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The 89th Question

it’s a dirty rotten business this
goldfish brain
sinking
into the gravel
leaving nothing but
babble
spider webs across the windows
candle wax on the mic

& now
all i have is
clickbait drills
alarmist vocabulary
frustrated squirrels
demonic congestion
ambulatory darkness
shark bite love mess

this is not a drill
this is the real thing

The Carnival of the Strange

A recent post on io9 about the Doom Patrol, “the world’s strangest heroes,” reminded me of my profound, uncanny love for Grant Morrison’s version of the team. I was 19 or 20 when I stumbled upon Doom Patrol #28. I was mostly burned out on the superhero comics of the time and wasn’t completely up on who was doing what. But Simon Bisley’s cover was unlike any comics cover I’d seen before and I was intrigued enough to grab it off the shelf and throw some cash down for it. (Continued)

A Letter to Ray Bradbury

My friend Ellie Ann tweeted a wonderful quote from Ray Bradbury that reminded me of just how much I loved him and how much he’s influenced my writing and my life. So I’ve decided to reprint an open letter I wrote to him on my old blog, a letter he never got to see before he died a couple of years later.

Dear Ray Bradbury,

I’m writing you this letter and posting it to my blog, even though I’m pretty positive you’ll never read it, because you’re a cranky old man who hates the internet. But on this, your 90th birthday, I have something to say to you, and this is my best forum for saying things that I want people to read, so…here goes.

I love you, Ray Bradbury.

Not only have you filled my life with beautifully written stories, you have (through your words–your stories, your essays, your poems) encouraged me to live my life with my heart on my sleeve, my passions and my dreams out front for all the world to see. Like Mr. Electrico did to you, you’ve shot me full of lightning and told me to “Live forever!”

I’ve done my best to do that. I’ve walked in dreams and nightmares, played with my toys and danced through life as much as I can. I’ve sometimes lost my way, but whenever I do, I just reread your stories, your essays, your poems. I stop walking with my eyes trained on my feet and start running again, my eyes gazing up at the stars. You laugh and whisper in my ears, reminding me to love life, to love people, to love the world. And most importantly, when I need it most, you remind me that I can do what I want to do.

You’ve touched my life, inspired me and driven me, in so many ways, at some many times in my life. You’ve been with me more than any other author. You’ve been my friend and my teacher. And we’ve never even met.

I don’t know that I’ll ever get the chance to tell you this to your face, but I want you and the world to know how much you mean to me. You’re a cranky son of a bitch, but dammit, I love you! I love you so much, Ray Bradbury. Thank you for being you and sharing yourself with all of us.

Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury.

Your friend and fan,

Joshua M. Neff

In Trouble

slipped upon a galaxy
spring was here, a brick to the head
completely unexpected
welcome to the mudbrain world
discretely

pink on blue on tiger on midnight
fluttered by the subway mouth
an instant
excruciatingly long
distant but as close as clover
inside out the conservatory

crystallized
the twist, a brick to the head
& hearts in the air
green on fox on sugar on gold
so precious
this mudbrain dance
tangled up in galaxies
obviously

According to the Cats, & All That Jazz

gumbo crawdad applejack
smack around the weeping willow
melting frost an inuit swamp
whale of a tale of windsoaked trees
breezing smack of jubilee fries
been bubbling in the caul a long time

incensed suzanne dropping deftly
an ointment fly cast leftly

jumbo frozen crocodile
spicing up the masques of the nile
all the while whittling away
cracked coal of a goal to sway
some simple cajun tundra lost
all over the world then back to frost

increased suzanne waving lengthwise
a craving for the breaking coastline

bumbling breezing bubbled soup
unleashed outside the hidebound hut
a little red crest of cracks
unbound around the frozen suzanne

Over Saturn

you split your lip
on my jagged heart
& spilled blood all down the front of my shirt
& the rain keeps pouring down
& the rain keeps pouring down
still it won’t wash away my pain

but we’re
drunk on moonlight, swooning on starlight
with orchids in our hair
& i’ll kiss your bloody lip
until

there’s nothing left but the rain & the moon & the stars