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In the Junk Jungle

cheap cheap cheap but you can’t buy love
notes from above like a tweet tweet tweet
nested songs though all sweet sweet sweet

leap leap leap down a spiral of sleep
free free free but you can’t buy love
songs all around like a tweet tweet tweet

nested notes written deep deep deep
spiralling up from your sleep sleep sleep
weep weep weep but you can’t cry love

songs from above falling free free free
trolling & rolling & creep creep creep
leap leap leap & we all fall down
see see see that you stand by love
down by love when you tweet tweet tweet

“there is a happy land far far away…”

Animation Conflagration

Besides watching Speed Racer and Battle of the Planets when I was a little kid, I haven’t watched many anime series until recently. Movies, sure. Akira, Metropolis, and a lot of Studio Ghibli, but when anime was shown on TV in the States, I never seemed to catch it. Thanks to Netflix streaming a number of series, I’ve finally been able to start swimming in the anime pool. I haven’t watched a lot, but I’ve watched enough now that I’m figuring out what I like and want to see more of.

The anime I’ve enjoyed the most are Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which is amazing, and Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic and its sequel series (really part of the same series), Magi: The Kingdom of Magic. I watched the last few episodes of Kingdom of Magic last night and it hit me that I liked it for a lot of the same reasons I like Fullmetal Alchemist, which are a lot of the same reasons I like superhero comics.

I love emotional characters making dramatic declarations (bonus points if they start crying, like Alibaba Saluja frequently does in Magi). I love characters in elaborate outfits standing in awkward but cool poses just before or after they unleash their unusual, flashy superpowers. And I particularly love epic conflicts and cosmic mysticism. (Is there an anime adaptation of the Mahabharata? I’ll be first in line to see that!)

Which isn’t to say I don’t also like smaller, quieter stories, because I do. But I really loves me some epic, cosmic melodrama!

Flashback to Mouav!

Wil Wheaton wrote the other day about a very early experience in his life that helped spark a fascination with and love of the vastness of outer space. It’s beautifully written and brought a tear to my eye. (And hey, congratulations on having an asteroid named after you, Wil! Super cool!)

Wil makes a throwaway reference to “listening to Star Trek Power records on my portable plastic record player” and boy, did that bring back memories! I also had a little portable record player and listened to Power Records book and record sets on it, including a Star Trek one, “Passage to Mouav.” I listened to it, reading along with the record, so many times, it was probably more firmly embedded in my brain as *Star Trek* than any episode of the original series. But until Wil mentioned it in his post, I hadn’t thought about it in many, many years.

Looking at the book now, I’m not surprised it made an impression on me, with terrific art by an amazing trio of artist, Russ Heath, Neal Adams, and Dick Giordano, and a story that could easily be an episode of the TV series (and is a damn sight better than the worst Trek episodes, like “The Omega Glory” and “The Way to Eden”). Plus, cats!

Confession: even thought it would be years before I hit puberty, the Caitian communications officer Lt. M’ress made me feel “funny” inside, in the same way Julie Newmar’s Catwoman in the Batman TV series did.

“Passage to Mouav” was an early source of my growing love of science fiction–and imaginative fiction in general–and my growing fascination with space exploration and the dream of space travel. Finding it archived online makes me buzzy with happiness.

Except…seriously, what the hell is up with black Sulu and white Uhura? That’s messed up.

Alas Lies a Penguin

a broken wing, to sing, to sing
don’t fool thee of
don’t fool, don’t fool
a peach free plum, too glum, too glum
don’t drown thee out
don’t drown, don’t drown

in pools of perfect peach free plum
too glum for good
too glum, too glum
the fuse of green, unseen, unseen
too thrilled thee of
too thrilled, too thrilled

oh claws of clashing munchkin break
oh silly little seaside song
oh claws of cracking window winds
oh leaping little king of cats

a broken wing, to sing a song
don’t write me off
don’t write me off
a peach free plum, a drum, a drum
don’t sound me out
no sound, no sound

no sound but the whisper of window winds

The Museum of Lost Geographies

I first heard about the Museum of Lost Geographies from my cousin, Noah. We hadn’t seen each other in years, but he had come into town for my father’s funeral, and we were both eager to get caught up on each other’s lives. At first, we merely talked about jobs we’d had, places we’d travelled, relationships we’d been in since we last saw each other. Soon, though, we fell to talking about obscure bits of information and half-remembered stories we’d heard, just as we’d done when we were both much younger. Although now we drank beer while we talked.

“I was meeting a client in Chicago a few weeks ago,” he told me. “One of those guys who had hit it big during the Dot Com Boom then lost it all when the bubble burst. Some of those people had just gone for whatever corporate jobs they could find. Others had picked themselves up and rebuilt themselves, finding new ways to be entrepreneurs. But this guy was one of those who just lost it all. His spirit had been broken. He was the IT manager for a school system in the Chicago ‘burbs, but his heart wasn’t in it at all. We were meeting to discuss some software I was developing for the schools, but he didn’t even really care. When we met, he seemed to be barely paying attention to what I was saying. His eyes were constantly distracted and far away.”

“Probably just bored with his job,” I said. “I know a lot of people like that. I’ve been someone like that. I can sympathize.” (Continued)

Flashbulb Burrow

hedgehog hiding broken finding
fire burning deep inside
an old gold razorsharp
anticipated bright design

but no design
no nothing signed
just true unlocked
or locked in fear

frozen finding porcupining
spiny shiny spur of love
ragged rhino phosporescence
fire smoking below above

but no design
no nothing left
just curlicued up
& out of fear

fever broken hedgehog shining
silver shivered deep inside
an old gold shaverblade
decided brightly needed now
just true unlocked
or locked in fear
but no more locked
undoored no fear