The Human Body is Strange

I had surgery recently, to repair my broken ankle (long story, no time) and the doctor gave me some awesome photos of the inside of said ankle. I don’t have them uploaded to my computer, but it got me thinking about how our bodies are so cool and yet so mysterious in many ways. Either way, the body is generally more energy efficient than any machine, and often times it can self repair. I thought about all the little component parts as I considered my injury.

Liquid Matter

Flesh, blood, tissue,

the vital interaction

of cells

in constant reiteration.

Cellular replication is self-cloning,

bits and pieces at a time,

over time.

The body is a wound up clock,

key gone missing,

ticking out an ever slowing

circadian rhythm.

Life dissipates,

cells mostly water,

water made of atoms,

atoms mostly the space

between electrons and nucleus.

The body, therefore, is empty air,

and the assortment of random

particles connecting those spaces.

It is a wonder the body

does not melt.

It is a miracle this

“too, too solid flesh”

does not revert to the majority

liquid component,

that gravity and quantum mechanics

prevent the molecules from

flying off into

disembodied vapor.

The corporeal countenance

reveals something of the liquid yet,

rippling expressions changing with mood,

like a puddle in the wind.


What I Get for Watching SciFi


I was watching “Prophets of Science Fiction” today on the Science Channel (and a little “Doctor Who” on BBC America, not gonna lie), and musing on the progress of humanity over 100 years. I also thought about how much we do not know, how much we have no control over, and what that means for the daring and for the rest of us. After all, Russia just experienced a completely unexpected, and rather large, meteor near-impact. The scary part is that almost the exact same thing happened around 100 years ago, over the same country. And all of this while the world was preoccupied with tracking Apophis, which never came nearly so close, and is not expected to for the next several centuries. Even with all the panic and news about meteors, it is easy to forget that there are people who live in close proximity to these objects and must spend much time considering the dangers to themselves every day. *Image taken from

Space Junk

Isn’t it strange that,

tiny as a grain of sand,

space dust can rocket with

meteoric intensity

to rip through an astronaut’s


The astronauts know this,

they’ve filmed the silent


of dust skipping through

the upper atmosphere,

leaving brief streams

of fiery matter.


Maybe shooting stars

are the deadliest bullets of them all.

Meteors are the buckshot of the universe.

Fragmental, hard to track,

changing the faces of moons and planets.

They devastate in their multiplicity.

Even the meteors have impacts,

cratered as asteroids

that give birth to these galactic missiles.


Which is worse?

To look up and see them

falling on you,

cushioned by atmosphere,

or to look around and see them

falling on every side,

pinging off of the thin metal hull

surrounding you and your little

breathable bubble of air,

which you share with the only

small pocket of humanity

occupying the next two hundred miles of buzzing space.

The Seasons are the Spice of Life

I know, I know…a poem about the seasons is so cliche it’s not even funny. I don’t care, there is still so much to be said about them. Anyways, every location experiences the seasons differently, and every person has a different perspective on each one. Sometimes a season will even do something extraordinary, offering a whole new set of ideas for writing about. That being said, I cast all four seasons as females, but again I don’t care what’s been done. This is my personal perspective, and a good exercise in finding something new to talk about in an overused subject. It exercises the creative thought process. It’s not like I’m writing “An Ode on a Grecian Urn” or anything. 


The Year in Four Characters

Winter is the two-fold time

Both cold and cozy, kind and cruel

Sharpening senses with crisp air

Brightest of the precious jewels

Awakening all the senses and dulling them

Just the same, she plays no favorites

Outside all is clear and white

During night or during day

Inside is a comforting hearth fire

From which to watch the waning moon

Bathing all in blue light and glitter


Spring is the awakening from the sleep

Dew falls every day and then

Showers come and wash all clean

Murmuring trees begin to bud

She dresses herself in the finest blooms

A tender time is she, beginning new

Green is all around, and fresh

Breezes blow and twirl the world

A dance of shadows and of light

Dappling the world in splendor

All becomes young and fair


Summer is the lazy one

The sister so carefree and warm

Blazing light is her gift to the world

The fields are dressed in gold and ripe

The longest days, softest nights

Humming time, filled with life

All the world is there to explore

This is an exquisite time

Trees and plants run wild now

Living, the only thing to do

All else can wait for a while


Autumn is the most mature

Harvest time, gathering

Everything counted up and stored

Against what’s coming back again

She is the richest in her colors

Cool and collected, hinting air

The wind holds a spicy tang

This is the time all want to hold

To keep forever in its glory

Deep rich reds, purest golds

Bonfire smoke on the wind


Each of these is mine to hold

To cherish and to always know

I remember them from long ago

And I will see them all anew

Drawing Power: Comics, Zines, and Books in Pittsburgh and Beyond

This looks like a fabulous opportunity to meet people in a certain sector of the writing and publishing world. And for me, it’s local! Thanks to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for this information.

Eleventh Stack

drawing power banner

art work by Jim Rugg

Drawing Power: Comics, Zines, and Books in Pittsburgh and Beyond   is a one-day event celebrating and exploring the small press and self-publishing comics and zine community of Pittsburgh and its connection to the larger world.

Saturday, April 20th 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Carnegie Museum of Art Theater (lower level), 4400 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Moderators will be Bill Boichel from Copacetic Comics and Caitlin McGurk from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at OSU.

10-10:30 Meet & Greet, tabling
10:30-11:15 Pittsburgh Creators Panel
11:30-12:15 Boulet presentation
12:15-1pm Big Feminist But presentation
1:15-2pm John Porcellino presentation
2:15-3pm 2nd Panel
3:15-4pm Dash Shaw presentation

Pittsburgh Panel (First), Boichel moderator
Andy Scott
Nate McDonough
Lizzee Solomon
Paulette Poullet


image Andy Scott

2nd Panel, McGurk moderator
Ramsey Beyer
John Porcellino
Bill Boichel
Rachel Masilamani


image John Porcellino

Last Panel, McGurk moderator
Jim Rugg
Ed Piskor

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So This is a Winding Road

There’s a form of writing called “stream of consciousness.” It’s like a polished brain storm and the best example I can think of is from James Joyce’s novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which basically opens with the thought process of the protagonist as a child, a baby really, and continues through to his adulthood. My grandma is another expert in stream of consciousness storytelling, but her style is oral history. She gets stuck on a subject and every thought that comes into her head on that topic escapes her mouth. It is absolutely hilarious and sometimes very thought provoking. The following short story is my transcript–near verbatim–of one of these gems. The parentheses contain my thought-commentary on her statements.

A Rambling History of the Development of Transportation throughout the Last Century

            Well you know, it’s amazing what they’ve come up with since the 1800s in transportation. You just think about what they were driving around, horse-drawn buggies, like when you read Sherlock Holmes he always gave chase in the…with the horse and cart. (I suggested hansom cabs.) Yeah, those, and they were driving around horse carts. Then in the thirties (she was born in ’31) we’d look up in the sky and it was something else that there were prop planes, four prop, with the banners flying behind. Just something, and you know then the fifties and cars, and young kids with their “hot rods” and cruising around, everyone with cars. Now the sixties with all those airplanes flying you to places, and people going to the moon! And now, well, you got all these cars and jet liners and these ships that go under and oh, my, ships so big you’d think they’d sink. (Guess she never heard of the Titanic.) Oh, and before that there were SSTs with two hours to Europe from New York, but they don’t fly Concordes anymore. Too much waste of oil, not fuel-efficient…Oh! but they zipped. Not too long ago it was just hansom cabs and whatnot, with horses. Five miles an hour was good then, but now…. Oh, and they’re already, you know the Enterprise? Star Trek, well they’re not jumping people but small things they are, they’re working on it. Soon we’ll be commuting to Mars! Well we’ll just see.

(I guess she forgot about trains!)