Poetry-Thing Thursday: To Rhythm and Blues

To Rhythm and Blues,
I’ve paid my dues,
with 12-barre chords,
while wishing for hordes,
of screaming fans,
‘fore the piper pans.

And as for the rains,
I’ve known great pains,
from both love and hate,
and perilous fate,
whose puppetry strings,
give impression of wings.

But upon my hunched back,
wounds from the hack,
of a hallowed sharp axe,
that required blood-tax,
to free me from,
those guileless scum.

The ones that I mean,
you’d never foreseen,
with tarot card,
nor prescient bard.
They came from man,
did conscience ban,

until at last,
is became past,
was became when,
and love was made sin.
What a woeful deceit,
disguised as a treat,

and dressed in white,
preaching of light.
A martyr’s burden,
became money’s verb’n,
with all of their might,
they ordered us to fight.

Not in defense,
nor in good sense,
but for something imagined–
A creature with badge and,
toting a deathly steel rod.

And then had the nerve to call it a God.

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Poetry-Thing Thursday: Random Chance

Standing stock-still,
necks craned skyward,
to view the awesome power,
of nature’s wrath and fury.

They talk of gods,
of places above and below,
the irony is lost on them,
that this is their beauty.

Earth and sun.
Moon and stars.
How much more miraculous,
or brilliant do you need?

They say there must be a creator,
to bring this from nothingness,
but how profound to think,
that all was once darkness.

And now there is light,
stars and quasars,
supernovae and black holes,
planets, moons, comets, and asteroids,

and a million more things.
Some we’ll never know.
More we’ll never see.
Oh how this is diminished,
by gods and deities.

More importantly, I ask,
doesn’t that cheapen life?
The universe?
Everything?

It’s an eternal question,
one I’ll always ask;
isn’t life grander,
more sacred,
if formed by random chance?

Short Story: His(Its?) Image

Nobody believed it. Who would blame them though? It was a difficult thing to believe that one; there was confirmation of God’s existence; two, he was actually hooked into the internet, hip to all of the millions of slangs and cultures; and three that all those social-media posts begging for likes to save cancer-victims, help lost puppies, and vote on the newest teen idol were actually serious.

For his– or rather Its, which is a whole, other complicated conversation we’re not having right now– part, God seemed to be an okay guy (thing?). At least in the last few thousand years, he hadn’t directly caused any kind of mass murder, flooding, or pestilence. Not that there weren’t any, just none he had a direct hand in. Even the good things were none of his doing, sliced bread, the internet, free porn– those were things we’d given ourselves through the freewill he’d set in motion. (If you believe the stories, anyway.)

It was like he– it? Can a limitless entity really be confined to a single gender? I’m sure all those homophobic preachers might have something to say about it, but not me. Mostly I’m focused on the existential properties of the question, and whether or not human language will have to compensate for this new class of being, especially if it turns out he is not the only one. Like I said, ‘nother conversation for ‘nother day.

Anyway, it was like he’d set us up on this crazy green and blue rock, then loosed us to the rigors of time so he might come back later and reap the rewards. The internet had to have been one of those things that finally drew him back. Before he’d sent an ambassador (more than one if you believe the various stories) to speak to us in his name, each with their own language and ways to best keep the people in those parts of the world on the straight and narrow. Really gotta’ hand it to him, did a mostly good job– you know aside from the middle east and the third of the world starving.

But that’s yet another conversation for yet another day. Staying on track.

Seems the Good Lord had set up a kind of system networked into social-media of all things. In retrospect, it wasn’t a bad idea. There’s billions of computers hooked into the net, almost as many people behind them watching everything from social-media updates to, well, porn, and not a one of them was really listening to the Good Lord’s words anymore.

I can only imagine that to a creature like God the internet represented this vast, instant-feedback system where the commodity of information was like a tasty morsel of ambrosia. See, that’s the thing we never think about when we think of a God, or rather the God. Omnipotent may mean unlimited power, but who the hell has the time to be paying that much attention? I mean, if we’re created in his— it’s?– image, wouldn’t He/It be just as prone toward Attention Deficit Disorder?

Each of us has some form of ADD. Granted not everyone needs medication for it, but we all have a point where we can no longer stand to pay attention. Be it from hunger, exhaustion, or sheer boredom, we’ll each eventually turn away, look away, or pass out until we can come back with fresh eyes. It’s the human condition. We’re just sort of flawed in that way. It runs deep too, so deep, it was almost easy for us to miss that He/It was the same way.

After all, familiarity is comfort, and all beings that we know of seek comfort. Why would He/it be different? In the end, maybe that’s the whole “meaning of life thing:” so no one has to be alone. I mean, sure there were creatures before us, but they weren’t sentient. It’s more than likely that if He/It did anything to create us, it was with a push to the hominid populous’ evolution toward our creation. Then, let it stew for a few million years, and voila, sentient life!

But then we sort of spiraled out of control. We bred like rabbits and took over the face of the Earth. Those telepathic communications that he told us about in his books became overwhelming. Then, for a few millenia, he just sort of slinked away from us for a couple aspirin and a drink. Then one drink turned into five, then five into ten and soon enough he was passed out on the bar-room floor, only to awake in an alley-way dumpster with a hang-over and no shoes– wait, that was exactly my last Friday— Still you get the point. He/it got overwhelmed and he took off for a bit to unwind, prepared to come back later with fresh eyes. (Not literally of course, from all evidence we have He/It doesn’t need new eyes, though I’m sure He/It could conjure them in a moment.)

Maybe those fresh eyes helped, or maybe the hangover finally pounded a realization into his head– like that time I woke up in the Rusty Clam’s Alley with a hooker kicking me and telling me I was scaring off the Johns. I mean really, like I was the problem there. Get over yourself guy. What was I saying? Oh right, the epiphany. It was like that time I woke up and realized maybe the smell in my pants was my fault, and I should probably quit drinking before the hooker kicked me one too many times.

For Him/It, the realization was probably two-fold; we had internet, (Holy shit, free Porn! He/It exclaimed if I’m anything like His/Its image) and now he had an awesome little tool to make all those telepathic prayers easier to deal with.

So, He/It did what any smart Deity would and set up a kind of super-cool bot-net that translated the telepathic message into their own, electronic equivalents. Those lists were somehow programmed to prioritize and post themselves across the ‘net with “Like” and “Share” Goals. If they reached those goals, the bot-net would activate the telepathy machine– the same used to transfer prayers to text– and it would shell out a dose of miracles for whomever the prayer was for or about.

But see, that’s where He/It got things a little wrong. God forgot we’re created in his image, and we’re more than a little deficit in attention ourselves. So what happened? Well first off, no-one believed the profile actually was God. Then, nobody believed God would try to pass out prayers so cheaply. And Then? Some one found out it was real.

Oh yeah. You know that memetic saying that’s flooded every possible forum, chat-room, and website with comments that goes “don’t feed the trolls?” Well, that’s extremely difficult when everyone becomes a troll. See, the atheists weren’t angry that they’d been proven wrong, they were excited. With them were all of those would-be pious that lined up to beg and plead and pray.

But God? Well He/It’s kind’a got a funny sense of humor like that. I guess sort of like me too, in a way. He didn’t shut the bot-net down. Now, I can’t be sure what the hell he’s up to, but I know it’s still running. Every day, billions of posts flood His/Its little corner of the net, and every day, billions of people scramble to pray harder and like and share the ones that might be theirs. Its just so damned hard to tell anyway, so many people need money, or the cure for cancer, or for their pants to stop smelling strange, that it’s difficult to know exactly whose prayer is getting answered when they vote.

And here we come to my devious, devilishly simple bit of mischief. It isn’t mean, not even really difficult to do. In a way, I think He/It might agree with my cleverness. I created a second bot-net. One to spam the hell out of those posts. It’ll be sort of like that heaven and hell war, only digital and without any losers. Everyone will get what they want, have their prayers answered. It’s mischief, sure, but I was made in His/Its image, and he’s just as lazy, deficit, and cunning as I am if you believe it. In the end, maybe he’ll smite me. Or maybe, he’ll do nothing, happy that our ingenuity triumphed. Or maybe even, he’ll flip up the table and rage-quit and run back to the bar.

If so, cheers friend; maybe tomorrow my pants won’t smell so bad and you’ll have another one of your epiphanies. Until then, let the games begin and bring on the porn!

Short Story: Io

Io

In the ever-present, expanding cosmos, an imperceptible flow of energy invisible to the human eye, ear, and mind steadily pulses across the eternities. It is, what human instruments have measured as, an emanation of radio-waves– but one of many remnants left over by the explosive big-bang. Upon decoding the various, intermittent pulses and silences– as one might with Morse-code– one will find a message discernible only through mathematics and applied linguistics.

It reads thus: “The masses will have undoubtedly cried upon discovery, proclaimed this to be His work, His word, His voice. They will have implied He were the one to be credited with the infinite, cosmic machinations. The truth is however, is much simpler, than such a primitive species could hope to grasp. I know this because I know him– your “He,” your “Alpha-Omega,” your “God.”

“To attempt explanation on such lowly mortals given your stubbornly facetious intellect, would prove unyielding, difficult. However, I must at least try. The fact is God– if you so wish to call him that– does exist, but he is no Divine Creator. He is yet another scientist! One whom began his career a long while after I. The best I can think to explain, for I must in posterity’s sake, is through the parlance of your own times.”

“God”, whom I know as Io, was a student, mine– and a poor one at that. When he came to me, as others often do, he had little training. He knew of the physics of dimensions, of universes, and of duration-manipulation. He knew of them, but was continually perplexed by their intricacies, astounded by their fields and dynamics, and downright overwhelmed by the masses of information and formulae. I remember watching him sit in class hours after the other students had gone home, his utensils making ubiquitous markings as he tried and failed to grasp the least wanton physics. So poor was his form and and understanding that I had written him off as a try-er, but ne’er a doer.”

“To understand this properly, perhaps you should know a few things about us grander beings: Firstly, our “sciences” are beyond humanity’s intellectual prowess. There are simply no words in your parlance to relay the extremity of our understanding of these fields. I can say only in words you’ll understand, that we are of the highest repute in matters of knowledge and wisdom. Furthermore, we do not teach as your “master” teaches your “student.” Instead, we communicate with feelings, images, thoughts that supplement a vast, and unending genome. (Again, in your parlance, for genes are not apart of our composition.)”

“These facts are important to know because it was Io whom struggled most deeply with them. (I believe this may be the basis of your “created in his image” fallacy.) In your terms, his genome was tainted by a mutation– a mishap of your “evolution” passed down to him from the time of his creation. The poor child. His mind was so permanently boggled that his awareness was too weak, inattentive, to grasp the many concepts his lineage passed to him. For a period, he and the others thought him mad. It was then that he came to me– a counsel to his ward.”

“Another thing you must understand; Io has not always been here. What I mean to say is that in your “holy” books– of which I detest– Io is remarked as never-ending, never-beginning. This is a preposterous, pretentious notion, and could only be taken as fact by the most gullible of creatures. To believe such ego-maniacal depravity is to lack the where-with-all– or perhaps, imagination– to picture even the true scale one’s own planet, let alone something infinitely larger. I will put it simply as this; mathematics do not agree you in this notion. You can not take one from zero. Even your primal, “reptilian” brains could find it if bothered to try.

“Ah, but I digress. There is but a final matter to clear up, this notion of Humanity as “chosen”, “created in His Image”, or any other of the infinite and vastly flawed arguments. As I said before, Io was my student. He was not authorized– nor was it wise for him– to “give life” to any part of any of the infinite universes our species has created. He was simply not competent enough. To further expound on an earlier aside; I believe his ego was driven to defend itself. As a result, he chose creatures not unlike him– at least not in their poor, mental aptitude.”

“Again, I digress, but as to the matter of this “life-giving.” In the course of his meanderings through our insurmountable knowledge, he stumbled across an old formula for life-giving. The formula was older than most, unused as a result of its instability and dissimilarity to us. So vastly minute in its size was it, that it could not communicate with us in any way– even this message might prove futile. In simplest terms, the formula was obsolete. A number of other species of varying sizes, though still larger than any a “human” might imagine, have since been created. These new formulae have held a purpose– chosen if you will– to aid us at appropriate times in our research. Humanity is not one. It is, was, and shall forever be an accident and a grave mistake.”

“Io, the poor soul, wished only to understand the vastness of knowledge our species contains. He wished like his ancestors to be held on high, praised for his genius. But he had not the capacity for it, and certainly not the ability to do so responsibly. Many of us knew this, treated him differently for. Those you might term as “peers” bullied him, while colleagues of mine berated, belittled, and ridiculed him. I, and a few others like me, took the poor boy aside at times to comfort and calm him. It was a mistake, one that I regret to this day. He knew well why the taunts were directed at him, but appeared to take it in stride. In secret, he resented us all. Then, in direct defiance to our collective will, he began to experiment on his own.”

“This is how life in the “Human” universe came to be. The universe itself was an old one. Once again determined too minute, its physics too basic. It had been laid aside for eons until one day it might be studied as a curiosity by one of us in some way. Yet Io did the unthinkable!

“He stole into our archives, lifted the universes container up, took it and a few others, and secreted them all away. He then used the old formulae– how he gained the capacity to do so, we’ll never know– and mixed together its ingredients. Like a mad chemist with a dropper, he deposited the ingredients onto a planet, let it stew for billions of years. Though we do not mark time as you do, it is all the same in relativity.”

“Oh if only you could truly grasp our existence, then you would see how ill-advised Io’s course was! As time passed, he became disheartened, distraught. His ego was shattered, his heart broken. He had once more failed, had taken so many risks only to again prove himself unworthy.”

“Then, something wonderful, amazing, hideous occurred. Long after he had given up hope, turned away from his experiment as scientists turns from his petri-dish to mind other matters, he took a last, forlorn look back. Something had crawled from the world’s seas, flourished to surprise even him!”

“As he tells it, whilst he rummaged through an old sack of belongings– no longer a boy, but now a “man,” he re-discovered his youthful experiment. In truth, I believe he came across the “Human” universe’s disappearance in reports in his work at the archives. It is the only job suitable to creature of his poor intelligence. I believe it reminded him of his failure, forced him to look once again upon it in defeat– as though the scientist were about to chuck the petri-dish. Instead, he was surprised by life, millions of years evolved, and so Alien in its form. He rejoiced. Never had he, or even we, seen such a form. Still he was elated at its discovery, but told no-one, studied it until he’d perfected its equations.”

“Oh the millions of agonies! Io why? Why did you do it? Was it truly ignorance, or was it an act of spite– the desire to inflict the same pain you’d received from those of us whom lack compassion?”

“Io sent one of our ambassador particles down upon your world, programmed to his directives, and disguised in your native form. He had told it to tell of “God,” a place in his kingdom, and a frighteningly large amount of other nonsense, that had it been known, would have had him locked away for good. Yours species however, was disinclined to accept the notions he put forth notion. (And I don’t blame you. Especially for a poorly planned experiment, carried out by an equally poor student.) Io’s ambassador particles were sent over decades, millenia; each time their programming was refined, his message clearer, simpler. Unfortunately, he was an even poorer programmer than he was a student, was incapable of coding the particles to interact properly together, or indeed at all. Conflicts began. What you call “Holy wars” are nothing more than followers of the various particles failing to co-exist as they had.”

“This last point is why I send this message. I have discovered Io’s schemes. More aptly, he has confessed to them. I don’t blame the poor child, for he only wished to be like his elders. Is it so terrible a thing to wish to be greater than oneself? No, invariably this is the way that all beings grow, evolve. He has however, gone far beyond the realm of the sane seeker to that of a desperate madman. His pomposity on matters of our science have only increased, the delusions imparted to you gone to his head. We fear now for the remnants of his sanity, the life he’s petulantly created. It is possible I may find more life that he has half-assedly created like this first, in the depths of these long-forgotten universes, but it seems unlikely as of yet that he has found it.

“And so I leave this message for the “Humans of Earth”: You are not alone. However, you are not special. You are not unique. You are not chosen. You were “given life” by a child-scientist in an act of petty childishness. End your feuds; for there are scientists, and then your “God”; a failed, child-scientist. But do not fret. Instead, cherish your existence all the more. Otherwise his delusions will go to your heads, and you may miss out on what we have created the others for. We will abide the rules we have on such matters as these, and leave you to your ultimate ends. And should you reach sufficient knowledge or frame of mind, we may retrospectively consider Io’s experiment a success, and let you into the “kingdom.” Fare well in your journeys so that you may go alone, unhindered by delusion. For Io is no “God,” no “Creator,” he is a child; too young, stubborn for his own good. Rest assured that if you truly think him amazing, then you must wait, meet us.”