What happens when a candle goes out?
Was it blown,
snuffed, simply
Did anyone see the guttering,
stuttering in flame?
Who’s to blame when a blaze,
extinguished (perhaps
in anguish),

Couldn’t you hear the loneliness
dancing in outline upon your wall?
Cries that fall in silent wails,
heard askance…

Or were you busy
just then?

Did the light ever shine
if all are blind?
Tree to forest; the poorest eyesight
lives in mirrors warped and twisted…

we all missed it

Post Hoc Ergo God Did It

Total_lunar_eclipse_-_full_eclipse_(blood_moon)_April_2014(Photo by Anne Dirkse)

Post hoc ergo propter hoc. After it, therefore because of it.

Welcome to Apocalypse Logic 101. No matter what happens, we’re always one day closer than we were before. To what, we don’t know…but chronologically speaking, how can you argue with that?

Take Apocalypse Prediction #1:

I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes…

– Joel 30-31

Then take the title of John Hagee’s blood moon book:


The key to end times predictions is never saying anything that can’t be walked back or redefined when the predicted event fails to materialize. “Something is about to change.” Let’s not specify: that way, whatever happens, that was it.

All Christian eschatological prophecies are based on biblical passages which were themselves purposefully vague. The intent of the OT prophets was to encourage in the long term, not to schedule a dinner party for next week. So, it is a relatively simple undertaking to co-opt their “predictions” and set a date without risking too much loss of face in the event of failure. Add to this a decent dose of “no one knows the day or the hour,” and it becomes a never-ending game of “pin the tail on the Doomsday.”

These things, says the prophet Joel, will happen “before the Day of the Lord.” Says Hagee, the day after nothing happens: No, no; it was a sign, not the sign. It opened a door, proving that at some undetermined point in the future, something will happen.

After it, therefore because of it. Meaning that, whatever significant and/or traumatic world event takes place ever at any point in time after right now, from a flu epidemic in Baltimore to a handshake in the Gaza Strip, is proof that something happened after Hagee said something would.

And since something is bound to happen, well…he must be right.


Bad Moon Rising

Total_lunar_eclipse_-_full_eclipse_(blood_moon)_April_2014(Photo by Anne Dirkse)

Run to the hills
Run for your lives

– Iron Maiden

I know I’ve been on a tear lately, but I wanted to take a brief moment to wish you all a fond farewell. It’s been grand!

But as you all (may) know, the end is nigh. Again.

Tonight, at 9:11 CST (spooky, right?), the fourth in a tetrad of blood moons will unleash upon us the wrath of God’s judgment. Or so I’m told by John Hagee. And a bunch of other experts no one’s ever heard of before.

I know, I know–we’ve heard it all before. This is, after all, why the Seventh Day Adventists call themselves Seventh Day Adventists and not Millerites anymore. Perhaps you remember Harold Camping and his roadside messages of doom? may21billboardOr this little book, which in its day was quite the bestseller, and now stands as a tribute to 41qk+TYekvL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_humankind in all our gullible glory? And don’t get me started on the Mayans! How could they do that to John Cusack’s career!?!?

But this time, I assure you, it’s real. I mean, it has to be, right? How else could these folks give us yet another feeble guess with anything approaching a straight face? No, this time…well, I don’t think I’d be remiss in recommending a collective kissing of our asses goodbye.

Tomorrow, if any of us has survived to wander the post-apocalyptic wasteland, feel free to join me here in Waco, and we will feast together on radioactive fish from Lake Waco. (Really, we could do that anyway; everybody knows the fish in Lake Waco are quite possibly radioactive already.)

Duck and cover, my snuggle-bunnies! It’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

Freshly (De)Pressed


Once upon a time,
long ago, in a galaxy far, far away,
I was a simple blogger
going about his business


Typing away in relative obscurity
unaware of the dangers lurking
just around the corner.

And then…

I was Freshly Pressed!!!!!!!!

after sitting on my laurels
after my fifteen
after being inundated with the drive-by praise of random strangers,
I’m a nervous wreck.

‘Cause now,
I’m chasing the dragon…

Welcome to WordPress–
where you are one voice among millions
and the loudest scream barely clears a whisper

where your chances of being noticed
are about as good
as the guy’s who parks cars at the White House are
of inheriting the presidency…
How many would have to go down
for anything to land on us?

Dear WordPress…
dear, dear WordPress…
Thank you for amplifying our sense of
by introducing us to the fleeting nature of fame.

Isn’t it enough to create a space
and then let it be filled
with the variegated voices of valuable people?
We don’t need adulation;
we need registration…and then
freedom to move about our
without the pressure of competition
of proving ourselves to strangers
instead of sharing ourselves with friends

Your voice; my voice:
they all count, whether we’ve been noticed or not.
Is this community?
Then let it be a community
of the few and the caring.

Silence is only golden when you know someone is there.

Here’s an award for you:
The Still, Small Voice Award.
Try that one on for size.

If you’ve spoken, you’ve won.
You are nominated; you are vindicated;
you are recognized

if only by those others of us
who share your cloak of

Next Stop on the WTF! Tour


I will grant you…
a lot of this is my own fault.

I am not the easiest person with whom to connect…

I’m not a recluse,
but I’m not far off, either.
I march to the beat of my own
given the choice,
I’ll take the gun and the cannoli
and go home.

I love travel, but only on my terms;
other people get in the way.
I love being an uncle,
because I don’t have to take the kids home at night.

I’m a loner,
and I thrive on loneliness.
As the man once said…
Hurts so good…

Perhaps poorly wired for friendship.

Deeply prone to oppositional thinking:
without conflict, I could not express fully who I am.
I am not,
as some have suggested, rather archly, a
I am simply a warrior in search of battle,
a knight errant in squeaky armor,
with grails coming out of the woodwork.

I am never content with being content;
I must exercise
my passions
or shrivel and die in quiet.

But sometimes even I,
even I,
(as we all)
in the midst of screaming,
in the depths of self-imposed solitude,
need answering.

There are the clever few who know
the magic words:

I hear you…

A Voice Crying in the WordPress


Like many of my fellow human beings,
I must acknowledge that I often feel

blogging helps.
I’m told it “gives me a voice.”

Really, though,
it only makes things worse.

Before The Blog,
if I felt unacknowledged,
it was only by the select few within earshot:
the ones–you know them–
who always tell me how much they’ve missed me,
it’s been such a long time…
even though they have phones, cars, and feet…

as if somehow I were completely beyond their reach

But now,
I feel unacknowledged by complete strangers
How’s that for irony?

The Code


I’m trying to crack the code.

Am I not pretty enough?
Not funny enough?
Not hateful enough?
Where have I gone wrong?

This is not poetry, by the way–
nobody cares–
just centered because…
I felt like it.
Deal with it.

So much to “like”; so little time.

Is it because I don’t sport a cute girl-face on my Gravatar?
Perhaps I don’t ridicule others enough?
Or maybe it’s just me…
Maybe I just think I’ve something to say.

I’d be afraid this might turn you off,
you imaginary 977, you,
except no one’s likely to be turned on
long enough to be turned off.

Maybe, at the end of the day,
it’s that we all want to be heard
but no one really wants to listen.

Perhaps EgoPress would be a better name for this place…

I want to pull a Nixon,
to tell you you won’t have Vance to kick around no more…
but who can stop?
This stuff’s a drug–
it’s killing me but I gotta have it.

Mainline my inadequacy
till I burst a vessel…

Thank God this place has given me
a voice.

Road Rule 1(a): R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

The Dustmobile Diaries


The back road driver is burdened with several responsibilities, but by far the most important pertains to passage through the small town. If you are at all like me, these little communities (some in better repair than others, but each as fascinating as all the rest) are the heart and soul of the journey. As such, they are deserving of the utmost respect.

What does this entail?

First and foremost, SLOW DOWN!! Keep in mind: this is not your town. It belongs to the people who live there, and they are gracious enough to welcome us, the postmodern gypsies, into their space, however briefly we may occupy it. Obey the posted speed limits, no matter how pokey they may seem. The townsfolk likely have a good reason for posted speeds, and even if they don’t, it’s their town, so deal with it.

And whatever you do, watch out for…

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