On a Star(man)

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

The infinite velvet of the universe
Pinpricked with distant rays
In an instant, grows heavier
And sags with remorse
For on the pebble caught in the weave
The one we call rarely
A candle has gone out
Whose light stretched beyond the beyond
Whose absence has left deranged
Those who have felt his warmth and shade

Stricken thought the velvet
A million apocalypses rain
Obliterating pebble, rock, and stone
Born of longing and of anguish
The emotions that follow the dead
And he is gone
His grave a crack in the past
Little wonder no longer

After the apocalypses ran their courses
While the peoploids dwell in abject woe
A starchild wills itself to be
Gender-faded, to Mother Nature’s chagrin
The overwhelming gloom snatches its attention
And it tries to wipe off the viscous misery
But misery doesn’t let go, does it?
“What… this?”
Sadness, ‘Child
“What… that?”
The worst feeling that can ensnare
“Feeling?”
The unified field that connects all
“I… feel?”
Yes, ‘Child, even you
“I… sad.”
No, not quite
“I am Sad.”
The Starchild carries out its first folly
By letting others define it
But the definition comes from a cosmos in mourning
Thus the title becomes fate
The tackiness of misery is too much for Sad
And decides to give the slime a home
Its nails scrape the velvet
Until a spark flits away
Sad cups the tiny spark in its stellar hands
Fills the spark with its namesake still wet with paint
And releases it into the velvet
As the spark soars, it grows
In mass and despondency
Until it becomes what it was meant to be
A beacon star for tragedy
Twinkle, twinkle, Uncle Floyd
Its rays are a lighthouse for gloom
And gloom it finds
And gloom is drawn
Like a ship of suicides sailing across the morass
But sadness is indifferent to its surroundings
Thus the pulsar also drains
Perverts
Destroys
Apathetic Uncle Floyd

Sad realizes
Too soon or too late
The terror of Uncle Floyd
And collapses the beacon star
Pregnant with things that should and should not be
The bouillabaisse of emotions explodes
Staining the infinite velvet in remarkable ways
Sad shapes the cornucopia of colors
And surrounds them with dispassionate sparks
Until a constellation-like countenance stares at Sad
With a jagged nebula from brow to cheek
Sad smiles its first smile
And dubs its art…
“Loving the alien.”

mirage

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , on January 3, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

The Melan Desert belongs to me
My breath of sorrow cascaded into a torrent of suffering
Whisked me away
By crumbling the hopeful towers around me
Razing them to dunes of despair
The winds carry their broken messages
For succor, at first
Now, forlorn
The abandoning sun treats my land as Abaddon
Thus I walk my land under waxen phases
Eternally, it desires
…if only I kept my eyes from the stars

My world is still
I am held to the sand solely by my mind
Heavy with disappointment
The only change comes from the moody moon
So the peculiarity of the stars
Has gained my rapt attention
They seem to form a path
Maybe a road
Perhaps a boulevard
Whichever, it leads away
The farthest from where I am
The Destin Sky belongs to me

Despite the lack of sunlight
And its insufferable heat
The Melan Desert still sees fit
To gift me with… visions
Dreams for my starved, woken mind
mirages
Two, they always are
But they waltz in endless time
Infinite regresses

One feels more tender
Seems more true
Of snapdragons
I want to go to them and am forced to my darkest despair
My bleakest “conclusions”
When I cannot get to them
And am left to my mindful toxicities
I can just as easily imagine a life with or without the flora
Maybe too well
In my ataraxia, I see signs that mock me
Pointing to and from the snapdragons
The handwriting is familiar
Because I am the only one here
I leap to both signs, left foot first
These snapdragon dreams come on their time
Maddening because I am impatient
Maddening because I am not ready
The natural lie of mirages
Is their nonexistance
But the Destin Sky leaves messages on the wind
“…should be…”
And the will to power manifests the impossible
But the Melan Desert never forgets
And shows me woeful carvings on pristine mirrors
The handwriting is familiar

The other mirage has the yearning of a child
Naïve
Hungry
Of lilies
Luminous below the crescent
Representing an ideal
Instead of a truth
The obsession of someone too lost in themself
Lilies are meant to be admired
Not to be adored
The path may lead to lilies incarnate
But they will refuse childish wants
The Destin Sky leaves messages on the wind
“…could be…”
The Melan Desert grins

Still I follow the path
Still the mirages dance around me
But each step takes a weight from my mind
The path begins to show its true self
And admits its destination
Soon, I walk a stellar boulevard
To the Renai Oasis that will belong to me
Perhaps with tenderness
My mind will be weightless
But my world will spin again
And the abandoning sun will express its regret

(bitter)Sweet Thing

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2015 by Rathan Krueger

I hate that I haven’t been able to do my writing exercises, but I have the best reason. Been too busy with being creative! I’ve had SO much to do lately, with writing and recording things (like interviews with Holocaust survivors), that I haven’t had time to come back here. But this is here and I like doing things here, so I’m gonna post something here every, max, two weeks. Sometimes it might be a writing exercise, sometimes it might be a poem, or a short story, or maybe even an essay. I’ve wanted to write a few pop-culture essays for a long time, but talked myself out of them for one reason or another. Anywho, I have something new to post: a short film script I wrote for someone. The only rule was that I had to use elderly characters.
EXT. PORCH – NIGHT

We catch an elderly man and woman in the middle of their
conversation. The woman, MEREDITH, stands on the steps. She
wears a sweater, silver necklaces, a long, floral skirt,
flats, and an aura of happiness. She carries a take-out bag.
The man, JACOB, stands on the sidewalk. He wears a t-shirt
under a frock coat, slacks, loafers, and puckishness on his
sleeve.

MEREDITH
It’s been so long since I’ve been
on a date.

JACOB
It’s been so long since I’ve had a
reason to go on one.

MEREDITH smirks at his uninhibited flirting.

MEREDITH
Men I spent time with usually got
all the flattery out of the way
before dinner.

She gestures towards her bag.

JACOB
Well… They’re suckers, aren’t
they?

MEREDITH
In a rainbow of ways.

JACOB attempts seriousness.

JACOB
I’m glad you said “yes,” finally.

MEREDITH
With the way you’ve been hounding
me, Jacob, I felt you’d be asking
me out even at my wake.

JACOB
Yup.

MEREDITH
I was half-joking.

JACOB
And I’m completely serious.

MEREDITH
Why?

JACOB
Because lying’s for suckers.

MEREDITH
I mean, why me? Why so strongly?

JACOB
There’s so much road behind me that
I basically have a ditch left, so I
better take advantage of any
precious moment I can.

MEREDITH leans forward teasingly.

MEREDITH
You think me precious?

JACOB crosses his arms.

JACOB
I think you know what I think.

MEREDITH
An aged lady likes to hear thoughts
aloud. Helps her know which voices
are hers.

JACOB
Like anyone would believe that
you’re senile.

MEREDITH
Humor me.

JACOB
Three guys walk into a bar. Fourth
one ducks.

MEREDITH
You know what I mean.

JACOB takes a step towards her…

JACOB
Do you believe in love at first
sight?

…and she avoids him.

MEREDITH
No.

He takes another step…

JACOB
Love?

…and her another sidestep.

MEREDITH
No.

He stomps mock-angrily…

JACOB
Not even a little fate?

…and she playfully spins in place.

MEREDITH
Not even a horoscope or a fortune
cookie.

JACOB
You know, you really know how to
rob a romantice of his bag o’
tricks.

MEREDITH
I was never a modern woman.

JACOB
Well, call me crazy if you want–

She points at him.

MEREDITH
Crazy.

JACOB
At least let me finish, Meredith.

MEREDITH
Oh, alright.

JACOB
Some fellas, like the one standing
in front of you, believe in love.

And points again.

MEREDITH
Crazy.

He moves her finger down to her side.

JACOB
(sing-song)
I’m not done yet.

MEREDITH
Mm-hmm.

JACOB
Do I love you? At this moment? No.

MEREDITH
Way to make a aged lady feel
wanted…

JACOB
Hound you as I may have done… it
was never out of love. It was about
a maybe. I COULD fall in love with
you, and that, frankly, was enough
for me. I’m old– We– You and I,
damnit, we’re old. But that doesn’t
mean we can’t love.

She turns around solemnly.

MEREDITH
It does for me. I’m not who you
think I am.

JACOB
Who do you think I think you are?

She looks at him over her shoulder…

MEREDITH
A decent woman.

JACOB
What, did you sell secrets to the
Reds?

…then looks away.

MEREDITH
No… Just myself, and failed at
it.

JACOB
…what?

MEREDITH
When I was growing up, it was just
my aunt and myself. Aunt Helene.
She got sick on my 19th birthday…
and never really got better. Soon,
it became clear that I was gonna
have to take charge and–

JACOB
What about her husband?

She faces him.

MEREDITH
I told you: it was just she and me.
What also became clear was that
jobs weren’t throwing themselves at
19-year-olds. Good ones, anyway. I
had to take drastic measures to
make her better. Luckily, it was
the Swinging Sixties. I don’t
regret having sex for money. I regret
it not being enough to save her.
(remembering)
Tuberculosis. That’s what it was.
At least she didn’t die on my
birthday, too. But she lied. When I
was a little girl, I asked her to
tell me what it was like after she
died. In all my nights at her
grave, arms wrapped around her
tombstone, I only heard my sobbing.

JACOB
I don’t see how that keeps you from
being a decent woman.

Her gaze turns frustrated.

MEREDITH
How could you not? I wasn’t able to
save her.

JACOB
You weren’t able to save a lot of
people in this world.

MEREDITH
I only set out to save one of them,
and I couldn’t do that.

She starts to drift into sadness, and he gives one loud CLAP
that startles her out of any malaise.

JACOB
Self-pity doesn’t suit you.

She regains her composure.

MEREDITH
Oh, be quiet.

JACOB
It’s the truth. You’re too strong a
woman to STILL let that burden drag
you down.

She looks at him with a smirk, then shakes her head with a
sigh.

MEREDITH
Most men would let a woman cry,
then try to be a hero.

He puts a hand on his hip like Superman… and falters.

JACOB
I’m too old to embarrass myself
with derring-do’s. Reading Batman’s
enough for me.

MEREDITH
Ha, you still read those funny
books?

JACOB
(pridefully)
I never stopped.
(humbly)
Speaking of… I’d like to kiss the
hand that would stop me.

She playfully takes a few steps away from him.

MEREDITH
Before your confession, I was gonna
suggest more than a kiss.

JACOB
Don’t be that way, you’re too
beautiful a woman to be cruel.
Besides, don’t you wanna dust off
your Swinging Sixties bag o’
tricks, Bettie Page?

She opens her door and stands in the doorway.

MEREDITH
Come on, then, Mr. Sinatra.

He happily follows her while rolling up his sleeves.

JACOB
Ring-a-ding-ding.

Daily Dialogue: Cauldron of Malice – Chapter Seven

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2015 by Rathan Krueger

Here’s Chapter One.

Today’s a little late and a little short because something came up, but I still wanted to write something because I wanna stay committed to my goal and because I enjoy these characters too much to skip out on them.

Catherine
Anarchy through manslaughter… I do enjoy this new age of yours. Oh. “Manslaughter.” Catherine, you’re too much. Agatha? Agatha?

Agatha
Hmm, yes?

Catherine
You were drifting away.

Agatha
Apologies, the notion of what my commencement means arrived before me.

Catherine
Really now? What reality unveiled itself to you?

Agatha
One in which the patriarchal road to ruin is paved with good intention, and lacquered in blood.

Catherine
But those who walk upon it must be careful, yes? The slickness might do more harm than good for those overzealous wanderers.

Agatha
I suppose.

Catherine
A murderess mustn’t fall prey to suppositions. Every action must be definite, true, or else cracks of disclosure might reveal themselves.

Agatha
“Cracks of disclosure?”

Catherine
The deformities that lead police to their front door, lousy with shackles of the physical and emotional.

Agatha
Ah. Then a pox on supposition.

Catherine
A pox and a fine layer of manure.

Agatha
Indeed. Speaking of manure…

Catherine
Yes?

Agatha
We should go back to fertilizing the new you.

Catherine
Refining our loquaciousness, eh?

Agatha
I’d like to think of it as repaying a debt.

Catherine
What do we place under the magnifying glass now?

Agatha
I feel that we should take a particular event in your life and demolish it.

Catherine
Is that the rapping of spite I hear upon my door?

Agatha
Not at all.

Catherine
Oh?

Agatha
Mayhaps the slightest swipe.

Catherine
Honesty makes queens of us all, dear Agatha.

Agatha
Then be the queen of misrule and unfetter yourself upon me. No sense in suffering in silence, given the purpose you’ve given me.

Catherine
You would suffer me?

Agatha
I’ve done nothing but thus far. In the most pleasant sense, of course.

Catherine
You thrill me, dear Agatha.

Daily Dialogue: Cauldron of Malice – Chapter Six

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2015 by Rathan Krueger

Here’s Chapter One.

Agatha
Wh–

Catherine
I believe we’ve delved enough into my miseries for a while. Lest we forget your knighthood into execution.

Agatha
Oh. Oh yes, that.

Catherine
Don’t sound so disappointed, dear Agatha.

Agatha
Forgive me.

Catherine
Remember: the finest way to establish female dominance in this misogynist age is by righteous, incidental slaughter.

Agatha
But what of your killings?

Catherine
You need to be tainted by blood more than I, and need a stronger purpose than I, because of your status. If you slayed those you chose to assist you, why, you’d be labeled mad and sent to bedlam most profusely. A lady of the court needs to hold herself in higher esteem. But if your felonious yearnings were the bastions of morality, you’d be heralded for ages untold.

Agatha
I suppose you have a point.

Catherine
Speaking of “points,” oh me, oh my, we must find you a manslaughter apparatus. You can’t kill someone by merely willing it.

Agatha
Should I not find the sinister urge, firstly?

Catherine
The woman not maketh the clothes, dear Agatha. If someone offered you a hug, how would you react?

Agatha
I would think to recoil a bit.

Catherine
No cord or twine for you, then. What comes to mind when you think of mounds of freshly driven snow?

Agatha
Poking it with a finger until I make the shape of a face.

Catherine
Would you allow someone to drink milk that has long since passed freshness?

Agatha
If they don’t have the sense to see the obvious, I don’t have the patience to be their sense.

Catherine
Does the sound of shattered glass excite you?

Agatha
Very much so.

Catherine
You’re a greedy, queer one.

Agatha
Oh?

Catherine
Poison, knives, and firearms are all within you purview.

Agatha
How did you extinguish life?

Catherine
A tightening of a slipknot and a little patience.

Agatha
Which would you suggest for me?

Catherine
Each of the three has their charm, so it’s a matter of what’s easiest to obtain and which brings the least alarm.

Agatha
I suppose that eliminates the pistol.

Catherine
I suppose it does.

Agatha
Damnation. I do love a good pop.

Catherine
Would you say that you are a steady woman?

Agatha
No… holding my balance is clearly not one of my virtues, any of my relations would profess to you.

Catherine
Then you deserve the blade.

Agatha
Why not poison?

Catherine
Phials are a fragile thing, and you wouldn’t want to be ended by what you intended for someone else because you bumped into an escritoire.

Agatha
No, not in the least.

Catherine
Fret not, dear Agatha, for there is quite the range of bladed devices for you to wield. From a surgeon’s scalpel to a soldier’s zweihander.

Agatha
I don’t think a sword that shares my height would be very discreet.

Catherine
True, but it is a delightful visual for me.

Agatha
I do enjoy the idea of using a tool of warfare against the patriarchy. The irony of phallic objects and such.

Catherine
And such. What, then, catches your fancy?

Agatha
It would have to be something that is prevalent in every person of wealth’s home, so less attention could find me.

Catherine
As if anyone would expect a woman could have the wherewithal to be a murderer. We’re so dainty and fair!

Agatha
The fools. A rapier. Yes, I shall wield a rapier.

Catherine
Do you plan on carrying it with you wherever your… travels take you?

Agatha
No. Maybe have a few places in the city to commit my crimes uninterrupted, then leave copies of my weapon of choice there and leap twixt them all.

Catherine
What will you name them?

Agatha
“Revolution.”

Daily Dialogue: Cauldron of Malice – Chapter Five

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2015 by Rathan Krueger

Here’s Chapter One.

Agatha
You’ve stated that out of the 14 people you’ve asked for help, you’ve not left one alive.

Catherine
That’s correct.

Agatha
Did you mean to give them purchase?

Catherine
Meaning that my intention was to kill? No, dear Agatha, like I told you: I killed them when their uselessness became supreme.

Agatha
But was that always meant to be their end? Did you always mean to end them when they didn’t matter to you?

Catherine
Oh. No.

Agatha
Why kill them, then?

Catherine
It began as an accident, then accident became ritual.

Agatha
When did the colors fade into one another?

Catherine
The fourth would-be helper.

Agatha
Why do you feel the need to incorporate your lovers into your life?

Catherine
My, you’re a little jitterbug, aren’t you?

Agatha
Consider it shock therapy. Volleying many inquiries that don’t flow into one another keeps your replies unprepared. And more true.

Catherine
I do adore your rationale. Why, why, why… Do you involve your husband in your affairs?

Agatha
I don’t have a choice. Marriage, sadly, tears down walls of privacy and seclusion. But don’t think that I wouldn’t leave him unawares if the opportunity ever presented itself.

Catherine
I see. Maybe because the ideal relationship, in my mind, is one where both parties share everything.

Agatha
Have they ever offered to share first?

Catherine
No, I believe not.

Agatha
Have they ever shared more than you?

Catherine
I was always more the cornucopia.

Agatha
Have you ever killed a companion?

Catherine
No, that would be worse than death for me.

Agatha
Yet you have no issue with murdering those whom you choose to help you through your pain.

Catherine
Because they’ve failed me, and I detest failure.

Agatha
Do you consider your past relationships failures?

Catherine
No, of course not.

Agatha
Then what do you consider them to be?

Catherine
I… I… don’t… know.

Agatha
Was your first helper a kidnapping victim?

Catherine
They all were.

Agatha
What was the first like?

Catherine
Whitney was–

Agatha
Whitney was a woman?

Catherine
Yes.

Agatha
Were they all?

Catherine
Why would I go to a man about matters of pained femininity? Whitney was what you would call a frequent bar patron.

Agatha
A libations expert.

Catherine
Heh, quite. One late night, or early morning, whichever statement suits you, she happened to have found her way into my carriage.

Agatha
Those pesky carriages always manage to find gudgeons.

Catherine
Indeed. When she was a bit more clear-headed, I told her what I wanted from her. She wouldn’t hear of it, though. She kept clamoring on about wanting to be let go and wanting more spirits. On and on. The final straw was her releasing her bowels on the marble floor. I had no choice but to… deal with her, so I did.

Agatha
How did you deal with her?

Catherine
I was angry, you see, because I wanted things to go well. Because of that, I might have gone a bit too far. In any case, she was the same consistency of her shit when I was finished with her.

Agatha
You could have let her go.

Catherine
And have her tell the world that she set foot in my establishment? Pish-posh, dear Agatha. Pish-posh and hornswallow.

Agatha
Do you ever think you’ll love again?

Catherine
I’m acutely aware that I will. Which is why I desire your help to change my dependent ways.

Agatha
How bad did it get? Your dependence on others?

Catherine
I almost lost my life.

Agatha
Why?

Catherine
Because when they left me, I found that there was more of them in me than me. Do you know what that’s like?

Agatha
No, and, begging your pardon, I would like not to ever know.

Catherine
When there is so little of you left, one wonders why to bother existing.

Agatha
Have you ever participated in self-mutilation?

Catherine
I… think that’s a question best left for later.

Daily Dialogue: Cauldron of Malice – Chapter Four

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2015 by Rathan Krueger

Here’s Chapter One.

Catherine
Shall I start with the worst or the… least-worst?

Agatha
Completely up to you, Catherine. If you rise from the miasma, you have not else to go but up. If you wade in the shallow end, the pain is less, but the intensity grows with each stroke.

Catherine
Would you judge me in either path I take?

Agatha
Only if you don’t finish your journey.

Catherine
Fair play.

Agatha
Would it help if I urged things along?

Catherine
I wouldn’t turn away a helping hand.

Agatha
Your dependencies…

Catherine
Yes?

Agatha
Have they always been human?

Catherine
I don’t understand.

Agatha
Some people choose animals to help them through the dark times. Others choose a totem of some sort.

Catherine
No, I’ve denied myself the crutch of fauna and homunculi.

Agatha
Were you ever strong enough to not need someone?

Catherine
Such barbs…

Agatha
When it comes time for you to teach me in the ways of homicide, I know I’ll be spared the velvet glove.

Catherine
Indeed.

Agatha
So consider this a petty, preemptive revenge.

Catherine
Heh, I see. Yes. Once upon a midnight dreary, I was self-sufficient enough to need only my person. Then dreariness took me, as it takes all things.

Agatha
Have you taken your problem to those in the company of Freud?

Catherine
Those stuffed shirts and bushy beards can only cure the cause, not the symptom.

Agatha
Then you were healed once?

Catherine
If a patient can be cured of half a cold, yes.

Agatha
If those educated to help the mind haven’t been able to help you, what chance does one such as myself have?

Catherine
I didn’t want them to help me.

Agatha
I do believe you’re slightly mad.

Catherine
See? Already you’re better than the cerebral brigade.

Agatha
Have you gotten anyone else to help you in the interim twixt the brigade and myself?

Catherine
I fear the answers down this road will frighten you.

Agatha
I’ve steeled myself against most horrors as we have spoken to one another.

Catherine
Yes.

Agatha
How many?

Catherine
Fourteen.

Agatha
And… how many people have you killed?

Catherine
Fourteen.

Agatha
And I’m here to service you as they had?

Catherine
Yes.

Agatha
What an ugly, yet beautiful world. Where did your victims fail?

Catherine
There isn’t a particular place. Rather, they just simply stopped being useful.

Agatha
Did you find them as you’ve found me?

Catherine
More or less. But don’t worry, I’ll warn you if you’re treading down a well-worn track.

Agatha
At least I’ll have that.

Catherine
At least you’ll have that.

Agatha
No sense in delaying, then. Tell me the worst instance of you depending on someone.

Catherine
They have a similarity to them. Thinking about it, the instances only differ by degrees.

Agatha
What makes them branches on the same tree?

Catherine
Love.

Agatha
The ballad of codependency… I should have known.

Catherine
Hmm?

Agatha
It’s what I refer to the typical relationship as. Whenever one speaks of love, they proclaim that they can’t live without the other, that they would do anything for the other, and whatever else the parrot squawks.

Catherine
Do you judge me?

Agatha
No. Only pity.

Catherine
I pity myself.

Agatha
Leave that to the adolescents. Tell me more of your ballad.

Catherine
When it plays, I try to incorporate my desirable into everything I do.

Agatha
And when they leave, do they take the brick or mortar?

Catherine
My world topples down… what’s the difference?

Agatha
Brick is substance. Mortar is support.

Catherine
Oh. Mortar. I may be love’s bitch, but I know to at least make my needs more important than theirs. Even if it’s slightly.

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