The Strife of Tongues

A thought came last night while I was falling asleep. “Reductionist” is an easy missile to lob at any argument that attempts to simplify seeming intellectual complexities.

From within these complexities, sure, any meta-view appears retardedly simple. From outside, though, one can see the lab rats running back and forth within the maze, squeaking about how they may have found an exit point over here, and by the way, that passage loops back over there. From outside the maze, the strife of ideological warfare clarifies as a closed system looping back upon itself in paradox and madness.

Reality is simple and infinite. When the finite (man) attempts to explain, the result is absurd.

“As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” –Ecclesiastes 1:15

You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. –Psalm 31:20

Poetry Review: Glitter Bomb, Aaron Belz


“I am the light of the

light at the center of the

thing that’s happening

the most important thing

that’s happening currently”

With that, Aaron Belz closes “So Galactic,” a monologue by an LA kid who plays (presumably guitar) in the Macronauts and wears pink hair and “crapped-up Vans.” I think I met this same really important kid once in my gigging days, only it was in Chicago and he was the bass player, but I won’t name the really important band because this blog is super-read and I don’t want to damage a promising career.

But yeah, that’s the indie music scene in a stanza.

That clip gives you a little cross-section of Belz’s style as well as his awareness of the cultural soup. He cuts stuff up and laughs about it. Once the squeamish feelings go away and you get desensitized to the blood and guts, Belz’s visceral (eviscerating?) humor will have you in proverbial stitches.

The man can really turn a phrase. Check it:

“Like, I might be driving along, and the

iPod might shuffle to that one Coldplay song:

why now? Here, where the road

gracefully descends to Steak ‘n Shake,

where the trail ends



–“Scattered Showers”

You can practically smell the weirdness of living under the power of algorithms. It’s moments like that that make you think maybe these computers do know what they’re doing, and random ain’t so random after all. Plus a Steak ‘n Shake reference is just funny.

It’s not all funny, though. For every ounce of humor, you get a little serving of cynicism. Belz is honest about his human lostness; and coming from a follower of Christ, that honesty is refreshing. The serious side of this collection leaves an impression of incompleteness–the unclosed circle of us without God. Belz doesn’t sweeten the draught: this side of glory, nobody’s going to fix this mess. Belz revels in it.

You can get Glitter Bomb here. I got mine straight from the dude himself:


New novel in the works

Gentle Readership,

I’m happy to tell you that I’ve finished the draft of a new novel. It’s called The Year of Perfect Sight. What’s it about? Glad you asked!

Wesley Bennett wants the girl at the bar, but the apps in his vision can’t help him remember her name. He’ll have to follow her down the streets of New York, into a nightmare world of social media addiction, hallucinatory apps in vision, and dubious diagnoses of schizophrenia.

I’m still figuring out whether I’ll pursue traditional or indie publishing with this one. A Chair Between the Rails didn’t sell as well as I hoped, and I swore off self-publishing after that. But now I can see why the book didn’t take off. It just didn’t hook people. My mistake. I felt pressured to put out something else in the Vaulan Cycle, but I was already growing beyond that series artistically. A Chair Between the Rails is spiritual and psychological, a rather abstract journey. While the new one retains that kind of vision, it’s also much more commercial and, I hope, capable of hooking people. I mean, people’s eyes light up when I tell them the premise in person.

As I prepare for potential self-publishing, I’ve worked up a few covers. Kindly let me know which one you prefer.


1) This is the latest iteration. It’s my favorite.


2) I like the feel of this one, but it needs more contrast and a better-defined hierarchy.


3) This one is creepy (good), but I think the code spewing out of the eye might be too busy.


3a) A darker version.

Thoughts, anyone?