Monday, May 30, 2011

Traildust PART FOUR

"What kinda business you gotta do so far outta town?" Jake said. He removed his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve.
"Personal business," Bennet's eyes remained on the horizon, looking out for oncoming riders. He turned to Jake. "We're almost there."
Jake nodded. A small circle of buzzards floated along on the desert updrafts someways ahead of them.
"Buzzards," Jake said. "Can't mean nothin' too good."
Bennet nodded. He clicked his tongue and his horse moved on a little faster. Jake did the same to keep pace.
The world was orange in the sunlight shining off the glimmering sands, the white bones of long-dead animals sticking out like fingers from beneath the world to grab nearby sinners, the ghosts of dead men walking aimlessly forever thirsty and never drinking. Bennet thought on some of these men, some of whom he'd known in a time before this one, and rode on.
When the buzzards were in clear sight, they saw what it was they had been circling over. Some had landed and were picking at the fleshy faces of the dead, favouring the eyes first over the other parts. The eyeless sockets stared out into the world. Gaping mouths shouted in a wordless horror that was now unspoken.
"Injuns," Jake said. "Them men been scalped."
"Maybe," Bennet got off his horse and looked around. Neither side of the horizon revealed the shapeless and disappearing forms of riders, men who hunted on other men. "Could be scalp traders."
"Scalp traders?"
"A business alive and well."
"Ain't got nothin' to do with it. Come on."
Bennet began sifting through the bodies, looking for coins or identification.
"What're you doin'?" Jake got off his horse. It whinnied and shied away from the dead men and horses, the smell of carrion floating upwards in the heat. "Have some respect."
"These folks're dead. Ain't no need no more."
Jake looked at Bennet, disbelief in his kind hazel eyes, as Bennet relieved a man of a bag of coins strapped around his waste under his pantaloons. He jangled it, the coins clanking against one another, and pocketed it.
The search yielded little else. The names of these men and woman and children would remain unknown to the world forever, infinity continuing without their names ever being spoken again, or their faces cherished and cared for. In a few days, the animals, the sun and the sand will have taken care of all physical signs that these folks ever existed and the world will continue as if they hadn't. They, too, will join the ranks of ghosts wandering the desert, forever looking for drink to quench and undying thirst.
"Come on," Bennet said, climbing atop his horse. "Now we're gonna be late."
Jake said nothing as he mounted the horse and got it moving. Bennet didn't take his eyes off the coming horizon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Traildust PART THREE

The sun raked across the sky, a molten bird soaring through angelic blue, a tiny strip of which found the corner of un-curtained window in Bennet's bedroom and shone into his sleeping eyes. When he opened them, his first words for the new day were, "God fuckin' damnitall." And then he rose. His breath tasted like a dead hog and his mind was clouded by last night's drink and troubled dreams of Indians and bears and tomohawks buried in skulls. And gold.
Bennet knew that starting a day with a curse was bad luck and, sitting down at his table for a breakfast of bread and sun-dried burro meat, he asked the Lord to watch out for him and to forgive his earlier cursings.
Most days Bennet would leave his house and go to work, clanging out horse-shoes or gun repairs or any other such things the townsfolk saw to needing that day, but today he would work his second job. He stood from his meal and went out to the workshop and took from under the covered money-printers four bags of Mexican currency he'd seen to making over the last month. Coins, paper-money, even some falsified gold Spanish dubloons as was used some years back and was still accepted as payment for most things to be bought. Gold is still gold, no matter what emblem, country or name is stamped on its tempered face.
He'd met the smugglers some years back, when times were tougher and laws even easier than now. He had been a fellow who defected from the USS Maine during the Spanish-American on hearing of brutalities committed by the Cubans on American soldiers just before it all went up in the smoke and flames of his best friends' bodies and their guns and dreams and thoughts of their families. Just before casting off for Key West, Florida, Bennet had snuck out the back of the line like a coward Judas and bargained his way through a band of Mexicans he encountered on his retreat before he could reach home with promises of wealth.
"My blacksmithin' skills is considerable," he said. "Muchos dinero. Oro, si?"
Bearded, bloody and soot-blackened men had looked at him. His Spanish not as considerable as his skills with metal and hammer, but he knew enough to bargain for his life. The men conferred among themselves.
"Muchos dinero?" they said, their eyes unsure but glinting with opporunistic greed. "We no kill you, you make us dinero?"
"Si," Bennet said. "I need gold, oro, papel y la tinta. Tengo máquinas. Puedo hacer las máquinas."
The men smiled, the black holes of missing teeth mirrored in all of them, gold teeth gleeed from others. One of the men, Sanguar, put a hand to his mouth and with ample effort, tore out a gold tooth.
"Oro." he said, and laughed. The others laughed too.
Holding the gold tooth glistening red with blood and the fires of the burning fortress behind him, Bennet tried to laugh. And then he was whisked up onto Sanguar's horse and ridden off away from the battlefield to begin work on the money presses.

Bennet thought on these things as he loaded the bags of blood-gold and paper onto his pack-mule and saddled his horse. No time for the past, he thought. No time at all. Barely enough for now, and he climbed up onto his horse, his rifle sitting across his lap, pinned against the horn of his saddle, and clicked his tongue. The horse moved with a snort and dragged the pack-mule behind it with a long hemp rope. It was a day's ride out to the meeting point and he always went alone.
He popped the stopper on his whiskey and drank deep, the sun burning into his skin and sweat traced dirt trenches across his skin from under the brim of his hat. As he rode his saw a bleached white cow's carcass sitting in the sand, the last remnants of its leathery hide being picked away by a buzzard and Bennet spat.
"Hey, Bennet," a voice called out from behind him, the sound of clomping hoof-pounds in the sand sped up.
Bennet turned and saw Jake catching up to him on his black thoroughbred, "Aw, shit." he said and took another sip of the whiskey.
"Goin' fer a ride today?" Jake pulled up next to him. "Mind if I join ye?"
"I got some buisness outta town. Might be a whiles."
"I don't mind. Ain't got nothin' else to do."
"Suit yourself."
"Figure I will," Jake said. "Pass us some a that there whiskey."
Bennet passed the bottle over and they rode out in silence.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Lords of Television

There's been a trend of late that's been bothering me more and more. In the past, it was only natural for television programs to be cancelled due to a lack of ratings. Shows were watched by families or single viewers and that was it, that's all you had. Sure, with VHS coming in you could record it, but you could never rely on the quality and if you wanted to keep it you needed a library as large as your home - besides the fact that the VHS machine never seemed to be hooked up onto the right channel.

But, in this modern day, we can pause live television, TIVO our favourite shows and even, using the miraculous curse known as Pay TV, even press a single button and record an entire series, just in case you aren't there to watch it live.
In an age like this, it no longer makes sense to cancel shows due to poor ratings - odds are, with the prevalence of recording devices and Pay TV, most people aren't watching any shows live anymore. Sure, there are family nights watching certain shows and that kind of thing, we all enjoy it, but that doesn't deaden the fact that we mostly record our shows and watch them later.
With this, ratings should play far less of a role and quality should be the only consideration.

Recently, two shows were cancelled without any reason other than ratings. The tremendous show - created by Juno writer Diablo Cody and starring classy Australian actress Toni Collette - The United States of Tara was cancelled due to lack of ratings in its third season.
Admittedly, it was a lot more lucky than the best new crime drama on television in recent years starring ex-Sopranos star Michael Imperioli and created by Jason Richman, the show Detroit 1-8-7 was cancelled last week after it's magnificent first season. Due to ratings.

TV lovers will be aware that this happens all the time, most notably the followers of classic show Firefly, cancelled for the same reasons, as well as Huff - though, admittedly, Huff's writing went WAY downhill in season 2.

I don't know, I guess I'm just saying that ratings don't matter nearly as much as they used to and do more damage to good shows than anything else. Kind of like how useless the preliminary opinion polls of US Presidential candidates is, but that's another story.
Give them another shot on Pay TV and the will flower, damnit.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good news everyone!

Hey hey hey all!
You may notice a slight layout change on the right side of the page! If you haven't it's because you don't visit often enough and I miss you. Please come more often.
The change is you can now follow me via your email! My updates will be sent directly to the email address of your choosing! Exciting, right? I know.
Also, you lucky devils, at the bottom of the website (allllllllllll the way down) is a little message from me! Just a way to keep in touch.
Keep an eye out, I may change it to something amusing every now and then but for now, it's just how to keep in touch with yours truly!
All the best everyone!

Traildust PART TWO

It had been many a year since Bennet Holden had spent a day sober. Since the death of his wife and child, which he still blamed himself for, he'd spent his time at the bottom of a bottle of ale and with his money in chips at the card table.
"Ante up, Holden," Oscar said from across the table. "Let's git this hand started."
Bennet looked down at his chips and then at his cards.
"Aw, hell," he said. "I fold. You guys done cheated me."
He threw down his cards and finished off his whiskey, signalling for another from the barkeep.
"We ain't cheated you and you know it," Oscar said, taking away Bennet's cards. "Yer just lousy at cards."
"If'n y'ain't cheatin' me, how come I always walk outta here with a hole burnin' in my waistcoat?"
"Coz yer bad at cards!" Jake said, pawing the pot of chips closer to himself. He laid down a hand of four aces. "Y'always was."
"I'm supposin' so."
"P'raps y'oughta quit." said the third man from across the table that Bennet didn't recognize. His beard was long and grey, his face a Grand Canyon of deep scars and wrinkles, his skin baked in the sun like everybody else's. His had was pulled down over his eyes. The barkeep came and delivered Bennet's second drink. Coins exchanged hands.
"Why'd he wanna do a thing like that?" Oscar said, laughing from somewhere deep in his gut filled with rocks and bourbon. "Be like givin' up a woman's cunny and I can't see no sense in that neither!"
The men all laughed with a wolf-like gruffness. Bennet merely smiled and downed the drink in front of him.
"I think I might be takin' my leave tonight, boys."
"Now why's that?" Jake said. "We're just gettin' started." He cracked a smile.
"I'm leavin' coz I'd like to leave here with some a my pay still in my pocket!"
As he turned to leave, some of the whores from upstairs came over to the table wearing their négligées.
"Now boys," said the redhead known as Charlene. She put her palms down on the card table, revealing her voluptuous breasts to the players. "I heard you a talkin' 'bout cunny."
She leaned back and propped her leg up onto the table's surface. Chips, cards and ale glasses jumped.
"Perhaps you'd like to stop talkin' and get your hands around some." And she smiled a bright, toothy smile at the boys, making their only option acquiescence to her suggestions.
"'Fraid not tonight, ladies," Bennet said moving away, stumbling a little from the liquor. "Perhaps another night."
The cooed and pouted at him to stay but he kindly declined and made it out the doors.

Once at home, he sat in his favourite chair and stoked a fresh fire. He put the remainder of his pay in a small safe he hid behind his bed's headboard then went into his workshop. On his way into the home he'd passed his business's sign, "Bennet's Blacksmiths" and smiled. He still liked passng that sign. Now in the workshop, he checked on his machinery.
The coin press and paper-money press were still there, untouched, undisturbed.
"Good," he said, patting the cavas covering of the machines. "Good."
There was a shipment to go out tomorrow and he had to ride out to Presidio with it. It was going to be a long day and he figured he might as well try and get some sleep, try to sober up before the sun shines through his curtains and burns his eyes and makes him curse the lord.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Traildust PART ONE

The preacher spat hellfire like he enjoyed it.
"And the wicked will burn in the flames of hell because it is God's will!" he shouted, shaking his leather-bound holy book at those gathered in the tent. "And ye who denounces the word of the Lord shall be stricken down with diseases and misfortune."
"T'ain't like there ain't a whole lot to go round out here," said a man near the front. Some of the parishoners laughed.
"You dare make light of the wrath of God?!"
The man shuffled in his seat and was silent.
"He ain't makin' light a nothin', preacher," the man from the back said. "He's merely sayin' what'n we're all thinkin'. Ain't exactly like we ain't already sufferin' out here, what use is it tellin' us god's gonna do worse'n the desert sun and the sand and the injuns?"
There was a mottled murmur of agreement.
"And who are you, son, to question God's will?" the preacher had stepped out from behind the pulpit and stood beside it, his finger pointed accusedly at the man.
"Me?" the man said, lighting up a small, Mexican cigar. "Former man a God's lost his faith some. Also a man tired a bein' told we ain't good fer nothin' by folks like you."
"How can a man of God, a man of the cloth, lost his faith in times like these?"
"Well preacher, it's likely 'coz a what life is like and seein' god do nothin' for it."
The tent was silent, now. Where usually the buzz of religious observence created a tense electricity in the air, now there was a dead silence. Cicadas rung out with the buzzing of flies. A dog yelped at something nearby. A faint metal click rung out in the silence.
"Also," the man said, stubbing out his cigarette to the angried chagrin of the preacher and the faithful, "I never said I was a man a the cloth, just a man a god."
The man drew his Colt pistol and leveled it with the preacher.
"A weapon in a house of God?!" The preacher tried poorly to hide his fear behind indignation, bravery. "How dare you!"
"'Coz a man takes a job whatever comes along," he clicked back the hammer on the revolver. "And 'fraid today, preacher, you're the job."
The gunshot exploded in the silence and blood spurted from the preacher's neck, baptizing the faithful in the front row. Screams pierced the world and split its seams as knives tore down the canvas of the tent and christians fled into the nearing darkness away from this man who fires guns in churches. Didn't matter that this was merely a tent church, one that packs up and travels for those who don't have a church, it's still a house of god.
The man not yet named walked forward and knelt beside the preacher, alone in his pool of blood as it sank into and stained the wooden flooring of the stage.
"Who...who are you?" the preacher mananged hoarsely.
"A man meanin' to get paid," the man said and leaned in close to the preacher's face, drawing out his hunting knife. "And this ain't no kinda times to not get paid."
The man stuck the knife deep into the preacher's neck and, just before the preacher's eyes went grey and glassy with death, the man said, "I'm also a mind takes objection to preachers fuckin' little girls who ain't even got hair on their nethers yet."
The preacher's dying eyes looked up in fear and horror into the man's calm, blues.
"G-god...f-forgive me," and the preacher was gone from this world, limping into the next to settle his score with the maker he devoted himself to.
It didn't take too long for the man to take off the preacher's head and put it in the small burlap sack he had hitched to his belt.
He walked out of the tent, gazed into the last slivers of the sunset's oranges, and then mounted his horse and road off down the dirt road out of town.

Late Night Poems

She flees like fleeting
shadows in the westward wind
and I lose sight of her and
scream, "return to me
lost ship of magnificent beauty!
Where have you gone and
left me here?"
but get naught but howls in

The moon was low and
large in the night sky,
yellow like the skins of
dead men
ready for the fights in the
world beyond,
in shadow and absence
of light.

The chilly air breaks down
to the bone
and I protrate on the
bus stop bench,
a mourner in church,
breath misting on the air.

After drinks on the house,
down the hatch and away,
I walk home in the cold and
the harvest moon is
Only the impassive, silver glow
of a three-quarter moon
high in the sky behind
stringy clouds
lights my way back to bed
and sleep.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Special Report

"In a move that has religious fanatics reeling, the CDC has announced it has made, for the moment, small breakthroughs in the research on the plague known as Spontaneous Resurrection and Violent Frenzy Syndrome (SRVF), otherwise known as Lazarus Syndrome, that struck the globe within the last month.

The pathogen, still undetermined to be natural or man-made, swept the globe in a panic, causing governments to close borders as a result of unconfirmed information concerning its spreadability. As yet, the cause and spread of Lazarus Syndrome is unknown, but the CDC is confident it can quarantine and eradicate the disease.

'As yet, there is no hurdle the human race cannot overcome,' said CDC CEO Brendon Forbes.

'We will overcome this like we have smallpox, polio and the bubonic plague.'

Others, however, are not so sure.

'This is a punishment sent from God,' Reverend Jebediah Meekes stated at a rally last Thursday.

'We are all subject to his wrath. We cannot fight the Lord's will!'

Even other, non-religious people take objections to the CDC's confidence.

'We have no idea what causes this or how it spreads,' says a pathologist and epidemiologist who prefers to remain anonymous.

'We shouldn't be so gung ho. Our hubris is astounding at this point. We know nothing of this disease, its source or anything of the kind. All we know is what it does to us - and it's already done that to a third of the global population, 200 million of whom were in the United States alone!'

'We are in the middle of an extinction event.'

Others have taken the news as cause to celebrate, with spontaneous parties taking place in the streets across the globe - mostly on college campuses. Most prominent are signs sporting slogans such as "Earth is for the Living" and "The Dead Should Stay Dead".

As yet, there has been no word on when a possible cure or preventative will become available, nor what to do should you or a loved one become infected. For the time being, destroying the brain is still the only option."

- News Daily, September 22, 2012.

The Thrilling Conclusion - Dreadfully Ever After

"Dreadfully Ever After" is the final book in the trilogy of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". The original book - heretoafter referred to as PPZ - was credited to co-authors Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, who can be said to have pioneered the genre within Quirk Classics, which followed up with "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters" and "Android Karenena".

This novel - DEA - was written by the same man who wrote the PPZ prequel, "Dawn of the Dreadfuls" (DD), and I daresay it is the best of the lot. The author, Steve Hockensmith, captured the language and the feel of a Victorian-era novel, as well as that of a pulpy adventure/zombie novel. The language is amusing an the characters well drawn.

I find this is the best of the three because, while PPZ was amusing, it was simply a retelling of the original PP, but with zombies - and that was great. DD was a prequel, so naturally had to set up certain things to take place in PPZ with love interests you sort of knew wouldn't go anywhere. DEA, however, was a wholly new creation and was by far the most fun, with exciting new characters - and heartbreaking characters deaths - and genuinely felt like a Victorian adventure novel that just happened to have the Bennets in it - which I appreciated the most.

The book was thrilling, hilarious and smart and I highly recommend it to anyone.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Girl Who Smelled Too Good

There's a place where I worked
where we sat at computers and wrote things
that other people had said and not said and said

working in this place where I worked
was a girl
not just a girl, but A Girl, you see
with chestnut hair
a smooth face
pretty eyes and a smile
but the remarkable part
about this girl
was that every time
she walked into the room
her smell
her perfume
her scent would permeate
and distract
and I couldn't work until she had

Flowers and velvet and vanilla biscuits
chocolate and roses;
a very intense smell.
I still miss it,
from time to time
as I sit and I work and smell

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Marble Carving Art

An artform you see pretty rarely these days. I just met this cool artist in the store today and had a look at his work at his website. His name's Alexander Seton and I am thoroughly impressed with his work. He is heading up to Brisbane with his newest exhibition soon!
If you like Ricky Swallow - and you should! - then you'll like this guy!


I know this might seem like a callous thing to you, but I assure you it isn't. I just read this article at the Ninemsn news website about a 92 year old woman who was killed her in retirement home bedroom after a car crashed through the wall and crushed her.
Now, again, not to sound callous, but at that age, I cannot help but feel that that is totally not the way she thought she would go.
Very unexpected and very odd. My condolences go out to the family.

Stay Aware

As you all know, there is a plague that is affecting our modern lives that could very well spell the end of life as we know it. Our medical advances are useless, our psychosis will get the better of us and governments will fall to their knees in the face of this disaster - this onslaught of apcalyptic proportions. But, fear not, in the face of this unerring threat is a research society dedicated to the truth, to protection, to knowledge and to YOUR survival!
I am of course talking about zombies. And, more specifically, the Zombie Research Society, a union of people from around the globe in all kinds of professions working night and day to protect you from the rampaging hordes of the undead.
Become a member now, and join the fight!
Remember - May is Zombie Awareness Month, so buy your grey ribbon today!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Inspired by Kerouac's "Old Angel Midnight"

Recently, I've been reading Jack Kerouac's long-form poem-book "Old Angel Midnight" which is one long poem, written as a sort of study in language, thought and image. He would sit and meditate for hours and write down every sound he heard, thought he had and image he formed in his mind, leading to some very interesting things, and a ton of gibberish words. All in all I'm very much enjoying this 67 page word extravaganza, and I decided to test out the technique myself, to see if it helped my thought processes. The following was written in an evening out at a bar with friends.

1/ noise in bars music stools scrape and beer stains on linoleum counter top - stains stains swells the reigns that feigns interest - dubba dubba dubba psst psst nothing you can see is unseen and the traffic outside drowns in the whoop-whoop noise of everything - the beer is bitter, tastes burnt and watered like a rained-out wedding while the stained glass lets in poor light from streetlight fights - red and white and blue tiles line the world in this bouncing cats fever mood cogs are turning but nothing's spinning - I wish I could hear ya - is it worth it? Yaba dabba dabba! cats meow and orange swells invade inside in vain veins fathom trains mocking running moving grooving

2/ moit an' potaytoes slurp up into dry gullets and no one sees the grinning on the floor

3/ dreams that haunt haunt forever. what does it mean for our world to be ethereal, flourescent? It means just that hiyo doo-wap bazoo floor fam varoo frond! Ou es que c'est la femme avec les jambes qui montent aux ciel? forever in my mind is--

4/ "it's been a long time mate, bloody hell," he screams and he drinks and he stinks and tinks his glass and links his arms with others and cries out to the world--

5/ jummp all over the world, like what Chad (Hancock) said.
be life free life buzee scree scree
teaming life!
travelling in a car that takes us everywhar and far across the endless tar, har har!
slurp slurp
goes the
I try to exist when nothing is real and is like a melted ice-cream rink in a bubbling blocked sink.

6/ it's never east to extend, nature; I want to live, I want to see the whole of everything. it bothers me that I die and miss the rest of eternity - a time I exist for so little of - EONS MISSED in darkness and unknowing and not knowing that I don't know and the crows peck out my eyes until I am nothing left but a broken headstone in a barren field, untended and forgotten until the bombs burn it all or the sun explodes and nothing of anything is left and I laugh - I would rather laugh than cry so I figure try - try to learn it all if you can - life in the pursuit of knowledge and love and laughter

7/ rings on the countertop block it all as Max walks in, "my brother from another mother, how are you?" "fine, fine" I say, "and yourself?" I say "had a long week at work, let me get a beer and I'll tell you" he says

8/ dreams and monarchs, fish and sharksm DRIVE! where are we going? 23 and tomorrow it's 30 - where are we? whowhatwhen? why? are you there? can you see? playing in god's sick little JAMBOREE. the liquor washes down my throat and I burn and feel like crying, dying meaningless and foolish!
stoolish, hellish, into the wellwish, crash sash shhka! dubba dubba cha ka cha! sssseee tchup! dock dock dock dock dock, pop goes the weasel! dark times in dark minds swine pine bovine crimes! foo-fo-fadaline

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hell is Other People

For those of you who don't know (and shame on you for it) I am in an internet, comedy webseries called "Hell is Other People", written and directed by Luke Sheehan who is also directed the video clip for "I Wish it Were Different Too", on of my songs. And if you haven't heard it, again, for shame.
If you want to check out the webseries, go here and enjoy! (It's the Compound Fiasco YouTube page, which is the production company for HiOP.)

Also, look out for me and the other cast members in blooper reels and Vlogs to come out soon!