Fools, We

I wasn’t going to re-post this for awhile, if ever. And then last night happened.

We’ve got people howling for gun control before they’ve finished collecting the bodies from the square, opposing factions screaming back about ISIS while the conspiracy theorists shuffle along the underbelly of the comment forums, already sniveling about FBI cover-ups, and the mental illness brigade should be out in force soon. Some people see political opportunity as soon as it exposes its rotting underbelly, but goodness knows much of the ranting and raving is genuine. Blind, hopeless desperation scrabbles for a reason why, because it cannot be human nature; cannot look directly at man’s hunger for evil in case we accidentally spot it; cannot wonder if the things we feed the mad dog slavering in the pit of our souls might loose him from his chains. We suckle evil, and wonder why it grows bigger.

I’ve argued with myself about this poem over and over again, wondering when (or even if) I should post it. Not because the things in it aren’t worth saying, but because I don’t intend to set this site up as my soapbox. While my worldview is important to the undergirdings of my themes, character motivations, and world-building, I see myself first and foremost as a secular writer — or rather, a writer who writes secularly. I write to entertain. I don’t want anyone in the entertainment industry to explain their political beliefs to me, let alone try and sway my opinion, and I don’t intend to become the mirror, mirror version in some sort of evil Kirk dimension.

But today I post this anyways, as my one political poem. It’s Law without Gospel, and though I’ve uploaded it as a media file, that’s only to retain the structure for any smartphone users, not because it’s illustrated. I could visualize nothing but a mass of graves, which I couldn’t quite manage to integrate with such a long poem (literally: 12 size font on a 4″ x 21″ Clip Studio canvas). Also, I spent a good chunk of time on the internet hunting down statistics, and if you don’t want to be spoiled about the punchline (such as it is) of the poem, click on the following link before reading the rest of this post.

Fools, We

The breakdown of the numbers is based on a yearly approximation of 1.2 million abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute (whose latest statistics are from 2014, because abortion reporting apparently takes several years to compile), altogether the states reported only 926,200 abortions for that year. If this number is correct and not underreported*, then it actually takes almost eleven and a half minutes to hit the 20 mark. My apologies for the hyperbole.

(https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion)


*Per the Guttmacher Institute website, as of Oct 1, 2017: “For the last four decades, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has partnered with the states to collect aggregate statistics on abortions in the United States. States are not required to submit abortion data to the CDC, but the overwhelming majority do.”

States that opt out: California, Maryland
Reporting from physician to state is voluntary: New Hampshire, New Jersey
Reporting form does not specifically include medication (nonsurgical) abortion: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Tennessee

(https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/abortion-reporting-requirements)

No, really: THESE ARE NOT THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

I receive three or four spam comments a week. The system default is set so that I have to approve any emails I don’t recognize, which keeps them from cluttering up my website with delightful offers for sexy videos (and/or POWERFUL and PRIVATE web traffic services). The strangest part of this isn’t the offers themselves – I’d be almost hurt if the spambots weren’t on to me – but that in the past three months every single one of them has been posted to either “These are not the droids you’re looking for” or “These are possibly the droids you’re looking for, but no money-back guarantee.”

In other words, my Jedi mind powers aren’t working. I’m not entirely certain how to get them to move along, but FOR THE LOVE OF PETE THESE ARE NOT THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.

The best part is the amateurish attempts these spammers use to wholesale spam different blogs across the spectrum using the same canned response. I have received the most wonderfully generic compliments and/or criticisms this way. And yes, I actually received criticism from a spambot.”In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM.” And then a follow-up comment from the same fake email: “And you have understood?”

Uh…no. Not really. You disagreed with me on a post announcing that I had created an art portfolio on my website.

Spam is written with the same specificity that horoscope forecasters use to fake you into thinking there’s something particularly cosmic about the idea that it might behoove you to keep an open mind when meeting new people and/or opportunities that day. It’s worse though, probably because it’s written in second-hand English, and isn’t quite generic enough for one-size-fits-all. Mind you, I am a little tempted to have Vera at sexybang defend her position on why I shouldn’t have a tab for art on TheStoryFolder. She sounds so confident of her opinion. I do admire that kind of self-assurance.

In other news, this entire spiel is to deflect my two watchers from the realization that I didn’t feel like illustrating the next poem I’m uploading, but instead went insane with the gradient tool in Clipart. “Already Done” is a poem about the unfathomable depths of forgiveness, and if I’m not careful people are going to start assuming all I do on my website is write religious poetry. Scout’s honor, I really do write stories for The Story Folder. I’ve got a couple of excellent ones on the back-burner while I work on my novel, but in the meantime here is another basic tenet of my faith as written by Dr. Seuss.

Already Done

I meant to have a more intricate border to try and goad my watchers into thinking I’d put some effort in, but I’ve spent way too much time fighting with Clipart this morning as it is. It’s still a good idea to upload these poems as media files, just because it keeps the lines in each verse from spilling over into oblivion and confusing my readers about the underlying rhythm of the piece, but I just could not visualize a good design for this piece and it shows. Yes, that’s right folks; not only am I apathetic about my poetry this morning, I have the great gall to admit it.


Bonus fact:

“These are possibly the droids you’re looking for, but no money-back guarantee” is actually listed under the url “/this-is-not-the-update-you’re-looking-for-2” because there is actually a “/this-is-not-the-update-you’re-looking-for-1.” I actually used the same post title twice, not realizing that I was plagiarizing not only Star Wars in that instance, but myself. I disguised the incident by my usual methods: word-vomit.

Law, Gospel, & Double Posts

I’ve had on ongoing argument with myself over the past few months, trying to decide when I should post these poems. I meant to wait until January 22nd, but the 4th of July got me thinking about freedom, liberty, and The American Way. I love my country – this, my earthly home – for its history and its ideals, for the people who make this my home and the purple mountain majesties (across the fruited plains etc.), but this, like everywhere, is still a broken land.

I am pro-life. The following is a deeply judgmental poem about the price we, as a nation, pay for our inhumanity. It was written a couple of years ago, begun in December 2012 and finally completed after the shooting at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon, in an attempt to answer a question that arose following these awful tragedies.

Fools, We

However, as a Christian I recognize that condemnation does not get the last word. God – the God of law, order, and, above all, love – seeks to grant pardon and peace according to His great mercy. Where there is repentance, there is forgiveness. While we often have to live with the earthly consequences of our sins, Christ has paid the ransom in full. We are without blemish.

Take comfort, dearest. There is no crime that has not already been forgiven.

Already Done

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
~Luke 7:47~