When Ravens Attack


IMG_0108_1024Okay, Altoids.  Let’s get something straight.  If a raven is attacking you, chances are he’s got a reason.  If an entire unkindness* is attacking you, well, Altoids aren’t gonna help.  Because if one raven has a reason, the rest of them don’t need one.  That’s how ravens roll.

*conspiracy and storytelling are also collective nouns for ravens.  I like unkindness best.

Part One

Dear Job,

I am the Lizard King; I can do anything.  But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to bend over backwards every time you get your knickers twisted and decide to fuck things over so hard they’ll never get truly fixed.  Fine, give me your fucking deadline.  I’ll give you your finished project.  But after that, I’m done being a team player.  I’ll keep my input to myself since you’re too afraid to ruffle feathers to get done what we need to do this job efficiently and correctly.  I apologize for being the kind of person who thinks it’s important to do a job well.  Whatever.  Not worth my brainpower.

Lividly yours,


Part Two

poet jobs – Raleigh, NC

Dang. We didn’t find anything for you there.*

*from a career search engine


Part Three

I cannot sleep.  Cannot close my eyes.  My brain is a tornado.  My body is restrictive, like too-tight clothes.  Toss, turn, repeat.  The trazodone that usually helps calm my brain chatter into whispers has been less than effective tonight.  Did a sleep study Monday night, curious to get my results.  I’ve long suspected my circadian rhythms have skipped a beat or two.  Body clock refuses to sync with a socially acceptable schedule.  Stress and depression don’t help, but even at my mentally healthiest, I’m not very good at sleep.

Then again, my last cup of coffee today was finished around 4:30.  Still, trazodone should have trumped caffeine at least a little bit.

Toss, turn, repeat.  Get up and write a blathering ludicrous blog because it would be silly to try to write the poem I’m growing in my head (its little sprouts have yet to break ground, and I don’t want to force it).  Also, I haven’t blogged since early December.

Part Four

Travel.  Sense of place.  Sense of home.  Isolation.  Movement.  Wanderlust.

These are the elements I’ve been gnawing at for a planned chapbook called Boxing the Compass.  There’s more to it than just that, though.  I had started the thing, thought I’d just do poems about/inspired by placed I’ve been or want to go to, but that turned out to be the immature approach–by which I mean that’s how 15 year old me would do this.  But the thing’s slowly maturing.  It will still touch on places I’ve been or want to go to, but it needs to go deeper if it’s to be at all successful.  Which means I need to spend some time just writing on these bits as well as actually writing the poems.  I’m not sure if my excuses are legitimate or if there’s something I’m avoiding.

Part Five

I recently purchased a massive tome of Allen Ginsberg’s poetry.  Somehow I’d never read Howl before.  I only had one literature course it would have fit in, but I don’t recall reading any Ginsberg in that class.  I skipped around in the book and read Howl, Sunflower Sutra, and a handful of others.  The general tone is both comfortable (in that the language isn’t ornate) and uncomfortable (in that there’s sex and slang and a certain level of raunch that seems to subvert the idea of poetry as something pristine and classically beautiful).  I need to read more before I know if I really like it.  Of the ones I read, Many Loves was my favorite.  Coarse language over a sweetly tender encounter.  Neal Cassidy was my animal indeed.

I was for a long time obsessed with the Beats.  I wanted to be Kerouac.  In college, I think many, if not most, of the poets I knew, myself included, thought we were a new Beat generation.  We wanted to feed off that disillusionment and restlessness.  I wonder how many actually did.  Or did we all fall out of the dream and into reality?

Well, reality breeds back that disillusionment and restlessness.  It leaves us just as empty as before, but it’s still better than the Daily Grind.

Part Six

My long short story The Dramaturge has been running in the Piker Press.  I skim over it every week a new chunk come out and am still as pleased as I can be with a story that took over a year to get out.  The delays were both internal and external.  At this point, I think the story marks the end of me toying with fiction.  I haven’t written anything in a while that doesn’t read as a rehash of the ideas and themes from my previous fiction.  I still want to somehow some way finish the sf novella, but the rest is relegated to crap I’ll scribble on when I want to write and don’t have anything better to work on.  A few years ago, such a creative stall would have depressed the hell out of me.  Now I’m completely okay with it.  Fact is, I’m a poet.  I’ve been hiding in fiction all these years.  But I’m out now.  We all come out of the closet about something sooner or later.  So yeah–I’m a poet.

Until I get some story stuck in my head and start writing fiction again.

Part Seven

Hello 1:02 AM.  I think it’s time to try the bed again.  Apologies for not waiting up to see the dawn, but the body is coming to the conclusion that not sleeping is not an option despite the continued tornadic nattering of the mind.



1 thought on “When Ravens Attack

  1. To sleep; perchance to dream up something sufficiently batshit to use somewhere.

    (I know, I know, “get in line.” But still.)

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