Categotry Archives: Writing

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Angst & Wrath Nearing Completion

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Categories: Angst & Wrath, Poetry, Writing, Tags: , ,

I just finished the final version of the front cover to my upcoming poetry book, Angst and Wrath. The book is scheduled for release February 1. I hope you’ll pick up a copy! For your approval, I humbly submit the front cover image, featuring the profound photography of J L Brown. Check out more of his work on his flickr photostream.

Angst & Wrath Cover

Feedback is definitely requested and appreciated! Thanks a million!

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Why I Love Canadians

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Categories: Poetry

You should check out the amazing work of Jimmy Brown on flickr! He is graciously allowing me to use his piece “As the Crow Flies (Holga)” on the cover of my upcoming poetry book, Angst and Wrath.

I love Jimmy’s use of beautiful photography and expert Photoshop augmentation. A lot of artists think they can turn garbage into gold with Photoshop: it’s just not true. A gold-plated turd is still a turd. But Jimmy obviously knows how to use his camera first and foremost. The effects applied later only add to the work, turning gold into platinum. Thanks again and keep up the good work, Jimmy!

Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m releasing a book of my earliest poems? Well, I am. 🙂 Written between 1990 and 2000, the poems in Angst and Wrath are classic teenage tempestuousness captured in verse. Know any critics in the scene? Please send them my way! Want to help support this site? Buy a copy on release day (February 1)! The initial release will be available from lulu and Amazon in paperback. I also plan on publishing Angst and Wrath in eBook and audiobook (read by me, since I can’t afford Patrick Stewart) formats later in the year.

See, I told you there’d be big news in 2010! 🙂

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My Favorites, 2009 Edition

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Categories: Bands & Music, Blackhawks, Blog, Gaming, Hockey, RPG, Shadowrun, Uncategorized, Writing

As we’re coming up on the end of the year, it’s traditional to look back and pick our favorite things from the year gone by. That’s kinda lame. Instead, I’m giving you a glimpse of my favorite things as they stand right now. There’s no particular rhyme or reason to the things I’m sharing here: I’m just tossing some things into the ether.

Favorite Band: Rush (This should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me. The seminal Canadian prog-rock group has been my favorite musical group since I was in high school.)

Favorite Rush Album: Moving Pictures (This record is full of classic jams. I must admit that I like the last two songs on the B side most of all. “Everybody’s got to [sic]evelate from the norm.”

Favorite Rush Song: “Freewill” (While not from the Moving Pictures album, this song speaks to me so much right now.)

Favorite Non-Rush Album: Cryptic Writings (As far as music goes with me, there’s Rush and everything else. This Megadeth record contains some of the most intense and personal lyrics I’ve ever heard.)

Favorite Non-Rush Song: “Little Earthquakes” (Tori Amos is a fabulously talented musician and this song is one of my all-time favorites. It’s such a passionate and beautiful piece of work. From the album of the same name.)

Favorite Book: Anthem (Thanks to the influence of Rush, this Ayn Rand novella quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. While a bit heavy-handed in its message, the ideas presented are solid gold.)

Favorite Role-Playing Game: Shadowrun, 4th Edition (I’m not a huge fan of the dice system, having cut my gaming teeth on 2nd Edition. That being said, the story elements are great and Catalyst Game Labs seems to be doing an amazing job updating the game for a new generation of gamers. I’m looking forward to what they do with FASA’s other great game, Earthdawn.)

Favorite Video Game: NHL 2K7 (Yeah, I know it’s three years old and I don’t get to play it very much, but the Charlestown Chiefs are in the running for the Stanley Cup thanks to their star forwards, Darius McCaskey and Toy Cesar [Mike Diamond is out with an injury].)

Favorite Board Game: Zombies! (This game is so much fun and so easy to play. I like that it’s as competitive or cooperative as the players choose to make it. I just picked up Dante’s Inferno, also by Twilight. I hope it makes this list next year.)

Favorite Food: Pizza (Goddamn, I love pizza!)

Favorite Drink: Coke Zero (This diet soda doesn’t taste like carbonated poo, so it’s epic win in my book.)

Favorite Hockey Team: Chicago Blackhawks (Sorry, Rangers, but I’ve officially committed to the Indian.)

Favorite Hockey Player: Jonathan Toews (Sid the Kid is great, don’t get me wrong, but Captain Serious is the anchor of the Blackhawks bench. Go get that cup, Tazer!)

Favorite Actress: Eliza Dushku (I’m sad that Dollhouse was canceled. The show reminded me of how good an actress Ms. Dushku is. And she’s certainly not too hard on the eyes either.)

Favorite Actor: Christian Bale (Bad Bat-Bale notwithstanding, Christian Bale is a phenomenal actor. American Psycho and The Machinist are in my top 10 movies, easily.)

Favorite TV Show: Star Trek: The Next Generation (I know it’s been off the air for about forever, but my Saturday nights were spent in front of the TV watching this show for a good part of my adolescence and teenage years. It’s one of those shows that makes you think that humanity’s not totally fucked up.)

Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption (Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins are superb in the ultimate prison movie. Anytime this flick is on one of the TV movie channels, I have to tune in and finish watching it, even if it’s halfway over.)

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…And A Happy New Year

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Categories: Blackhawks, Christmas, Family, Gaming, Hockey, Loves Park, Poetry, Shadowrun

Now that the holiday season is winding down and life is returning to a semblance of normality, I’d like to thank everyone for all the gifts I’ve received throughout the year. 2009 has been a tough year for many(the McCaskey family included) and the help, support and camaraderie of family and friends has been invaluable. Your gifts, both tangible and otherwise, have helped sustain us, keep us sane and generally lift our spirits. Thank you.

As we look forward to 2010, there are several reasons to be hopeful:

  • Things are starting to come together with some of the writing projects I’m working on: big news on at least one of them is forthcoming.
  • I’m finally going to be rid of the house in Loves Park that has been the bane of my existence for the last six years.
  • I’m still involved in my first tabletop role-playing game in many years, Alex Rodriguez’s Shadowrun 4th Edition game. It’s epic and I’m happy to be a part of the story, even if I can’t be at every game physically.
  • I should be running my own tabletop game coming up soon.
  • My daughter keeps growing and developing everyday. Some days are challenging, some are a breeze, but she makes it all worthwhile.
  • I will be back in school in the fall, barring any unforseen snafus.
  • The Blackhawks are doing great this year! I don’t want to jinx it, but this could be the year Lord Stanley’s cup returns to the Windy City. At the very least, it’ll be an entertaining ride, even if Chicago doesn’t hoist up hockey’s Holy Grail.

So, here’s to the future. May it be better than our past!

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When She’s Not Around

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Categories: Poetry

acrid flesh

the char-broiled sound

down and dirty

when she’s not around

fucking up

all the times we’ve had

messing it all up

when she’s not around

cry

lie

die

the order’s upside-down

I feel the venom burning

twisted words around

make it right

man, make it okay

I can’t stand

another fucking day

with her not around

push and pull

it’s all the same

when you’re dancing around

the twisted, corroded flame

’cause it’s never the same

when she’s not around.

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Bitch

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Categories: Poetry

I’m glad that I met you.

I’m glad that I let you.

I’m glad that we can.

I’m glad that we’re alone.

Aren’t you glad you’re at home?

 

So, you’re sad that I left you,

and you’re sad ’cause I meant to,

but what you don’t understand

is that I’m not the one who’s bad.

And aren’t you glad we’re alone?

 

I’ve moved on

and grown a little too.

So thank you, bitch,

and fuck you.

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Brand New

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Categories: Poetry

This is a brand new poem, as opposed to the recycled old crap I’ve been posting:

A Hall of Mirrors

 

My face in your face

The light in your eyes

Dancing and twirling

Growing, alive

A hall of mirrors reflecting me

 

Shards of glass

Silver and black

Injure and cut

Years of bad luck

A hall of mirrors protecting me

 

Wrinkles and bags

Time’s been unkind

Disease and old age

Inevitable fate

A hall of mirrors infecting me

 

Circles and rings

Forever’s the thing

Betrothed and betrayed

You gave me away

A hall of mirrors rejecting me

 

Faces of friends

Lovers pretend

Once long-lost

And now again

A hall of mirrors connecting me

 

Merging of id

Conflicts within

Shadows and glass

Handful of ash

A hall of mirrors inspecting me

 

Playing of games

Avoid and evade

Questions, no answers

Marvelous tack

A hall of mirrors deflecting me

 

Slap on the hand

Sterner rebuke

Slap to the face

Farcical truth

A hall of mirrors correcting me

 

Lust in my eye

Love in my heart

Could be the end

Rebirth, renew

A hall of mirrors selecting me

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The Closest Thing He Has

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Categories: Poetry

The closest thing he has

is fading away.

The closest thing he has

is turning grey.

 

The closest thing he has

made him see the light.

The closest thing he has

is picking a fight.

 

The closest thing he has

now wants you.

The closest thing he has

has something to do.

 

The closest thing he has

is a ruiner.

The closest thing he has

doesn’t love her.

 

The closest thing he has

has torn out his heart,

and ripped it in two.

 

The closest thing he has

he has not.

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