13 December 2004

On the Night of the Twelfth

Meteors fall in green sky-rocket blazes
against the star speckled night-
the moon a dark orb peeking
east like a child pretending
to go to bed

Small ripples in the sea
clash against the metal of the hull
making click-clocked sounds reverberate
in harmony with the slow creaking
of the lines pulling tight
around the bit

A crisp breeze blows just enough
to mandate sleeves and keep
fog from settling in on still
chill waters, a hair dampening
deep fear-seated fright of a night
that leaves men blind
who scare easy

Distant clouds dot the horizon
in greyish purple puffs
radiated orange on the underbelly
by the scowl of urban street
lights growling heavenward
to pollute the evening with
a grimace of modernity

A thousand artificial constellations
dot the horizon, each a minotaur
of industry, a god of oil,
pumping proud and illustrious
in underground tubes the blood
of mechanized life

Flash rain falling orbital,
streaking hot and dripping fire
in moving pleasure fantasy,
a few seconds shining bright
then quietly fading away

11 December 2004

Fear Not the Dragon

And I fear not the dragon,

fire-breathing hush whispers

smoldering warm 'neath the stars,

apollonian in a hearth and a moon

Ashen drift to twilight's bosom;

wayward go the heavens

yet still are we,

amongst the vastness,

clinging, fighting with swords

raised high, to a cause that goes

unheard, a clamorous sound of metal

hitting metal hitting metal

Demon cries in a daylight

charge across the chasm,

to an unknown fate we ride

with withering faith

in battlefields of woe,

rivers red with tears,

mothers waving arms

hysteric in their wails

The flower of youth impaled,

the blood of heroes and cowards

runs through the fields

of springtime bloom

The sun shining bright

after a good rain,

the tears for the departed

drying and moving on

~MJ Dingler & A. McLean, Dec 2004

23 November 2004

Helping Our Neighbors :: Atmore Public Library

Good evening-

In tonight's news report, we bring to you a tragic tale of a small town that has been riddled by a storm. That town, Atmore, Alabama. The town was recently devastated by hurricane Ivan that came ashore along the Alabama Gulf Coast. The town of Atmore was very fortunate, however, in that no people were killed during the storm, despite numerous homes being destroyed. The Atmore Public Library had the roof ripped off and they lost nearly a thousand books. So, in my cause of the day, I am going to start requesting friends and family to do what they can to help.

If anyone is interested you can send monetary donations of books (recent fiction or children's books are helpful) to:

Atmore City Library

700 E. Church Street

Atmore, AL 36502

Thank you and good evening...

p.s. I am not from Atmore. Hell, I'm not even from Alabama. Libraries are good things, though, and should be supported, especially when they are in need. For more information, look up the Atmore Advance at www.atmoreadvance.com or the Atmore Public Library at www.atmorelibrary.com.

22 November 2004

Tao Te Ching : Lao Tzu : XLIV

Your name or your person,

Which is dearer?

Your person or your goods,

Which is worth more?

Gain or loss,

Which is a greater bane?

That is why excessive meanness

Is sure to lead to great expense;

Too much store

Is sure to end in immense loss.

Know contentment

And you will suffer no disgrace;

Know when to stop

And you will meet with no danger.

You can then endure.

-Lao Tzu

18 November 2004

Fairy Tale Princes

While the midgets diddle away

all their glory and all their pay,

where is it you will want to stay?

Late at night, waxing, waning,

what is the story that you're feigning?

With a quick step in your stride,

full of hubris and full of pride,

which way goes the muddy tide?

Treading water, soft, serene,

is all this really what we mean?

A quickly sinking loaded craft

heaving to and fro with graft,

is the problem a leaking shaft?

Could it be it's wound to tight

such as it is in losing might?

The fairy-tale princes will turn cold,

as the mystic cards have told,

deep inside Davy Jones' hold.

17 November 2004

Art is Expression Mixed With Color

I see artwork as a reflection of the issues that a society faces. The ethics and values of artwork are seen throughout history and is editorial of the events of the time. There is more to art than aesthetics. If you look at the simplicity of cave art, it shows the rudiments of their reality.

If art was not indicitive of such things, why has history shown otherwise? In the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany, art was banned or destroyed and artists imprisoned or killed. Even the United States has a history of banning art. Whether it was the literature of Henry Miller or Mark Twain or the art deco movement that was frowned upon because of Soviet adoption of the style. It happened here and could happen again.

Modern art has left the concept phase and moved into the phase of raw ideas actualized. However, just as our society is degenerating, so is the artwork, reflective of the disposable mindset now ingrained in the American psyche.

I do not believe that art, in its traditional sense, is antagonistic to society, rather done as an effect because of it. My sentiments end there, though, when it comes to cinematic expression. The power of film is moving because it can play and pull on a whole range of emotions and manipulate the viewer into a desired mood. Leni Riefenstahl understood this when she filmed what is considered the best propoganda film ever made (Triumph of the Will). Similar to how John Kennedy understood the medium of television in his debates against Richard Nixon.

The argument throughout time of whether art reflects society or society reflect art is one of a Catch 22. Ultimately the side of the argument is determeined by the artwork and the agenda of the person viewing it. When someone makes the argument that art should be banned, question the motives of the person recommending such a course of action. Question anyone who would try and anyone who would consider it.

14 November 2004

Written in an Anthropology Class Taught by Jane Hoff

This was written about ten years ago or there'bouts, maybe '93 or '95::

The world’s notions, beliefs, ideas were all conceptualized by man. Each new thought never thought of before is created by man and his mind. Man subjects to the world his concept of the world and has manipulated himself to be the master. In the domain of earth, he believes himself to be true.

In the grand scheme of things, though, he is not stronger or faster than many animals. He is only a smarter animal, building complex machinery to subjugate creatures large and small. Without his habilis ways, he is nothing but a scared monkey climbing to his escape. Man is no master in the jungle when he is without arms, left only with his wit. He can only scavenge off the carcasses of dead prey left by an animal with stronger jaws. Taking the marrow as his feast, he scurries away like an ant to higher ground.

What unfound gorge shall host a multitude of australopithecine wonders to let man discover his bi-pedal past? Slowly looking over yellow fields man stands upright.

Man is intelligent out of necessity, using intelligence alone to survive.

I make this a prophecy of man’s greatness when he is alone in nature. Years of civilization have come down to this fact, man is becoming more animalistic as he evolves in the socialization of himself. He is learning how to brutalize others of his species in the environment that he has created.

With no other existing predators man becomes the predator and the object of prey. Man learns violent discord in his own environment. The world of man continues down this path until there is a differentiation of two types of men: the hunter and the hunted.

At the House of the Congo

They'll not blindside me,
brown-housers of discontent
that build brick shit-houses
to themselves - a monument to their lord
god, savior safe in piety
and righteousness and deceit
and conceit who trudge down deep

In knee high muck sing praises
of fuck all hallelujah
and the return to the turn
of a maxim whispered long ago-
Glory, glory, the gloom is gone-
and they shall not rise up
with swords fashioned from plowshares
had a generation ago on the farm-
one generation from river trash
that rolled up fresh on the bank,
something that stank of melancholy
and discord - slithering wild belly
crawl until the strike at the heel
after time has passed & at last
the truth - At last the truth

12 November 2004

Huck Nowhere: The Beginning

In the beginning, there was water, and it was wet.

I work at the very end of the Mississippi River, so much so that it is nearly a home away from home, though my wife and kids live one hundred and eight miles upriver. My river. This place I speak of is, at best, a village on the east bank of the mighty Mississippi that uses a system of boardwalks to get from one building to the other. At one point in history, there were over five hundred residents, but those days are long gone. Now there are about eleven, but that may not count Mr Earl who's gone to live closer to roads and infrastructure. His son thinks he shouldn't be in such an isolated area as there are no roads, no cars, no motorcycles (though there is one four wheeler), and there aren't even any horses. The main form of transportation is by boat.

The Mississippi..."Big River" by the Ojibwa tribe, "Father of Waters" by Abraham Lincoln (1863) and James Finemore Cooper (1827), and "a creek that will grow into an insurmountable courier of sediment and stories before she settles with her sea" by Katie Bowler (www.katiebowler.com).

I'm starting this because I am at the very end of civilization and have some time here and there that is better served by my talking to the wind than it is by watching television. So I will place here a miscellany of thoughts, works, compositions, quotes, utter crap and anything else that might come to mind in the middle of the night.