Category Archives: Writing

The Absence Epic, 4



“You feel weak, but I still think

you’re the strongest man I’ve –“

it’s dark and I am sitting in bed,

three attacks in two hours

“You’re the bravest –“Shut up,

shut up. This is no daring here

this is primal survival, walking

in the woods of the city making

sure the cars don’t run me over.

“You can do this, you have me – “

no one is enough to fight this,

just me and the absence, anger

the desperation, and my tears




This is not genetic, there is no curse

tied to the ATCG worth passing on

to a child, in my future, I will hold

scared to death the seizure drops



The fluids show it is not cancer, no

panic then, you are healthy (sort of)

keep true to your smiles no matter

how you hide them, or slip away



Photosensitivity free, lucky for you

there is a light at the end of this

tunnel unlike for the rest, but recall

the absence, when it hits, breaks you




I walk out the building, hood up, monstrous

The homeless of the Tenderloin and I share

a certain shame and resiliency this morning

These streets know not the steps or pattern

of the brain waves hunted by the sensors

married to my head, held in holy bandage

There is no consummation – humiliation,

perhaps — but I want to lay in bed, alone

my head held high in hope of the sign

from on right-brain glitch to nodes,

the heavenly disconnect of my senses

to the tech – one cord, from monitor

to temporal lobe, temporary, lonely




The talismans are wrapped on

a string around my arm, wrist first,

penitent. Why did this happen?

What ties did I break that made

this condition my faith, my body

its sole temple and priest?


To the forearm, and the threads

become tenuous, protective

to the shivers in a blind animism

where all my will would rather

stay with frayed elder strings

than unbound to the seizures


The bicep, where there rests icons

misused saints I used to pray to

but stopped – now, I whisper

small phrases to them as auras

move past the shoulder towards

a flux – divine, wicked, unknown




I will remain the man shaking violently

Even at 90 and the last flicker of light

When my daughter stops calling me

As I see my wife go into the ground

After I see my child’s eye for the first time

Before “I do” leaves my mouth in May

The last time I’m allowed to go to a festival

Tonight, writing this in fear of my future

Despite all the control and safety from pills



There is one maxim to learn, after all these battles

when I have hyperventilated into angel’s trumpets

refusing the touches of careful women saving me

from the midnight fear and morning complications

finally facing complexity, embracing my absence

until my body turns into the predictable maelstrom –

Breathe, Just

                         Breathe. You

                                                  Will Weather

                                                                                This Storm




Yes, there is no particular ending to a seizure

The waking up, the consciousness resumes

and we are once again left in this universe

on fire, white hot or slowly burning lethargic


But we will not let the black and blues define

us, we will take the bruises and the pain

as signs that, yes, we are still here, fighting

the ghosts that refuse to let go of our brain


And we will push our bodies, just as they do,

until we become heavenly, orbiting, unlimited,

drifting with hope that we will meet each other


And I will finally remember all of our names


The Absence Epic, 3



No rest for loud thoughts.
Stay up alone? No, savage
fits destroy my words




Roses and fire that prick
my fingers and arms

Sight is a luxury slipping
into my ruin on repeat

The ashes, I will not let
them choke me down

It does not have the right
to leave me here, alone

And nobody truly aware
that I am hurting inside,

dragged into a spiral
of thorns and flames
I feel but cannot see




Let’s go far away where the shivers won’t scare me,

my body reacts at the contact from phantom winds


I want to see the bay and the dark sky, the stolen

mix of highways and comfort in masking absence


This may be the only road I see out of this trip

where my world is lost when lights become auras




Triggers create threats, a stream of scattered havoc
springing out from the ether and breaks of emptiness

Triggers bring flames and flames on the walls my hands
are banging against – no burns, only wide-eyed fear

Triggers create memories, displays and a pageant
of frenzies I portray in front of you, my dear

Triggers sit tight, for they live inside and around me
watching for a time and place to grab my hands




There you are, taking off your dress, a smile
slight yet bit-lip enough it washes cautions
held every time you saw me fall into space
and caressed me in the post-seizure haze

This is the moment I hold you down, hard
onto the sheets and say “Fuck the fear.”
I have touched you there before and loved it
My thoughts, I shut down with a tongue –
a flurry of strokes and moans and I am free

But, in the sex and switched postions It returns.
The damn thing was hidden between the thrusts
and the command “Keep going, don’t stop,”
I follow the wrong gypsy, the cursed one
who puts her spell on me, the impossibility
of an orgasm when my body forgets its place




All these mind-fires burn what was the old me,
a blaze in the last bonfires of a cold beach

I see, in the inner effigy there is hope left
If I use the ocean – I see it there, the waves
of the new coast calling to me in a new tongue

What is there left to do but to lean back,
let it crash over me, wash the flames away
and ready my mind for the new self, waiting?




Hi, I am your lungs contracting at rates of complexity
per seconds, blinking faster, your words on remix
Ven aqui, compadre mio this won’t end ‘til you chill,
til you die, ‘til the shivers go away happy once they
ate away at all the quiet air you had left in the day

The Absence Epic, 1

I decided that, this year I would make the attempt of running the National Poetry Writing Month gauntlet. I have something that is helping the journey – my seizures.

Short story: I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder in early 2009. I have it under control luckily, but I do have the occasional bouts of absence seizures. When those started coming, sometimes I’d jot down  whatever the hell my clearly messed-up brain was coming up with.

As the years have passed, I’ve decided that one day I would write those pieces into something larger. At its current incarnation, I am calling it The Absence Epic. I’ve posted the first week-plus’ worth of poems (0- 8) on Instagram, Tumblr, even the old DeviantArt daily. However, I decided it would be here where I would put the poems weekly. So, here is the first week. I have no idea where this will go, and how many of these will actually stay in their current forms.



In my dreams, forged from mother’s stories of that day,

I see pieces of the infinite, supernovae and flares,

Planets I did not know the names of at that time.

As a child, I gave them titles of my choosing.

Now, when I wake up, I know their true names,

Losing all memories of the ones I gave them.


I wish I could remember their names every morning.




I am litter on the floor, eyes open,

Bent, twisted turned as a crumpled can.

The only thing that holds me are drunks

called friends and freaked out passersby.


There is no stopping the absence,

the fear of staying asleep in my mind

forever with the memory of a mind on fire,

a pain deep, rending me comatose.




How do you give a voice to a silent rumble? Do you fall,

convulsing, attempt and hold it together, failing,

is it


…stay here and grab my hand…

…this absence is all I have left.

This absence is all I can leave behind.

Please, let me leave it behind

Please –



I spin out, wheels without,

feet on the ground

with no direction


I feel the pins from within

rip through the epidermis

harder than the sound


I walk in haze, mind ablaze

but stumbling is better

than giving up to delirium




I met the complexity the follows me

Now that cold morning in Lima,

And it rested within me, patiently,

Waiting to be reborn, for decades

We did not shake hands, or kiss,

But I will tremble to its control


The maturing deformation,

The real pain? I feed it to this day,

As it is my new and everlasting muse –

Not the women, the anger, nor the drink,

Just the absence, and it will always be

At my side, eternal, until I blink into dust




No activation response for my senses

my head is taking in cold breaths –

I cannot allow


a breaking point –

but the chill seeps in

and under red storefront lights, I align

my shame with growing suffocation



I fear the sliver between

awareness and the great abandon

Within that crack lies a beast

that gnaws on my left arm, caressing

my head, anticipating a devouring

of my direction and spitting me out

into open neuroses, disintegrating me

I will fill that space between myself

and the crack, or the crumbling begins




I should make it my muse,

its touch moving my fingers,

writing in its trembling diction

of stammers and repetition,

the quiet chant of reticence,

the hymn of failed resistance,

the melody of sweet absence

ascendant where disorder lingers,

and scattered divisions that it chooses




No joy, just presence and memory,

a constant night breeding a will to drift

into the “what ifs” and “who’s to know”

that I am in persistent loss of control

and that my fears are fed powerfully




Super Villain Cover Letter (A Flash Fiction Piece)

[Note: I wrote this quite a while back and posted it on my deviantArt account. On account of my friend Emma Larkins putting up her Flash Fiction Fridays, I decided to put this up here. Enjoy.]

To Whom/What It May Concern:

I am applying for the position of Lead Torturer in your Destruction League Headquarters. I have attached my resume and accompanying media  for your review.

I  am going to have to put some of the photos enclosed into perspective. First off, I want you to know that despite the amount of blood in the first four photos, I am very well organized and neat individual. I cleaned that room up in less than twenty minutes and held another subject in there within the hour. I have a turnover rate of 15 victims per day, which I believe meets your  postings requirement of 10 VPD. I am also a trained surgeon with 6+ years in hostile organ removal.

My equipment needs are very minimal, as I like to work with my own tools. I hold the patents to seven devices, many of them designed for victims with higher pain thresholds and are well within Good Torture Practices.

I have included a video with some of my freelance work. As you can see,  the subject was able to clearly speak while being bored  in twelve different locations by mini-drills (one of my creations). The meat hooks were specially designed by me to inflict the maximum amount of pain while reducing the tear on the skin.

I am highly motivated and willing to work in any environment, and I am also incredibly independent. I normally work out a a refrigerated eighteen-wheeler, but I can accommodate to working in a more permanent environment.  Supervision under one of the senior partners is preferred. If I am handed off to middle management I will not hesitate in flaying them.

My references will be more than enough to help you make your consideration. Due to the nature of my work, most of these people know me by different names. The Crimson Death Squad knew me as Evisceraptor, while the Morgue Group put “Flay Master” on all my checks.  Most places will know who you are talking about if you mention Percy, though.

I hope to hear from you soon.


Can’t Let Them Catch The Midnight Writer

The first time I can remember writing alone was in third grade. It was well past my bedtime and I barely sat on the kitchen table enough to scribble down on one of those composition books with the scattered black-and-white patterns throughout the cover and back. I don’t quite remember what it was on – insects, perhaps – but I remember the time being past the 11 o’clock news and no one being in the room with me. The only reason my parents didn’t try to stop was because these were the days in which my mom went into work around six in the morning and my dad’s hours were completely fucked from all the residency he did at multiple hospitals.That was around 1995.

It’s 2002 and my sister is fast asleep. Years of staying up late writing or playing games have added up by then and the internet have mixed it all up and made me into a huge mess of insomnia and information addiction. The Compaq PC was the only computer my family had  at the time, and I was the one that was on in more than anyone else. When I wasn’t downloading music at the speed of Congress getting any work done, I pulled up document files while I talked to other friends with sleep problems – mostly girls – and wrote. I played music at very low volumes so that no one noticed I was awake, at least not until it was two or three in the morning. I pulled many all-nighters writing topic and country papers for Model UN (yes, I was that kind of nerd, and I’m not ashamed of it). My brother introduced me to energy drinks because of my nocturnal writing patterns, and I learned the concepts of deadlines and how to produce quality work. It just took the darkness.

More sleep disappeared in college, as I wrote my fiction/poetry out of boredom at night when I wasn’t working on lab papers during the day. There was less sunlight there, creating days with an illusion of perpetual twilight. And that was all I needed to keep the words flowing. I was pretty much a wreck at that point and well on my way to the major crash that would occur near the end. Every night has a dawn, and some are painful and blinding.

When I finished school and my brain finally decided it was time to go haywire, I had to give into a set sleep schedule. I had help from someone, but the more I slept the more I lost the night, and there went the dark and the silence and the click-clack of my fingers on something. The first rounds of medication didn’t help either – they dulled everything, from my physical hunger to my thoughts. I took a considerable amount of time to write again, and to no surprise it came back to me in the dark, when I was working a night job with a bunch of Mexican guys. During breaks I would take out a small notebook and jot down pieces of a story inspired by what I was doing.

As of this writing, it’s almost  6 AM and the sun is just making its way up. The sensation is the same as it was years ago, and I am spell-checking and fixing any grammatical errors on my sister’s paper after doing some of my own personal work. The rush of night writing, the liberation and isolation it allows me to have, is amazing, but there is a new thought that crosses my mind – will this always be the way it works?  I hoped I could find a way to do this with the sun but I never can. This thing, this path that gives me strength, it’s unhealthy and this will hurt eventually but I don’t see any other way to do this. I’ll just continue writing until the light comes, then find my way to sleep if the day allows it.


The Weekly Tumblr Dump – 3/21/14




Sipho Mabona wants to make a life-size origami elephant using a 2,500 sq. ft paper. I’m a big fan of paperfolding so I am excited to see it happen.


From writer Chuck Palahnuik’s latest essay on writing (from his own Tumblr site). Apparently you have to sign up to the mag that has the full one but this quote is good enough, I think:

Whether you’re making music or films or painting pictures… play to the strengths of your medium.

One of the aspects of written narrative I appreciate most is the ambiguity that’s possible and sustainable before the true nature of a fictional situation is confirmed. Like the roadster in The Great Gatsby which is green or yellow, depending on the moment, I love to keep the details of a story in flux. One thing morphs into becoming another, sometimes even a third thing.

My classic example comes from the story “Guts.” Whatever is holding the narrator underwater, first it’s a snake, then a sea serpent, then it’s a prolapsed colon, finally it’s a “thick rope of veins and twisted guts.” This gradual evolution from the fantastic to the horribly real is something films have less success depicting. There are good examples. In A Portrait of Jennie Joseph Cotton gradually realizes his girlfriend is dead. A ghost. In Jacob’s Ladder Tim Robbins slowly comes to terms with the fact that he is, himself, dead. But too often the ambiguous thing must be made real in order to be filmed, and that robs it of the power of being debatable, undecidable. So often, once we see the monster, it’s no longer scary.


This made me laugh as a man who’s felt those.


From Lev Grossman’s post titled ‘Small Batch Writing” (via

I’m always on the lookout for little gaps like that in my schedule: anytime I can get a block of 10 minutes or more, I take it. I write in waiting rooms. I write in cars while other people are driving (this is very boring for them, but I do it anyway). I write while pasta is boiling.
Sometimes when I’m taking care of my kids they fall asleep, or lose consciousness for other reasons. The second they do I’m at my keyboard. Ninja writer strikes! Then I go back to changing diapers.


Cults and Alternate Universes

These last few months have been pretty busy for me. Besides the day job that forces me to work under two assumed names, I have worked alongside two projects.


My good friends Phil and Cindy, who work on Cram Magazine with me, have created a card game based on their interests in the modern skeptic movement popularized by Carl Sagan and others. The premise of the game is that the player takes the role of a cult leader, and has to gather the most power through numbers of followers and renown. I jumped into the production, serving duties as the writer of the story and world the aforementioned followers are a part of. I don’t want to get into many details as I am writing my process on the Cram Games blog (yep, we’re keeping the brand name). There is a more detailed take on my role in my first post.


Transfrequency PreviewAfter, I don’t know, years of talking and coming up with ideas, my friend Rob and I have taken the first steps into making our own webcomic series, Transfrequency.

The simple synopsis is that it is a story about two friends stuck traveling through universes after a freak accident where one of them attempts to see his girlfriend via a exportation device. It came from an old idea we came up with when we were making strips about ourselves back in our college days. We took ourselves out of the equation and took the original idea of multiverses and make, I’m not going to lie,  a pop-culture blowout. Kirby dots, Civil War robots, mysterious travelers, are parts of what will mostly likely become just a parody/love letter to all the genre stuff we’ve both grown up with.

The website is still clunky, so I won’t bother putting up the link yet, but Rob is drawing and I’ve stopped re-editing and just straight-up write the damn scripts that needed to be written.

That’s all I can say at the moment. I’ll start putting down some of the research for Transfrequency from time to time on the main blog. Now, back to the grind.



Death Bar 3 Final Report

Damn, just made it. To be honest, the quality isn’t as great as the stuff in my other goals. Here’s the breakdown:

My running playlist – 814

A rambling mess of a poem that also needs heavy editing – 129

my interview for verbal PHANTOM for Cram issue 3 – 660

My small post on my first memory of being in the US – 412

The bulk of it was an additional 2,691 words added to a new story involving urban exploration and cults. It’s almost done.


The Death Bar Cometh

I’ve been productive lately both physically and literary, but I need to put myself more. So with that in mind:

Some ideas on how I’m going to do that:

Go through my “Potential Stories” folder and see which one is doable. I’m only seeing two at the moment .

More short stories for the urban fantasy epic. Or even write entire chapters of the novel.

Keep working on the dream dealer story for Kali and that potential movie.

Let’s see how that works out.


Gold Lounge Lunch

“Fifteen minutes ’til we’re out,” my boss said. I chuckled and pulled out my wallet, checking to see if I had any singles on me. I knew that they’d be needed soon. Ten minutes later, I got up from my chair and walked with him to the office door. He kept going towards the elevator but I waited for the remaining three coming along: a girl with long curly black hair and a valley girl accent, a middle-aged lifer that had been in the company longer that most of the executives, and the new guy sporting industrial earrings.

My boss jumped onto a closing elevator. The rest of us waited for another, giving us time to laugh at how ridiculous it was to be eating lunch at a strip club at one in the afternoon. When we reached the lobby, I could see el jefe out on the sidewalk texting. We met up with him and walked south on 4th St to meet up with the final member of our party, the resident gambler on our team, puffing away at a cigarette.

“So how many singles do you have in your wallet?” my boss asked the gambler.

“Uh, y’know, enough for the buffet an makin’ it rain.” he said as we all walked down Howard.

We continued down a few city blocks until I saw a blue carpet leading to a wall of a man in a black suit standing next to a door with the word Gold Lounge written on a royal blue awning.  After the card check and paying the five-dollar cover to a disaffected cashier in a tight black dress, I stepped into the darkness and blue glow of the main floor of the club. The music geek in me immediately noticed the song playing, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Like in most strip clubs, you can tell a good deal about the girl on stage by their theme song before you even see her, so I assumed she was pale, skinny with absolutely no curves, and covered in tattoos. I looked over for confirmation and, lo and behold, I was right. I would have checked to see if there was any image of Cobain on her skin, but I was very hungry, so I made a beeline to the buffet line.

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