Thursday, December 10, 2009

Experimental Boundaries

     I snagged my first book contract with a series of experimental writings that had the preliminary title of Human Symbol Abstraction.  The larger body of that series was a complex and surreal work on the machination of personality and subconscious in transformation during the maturity process that was called, Irrevolution.
     Irrevolution originally topped out at over 120 pages and I won my first award for this book-length paradigm of thought processes.  I was asked to edit and rework the form of the work for publication and throughout the years it has become true to its theme of transformation as it has changed and matured along with myself into an ever-changing and living piece of form.
     What began as a free-flowing and linear epic single poem has become a more reader-friendly and palatable series and sections of verse that can each stand alone or connect readily to the greater whole.  The following is the first piece and beginning of Irrevolution:


degrees to turn, a
                     gle and sweat
                          for subconscious measure (l e n g t h s

                                                                 v         s
                                                                  o      e
                                                                    l    m

                                                            per convergence)-

cognition's endless lines
                             that             t
                                             c                                        r
                                           e               perception's     i      c
                                         s                          endless c            l
                                       i                                             s    e
                                    b                                     to
effect degrees-
a conscious measure (and sometimes
                                                   one personal level more is
                                  but growth capacities
                                  change) of no  w   i   d   t   h , only  d
(or azimuth in the eyes
to the topography
                            of the mind).
                                   Learned things granted (inferred that way)
                                   charted (or forgotten away).
          Affect degrees
changing these charts-
                                 unsocial boundaries realigned,
                                   asocial portions pledged,
                                     social Fahrenheit realized-with
      all interactive motion
and force
reckoning (inner inching voices
                  outer peck noises): thought's
                                                heart move-
                                                                  ments in
on the response plane of active measure
(as a man believes and

Dark Adventure Archives 3

     We did a joint venture promo with Claypool Comics back in the late '90s for the Elvira, Mistress of the Dark comics.  You may not recognize her out of costume, but this is Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira herself.  A bitingly funny gal and a blast to hang with.

     One very full handful is actress and model, Julie Strain, seen here during a fantastic promotional stint with Heavy Metal magazine.  She has an infectious laugh and makes the utmost of any occasion and truly has no fear.  She's currently married to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator, Kevin Eastman.

     A much too early in the morning visit with Traci Lords, actress and now, a new mom!  9am in Cali is 6am in my town and she glows while I glower.  Cast in many dramatic roles, I think her forte is comedy as she has spot-on timing.  Hi, Gunnar!


     I've just noticed that this blog has broken 1000 views on my analytics counter.  Thank you to the silent majority and please feel free to comment.  Sometimes Google's functions on the comment buttons are wonky, so press onward!
     Thank you, Analysa, for your in-depth analysis-your email was startling in its complexity and much enjoyed.  I will be starting up another couple of blogs soon.  I have been actively selling humor and comedic routines and I feel a walk on the bizarre side may be in order, along with a dip into screenwriting.  My time has been tight and it is my hope I can catch up here over the holidays.
     Be safe out there-

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Svelte Punk Chic

     I was immersed in the early punk rock scene for a period of time and experienced firsthand the inner devastation of fringe living.  Underground love left scarred hearts from sacred youth gone all bat-shit in a revolution against culture, politics, themselves and ultimately, nothing.
     There is a trilogy of verse from my writings at that time that circled around a couple of friends and their 3am confessions to the cave wall-dirty, pretty things from an unsentimental tribe.  Light a smoke, take a third shot of Jack and listen to a few notes from the dank night.


Wearing svelte punk chic
she was tearing down things
and her things
she would erect

Her toxic "I"
reigns constant-
poisoning caution's approach
in alteration to the host
and her eyes twitter mean.

"Bitch!" "I" cries;
"Whore!" "I" tumbles;
"Slut!" "I" turns to-
oh woman,
immersed into.

Yet, she is not her lover;
just a random in happenstance
melodious in sin expressed
or harshly-
hardly a bother to please
or surpass
in expectation of pleasure
to her promise splayed out
amongst her discarded

"I" had/she
has no
lying there,
dirtying her push
as he retracts
and readies plunge-
unworthy, un-savored, unsane-
she reels in the catch
her toxic,
toxic "I"



     the pretty girl run like melting snow
(a man fall like the sleet).

His woman
    has the heat (of an animal).
       He breathes
           like the hissing air of ash
              (from marihuana).
                  Passion garrotes her kiss
                      (like a hangman).
                          Their sweaty eyes
                              feed thirsting (for breath).
                                  A smoking silhouette
                                      of love's withdrawal
                                          (from flesh).
                                              A pang of nothing
                                                  left (in its streaks).
                                                     The moral diaries
                                                         their heads support
                                                            wane (and freeze).
                                                               Faith bathes
                                                                  in the sweat
                                                                     on gravestones
                                                                        (its death).
                                                                           The end

                                                                                     A pretty girl
                                                                                        is like
melting snow
     (a man is like the sleet).



Tries to rule
Her Saturday
As she circles his party
With latitude for breathing-
Lust coiling serpentine
In her eyes' needy visage;
A stare war arises
In jaded,
Grainy remembrance
Of love's burning gone
And heart crushed
Like cigarettes:
Soled out
Like a snake,
Her body
Like a snake,
She did animal things
And then lay in the shade;
A rest
For the reptile
Of loneliness within
Curled comfortably
After miking from Man-
His slivers creating the darkness,
Teach her
To feed on the darkness,
And it sleeps
At her feet
Like faithful blackness
And her Saturday
To his


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blind Man's Cat

     I once assisted another poet on editing her work for publication. She was attempting to put a sense of order into what to her was a collection of disorganized and disparate poems. They were all in her voice but she was so close to them she could not see their relation to one another in context of her vision.
     In reading the pieces I not only heard the music coming from the pages but also saw a subtext buried inside the words. Once I became a companion to that subtext I arranged the poems in my head into what to my ears and eyes was a linear theme that told a precise tale.
     She then allowed me to cut and paste her babies into this thematic context. That was a remarkable level of trust (ask any writer), especially as the finished edit created quite another animal than the one she had raised. I had been talking out loud like an inspired madman about my thought processes and the subtext I was following throughout the whole procedure. When I finished I read the book aloud from the first word to the last verse.
     She was shocked and quiet and silent for a long time. Then came the tears.
     I initially thought she was crushed at what I had done. That was far from the truth. In her estimation, that edit had not only streamlined her vision but told the story she had been attempting to tell in a way she had never visualized and could never had done. She was wrong.

     Her book was all there, story and everything in completion-there was nothing missing and nothing added. I heard her music and I formatted the playlist of her album. She was thankful but I was even more appreciative because it was a beautiful experience that taught me more about trust and editing than I could ever have learned on my own.
     Later on, she looked at some of my work. She pulled a forth a poem I had been stuck on and commented that to her it was an experiential description of sound. That was far from what I was attempting but it forced me to look at my lines with new eyes and listen further to what they were saying. As with her, I had been so close to it I could no longer hear it, but it was there...singing low.
     With new ears I finished that piece and many times since I think of lessons learned and music unheard. So Jolie, wherever you may be...this one is for you:


Her sound
     seeps syllabic meter
               auditory images,
her paws print
     cushioned percussion
               ear cymbals preening-
all catwalking forward,
          then rising;
               heard symbols uniting,
Her beat
     and talk
          anticipating tigers
               or kittens
in a steady,
     measured tone to
          make verb
               or phrase
to a felt imploding
     sound wave-
          her  v-i-b-r-a-t-i-n-g  metaphor;
               his braille purr she sings.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


     Due to the insistence of my wife and friends, this blog is now totally open and public.  I have been working on ironing out the kinks, learning more HTML and developing a flow while ensuring I have enough of a start to engage your minds.
     Comments to any and all posts are welcome-indeed, solicited!  As this is now public, comments will be moderated to weed out the stray internet sniper.  Please be patient if your commentaries do not post immediately and be assured they will.
     First time visitors may wish to start at the first post and read upward as there is a sequential order to things.  I wish you well and hope you log in and stay with me on this new journey!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Three Lands Trilogy

     One of the more ambitious proposals I worked on with artist Jeff Austin was a project called The Three Lands Trilogy.  The overall epic concerns the co-existence of Earth, Heaven and Hell all occupying the same dimensional space with time existing as a constant on a spiritual level.
     The only beings who traverse the Three Lands are angels, both Heavenly and Fallen (Lucifer and his minions), the Love Wraiths (dead members of the Family Stone whose duties are to protect their portion of dimensional space and usher the dead souls into the afterlife) and the cursed (Efriem Merritt, for example).

     The trilogy has three separate storylines set in three separate time periods which collide into a grand scale conclusion.  All of the stories were written so they could be stand-alone, a series, a mini-series or packaged as the entire epic.  The entire trilogy involved quite a commitment from a publisher and an offer was made to us for a partnership contract in sharing the cost and profits.  We dissented, as we figured we may as well self-publish in that case.

     The trilogy consisted of these three storylines:


     This story was also pre-titled, "Weird South Presents."  It is the tale of a Confederate soldier killed in battle who is resurrected along with his horse (a combined amalgam of two men and several animals and insect species who also perished with the horse being the dominant form) after reclaiming his soul from a Love Wraith after a Fallen angel escapes Hell and possesses the body of the Rebel's fallen friend.

     Returning home to scorched lands and a scattered family, Efriem sets off with a ex-slave and a woman (who changes to a wolf at night-fall) in search of his fiance, Abigail, who has been taken by his comrade, now possessed by the transformed Fallen angel into a vampiric demon lord.

     The story is part Catch-22 and part morality play as Efriem finds the price for his soul is that he can never kill-even though he must slay the demon lord to regain the souls of his friends (trapped in the horse, Gabriel) and attain their rightful place in the afterlife.

     This series contains strong historical, supernatural and ethical elements that set into play a vivid background for tight character continuity and reader identification.  It is also an exploration into the experience of a changing culture and belief system and of maintaining loyalty and honor to oneself and others.

     Included in the three Weird South posts below are character profiles, plot synopsis, script pages and the first four pages of the story by artist, Jeff Austin.


     The second series features the main character of Paige Stone, a stripper and the last heir of her family bloodline.  Set in 1972, she discovers her family heritage-the Stone descendants (mostly male) have been the spiritually directed Trackers on Earth of Lucifer Morningstar.  Once every generation, Satan walks a predestined path across the Earth in human form, directing evil across the globe which culminates in terrible consequences.

     The Trackers hunt Lucifer in attempts to trap and kill the current manifestation of the Beast, often with tragic outcomes.  Paige learns of her destiny from her uncle, who is killed as she has her first confrontations with Lucifer.  She travels with a disillusioned priest-sorceror who is addicted to sniffing the dust of the ground bones of angels, which incites powers, visions and near possessions.

     With the state of the world crumbling, social decay and creatures of the night everywhere, Paige must fulfill her destiny and also leave the Earth an heir to ensure its future.  Included in the Ministry of Frost post below are the first two pages of artwork and a plot synopsis with characters.


     This story is the third in the trilogy and spins the tale of the Love Wraiths-from their origins to their counter-parts in Hell and their many forms.  The day the Love Wraiths all unite to sing in unison from their different locations and time periods will herald the end of the Three Lands and the time of Revelation or Convergence.

     Only this description and reference was included in the proposal to round out the plan for the entire trilogy.  The following posts as referred to above form the basis for the project.  Enjoy!

Weird South Part 1


Character Profiles

Plot Synopsis For Issue 1

Weird South Part 2


Script pages for the first four pages of original
artwork featured in post Part 3

Weird South Part 3


Original Artwork
Four spectacular pencils by Jeff Austin

All artwork copyright @2002 Jeff Austin

The Ministry of Frost

     This was the original proposal for the second series tied in to The Three Lands Trilogy.  We were in such a rush to complete our layouts that I did the finished art, which includes a couple of panel "homages" for backgrounds as I had no time for complete pencils (apologies to Vosburg).  Comic art takes me forever as I'm more of an illustrator with a tendency for detail.  All that stippling is hand-drawn, by the way.


Original Art
Representational-Not Meant For Publication


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tribal Drums

     Experiments with drum beats led me down a percussion path in my writing.  I was searching for syllabic percussive rhythm for wordplay against differing drum sounds.  It was not as drug-induced as it seems and I produced a small body of work with differing results.

     This is one such piece based on a Native American ritualistic drum riff and chant:


This languid she
     with eyes exploding emotion
          and her hips swish
               feline heat with
          her gaze signing
     my being
my seed).

     "To what craft
          her artful talents
               other than dress
          and eyes
     be braided?"

I want her naked.

She bares primal love
     in the wilderness
          and we become Cherokee
               trading beats
          and piercing
     our treaty.

like colored wind at night-
     I am her blanket
          and she is my ground-
               splayed within the down
          of our one

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Graphic Novel

     Some years back, artist Jeff Austin and I were collaborating on several projects to shop around to comic publishers.  We had quite of bit of interest and had we let go of a few of them on spec they could have seen publication.  Unfortunately, I am a pay as you go kind of creator.  These hit the files as my time was stretched thin enough through my business and Jeff had numerous deadlines.

     STRINGS was a projected graphic novel or twelve issue mini-series.  It has since transformed and streamlined into a better structured work with different title and changed plot elements.  I have scanned the original proposals to show the first draft and give the reader a glimpse into the genesis of the synopsis, characters, plot, script and artwork that goes into such an endeavor. 

     It is of interest to note that we threw together this raw original proposal in 3 days due to our time constraints (and it shows).  These images run in order left to right-forgive the bit of uneven placements and sizing as I'm still getting the hang of HTML posting.  Click on the images to enlarge.



These 2 pages lists the characters of
the story along with their story profiles.

The following 4 pages are the encapsulated plot
 of the entire story and are edited for brevity.


These 4 pages are the writer's visualization
of the story complete with written direction of the
action, caption placement, etc. to serve as a guide to the artist.
These are for the first 3 pages shown realized below


Three pages of the fully realized penciled art done from the script.
The "x"'s note where black is placed for the inker.
The word balloons and captions are pasted in
with black backgrounds already printed.

This artwork is copyright @ 2002 by Jeff Austin
Jeff is an accomplished professional artist with 20 years published
experience in the comics industry.  For more of Jeff's work
click on his name in my Link section.