Catalog Poem

Books turning slowly

Keys pressed rapidly

Pencils broken again and again

Minds sharpened and dulled

Frustration claiming the idle

Results elusive to them

Failure unknown to them

Soon becoming a reality

A norm that creeps upon them

And engulfs their every effort



A relaxing refuge

Boundaries of a place sacrosanct,

A seed of life has grown from the earth

From hands of soft flesh and bright blood,

It stands on its own island

A stranger to itself and others,

Yet beheld by many

In its splendid isolation.

A spruce tree. Photo credit: Bert Cregg, MSU.


Commenting Activity

For this week, I read three posts from three different blogs. The first blog I visited was Bastian’s blog, who wrote about the merits of knowing another language and the benefits it can offer. I agreed somewhat with his post but also pondered on how many average jobs nowadays require bilingual or multi-lingual skills, even if it is a nice asset to have.

The second post I commented on was one by Alex, who wrote about dystopia-genre books. He spoke about their settings and societies, including titles like Metro 2033 and Fahrenheit 451. I was glad to see that these two classics are still enjoyed and critically thought about today, as the dystopian genre today has deteriorated to silly romance novels where teenagers overthrow entire autocratic regimes without so much as a sweat, and where there is always a “chosen one” that solves the plot without real hardship. They often miss the morals and themes of the dystopian genre in favor of appealing to the ever growing “young adult” audience, who is more enamored with blank, Mary-Sue type characters instead of thoughtful, critical commentary.

Finally, I commented on Alina’s blog, which included Chapter 5 of a multi-part, ongoing story. As part of a multi-perspective narrative, this chapter is from the perspective of a character named Kaya, who is abducted by Space Nazis. Another character named Ghostface is noted to be missing, before it is revealed he was also captured. The chapter ends with a cliffhanger, presuming the next chapter to involve a battle. It demonstrated a comprehension of basic pacing and plot, but the sudden, abrupt introduction of Space Nazis seemed a little quick.



Work Ethics

Many people find it difficult to remain productive and efficient while also retaining quality in what they do. Whether the problem lies with how they manage their time, what they focus on, or the methods they employ, it can be challenging to accomplish what one sets out to do. Here are some simple suggestions that can help you complete task after task on a timely and effective basis, so that you can take pride in your work.

Cigarmakers in a factory, 1927. Author unknown. 

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Family Interview

For the interview, I decided to question my dad.

Looking to dive right in, I began with the following question.
Q: “Now, what was a defining moment in your early childhood-to-early adult years, that sort of period?”

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Aside from my immediate parents and siblings, I know very little about my extended family – partially because I have no desire to do so. Rather, I can speak on my nuclear family – the basic core.

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The Scourge of Terrorism

Spontaneous, violent attacks committed on civilian populations are nothing new. Since the late 1800s, acts of harm perpetrated against innocent citizens in the name of an ideological cause have existed, most infamously demonstrated by the Irish Republican Brotherhood active from 1858 until 1924. Now, in the modern era, countries both West and East have faced this terrible spectre known as terrorism in one form or another, often exacerbating nations already suffering from internal unrest or hostilities from the outside.
Terrorism is particularly vile, as it justifies the murder of uninvolved, aloof denizens in the name of misguided ideals. It is no wonder, then, that such radicalism breeds in tumultuous countries facing a domestic crisis, where militant extremism can find rapid growth and support as it fills the power vacuum left by receding authorities. From there, they can gain a broad following – most recently demonstrated by the recent surge in religious extremism that then manifests in disaster, as evidenced by the terrorist attack near the British Parliament committed by a supporter of the radical Islamic terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This has been merely the most recent event after years of significant attacks across Western countries in the past few decades.

A memorial made in the aftermath of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. In the course of a single day, a series of coordinated suicide bombings, mass shootings, and hostage seizures took place, resulting in 368 French civilians maimed and 130 killed.

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Image-inspired Poem

Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn (1845) Architect of the Capitol 2017

Autumn gales blowing steadily

Clouds of peril threatening the sun

Seas unfamiliar to a son of Iberia

But a voyage is the pilgrimage of a Spaniard

The dawn yields no land

The noon submits no shore

The evening bears no beach

A journey, lorem ipsum, if without reward

And a life doomed to obscurity

Alas, in the night’s wind, land is seen

Tribulation gives way to relief

A world foreign to all of Spain


Black Mountain College Point-of-View


This is from the perspective of Ray Johnson’s piece, entitled “Untitled”.

I am the bright, colorful, magenta, yellow, blue, purple, green patchwork of emotion in a drab, dull room. People pass me by quickly. But, some slow down to take a second glance at me. They see my shapes, and not my colors. They look deeply at the lines, but the explosion of emotions I hold goes unnoticed. They see me as a nice occupant of space, something mindless to satisfy the eyes, and leave the mind untouched. I hold meaning – whatever that may be – in my interior, but they gloss over it. I exist to invoke thought and discussion, yet am denied it during every viewing. My colors are vibrant, my lines vivid, my shapes engaging. Perhaps they truly offer nothing beyond mere eye-candy? Perhaps they conceal a sort of greater definition for myself? That is for the thoughtful viewer, the pondering viewer, the curious viewer, to decide.


Sound is the result of vibrations in the air and other materials.  These vibrations reach the ear, and create the audible noises heard by humans.  Sounds, like everything else in life, can be interesting, irritating, or simply of an indifferent nature. Some people enjoy specific arrangements of sound known as music.

Music can be of different styles and genres. I enjoy music as well. But – here is the absolutely thrilling part – I enjoy specific types of music. Those that interest me can vary wildly, but military marches, classical sonatas, operatic pieces, and even Slavic folk songs are the ones I listen to frequently. Continuing this marvelous saga of brilliant notice, musical styles can even be incorporated into one-another! Simply stunning!

Another absolutely breathtaking application of sound is in the very tongues we speak on a daily basis. These all incorporate organized vibrations to create speech. Simply amazing. But, this ought to be the conclusion of this fantastical adventure, lest all the breathtaking elements of sound be divulged in a manner too indulgent to be enjoyed!

Consider this a great example of what happens when you write about too vast a subject. Aimlessness ensues.