Sunday, June 30, 2013

Love and be silent

What scares me is the fear that you’ll say no
(When it comes to rejection, I’m a mess),
So all I feel inside I never show.

What gives me hope is that you’ll laugh and go:
“I’ve dreamed for years of sharing your address!”
What scares me is the fear that you’ll say no.

Courage cries: “Take the risk—that way you’ll know!”
Cowardice coos: “It’s safer if you guess.”
So all I feel inside I never show.

Dice come up snake eyes every time I throw.
(I’ll always find a way to thwart success.)
What scares me is the fear that you’ll say no.

My heart avoids decisions like a pro—
Its fallback move is to be motionless—
So all I feel inside I never show.

The thought of you is worse than vertigo—
What scares me is the hope that you’ll say yes;
What scares me is the fear that you’ll say no—
So all I feel inside I never show.

Copyright 2013 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Project list


Manhattan Sonnets

CrapComm, the Dictionary of Corporate Communications

Guide to Guys

Naughty Pine stories



Bohr's Model

Breaking Down Medea


Business As Usual

Dana Land

Darwin's Finches

Don't Tell Me


History of the Lagers

Iphigenia at Trinity

Jackson's Island

Kennedy's Brain

Lawyers in Love

My Dinner with Massah Tom

Manning Blood

Not For Hire

Once In A Lifetime (Ithaka)

Seven Ten Split

Temptation Eyes

Test Subjects

The Apostle of Liberty

The King of Snow

The Pictures of Dorian Graves

Trojan Women

Up On The Roof


Write Lonesome


Based On A True Story

Cedar novel/memoir

Countrie Matters

Don Coyote


Hatfield novel

I Did It For The Toys

My Love Is Vengeance

Nobody Dies in Disneyland

Squadron Zero

Stark & Montagu novel

Straight On Till Morning

The Kingmaker's Daughter

Three Dead Slaves

Watson novel

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Silent Girlfriend Sonnets


He takes her everywhere, except where she
   Can speak her mind, so she smiles and plays dumb.
She loves him dearly, so she tries to be
  What he can love, and that means keeping mum.
Hers is a concert of songs never sung
   Because the Maestro’s rule must not be broken:
All thoughts must live ten floors above her tongue
   And never make it down to where they’re spoken.
And though it makes her think that she was cast
   To be seen and not ever, ever, heard,
She’ll play the part and hold her tongue long past
   The point where other girls would say a word
      And dream, dream, of when she can verbalize
      The world that lies behind her word-filled eyes.

She sits beside the driver of the car,
   Leans on his shoulder from the highway shoulder
Where his car sits, and wonders if there are
   Relationships that don’t feel like a boulder.
She sees the engine trouble; he ignores it.
   She tries a jump start; nothing comes alive.
And every time she takes the wheel and floors it,
   He says, “Slow down!” or tells her how to drive.
Idle now on the roadside, she can see
   Nothing but open highways far and wide,
And in this airless, joyless Ford Capri
   She dreams of reaching out to thumb a ride
      And just be driven anywhere at all
      As long as it’s a car that will not stall.

She lies there with a boulder on her chest,
   The one with his name on it, and feels cursed.
She breathes, and feels that boulder squeeze the best
   Of her away, leaving behind the worst.
She stares up at the ceiling as she tries,
   Tries to remember how it felt to hope,
Back when the world was laughter and not sighs,
   Back when she wasn’t such a fucking dope.
She thinks: “Inertia.  That’s what keeps me here--
   The lifeless weight that comforts you and drains
Your fighting soul away, until you fear
   The brave revolt more than the coward’s chains.
      Enough.  Before this gets one second older?
      It’s time,” and then she smiles.  “Time to live bolder.”

But when she up and reaches for the door,
   He reaches out to her--and that one thing
Erases all he’s never done before
   And makes each silent mouth inside her sing.
Gone are the words he’s never said or meant--
   Gone are the kindnesses he’s never done--
Gone are the doubtful clouds of discontent:
   All banished by one single flash of sun.
The part of her that needs love to feel whole
   Melts at his touch, and makes her bold self see
His need for her as caring, not control.
   She cries: “He cares!  He really cares for me!”
     Her heart explodes like a July 4th sky
     And says to freedom, and not him, goodbye.

And so the endless days and nights crawl by--
   The endless hopes, the endless disapproving--
And she finds comfort in the constant lie
   That all this back and forth is really moving.
But it goes nowhere, and the strength it takes
   To keep it where it is wears out her soul
So much that what she cannot feel she fakes,
   Pretending that her broken hopes are whole.
She knows that what she's doing is a choice;
   She knows she’s living in a house that’s haunted.
But all her verbs are in the passive voice
   And all she wants is foiled by being wanted.
     All it would take is one “Goodbye!” to live
     But all it takes is more than she can give.

  *  *  *  *  *
Years from now, looking back, she’ll wonder why
   It took so long for her to see the truth.
She’ll try to look her past self in the eye,
   And see a canyon inbetween her youth
And her today--a chasm that prevents
   Her from revisiting the desert that
She called home once: a waste of makeshift tents
   And heights that now, from this side, all look flat.
There is no common ground between her and
   The girl she used to be--she’s moved so far
From her that she can barely understand
   She lived those years like flies trapped in a jar.
      She’ll sigh with wonder; then she’ll wonder how
      Her future self will look back at her now . . .

Copyright 2013 Matthew J Wells




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

By Your Re-Bootstraps

I had three big problems with Star Trek: Into Darkness.  (Four if you count the bland stupidity of the title.)  In order to talk about these problems, I’m going to have to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it, so:









Okay.  Here we go.

The Three Who Are One.  One of the things that made the original Star Trek unique and memorable was the way Dr McCoy went from a bit player to a regular.  If you watch the first season all the way through, you can see the show evolve from a two-way dialogue between Kirk and Spock to a two-way dialogue between McCoy and Spock about what Kirk should be doing.  I don’t know whether Roddenberry had this in mind from the start, or it was the actors and writers who helped develop it, but by the beginning of Season 2, it’s canon: McCoy reacts with his gut, Spock reacts with logic, and Kirk balances the two by finding a way between the two extremes.  But in New Trek, Kirk is the one acting with his gut—he even says as much to Spock in New Trek 2.  Which completely eliminates the necessity of a triangle.  In New Trek, Kirk has become McCoy.  

Texas Rangers In Space.  If you’ve ever read Harlan Ellison’s original script for City On The Edge of Forever, then you know how different it is from what was finally televised.  One of the many changes that Gene Roddenberry made to it was the episode's inciting incident.  Instead of McCoy accidentally injecting himself with a drug that drove him bonkers, there was a crewman on the Enterprise who was addicted to a hallucinogenic drug, and it was this crewman who cause the whole time paradox.  If I remember it right, Roddenberry told Ellison in so many words that nobody in Star Fleet—nobody ever in Star Fleet—would do drugs deliberately.  End of story.  Which is not to say that there couldn’t be One Bad Apple, or that everyone on the Enterprise was pure and unsullied, or that they couldn’t be weak or misguided.  It’s just that there’s a line that would never be crossed—a line, say, where the weakness couldn’t be supported into strength, or the misguided turned to the correct path, or the bad apple redeemed.

How would Roddenberry have felt about the black ops Star Fleet initiative that shows up in Into Darkness?  Hard to say.  It reflects our time as much as Roddenberry’s original vision reflected his, so in that sense there’s a certain necessity to it.  But what it also reflects is this weird self-flagellating undercurrent in a lot of action movies these days that say The Real Enemy Is Us.  (When they’re not saying We Only Ever Fight When The White House Is Destroyed.)  That kind of fits in with Season 1 Original Trek, at least in my mind, where there’s this rolling loop of Kirk pointing out the evil behind Fear Of The Other, or making a plea for mercy, understanding and tolerance, when he isn’t making a play for some alien hottie. 

But see, to me, that falls under M for Misguided.  And say what you will about Peter Weller’s Admiral Marcus—misguided he ain’t.  Which is why I think that, in Original Trek, he would have been an alien, and the whole debate about pre-emptive attacks against a potential enemy would have been played out in the same triangle format as Kirk/Spock/McCoy, with two warring alien factions and the Federation taking the place of Kirk.  Making the enemy an earthman—making him a Star Fleet Admiral?  I don’t think Roddenberry would have allowed it.

Stardate WTF.   The original premise of the reboot was that Kirk grew up without a father, which changed everything in his life.  It also seemingly changed everything in Christopher Pike’s life, since he never wound up crippled from visiting that off-limits planet with the green-skinned space hoochie girl.  And I can buy that.  But what I can’t buy is that, if we’re to believe what we’re seeing in Into Darkness, then (SPOILERS) a couple of hundred years ago, Khan didn’t go off into  space in a rocket full of cryo-chambers, but wound up a prisoner of Star Fleet.  Now maybe in all the excitement I missed the part where Admiral Marcus rescued Khan and his men from that rocket sometime after Kirk’s dad died, but either way, this is a MAJOR change from what was supposed to be an established universe up until 25-odd years ago.  And that bugs the hell out of me.  Either say this is a completely different universe, or stick to the single change in the established universe and see how it plays out.  Don’t play both sides against the middle, or change the rules as you go along.  (I know, I know—why should I look to the guy who created LOST for internal consistency?) 

Seriously—the more I think about this, the more it bugs me.  It bugs me even more than Spock shedding tears.  Spock does not shed tears, JJ.  Spock is the guy who sees someone crying and observes “Your face is wet.”  (He doesn’t yell “KHA-A-A-A-A-AN!!!” either, pal.)

So Kirk is McCoy, Star Fleet is corrupt, Spock cries, and God knows what else has changed in what was supposed to be a single-cause reboot. 

Verdict:  whatever it is we’re watching may be fun and engaging, but it ain’t Star Trek.