Friday, August 14, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

It's a glitch. It's a malfunction... That's bullshit, it's truth peaking out behind the sly magician's instruction. It's the way it was designed, only you can see all the working parts if you squint. See the malice behind the intent? That's collective consciousness, and that's shit is for rent.

They come right out and say it if you're patient long enough. Senility brings changes, exhumes all the ugly stuff. The racist mumbo-jumbo and the crimes that need confessing. Soon you find that all those smiles were simply window dressing.

The game was always rigged, it's a facet of design. You'll never know when you cross it, if you can't see the line. They're arbitrary, changeable, hateful little things. Why don't they ever listen when the caged bird sings?

America is drowning in a bed of its own making. This is simply fallout from all the selfish taking. There are just too many cowboys and too much fenced-off land. There now comes a time every day where you have to make a stand. 

We can't sit by and watch while it all goes down the shitter. America is a lot of things, but we've never been a quitter.


  1. Replies
    1. No words for how much I love this bit of MaderRap. That last line...makes me hopeful.

    2. Dan's mastery of the rhyming couplet is beyond compare. He's a philosopher and a poet, I swear. Not a line out of place, not a single word to waste; he's a stellar literati with great flair.

    3. shitter and quitter should always be set to rhyme! And pow, pow, pow!

  2. Paths

    Is this your contribution,
    Offered up to the skies,
    This small thing,
    This penchant for dreaming
    A life unlived?

    These paths sink, unchosen,
    The stream keeps churning
    And you’ll keep on forgiving,
    But it’s burgeoning,
    This small bud,
    Waiting to shout out
    A call to arms.

    We watch the cirrus tiptoe in,
    Stretching their fingers.
    Form and reform,
    Cradling the light
    After the dawn.

    1. Beautiful! The last stanza is really exquisite!

    2. I love the quietude and melancholia in these words. You write reflectively so well, Vickie.

    3. Thank you greatly :)
      I've had two very busy days out and my brain is like jelly, so I'll be commenting tomorrow :)

    4. I love this, especially the image of the clouds stretching their fingers. Nicely turned.

  3. We did a virtual fist-bump, our knuckles not meeting, glancing against a barrier neither of us could see. She was well-dressed and looked healthy and clean, and I wondered if she’d be worth the risk. I could have asked her for her latest date, but she could have been offended, especially if she’d not been thinking of me that way. So, I resigned myself to just talking to her and watching the performance. She was still worth it, even at a distance.

    “Ma’am,” I said. “It’s a pleasure. I’d given up on there being anyone else.” I looked across to the meadow, where the door had been briefly, watching the stalks straightening themselves again.

    “Yes,” she said, chewing her lip. She looked back at the meadow too and sighed.

    “It’s a little distressing, all this. I was expecting to be alone,” I said, feeling the need to fill the silence. She was wearing a drop-suit much like the one I was wearing, hers in a pink canvas, the cut of it subtly different. She was wearing her rucksack on her back, its top still drawn together. If it was like mine, there’d be a canteen of water and a month’s supply of antibiotics in there. Enough to keep us alive for a couple of days; longer if we could find something to eat.

    “Yes,” she said. “So was I.”

    She took a few more steps and then stopped, looking back toward me. She seemed like she was going to open up, share some of her thoughts. I’d been resigned to talking to myself or anything else I could fix upon. A tree can be a good listener if you don’t mind a one-sided conversation.

    I waited, giving her the opportunity to continue. If I kept quiet a little longer, she might take the initiative. It was going to be difficult for us both, whichever way it went.

    The silence deepened and the light began to fade. I’d followed along behind her and we’d made good time once we’d decided to move on. The drop zone had reverted to being just an unidentified location on an alien world. There was nothing for either us there now, just two lives of fading memories we’d never continue. It was better to follow the track and hope it might lead somewhere.

    We’d had no plans to begin with, we would have needed to talk for that, but the woman seemed to have a purpose and without any ideas of my own, I’d just followed her. She’d made an easy pace from the beginning, following the sun as it sank toward the horizon. We’d need the light for as long as we could keep it and that would most probably help. I didn’t know what we could expect to happen when it got dark.

    This world seemed a lot like Earth, but without the people. There were no buildings and no fields like you’ve have expected, there being no architects or farmers or anyone with a ruler or a plough. There was nature here and nothing else; most of it plants and insects. Although, we knew there had to be something larger, something which had made this trail we were following, along with the others we’d seen.

    1. I love this. The perfect set up. Like a script for a dystopian video game. Identified right away with these characters. Makes me wanna play!

    2. I was drawn in right away. I'm so curious about this world...

  4. Part 1

    Long ago, when he was far too young to appreciate his good fortune, Walter Stewart took a wife. His Marianne was a tiny thing with a merry smile, a spine of steel, and a mouth that would put him in his place if he stepped too far out of line. Which was often, in those days. The loss of her to the Spanish influenza seemed impossible, that such a bright light could be extinguished by a thing so small, and for a long time he skulked about from home to the factory to the pub and home again, a shell of himself, without a kind word for anyone and feeling as if he carried the pain of the world upon his broad shoulders.

    Until the day he met Lottie Goldberg.

    “Good afternoon. Walter, is it?”

    The voice behind him was sure, and pleasant. No shrinking violet, this one. He turned from his workbench and looked into eyes so deep and brown that for a moment he couldn’t remember his own name. Then he did. He stood straighter.

    “Aye. May I help you?” The only women who wandered through the wreckage to his part of the factory were those from the front offices, and for certain he’d never seen this one before. She was small like his Marianne. Not as fair, but pretty in a different way. Like some of the Eastern European immigrant ladies he’d seen about the streets, in the markets. Perhaps she was of the temporary girls hired on after the accident to help get the orders out the door.

    “My husband worked here.”

    The breath rushed from Walter’s lungs. So many men perished that day. So many women were widowed, children left without their fathers. They’d taken up a collection. He threw a dollar into the pot, but otherwise, at the time, he’d so numbed himself over to loss that he couldn’t muster a dollop more of sympathy. Now, faced with one of the bereaved, he wanted to say so many things to this woman but couldn’t think of one that would help. Other than the obvious.

    “I’m sorry for—”

    “You helped my boy, my Artie.”

    Then he remembered a time about three years back, a welcome break from his workaday. One of his factory mates brought a skinny, bespectacled boy to the machine shop, joking around while Walter measured his leg for a new brace because he’d grown a few inches after he’d had the polio. “The orthopedist wants an arm and a leg for a new one,” the father, Sol Goldberg, had said.

    “Aye.” Walter nodded a smile coming to his lips. “Agog at all my tools, he was. He seemed an extraordinarily good and well-mannered young lad.”

    She laughed, a rich and lovely sound. “That’s mostly Artie’s doing. He’s been a regular paragon of virtue since his first word. He eats his vegetables, shines his shoes, opens doors for me, puts himself to bed… Oh, listen to me, going on. I’m Lottie. Lottie Goldberg. Sol Goldberg’s wife.”

    Walter nodded, suddenly taken with the desire to do a courtly thing like bowing and gently taking her proffered hand. But she kept both of them gloved, and at her sides. “He spoke of you often.” Sol actually didn’t talk much of his home life, but why ruin this good woman’s day?

    1. Part 2

      “That’s kind of you to mention, even though I know it’s a lie.” She pulled forward a small purse that had been hanging from a strap across her shoulder. “But I’m not here for anyone’s sympathy. I just—well, Artie was talking about you recently and I realized the help you’d given us and I wanted to offer you something for your troubles. The materials alone must have—”

      “Och, no missus, I couldn’t—” Heat crept into the spaces his red whiskers didn’t cover.

      “Lottie, please.”

      “Lottie, then. Put your money away.” She would need it. A young boy such as Artie, living with what the polio left behind and still growing, with no father, would need all his mother could spare.

      “You’re certain.”

      His gaze fell to his shoes. “Aye.”

      “If there’s anything, then. A homecooked meal, perhaps?”

      He looked up. Partly in disbelief. But she seemed sincere. He thought of the burden a dinner guest would place on her budget. “I don’t want to trouble you.”

      “It’s really no trouble. I work as a telephone operator now. We’re surviving. And I believe Artie would enjoy seeing you again. He has some ideas about creating a new brace.”

      He smiled. “I’m still not taking your money. But it would be downright rude of me to disappoint such a fine young lad, wouldn’t it?”

    2. Gorgeous Laurie. I was right there. I want to see more, too!

    3. This is simply breathtaking. The deftness of your writing and the honesty of the characters had me rapt. I was there and could see these people. The way you captured the backstory and wove it into the present day narrative was incredible and I'd certainly love to read more of this.


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