Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Toasting Through"

The crescent sickle moon has fallen down on my neck
Guillotine chop, quarter past one thirty five
Drinking gin to stay alive

Emotional reactions like a critical nuclear power-plant
Ticking off wrists, an old prisoner's notches
Hatch downing scotches

The price of matrimony is frequently a faulty liver
Chained down by promises I couldn't deliver
A miscarriage cries out for a fever
Bell tolls at the pull of a lever
Vomiting out the tears
Gaining leers

First second and third: all words ending with an 'x'
Tell me what's so fair about the fairer sex
Toast marriage, drink through divorce
Stay drunk, stay the course
Bubbly fizzed out
Buzzed doubt

AA meets at six today
Therapist made me go
Wanted sex yesterday
Wife said, "No."
So I go to the bar
Have a beer and cigar
Blue moon and blue balls
On the rocks...
Like my current marriage.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Bathroom Sink"


Clam shaped, indented-- by no means a bowl
O the things I drained down my orifice


Icy heaven and hot hell knob summoners
Bookending the spigot of the river Styx


Piping your sins to plant, treated with lime
Until the day the devil comes


Spewing out the deeds I drank
The secret life of a septic tank

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Eclectic Tastes"

Eclectic tastes are made in haste
Sticking like a butter paste
A jam of this and spread of that
Likes like yeast falling flat

Variety is the the spice of life
Wanton dashes flavors rife
Kitchens that brim with cooks
Ripping pages out of books

No sign of a true gourmet
Loving with no delay
Perhaps there is no taste at all
When one prefers the taste of all

"When Life Finally Finds Me"

When life finally finds me
I hope I'm in a place
Where winds are brash
With lots of cash
Wearing a warm embrace

When peace finally finds me
It should see me fit
Where whines are seldom
With toasts to freedom
And compliments to my outfit

When love finally finds me
Fate must match fantasy
Wear fair skin and brunette
With curls and no regret
Behaving bad but classy

When truth finally finds me
I fear it will be too late
Where wishes were cast
With good saved for last
Idle handed me my checkmate

"I Say Dream Too Much"

When others beg for life, I say dream
Like a stern yet fatherly guide
So sincere yet arrogant (or confident)
Repeated in my motherly mind
Chasing a faint shadow, not a risk
Willing to take distantly (consistently)
The machinations, I find cool
Sold at the dollar store

Art begs to question, I say dream
While wondering which motifs
The naked eye will spot (not a lot)
Stirring my own witch brew
Overabundant charm, and detail
A dialogue complex (new dialects)
I intend so much, achieve small
Found in a discount bin

Doubting nightmares, I say dream
Sewing my name on life's collar
A claim misplaced (even two faced)
Yet I see with a wife's sense
Fate's ribbons are clear, within grasp
After all that dreaming (no meaning)
My repeated passion, each echo fades
The ultimate cost of overuse

"Between 2 and 1"

I seek a chasm far less great,
Than losers' spite and a winner's hate
I do not know a worse success
Than being known as second best

Shakespeare had a rival
Whose name I did not know
For the plays he'd written
Time would dare not show

If I am runner up
History makes no note
If I am forgotten
So too my vote
If I am speechless
Goodbye, immortality
If I am dead
So I remain
If I do not die number one
I'll go insane.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Break Notice

Going to be taking a week or so off from blog writing to focus on the final rewrite of my upcoming book. I will likely be posting a few short articles and will likely add a few poems daily-- perhaps even novella chapters. Sorry to those of you who have come to enjoy my blog! I assure you, after I get caught up with my deadlines, I will be once again posting lengthy entries for your reading pleasure.

- B

Saturday, March 23, 2013

LOMP: Laugh Out of My Prison

This entry is intended for a special someone in my life who unfortunately suffers from GAD, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but it also applies to anyone who feels an intense fear at some point or another. That means it applies to everyone-- myself included. Constant anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, as fear is an integral part of human nature. You're not strange, if anything you're even more human than others. Humanity is a species beset by weaknesses, but the act of overcoming them is what defines our race. Throughout the annals of time, other humans like yourself have faced the fears you faced-- rational or otherwise. They evolved and adapted to combat and grow past them... and you will too.

The worst fear a man can face is a fear without a face. Why? Because it's untouchable and unable to be proven or measured. The uncertainty adds to the danger, and you're always left feeling insecure. In that same sense, the hardest prison to escape is that of our own minds. For so many people, that prison is their fate and they feel like they'll never find parole. They live stagnant lives, frozen by their apprehension. Sure there's drugs like Xanex and the like, but for most people their side-effects only make things worse. If professional therapy doesn't even work, where can you turn?

"Hopeless. Everything is hopeless. I'll never get better. Things will never change. There is no cure." 

Anxiety is a beast that creates a never-ending cycle of terror-- because you get anxiety... about anxiety.

But that cycle can and will END. Here's some good news: matters of the mind can always be conquered. If you break your back and become paralyzed for life, there's not much you can do... but with fear? You're not physically paralyzed at all! Your boat is chained down by an imaginary anchor. You know that prison cell you're in? No walls. The only thing keeping you trapped inside is... well, nothing. Good news, you're free to go. Wait... why are you still standing there? I said you could go...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How To Never Read Past How To

I question Mark.

I've never read anything past the words, "How to." Goals, like band-aids, are just something I bleed through. Dreams, a read-through, the before the after. Happily ever after seems a bit like lazy falling action. Why does the action have to fall anyway? "You're a writer, why are you bothering with gravity?" I guess I just try to stay grounded-- I'm too old to have my mother do it. I don't like thinking about my mother doing it. That's why I'm doing it my way. Technically that's Sinatra's way, but hey, life can't always take place at Burger King.

Life is like a passing thought. It's like an unfinished metaphor in that. Does the thought ever occur to you? No, I occur to it. My thoughts are sporadic and Socratic. They're dispersed questions, like a series of mosquitoes protesting malaria injections. They suck, they're full of blood, and they don't always make sense. But how do you make sense anyway? What's a rhetorical question with an answer? A paradox.

The point of prose is to substantiate poetic critique. It rhymes perfectly with morose, flows and even rose(poet's love that one.) What is a rose anyway, by any other name? Doth it not smell as sweet? Sure, unless you call it shit. What is the word shit, if not but a symbol for language itself? Poop, excrement, feces, defecate-- all sound far to delicate, silly and sophisticated for the crap they describe. Shit is curse, but it has the same amount of letters as poop. What makes one silly? What makes one inappropriate? I'd argue that shit is the most appropriate tag for a turd, yet such is its curse.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Google Glass: Here's Looking at You[r] Kid

"I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time."  
- Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google 

Several days ago, I detailed the emergent technology Google Glass and pondered the ethical repercussions that arise from a future of widespread dependence on the device. I strongly suggest you read that entry prior to this installment. See: Google Glass: Futuristic... and Freaky 

While I've made the case that Google's invention may inadvertently force an upgrade on the human race that downgrades intellect, let it be known that I am in no way a crazy conspiracy theorist. I do not mistake Google's ambition for evil (even if their mantra does echo the mad mission of Dr. Who villain Cybus prior to the creation of the Cybermen.) If anything Google is naive, underestimating the power of its own creation. For with all power comes perversion... and Google cannot stop the nefarious from misusing their technology.

"Google Glass, ASSIMILATE!"

At the risk of putting ideas in the heads of the deviant, I won't bring up some of the extremely disturbing potential uses for the device that crossed my mind... but I will pose some pretty heavy scenarios so those of you with anxiety about these sorts of things should probably give this blog entry a pass. That said, I'd like you to do your best to read on and consider everything I say is merely a possibility. Still... they are all quite possible.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Writing Recipes: Just Desserts #1

B's Protagonist Pie

Make a character  that readers will eat right up!

- 6 cups: Weakness
Essential. Vary the amount for the desired taste-- less for sweet or more tart. A believable brand of weakness works best. Fear is always your friend. Maintaining balance is vital when adding this ingredient-- as with all things. Too little and your protagonist pie comes out fake, too much... your pie comes off as a bit needy and unlikable. Unless you're baking a pity pie, in which case you should dump the stuff in!

- Fill a mixing bowl with: Background
The foundation of your delightful dessert. Must mix well with all other ingredients and must feel real. Do not let this part be obvious to the eater, new cooks! It should be tasted subtly between bites and tasted at just the right time.

- 3.56 tsp: Quirk
Pepper in as desired to make your Protagonist Pie stand out from the rest. More- if you want it to be a weirdo, less- if you want a more serious pie. Try to be unique. We have enough chain smoking wise cracking detective pies. The eater desires new  flavors, aspiring bakers!  

- 2 tbsp: Strength
Your Protagonist Pie needs a kick-- robust flavor. (A pie can gain or lose this over time) Add in any kind of strength. Give it skills, abilities. Things that make the pie cool and interesting. You need to take care not to add too much strength because that makes your creation unrealistic and hard for an eater to relate with.  

-  Don't forget the Dynamic 
Change in your confection is the yeast that makes it rise up to great heights. Forget to add it and your static cooking falls flat-- ruining the entire pie. Make sure the texture of your pie ends up fitting the intended mold but able to be decorated and eaten away at over time. Progression is a key ingredient to all the best protagonist pies.

- Stuff full of: Beliefs
A proper pie must be baked with a drive in mind. What does it think? How does it think? Who does it hate? Love? Does it hate politics? Does it care for religion? Humans are full of opinions, so stuff your protagonist pie properly.

- A stick of: Interests
Interests make any pie appealing, bringing your creation to life. Throw a bunch in for better taste, but not too many because they can be quite fattening. If a protagonist is too bloated with hobbies it seems distracted and unfocused-- sidetracking the entire dessert.

- Crusted with: Persona
The crust of your pie should be different from the insides. All protagonists must have different masks they wear for others to keep their fillings safe. Let the filling ooze out at the proper time, keep the crust on most of the time. Keeps the reader hungry for more.

- Glaze with: YOU
That secret sauce that is all your own. Your signature. The stuff that makes a protagonist pie a drool-worthy delight worth diving into. This is the part you need to discover all your own. A special quality that only YOU can put in. Genuine things can happen with this, just don't lose yourself in your cooking. Never bake your own heart into a pie, just add your blood.  

Hope you enjoyed a peak into this writer's kitchen. For more savory selections of novel nibbles keep an eye here at my blog.

- B

Thursday, March 14, 2013

National Wormhole Day: Bloghop

"What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once? One safe round trip passage. Would you go back in time and talk some sense into a younger you? Go five years into the future and bring back the Wall Street Journal? See just how the heck the Great Pyramids of Giza were really built? View what the other side of the universe looks like?"

None of the proposed options appeal to me. A wormhole is a phenomenon that if improperly utilized could cause limitless paradoxes and space-time conflicts that stand to unravel the very fabric of time and threaten existence itself. That said, I will set aside my reservations for the meddling with existentially cataclysmic forces and answer the proposed question.

First off, I'd forgo the safe round-trip passage. If I'm going to travel through space time, I surely will not desire a return-- nor will I rob myself the pleasure of facing uncertain danger. It's quite romantic really, blipping about various ages and places across reality. I'd liken the experience to an episode Dr. Who, chancing into otherworldly delights and dangers by means of the TARDIS' tricks.

If I had to limit my dimensional exploration to only one place and time I'd travel to the furthest point in human (or whatever evolved species genetically derivative of humanity at the time) advancement wherever it is located in the universe. I'd like to visit an era that would allow for physical alternations that ensure biological life becomes indefinite  as well as tools to further express the limitless creative forces always swelling in my mind-- writing books for an eternity.

Perhaps I've taken this fun little game too seriously?      

- B

Click the jump below to enjoy other blogs' answers to this question

Google Glass: Futuristic... and Freaky

Say, "cheese"... Clarice

Recently, I wrote a blog entry regarding the false need for smartphones and my unwillingness to upgrade with the rest of the world. At the end of the piece, I jokingly said I'd break down and upgrade when Google Glass hit the market due to my glasses fetish. Since then, however, I've had time to consider a world viewed through the futuristic lens of Google's all-seeing eye. Despite my childhood-seeded desire for living in a Blade Runner-esque cyberpunk society, I've become reluctant to see the dreams of Google Glass fully realized. In our age of ultra advanced technology, each new tech faces a fine line between a being helpful... and eerie. In this case, I find Google's attempt in making the next jump in modern communication a leap that lands on the creepy side.

Before any further discussion in regards to its ethics, I'd like to give a run down on what exactly Google Glass is and does for those of you who are unfamiliar. I think Google's marketing has done a splendid job of this already, so I will provide their advertisement before I make my own rundown:

Pretty neat, huh?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Making Peace with Lost Creations

An all too familiar ill befell me today-- a cruel twist of fate that has plagued me frequently in the past, and shall surely continue to antagonize me in the days to come. My lament is one that is echoed throughout human existence-- a spurned yet inevitable part of any artist's life.

The loss of one's work.

Pardon the sudden transition in font, boldness, italics and size, but the severity of the predicament demands that I pull out all the stops. Today, like many other days, luck--or lack of it--hath beckoned back my woes. Microsoft Word 2013 is still quite in BETA, so I cope with bugs abound... and the mal-est of malfunctions reared its ugly head... save corruption. A computer crash has lost me a substantial amount of work-- two whole days worth, to be exact. For non-writers perhaps that may not seem like much, but due to the fleeting nature of my brain's creative bursts that flare spontaneously as I write, this means I lost ideas, descriptions and dialogues that I will never again be able to retrieve.

Non-writing folk will frustratingly tell me and the countless others who've shared my misery:

"You did it once, you can do it again."

I can do it again, yes, but never ever in the same way and therein lies the tragedy. Forever lost... the original work shall never see the eyes of a reader. In all works of art, the creator knows that producing the same outcome twice is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

Why? Because there is a certain relationship between an artist and its medium that cannot be feigned. Writing something you've already written but lost--not to be confused with a rewrite-- is like trying to pick out someone the same exact birthday card two years in a row:  It feels forced, it's hard to do, and even if you get it right it's not nearly as effective as the first time. It's the sad truth. The unprovoked and unexpected snippets of inspiration that arise amiss earnest writing sessions are irreplaceable  You cannot control the weather, nor can you predict--or truly understand--a brainstorm. The tempest that is creative energy is like a fossil fuel-- once you mine it, it's gone. Kaput. Picture the tragedy that is an oil spill... the tremendous loss of life and wealth. My creations are alive in my mind, and when events of their lives disappear it is as tragic as an Alzheimer's patient's loss of memories. Never again will I see those precious moments.

And yet, I must carry on.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Bard: Track 1 (Preview)

Track 1: The Lost Love Song

A bleak blonde man lost his edge, living in a land of loss
 Bathe, shave, brush and floss
Day in and out, mopes and cries
Scouring the weary world for worth with piercing blue eyes

A heavy heat hung miserably about the air, loitering to mock the room’s broken ceiling fan. A yellowing keyboard clattered off like a machine gun. The monotonous chorus of clicks served as a fitting anthem for dull deskwork, if it could still be called that. The office hadn’t seen the likes of a desk in months, though it faced no shortage of paper. Somewhere within the ocean of documents, a golden plaque gasped for air— engraved with the name of the slob responsible for its suffocation.

SGT. DET. Edison B. Locard

A soft blue glow lit up the face of a disheveled man in his thirties. The man’s face was glued to his  monitor. Perspiration dripped out of the messy mop of blonde hair, leaking onto the man’s brow.  

Let’s see what we’ve got…”

Edison Locard wiped the sweat off his forehead.

 “Clara Anderson’s thirty-five year living streak ended when a family of five bullets moved into her chest. Her spouse, Jonathan Anderson, discovered her body in their apartment after coming home from work—”
A long yawn interrupted the man’s narration. Despite attempts liven up deskwork with a creative tone, Edison couldn’t stave off the boredom overtaking his brain. It wasn’t that the detective failed to take his work seriously; he simply yearned to be out in the field investigating murders. Writing up reports on someone else’s findings didn’t account for a good time in Edison’s book— especially not his former partner’s.

“According to the ballistics analysis of Detective-Specialist Warren Michaels, the lack of powder burns on the victim’s hands rules out suicide. The fact that Michaels even considered the possibility of suicide with points to his lack of common sense, considering the corpse was found with a full round in its chest. Not to mention the missing gun.”

Edison highlighted the jab at his former partner, realizing the report’s tone was getting bit too unprofessional even for his standards. His finger hovered over the delete key. The detective smirked as he envisioned Chief of Detectives Harold Delveccio’s jowls flop in disapproval. As much as the prospect of simultaneously annoying both Michaels and Delveccio tickled him, Edison pressed down on the key.

“Michaels identified all six slugs as .357 caliber. Rifling marks match serial number 04673218-457, a Smith and Wesson revolver flagged in the database as sold to an illegal redistributor. Vis a vie, the bullets  are a dead end and the gun is MIA.”

Edison scrolled down to the last page of the report.  It contained two photos with brief write-ups underneath.

“Suspect Jonathan Anderson, the vic’s spouse, story checks out.” Edison continued. “The task force sees no reason to continue looking in Jonathan at present. In addition to his rock solid alibi, there is no discernable motive. The investigation has gathered almost all positive feedback in regards to the Andersons’ marriage.”

Edison paused, turning his piercing blue-eyed gaze down at his mess of a desk.

“Except from the testimony of the vic’s sister, Audrey Baines,” Edison read slowly. “Due to the resentful and bitter tone of Miss Baines, the task force considers her a person of interest.”

The detective picked snatched a photo from the mess of papers. It was a portrait of Audrey Baines, the woman mentioned in the report. Her beady, yellow eyes stared back him like the eyes of a hungry mouse, twitchily alert.

“Audrey, unmarried and unattached, is successful interior decorator living in Caramel, a short drive from NYC. When asked about any problems between her and her sister, Audrey admitted that she and Clara had been estranged for seven years, attributing the rift as a result of her demanding career. She also blamed her severe agoraphobia. Coincidentally, Audrey’s inability to leave the house doubled as her alibi.”

This time a splitting headache interrupted the detective’s reading. Edison stroked his head back to a tolerable level of pain.

“Psych evaluations confirm the prior existence of such a condition. Audrey also produced a decade worth of receipts for home deliveries as well. All clients confirmed her work as a ‘Skype-only service.’” 

Edison shook his head.

“Since when has claiming to home alone during the time of a murder ever been a good defense?” the detective mused aloud, no longer reading his report.

“You have to love the way the system coddles murders these days. Decorating rooms without entering them… Psh. Yeah, that’s what a normal person does. Wish observable crazy was grounds for warrant. Then again, I probably shouldn’t talk considering I’m having a full-on conversation with myself.”

Edison leaned back, rubbing the tuft of yellow whiskers growing out the bottom of his pointy chin. He peered quizzically at the ceiling, wishing the solution would unravel itself in the muggy air above. The detective dropped his head into a pillow of papers, letting out of a long groan of tired frustration. He turned his head sideways, meeting eye to eye with a mahogany picture frame. Behind its glass, a lanky upstart ten years his younger slouched beside Edison Locard’s wife. Though decked in a snazzy black suit and tie, the young man’s long blonde hair knew neither scissor nor comb. His gritty chin looked like overused sandpaper crossed with a dying Chia-Pet. The man looked more like a bum than a groom, especially next to the beacon of beauty that was his wife.

The breathtaking bride in the photograph did not share the unkemptness of her partner. Each strand of the buxom beauty’s flowing locks radiated dazzling platinum. With elven ivory skin and a set of glinting emerald irises that could outshine all the jade in China’s treasury, the girl both defined and transcended the very concept of beauty. Her smile spanned ages, lighting an eternity of hope in all who’d look upon its pearlescent splendor. She had the look of goddess; a loveliness that deserved immortality.  

The insolent knave that lured her in grinned unappreciatively beside her. It turned Edison’s stomach. The detective slammed the picture down.

“You have no right to smile.”


Upon hearing the distinctive knock, Detective Locard’s body shot upright. Edison conditioned the response long ago, prone to naps as he was.

“Locawd, it’s Hawold Delveccio, I’d like to a woyd.” 

The door flung promptly open, allowing the obese Chief of Detectives to squeeze through.  At 6’ 8”, the cop had the height of a basketball player, yet his girth made him more fit to be a basketball.

“Chief, you don’t have to announce your full-name every time you—”

“Someone needs to make these things mowah accessible,” Harold grumbled, playing the part of contortionist to conquer the doorway.

“Or you could cut back on the donuts,” Edison jeered, damming the laughter creeping up his trachea. “You don’t have to single-handedly preserve that old police cliché, you know…”

“Alweady with the jokes?” the Chief sighed, stuffing his face with another donut. “I don’t know why you think you can talk down to a superior like… JESUS CHWIST, LOCAWD.”

The Chief did a spit-take of crumbs at the sight of Edison sty/office.

“I figured the son of God would be a little above making fat jokes,” Edison snickered.

“Edison Locawd, the fiwst pewson to witerally dwown in papah wowk,” chided the rotund police chief.  

“Eh, my office is no dirtier than your Boston crème ‘stache,” the detective retorted.

“You awh lucky I put up with youwah lip,” the Chief muttered, dusting crumbs from his thick brown mustache. “Don’t think you might be able to moh things accomplished if you spwuce things up? A life in disawway is a life in decay.”    

“Harry, give it up,” Edison said, smirking. “Asking me to clean is like asking you to pronounce the word extraterrestrial.”
“I’ll give up when you gwow up.”

“Only if you stop growing sideways.”

Disappointed, the Chief swung his jowls side to side.

“Poke fun at me all you want, but you need to stop making excuses,” the Chief advised sternly. “I know that case has got a gwip on youwah mind. Shut it out. Focus on the pile of open cases you got theyah.”

“I made peace with the fact I’d never be allowed near that case,” Edison muttered. “That’s not the problem, it’s the system. If you’re smart and have a decent lawyer, it’s easy to slip away from justice.”

“Have you fohgotten about—” the Chief started.    
Edison stood upright and slammed his hands on the desk. Papers fluttered off the desk like a frightened flock of pigeons.  

No,” Edison said softly, sitting back down. “That’s the case that’s driving me over the edge. Over three years and not a shred of evidence… Not a single suspect.”

“You can’t west on youwah lauwals just because he’s inactive,” said the Chief.

“That’s what you think I’m doing?” Edison snapped.

The Chief fell silent.

“My best friend’s life will not be safe until the day that bastard is caught,” the detective growled. “I want to catch him more than anything.”

“Wanting it isn’t enough,” Harold said. “Wesults. That’s what I need to see.”
Edison shrugged and looked away.

“You need to get youwah act togethah,” the Chief continued. “Youwah office was nevah this bad. I hate looking at it. Clean it up alweady, will you? Back up youwah conviction. Show me you take this job sewiously and add some pwogwess to that passion. I want to see that outstanding detective I used to know.” 

“You’ll have to dig him up,” Edison said somberly.

“No, wake him up,” the Chief corrected.

“Don’t act like you don’t know how useless I am now, shoveling all this deskwork my way.”

Harold Delveccio grimaced sympathetically, feeling the defeat in the sleuth’s tone.

“Maybe I have been a bit hawsh on you,” the Chief said, picking up a few papers.

A bit?” Edison scoffed.

“Wemember I got my shawah of stwess,” the Chief said. “Commissionah Suawez is bweathing down my neck about catching this  serial killah. Can’t blame Julian though. You can bet the mayah’s putting the same pwessha on him.”

Edison nodded distantly, his interest waning fast.

“It’s a chain of aggwavation, weally,” Harold rambled on. “With the economy the way it is, we don’t need a guy destabilizing businesses like this. New York City is the cowpowate capitol of the planet. It’s bad enough that—”   

“Listen, I really can’t talk,” Edison interrupted “My boss will eat me with sprinkles if this report isn’t on his desk by the end of the day. You know, serve and protect… copy and collate.”

Originally coming to discuss demotion, something in Harold Delveccio’s gut— be it either pity or faith— had caused him to reconsider. The Chief could practically hear Edison’s broken heartbeat, clicking desperately like a lighter low on oil. Bringing up demotion was a lot like blowing on dying campfire. The gust of oxygen could either resuscitate Locard’s flat-lining career—or extinguish it completely. Detective Locard’s edge had dulled considerably, but Harry could still feel faint heat— embers of Edison’s past passion struggling to reignite on its own.

“Is that all you wanted to say?” Edison asked.

Harold cleared his throat anxiously.

“I hate to um, say it, but it might do you uh… good if you—”

“If this is about me dating again, drop it,” Edison cut in. “I get more than enough pep talks from Leon.”

“That’s erm, not what I was getting at,” the Chief said. “I have an idea that weally might help you.”

Edison raised both eyebrows and shook his head.

“Enlighten me…” he sighed.

“We could uh, lighten your load,” Harold proposed, pulling on his collar.

“You’re assigning me an intern?” Edison asked, purposely misinterpreting the Chief’s shaky euphemism.
The Chief nodded slowly.

“Wow, you guessed it,” the Chief chuckled nervously. “We awah giving you a fwesh face to wok with, still in college.”

“How’d you come up with that idea?” Edison asked, smirking.

“Thwough teaching anothah we leawn the most about ouwselves,” Harold answered, taking a brief pause to think. “And this office is getting cleaned one way or anothah. If you won’t do it, the intewn—”


“I beg youwah pawdon?”

“I don’t need some kid throwing off the perfect chi I’ve strived so hard to maintain here.”

The Chief shook his head,

“My decision is final,” he grunted, facing the daunting task of fitting himself back out.

“Don’t let the doorway fit you on your way out,” Edison snickered.

An hour’s worth of editing later, Edison finally sent his report off to Chief’s inbox.  The detective exhaustively pressed the power button on his computer, drained by the insignificance of the assignment. He sloshed through his trashed office and made his way out into sterile hallway. He shielded his eyes, blinded by the sheer whiteness.  One Police Plaza, the NYPD’s relatively new central headquarters, décor was completely modernized— as sleek and chic as the iMacs nestled on each desk.

A stubborn creature of habit, Detective Locard had every last detail of his old office imported to the new building. Since Edison lacked the rank or authority to merit his own office, the Chief had to pull some strings to get him one—as well as permission to work solo. In the past, the detective’s exceptional ability gave tolerance to his eccentric tendencies. Dulled and unproductive as he’d become, Edison knew his privileged days were numbered. Rather than respect, his name was propped up by pity. He could feel it in the eyes the other, keener detectives. It burned. Rather than risk making eye contact, Edison kept his gaze down at the over-waxed floor, watching his haggard reflection amble underfoot.

The tired blonde tapped the down arrow beside the elevator, saying a prayer for emptiness.


As the elevator doors parted, Edison breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank god I—”


A meaty hand slid between the crack of the closing doors, dashing Edison’s hopes for a quiet descent. A tan, muscly cop lumbered into the elevator and pressed the button for floor B-2, the address of 1PP’s state-of-the-art ballistics center.  

“How’s the shit in your toilet?” the hulking cop greeted crudely in a heavy Brooklyn accent.
Edison gave not so much as an acknowledging nod to the loud man’s presence. Though many tried, it was difficult to ignore the boisterous Brooklynite, sporting a look as brash as his attitude. Scarlet aviators hung over a titanic schnoz, razor sharp hair-spikes and sleeves rolled to his shoulders with inked muscles on full display… The man looked more like a club bouncer than ballistics expert.

“YOU DEAF, LOCARDI!?” the gaudy cop roared in Edison’s ear.

“I heard you, Warren…” Edison muttered.

Detective-Specialist Warren ‘Ace’ Michaels… just the man he wanted to avoid.

“Sorry, if I confused ya there, broski,” Ace said, giving Edison a firm slap on the back. “Just sayin’ hi in a creative way. Lookin’ for a new way to introduce myself, ya know? I want people to know Ace has entered the room the moment he enters it.”

“Have you tried wearing a bell?” asked Edison.

“Bro, tell me you finished that Clara Anderson report,” Ace said excitedly, ignoring his ex-partner’s jab. 

“You best write me up proper, SON.”

“Yes, your dead-end of a ballistics report has been submitted,” Edison replied.

“What you get a papah cut?” Ace asked, frowning. “What’s with the piss, Ediss?”

“Can you not talk for two seconds?”


“Think quietly about tattoos or something. Just do whatever it is you normally do to amuse yourself when there’s no one around for you to annoy.”

“Hop off, Locardi,” Ace barked. “Not much love coming at me from your direction. Been that way for a while. Not sure how I feel about it, bro.”

“You’re pretty fuzzy on a lot of things aren’t you?” Edison asked snarkily.

“Watch it…” Ace warned. “I’m passed the funny business.”

“Yeah? That’s why you work undercover on the side, now? To stay away from it?”

“Good one douche, I’m as clean as anybody. I’d appreciate an end to the shit talkin’. Getting more than a little old, buddy.”

“Know what else is getting old?” Edison asked, finally looking Ace in the eye.


My lack of closure.”

Ace shook his head and sighed.

“Don’t even, Locardi. I’ve been bustin’ my ass night n’ day tryin’ to turn that bullet into a lead. You’re just bitter ‘cus you ain’t allowed a foot from that case. You think you’d do better, huh? Given your shit streak?   I seem to recall a certain serial-killer still runnin’ high and dry.”

Edison quieted.

“That’s what I thought,” Ace sneered, his left nostril flaring up. “What happened to ya is a truly sorry thing. No doubt. But lay off me, will ya? I ain’t no bad guy. I’m a detective. Same as you. Damn fine one, if I do say so myself.”


“You’re a detective-specialist,” Edison corrected. “It’s an honorary title, as in, made-up. Similar to how you call yourself Ace. You’re an expert marksman who isn’t officially a—”

“Whateva, Locardi,” Ace interrupted. “I stuck my nose in lots of pies and came up blueberries.”

“What the hell does that even mean?”

“It means I earned my title, same as you. I’m ambitious and I take every opportunity and job that I can.”

“Warren, you know your way around a gun. That’s your niche. Save yourself some embarrassment and stop trying to branch out. Calling you a fine anything is going out on a limb. A flimsy one.”
The hue of Detective Michaels’ face matched that of his sunglasses.

“Warren, you have a lovely evening,” Edison bid insincerely as the doors closed.


The detective bolted out of One Police Plaza like a Kenyan Olympian sprinting off hot coals.  Fortunately for the homeward gumshoe, his commute was quite walkable— no need to take the subway or a cab. The man’s pace slowed significantly the moment his feet touched the sidewalk. The smooth, orange oxygen proved immediately therapeutic, blustering blithely into his sore pores. To Edison, breathing in Manhattan’s brisk aura felt like taking the first bite of a crisp Macintosh. Despite all the city’s airborne toxins, the spicy aroma of the constantly colliding culture made the air a pleasure to inhale. A vibrant mixture of Manhattanites made up the cement of the city’s summer sidewalks. Venders, tourists, businessmen, street performers, beggars, lovers… all unique pieces making up the puzzle that was the populous, and Edison Locard fit in perfectly. He rather enjoyed being a cog in the Metropolitan machine.  After all, he shared his home with the Giants, the Yankees and the Knicks— for better or for worse. Edison Locard’s heart truly rested at the core of the Big Apple. He adored NYC— a city so alive, it had no need for personification. The gargantuan advertisements, the flamboyant street life, the breakneck pace… Locard loved feeling that he was part of a living breathing organism. People often smiled at him as he passed, recognizing who he was and what he did.

The off-duty detective withdrew his ancient flip phone from his coat pocket, deciding to check his messages. Text messaging served as Edison’s main means of communication, or more accurately… avoiding communication.


L. Silv stood for none other than Leon Silverman, the acting CEO of Apollo Investments. Despite his preoccupation running the biggest private equity investment firm in the world, Leon always wedged his dear friend Edison into relentless schedule. While a normal person would practically kill to be best buddies with a multi-billionaire, money meant nothing to Edison. In fact, if anything, Leon’s wealth made things a bit uncomfortable. Edison felt like a pebble attempting to befriend a mountain.

Up for a little soiree at my penthouse, tonight? In dire need of my wingman haha. Plenty of exotic birds looking to get their beaks wet- if you catch my drift. ;-)

No, Leon, your drift blew right past me.”

The squire was indeed a suitor with no need for assistance. Women salivated over mere the prospect of breathing the billionaire’s air, let alone sharing his fine linen sheets. The Englishman’s wit met his wealth, and he had debonair to match his dash. Truly, with a veritable god like Leon Silverman at its helm, Apollo Investments could not have been more aptly named.

no thx. work conflict... mayb coffee n sparring instead later this week – ED

While Edison knew he could use a night out, Leon’s little soirée landed last on his list of places he wanted to spend one. Little. The billionaire’s choice in adjectives could not have been worse. When it came to Leon’s parties, the word ‘hedonistic’ fit far better. Fountains flowed with the finest spirits and wines, and that was only the tip of the ice sculpture.   Mind numbing melodies sung by music’s hottest of the hot rocked the penthouse— being able to perform at the party was the musician’s honor. Only the upper-crustiest of Manhattan’s in-the-know nightlife attained Silverman’s coveted invite— the invite Edison Locard casually rejected it via text.

The anti-socialite was still scarred by the first Silverman shindig he’d attended. Edison pledged the first to be his last henceforth with a toilet seat as his witness. Social overload wasn’t the issue, the party simply proved too rich for blueblood. With his high ranking job, Edison wasn’t poor by any stretch— he just disliked overindulgence. While he did take occasional pleasure in the CEO’s money sinks, the detective preferred a quiet conversation over a Café Americano à la Starbucks— or a round of sparring of course.


Members of the Occupy NYC movement had once again marched their way to Police Plaza, protesting the uncalled brutality unleashed upon them by the city’s resident ‘power-drunk pigs’—at least that’s what Edison gathered from a crudely crayoned sign held up my a shirtless man in a Viking hat.

Detective Locard had quite an open mind. As with the previous Occupy Wall Street movement, Edison didn’t necessarily disagree with the political activists’ plea against corruption and the unbalanced distribution of wealth, but he did oppose their clogging of rush hour traffic.(Not to be confused with the Dutch dance troupe that literally clogged during rush hour traffic.)

While held up at the crosswalk waiting for the protestors to pass, a huge advert hung upon a distant skyscraper caught Edison’s eye. The ironic ad featured the latest Broadway production: Atlas Shrugged, the Musical.

“Ah, Broadway. The memories I have with that stage…”

A stout woman standing beside Edison snuck a peek at his ears, checking for a Bluetooth. Seeing none, she widened the distance between them. Edison’s habit of self-conversation often produced such a reaction. Like usual, Edison didn’t even notice the woman’s discomfort, lost in his own sweet recollection. He pined for the way his heart leapt each time the door handle to Christina’s dressing room turned, clutching the bouquet of scarlet-tipped yellow roses nervously. He’d given his love a tribute of flowers ritualistically. Cultivating a garden would have saved Edison a small fortune, but money hadn’t mattered much to him anyway. The cost of tickets, bouquets and cab fare were all minor expenses in his young quest for companionship. Edison’s stomach gurgled at the thought of all the skipped dinners. Lost in the mesmerizing ether of days past, Edison could almost hear their song playing.  

Shadows grow so long before my eyes
And they're moving across the page
Suddenly the day turns into night
Far away from the city
But don't hesitate 'cuz your love won't wait

Suddenly, it occurred to him that melody had not emanated from his imagination. This wasn’t just another forlorn conjuration, a nearby street musician was actually playing it. The enchanting tune led Edison to an odd street musician sitting upon the stoop of a closed law office. The guitarist’s case sat beside him, filled to the brim with bills. So taken by the street performer’s rendition of “Baby, I Love Your Way,” Edison felt like time suddenly ceased to exist. The musician’s elegant caress of guitar strings was a level of skill matched only by pitch-perfect singing that exceeded even that of Peter Frampton, the originator of the song.

“Ooh baby, I love your way, everyday
I wanna tell you I love your way, every way
I wanna be with you night and day, ooh yeah”

The performance transported Edison back to his and his wife’s third date. The taste of his cheap lager returned to his tongue, and his backside felt the ache of the hazardously rusty metal chairs. Christie too sang to Edison. The very same song. The blonde man had visited that crummy karaoke bar a few times in the past year, for whatever reason. It only brought more pain, seeing young lovers dedicating drunken odes to one another. They lived in a world he had to chance of returning to.

“Moon appears to shine and light the sky
With the help of some big glitter's
Wonder how they have the power to shine, shine, shine
I can see them under the pine
But don't hesitate 'cuz your love won't wait”

His mind’s next destination was his wedding day waltz. Each step, sweep, spin, and turn was mapped perfectly in the sleuth’s noggin. Like watching the fall of the Berlin wall, Edison smiled as he felt the barricade placed around his sweet memories crumble. The feelings conjured by Frampton’s hit were so strong, Edison hardly noticed the street performer’s peculiar getup. The musician wore a grey trench over a dark woolen hoodie— a more than questionable choice of attire for a sweltering summer evening. With a red and yellow knit scarf and oversized wayfarer sunglasses obscuring the man’s face, he looked a bit like the invisible man. The street performer so much talent, there could have very well been a famous musician hiding underneath those wraps.

“I can see the sunset in your eyes
Brown and gray and blue besides
Clouds are stalking islands in the sun
Wish I could buy one out of season
But don't hesitate 'cuz your love won't wait”

Upon the song’s completion, Edison emptied his wallet into the guitar case and went on his way.
“This is over a grand,” the musician said softly. His lime-green acoustic guitar vibrated with the nostalgic tune once more. “You were… moved?”

Edison turned to face the street performer.

“It brought back some memories,” he said.

“Of a loved one?”  


“Divorce?” asked the guitarist between slow, depressing strums of an elegiac beat.
Edison turned away and took two steps.

“You know the line the priest gives, till death do you part?”

The musician nodded.

Edison pointed at the street performer.


The street performer abruptly stopped playing.

“My condolences,” the odd guitarist said softly. “Anyway I can help ease your pain?”

“Sure, find a way to save this city,” the detective answered sarcastically. “God knows I can’t anymore. I’m a glorified paper pusher who’s too pitied to get the demotion he deserves. I used to think that—”

Edison stopped in midsentence, noticing the guitarist’s hand shakily gripping the frets of his silent instrument.

“On second thought, I’d rather not ruin your evening with my problems.”
The musician lowered his head.

“Take care of yourself,” Edison said, smiling faintly. “Good luck with the music. Try not to waste waste all of that on weed. Your next investment should be a lighter set of clothes. It’s summer, in case you haven’t heard.”

Edison wandered down a nearby alleyway. He  slumped against a dumpster, able to make out the sound of the musician strumming a different love ballad in the distance.

Guy sure knows how to profit on sentimentality.”

Edison pulled out his ancient flip-phone and stared pensively at the screen. A single droplet of brine crept to the corner of his eye socket, contemplating a leap onto the cheek. The image displayed the tiny low-res screen was taken over two years ago by his wife.

The timestamp read: MON 12-18-11 7:26:02 AM— six hours and twenty-three minutes prior to…

her murder.