All posts by R. W. Howell

Novelist, poet, wandering spirit, other things

Evidence That I’ve Lost My Mind (Projects)

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If you’re going to dream, then dream BIG, baby . . .

BOOKS

I’ve self-published 5 books but that’s only the tip of the creative iceberg. There’s so much more I want to do, including finishing two more novels, which I should really get started on.

MOVIES

Hollywood. Yep, I wanna go there. Most everything I pen unfolds in the mind like a movie, scene by scene, which is how I write. Also helps explains why Broken Highways has so many short chapters.

Personally (and I am highly biased) I believe Broken Highways would make a great independent, artsy film if attention is given to the powerful role of cinematography. But that’s just me carrying on endlessly about my favorite love-child.

Many of my poems, like Maria, also lend themselves to the cinema. In my head I’ve almost completed the script.

TELEVISION

Here I’m thinking HBO, A&E Network, or something along those lines, creating a character, a drifter, based on the poems of Back RoadsThe Evolution of Disconnect and Urban Hymns. Inside this maniacal brain of mine the story line has begun taking shape.

For several years I’ve also toyed with a screen adaptation of one of my favorite sci-fi novels, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. Think this could be a powerful, visually stunning television series based on Haldeman’s original.

Update: Apparently, with the recent success of Interstellar,  Hollywood has decided that time dilation themed movies are ‘in’ now. Damn damn damn. Channing Tatum will be starring in the upcoming big budget flick. I wish them well. Damn damn damn . . . http://deadline.com/2015/04/channing-tatum-the-forever-war-movie-richard-edlund-1201418549/

 

MUSIC

Stealing a line from Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac, I can’t sing, ain’t pretty, and my legs are thin but . . . I do have a deep love for music and have created extensive playlists that I envision catering to different audiences using a 3 channel format.  There would be videos, news, interviews, related movies, and MUSIC!, something other stations of this format seem to have forgotten. If this isn’t possible then I would love to own a radio station in a region where people still have a little soul left.

On a slightly more realistic note, some of what I write has more of a lyrical than poetic feel. These works might lend itself better to a musical format and I would love to work with artists, singer songwriters, and bands converting poems to songs.

MERCHANDISE

This is a far more attainable goal than those mentioned above. Already I have many ideas for matching book excepts with photos and plastering them in frames and all over t-shirts. It’s a simple plan and one I’ll probably pursue at some point in time.

STOREFRONT (or, do I really want to go down that road again?)

Been there, done that. Might consider a storefront again if the situation is right. Don’t know. Retail of this nature is a difficult challenge these days.

Domino Effect

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When I try to stand, pull myself to your waist, do the best I can

try to be a man

you push me away, knock me down

say I’m not good enough

When I try to speak, express myself

voice these thoughts

you shut me down, say hush up, go to your room

no one wants to listen to a child

When I try to think, exercise my mind, expand my boundaries

you tear me down

expose these youthful flaws, count the reasons why

I’m not smart enough

When I attempt to dream, set lofty goals for a possible future so grand

you remind of all the mistakes I’ve made

condemn me

to failure over and over again

When I try to protect what remains of this bullet riddle psyche

so many emotional wounds inflicted through the years

you rationalize your destructive methods as parental guidance

justify your actions as love

swear to everyone

you raised me as best as you can

refuse to share any blame

‘cause this is how your parents raised you

and their parents raised them

so on and so on

I may not be the final domino in this line

but I can promise you

I will not fall

will not knock my children down

Stagnation

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Old man donated

forty years of loyal service to the corporate logo

forty years behind a desk, filling out forms

endless meetings, a yes man for self-preservation

never rocked the boat

never found fault in the corporate agenda

never learned how to live

liked to brag about the level of stagnation he achieved

After forty years of servitude they came and declared

it’s time to retire, thanks for the years

here’s a small plaque and a pin for your lapel

notice the corporate logo?

thanks much, it’s time for you to go

time to train someone new for your post

Four days later those who worked beside him all those years

we’re far too busy for memories of people who used to be

because the machine keeps rolling

world never pauses to reflect upon those left behind

in the stream of Time

Four weeks after retirement

they forgot his face and all the things he had done

all those things being mundane

achievements not worthy of lasting fame

after four months most couldn’t remember his name

couldn’t remember him at all

as if he never existed

never sacrificed his soul

his one and only life in the physical world

sacrificed for the corporate goal

and the disease of stagnation leaves a man one dimensional

drops him off at a station in Time

never to progress

baggage of unfulfilled dreams at his feet

Sunshine

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She works nights down at the factory

sacrificing the sun

keeps to herself, burned so many times

silently performs her tasks and when the shift is done

walks away down darkened streets so cold

fully aware

there’s no sunshine for a working class girl

She rents an apartment on the industrial side of town

where tenements and smokestacks congregate

rising high into the sky

this city of the hive blocking out the light

black ash raining down

while she sleeps all day long

sleeping

through the time of the sun

Once a year she celebrates

in front of a window cross legged

patiently waiting

for the sun in its ritual trek across the sky

slips between two buildings

once every 365 days

brilliant sunlight flooding the street

penetrating frozen windows bathing her apartment

in natural light

closes her eyes as luminescence washes over her

dreams filling the soul

for the sun in its eternal quest

will pierce the darkest corners of the world

We Broke Down

abandoned truck

On a highway outside Albuquerque

we broke down

our vehicle dead on the shoulder of the road

we broke down

as the first snowflakes of winter began to fall

we broke down

after many years spent racing into storms chasing dreams

we broke down

attempting to forge a life greater than our means

we broke down

so many troubles we had seen only to discover this road leads nowhere

we broke down

in that place where the soul separates from tissue and bone and moves on

we broke down

where a wounded heart detaches from the body because there’s no other choice

we broke down

like the relentless desert wind eroding stone into sand

we became sand

insignificant particles of dust carried on the wind

we parted ways

Her Rain

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In the season of the storm my ballasts have come undone

moorings once secured to a stable berth

anchorages now destroyed

the unseen beauty hidden in the tragedy of a storm

release of chains, breaking of shackles

the beauty of destruction is in the release

of the moorings holding us down

I am another wayward traveler drifting

floating on currents of Time

wandering aimlessly in and out of storms

across empty oceans searching

oceans of empty knowledge at my stern

just another lost child

an afterthought in Yahweh’s mind

so many storms eclipsing the sun

angry disturbances spawning indictments against an only son

foundations of this fragile vessel constructed from planks of weakened memes

breaking apart when challenged

when an angry wind howls my shame

and lightning damages my sky

hail pummels, scarring flesh

breaking bones

punishment for things I’ve done

foundation of self disintegrating under pressure of storms bearing down

vessel gone

arms flailing wildly in ocean of despair

hands grasping at broken planks floating by

a life-preserver, anything to survive

sinking

drowning

final breath passing through lungs, escaping lips

sleep, eternal, sleep

is here

release, eternal, release

is here

final breath of destructive beliefs

exhaled

Awakening on a distant shore

salvation found in a plank from a foreign vessel

on my knees coughing up former self

broken and bleeding

stormy ocean behind

fury dissipating into gentle breeze

whispering

We suffer because we want . . .

We suffer because we want . . .

and suffering no more is all I desire

from a fire burning on the beach she emerges

as tears from heaven explode in the sand

taking infant steps forward I stumble and fall

out of the storms falling

into her rain

She invites this lost traveler into her home

sanctuary for the unborn

transcending consciousness in her womb

darkness shattered by light doomed to be extinguished soon

as we pass from womb to future tomb

light existing only in this moment of passing

before darkness consumes

In her face a reflection of me

such a natural beauty I’ve never seen

a tear she sheds for children yet to find their way

a tear for humanity

Brahma tears falling like rain

naked at her bosom feeding

I lay

wrapped securely in gentle arms

masturbating

ejecting worldly seed

system purging everything

lips pulling on nipples extracting truths

unmovable truths deeply woven into threads of Nature

striping away lies I’ve told myself

there is no permanence, everything decays . . .

stripping away lies of society

the constructs of men are an illusion, nothing is real . . .

the remains of Eden clearly visible outside my front door

and my shadow lays dying on the floor

bleeding so many beliefs untrue

tears of joy falling

nurturing rain cleansing

her rain kissing

my soul

Soul

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Tears flow

blood flows

feel the pain

the human stain

standing in the rain

wash away the sin

cleanse my skin

fill in the holes

baptize this soul

in experience

emotional transference

physical stimuli

till the day I die

If I couldn’t feel

none of this would be real

emotions tattoo the moment

memories of happiness and torment

if I didn’t have a soul

I couldn’t feel anything

feel anything at all

if it wasn’t for this battered soul

I wouldn’t have known you

known you at all