December 20, 2006

The Last Christmas

Filed under: Poetry — crcb @ 7:52 am

Drunk on rumballs, Santa’s
cuffed on Cops, shirtless
in a flurry of curses.

He can’t make bail
with toys and candy canes.
The elves wander off

and succumb to
hypothermia or bears.
Kids of all ages

don’t notice as they rip open
their latest gadgets,
with all the right logos.

Who needs that creepy
reverse burglar?
The reindeer are put down.

Released at last, Santa
can’t get home.
He lives under a bridge,

drinks Mad Dog, finally
gives up and becomes
a greeter at Wal-Mart.

Mrs. Claus dies, cold
and alone. Santa’s liver
explodes the same night.

There’s a small obit
next day. In their memory,
Enjoy Huge Savings.


December 18, 2006

12 Days’ Total

Filed under: Litlets,Prose — crcb @ 9:42 pm

Over the 12 days of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

12 drummers drumming,
22 pipers piping,
30 lords a-leaping,
36 ladies dancing,
40 maids a-milking,
42 swans a-swimming,
42 geese a-laying,
40 gold rings,
36 calling birds,
30 french hens,
22 turtle doves,
and 12 partridges in pear trees…

for a total of 184 birds, 140 people, and 40 rings, or 364 gifts altogether. I’m not counting the pear trees, which were merely packaging.

And in case you were wondering about the maids a-milking, there are no cows. You don’t want to know.

December 14, 2006

Rights-Free Zones

Filed under: Uncategorized — crcb @ 1:43 am

Mood: Sporadically dignified

I’ve heard the argument many times about the Guatanamo “detainees.” (Remember when people behind bars were called “prisoners?”) “They aren’t Americans, so they have no rights under the American constitution.”

They’re in American custody. Have we no responsibility to them? Do they have any rights at all? Can the guards use them for target practice when they get bored?

Let’s reverse the situation. Suppose you, an American, travel to Znizhikistan. The country is filled with civil unrest, and you get caught up in a police sweep. The Znizhikistanis hold you incommunicado for three years, interrogate you with techniques like waterboarding, but don’t charge you with any crime. The Znizhikistan constitution says nothing about your rights. Would you be okay with this? Would you shrug it off and say, “Well, I’ve lost five percent of my life here, I’ve been isolated and abused, and I have no recourse for justice–sounds fair to me!”

I suspect many (not all) of those making this argument also believe America should be a Christian nation, based on the faith of our founders. (Let’s ignore for now the question of what those faiths, plural, actually were.) Here’s one statement of faith the founders signed their names to: “all men… are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” (emphasis added). They believed that no document or government bestows rights; they come from God. The state is merely the guardian of rights, and cannot take them away. It can, however, violate them–and presumably, violate the will of God.

December 6, 2006

What I’m Working On – Update X 2

Filed under: General — crcb @ 1:13 pm

I’ve just submitted a synopsis and three sample chapters of a crime novel to Court TV’s “Search for the Next Great Crime Writer” contest ( Meeting the deadline (by 40 minutes) meant writing about 2500 words–the worst 2500 words–in four hours. I’m revising the third chapter now, both for style and to alter two characters to better suit their roles in the plot.

In poetry, I’ve recently written a terzanelle, and I’m working on a sestina and a pantoum. At least two are on winter/holiday themes. I don’t know yet what the sestina is about.

I have two ideas for children’s stories and two ideas for plays, but I haven’t begun to develop any of them.

My wife and I have the skeleton of a film screenplay, a horror movie. We’ll start writing it after the first of the year.

UPDATE 12/13/2006: The finalists were posted two days ago for the crime writing contest. I didn’t make the cut. It doesn’t surprise me. I submitted two good chapters, and one hacked out under deadline pressure.

But maybe the first two chapters aren’t as good as I think.

UPDATE 3/13/2007: This is old news by now, but Regan Books, the imprint sponsoring this contest, has folded. They were going to publish O.J. Simpson’s confessionactment.

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