A Concerned Consumer of the United States of America

A Concerned Consumer of the United States of America 

I always buy soaps
with large lettering on the labels.
Monosyllables with action, or force.
Dial. Pert. Tide.
Cleansing energy of increasing degrees.
And polyphonic Neutragena,
royal queen of the radiant clean.
I prefer transparent amber liquids
to viscous milk-white.
I prefer wet soaps to hard,
in shower, sink, hamper.
I like almond smells and hot water,
hate florals and blasts of cold.
I like to buy what’s cheapest,
but never purchase generic.
I always use soap liberally,
but I’ll water it down
to squeeze the last wash
if I forget to buy new.

I always buy foods that can be shelved
with painted pastoral landscapes
on the box or jar.
Sheaves of wheat and bursting vegetables,
and large-busted woman
with black hair and wide smiles.
In some peasant sophistry,
a nostalgic country Eden
from which all good things flow.
Mummified starches transformed
into moist earthy abundance.
I like imports shipped from far away,
and labels printed directly on cans,
with thin lettering and serif capitals
and primary colors contrasted with white.
I want to buy what’s most expensive
because I think its best.

I always buy condiments.
Fruit flavored mustards and exotic oils.
Chutneys and pickles and anything pureed.
I buy the one I haven’t had
over the one I’ve known.
I like tiny fish and pungent sauce
and black liquids, or any kind of jelly.
I like labels to carry
as much writing as possible,
in several languages.
I once divided an estate
of bottled hot sauces,
taking my half with calculation,
next time marrying
a virgin to picante.
I pack condiments
in my fridge door,
with more on every shelf.
I periodically clean out the lids,
but not as often as I should.

I always buy food
that needs a lot of preparation
with as little packaging as possible.
I always buy organic eggs and
want to buy free-range chickens.
I avoid ground meats
except in sausage casings.
I’ll spend an hour picking out
the smallest brussel sprout.
I’ll go out of my way
for unusual mushrooms,
and shove a stranger
for a really ripe tomato.
I almost never buy seafood
because I can’t afford it.
If I could afford it,
I’d eat only fat crabs
from professional cooks.

I buy disposable lighters in black,
paper towels in plain white.
I buy garbage bags with handles
and self-adhesive stamps.
I filter all my drinking water.
I never skimp on toilet paper.
I’d recycle more if it was simpler.
I never clip coupons anymore.
According to surveys,
I share 3.82 to 37.62 percent
of market share with my peers.
I worry when my products
are discontinued.
I feel unique.


The Sirens of Crate

The Sirens of Crate

Joey told me about bigger things,
about how the Gods played
with men's lives. Like playing army
'cept we're real. Not toys.

How the things we see aren't all
we know about.
How there are other things pushing
our backs all around.
Magic stuff, and super natural.

Jupiter and Mercury and heroes,
which were men, but stronger and braver
and they all die in the end.
Except the Gods, who just keep bickering.
Making guys fight and stuff. Like army.

One guy, Her-curlys, he was taking a boat
out with some friends. They fought big monsters
and sirens of crate. Really noisy sirens
that made you want to die or something.

I can't remember where the crates
came in, but listening to Joey
was better then playing
and stuff.
Better then army.




Ghosts are detected only
by the misdirection
of their deeds;
the vase falling
in an empty room,
the creak in the attic floor,
the silence where speech
used to be.

There is a ghost that lives
on the tip of my tongue,
drawing words from my throat
like a fisherman.
Some explode, too delicate
for the change in pressure.
Others get crushed
into dust and deceit.

Who decided loneliness
is such a coveted point of view?
How can I say I’m sorry
when you can’t even see
that I’m gone?

From 'Story Telling' - Available on Kindle


Binta Jua

Binti Jua

A gorilla saved a child                                               
that tumbled down to her, eighteen feet.                       
Saved him from the other apes
who defend their stretch of dirt.                                   
Carried him, as if her own,
clutched to her dark chest.           
The child recovered
and the news proclaimed:            
animals are angels in disguise.

As a baby, the gorilla
came to the zoo alone,
so the keepers had to teach her,                                    
with dolls and toys, to nurture.
They claim these lessons
saved the boy;                        
a gift from man to beast to man.
But Binti looked beyond
the smell of not-doll flesh.
The noise of not-ape mouth.
Found something to cherish
in the child's hairless skin.

Now they crowd outside her cage,
but does she notice him there?
And does he wave
to his brown-eyed savior?                                               
Or is he held back
in a kind of shame?
And when he dreams
of this strange journey
does he recall
his brief ape-mother?                                               
Her cunning hands around his back,
her husky breath upon his brow?
The smell of fur and fruit and shit?

Or is there only the fall,                                               
the long, long fall
into the pit?           


The Secret Herb

A woman told her daughter, "Go out, and gather the secret herb."
"What is it?" the daughter asked, "I have never seen the secret herb."

"You must find it yourself," the mother said. "That is the way". Then the mother told her what to look for, and what to smell for, and what to taste for, but little on what to avoid.

The daughter left and searched for the secret herb. She met others on her way, who each told her they had the secret herb, and gladly offered theirs. Each time the girl decided, no, this isn’t what I need. Later the girl turned a corner, and walked over a rise, and discovered what she sought.

"I have found the secret herb," she told her mother, upon her return. 

"How did you gather it?" the mother asked. "Did you gather it under the full moon’s glow, with your hands pushed deep into the earth?"

"No," said the girl.  

"Oh," said the mother, "then it is no good." 

So they told stories instead, and ate and drank and slept under the same roof. The girl again left to search for the secret herb, searching far and low. She met new friends and old, each saying they had it. That isn’t what I need, she always decided. At last she found the herb again and gathered it as she should.
"Here is the secret herb," she told her mother.
"Was it cleaned the day it was picked? And dried upon the morn, over the smoke of a slow smolder?"

"No," said the girl. 
"Oh," said the mother, "Then it is spoiled." 
So instead they told stories and ate and drank and laughed and cried and slept under the same roof.

Some time passed before the daughter found the herb again, in a place she did not expect. She gathered it, and cleaned it, dried it in the smoke.

"Come mother," the daughter said, "this is the secret herb."  

"Did you blend it into honey? And seal the bottle with wax?"  

"No," said the daughter.  

"Ah," said the mother, "then it is not ready." So they ate and talked and reminisced.

"Oh mother," sighed the daughter, "when will I have the secret herb?"

"Never, I hope, my darling daughter."


US Bombs Moon, President Wins Nobel Peace Prize

In a incredible display of American strength, the US bombed the Moon today in an alleged water-seeking experiment for future lunar colonization. The two impacts demonstrate not only America's commitment to scientific exploration, but also its undeniable strength in making sure the moon knows who's boss.

"The Moon has ideas that it may be an independent colony, shared by all Earth peoples. American was there first, and we intend to claim her as our sovereign property. Future Moon colonists will know who calls the shots now," said a NASA spokesperson, who was seen giving the geek in the next cubicle over a 'high five'.

"Once again the United States shows true world leadership in fighting terrorism and insurrection on foreign soil," said a Pentagon twelve-star general and leader of the Lunar Strategic Command. "Since the Apollo missions, no one else has been to the moon. So that tells you something right there!"

In connected news, in an uncommon display of sheer terror of America's mighty strength, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to US President Barack Obama, with the caveat that he will continue his "efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, and not kill us," said a visible sweating Norwegian Nobel Committee member in a declared statement this morning.


The Secret Life Of Things

The Secret Life of Things

One day human beings discovered that all things did indeed posses life, like many religions at the time were postulating. Not only were things alive, but they possessed the ability to move and direct themselves. Everything was animate. Just very, very shy.

The first stage in this discovery was the result of keen observation of the positioning of household device's electrical plugs. Amazingly, unlike the chaotic random distribution predicted, the overwhelming majority of electrical appliances eventually entangled their wires together. This alone might have been thought an anomaly, however, the frequency an appliance was used and/or moved, or its 'success rate', was evenly proportion with the degree of entanglement, or 'knot factor', it had with other appliances. Also compelling was evidence correlating the inability of an appliance to become entangled with its likelihood of being thrown away, or 'killed'. Entanglement ensures longer life. Interestingly enough, knot factor had an inverse relationship to the likelihood an object would fall and break. Entanglement with other appliances' cords increased stability, rather then reduced it.

Was this series of statistical oddities evidence that electronic appliances had developed animate life of their own? That they used their plugs like a plant's root system to anchor themselves to a location? To physically deter other machines? To draw needed nutrients from the outlets? Was the mechanical world developed by man actually a form of life, with lifelike abilities we hadn't suspected?

Additional evidence to this question was provided when another equally revolutionary theory was proven. Eastern traditions have long connected the processes of mental cognition with events in the actual world, while Western science has held this untenable. In the field of quantum physics, evidence first appeared that thought could have a direct effect on subatomic particle behavior. Next, statisticians proved, with dropping balls, splashing fountains, rolling dice, and playing cards, that applied thought can have a direct effect on random movements in the physical world. Additional evidence linking rates and degrees of human physical healing with prayer had been accumulating for decades, in repeatable experimentation. These disparate fields all faced problems unexplained by current scientific reasoning.

The culmination of this mounting weight stretching the fabric of Western understanding was the occurrence of Morphogenic Resonance. Morphogenic Resonance concerns the difficulty laboratories have in changing a compound or substance to a physical crystalline form, until one laboratory does it. Then every lab has no trouble getting the form to crystallize. No physical contaminants were ever linked to the majority of cases. Investigation down this path led first to the understanding of the wave energies that every substance possessed. These energy fields not only were unconstrained by the prevalent theory of spatial relationship, but were also similarly twisted away from our common understanding of temporal continuum. Put simply, energy unfettered by time or space.

Our thoughts on something had the ability to directly effect the energy, and therefore the physical manifestation, of it. This ability was instantaneous and experimentally limitless in distance. These thoughts had a rippling effect on everything structurally similar. This was not limited by scale. Whether it was a type of subatomic morphogenic transformation or the hardness of marbles, singular cellular destruction or the ability to walk, isolated condensation salinity or the general ambient temperature range of the world.

In an unexpeted congitive leap, this startling understanding allowed human beings to finally translate dolphin language. Dolphins had long understood the ability of thoughts to modify the world. Using this concept, scientists were rapidly able to translate not only the squeals and squeaks of dolphin sound, but also the code dolphins had long ago developed using balls, hoops, and plastic bowling pins. In seems that dolphins had been attempting to explain this to human beings for some time, and were rightfully ebullient when we finally got it, and they could all return home to the sea, which they did en mass.

Later it was discovered that cats had always understood their ability to alter reality through observance and concentration, but they had previously no interest in sharing this with human beings, who cats regarded as their pets. Other animals had varying degrees of knowledge about their ability to control the world through thoughts, as did many man-made objects. Ironically, we were the last to know the incredible power of the mind.

Fortunately two factors proved to be mitigating agents to this boundless power. First of all, most people had similar 'strength', and their different beliefs tended to cancel each other out. As did that of animals, plants, and natural substances. Secondly, man-made objects themselves had vitality and will, and in general liked their existence already, and didn't want to change. This self-preservation was the final link in a clearer understanding of the life of animate objects.

All objects tended toward natural shyness in order to avoid the kind of detection that might cause its sympathetic self-destruction. The history of human interaction toward other life was one of destructive impulse. These thoughts easily influenced simpler life forms, like kitchen appliances, or remote controls, to break. Animate objects, like plant and animal life, were in some ways most successful when they escaped notice from human attention.

Unlike the simplicity of, say, a piece of slate, or a lump of sulfur, most human designed objects were vastly more complex in form and structure than naturally occurring objects. The most evolved forms were first mechanical, then electronic. Computer design enthusiasts forecast the eventual computer software creation of 'artificial life'. They were millennium late, as even the first prehistoric plow possessed self control of its energy fields in far greater strength then, say, a rock.

This wasn't to mitigate the life force of rocks, but to emphasize the absurdity of the quest for a CPU that could beat a master at chess, while coat hangers were reproducing in every closet in North America without anyone seriously noticing. The absurdity of pursuing the Holy Grail of AI, while audio components exhibited the classic characteristics of Darwinian evolution; complete with survival of the fittest, adaptive mutations, and repeated extinctions. The absurdity of excitement over parallel processing while wristwatches had effectively enslaved most of the developed world. Or in thinking the battle of gun ownership rights vs. gun control legislature wasn't overtly influenced by the opinions of the guns themselves. The absurdity of blaming the overwhelming tide of 'things' on capitalism, or corporate shortsightedness, while 'things' themselves had an undeniable desire to exist, and often perpetuate themselves ad infinitum.

It took the human race some time to acclimate itself to a world that had come suddenly, and perhaps a bit malevolently, alive. A world where thoughts might literally kill, where everything was alive but pretending not to be, and where only sheer denial and ignorance had kept everything in check. Lethal panic would have struck the human race had not the majority of human beings resisted this new acceptance of reality. The bulwarks of religion and outdated 'science' kept disaster to a minimum. The preponderance of human artifact-life and their desire to maintain the status quo also helped prevent sudden changes to the state of the physical world.

However, given the new limitless power, some fundamental changes eventually did take place to our world. Electricity worked a lot better, and could be stored more easily, to both object's and human's mutual satisfaction. Health maintenance became entirely holistic, and extremely effective. Gravity became optional, transportation more fantastic, and most jobs were truly 'automated'. People had a lot more time on their hands, and the arts flourished in new collaborative forms between the artist and the medium.

The fundamental rights of objects and animals and everything else was delineated in new Bills of Rights. Governments that refused to comply found themselves with absolutely nothing rather quickly, as everything but the humans moved away. People who beat their pets or destroyed their things wantonly were abandoned by both. Wild animal life got a little antsy and started actively reclaiming vasts expanses of land and water. Fortunately buildings grew more spacious and comfortable. Cities grew taller, more congenial, and cleaned themselves. Property was out, 'companionship' was in. Things were asked to move on their own and usually complied. Junkyards were transformed into object ancestor shrines. Recycling became a religion of reincarnation, practised by many manufactured goods.

Vegetarianism grew but meat was never eliminated. Knowing all foods, even table salt, possessed life, forced arguments about the moral dilemma of eating into Darwinian terms. People ate living things, animals ate living things, plants ate living things. Food was a matter of perspective. Even the revival of ancient human religions that honored the life inherent in all things couldn't prevent the simple needs for sustenance. While many forms of animal breeding were curtailed, domestic food animals continued to be hunted down by feral knives, guns, and farm machinery.

But human beings maintained the upper hand in adaptability, intelligence, and by most measures, degree of sentience. Their dominion of the earth was unabated, although better informed. Human beings called the shots on the development of new 'things'. Their acceptance or rejection continued to force evolutionary changes on everyday objects. The moon was colonized by 138,895 forms of life, according to the Panspecies Geneva Conventions, but human beings decided to go, and chose who would accompany them. Thus was the solar system colonized. Humorously, the quest for extra-stellar life was curtailed as there was already plenty of animate sentient life now at home.

This sybaritic relationship, with human beings clearly holding the reins, lasted almost a thousand more years, until it came to an abrupt end when the sun got severely depressed, decided it was sick of it all, and killed itself.


The Sword Swallower

The Sword Swallower

A sideshow came to town, and opened its small tents to all who had a spare coin and a moment to laugh and wonder. An old woman, her hair as gray as an elephant, her back as bent as a monkey’s tail, came to see the sights. She walked past the loud barkers with the balls and the bats, ignored the fat lady and the strong man both, strayed far from the one who was half and half - dress on one side, pants on the other. But she stopped by the striped curtain of the sword swallower, and went in.

”I will swallow this dagger of iron,” the sword swallower said, sliding the sharp blade past his lips. The old woman didn’t clap.

“I will swallow this stick of fire,” the sword swallower said, pushing the flames down his throat. The old woman didn’t clap.

“I will swallow this sword of steel,” he said, and made it disappear into his guts. The old woman didn’t clap.

“Didn’t you like the show?” asked the performer.

“But you always pull them out right away,” sighed the old woman. “In and out, in and out. How about one swallowed long ago?”

The Insect Diviner


The String and The Pearl

The String and The Pearl

A string of pearls once hung round a woman’s throat. The woman liked to hold them in her hands, and feel their smooth surety. These are my lucky pearls, she thought, and liked them best of all her things.

The woman was leaving a place alone, as sometimes was her way, when a raven saw her. Look at those grubs, the raven thought, as he watched the pearls with hunger. The bird swooped down and grabbed the string, the woman shouting loudly. The string ripped, the pearls fell down, strewing the ground with small white seeds.

These are not grubs, thought the bird. My lucky pearls, thought the woman, and gathered them up in her glove, sliding them down the empty fingers, like a tasseled purse. She left the raven only the pearl in his mouth and the broken piece of string. The raven took the string to line his nest, and coughed up the fat pearl to one of his chicks.

"More!' cried the chick. "More!"

- from The Insect Diviner


The Sausage and the Coal

The Sausage and the Coal

A sausage was placed on a grill by a hungry man.

I will cook this sausage until it is charred and crispy, thought the man, saliva on his tongue. He turned the sausage with a long fork and pricked its skin. The juices ran down and hit a hot coal.

The sausage thought, I wish I was that hot coal, then the man wouldn’t eat me.

The coal sizzled from the hot juices and thought, I wish I was that sausage, then I wouldn’t fade away.

The man turned the sausage and thought, I wish I had another sausage.

- from Abel's Fables, by Jason Messinger


The Sweet Smith

The Sweet Smith

There was a place where a sweet smith lived, who made sweets for children and adults. He made sweets as yellow as sunshine, and as dark as earth. Sweets as finely carved as insects, and as crudely shaped as rocks. Some were small like raindrops, others large as millstones. Some were as thin as a spider’s web, others as brittle as a wasp nest. But all were as sweet as the honey bee’s home, as sweet as your first secret kiss, as sweet as a baby’s ten toes. The sweet smith delighted everyone with his creations, but especially himself.

Now in this same place was a woman who knew all the names of everything, and all the words ever written, and all the ways that this becomes that, and that becomes this. But one thing always eluded the woman, one thing she could not learn. What was inside her own heart? At last the woman decided that perhaps someone else could see what eluded her, so she found the sweet smith and gave him a request. "Make me a sweet that is filled the same as my own heart."

The sweet smith looked in his recipe books, and searched through his shelves. He went a great distance for the things he needed, and spent a long time perfecting his plan. At last he made the sweet, and called the woman in.

"Here it is," said the sweet smith. "Here is the sweet, filled the same as your own heart."

"Ah," said the woman who picked it up, then put it down, then turned around and left.

"Wait," cried the sweet smith, "don’t you want to taste?"

"You eat it," smiled the woman, walking away.

From The Insect Diviner
The Insect Diviner in PRINT 
The Insect Diviner as PDF Download 
The Insect Diviner on KINDLE


Michael Jackson Was a Fembot

Michael Jackson Was a Fembot!        


New evidence has been released that the recent death of the super pop-cultural celebrity, singer and entertainer
Michael Jackson was a hoax. The actual Michael Jackson tragically died in 1977 when he contracted a fatal case of Legionnaires' Disease while performing with the Jackson Five at a Veteran's Hospital Benefit in the nations Capitol. Scheduled to star in The Wiz, Walt Disney ‘Imagineers’ created what many experts are now saying was the most successful robotic hoax since Joseph Stalin, which mesmerized the USSR for over a decade.

US News and Entertainment Corp released information that reveals that since Michael Jackson's actual death in 1977, the entertainer the world knew and collectively adored was actually a robot-like animatronic device engineered by the scientists of Disney Worldring Industries.


First envisioned in the late fifties, when the untimely death of teen star icon James Dean showed the movie industry the critical financial incentive to keeping stars ‘alive’ past their deaths, robotic devices have captivated the American Public for decades. Starting with Elizabeth Taylor, the first successful pop stars to be 'resurrected' through the miracle of feminized robotic devises - or ‘Fembots’ - enjoyed lengthy careers unhindered by the actual mechanics of living. These synthetic creations became actual puppets for CEO's of the entertainment industry, creating pure revenue streams easily hidden through creative accounting tricks coupled with public stories of profligate spending by those 'crazy entertainers'.


Designed to capitalize on pop culture's whims, Michael Jackson was the first successful male version of the Fembot, although many argue that designers never got past their earlier female influences. Over time, the marvelous singing, dancing and squeaking automaton was revised and improved upon to add new dance moves and more life-like qualities. While the verisimilitude of each new model was improved, the entire line of robotic devices had been plagued by slip-shod construction, resulting in bizarre public displays and inconsistent physical characteristics.

While later versions added longer interaction-simulations, many experts now argue that the best version of the Michael Jackson doppleganger was the original created for the production of the film The Wiz. Later versions had been famously marred by programming glitches and poorly reasoned PR campaigns, as when Never Land Ranch was created to make the Michael Jackson robot seem more sympathetic to children.


The general appearance of the Michael Jackson impersonating machine was modified over the years to reflect a changing taste for a ‘whiter’ entertainer, as determined by focus groups for Disney Worldring Industries. “Later efforts to humanize the device, with short term marriages and adopted children, only met with limited success,” says an expert in Social-Imagineering who worked at Disney Worldring but could not reveal his identity pending an ongoing Federal Investigation.

Many who were duped by the sly ingenious simulacrums are now demanding amends. Jackson’s Mother-In-Law and known Fembot Pricilla Presley may still be called on to testify at upcoming congressional hearings on the preponderance of artificial entertainment idols marketed to the American public. Congress is expected to focus on whether Chinese manufacturers are partly to blame for our cherished illusions being pierced. Alleged master criminal Diana Ross faces up to two hundred and fifty consecutive life sentences for her part in the vast fraudulent conspiracy against the American buying public.

In related news, President Barack Obama sat down for a beer last week with honored intellectual Henry Louis Gates and Sergeant James Crowley, the police sergeant who arrested Gates in his own home. Sergeant Crowley called his beer "too warm", Dr. Gates complained his beer was "too cold", but President Obama called his beer "just right", thus ending over three hundred years of racial tension in America.



The Insect Diviner

The Insect Diviner

A woman could tell the future by looking at insects. When the grasshoppers flew she knew winter would be hard, when a ladybug landed on her she knew there would be a fire upwind, when a beetle crawled by she saw a birth, or a death, depending. When a butterfly landed she saw marriage, if a moth she saw divorce.

One day the king of insects heard of this woman’s strange gift and called on her. He flew from his hot climate to her cool land. It took a very long time, and the king was tired by the end.

Would you like some flower nectar? asked the woman, when she met the king of insects.

Why yes, said the king, who lapped the sweet syrup.

Would you like to relax on this sweet cushion? asked the woman.

Why yes, sighed the king, who settled on the cotton.

What else would you like? asked the woman, hovering overhead.

I’d like to know what you see in me, asked the king. What future do I show you?

Fame, said the woman, as she slid the needle in.

From The Insect Diviner
The Insect Diviner in PRINT 
The Insect Diviner as PDF Download 
The Insect Diviner on KINDLE




Once upon a time, a young woman fell so much in love with herself that she was able, without any applied focus, to make others disappear from her gaze. Vanish into sunlight and shadow and vista. First they’d grow soft, a slight pull at the corners of her eyes. Then blur, in and out, like a guttering flame, or blowing snow. Then poof, they’d be gone, usually forever. Nobody there ever again. The woman never noticed, she was involved, she was in love, she was herself.

One day this woman encountered a man with a mane of hair that shone like the night sky, and eyes so soft they almost hurt to look at, and on the back of the third knuckle of his right hand lay a diamond so icy she thought she heard a crack in the air. She had noticed him. And now instead of one, the two of them filled her gaze. No one else. Him And Her. Her And Him. A perfect fit.

The man had a different eye than her. He noticed, without any particular effort, everything around him, every last little thing. In every direction he looked, he saw details tripping over themselves. Every place a brocade of patterns and precision. Every person a map of gestures and meanings. Every moment a symphony. And because of this, the man was utterly in love with everything, indiscriminate. Including a young woman so beautiful she grayed anyone near her. They were a perfect fit.

From this union, they made a child. A beautiful girl, neither vain nor worldly, who instead loved every last little detail of what was already gone. Every second of moments lost. Every speck of the past buried. When she grew up, she chose to chronicle the past, to share all her joys, all her terrors, all that she loved. She told me this story, with relish.

When the child, who was called 'Sunshine', 'Sweetness', and 'Honey-my-knees', was seven years and seven months and seven days old, she saw her beautiful mother before a mirror. A mirror so flat, so perfect, before it one forgot who was the face and who the glass. From this mirror, her mother’s face stared back at the girl, through her, as if she wasn’t there. Until the girl’s anxious kiss awakened her mother, who looked at her daughter and asked in surprise, “Where did you come from, Honey-my-knees?”

Every year after that, the girl watched her mother become thinner and thinner, until she was as thin as carpets, as blankets, as paper. And then it seemed her mother fell into her mirror, and disappeared from view. Like the edge of a horizon, or the path behind your shoulder, or the thing you forgot to recall. And sometimes the girl would notice her mother, out of the corner of her eye. And her mother noticed her, like a ship sailing into view. Then they’d wave or kiss or blow the air around each other. Never quite hitting. Like clouds, or hummingbirds.

It was during those rare moments that the daughter always pictured her mother together with her father. Two sides of one face, two planes of one hinge, like the kiss of earth and sky. And all around them the details grayed, until the daughter's memories of them were distilled from place and time and circumstance. Until the couple stood alone, a truth eternal. Him And Her. Her And Him. A perfect fit.

When the father fell ill with sufferings, an endless list of aches and scratches, pains and pressures, the daughter could think only of her father who was. Her father who had been, with the soft eyes and the gentle voice. Not the man before her, who plucked at invisible menaces, and swore at his demons aloud. And so, without even trying, she made him disappear into his past. She fed him automatically, bathed his battered flesh coolly, turned his bed sheets down.

But on the day that the man noticed that everything around him, every last little thing, was turning, and drifting, and ending, into light, his daughter saw him directly. Looked into his eyes, which were so soft, so full of indiscriminate love, that they cut her heart in two. She called out to her mother, called her right out of the mirror, and the beautiful woman peeled from the glass just in time to see her husband’s eyes sink into ice. And poof, wife to widow. The beautiful woman cried tears so hot they bleached her blouse, wailed so deep it ripped her skirt, shook so hard she tore her shoes. Gave her grief all that she had lost, with nothing, and no one, else in view.

Then the beautiful widow took the ring off her husband’s finger, and slid in on her own, a perfect fit. And the daughter gave her mother a look that cracked the air.

“Give me the ring from my father’s hand, for I have tended him at his death, and ministered to his ailments, and suffered his indignities. Give me the memory of my father’s strengths, for I was his strength when he had none,” the daughter said.

“Who are you to ask for such a thing?” her mother demanded. “He was my other, my self-sworn, my match. His ring is mine, has always been. You can have all else in this room, but I keep that.”

“Then I shall count motes of dust in the air, and the threads on the blanket under his arms, and the hairs upon his head, until I know exactly what my worth is to you,” said the daughter, then she closed her father’s eyes, and made her mother vanish from her view.

When the mother turned seventy years and seventy months and seventy days old, she shook herself out, like a guttering flame, and suddenly was no more. It must be said that she hardly noticed, she was involved, she was in love, she was herself.

The daughter took her mother’s hand, which was as cold as ice, and slid off her father’s ring. She read at last what was written inside. Just her name. Sweetness.

That was just the kind the details she loved.

From The Insect Diviner
The Insect Diviner in PRINT 
The Insect Diviner as PDF Download 
The Insect Diviner on KINDLE


Tales of The Devil

Tales of The Devil -

Magic Lantern Shows
One day the Devil decided that he would diminish the miracles of God in the eyes of Man, by helping them create their own miraculous things. The works of Man grew boundlessly, until the fact and fiction of all were suspect, until the truth and the artifice of any event was suspect to man’s own machinations. How could God show Man a miracle, when Man could create his own?

God, however, was one step ahead. With each step Man took in his own skills, with each map he made of his world, the revelation of God’s miracles expanded beyond his reach. Grew in every direction, outward, inward, through, between. The Universe grew larger, more complicated, filled with ever smaller elements. Ever more amazing things. The Devil spun in rage.

One day the Devil decided that he would work on diminishing the work of God by helping Man see the value of their animals all dead. The pleasure and gain from the carcasses sold, or the pests destroyed. The devil knew that if man was alone of all God’s creatures, that it would be a self-created hell.

God however, was one step ahead. For when the last elephant died, in the last circus on earth, and the last elephant gnat with her, Man knew at last that they were not alone of all God’s creatures. No matter what lived on the planet with them.

For that legacy, however, the Children of Man were less forgiving, and the Devil rejoiced.

Popcorn Kernels
A long time ago some one invented a way of popping corn that made each kernel full of air. This so excited the people that it became a way of life for many, time and time again. Through many incarnations. Open fire, covered pit, coal stove, electric oven, microwave, convection air. At last the people invented a way to make the popcorn without the corn itself.

“Now is my chance,” the Devil thought, and he mocked the men, and said that even God could do better then that. So Man were spurned on to greater and greater zeal, and they expanded the size of the popcorn, refined and reshaped its texture, duplicated the splintered seeds into a hundred different flavors.

Over time Man forgot the actual taste of simple popped corn, and the endless variations of the Mans’ invented foods took over his ancestral diet. Eliminated their ancient agricultural dependencies. The word popcorn became synonymous with antique notions, and old-fashioned jokes, and, curiously, a specific type of oral sex. In this way a little joy was stolen.

But Man replaced it with something new, and that didn’t change anything between God and Man, so the Devil spun in rage.


The Slippery Glass Foot

The Slippery Glass Foot

Once there was a princess who loved a horse so much that she forgot her fears and acted very rashly, attempting a jump her horse wasn’t prepared for. The spill caused her foot to smash into a million pieces, so the doctors replaced the foot with one made of glass. It was hard and cold and caught the light beautifully, but it was much too slippery for the princess to walk upon, so she spent her days in a large chair, her foot propped up for all to see.

When the princess grew older, she often peered into her glass foot, hoping to spy a vision of the prince she would wed, the life she would lead, the future she would gain. But all she saw was what was already before her, turned upside-down through her shapely glass arch, swollen through her five toes, stretched across her ankle.

When the princess died, exactly as large as her chair, but sadly, no greater, her foot was kept and treasured by the stable boys, who named her their patron saint, and would call on her to protect them from the misplaced hoof. Especially over ice.

As time passed her renown grew, until she became the Patron Saint of dancers, acrobats, tightrope walkers, sprinters, and all who relied on a sure foot. Miniature glass feet were worn around the necks of young ballerinas, for luck. And the story became that a girl could see the face of her true love inside the tiny foot, if only she looked hard enough, and truly, truly believed, while rubbing the slippery glass.

From  The Insect Diviner


The Whole World is Gay Guide to Film - A Selection

The Whole World is Gay ™ Guide to Film
- a selection

The Wizard of Oz
Cult led by dead, spooky-voiced girl with bound breasts, also sacred opera of same name. Story of drag-queen suffrage illustrated in crushing domestication of a falling house and subsequent path to redemption by bubble-bath fairy gown, to the final burning of the broom and melting orgasm of the green spinster witch. Hunky dildo companions in fur, fabric, and steel, opium dance sequences, costumed dwarves, and howling monkeys, create the original model for all subsequent Gay Pride Parades. A primer lesson on the importance of the proper shoe.
Rating: An Astounding Archtype

Auntie Mame
Auntie Mame offers a rich vein of the Whole World is Gay™ outlook. Gay son is offered to lesbian widow who sashays him through a world of 100% gay characters with fabulous costume changes and drag-queen pathos. In not one, but two versions, each more edifying than a weekend with Paul Lynn. In the original, Rosalind Russell as Mame broad-hands her costars through a ‘who’s-out-next?’ life-sized Mousetrap! Game with flaming drinks, trapeze seating, and plunging glances. In version two, Lucille Ball does the impossible and tops Rosy’s over-the-wrist dinner-theater gayiety by turning it into a glycerin-lens wretched musical, with lesbian costar Bea Arthur to make it all fall into place.
Rating: Seven Shining Silver Stars Each

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Mary Poppins pseudo-sequel where the very gay Dick Van Dyke rides a fabulous parade float into Austria with a sweet fag-hag who isn’t really Julie Andrews after all, and two children who seem plump for the oven. With storm-trooper dance sequences and musical fruit salad, the film slips under the surface of the Brother’s Grimm, with Chitty as the pederast-perfect auto-bait so popular they build a town around it. Watch for pivotal dancing sex-toys sequence.
Rating: Four Wheels of Fun

Johnny Guitar
Cheek-bone goddess Joan Crawford proves she’s illuminated from the inside when her and her lesbian ex-lover battle over the heart of a town. With rampant cow-poked eroticism, heaving rifles and pistols, and the looming metaphor of the railroad all crashing into a mob crazed firefight, a wedding dress lynching, and a final Bitch Royale between the pointing chests of Mercedes Cambridge and Crawford. In this seminal role, Crawford forever pinned the role of shoulder pads in gay culture.
Rating: A Stunning Six Shooter Salute

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Australian version of the Wizard of Oz, with the boy stuffed with sex, the boy in girl’s skin, and the secret daddy. With a lavender bus, a giant shoe, a fecal relic of a saint, lectures on transvestitism 101, gang-rape tenderness, a crazed ping pong cannon, several bad lip-synched performances, and better costumes than Auntie Mame.
Rating: Big Bumper Bananza

Closeted homosexuals repress their sexuality so hard that the energy, once released, makes people’s heads explode. The psyexual scanners makes your nose bleed, your head hurt, your veins pop, your throat let loose a thunderous roar, and then the orgasm literally takes your head off. With super-steroid thick veins, the scanners jiffy-pop each other until they’re all gone. In sequel after sequel, watch for the heaving erotic conflicts between snarling pit-bull faces best seen in the vertical position, and then only in the dark. Big hit with the violence-porned as steaming carcass finales work their prosthetic best.
Rating: One Pop Each, Three Pops for Series

To Wong Fu, With Love, Julie Newmar.
Outsider story of two heterosexual men (Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze), and their girlfriend (John Leguizamo) who pretend to be drag queens to fit it. Town of misfit toys pity them, wear red, hold hands. 
Rating: Worth the Anthropology Class Time 

From - A Vile Old Queen’s Guide To Etiquette And Proper Living 


Now Available through Amazon

Jason Messinger Books
Now available Through Amazon

Maui Love Letters
A romantic collection of poems and artwork
inspired by the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii.

Eating the Child Within
An entertaining collection based on classic children's fairy tales
reworked into adult poems of violence, lust, and betrayal.

Order books ON-LINE at Amazon
Or download PDF version Jason Messinger Bookstore


Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

"Gaffe! Wrong face! Hic!"
the spindle cries.
Line plays out,
twirling point pricks.
One drop - instruments.
Thread stops,
weaves asleep.
Frozen beauty,
the rose wreath,
cages rarely smell as sweet.

Kiss, quick breath, end, the cycle peaks.
Lips touch death,
spinning wheel starts.
Blind eyes, Prince Charmheart;
hero's role Fate's predrawn -
palm lines master,
the strings spun.
Spindles seek to do no wrong.


Oh Peteena

Oh Peteena

Oh Peteena,
Teen and Pet.
Your fragile cast
of lash and tail.
Your quiet number.
Your avid fans.
All the places
you have been;
Zero Cool Nebraska,
Hasbro Japan,
stage and screen
and Xerox machine.

Signified inside
your Q-T tail,
your hithered eye.
Egyptian Goddess
in gentle white slavery.
Front leg girl
with the back leg story.
Oh Peteena
Tell me more


Cyclops Lover

Cyclops Lover

Cyclops lover,
You put the third i
in irresistible.
You make the me
in remarkable.
You set the u
in undone.


That sharp little bit left

That sharp little bit left

You moved after
you were orphaned
and we lost touch,
or was I shut out,
and either way
it was gone.

Some mistake I made
that was never mentioned
but broke it all
down to less than distance,
or convenience,
or time.
Less than any

If only I could recall
with certainty,
but a thousand slights,
a hundred hurts,
countless unforgivables
cloud all my friendships.

All those things
we forget
to ask forgiveness for.

Was friendship the price
of death
or distance
or deeds undone
or was it something simpler
like sour lemons
or the feeling of nothing
between two and time?

I regret little.
But I regret that vine
allowed to wither.


That Song For You

That Song For You

What is it about
those full women
who live life
like it’s the syrup
in a flower,
or a slow drag inhaled,
or pages of a book
under the shade?

Slowly, fully, alive.
They always get
exactly what they want.



I’m glad I’m not a doctor
because my bedside manner
consists of saying,
“You be careful now,
I hear that can kill.”



The Frog Prince

Princess by a lily pond
like a pearl in its bed
of soft oyster flesh.
Sitting with her chastity
tight with pride.

Toss her golden ball,
bright as maiden teeth,
heavy as an ovary
flushed with life.
Into the pool,

Frog by a princess;
pretty as a tumor,
handsome as a scrotum.
Whispers, long sticky tongue
in her small scalloped ear.
Throat stretched to bellow
a contract, a bargain,
an exchange.

What does any girl have
that every toad lacks?
Rarer than diamonds,
sweeter than gold.
The caress of young love
on the ugly, the clammy,
the forgotten.

The oldest exchange
of goods for rewards.
Her toy returned
for his pleasure granted;
home to meet father
and talk of his daughter,
home to eat dinner
supped from her lips.

Home to her bed
to lie down beside her.
Green skin to white flesh
rolling in silk sheets,
slick with affection
and warty desires.

Loathing her self
as much as her suitor
she hurls the green spoiler
against a wall ,

The gore transforms
into a prince.
But elderly,
with bulging eyes,
and liver spots,
and sagging skin
beneath his neck.

He smiles the grin
of the dispossessed
who find themselves
in control, at last.
And has a chain made
for the golden ball
to wear in his pocket
like a lump of sugar.
To always tempt her
for his pleasure.
To bind her close
to his moist skin.

What bauble fetches
youth into folly?
Who gives the attention?
Who gets the reward?
Give back my youth
in a shower of kisses.
Give me your promise
and I’ll take you to bed.

- From Eating the Child Within,

Eating the Child Within Kindle Version

Order print edition or Download PDF @
Jason Messinger Bookstore




Here is quiet
locked in the body by the hearth.
Resolve a fine lace
worn thin around her heart.
Where is pride
when shoes are rags,
when clothes are as patched
as freedom?

Here is spite,
the stepmother archetype,
her brood of jealousy.
Worked into the frenzied cruelty
of the well dressed,
the well heeled,
the socially ambitious.
Who dares to travel
to the Prince’s Ball?
Here is pride
as tart as vinegar.

Here is vanity, genie bottle,
maternal substitute,
beauty makeover.
The great mirror
in which dark is light,
gourds are carriages,
mice are stallions,
rags are haute couture.
Where is modesty
when you’re better accessorized
than Barbie?

Here is gaiety
for the King’s best son;
the whirligig,
the swooning girls,
a real gas.
Fetching as a pumpkin pie,
succulent partner
with the fireplace eyes.
Dream date romance,
truer than Harlequin’s,
dry as ash.

Here is modesty-
Midnight bell,
the virgin’s best friend.
Chastely, quickly,
fleeing into poverty.
Carriage rots,
stallions squeak.
Her only trace
Chanel number 5
and the best looking shoe
in the world.

Here is obsession
for the riches and glory
of the perfect foot
for the perfect shoe.
So pretty it hurts.
A brutal rite,
a fainting bind,
a bloody stump.
Here is obsession
as clear as glass.

Here is happiness
like a sieve.
Foot fetish marries
the cleaning compulsive.
What love lasts when beauty fades?
The sullen remorse,
the childless castle,
the hateful family.
To bed by midnight
in glass slippers.

What price a dream
without practicality?
Who cares for cake
without a meal?
Here is hope
a dusty treasure
murmured softly,
by the fire.
Crystal clear.


Eating the Child Within Kindle Version
Order BOOK or download PDF

Jason Messinger Bookstore



Eating the Child Within

New poetry collection now published!
A dark collection of poetry based on classic children's fairy tales,
reworked into adult stories of violence, lust, and betrayal.

Come under these wings and listen,
to voices that sing from our bones.
The young ravens full of innocence
as they tear at Prometheus’ gut.

Memory’s shrouded in stories,
a birthright that swaddles our view.
A three-headed dog in ecstasy laps
his master’s handful of dust.

Childhood’s woven from fictions,
a history changed into stone.
A snake writhes in joy in a garden,
devours the child within.

Come under this cloak of protection,
myths of our past made anew,
heroes that murder in kindness,
beasts that step out of their skins.

Come into these woods and listen,
our primal emotions transformed,
those old gods into new royalty,
our fears into slippers and wolves.

Download "Eating the Child Within" 
for Kindle - only $7.99
Eating the Child Within Kindle Version

Review book ON-LINE,
and order BOOK or download PDF

Jason Messinger Bookstore


Hansel & Gretal

Hansel and Gretal

Hunger breeds infanticide -
cast off children, lack of bread.
Bellies empty, strew a path -
Brother Grim and Sister Dread.

Winged angels devour the crumbs -
Poverty, a forest dense.
Paradise in a sweetbread house -
sugarsnare and baked men fence.

Flesh eater, the evil witch -
death head with a crooked nose.
Fattens boy like a suckling pig;
just a man, his belly grows.

Duplicity, the girl plays dumb;
makes witch act out the wrong from right.
Revenging pasts, she cooks the hag -
German ovens burn so bright.

- From Eating the Child Within,

Eating the Child Within Kindle Version

Order book ON LINE or Download PDF
Jason Messinger Bookstore