Blue Squiggles and other Nonlinearities

This is not the post I’d wanted to write today, but apparently Facebook had other plans…

So now it seems appropriate to share again a poem I wrote years ago, titled “Nonlinear.”

How can stars not be aware?
All that patterned energy,
All those billions of years,
So surely they develop minds in time.
 Mrs. Whatsit used to be a star.
She has a friend whose grandson is a doctor, you know.
Just don’t ask me his name.
Yesterday was Freya’s day again.
Tell me, Lady, do you ever take bards into your hall?
I’m sure the warriors would love a good tale
To pass eternity, and I can recommend one
If he isn’t there already.
Is it lucky to have enough warning
For wrapping up unfinished business,
For mitigating a few curses, as the poet said?
Or are we better off not knowing
When the Dream King’s elder sister is about to visit?
And did Neil write that bit with the elephants deliberately,
Or was it only coincidence?
I have my doubts, knowing who his evil twin is.
(Carnelians are also red, like rubies.
Do the math.
Ignore the rules.
Cheat — you know you want to.)
Should I apologize, even though I’m not drunk?
Would anyone get the joke?
Probably not.
Still, I’d think it was funny.
Lots of things are, if you follow the lines.
Information overload equals pattern recognition,
And we knew by the third episode
That the storyline would lead sideways.
Just one of the fringe benefits
Of having an ambidextrous brain.
As Bowie said, Are you paying attention?
Not that I can ever watch that movie.
Gods, no!
We were an only child…
I’m the lame one, the cripple,
The useless one,
Or so I’ve been told.
I’m going to crush the hand of the next person
Who says to me that pain is weakness.
Feeling strong now, are you?
Thought not.
More tea, Descartes?
Nefarious waffles and all that.
Did you know that a raspberry cookie
Can be used to bluff an angry cyborg?
No kidding — I saw it on television.
A grey sort of mood:
I leave the capital off
And wonder if anyone sees it anyway.
Metaphorical dandelions as projectile weapons:
Secrets freely given hiding other secrets
By drawing attention away
From where we don’t want anyone to look.
A bird taught me that –
The metaphor, at least.
The rest, I already knew.
“Hide in the light, because shadows attract attention.”
Am I ever going to write that part of the story?
Why am I not using the current state of affairs
To fall into character
And write about meeting Alex way back when?
What kind of weirdo has an imaginary shrink?
I wonder what his namesake is up to lately.
Last time we saw the actor, he was a sheriff
Being eaten by a Giant Mole-man on television.
I was surprised that I recognized him.
Wasn’t that long, either, after the other guy —
You know, the one I was afraid of when I was a kid —
Was a retired senator or something.
I’m really going to have to find a way
To write a character, however minor,
Named for Natalie
To thank her for her help.
Finders and archivists rule!
Is Duncan going to be mad at me
When he sees that his alter-ego’s nemesis
Is there in Book 2?
Probably, if he even reads it.
 I didn’t cry when I found out that Steakley died.
I don’t know if I’ll ever do that again.
The summer of ’95 was bad.
I did get a lot of writing done, though,
While my paintings laughed at me
With sympathetic eyes.
I wonder if she likes the quilt.
And what about the dragons?
I had to hold my head sideways
To draw the red one.
Luckily I had a flag.
Mother doesn’t approve
Of the books I read,
Or the books I write.
Says that all novelists are professional liars.
She doesn’t get it,
That in some things,
Parental disapproval just adds appeal.
“Hand me that stack of Petri dishes,” she said,
And I fell down laughing.
I couldn’t explain the joke,
Aside from it being a book thing.
Isn’t just about everything?
I visited Robert Frost’s old farm
Back in the autumn of ’96.
This was on our way back from Andover
(speaking of book things),
So of course I made sure to take a photo
Of the old, unmended wall.
(Page 34 of the Collected Poems, in case you care.)
Speaking of dandelions
And roses in odd colors
And pigeons in the chestnut trees
And jazz music.
Did you know that the song “Caravan”
Is followed by “April in Paris” on Mr. Marsalis’ album?
Tell me that wasn’t deliberate
In the scene where they’re traveling by ghostly Chevy,
And I’ll show you someone
Who has no knack for pattern recognition.
Ash or Hawthorn or Rowan
Or even, dare I say it, the birch in Latin.
Trees are funny things,
And they don’t like to have their pictures taken.
I knew an oak once
Who was as grouchy as they come,
But with good reason.
I told him about my plan,
That December at the time of Calendar Change,
To harness the tide of fortunate chaos
And improve the odds
Of something I wanted happening.
I’d say “something wonderful,”
But that would give the wrong impression, yes?
Anyway, the tree was kind enough to say nothing.

 

 

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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