Tag Archives: featured

Rosy Revolver

Your Bolivian Rosewood grip fits and melds into my palm,
A custom-made extension of my limb that feels completely organic.
Your barrel stainless steel with intricate roses engraved on you,
Like beautiful wild roses covering the soft skin of a woman’s ribs.

I see the essence of you in your reflective mirror.
I envision a strong woman holding a red rose covered in briars
Cutting her palm, dripping blood as she refuses to let go.
When I hold you, I am reminded of the old days
When I didn’t need, but I desired you.
When I looked at you only admiring your beauty.

Your cylinder holds six .38 specials.
I pull your trigger and you push out the bullets
And kick up like a woman dancing choreography you know well.
Cock and pull back, explode out, push forward, kick up and repeat five times then reload.

I feel the reassuring icy touch of you digging into my side
Constantly reminding me you’re there.
You’re the type of woman often called a bitch
But truly you just have an ironclad heart
As you protect those who you hold dear.

Some may fear you because you are ‘dangerous,’
But you are as safe as a kitchen knife
So long as I am careful you won’t hurt anyone,
But if I am threatened
You’re a mama bear prepared to protect.

They try to ban you, take you away,
And, yes, not everyone deserves you.
But just because you can hurt
Doesn’t mean you should be taken away.
Most of us who love you
Use mama bear to protect us
Or just keep you to admire your beauty.
So why should you be taken away from us
When we never abused you?

Ode to Hot Sauce

You burn my tongue
Yet your taste tempts me on
I twist and lift your top
And sniff your essence
My eyes water

You flavor my fries
You coat my wings
And drip onto my ramen
I crave you on all foods now
Is it an obsession or a phase?

Tabasco, Texas Pete, Taco Bell Fire
My forehead sweaty
My nose runny
Lips burning
I love the feeling of the burn

I savor your flavor and
Capture the rapture of the sensation
Every moment you’re in my mouth
I keep water at my side
Although not even H2O can stop the heat

I tried to hold back the tears
But one day I couldn’t fight it anymore
The burn, the thrill became part of me
One day it might backfire
But I like to Live Mas

Child of Starlight: Issue 3 – Part 1: Admitted Denial

“So, that was an actual God?” Jacobus asked, sitting on a stump, still breathing hard.

“Short answer, yes,” Aliene said between gulps of air. They were back in the forest, but every nerve was still panicking. “The Celestial chiefs can manifest Avatars for speaking to or defending the tribes.”

Jacobus slapped his cheek, calming himself a bit. “That happen very often?”

Aliene just looked at him, shaking her head; she stood to examine the bow Centauri had given her. The blue metal fins retracted, suddenly folding in a couple times, becoming no longer than her forearm. Aliene took a strip of cloth from her wrist and secured the magic bow to the back of her belt, hiding it beneath her shirt. Aliene put her pack on as Jacobus stood and did the same. “I should find another bow soon.”

“He did say not to use it a lot,” Jacobus said before his face twitched slightly. “I am assuming here, but you don’t have a large inner-magic reserve do you?”

“No,” Aliene replied as she began walking after looking up at the suns position. “If I remember right, Schillia is the closest country, so maybe we should head there for good supplies.” Aliene had taken a few steps before realizing Jacobus had stopped walking; she turned to him and the air left her lungs.

His face wasn’t angry but the air around him shivered from his gaze. Jacobus inhaled deeply, saying, “I wouldn’t suggest it.”

“Why?”

“Going there would cause more problems than it could ever solve.” Jacobus calmed himself but still looked drained from the thought.

“There a longer version?” Aliene let her hands fall to her sides.

Jacobus sighed. “We should walk and talk.”

Aliene nodded and waited for him to reach her side before they continued.

“During the fighting of Schillia’s civil war, I was ordered to do many things I am not proud of. The comfort of knowing it was in service to my country faded quickly after I was released.” Jacobus’ pace quickened as he spoke. “Without the direction I had while in the army, those memories I ignored began hounding every moment of my existence. Whether awake or dreaming I couldn’t outrun them. That is why I began traveling to monasteries.” The rhythmic pace began creeping up towards a jog. “You know the rest from there.”

Aliene was quiet a moment. “Do you ever regret being in that army?”

“I couldn’t say one way or the other.” Jacobus began slowing as he asked, “Have you ever done something you regret?”

Aliene wrinkled the area between her eyebrows. “Yeah, it was a long time ago, but it was when Hafwen first began teaching me magic.” Her pause held until Jacobus went to speak, but Aliene cut him off first. “I had been warned that using magic the first few times can mess with your emotions, the lesson awakened an anger I didn’t realize I had. I attacked her.”

Jacobus waited a moment. “But it was an accident, right?” Aliene just looked at him, face muted of expression, but her brown eyes trembled. “You just gave in,” Jacobus said quietly, half looking through her as if seeing something else further away.

“It was the first and only time. I had ignored the feeling so long it got replaced with something worse.” Aliene’s breathing turned rapid as she slowed down.

Jacobus stayed beside her saying, “That is probably true for many parts of life.” The two walked in soft silence for a while before Jacobus froze mid-step. “Well, that is not very inviting.” He and Aliene stepped out of the tree line onto blackened earth.

Aliene nodded her agreement. “This is the Morbid Row, the border of Misten’s land.”

They looked around at the dead and dying plant life dotting the plagued soil that hissed steam where it wasn’t covered in pools of dark, oily water.

Butterfly Sanctuary To Be Protected By Spending Bill

There were worries that a butterfly sanctuary in Texas would be destroyed by a proposed border wall that would have cut the sanctuary in half. The good news is that this will not be happening.

The bipartisan spending bill that was passed by both the House and the Senate on Thursday had language in the bill that will be protecting five different landmarks in the Rio Grande area, including the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas.

U.S Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas said he was the one to add in the language in the 1,159-page spending package that President Trump signed on Friday, avoiding another shutdown.

The five sites affected over $600 million of the wall’s proposed cost. There were worries that hundreds of different species of butterflies would be affected after a federal court had ruled that they would not be protecting the building.

Now, the building will be one of five sites unaffected by a proposed wall. The other four include the future home of Space X’s commercial spaceport, a Catholic chapel, a bird watching spot that is internationally recognized, and a wildlife refuge.

While this can be classified as “pork barrel spending” to some people, we need areas like the butterfly sanctuary as they are very critical to our food supply and growth.

It’s sad that it had to come to this point where we needed the intervention of a congressman to save the sanctuary, but at least the sanctuary will be there for many more years to come.

Castle of Crows – Part 6

After all the noise of the night before, I think it was the silence that woke me up. The rain had finally stopped, and the world had finally gone quiet after the wild panic of the night before. The candles around the room had gone out while we slept, but now that the sun was up there was dim light shining through the curtains. The door was still locked, and it seemed undamaged despite the best efforts of whatever had attacked the room earlier.

Now that there was nothing trying to force its way in, I felt safe enough to investigate the room. The wood cabinet was locked up tight, but the work table had more then enough weird things on it for me. Besides the cauldron, there was an assortment of herbs and stones, and several rows of shelves holding dozens of little bottles filled with powders, liquids, and what appeared to be bones. Each bottle was labeled in Aunt Pen’s neat script, but not in English. There was also a book filled with recipes, but none of them looked like they made food. At least, I hoped they weren’t food.

Macey yawned behind me, and I turned to see her rubbing her eyes as she woke up. Continue reading Castle of Crows – Part 6

Link Between Breast Implants and Cancer According to FDA

For some people in the United States, plastic surgery is a way to make yourself feel “better” or more “perfect” in some ways. However, the risks always come ahead of the rewards. In this case, the risk is not worth it.

At least 457 women have been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which is a rare type of cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that nine people have died since being diagnosed with this type of cancer that affects the cells of the immune system. They can be found around the breast implant area.

The FDA has issued multiple warnings in letters to those in the medical field explaining the link between the cancer and one of the most popular forms of plastic surgery. The letters state the warning signs of the cancer, which could be new lumps, pain and swelling around the breast area.

FDA has also asked for medical providers to report all cases to them in order to gather numbers, which could result in a halt on certain types of breast implants.

However, most of the cases that have occurred have to do with textured implants rather than smooth implants. The good news is that the cancer is slow growing and easily treatable if caught early.

There’s only a small number of women who have cancer out of the estimated 10 to 11 million women who have breast implants in the world, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Foundation.

This isn’t the first time that the FDA has brought this to our attention as in 2011, they presented the possibility of cancer but mentioned that it was a small chance that it could happen.

Now, new information has arisen. While 457 may seem to be a small amount, it’s a big enough number to where patients should be getting themselves checked for cancer, so if it is found, then it can be treated as soon as possible.

 

Photo from NPR

The Fairy Tale of Mr. Right

Mr. Right is a fairy tale told to little girls, so they know princes are real.

Mr. Right is kind, chivalrous, loyal, truly loves you, and not just for the sex.

Mr. Right won’t pressure you, never asking you to do anything that’ll hurt you.

Mr. Right won’t lay a hand on you without permission

He’ll even ask to kiss you and never hit you out of anger.

Mr. Right will be loved by your family and friends.

He’ll never make you jealous because you’re his woman, but he’s not a misogynist.

 

When a little girl meets a boy

She thinks he’s good because all boys are good to girls they’re interested in.

He’s nothing like the stories or romantic comedies.

He doesn’t say and do everything right, but she’ll let it go because she can save him,

Make a man out of a bad boy and he’ll be her trophy.

No one warns the little girls not to trust them.

He’ll screw her over, shred her flower petal heart and move on.

Not all boys are princes.

Continue reading The Fairy Tale of Mr. Right

Fortnite Reaches New Levels With Gaming’s First Ever Live Concert In Game.

Fortnite has been a revolutionary game for all of gaming. It has also been an example for many gaming companies that you can do microtransactions and not affect the gamers that play the game for fun.

It’s not pay-to-win, and along with Battle Royale, Fortnite and Epic Games have one of the better games in recent memories. Now they can say that they had gaming’s first live concert.

Marshmello, the DJ with hits like “Happier” and “Friends”, and avid Fortnite gamer had his first ever concert in a game that was live and free for all gamers to see.

The concert was a standard concert for Marshmello and had his standard set of songs, but of course, it was also different as he was performing these songs live on a game. The concert also stopped all action in the game as gamers were not allowed to kill each other or the virtual Marshmello until the concert was over.

After the concert ended, gamers were able to return to their games and play as they normally would.

Epic Games also released a Marshmello skin for gamers to use for their Fortnite characters.

This is not the first time that Fortnite has used their famous fans for advertisement. They have used Ninja’s popularity to reach the top of the streaming charts on Twitch and YouTube, and have also taken advantage of Drake’s popularity, who is known to be an avid Fortnite gamer as well.

As of right now, there were no reported issues with connections for the concert as it most likely produced a high amount of traffic in the game at that time.

This concert with Marshmello was a good day for gaming and music, as it could lead to something much bigger like a Drake concert. Then we will see if Epic Games has the best servers in the world.

 

Wanderlust

Walking, always walking,

Following the fence to wherever it may lead me.

The white lines are stark against the forest,

Which is green and brown and red with fall.

They flow forward endlessly, on and on into the distance.

So on I walk, forever moving forward.

They ask me where I’m going;

I say I don’t know,

And they decide I must be lost.

I’m not though.

I know where I am, and I know where I’ve been,

But I have no destination,

And that’s what they can’t see.

Because today I’m following the fence,

Though I don’t know where it leads,

But yesterday I followed a road,

Which would have led to the sea,

If I’d followed it a little further.

I’ve seen the sea before though,

A hundred times I’ve seen the sea,

And I’ve followed the currents across it,

As I follow the fence now.

I have no destination, only a wish.

I wish to see,

To see everything,

All across the world.

There’s so much beauty,

And it’s waiting for me.

So how could I settle for any one place,

Knowing how many others are waiting to be seen?

I am a wanderer, they say,

A drifter, a tourist, a traveler,

A vagrant, a nomad, a vagabond,

And many other things besides.

Maybe they’re right.

I call no one place home,

And I seldom return to the places I’ve been,

And I’ll admit it might be odd,

To follow an endless fence

To an unknown destination.

But I don’t mind.

I may be all of the things they call me,

But there’s one thing I am not,

And that is unhappy.

I have never been sad over my lot in life,

Nor am I ever sick of what surrounds me.

I have never spent a day feeling melancholy,

So is it really so bad,

To suffer from a simple case of wanderlust?

NASA is Losing Hope to Revive Opportunity Rover

The clock is ticking for the 15-year-old Mars rover, Opportunity. After six months of attempts, scientists from NASA have failed to revive the rover.

In June of 2018, the rover was unable to avoid a planet-wide wind storm on Mars, which blocked out the sun for several months. Opportunity is powered by solar energy and without any new energy, the rover’s batteries are drained.

In those months since Opportunity went off online, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California has sent over 600 commands to the rover in hopes of reviving it. However, the warmer temperatures and wind knocking off the dust on the rover have not helped.

John Callas, the mission project manager for JPL said to reporters, “We’ve got another week, we are running out of time.”

The Martian winter has ended a rover’s mission before; it ended Spirit’s mission in 2011. But winter on Mars is still months away. However, the temperatures are dropping in the southern hemisphere where Opportunity is located right now.

The efforts to revive Opportunity have lasted just as long as Spirit’s attempts, but JPL has tried multiple long shot attempts. JPL had plans to head to NASA’s headquarters to talk about the next options for Opportunity, but that was postponed due to the government shutdown, which just ended on Friday.

Opportunity has lived up to its name. It has brought a ton of opportunity to everyone wanting to learn more about Mars, but it has done the impossible as well. Opportunity’s mission was supposed to last only 90 days when it landed on Mars on January 25, 2004, but it has lasted over 5,480 days and the rover has traveled about 28 miles in that time span.

It would, of course, be sad to see the end of NASA’s most successful mission but in the end, the many opportunities that Opportunity has brought to us are not to be forgotten.

Void Between the Light

Can you hear me, hush’d one?
My love through aeons, burning bright
Under me, my birth’d soul,
And stolen from my sight?

Can you hear me, hush’d one?
I, who bathed you, my love and light
Your sign amidst the heavens’ void
A life, a breath, your starry night?

You see me not, your lasting star
The Mother of the Frozen Rite
I whisper close, that you are mine
Through astral tether, distant kite

The color of the spacious spanse
To guide you to my Dancer’s light
I shine across the oceans wide
From pact of planet’s turning spite

And from the heart comes understanding
Something not quite wrong or right
I call through dreams, my form to fore
The void between the light

Red Dead Online Has Been Released and the Ratings Aren’t So Hot

Beginning on Tuesday, Rockstar released the highly anticipated Red Dead Online Beta to those who had purchased the Ultimate Edition. On Friday, the beta was released to everyone and oh boy, the mode has been filled with not so much glitches but rather a lack of things.

The lack of content:

So, for an online mode to succeed, there needs to be some type of content, like story mode or events, or something. Red Dead Online may be in the beta stages, but the lack of activities on the mode makes it seem like the only reason it was released was to give the players something, along with patching a few things.

It only took me a few game hours before I had finished the online story mode (more content to be released) and the few other optional missions. That’s a small issue when compared to this next one.

MICROTRANSACTIONS

Microtransactions are here to stay as long as the player is willing to pay for them but come on Rockstar, why does it seem like your Red Dead Online mode has the transaction system of a mobile game? There should not be two different currencies in the game.

It is bad enough that the in-game economy is so bad that it is going to take a ton of grinding to get the weapons and clothing you want if you did not buy the ultimate edition. I can not stand it when your game is more or less a pay to win situation.

That type of system has led to gamers buying fewer of those games. Now, most of the time, you’ll see those games in the sports gaming side of things, but you get my point.

The plotline makes no sense

There won’t be any spoilers in here, but the plotline describing how your character got to where he/she is makes no sense. Where is your “redemption” for this plot? Rockstar aims for a story mode here, but based on what I have played so far, it just seems like another GTA Online but with the lack of flying cars, jokes, and whatnot.

Do not even get me started with the try-hards as they are in every online game.  However, it does not help with the gaming experience.

Red Dead Online is unable to capitalize on the main game’s success for now, and it won’t until Rockstar is able to fix these issues or make the game better.

 

Photo retrieved from Polygon

Child of Starlight: Issue 2 – Part 1: Certainty

“Will you hurry up!” Hafwen seethed as Aliene fell behind. Hafwen had pulled her from their home after Aliene had been told to wait there.

“What’s going on?” Aliene begged but Hafwen didn’t turn around. “Hafwen!”

“Just shut up” – Hafwen had turned to her abruptly – “and come on.”

Aliene didn’t respond. She followed her mentor towards the healers’ hut catching the last rays of sunlight as it was swallowed by the clouds above. The building was lit from within, becoming more and more visible as the two approached. Something twisted in Aliene’s stomach, fear and emotions welling up from uncertainty. Hafwen led her through the door, catching the end of their guard captain questioning the stranger.

“Tell me again, how did you find us?” The guard captain was trying not to yell.

“I just did, I was wandering the southern countries for a few years until being lead here.” Jacobus was sitting on the bed gripping its edges as the guard captain inched closer and closer to him.

As Aliene entered the room a bright flash made everyone flinch until the light faded back into the satchel Jacobus had brought. The guard captain lunged to the pack, dumping its contents onto the floor, with items bouncing away until a set of rocks thumped hard into the wood.

The captain went to pick them up before Jacobus could stop him. The guard captain cried out as a loud hiss filled the air. The captain looked to his hands that were now blistered and pink; he tried to focus on pulling magic into his hands. The action made him scream louder than before, dropping the man to his knees.

“What are those?” Celestaon questioned as Hafwen wrenched Jacobus to the ground in an instant.

Jacobus looked up from the ground, fighting off Hafwen’s hold on him. “The pieces of the falling star, what gave me the revelation.”

Celestaon inhaled through her nose as if she had been holding her breath. “Child, show him the star.”

A moment passed as Aliene finally understood what she had been told and unlaced the top of her shirt revealing her stained outline of an eight-pointed star. The monk stared at Aline longer than anyone had before. “What?” was all she could say before Jacobus finally stopped and stood, Hafwen having to step back as he rose.

“If you would let me go, please.” The monk wasn’t asking, as he slipped from Hafwen’s hands, leaving her with a scowl on her face. “I am Jacobus, and with this gift, I pledge to serve you in your purpose.” The monk had gathered up the stones barehanded, presenting them to Aliene while kneeling.

Aliene reached out to take them unconsciously, her fingers flinching slightly as they brushed the warm rough surfaces. When she pulled them back to her the pieces trembled and pulled into one another forming a clean-cut brick in her palms. “I, how did they do that?” Aliene looked to Hafwen, then Celestaon. Both women wore wide disbelieving expressions.

Celestaon swallowed hard, looking at the mass of rock from the sky, pulling her hand back from the piece in fear. “I don’t know, nothing like this has ever been recorded for our tribes, my child. You two must leave, now.” The Elder looked at Hafwen and nodded, signaling her to leave. She spoke to the guard captain as he stood: “Go out front and calm the people. They need but a moment.”

The large man grunted and left stomping as he went to the front. Celestaon motioned to the healer as she went to open the back. “Quietly now, come with me.” The old woman’s voice was soft and shaky. The three went out the back door and through the wall marking the edge of the village. The exit was more a small hole each had to squeeze through before pushing into a bush of thorny leaves.

“Aliene,” the old woman’s voice came out in an exhale before she grabbed Aliene’s arm. “I need to say this; you have something none of us do, the strength to leave.” Aliene looked wide-eyed, taking in the face of her elder as she continued to speak. “You, dear child, have been made to endure our rejection; few gave you the acceptance you rightly deserved. I asked Hafwen often how you were doing. She watched you grow, and you never wavered against a path you didn’t choose.” Celestaon gripped Aliene with a strength that betrayed her age, and Aliene had nothing to say. “I have held my tongue long enough; how, how do you not hate us?”

Aliene clenched her jaw for a moment until she tasted metal. “I did, for a long time; it made me better. I thought one day they will have to accept me.” Aliene had only said this once before to Hafwen, years ago. “One day I just couldn’t be angry anymore; I couldn’t.” Tears welled in her eyes, blurring the old woman till Aliene blinked them away. “Hafwen explained it over and over until I just stopped asking. If I ignored it maybe the hurt would fade.”

Hafwen had returned suddenly beside them, making the kneeling Jacobus flinch when he realized she was there. Hafwen handed him a pack and the bag he came with, then she looked at Aliene. “The world is large, and the monsters are sized to fit it.” Hafwen griped Aliene’s shoulder while pushing the pack into her chest. “Fair is something life is not, but you have the strength to carve your own path.” Aliene slipped the pack onto her back as Hafwen gripped her arms, fixing her stare on Aliene’s eyes. “Now my sister, child of starlight, run.”

Progress of Programs: The Rise of Small Productions

In the distant past of 1995, the first fully computer-generated animation film fell with style in to the laps of a generation; that movie was Toy Story.

This particular film was created in what Pixar referred to as their processor farm, because the machines would literally make animal noises when one finished a frame.

Just as with the rest of technology, we have progress very far in the 23 years since Toy Story.

What was once a process consuming hundreds of thousands of dollars and taking more man hours than fixing a city street, we can now do on tablets no bigger than a standard notebook.  

Two little words make this concept of computer animation for the every man possible: Open Source.

These programs, available online and often completely free, give creators the chance to stand among titans of production industry, like Disney and Pixar.

Truly this is the age of “where there’s a will there’s a way” for those with the will to create their own animation.

One program, however, is leading the charge for this movement: Blender, from the Blender Foundation, a dutch public-benefit corporation.  

You may be asking yourself, why Blender specifically? Surely there are other programs? But Blender has a couple of examples that really set it in the forefront of this movement.

The smaller of the two is a short film directed by Daniel M. Lara, and it is the 6th short film funded by the Blender Cloud. The beauty of this film is it shows off how even if your wanting to make 2D animation you can with this program.

Traditionally, most animation does need to be created nearly frame by frame. Often we allow for reusable resources like backgrounds or make minimal changes while leaving most of the frame static.

The main reason is consistency in as many aspects as we can, barring an artistic form of design or direction. Using a 3D animation setup, certain things like character orientation or spatial recognition within environments.  

While using Blender for 2D animation is very doable and has its advantages, the program was designed for 3D animation primarily.

The second film that shows us the tangible power of Blender on a few different levels is the film Next Gen created by a few studios hailing from China, Canada, and the U.S.A, but helmed by Netflix.

The reason this film is so important right now is that ninety-five percent of the animation used was Blender.

From a business standpoint that is super smart as getting Adobe Animate for a studio of around ten computers/tablets for animating would run you $2039.40 before tax.

Also that’s just the one program if you need others like Photoshop the costs begin to pile up quickly given the number of animators, foley artists, directors, musicians, and the numerous other employees you still need to pay.  

Next Gen is something to look towards as animators for seeing just how far you can get with this free program. Given some mid-grade hardware individuals can produce excellent quality films.

Though studios under Netflix do have an advantage over indie productions given that their animators get paid and have more time to devote strictly to production.

However, like I said at the beginning, where there is a will, there is a way. Remember, passion is the life blood of creation, and for those passionate enough the tools are before you. What will you create? 

 

On Toy Story: 

https://medium.com/the-mission/the-story-behind-the-toy-story-e660368bd0db 

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-toy-story-anniversary-20150930-story.html 

https://www.theverge.com/2015/3/17/8229891/sxsw-2015-toy-story-pixar-making-of-20th-anniversary 

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/production-begins-on-toy-story 

 

On Blender: 

https://www.blender.org/about/ 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKmSdY56VtY     Hero – made with blender’s grease pencil 

 

 

 

Child of Starlight: Issue 1 – Part 1: Wayward of Fate (Reboot)

The still night’s chill pushed a young couple into the embrace of their tribal elders. Arrayed in all corners of the large log building, the bodies of men and women were gathered. Smoke from incense and pipes spilled up and circled within the roofing. Cloaked in robes of reeds and scales, six women circled a small pedestal at the center of the group. The eldest of the village took the wrapped child from its mother and shuffled back to the circle. Then, with the silence of stars, the elder placed the bundled child on the stone marker, ready to start the Illumination.

Continue reading Child of Starlight: Issue 1 – Part 1: Wayward of Fate (Reboot)

BIG ISLAND (A DREAM)

 The grass on the hilltop bids me sweet goodbye as I run to you— what looks like you—, swaying back and forth like in Japanese films. My shirt billows a little behind me while you take my picture; we laugh when the wind steals your straw boater as fare. The beach shines green under my bare feet—our own little Innisfree.


For a small eternity, I stand at the ocean’s edge and think about dead writers. When it’s time to turn back to you I pick up a handful of sand and hold it to my chest; your eyes crinkle in a rare smile. Olivine, you say, and I repeat it in my head until it sticks.

******

Originally published in MoonPark Review (Spring 2018).

General Motors Bicycles? Yes, They Are Real And They Are Coming Soon

When you think about GM, full name General Motors, you think about current brands like Buick Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC, and old names like Pontiac and Oldsmobile. Would you have thought GM would be producing a bike? Most may have said no, but a GM bike is becoming a reality.

GM is releasing an electric bike next year as an alternative to a motor vehicle. Actually, GM is releasing two different types of electric bike in order to compete with rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, and rival automaker Ford, in an attempt to enter the new market in urban electric bikes.

The e-bike is not a normal bicycle that you have to pedal just to get around town. The e-bike will provide a small battery-powered electric motor to help people with pedaling when going up hills and traveling long distances on flat terrain. Supporters of the e-bikes say it provides a realistic alternative to driving and a sweat-free alternative to traditional biking.

Along with GM’s announcement on Friday about the e-bikes, they also asked the public to name the bikes for the chance to win $10,000.

This is not GM’s first rodeo with electric products. They currently have the Chevy Bolt, and they came out with the e-bike concept in 2015.

The e-bike will be lightweight and also foldable, which wlll be useful for urban commuters.

As of right now, GM has not and will not say where the bikes will be produced and where they will be sold, only saying that all of those details will be released soon enough.

The First Week of November

The phony cobwebs are swept away,

But the carved pumpkins have yet to rot

And still sit on the steps in front of many houses.

The leftover candy, marked down after Halloween,

Has been cleared from the stores,

Their festive designs gone for another year,

But the children who spent their night walking

From door to door now have their own hoards

And like dragons they stand guard over their goodies

Waiting for their parents to turn their backs,

So that they can grab another piece of chocolate,

And keep their sugar high going strong.

 

Meanwhile, families make plans for Thanksgiving,

Searching for recipes to flaunt in front of friends and families,

Or thinking up excuses to avoid visiting in-laws.

There are still pumpkin spice variations of every product that could manage it,

Including those that should never have tried such a crossover.

The trees are still mostly covered in red and gold,

Though more leaves fall with every breeze,

And the ground is in desperate need of a rake.

Football season is in full swing,

And every sports bar is playing at least three games on any given night.

Charlie Brown will be making his way onto the small screen once again,

Forever famous for falling while trying to kick a ball.

 

Fall is heavy in the air.

Halloween has barely faded,

And Thanksgiving looms on the horizon.

And yet as I listen to the radio I can already hear them,

Christmas carols, playing through the first week of November.