Reaction to Falcon

I recently watched the Captain America sequel, The Winter Soldier, and was immediately impressed both with the character of Falcon and with the movie’s ability to make you believe and understand a character being so loyal to someone he just met. My reaction poem today is based on that relationship and on what I consider to be Falcon’s best line.

I Do What He Does, Only Slower

sometimes it only takes
one encounter, two minutes, five words
a run alongside the fountain,
a stranger showing up at your door
to assign someone to the spot in your head
reserved for best friends and heroes
people who say jump after you’re off the ground
who have tasted the same dust and dung as you

sometimes it only takes
a list of problems, a cry for help
a recognition of your willingness to open the door
to join a mission you won’t walk away from
even before you realize you can fly
to stand behind someone at their world’s end
because you know, even then, they are stronger than you

sometimes it even takes
giving up what makes you special
walking through the crowd, making do
with half an encounter, 30 seconds, a salute
to get the rest of the world to recognize a hero
who has been there all along


Shut Up and Take My Money

The growing popularity of sites like Kickstarter and Subbable gives creators who are connected to their audience’s interests an opportunity not available to those who are not. While there are obvious potential problems to this system, I think the possibility of transferring creative power from bottom-line-driven executives to passionate creators is an exciting phenomenon.

My reaction poem today is for all the projects that 1. would not exist (or would not be as well made or distributed) without crowdfunding and 2. make the world better for having been made. I have listed some of them in the tags but there are many, many more. Feel free to add to this list in the comments. I’m always interested to see what other people are excited about.

Shut Up and Take My Money

interrupted speech
unnecessary sales pitch
trust without seeing

separate bodies
audience and creator
form aligned passions

our creative reach
turns faceless commerce into
shared camaraderie

Children’s TV

Recently, my  job has brought me in contact with a lot of children’s television. Most of the shows seem to follow the same formulas with nothing really separating them. But a few stand out. Today’s reaction poem is about one of the more exceptional shows.

Children’s TV

We all teach them.
Colors, numbers, safety
Share your toys, don’t leave with strangers
Spanish culture, British slang
To accept that fictional characters can talk to you

What do you do that’s so different?
besides maintain the fourth wall
and, yeah, you have minority face but so do we
strong female, magic, talking toys
nothing new here

Okay, we’ll admit.
that when goo that should be inside is outside
and chronic conditions need to be explained
or when fear of the doctor turns into aspiration
you’re the only one still talking

How do you manage?
to explain concepts like first aid and triage to a preschooler
without ever having a lesson plan or learning time
or make science real while still using words like
overwhelmatosis and stickyitis

You go beyond teaching Things.
when a three-year-old sees her brother crying
on the steps after school
and sings “hey, tell me what’s wrong
what’s going on?”

Selection from my book

So, eye surgery went well. Hurrah. I haven’t really got back into writing yet though as I never really mastered the art of touch typing. Instead, today’s poem is a prewritten selection from my book, Nameless. The Interwebs, Man is a reaction poem only in the sense that it is a reaction to a culture in which I am deeply ingrained.

I hope my readers have as much fun reading this one as I did writing it. The benefit of posting it here is that I can have even more fun with it by adding links.

The Interwebs, Man (Now with 100% More Hyperlinks!!1!)

I used to have sympathy for technophobes
but then I took an arrow to the, well, you know,
because no one ever got a million hits on YouTube,
even searching the googles won’t help.

I want to know ALL THE THINGS,
and live as they say in my hometown
but if you think meeting me IRL guarantees priority,
I may just lose my ability to even.

If I can haz my freedom, then I’ll grant your respect.
I’ll applaud a noob who pwns a leet in context,
because there are so many more worlds
in which I am a #epicfail compared to you.

Reaction to Skyscraper

It figures that just about the time I decided to update this blog once a week, I find out that I’m going to need eye surgery today. I may still be able to update next week, but just in case, here’s a poem I’ve been working on a for a while. The desire to write it reared up every time I would listen to John Barrowman’s version of Skyscraper, but I could never get it past a list of random ideas and feelings.

Although I wouldn’t recommend surprise surgery as a writing tool, I guess the news helped my muse find some coherence. Like I’m Made of Paper finally came together this morning. It’s not perfect yet, but at least it’s saying what I want to say. I’d appreciate any comments and constructive criticism. I’d also recommend listening to the song first if you haven’t heard it (any version will do: here’s Demi Lavato’s).

Like I’m Made of Paper

There was a time
the connotation was arrogance,
a head among the clouds,
trying to upstage God.
Terror has rewritten our dictionary.

When did running from the clouds
become cowardice? When did weeping
become weakness? Has anyone ever seen
the sky in tears? When released, does our pain
water the grass, too?

Broken windows tear into callused feet like paper slivers,
even crumpled currency retains mint value.
Someday, someone will understand why small men
feel the need for crisp newspapers.
Powerful words can live on a tattered page.

Tradesmen and clergymen used to yell
“Scrape the sky all you want, you’ll only get
dust under your fingernails.”
But we have turned it into stardust,
and used it in our coffee.