Just finished: Hyperion by Dan Simmons

To label “Hyperion” as a simple platitude like “fictional novel” would be to regard the Louvre as “just another museum.” Simmons did not write a book, but rather engineered a layer cake; a trans-generational celebration of literature cultivating his own unique storytelling within. 

I’ve come to relish this book as a bible of expression in the literary form. The mere nature of it provides one great lesson outside the many beautiful delicacies within. That lesson synthesizes with another great piece of advice I learned only within the recent past: Imitation, a great form of flattery, can also serve as a nurturing tutor. Simmons is not afraid to interweave wisdom from past works while simultaneously crafting a unique piece of his own.

Bound

Vanished from him
across the sea.
Drying eyes 
with salted air, 
the Northbound man 
set trade winds free. 
A raft adrift 
though lashings taught. 
Emptying his pockets,
scatter rusted keys. 
He recognized one:
strong toothed iconoclast;
a head worn. 
Exchanged tired looks. 
Escape from safe keeping 
or so would seem. 

Bombs away!

“Bombs away!” 
came the bombardier 
shouting to his captain.
“Bombs away.” 
his captain confirmed
low along the horizon.
“All that 
for one person?”
came the bombardier, again, 
though not one to question orders.
The captain thought it strange,
never one to question openly.
“Do you think”

-explosions rippled below- 

“do you think 
they’ll feel anything?”
For the first time, 
the bombardier wondered.
Only silence answered.
Bomb a building,
a tank, 
an army, 
any of many things;
they feel nothing.
One person, 



everything. 

Mementos

Thoughts slip and fall.

Drops off a faucet, oh, 
damn indecent of them all. 
Naked strangers
strewn casually about. 
The world could care. 

drip

Forgive the interruption,
a minute at most.
Sign the form, and step
one toe onto the line. 

drip 

However you make your mark. 

drip 

Please, step one toe,
a harmless piece, 
into

yes,         there
       line 
and 
just 

drip 

       yes, see, 

drip 

never

so
   bad

drip


free

Current Reading: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

This is one of those books that saddens me for having had it on the back burner for so long. I didn’t particularly enjoy the movies, and though I don’t equate books to their Hollywood counterparts by any means, I sometimes find that the material of one itself doesn’t interest me enough to warrant exploring the other. Make no mistake, Crichton’s edge-of-your-seat masterpiece has me regretting prolonged avoidance of this book more than when I finally read the Harry Potter Series. He is as much a master literary craftsman as he is a well researched scientific ambassador. I thought my days of paleontology intrigue were far in my past until now.

Most vivid: List of graphic novel mind blowers

Some graphic novels immerse readers in their world, pulling at their multidimensional senses from a two-dimensional platform. The well classed novelist plays with readers’ perceptions by bending what initially seems like a strict set of rules and procedure for interacting with the novel.

  1. Locke and Key 

Hill and Rodrigruez worked so well together to express emotion through highly stylized contrasting artwork. I felt everything the characters felt, even the less savory ones I wouldn’t normally identify with reading a regular book. If that’s not enough, the graphics break walls on their page – literally – to take advantage of reader expectations and portray experiences we wouldn’t otherwise have in real life. 

  1. The Sandman

Gaiman and his artists capture a highly fantastic environment within the negative space of the simple and the extravagant to articulate an otherwise unimaginable mood and experience. No one knows what it feels like to be an ancient god, all powerful and yet, all too burdened by the realities of a world we don’t understand; but reading The Sandman got me pretty close. 

  1. Manhattan Projects 

A graphic novel with serious implications that doesn’t take itself all too seriously. Hickman and Pitarra work, through beautiful, original art and meta narrative, to throw us into the hellish minds of some of our most prized scientists’ alter egos. They too break walls and use immersive plot digressions to illustrate what it might be like to experience the mind of evil geniuses and live in their world. 

  1. Watchmen 

I don’t know how many would agree with me, but I’ve felt for a while now that Watchmen reads more like a work of prose than just another graphic novel. The artwork is amazing too, but what really gripped me and kept me in the story were the details in the backgrounds and on mixed media pages. Almost as if you were keeping up with the daily headlines yourself. 

  1. Doom Patrol

Although I found the art a little simple, it managed to portray Morrison’s weird and altogether abstract concepts eloquently. There’s no realistic way to portray a character like Negative Man or Mr. Nobody – even Crazy Jane is complex in theory and she’s probably one of the most humanoid characters in the book. Reading Doom Patrol, was as close to the concepts as I could get. 

  1. Arkham Asylum 

Not only do the painstakingly detailed graphics read well, but what really comes through in this novel is the unassuming art of dialogue boxes to carry massive weight in a minimalistic style. In conjunction with the rest of the graphics, it portrays characters, mood, and all around sensory input. 

  1. Calvin and Hobbes

Watterson, for me, was one of the original mind benders and heart wrenchers. Watterson’s unapologetic use of a simple story-line provides a comfortable backdrop in Calvin’s crazily fun, wild mind that allows simple tricks to give massive emotional appeal. Any time Calvin left his imagination or Hobbes suddenly became the stuffed animal we secretly didn’t want to admit he was, we knew the illusion was over but also realized we were living the dream right along with Calvin before that.