer her. She couldn’t get it out of her head. She was out-of-body by this time, listening to the song from the man, while her body on stage adhered to the band.

Her body felt faint and stopped singing right after a refrain. The band covered for her beautifully, and she sat on a stool and lowered the stage mike to her mouth. She was burning up, she knew. She searched a playlist from deep past her short term memory, past her long term memory, and into her ancient DNA memory. She looked very hard to retrieve it—it was elusive, on the tip of her tongue.

She looked at her body on the stage and at the crowd and began a vocal improvisation. She was back, but she had brought her own music. The band was merely a group of catatonic musicians at this point, obedient servants to her musical will. They kept turning the musical phrase over and over, providing a latticework for her to build upon. The crowd stopped dancing but just stood, staring at the low stage blankly. Their heartbeats began synching to the rhythm from the stage.

Rhea began adding more sophistication to her singing. The song of New Orleans played perfect background voices for her as she conjured up the madness she now knew she could craft. In the background, the song that was New Orleans added a Voodoo counterpoint, and the drummer obediently added his backbeat. She didn’t know how this was going to end, but she was getting even hotter and she was fighting back—naturally, instinctively, and powerfully. The man in the back was smiling slyly, not hiding the thoughts of what he had planned for her later. She took the notes she heard and inverted them back out, and they fit.

All of the women on the floor dropped their drinks, a collapse of shattering glass and the firefly-like cigarettes that fell to the ground as well. To Rhea’s amazement, they all turned to the evil man in the back, caught like an errant child caught in the cookie jar. He was paralyzed, as were the other men in the room. Rhea took a melodic interval and began tightening it into a perfect harmonic interval. And then she sang as two women, accompanying herself, not singing with two voices at once, but singing at two times at once.

Something in the women reached critical mass and they began moving slowly toward the man. They didn’t like him, because Rhea’s song didn’t like him. In fact, her song hated him, so they hated him, too. He stood motionless, completely paralyzed, but completely entranced in the hypnotic suggestion from a song from the stage, and this song now ruled his life.

He walked in a forested area and it was night. There was no moon. Something patchy on the trees fluoresced. He was barefoot and alone. There was a rustling beyond the trees that suggested a threatening pandemonium. Within that was a pipe playing. And carried by the pipe song was panic. He felt the moist fluorescent substance dripping on the trees. It was the blood of something, and it was still warm. The rustling beyond the trees became a bustling that seemed to be moving toward him. The panic swelled. He darted this way and that, the harsh brush debris scratching and splintering into his feet.

What is this? Where am I? he thought in horror. He stooped to pull a large thorn out of his left foot, and when he stood again, there was a sudden blow to his face, slamming his nose upward against its bridge. His eyes shot open and he beheld a naked woman wild-eyed with hate. She spat on him, and then he felt the razor-like pains streak his back by the nails of another. He put out both his arms and fluttered them ineffectively, trying to ward off the razor strikes. When he opened his eyes again, there were a dozen naked women who seemed possessed, and the object of their possession, inexplicably, was his destruction. He slapped this way, punched out that way, bit hands that scratched at his face. One of them kicked in his knee, everting the knee cap, and he fell to one side. On the ground, he assumed a fetal position, balling up in false protection. The onslaught continued unabated. His teeth were displaced at their roots, his eyes were now swollen shut, he tasted blood that was flowing briskly enough to choke him as it fell down his throat. He tried to cry out, but all that he produced was an agonal guttural glottal spasm.

His soul was already in Hell, arriving before his body, which stood in the back of the room at the lounge on Toulouse St. And there, his body saw them as they crowded around him. He was powerless to escape their blows and thrashing, and there were too many of them. They shrieked in madness, shredding him with their nails, and then they proceeded to tear him apart in a Bacchic orgy of retribution. Rhea continued singing even as her temperature fell.

She felt safe. She had brought the Maenads with her tonight, lusting in their brutal assault.

The performance, dedicated especially to the man in the back, was twenty-three minutes of Phrygian fury. By the time the women were finished with him, he was nothing more than a mushy pulp and was pushed out to the courtyard and then thrown in several pieces over the brick fence onto an adjacent property, where the cockroaches fed on him all night. When all of the women were re-assembled, Rhea faded back into the band, which began catching back up with her; and the women and men slowly became animated seamlessly into the dancing that preluded the visit of the Maenads. There was glass all over the floor, and that seemed a complete mystery to everyone. And even stranger, the women wore blood all over their blouses, halters, and dress fronts.

Whatever tension remained in the song was dissipated by Rhea’s return to the home note, conspiring with the group’s telepathically choreographed quadrasonic one-point crash landing, like the beaching of a Homeric ship that had long pined for terra firma.

4
2
2
Juice
123 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 7 of The Life and Times of Climax Johnson and other Stories
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Horror & Thriller
Siren, a Song in Three Entr'actes
Prelude: Odysseus

There was a taste in the air. He did taste it, although his lips were pressed firmly together in a clasped defense of wrung creases. It was that salty spray taste that could penetrate even a closed mouth accustomed to sea. He bit against himself until he tasted his blood instead.

He felt for the terror of this night with only his ears, for he also squeezed his eyes tightly so that he could experience, without distraction, the sound that the night and the salty air would carry to his unfettered ears. He thought of the music of the spheres, that harmony of cosmic order heard by Pythagoras. His most modern astrolabe was still a crude instrument, he regretted, yielding only vectors and triangulations, deaf to the blessed vibrations from above. He pivoted his head down in concentration to continue his search.
For now he hoped to hear something divine on Earth.

His balance had motion. There were the rapid forward and backward lurches which were skewed by his subtler left and right list. He flexed and relaxed his muscles and joints in urgent preparation, equilibrating his center of mass to accommodate to the waves of his body. He called upon the strange gravity that poises those who choose to live unanchored to the firm ground, a seaman’s sense that the mundane, the sensible of his time cannot feel when what they pound beneath their feet is firm and adherent and restricts them to shorelines.

His hearing had no such equilibration. His vulnerable ears—open, inviting, and en garde—heard only the nautical wind toward which he feared his heed would be erroneously diverted. His men toiled at their duties on his ship, but each was primarily fearful of their captain’s expected madness. Each knew they had gone too far to be led by a madman. But they obeyed, nevertheless, or so the story goes, when they were ordered to discard the last of the hot wax before pouring it into their captain’s ears. They obeyed, or so the story goes, when they were ordered to tie their captain to the mast as they neared Anthemusa, the island of the daughters of Melpomene. And they dutifully disobeyed, as the story goes, when he ordered them to release him so as to be willingly consumed by the Sirens who sang to him divinely.

The song was of six voices but from three.

He ordered them repeatedly as their captain, warranting the fair justice they would receive for their mutinous refusal. He pleaded with them as their victim, his own salty spray issuing forth from his gasping mouth. The wet binding cut painfully into his ankles and wrists as he flapped and thrashed impotently on the mast like the crying ropes in the wind. His ears could not believe the honored invitation—a request to rejoin the universe in glory.

The rest of the world had no importance at all! He must go, he knew.

But the mast held him fast, its firm curves dissimilar to his own, bruising the very prominences of his spine as he struggled in panic to accept a destiny no one with wax in his ears could understand. He heaved against the mast with all of his might. Its creaking added to his own as he hoped to snap it—he must snap it. He launched himself so mightily that even his men, wide-eyed with horror and amazement, thought he might succeed.

But he might just as well have been impaled.

He slumped in defeat, disgusted with his hated traitors, glaring at them, scorning them for having only wind blowing through their heads. His collapse signaled the knives that cut him away from his crucifix, several of the men lifting him upright.

A final harmony drifted through him from afar.

“Is it safe now, Captain?” they asked. They strained to hear his response through their sealed ears.

“Finally, it is!” he said, searching out each set of eyes that prayed for his good sense to return. “It is safe—for me!” he cried, each flexed elbow carrying a man with him overboard. Falling with them, it seemed so beautiful to him how their howls harmonized with the song from the island.

It was a longer way down to the frigid water than he had imagined. The concussion was his final defeat. When his crew fished him out alone, he had no remorse for his friends who had died by his attempt to reach the singers. As he lay on deck, sputtering and draining brine, he knew that their deaths and all the usual tragedies were jokes.
Neither abandoning Circe nor absence from Penelope, nor even the mixed turmoil of both torments, was a hair’s breadth compared to the miseries of the Sirens’ lure unrequited. His men stood witness to what longing can really be, amazed at how it can drive a man to kill or how it can drive a man to surrender to his inviting killers—surrender to their divine singing his body, his life, his soul—his very reason to exist. But unless one heard what he had heard, no one could conjure the shame and self-loathing that befell all who were to refuse their seduction.

Hundreds of generations ago, he and his men would out-distance their peril, but he knew even in conflict with his rational thought that he would never be whole again until he returned to their sublime melodies that never ceased ebbing in his mind. Worse, this yearning was final and immutable, to be resolved only when these Sirens were to taste of his living flesh. And from the time his mind was so seduced—so poisoned—he was doomed to forever long for this consummation.


Interlude: Orpheus

There was a taste in the air. Orpheus did taste of it and he relished it. He searched the still, strange night with his eyes and his ears. He saw the stars above, harmonizing in their secret way with the men who toiled at ropes and sails. He heard the music of the spheres, wafting in waves, seeking musical accompaniment.

He swayed, balanced in a complex rhythm with these perceived sounds from above. He would welcome the song of the Sirens as his men readied themselves to enlist his protection. The winds had ceased and the sails were down. The masts were secured and the ship floated, buoyed, with all hands attending on deck. They stood still in relation to the world, the ship gently swaying their feet under them. Soon even the most boorish among them could feel the euphony Orpheus channeled to them from above. The celestial orchestra came around again, but still no accompaniment from the island that sat nearby. Orpheus waited with his men.

They had no fear. They had a different understanding of the Sirens than did Odysseus. There was no wax to plug their ears, only the lyre of Orpheus to stand at the ready to transform the threat into an embrace for the universe which still was playing to them from above. Orpheus understood the meaning of the music of the spheres, the power of the Sirens’ song, the connection between the two that needed a bridge to harmonize the universe.

They all waited. There was no wind. All else was dead silent, save the stars and orbs, lush in their introduction. Once again the melody came around but no one joined in. It was as if the island Anthemusa were waiting for the right moment. The strains became louder and louder to the men, who became more ebullient which each pass of the introduction. Orpheus prayed to the celestial exchange and the music became even louder. By this time the men were chanting, stomping a foot each in unison. The ship throbbed with each collective footfall. The melody came around again. The men were shouting their collaboration, and the ship swayed to the rhythm. Their participation filled the void, it appeared, so just when there seemed no more room for any further accompaniment, the song from the island entered, taking the helm of the opus with the loveliest force of lyrical radiance the world could withstand. A few at a time the men quit, dumbfounded, having no idea the ears could bring such pleasure. They felt the need for communion with the source of this divine elocution. They felt the need, and they saw the reason, for wanting to be consumed by the throats that sang this song.

Orpheus fixed his lyre on his lap and found the right key to complement both the heavens and the island. The world became connected with the stars and the planets above on that magical night. Melodies and counter-themes flowed through his lyre in both directions, the sky and the island each receiving blessings while bestowing them. The men were on their knees, weeping in happiness.

On their island three Sirens sang divinely with the voices of six.

The interposition of notes from the heavens with their own vocal renderings was an epiphany made possible by the bridge of music trafficking across the lyre at sea. The circle rounding the heavens, the lyre, the Anthemusa island, and the heavens continued until the men of the Argo began to softly glow.

Consumption wasn’t necessary after all!

Hundreds of generations ago, he and his men would outdistance the aural waves that splashed against their ears and would live to tell this tale, but they would never get the song out of their heads. Others would call them mad with this affliction, but they would all die happy, with a song in their hearts as well.


Postlude: Rhea

It was supposed to be a three-minute, three-chord song with a simple hook, like what could be heard churning the thick, tropical New Orleans gumbo of humidity in any of dozens of venues that evening. The words fit the measures of the song tightly as Rhea sang them over and over. She posed her petite body stiffly, an inert chameleon, the fitful lights changing her camouflage from instant to instant. She had turned her back on her keyboard to face the audience. Only her lips moved, and it was impossible to imagine the power that came from such limited animation unless one were there to hear her. The decibels were not good for anyone’s ears and her vibrato mated with the din.

Then came the familiar rest, when she stopped singing so that the instrumental hook could go around and around. It was a private annoyance among the band members as to when she might jump back in, the circular hook building momentum with each pass, the crowd getting more frenzied with each cycle. Their stomping became her metronome. Her bandmates marveled at the power she seemed to have over her audience but wondered whether it was a good thing. At this point she ran the show, and this tease was one of the two things that had gotten her kicked out of the band before.

She stood on the raised stage and slyly waited, her inanimate stance in contrast to the audience mania below.

The guitars churned out another cycle; still she didn’t jump in. This was the longest she had ever waited and her fellow musicians strummed and plucked and drummed with ever increasing intensity. Then she did what she had promised them she would never do again—the second of the two things that had gotten her kicked out of the band before. The concentration of heads in front of her was solid enough, she calculated, and she dove backwards onto the carpet of hair and hands. The undulating support for her bobbed her this way and that until, like the supernatural properties of a Ouija, she felt she was willing them to send her back to the stage.

By this time there were only a few more octaves to jump within the known limitations of the instruments, so the saxophone player began a pair of rising cords an octave lower than the finishing chords of the guitarist, and the guitarist repeated the trick, creating the sonic illusion that the rise up the frets was never ending. It was a necessity, an emergency: Rhea forced such trickery out of them. Additionally, the bass and drums began to slow down the rhythm to give them more time for their singer who seemed unconcerned. The stomping metronome agreed. The trip up the frets and the sax’s progression up the scale raised the tension of the song, awaiting the hammer blow of Rhea’s voice only her stage presence would provide. The rough mob had a gentle touch in placing her back on the stage—a hive of killer bees beneath the placid illusion of a colony’s singularity. The band, the crowd, the whole world waited for her to join the chant of strings, winds, and skins and the trickery of the never-ending cascade of octaves.

Rhea sang at last.

She belted out the blast that untied the knot that had bound the sound and crowd together. To the crowd it was worth the wait. She brought the acoustic tension crashing down to the home note that defined the song. A great weight lifted from the crowd and went somewhere unknown into the universe. It was less of a hammer blow than it was the uncocking of the hammer of the pistol, perhaps not gently enough to prevent firing. And although it had been worth the wait to the audience, it was a hard day at work for the band.

The walls of sound came crashing down and the crowd had fun. The band slipped back into an instrumental version of the refrain, which Rhea should have overrode with the home note, but instead she paused again. On the backbeat she belt out a vocal attack composed of a wavering, dissonant tritone.

She jumped back into the pit of hands and heads, but the crowd was different. This time the hands were choppy seas, tossing and jolting her. She was rolled face down and saw their eyes—she looked a singular mob right in the eye and became very frightened. This time her will was helpless to drive her back. Hands and elbows struck her in her face, throat, and mouth. At one point she bit to remove two hands at once. The fans slammed her the wrong way some distance before the bouncers ran to her rescue, making a circle of floor for her to alight. She was back on stage quickly.

The guitarist and bass player studied each other and then jumped in with a hard driving heavy metal hook that begged for Rhea. The drummer added a snare and high-hat cadence. She behaved this time, jumping in at the expected time. The place rocked, guitar chords punctuated by drum kit strikes and bass licks, but Rhea heard between the notes.
She heard an ominous musical phrase drifting through the lumineferous aether. She looked into the crowd and saw a man in the back of the room, sipping a tall, dark drink. He was dressed in a businessman’s office uniform, minus the tie and cuff links, his shirt and coat sleeves folded over his forearm the perfect one and a half times. She knew this man. He had hurt her in the past and now wanted to hurt her again. With otherworldly ears she could hear the song from within him, and it grew menacing. She heard his threatening song that brought down any other vibrant songs the world had to offer her. She couldn’t get it out of her head. She was out-of-body by this time, listening to the song from the man, while her body on stage adhered to the band.

Her body felt faint and stopped singing right after a refrain. The band covered for her beautifully, and she sat on a stool and lowered the stage mike to her mouth. She was burning up, she knew. She searched a playlist from deep past her short term memory, past her long term memory, and into her ancient DNA memory. She looked very hard to retrieve it—it was elusive, on the tip of her tongue.

She looked at her body on the stage and at the crowd and began a vocal improvisation. She was back, but she had brought her own music. The band was merely a group of catatonic musicians at this point, obedient servants to her musical will. They kept turning the musical phrase over and over, providing a latticework for her to build upon. The crowd stopped dancing but just stood, staring at the low stage blankly. Their heartbeats began synching to the rhythm from the stage.

Rhea began adding more sophistication to her singing. The song of New Orleans played perfect background voices for her as she conjured up the madness she now knew she could craft. In the background, the song that was New Orleans added a Voodoo counterpoint, and the drummer obediently added his backbeat. She didn’t know how this was going to end, but she was getting even hotter and she was fighting back—naturally, instinctively, and powerfully. The man in the back was smiling slyly, not hiding the thoughts of what he had planned for her later. She took the notes she heard and inverted them back out, and they fit.

All of the women on the floor dropped their drinks, a collapse of shattering glass and the firefly-like cigarettes that fell to the ground as well. To Rhea’s amazement, they all turned to the evil man in the back, caught like an errant child caught in the cookie jar. He was paralyzed, as were the other men in the room. Rhea took a melodic interval and began tightening it into a perfect harmonic interval. And then she sang as two women, accompanying herself, not singing with two voices at once, but singing at two times at once.

Something in the women reached critical mass and they began moving slowly toward the man. They didn’t like him, because Rhea’s song didn’t like him. In fact, her song hated him, so they hated him, too. He stood motionless, completely paralyzed, but completely entranced in the hypnotic suggestion from a song from the stage, and this song now ruled his life.

He walked in a forested area and it was night. There was no moon. Something patchy on the trees fluoresced. He was barefoot and alone. There was a rustling beyond the trees that suggested a threatening pandemonium. Within that was a pipe playing. And carried by the pipe song was panic. He felt the moist fluorescent substance dripping on the trees. It was the blood of something, and it was still warm. The rustling beyond the trees became a bustling that seemed to be moving toward him. The panic swelled. He darted this way and that, the harsh brush debris scratching and splintering into his feet.

What is this? Where am I? he thought in horror. He stooped to pull a large thorn out of his left foot, and when he stood again, there was a sudden blow to his face, slamming his nose upward against its bridge. His eyes shot open and he beheld a naked woman wild-eyed with hate. She spat on him, and then he felt the razor-like pains streak his back by the nails of another. He put out both his arms and fluttered them ineffectively, trying to ward off the razor strikes. When he opened his eyes again, there were a dozen naked women who seemed possessed, and the object of their possession, inexplicably, was his destruction. He slapped this way, punched out that way, bit hands that scratched at his face. One of them kicked in his knee, everting the knee cap, and he fell to one side. On the ground, he assumed a fetal position, balling up in false protection. The onslaught continued unabated. His teeth were displaced at their roots, his eyes were now swollen shut, he tasted blood that was flowing briskly enough to choke him as it fell down his throat. He tried to cry out, but all that he produced was an agonal guttural glottal spasm.
His soul was already in Hell, arriving before his body, which stood in the back of the room at the lounge on Toulouse St. And there, his body saw them as they crowded around him. He was powerless to escape their blows and thrashing, and there were too many of them. They shrieked in madness, shredding him with their nails, and then they proceeded to tear him apart in a Bacchic orgy of retribution. Rhea continued singing even as her temperature fell.

She felt safe. She had brought the Maenads with her tonight, lusting in their brutal assault.

The performance, dedicated especially to the man in the back, was twenty-three minutes of Phrygian fury. By the time the women were finished with him, he was nothing more than a mushy pulp and was pushed out to the courtyard and then thrown in several pieces over the brick fence onto an adjacent property, where the cockroaches fed on him all night. When all of the women were re-assembled, Rhea faded back into the band, which began catching back up with her; and the women and men slowly became animated seamlessly into the dancing that preluded the visit of the Maenads. There was glass all over the floor, and that seemed a complete mystery to everyone. And even stranger, the women wore blood all over their blouses, halters, and dress fronts.

Whatever tension remained in the song was dissipated by Rhea’s return to the home note, conspiring with the group’s telepathically choreographed quadrasonic one-point crash landing, like the beaching of a Homeric ship that had long pined for terra firma.
4
2
2
Juice
123 reads
Load 2 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 2 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Music and Rap

Snake Facts

We slither and slide and slink and slam and

Hurt ourselves then don't understand

We pop and we jug and we dis and we that

And we can't understand why we jump like that

You dis me so I kill you

I dis you so you kill me

We all do dis and we all sweat flack

We black on black like yellow on black

chorus:

     at each other--it's a fact

     on our brothers--it's a fact

     fail our mothers--it's a fact

     to each other--that's that

Black on black is the darker track

We gotta be up to cover our back

We brace our back and take up the slack

To back the attack--it's a fact.

White man feed the slaves, so what?

Put us in the autoclave, so what?

We hold our brothers back, that's us!

Ridin' shotgun at the back of the bus.

chorus:

     Red on black--venom lack--it's a fact

     Yellow on black--watch your back--it's a fact

     Black on yellow--kill a fellow--it's a fact

     Black on black, blood-curdling howl of racial feedback

     --it's a fact

1
1
0
Juice
25 reads
Donate coins to DrSemicolon.
Juice
Cancel
Chapter 2 of The Purge of Dr. Semicolon
Written by DrSemicolon in portal Music and Rap
Snake Facts
We slither and slide and slink and slam and
Hurt ourselves then don't understand
We pop and we jug and we dis and we that
And we can't understand why we jump like that

You dis me so I kill you
I dis you so you kill me
We all do dis and we all sweat flack
We black on black like yellow on black

chorus:
     at each other--it's a fact
     on our brothers--it's a fact
     fail our mothers--it's a fact
     to each other--that's that

Black on black is the darker track
We gotta be up to cover our back
We brace our back and take up the slack
To back the attack--it's a fact.

White man feed the slaves, so what?
Put us in the autoclave, so what?
We hold our brothers back, that's us!
Ridin' shotgun at the back of the bus.

chorus:
     Red on black--venom lack--it's a fact
     Yellow on black--watch your back--it's a fact
     Black on yellow--kill a fellow--it's a fact
     Black on black, blood-curdling howl of racial feedback
     --it's a fact
1
1
0
Juice
25 reads
Login to post comments.
Advertisement  (turn off)