For BB

Eleven months, one pencil, and a cup of tea:

these are what we shared,

these and solutions to hoary puzzles & old-growth problems of the past.

Brilliance carries, and there are fresh planets on your AI’s mind.

So, off you go to build the future –

Fare thee well!


But please, before you go, tell me:

where in your internet of things is there room for my smallness?

Image Courtesy of PolarityFlow


Good Omen


I dreamed that we were walking together on a windy day. A bird with quicksilver wings flew towards us, its sleek body reflecting the cold, clear and somehow blue light of planets. I opened my hand, and as the bird landed in my palm, quicksilver transformed into a fledgling with feathers just sprouting from quills. I turned to show you, both of us smiling.

It wasn’t until long after I awoke, still smiling, that I remembered the baby robins outside our door, the ones the snake climbed the trellis to eat.

Image Courtesy of George, Public Domain Images

Drinking Belgian Beer (with the Dead)


What would you do with a hundred thousand dollars and a three-month sabbatical from work?

I would contact the owner of an ancient townhouse in a small Belgian town. The town itself is nowhere, and although the house is over three centuries old, it is unnotable in every way except one: I lived there for three years. I would offer whatever inflated rent it took to get three months in that house. Summer would do, winter would be better. These are the seasons where the haunting is most active. Banging sounds, physical manifestation of blood, apparitions, and repeated visitations by malevolent entities are all part of my experience living there. My room was in the original structure, not the refurbished bit, and supernatural activity was constant. Sounds, unexplained lights, and sudden cold often awakened me. Terror and dread permeate my memory of this house.

Yet, should I come into an obscene surfeit of money, that is where I would go. I would sleep in my old room. It has a single, narrow window overlooking the side of a war-blasted and rebuilt church, and is just down the hall from the door to an open-raftered attic full of the sounds of sparrows and spectral men playing cards. I would stay in the room where my sister and I huddled together on a bare mattress, staring at the ceiling where it sounded like someone was hatcheting the old beams. I would stay because I remember, because I know.

Some number of years after my family moved out, my sister had an opportunity to spend a weekend in the home. She brought her new husband with her and I don’t think they managed even one full night. He saw blue eyes in the bathroom mirror, watching him through the steam. That bathroom is why I still shampoo my hair with my eyes open.  I’m starting to question my use of that 100k…

Image Courtesy Linnaea Mallette, Public Domain Pictures


PS I wrote this while sipping a Belgian-style Tripel, outside, on an unseasonably warm winter’s day. I will not be able to do that in Belgium in February.  Summer’s sounding better for my haunted holiday, isn’t it?


Origin Myth


Frisson of thunder and breath in a blue vase: these named me. Innocence breathed around me, but I was too much spark. I flew from the vase, pushed through the narrow neck of it into a cosmos bursting with color. This was my first true thought: the idea of Agora, the expanse of mind.

I carried nothing beyond the name given by thunder and breath. Lady Socrates opened her house. I sat on her narrow balcony near the sundial, drank wine, and felt my kinship to the thunder.

Oh, child of thunder and trapped breath! My mistake was believing I could be shed of one and not the other. The first vessel that came along and offered tinted glass? In I flew. Who made this offering? Me, to myself. I developed tricks to avoid the chill smoothness of my prison, but once, looking across the sunset edge of the last open field, I understood that a wall of glass a foot thick separated me from the world. I slipped, again and again, trying to climb out on moonbeams.


Image Courtesy PDP, Public Domain Pictures