Through the Eye of the Needle – Future Tense


Future Tense


it was a time of firestorm
of hopes tumbling in despair
the world had surely passed the cross roads
the social structure of Democracy come
apart like the ill-fated dream it was

weakened by abuse and neglect
the infrastructure of our politics began to crumble
undermined by the ravages of a reality that flooded against
the foundations of reason and hope; in an instant
civilization’s accomplishments were condemned
to no more than a mere column
in the Pages of History

the land had become shrouded
with the stench of death; and though many avoided
the destructive malevolence of the First Strike
we were left with the deadliest plague:
the vision of those who survived
and the insinuations
implied by their survival

left to founder on an ocean
of bewilderment; lost with but a
prayer; the world was ever
changed after the War

– The Professor
(anno 2035)

Originally published: 08/06/2014

Through the Eye of the Needle – My Manic Mentor


My Manic Mentor


you are daydreaming!”
he often interrupted
my practice this way

“Stay in tempo
one-two-three and four!”
he kept time with a determined stroke
of the baton

“Follow the music.
Not your temptation!
The sheet! The sheet… ah!
What’s the sense?”

he sat down
and rummaged
through his coat pocket
for his pipe

“Let me tell you a story
Mr. Dors,” —what he would call me
when it became obvious
I was all too maverick
to ever learn
the discipline

I had begun to believe that the professor
took me on as a pupil, despite my lack of talent,
simply because I (and perhaps I alone)
was willing to listen to his rants

ones he would set into with the same abandon
as the vagabonds who approach passers-by
on a busy street, engaging them in a witless banter
for the mere misfortune of having
caught their eye

in fact,
he confided in me
how he had discovered
that by putting a drop of saliva
across the eye of a needle,
he could see things
in minute detail

creating for himself an instrument
much like a magnifying glass—
but with a finer focus

I could only chuckle at his eccentricities.
Yet I found myself entranced by
my manic mentor

—being of a lunatic fringe myself
I didn’t mind listening to his tirades,
for somehow I saw a movement,
a poetic voice

much like the wildly ecstatic madness
of a jazz trumpet blowing notes
in sixteenths and thirty-secondths
on the musician’s wild ride
to the far end of the night

Originally published on: Sep 2, 2017

The Pneumatic Steampunk Doorway – Yellow Days

At a spot on the eastern edge of the scorched Mojave Desert, where the Colorado River converges on the Three State Lines, lies an area known as Cal-Nev-Ari. There, it is said once lived a terrible monster—a behemoth coal-fired steam power plant. Officially designated the Southern Mojave Generating Station by the engineers who created the steel and molybdenum beast, it was called SMOGS by everyone else. As if the infernal climate of heat and dust was not enough to make life miserable for those who lived under its shadow, at inexplicable times during the day, the giant erector set belched a cloud of noxious gas from its deceptively cheerful, candy-striped smokestack. This cloud of sulfurous ash hovered in the upper layers above the sleeping town of Cow Rock, a small resort just across the river from the gambling halls and casinos of Layton. The steam and vapor rising from the cooling towers, along with the yellow ash from its exhaust, gave a fearful impression. To the untrained eye, it was part living creature, part fire-breathing contraption—snorting death and carnage from its every orifice into the pristine skies of the bustling desert community.

Ned Bean was a tool room attendant at SMOGS. Immersed in the inner sights and sounds of the steam plant at night, despite frequent fits of yawn and torpor, the unassuming clerk tried his best to keep alert. Motivated by his muse, the never-ending night, Ned often experienced moments of lucid wakeful dreaming. These visions, coupled with the active imagination of a man driven by a surreal sense of reality, are preserved in a log he kept as part of his work duties. The letters which you are about to read, along with the accompanying Pneumatic Steampunk Doorway are the result of the experiment in mental purgatory that was the life of the steam plant clerk.




Yellow Days


“I remember when the sunlight had a special kind of brightness…
yellow days, yellow days”

Alvaro Carillo and Alan Bernstein
©1965 1966 Ed B Marks Music Co



the steam plant
nestles on the banks
of the Colorado River

on an alluvial slope
where the valley rises
to meet the mountains to the west
(another range flanks it to the east)

in a rocky
desert terrain
dotted with scrub greasewood
the electric power generator
stands out-of-place
with the idyllic scenario
of the small desert resort town
that lies just across the river

it seems contrary
that in a landscape so picturesque
surrounded by rugged hills that slope
down into a lake of dazzling cobalt
topped by a sky so perennially blue
the clouds become cameo
—lies this ubiquitous
mechanical skyscraper

a labyrinth of girders and platforms
a giant gray steel erector set
cradled in the bosom
of desert ecoloia

a spewing volcano
—it shrouds the basin
in its jaundiced cloud

“Yellow Days” originally published on Apr 19, 2015 

On the Road to Satori – Alice Texas

the hitchhiker by christiano bill

the hitchhiker by christiano bill

Each one of these stories is like a small window—a motion picture into observations made during a period of travel during the early 1970’s. I hitchhiked the roads of America and spent the years that followed in reflection. These poems are what grew from that soil.

They are to be enjoyed, read as rhythmic rolling narrative. They need no explanation except that, with a few exceptions, they tell a story that follows—one title to the next.

Pablo Cuzco


Alice Texas

in the wee hours
of a pitch black Texas night
in Alice bound for Nuevo Laredo

the road deserted
not even a gun-rack pistol-packing
Texas Truck in sight

no drivers dusted
from too many hours
entertaining the yellow line
looking for a rider to take the wheel

the rattlesnakes chattered
the coyotes yip-yip-yip-aye-ayed
into the pitch-black prelude
to the dawn

a thousand miles from nowhere
with nowhere left to go
a lost and lonesome
highway vagabond

the rumble down ten-wheeler
that eventually picked me up
was headed for Freer

blaring rhythm and blues
on the AM band cracking
and squawking like a CB radio

left little room for conversation
yelling over the noise
grinding gears and rattling truck parts

“Leroy Simmons—glad to meet you
Headin’ far?” Nuevo Laredo
“I can take you part of the way”

the Sonoran Desert
a desolate stretch of highway
Mexico—twenty-five miles to the south

Originally published on November 12, 2014

Through the Eye of the Needle – Millennium




it was the year 2000: an anachronism;
the expectations dubbed on the millennium
the years of speculation and science fiction
—doomsayers predicting the end

and here it was upon us—
we waited with bated breath for the events of history
to come to their fullness; for the world to start afresh

and where was I while all this history
was taking place? on my way to work
just like all the other 6 billion people
on this hot little planet

no apocalypse
no war of man against god
not even a three billion year old rock
hurtling through space to annihilate us

peace was busting out all over
bagpipes were blasting in Scotland Yard
people were dancing; waving freedom’s flag

walls came crashing, war tanks trashed;
the sounds of wild parties competing
with the cries of the crowds shouting
in the euphoric ecstasy of the moment

freedom had become a commodity
accessible to all; like toilet paper—
easily looted from your neighborhood embassies

now all these wondrous turn of events were making me thirsty,
so I wandered to the tap and topped-off another glass of death
clear as crystal; disguised as fresh from the mainline pipes
of metro H2O fabrication plants; filtered
to an exquisite dilution of river sludge
ground water seepage, invisible
to the naked eye

…and drank myself to death

-The Professor

Through the Eye of the Needle – Apocalypse




everyone seemed to become accustomed to it
it seemed ordinary; the bursts of rain chill and foreboding
the sudden cold fronts in the middle of August; July
warm spells deep in the winter months
floods and cataclysm everywhere
a tornado touched down
on the British Isles

what was happening? the secular movement
explained it off as mere fluctuations in mother nature’s moods
christian cults cried of doom—the end of the world—Apocalypse
conservationists petitioned for reforms that would save the earth

astronomers pointed to asteroids that hovered in the cold universe
marking a course for earth; intent on leaving us to the same fate as the dinosaur—extinct
scientists maintained that evolutionary forces were transforming our world
though not one would venture it would be for the better—
whatever the cause
we were inside the era
with little recourse but to continue existing

I was content to go on about my daily life
like a child whistling in a dark forest
ignoring the gleaming night-eyes
waiting for the right moment
to pounce

The Professor
(anno 2040)

On the Road to Satori – Haight-Ashbury

circles by orzz


” Joaquín doesn’t live here anymore. . .


he died of the Vietnam War
—from drugs and alcohol.”

—it’s what I tell whoever asks
about my brother these days


I remember Joaquín
he’d fill my head with stories
about his time stationed at Treasure Island
on leave while in the US Marines
after his tour in ‘Nam

the summer of ’67, San Francisco
the long-legged blonde hippies on Haight sitting
on the sidewalk with blue eyes staring,
spaced out…sit down I
think I love you

Eric Burton
at the Fillmore—before
there was an East and a West—
singing blindfolded, stoned
smoking a cigarette
tempting the edge
of the stage
—tuned in
turned on
and dropped out
from the British Invasion

the yellow corn-cob pipe
and the nickel bag of Vietnamese
smuggled on the plane. I closed my eyes to
Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, my thoughts a stream
of moving pictures, eyes closed
in an instant, opened
to a new sense
of time and

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