Archive for September, 2008

Christian Deegan

Christian DeeganSo, everybody hated and feared
me, you say? What of it?

While the so-called moralists and the
righteous and the preening
intellectuals bleated about
meaning and justice and
truth, I laughed at them.  The only truth,
the only meaning, is
influence. It’s the first law of the
universe. How do you
move a thing that will not move? I spent
a life collecting and
using influence to make the world
in my image. Lesser
people complained and judged, but they were
merely too cowardly
to take that power for themselves. They
can’t touch me. Never could.

Harmonie Fisher

Harmonie FisherLife was a competition. For
me to succeed others
had to fail. So I made damn sure
they would. I undermined
confidence, ruined plans, spoiled
hopes, and bent those around
me to do what I wanted. When
they broke, I discard
them and simply found others I
could manipulate. But
eventually, I ran out
of people and I ran
out of time. In the end I was
alone. If you prevail
in a competition and the
losers are not there to
see it, then the victory is
empty and meaningless.

Moreland, the Columnist

Moreland, the ColumnistI got fired from the paper
for doing
the same thing that got me lauded in
the first place. I would talk to the
powerful
and write about them. But I did not
take dictation. I tried to show
them as they
truly were. They usually didn’t
like it. But it was more than a
fair trade for
their dominion over us, I thought.

But I crossed the line when I wrote
my profile
of Judge Goldhamer.  He was not pleased.
Somebody called someone, and soon
I was out
of a job.  But nobody said I
didn’t get the story right.  I
take that to
my grave and you bet it keeps me warm.

Simon Leigh Goldhamer

Simon Leigh GoldhamerPeople say they like
the truth. But the truth
is they really prefer a story.

And if the story
isn’t the truth, they’ll
transform that story into the truth.

But it goes further
than that. Truth only
becomes capable of being seen,
recognized as the
truth, if it can be
seen in the outline of a story.

And we’ve become so
that if it does not
fit into the story, we cannot
even see it. We
shun, reject, deny
that it even could be possible.

Story is the world
The world is story.
We can’t see differently, and believe
fairy tales. Like the
Holy Trinity
of the Beginning, Middle and End.

Ikrimah ibn Khalid

Ikrimah ibn KhalidThey were always making fun
of the way
I dressed and the way I prayed.
Always trying to convert
me. After,
they looked at me full of
suspicion and hatred. Or
with fear, as
if I would detonate
myself at any minute.
I tried to
show them the truth of my
people and our history.
Then, Willy
Halty, the Minister’s
son, beat me to death with a
baseball bat.
Peace be unto you all.

Christine Novell

Christine NovellThey never knew what to call the thing,
whatever it was I
had. Lupus, Lyme, Epstein-Barr, Fibro,
CFS, Depression,
allergies, and on and on. Or worse,
it was all in my head,
and no insurance code applied.
Every year, a new drug
that was supposed to work, which only
made it worse. Never a
moment without pain that didn’t feel
wrong, artificial, not
me. But now there is no more pain and
I’m finally at peace.

Thom Kerns

Thom KernsI never quite
got why Kelvin Platt
was always so
miserable when
folks asked about
his amazing kids.
I’d have given
almost anything
to have just one
of mine become so
luminous. In
and out of jail. On
and off of drugs.
They were disgraceful
and disgusting.
Shame, or the drinking
that covered it –
not sure which killed me.

Kelvin Platt

Kelvin PlattThom Kerns always complained
how ashamed he was
that his children never
amounted to much.
He never understood
that I had it so
much worse. My children were
successful beyond
anyone’s reckoning.
They all left me, to
go to New York, Paris,
Kuala Lumpur,
Berlin, and God knows where
else. They rarely came
home. And all anyone
asked me was about
them. Every success they
had made me that much
more ashamed of my own
failures. I had no
identity of my
own. That’s why I ran
for the seat on the School
Board. I spent all my
money, but I still lost.
My kids wanted to
support me after that.
I would not let them.
I pushed them away. My
end came soon after.

Judge Terence Visser

Judge Terence Visser All those liberal
lions, Kerns and Feinstein and
O’Meara, they loved to
laugh at me, and judge
me for my aspirations.
For some reason, they felt
I was not worthy
to stand in their company.
How much did they regret
their snobbery, when
my years as Deegan’s counsel
led to a seat on the
Bench? How much did they
have to swallow their jokes and
plaster fake smiles on their
faces when making
a petition to My Court?
Oh, how I made them pay.

Roosevelt Feinstein

Roosevelt FeinsteinI fought them all of my days. For rights
for all. For freedom of conscience, for
freedom of choice, for freedom from fear.
But long years in the State House tend to
blur the factions in the eyes of the
people. And you can’t win every fight.
So when I won, I was “just doing
what I was supposed to do.” When I
compromised, I was “complicit with
evil.” And when I was beaten, I
was “pathetic.” By the end, my once-
loud voice had been diminished to a
whisper. Oh, they gave me an ornate
funeral with grand remembrances.
But during the eulogy, I know
my unwrinkled successors cut deals
and traded horses in the cloak room.
I hope they fare better than I did.

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