Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Dream About a Girl Named Atrox

I don’t remember who she was, but she had black hair, and wore a black dress, and she seemed to leap from place to place with perfect precision on her high-heeled-feet.
We were very close. Time would slow when we embraced.  She sat on my lap as we watched two men battle in a coliseum. We were in the front row. We lost interest in the fight and talked about super powers. We both wanted the powers of spiderman. Imagine that, Mr. and Mrs. Spider they would call us.

We both herd about a certain snake. They say it’s venom is the most powerful hallucinogenic known to man, and completely harmless beside that effect.

Later, we saw that snake coiled under a car. We were both the type who wouldn’t pass up an experience like that.

 I couldn’t remember which one of us it bit first, but I remember the way the venom entered my arm.

Then I couldn’t find her, and Brad Pitt told me it was a diamondback that bit me.

And I ran to the school nurse for help.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Inspector Cat

Inspector Cat was comfortably sleeping in his office chair when the weeping broad bust right in. He jumped up; frightened by such a rude entrance and all his fluffy white cat fur became ruffled beneath his cute little cat tuxedo and his expensive little kitty-cat-top-hat tumbled to the floor. He was not amused.

 Her makeup was running and her stylish coat was no match for the heavy rain outside. She was a heaping wet mess. And the only thing that Inspector Cat hated more than some frantic broad bursting into his office was water.

“Are you that detective. The uh, Cat-detective?

“INSPECTOR, lady, not ‘detective’ you know the difference? Shut up, don’t answer, just make this fast. A got a big case load and date with a pretty little mouse tonight.”

She wiped her tears away and took a deep breath. And Jesus, this broad wore a lot of makeup. Beneath her eyes there were still these black-weeping rivers.

“I need your help. I think you’re the only one I can trust. That’s what they say about you right? You don’t take sides. You don't give two damns ‘bout no mob boss or no police chief. ”

“Yea I’m a free agent. As long as I get my payment, I’m the best friend you’ll ever have.”

“That’s good. Real good. This should be a walk in the park for you. I owe some one some money, you see, a lot of money, and well, I a wondering if you could, you know, dig up some dirt on this guy.”

“So you’d rather pay me than pay your debts, huh? Listen lady I only dig up dirt after I’ve taken a crap. Is that what your asking me to do? Just go out there and take a crap on some guy?”

“Well that’s the other reason I came to you. I also hear you know this guy. Yea, I hear you’re real old pals.

“What are you getting at lady spit it out!”

“Eddie 8-Ball. Sound familiar?”

Eddie 8-Ball. I hadn’t heard that name in years. Eddie 8-Ball. God damnit I thought finally forgot about him. Last time I saw Eddie 8-Ball there was a gun pointed at my head and he was smiling at me though the broken window in my mustang. “Tuff luck you cute little kitty cat” he said, that patronizing ass, as he drove off into the sunset with my car, my gal, and all my fucking salmon.

“where is this son of a dog” Inspector Cat was yelling, “I’ll claw his throat out!”

Eddie 8-Ball vanished, even to Inspector Cat’s expert tracking skills. He’d do anything to get back at ol’ Eddie 8-Ball.

“last I heard he set up shop down by 48th and marine, you know, the fish market.”

The fish market, of course.
Inspector Cat’s rage was beginning to subside and he started thinking clearly again.
The fish market. This has to be a set up.

“Alright lady lets get something straight first. How exactly do you know this scum bag?”

Inspector Cat could see the flicker in her eyes. Even beneath all that damn eyeliner he could see the lie before she told it.

“Oh, uh, I met him in Vegas. At a high roller table.”

“Vegas huh? Yea I’m sure. Well tell ya what, you pay me fifty head-scratches and twenty cans of pure Norwegian salmon and I’ll figure out a way to have ol’ Eddie 8-Ball squeaking like a little cat toy for ya.”

And she smiled in a way that seemed almost sincere. And for a moment Inspector Cat considered actually helping her, if only to screw his old pal over. But he would worry about that later he decided, as he laid his little fluffy cat head down and went back to sleep.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


You know, if stories were more like real life, there would be an awful lot of confusing, sudden, and unfinished endings.
It would be brimming with failed romances, cowardly heroes, and the stupidest villains you could ever imagine.

So I have resolved to gather unfinished stories.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Someone’s in the Wolf

-Excerpt from the novel She is Free­-
            Summer Stephens was sitting across from her friend and though she listened to every word that was said, she couldn’t help but feel somewhat distracted by the flowers on the table between them. It was the color. Something crisp and pure that seemed to take her back to a distant place, perhaps in a dream, or perhaps in a memory.
            Next to the table was an abnormally wide window. It looked out to an alley as well as two adjacent apartment buildings, and this window happened to be the topic of their conversation. Summer’s friend, Jewel, had a fire in her eyes and an angry yet distressed tone to her voice as she vented to her dear friend.
            “I’m telling you, at first I thought it was the best part, but this window ruins the house. It shows me things I never wanted to see and brings that nasty shit into this apartment. He’s a pig. He’s a pervert. I think he might be dangerous. And not to mention that other one. I’ve caught him hiding in the bushes at least twice. So what!? Should I cover it up? Find thicker curtains to hang over it and pretend it’s just a wall for the rest of the year?! No. I like the light in here. I like the wide view. I wont let those freaks ruin this house. It’s his window that needs to close, not mine… Hey, didn’t you say that you knew him?”
            Hesitant to answer, Summer looked at the flowers a little longer, dahlias of red and yellow, dancing in the light of the wide window.
            “Well, Yes, I know Dorian, the younger one, in the window. I work with him. Never would have guessed that it was him all along, your little exhibitionist across the alleyway. But he’s not such a bad guy if you actually know him. You could just ask him to stop.”
            “Oh, and that’s not weird, saying, ‘ hey, um, I’m Jewel, I live across the way, could you uhhh… stop doing so much creepy shit in your room, or at least close the blinds?”
            “Yes you could literally say that to him and he would stop, and feel quite embarrassed too I’m sure. He means no harm.”
            “And what about the other one?  Say about the same thing to him except add in something about that mangy little dog of his?”
            “Now you’re just being mean.”
            “Mean? I’ve seen him, Summer, that creep, off in the distance when I walk home, crouching in the bushes, thinking he’s invisible, scurrying around like a raccoon. If he wasn’t so fat and pathetic I might actually feel threatened.”
            “I still think you should tell the cops about that.”
            “I will, I just want to make sure they can actually do something about him.”
            “I’ll talk to Dorian for you, it wont even be weird. And if you don’t tell the cops about the neighborhood-stalker within the week, I’ll do that for you too. That’s what friends are for and I’m sick of your bitching.”
            “Gee, thanks.”
            In an attempt to end the topic of their little chat, Summer stood up and walked over to a granite counter to grab a bottle of wine. There were a variety of candles on the table and Summer happened to choose the most expensive and aged bottle in Jewel’s selection. She filled two crystal glasses, took a small sip from one, and placed the other in front of Jewel.
            “So how’s class?”
            “Fine. But I have too much to read.”
            “Give it a chance. It might be good for you.”
            “Don’t treat me like I’m stupid, Summer. I like to meet real people. You can keep all of your fictional friends.”
            “I could name a few that are a lot more real than yours.”
            Sensing the weight and seriousness of Jewel’s temper, Summer put on her warm smile and took a gulp of the blood red burgundy. Her teeth, so sharp and straight, were flushed with the wine, and as she smiled again, Hell itself seemed to shine through them.
            The two friends let wine do what it does best. They smiled and laughed and let the hours fall away without a single glance back. The dahlias of red and yellow darkened, as the window between them seemed to shrink in the night. They couldn’t help but see across the way, into another window, bright and central. Like a distant screen in a dark theater.
            “See this is the shit I’m talking about, but watch all you like. I need to go to bed.”
            Jewel walked towards her room, to brush her teeth and soon fall asleep. Across the gap, Summer couldn’t help but see her coworker, Dorian, in what was clearly his bedroom. She ran over to turn the light out so he couldn’t see back, hoping he didn’t already. He gathered things frantically, wearing only black. She watched with interest as he tore the room apart. Summer could see everything he put in his backpack. A book that was practically falling apart, some candles, a bottle of booze, a twisted carnival mask, spray-paint, another book, and like a centerpiece, he pulled out a strange knife, curved like a crescent moon and rusted by time or perhaps blood. The room light went dark and soon she watched him walk out the front door of his house. His face was still showing, the mask hung around his throat. His backpack was on and the girl couldn’t help but notice the gleam of the blade as it passed into the shadows, held close and guided by his hand. She waited a few moments and without a word. But soon Summer grabbed the flowers from the vase and walked out the front door. She stayed quiet and kept low, watching the figure in the distance, and while he held his blade firm in his hand, she clutched her flowers just as tight.

Fairy Tale


Stanislav Dimitrievich Solovay saw a thimble of light in his mother’s eye when he told her that he was to be wed. He was noble by birth, and all meaning of the word. The ring was flawless. Every last glistening cut held a place in the heart of his dear mother, having been passed down mother to daughter for over nine generations. But alas, here without a daughter, she had only a son to pass her inheritance; perhaps in hope his bride would yield a new female heir to her tradition.

Stanislav kissed his mother on the check and they both blushed red as roses. He hugged her so close that their hearts heated each other, and with that heat he hardly felt the cold as he left her dacha into the winter air. He didn’t look back to see, but as he left, a tear fell down from his mother’s eye. Surely no tear has ever glistened as that tear did, for it reflected exactly the diamonds that vanished away in the hand of her beloved son.

He walked with a great haste to the castle of his beloved. Stanislav had known her since childhood, their fathers were old war friends, and it was always joked that they would be wed some day. Oh, Natasha Vladimirovna Filomelovna! She was the most beautiful, wise, and modest maiden in for at least nine kingdoms in every direction! Suitors lost fortunes on travel and gifts just to be stricken blind by her beauty, or scorched dumb by her iron words. He watched the lines of suitors that tried to buy her heart and each one he scorned more than the last. The latest, some miserable French slime named D’anthes was worse than all of them combined. He lorded around in his chief chamberlain uniform, which made his shoulders seem so broad and strong (though in truth they were frail as little dry twigs). His lips were always so flushed red it appeared as if he applied his own make-up and if ever the slightest breeze passed through his royal chamber he would grow pale and shiver for hours. He was the type of man who felt scorn for inspiration. He
 had no faith in love or freedom. 
He looked on life with ridicule. 
And in the whole of nature he did not wish to praise a single thing, except of course for dear sweet Natasha Filomelovna. Somehow around her he put on a guise, like some sort of demon I tell you! And Natasha would find his company pleasurable! She would laugh, take his hollowness as lost wisdom, and as if blinded by dim candlelight, found him pleasing to the eye.

The night before, Stanislav was so wrought with distress that at last the floodgates within his soul burst open from his heart and to his voice. He spoke to Natasha with the sincerity of an angel. She fell to her knees weeping, overcome by the weight of his confession. She looked at him and said she could not deny that she always knew he would be the best husband for her, and there was no one she would rather wed her heart mind and soul to. She said that he often appeared in her dreams, and no other man ever had.

He never felt his heart beat faster and all that night he did not sleep a wink because she was so heavy on his thoughts.

This evening there was to be a party at her residence and Stanislav hoped to arrive early enough for it to be just him and her. Her house of stone was massive. He was practically lost within the labyrinth to her chamber. In those dark tunnels he began to feel a certain deep fear. The shadows seemed to flap wings and he thought of his mother, alone, praying for a daughter. The tunnel seemed to grow narrower and narrower as he approached her door, but a beautiful purple light seemed to emanate from the cracks in the frame. He knocked three times. She opened it and it seemed the fear he felt just then was reflected in her eyes as she looked upon him there.

“What are you doing here?” she begged.

“I just... I just had to say something. Just had to see you.”

He walked in and somehow she seemed more beautiful than ever before. There were candles all around and on her jewelry table next to her looking glass there was an empty vase. He fell to his knee and looked in her eyes, burning hotter than any candle and he said,

“Natasha, my dove, I cannot stop thinking about you. Oh my little sweet! I have come to ask you something.”

“Oh Stanislav Dimitrievich, before you begin, I must tell you… Oh the shame! The despair! D’anthes has been speaking with my father for months! He has assured him that I love him with all my soul, and last night, as you and I poured our very hearts into each other, he made the final arrangements for my wedding to him!”

He was stricken as if to stone as the words came out. The ring in his pocket remained there as spoke again,

“How can this be? Is it already too late? I will steal you away! No man, especially him, can take you away now.”

“Please, I must keep my honor. My family is great and I will not tarnish my blood. I’m sorry Stanislav Dimitrievich, you will always be the true keeper of my heart.”

He stood up. No tears escaped the bondage of his eyes. She put her hands to face and tried to remain silent. He walked over to the table with the looking glass and just as her crying reached an apex, when he was sure she couldn’t hear, he dropped the ring in her empty vase.

Before he could leave, that slime D’anthes happened to barge in. He fell to a knee, said something in French, and presented a box. With a smile he opened it, and they saw it was empty. That’s right, empty! The slime probably gambled the thing away, or used it to seduce some poor peasant girl!

Stanislav left before the sickness overcame him and though he went to the party, he seemed to be frozen in thought and time. Faces blended and blurred and he lost all desire to eat, sleep, even smoke his pipe or drink cognac. He left early, and returned to his private study where he did not leave for ninety days. His food was brought to him and every day passed in a slow malaise of sorrow. He ignored all letters, summons and events.

But on the ninetieth day, grave news was brought to him. He was suddenly awakened from his daze when he heard that Natasha Vladimirovna Filomelovna had come down with a terrible illness and had fallen into a deep slumber. He dressed in a hurry and ran through the snow to see her again. Once at her house he talked to one of the servants who told him that after a month of their marriage D’anthes seemed to grow utterly bored with dear sweet Natasha, and for almost all hours of the day he was off hunting, or attending to courtly business. A week ago he had been gone for three days and Natasha grew pale as a ghost. She had a great unquenchable thirst for water and unable to satisfy it, fell asleep. Nothing seemed to stir her.

Stanislav went to her room and there she lay motionless. He held her looking glass up to her lips, and thank the saints! Her breath still caused it to fog! He tried talking to her, singing to her, shaking her, but, hopelessly, he left in a hurry in fear her worthless lover would show up.

He walked away into the snow. He followed no path or signs. He went further and further still into the blizzard. The cold began to engulf him, and beckon him into a gentle slumber. It would be only right, he thought, to join her in endless rest, or may I be the light to guide her home. But before he collapsed, he noticed the twinkling light of a warm fire. He went closer to find a shack, and in it, an old woman tended to the fire. He approached her and she spoke,

“Stanislav Dimitrievich Solovay, I have been awaiting you. Your love, they say is stagnating in a dreamless sleep, and worse than that, married to another! Ha! A sad lot indeed. But I will tell you what Stanislav Dimitrievich, I can teach you to wake her, and make it so that for all time you can be by her side and whisper sweet words and songs in her perfect, loving ear!”

“Be you witch or angel I will do anything you say! Please grandmother, tell me how to wake Natasha from this death.”

“Alright, it is done then. Go back to her chamber Stanislav Dimitrievich, and look in that vase you left your mother’s ring. In it you will find a rare flower, a flower I am sure you have never seen before, for no mortal has in over nine eons! Go to it and place the pedals over her eyes. As she opens them again you shall both be together evermore.”

With that, he began to run back. His footprints were gone but warmth again pulsed through him un-extinguished. Soon he was back at her castle. He ran through the dark tunnels, brushing away the shadows galling screams. He went into her chamber and sure enough a flower had sprung from that beloved ring. The petals were the deepest blue, like a thousand seas. The stem, riddled with thorns, was a glowing crimson, as if ablaze like the candles around. He tore it from its place and walked over to her, still frozen between life and death. He pulled each petal off, nine in total, and placed them over her eyes. Nothing happened and his heart almost filled again with that most painful dread, but she moved her arm! And her lips moved as if she about to speak.

But as she opened her eyes, and wiped the blue flowers off her eyes, Stanislav Solovay felt an odd grip on his very spine. It rippled throughout him and as he screamed in terror he was transformed into a little black nightingale. She never did get a chance to look upon him as a man one more time, but when she awoke, she saw the nightingale sitting next to her on the bed, singing such a sweet song. D’anthes marched in to see his prize awake and caged Stanislav Dimitrievich Solovay the nightingale before he could fly away.

He was kept in a cage and Natasha brought it wherever she went. In her deepest moments of sorrow it would sing to her and almost seem to cry with her. Within a few months D’anthes was killed in a duel, but still she was never without a friend, she felt. After long, her dear little nightingale had sung so long and lived within a cage so long, that he forgot how to fly. But she placed him in her heart so warmly; he didn’t need the use of wings anyway. And the two lived on together, until this very day!

Fire and Ice

Vasili Arkhipov stood on the metal floor of the Soviet submarine B-59 on October 27th, 1962. The vessel was armed with 22 torpedoes, but they were not all alike. One torpedo, referred to as the ‘special weapon’ was armed with a nuclear warhead. At that moment, it took only his consent to launch that warhead at the Atlantic fleet of the United States, sparking World War III like a match in gasoline, and effectively plunging the world into the dark ages, or worse, utter non-existence. Despite that pressure, which bore down on him like the weight of so much dark water above, he maintained a calm look in his eye, and considered the ramifications of his decision.
            Weeks earlier, Vasili left the icy port of Murmansk in the same vessel. Being a fleet commander, he was one of the few men on the ship aware of the destructive capabilities they harnessed. His orders were in a sealed envelope, and he had waited eagerly to open them. The cold water made him think of the calm moments of his childhood in the peaceful village of Staraya Kupavna, and that calmness was reflected in Vasili. Many of his fellow submariners knew him for this calm disposition, and there, in the water of the northern coast, they too let their thoughts flow like the frost-tipped sea.
            The vessel B-59 was one of four submarines that left Murmansk with the same mission. Fifty miles into their journey the sub commanders opened their orders and informed the crew that their destination would be Cuba. Although the Soviets had developed nuclear powered subs at this time, the four ships were powered by diesel. Vasili had been aboard one of these nuclear subs, the infamous K-19, and had seen first hand both the power and the terror they harness. During his time on the K-19, the nuclear reactor ruptured, and he saw with his own eyes four of his comrades pulled from that chamber, already dead from the flooding radiation. He would not forget the contorted screams that remained frozen on their faces. He would not forget the depravity that he witnessed on that ship. It was because of this event that they were now utilizing the older diesel vessels. A nuclear sub like the K-19 ran much smoother and did not require the vessel to surface occasionally to recharge its batteries, but the events on the K-19 served as an example of the madness that nuclear power can add to the already tense situation of being trapped in a metal tube, hundreds of meters below the surface. Some may consider it a deep irony that the Soviets went back to diesel for this mission, out of safety, while still electing to arm with vessel with a different, far more destructive form of nuclear fission. These diesel ships carried with them a palpable stench of oil and battery acid, but for the men aboard the ship these conditions were seen as a comfort, as familiar to them as the brisk air of their motherland.
            The B-59’s voyage into the Atlantic went swimmingly. A massive tropical storm was gathering there, and while those conditions would be detrimental to a fleet of surface ships, the massive waves and bellowing storm clouds provided a perfect screen for the small group of submarines to enter enemy territory undetected.
            Unbeknownst to the crew, another storm had gathered during their journey. The United States had recently become aware of missile depots on the Cuban mainland and JFK had ordered a full-scale ‘quarantine’ of the island to prevent further stockpiling of Soviet weapons off the coast of America. The tropical storm above them had hindered their communication to Moscow, and thus Vasili and his fellow officers remained on course and maintained a single goal: stay hidden.
            The warm water of the wide Sargasso Sea created a double-edged sword for Vasili and the crews of the sub fleet. On the one hand the turbulent aftermath of the tropical storm above created pockets of cold water deep bellow. This coldness masked them from sonar detection. They were like a shadow on a moonless night. But there, in the tropics, the heat of the diesel engine caused the temperature onboard to skyrocket. Here, approaching the equator, the burning fuel of the engine was like a flame in an oven. This deep in distant waters the vessel could not surface. They had to hide in the depths, even as their batteries slowly lost charge.            Water was also strictly rationed. Everyone aboard, from Vasili Arkhipov to the lowest ranking man on the ship was limited to one glass of water a day. They suffered together. And they suffered greatly. Many of them knew that these diesel submarines are far more suited for the cold waters of the north and one might even consider it madness to send these vehicles into such tropical waters, let alone for an indefinite period of time within the net of enemy surveillance. Vasili bore all of this with the knowledge of their ‘special weapon’.
            They were two weeks into their mission and they still had not received any word from Moscow. Although Vasili was the commander of the fleet, he was in fact not the first in command of B-59. Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky was the caption of the ship, and made the decisions in terms of tactics and navigation. The submariners had a saying at the time.
“The captain is second in command. God is first.”
Behind Savitsky, there was Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, the political officer. On the other three boats of the fleet during this mission it took only the Captain and the Political Officer to approve the launch of the ‘special weapon’. Each carried a key around his neck, and those two keys interlocked in order to arm the weapon. Never before had the commanders of sub had so much power in their hand. With the simple turn of a key and flip of a switch two men could seal the fate of the human race. Two men could ignite the world and make it rain ash and death. And perhaps we should all be thankful, that on this particular vessel, the B-59, it took three men to turn that key.
            Meanwhile, roughly 85% of the United States Atlantic fleet had gathered around Cuba. They were on high alert, as a U2 spy planes just revealed the true nature of Cuba’s weaponry. B-59 and the other ships still had no contact from Moscow and continued on their scorching journey. Desperate for context on what was occurring the communication intelligence officer Vadim Orlov was searching every available radio wave. What he heard was John F Kennedy addressing the American public on the nature of what was occurring in Cuba. This information went straight to Vasili and Savitsky, who were beginning to truly realize the gravity of their mission. They knew a fleet was gathering. They knew the world was lingering on the border of all-out war, and they were at the spearhead. The danger above helped them forget the heat and the stench and the thirst which plagued them in the deep. But the wide Sargasso Sea was growing calmer. They were loosing the layers of cold water that clocked them, and as they continued forward, the battery continued to slowly dwindle.
            The time spent in that submarine began to slowly drip like honey in the winter frost. Seconds passed like hours. Hours passed like days. The ship remained hot as an oven, and fear lingered on the back of everyone’s mind.
            Somewhere beneath all that dark water, something in Captain Savitsky’s mind began to crumble under that pressure. The news of the American fleet, the lack of news from Moscow, the stifling air around him, all of these things made him begin to taste war on the tip of his tongue. He laid in that stagnant air, trying so desperately to drift into sleep, if only for a moment, clutching the key that was around hung his neck. The chain grew heavier and heavier, it seemed, with each passing moment. When he finally did fall asleep he dreamt only of fire, and woke up covered in sweat, almost as if he was truly being roasted.
            Of all the days that had passed like a long season in Hell, October 27th passed by far the slowest. Their luck it seemed, had run out, and as they detected American vessels on the near surface they became quite aware that they too were currently being seen as a dot on a sonar screen.
            The crew began to not only hear, but feel, the sonic ping being emitted from the surface fleet. Every few seconds. Ping. Each one was like a string being plucked on their very hearts. As the sound waves made contact with the B-59’s hull, it reverberated through each and every chamber they inhabited. This ping made the torture of the heat feel like nothing. Every ping rippled through them like it did on the metal walls that encased them. Every ping revealed again their position to the forces which they thought sought to destroy them.
            In the Soviet military, it was considered standard that three pings, and no more, was a signal to surface in peace. Well the Americans used much more than three. Captain Savitsky began to consider these constant pings as perhaps a form of torture, or perhaps just a way to ensure that the hunter did not lose its prey.
            Word of Soviet sub activity was immediately reported to Washington, and although the Americans then contacted the Kremlin of their intention to peacefully surface the vessels, the radio channel to Moscow remained silent as a grave. 
            What can be said about a man’s psyche in a situation like the one that crew found themselves in? How much pressure can a mind take before it succumbs, throwing reality out the window and embracing anything that could bring a sweat relief? Well whatever that threshold, Vasili Arkhipov certainly remained above it, whereas Captain Savitsky seemed to linger just on that border.
            The batteries of the ship were nearing the final fragments of its power when the pings stopped. The crew continued hopelessly trying to evade their hunters. The pings had faded but they were soon replaced with explosions. Every few moments, just like the pings before, another depth charge burst and again sent rippling energy through their ship and their skulls.
            There was still no word from Moscow. There was still thick, hot air and an ever-present stench of fuel and sweat. And as the bombs continued to burst all around them, something in Captain Savitsky’s mind finally seemed to snap. He decided that the Americans could be doing nothing else but trying to destroy them. He decided that the war must have already begun, and it was his duty, to god and his glorious country to utilize the weapon that they had granted him. The crewmembers noticed as a great furry gathered in his eyes. He considered himself abandoned and decided that he would rather burn out than fade away. He commanded them to prepare the nuclear torpedo to be fired, and shouted in his madness, "We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all."
            The crew did as they were told, and perhaps they too embraced his decision. They truly did have the power to vaporize nearly the entire Atlantic fleet. All the while, the Americans had no clue of the nuclear capabilities harnessed in the vessel bellow them. To them, it was a game of cat and mouse, something they trained for, practiced rigorously, and eagerly awaited to put to use. Had they known of the warhead aboard, or truly understood the madness that was griping the Soviet crew after so many days in that searing-hot metal tube, they perhaps would not have used explosives like they did. But they considered the sub a direct threat to their blockade of Cuba, and something they didn’t want to deal with later had they been forced to invade Cuba, which was something they all considered a possibility. Regardless, they did what they did and it brought Savitsky to the brink of sparking a nuclear holocaust.
            But alas, we cannot forget brave Vasili. He had endured the same thing as every man aboard the B-59. He spent the same amount of time in that maddening heat. He drank one warm glass of water a day. He heard every last ping as it reverberated from the ship and back to the Americans. And he heard the blasts that seemed oh so close to bursting the hull around them, leaving their bodies crushed and lifeless at the bottom of that wide Sargasso Sea. But he stayed cool as the frozen water of the Northern Sea that they left so many long days ago. He still reflected those calm waves and knew he had to do anything possible to quell the fire that burned in Savitsky’s mind. He had seen worse fires in his time. He had felt the tremendous heat and poison air that had bellowed from the reactor room of the K-19, and there too, his eyes remained calm and his thoughts did not abandon rationality.
            By the time Vasili got to the torpedo chamber Savitsky had convinced Ivan Maslennikov to utilize the weapon. Savitsky at last removed the heavy chain from his neck and joined his key to Maslennikovs. Although he was eager, Savitsky still could not go through with his choice without Vasili’s agreement. And Vasili simply looked him in the eyes and said ‘no’.
            Something made him think back to the vacations that he had taken with his wife over the years. Wherever he was, on the highest mountain, or lowest valley, close to home or a world away, he would pay a close attention to the state of affairs in the world. He would search tirelessly for a local newspaper or radio broadcast, anything, to give him some perspective. Perhaps it was that wide breath of human experience that gave him the strength to hold out despite the miserable state they were in and the captain’s bold choice. Or perhaps he was just an innately empathetic and decisive man. Regardless, he held firm on his disagreement, and maintained a stern look in his eye as Savitsky vented his reasons and beseeched him. “The war has already started,” he said, “for all we know Moscow has already been wiped from the earth. We owe it to them continue fighting. Or at least die trying.”
            The battery was at 5%. The air had only grown thicker. Fear had tightened its grip on the neck of nearly every man aboard the B-59. The three men with the power to end the world had still not reached a consensus. And depth charges continued to burst in the water all around them. At this point, Vasili was quite confident that if the Americans wanted to kill them, they would have been dead hours ago.
            As it neared midnight the key was still motionless in the firing control. Beads of sweat still slowly dripped down their necks. But facing the brick wall of Vasili’s calm disposition, Savitsky finally resolved to remove the key, and suffer the humiliation of turning himself, his ship, and his crew over to his captors. They climbed through warm waters and at last made it to the surface. The crew had never tasted such a fresh breath as they did when they opened that hatch, and they were met not with gunfire, nor orders to surrender, but with soft jazz music.
            Savitsky held a look of spite and defeat as the U.S. ships escorted them back to the open sea and all the way back to their homeport. The soviet powers did not consider what occurred a good outcome. One General even infamously said, “it would have been better if you drowned.”
            But Vasili, and the crew of B-59 knew the struggle that they overcame. They danced with the apocalypse that day and it was Vasili Arkhipov who looked the horsemen in the eye and said, “not today”.

            After that mission Vasili’s life was lived in a much more calm air. He is perhaps the only man who could come so close to the flame of madness without letting it consume him for even a moment. His memory will remain like a solid glacier, never to succumb to the fire of war.


Convey to me a way to say
that everything we did today
will last forever
in at least
the littlest way.

And all the lips
of lovers lost
linger still
in the shades of sky.

And all the world
is the greatest art
And each of us
play an essential part.

And each of our hearts
are weighed down
by the words that we
never spoke,

so speak.


Ode to Rei Ayanami

You often come to me
in my dreams.

Your blue hair flows
into rivers.

I live at the top
of a glass tower.

I try to hold you close
as I am blasted into space.

You smile to me
as you turn into ash

and become the soil
of the planet
I am falling towards


oh Calypso

i am still waiting for you to return
in the spring
i stick my head outside in the morning
            and i still exhale smoke
            like frost
            but i hate the way
            the boat
                        the oak
                        it’s singing     (and it was yours
                                                and it went on living)
                                                 and there was a twine
                                                attached to the mast
                                                above             (and you are the waves
                                                              and the siren too)
            and i tried to tie it to your wrist
                                                as i left (i said it was a bracelet)
                        but you wriggled free
            and told me you already wear a leaf near your fist
                        to stand for a soul
            and autumn turned it into rust (i tried to grasp the little flakes,
                        the fragments of your memory, but they were lost in the gust
            as the waves
            and the winter took hold of me)

and i am waiting for you, my dear,
to meet me again
in the spring
i am still chiseling away at the
iceberg you left me with
             but sometimes I fear
that i am just
and forgetting
and waiting
for the season to change
in my tiny little fishtank

Her perfume is wine.
            I intoxicate myself
                        as I breathe in.

Stained lips,
            gnashing teeth,
I am dripping
            in fermented

I am lighting fireworks
            into stormclouds.

I am genociding
my antfarm
            with floods of vodka.
                        (except for the pious
                        who still honor my love)

And I am sticking winecorks
            up my nostrils,
            and switching
`                        to scotch


And the Goddess of empty pleasures
gave unto me
a pack
of endless cigarettes.

And I watched with amazement
as she poured two holy liquids together
and called it, “wineka.”

And I drank this wineka
with a zealous haste
until my heart fluttered with warmth
and my eyes grew glazed
and lazy and wondering

like the cherry-scented thoughts
that were so soon lost to me.


A little less salt than Sodom,
but still
I feel as if this is our penultimate autumn
Two more hits
to halt the heart
the frozen part
that once stayed warm
from just a little more sun
Midas well rust the sterling
to still
 the waves
into green hills
And I will spread a flame as I sing
shore to shore,
save maybe some coral caves
worthless now,
as dirt in gills
your voice,
is to be forever found in winter chill
and unto death, you’ll never whisper a plea
just diffuse
and return
to the sea


I eat oak trees.
Yes, I eat them.
            And I eat them whole.

They ding up my teeth.
They chip away
and then cut
            the insides of my mouth
as I chew.

But it doesn’t hurt,
because oak trees are lies,
            and cats are angels.

            I’m afraid,
that you wont love me if I cant smile.
            You wont love the words
that will fall from my toothless mouth.

You will fly away like a dove
with no oak tree to nest in. 


and weeds
grow on my face.
When they fall out,
they leave little holes.
Those holes are reflected
on the page like little black
snowflakes and uprooted veins.


i lost my xenophile
ways in a sharp
of razor
that grow further
through my
flesh and
but they will
the other side
and form
on my back


The trains were very long

I stood
in meter
in relation
to the eye
in the ground.

the trains
proposed agreement
the green door
Latin subway cars
in the middle of
freight vehicles.

Directly under
the roof,
little grated
rectangular windows
and only the light
was in the air,
and a fast typing

This means
it lost
the fear of imagination winding.
Most of them are
engaged in armored

sleigh rides,
fast beast,
a small
country in college
far that way
with vehicles, and
those who went into captivity,
they are closely guarded
by the station
Roof snow
plenty of cars, but
stamped upon
him , and he was
pointed out,
after downloading,

a few days
ran to where
they were pressed
by the footsteps
of watery feces,
urine is yellow.

And on a white
background, silhouettes
of soldiers
of the NKVD
rough and strange. Was
taken by the soldiers,
to the end
of a bayonet to
the shadow rifle.

A huge crowd
behind him.
military force
all obstacles
broken families.

met a girl named Meta
and she said a few things
about metal

and about how we all hate cobalt
but still burn blue

she led me to a trail

she put lead in my shoe
and she weaved me to fail

wisps replaced her gown with chewed trees
but body-less she still sang to me
until i found gold and silver
fish in a river

i swam past broken bottles
in the ether of her iron

but i lost
my tin teeth
on the rocks
that are in the rivers
of her veins

and crawled my way to the shore
to leave a poem
with my titanium bones


The bard named Noname

Turns out,
King Arthur was a girl,
hair as golden as the Grail,
eyes as blue as England sky.
She held a blade called Radiance.
She smote angels from the sky.

I greeted her court
as a jester, a teller of tales.           
And I spoke to her
about harsh summer suns
and cold winter gales.           

That night,
I bought a round of ale,
And passed them around
to every last knight,
as I made my round
around the round table.

I asked in exchange,
for just one story
about their King.

they smiled and drank,
all saying the same,
“her stone, ‘twas the night  
as well as our shame
but the blade that she pulled
‘twas the dawn
‘twas the door to our fame!”

And I could say something more
about the moors
and their wars,
and hunting boars,
and about their whores,

but they paid me with kindness
so I stumbled onward out their doors.


Oh dish-pit princess
            I see you there,
            before your mountain
            of dishes.

That evil queen
            made washing them
            your curse.

And I see how the sweat
            makes your makeup run
            into black rivers below your eyes.

And how your hair is disheveled
            across your face
            like a spider web.

And how your crystal crown
            has fallen into a fondue pot
            from which it may never return.

But oh how I love you all the more dish-pit princess!

For even in the face of endless filthy dishes
You clean each one to dazzle like a star.

And so,
            I have resolved
            to rescue you, my love
            to break your soggy chains
            to have one hand holding yours, and the other a sponge.

And I will stand by your side until the end, whenever it might be,
            right after I bring these salads to table three.