Newsgroups: wpi.staff,wpi.students,wpi,wpi.faculty
Subject: Re: We have met the enemy... (long)
Date: 28 Mar 1997 02:16:41 -0500

Folks, all this talk has essentially focussed around a single issue;
the status of women at WPI, and the watershed of hurt feelings that
the thought campaign of the COTSOW has undertaken.

I'm here to tell you that the issue is much, MUCH larger than what
we're currently discussing.  We're trying to plug a single hole in the
dike, while the whole dam is bursting in around us.  It's not about
women, or men, or minorities or underrepresented groups... it's about
*people*.  It's about the shockingly low level of pluralism that WPI
has, and how that is going to hurt us greatly in the very near future,
in many different ways.

Quite frankly, a "committee on the status of women" does not address
this very real and vital issue.  It addresses *part* of the issue, but
curing one symptom of a chronic sickness does not heal a patient.

I've been trying to find my copy of the Search Conference report that
the Office of Minority Affairs prepared that was titled: "Search
Conference on Community and Pluralism at Worcester Polytechnic
Institute: January 11 and 12, 1994", but I haven't located it yet.  I
do, however, have my sufficiency, which quotes parts of that document,
and I'd like to share some of that with you:


"I had the opportunity to attend and participate in a two day search
conference on pluralism held here at WPI.  Sixty-four members of the
WPI community attended, each belonging to one of six 'stakeholder'
groups.  These stakeholder divisions were representative in that each
group held a particular stake in the community, and were easily
identified with and recognized by the individuals of the community.
The six groups were: faculty, students, administration, staff,
Worcester community, and trustees and alumni.

The Conference's statement of purpose, as prepared in the report
produced by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, reads: to "Explore
the history and present state of WPI community in an age of increasing
pluralism.  Discover our common ground, and plan for the future
("Search" 2)."  The issues at the conference were indeed WPI-specific,
and were also categorized and defined in a historical context -
globally, locally, and personally.  Each member of the conference was
asked to illustrate what he/she thought were the issues relevant to
each category; what the major global forces at work were, what the
forces that affected WPI were, and what forces motivated their own
personal lives.  The creation of a "database" of these experiences and
forces was the starting point for other exercises that followed, and
was later drawn upon to define the more specific and complex issues.

[some text deleted]

Another one of the exercises that the conference managers asked
participants to participate in was the creation of a visual
representation of how our group felt about the present state of the
community, and the most important issues currently confronting it.
First, we were asked to identify what forces, pressures and events
were currently affecting WPI.  After writing down 40 or more themes on
a large wall map, members of the conference were each given seven
stickers to "vote" on those issues they felt were the most important.
The stickers were color coded to represent one of each of the six
stakeholder groups that made up the community.

The results of this voting were somewhat skewed.  Unfortunately, some
of the dots on the map became dislodged during its transportation;
thus, the totals are accurate, but the breakdowns of the groups - how
each stakeholder group voted as a group - may not be.  Therefore, I
will not include those statistics.

The issues that were most voted on were: "Ongoing debate on pluralism:
need for, meaning and benefits - proactive or natural/reactive - 27
votes"; 2 themes that related specifically to culture - "Cultural
arrogance of Americans - 15 votes", and "American culture of quick fix
and instant gratification - 10 votes"; 2 themes that related to a
recruitment problem "Recruitment: different, not lower means of
admissions assessment - 26 votes", and "Lack of women and minorities
on faculty - 32 votes"; and finally, "Importance of priority given to
pluralism by faculty: rewards and competing demands - 31 votes".  The
theme names were recorded and somewhat altered by the facilitators,
but the main thrust of what they said was not lost.

What do these results tell us?  The break up of the narrative seems to
be the theme of the first three issues; everyone recognizes that no
one is sure what exactly is occurring on the cultural level - some
think it is because of a lack of definitions or understanding, others
think that the source of the misunderstanding is a "sickness" of
American culture; as though cultural decline was a disease that had to
be cured.

The remaining three issues seem to deal with ways to try to improve
the situation, naturally (it seems) through the recruitment of
underrepresented groups in order to increase diversity.  Here the
desire for a more equal representation and "accurate" social balance
at WPI is clearly seen.  The sentiment is for "different, not lower"
assessment; fairness is key to this idea of social justice.

It was felt by some, including myself, that many of the points being
discussed would quickly become moot, given the uncertainties lying at
the heart of the debate.  It was agreed that underrepresented groups
must be brought to the school, but what that meant, i.e. the question
of how to do that, was deliberately avoided due to "time constraints"
and the desire to avoid debate on a question that would not (could
not) be answered at that time.  The conference was intentionally
superficial, deliberately obtuse.  The job of implementing programs
and defining issues was to be left to the Pluralism Planning
Committee.  The conference was designed to give the people on that
committee ideas about where to start looking at the problem.
Surprisingly, there are currently no white male students on the
committee - that is a potential problem, especially when the time
comes to explain what pluralism is to those white students who aren't
represented on the Committee.  The difficulty in overcoming the loss
of narrative seemed almost too great to tackle in such a short time
with such a small group of people.

On the other hand, there was never any argument over whether or not
any of the changes proposed were necessary, or right.  The opinion
that "something must be done" was shared by all involved.  Why was
that?  What was the reasoning behind this assumption?  Are we
accepting what demographics is telling us about the ethnic composition
of our nation in the next 20 years, and then using that to justify
that the narrative of the Melting Pot can no longer sustain itself?
Moreover, where does this implicit notion of justice arise from?"


That's all that's really relevant concerning the Search Conference in
my report.  So now, what is the point I'm trying to make with this?
Well, I have two, actually:

1)  That PLURALISM is the issue we need to be tackling; and that means
that we need to approach the problem TOGETHER, as a coherent, united
COMMUNITY.  To do this, we need a VISION, and, more specifically, a
LEADER who can bring us closer to this vision.  This is potentially a
terrific position that can be filled by a new president.  :)

2)  We can't use "task forces" and "committees" to solve this problem,
either - it's a matter of involving the ENTIRE COMMUNITY, and having
us all participate in a concerted effort that works towards that
aforementioned vision.  The Pluralism Planning Committee and the
Office of Multicultural Affairs had the right idea 3 years ago... but
where are they now??  What happened after the conference ended?  Where
was the follow through???

We aren't really a university.  We're a collection of Polynesian
Islands, each populated by a different cannibalistic tribe, and we're
constantly manning our pontoon boats and going to war with each other,
throwing spears back and forth, quite pointlessly.  These divisions
are occasionally maintained and encouraged by certain leaders of each
tribe, who wish to preserve the status quo, and thus their tiny power

All we need to do is build bridges across these islands.  We can even
do that quite easily; there are many, MANY people who belong to more
than one of the tribes, and they occasionally find themselves having
to go to one side or another when a conflict occurs... but they are
the keys to establishing permanent lines of communication and
understanding between the groups they belong to.

Once those foundations are laid, we can truly call ourselves a
community.  Then, and only then, can we get about the business of
increasing our level of pluralism, and charting a new course towards a
promising future.  The infighting has to stop.  If it doesn't, we'll
only fall deeper down the slippery slope of anarchy towards a dark,
dark fate at the bottom of the U.S. News and World Report guide.

|Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |My Home|
|      | Digital Renaissance Man - Writer, Coder & Artist |


Newsgroups: wpi.staff,wpi.students
Subject: Re: National Women's History Month
Date: 25 Mar 1997 14:35:23 -0500

In article ,
Kari Elise Blinn  wrote:

>Comments like Dave Brown's and Al Scala's are disheartening, to say the

Maybe if we all stopped pointing fingers and naming names, something
would get done.  Instead of looking for scapegoats, why not address
the real issue?  Sexism/racism/etc. are not caused by individuals;
they are caused by institutions.  Disempowerment is also a two-way
street - the "victim" has to believe that they have lost their power
in order for such a thing to be true.

>qualified individuals should be sought after.  However, diversity, both
>gender and ethnic, strengthens a community.  It is in our long-term best
>interest -- strategically, financially, and morally -- to attract and
>retain excellent women and underrepresented minorities at WPI.

I attended the Diversity conference several years ago... a lot was
accomplished at that time, and dialogues were opened at all levels of
the WPI community.  But what happened to the follow through?  Where
was the fabled Diversity Committee, and why didn't they put any of the
ideas born of the conference into action?  Why was all the work of
that conference shoved aside and lost??

Let's see more positive action on all our parts, and less negative hot
air and blame casting.

>I have been encouraged to see President Parrish, both in words and actions,
>begin to address these issues.  But change will not occur quickly.  It will
>require a personal and corporate commitment for years to come.  I hope that
>some of our fundamental beliefs will be challenged, and that we will
>resolve, in our hearts and our minds, to change.

If we really want to form a community out of the separate castes of
WPI, we need to have more events that bring everyone - faculty, staff,
administration, alumni, students, and residents - together.

People need to realize that differences between people are just
illusions - something that was demonstrated on the very first day of
the conference.  I may be a white male... but I am also a CS student,
and avid reader of science fiction, of Italian heritage, Roman
Catholic upbringing.  I like pizza, I perfer Coke over Pepsi,
etc. etc.  There are many, MANY different aspects to all people, but
those who wish to manuever themselves politically only stop to
emphasize one particular facet, whichever one gets them the most
leverage at any one time.

People are more than just their constiuent components; each person is
a whole that is much greater than the sum of his or her parts, and
that's all you really need to remember.  And though I agree that
diversity is a vital thing, something crucial to the survival of
WPI... I also cannot help but state that, just like the American ideal
of the Melting Pot, we must also strive to achieve our own particular
vision of unity and homogeneity.

People, we are all a part of WPI.  We're not just women or men or
black or white... we each play a part in this fantastic community of
great minds dedicated to learning and education, and the causes of
science and engineering.  If you truly wish to build community from
the disparate islands that some people so desperately wish to
balkanize us into, all you really need to do is remember that we're
all here, together, because we really do care about this place, and
therefore, each other.

|Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |My Home|
|      | Digital Renaissance Man - Writer, Coder & Artist |


Newsgroups: wpi.flame
Subject: Re: Moments in Black History

In article <5e0d74$3s5$1@bigboote.WPI.EDU>, tom leete  wrote:

>i'm almost certain that he meant it in a degree of sarcasim- not that he 
>personally saw it as "moment  in black history," only that of all the other 
>things, the pupulous will surely (and sadly) rank this highest in importance 
>(or at least familiarality).  he was mocking the whole thing- et a grip.

Yeah, pretty much.  But there are even a couple more deeper issues
that I attempted to explore in that little witty repartee.  Read on...

>that's one of the dumbest things i've heard in a long time. should we also 
>lump in russian history and native american history too? it's a very seperate 
>topic.  black history is very rich and complex and certainly not the same as 
>conventional us history.  to not recognize them seperately would be to deny 
>them their heritige.  above and beyond this, blacks were left out of most 
>historical literature thus they now NEED to be treated seperately-  think of 
>it as an addendum.  you may have noticed books on the "history of great 
>women", etc- same reason.   feel a little less disgusted now?

What you're doing isn't exactly correct either... you're saying that
black history is more important than any other history.  So, Italian
history isn't rich and varied?  What about Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and
that whole thing called the Rennaissance that mostly took place in
Italy?  We don't have Leonardo Da Vinci day.

There's a subtle and pervasive trap here being laid for the African
American in institutions like Black History month and Affirmative
Action.  These things are pride destroyers.  How can you feel proud
about how you're living your life if you only reach your goals through
the sufferance of others?  When a person says, "I'm proud to be
Irish", what they are *really* saying is: "I've gotten to where I am
today because of my individual accomplishments, and this reflects on
my heritage on the whole".  We don't apply this standard to African
Americans, and now other minorities, because we award them merit
simply by being members of a particular race/culture.

This creates what is called the "Salad Bowl" effect.  No longer is
America the land of mixing cultures... it is the land of separate but
equal cultures that exist side-by-side.  This re-telling of the
American narrative destroys completely our old ideal of the Great
American Melting Pot. But, not only is this ideal of the Melting Pot
being deconstructed by people who feel the need to create separatism
amongst the nation's various cultures, the African American is being
told that he or she is not good enough; that they need special
allowances like Affirmative Action, and special recognition like Black
History Month to tell them that they are important.

No other race/culture in American history ever received any kind of
"affirmative action".  Every immigrant to this nation worked hard to
get themselves where they ended up, to make better lives for their
children.  Because of the simple circumstance that African Americans
were brought over to this country as slaves, they have been treated as
a "needy" people because of the psychic trauma of being considered a

Their American experience is no less traumatic than any other
immigrant experience.  Chinese/Asian laborers were brought over in
boatloads and worked to death on railroads, but because they were
*paid* a menial sum, they were never _considered_ slaves.  And yet,
they still shouldered their burden, sometimes even impressing their
"slave wagepayers" with their determination and fortitude.

What other immigrant culture/race did *not* suffer prejudice and
racism at some time prior to their assimilation into American culture?
What is truly happening here is that African American people are being
deprived of their chance to become part of the American Experience
by politicians and other bigwigs who wish to maintain the "racial
rift" for their own ends.  They are being told that they must, in fact
should truly _desire_, to remain separate from mainstream culture.

Some African Americans have still risen above this challenge.  They
have realized the American Dream, the Grand Experiment, and they have
become a part of our culture.  Think of Clarence Thomas or Colin
Powell - two men who have risen to positions of great power in this
country, yet are seen by some African Americans as "oreos", because
they're "white on the inside".  This is not the truth - these men are
AMERICAN on the inside, because they've adopted the culture of their
now native soil.

Until we all realize that deep down we are *all* Americans, there will
be no end to this artificial "racial rift".  Until we re-adopt the
ideal of the Melting Pot, our culture will continue to break down and
Balkanize into chaos.

|Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


Article 1084 of wpi.students.vox:
From: mikecap@reno.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large)
Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana
Subject: nope
Date: 21 Nov 1996 12:45:35 GMT

A man walks across a tightrope.

The rope is not steady, 
it sways from side to side
changing the boundaries
of two disparate fates.

The man's feet are tired.

He drags them slowly across
the thin surface of the line
swinging out his arms
balancing ever so carefully.

Sweat drips down his face.

His mind is not focused
there is not a single goal;
there are several.  And one
is to simply stay alive.

What happens if I fall?

Is there still a net?
I'm afraid to look down.

If I falter now...
If I tremble now...
If I can't continue
I cannot live.

I will not have a future.

The temptation to jump is far too strong.

				-- it's not getting any easier, 11/21/96
							Mike Caprio
|Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


Article: 14578 of wpi.flame
From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large)
Newsgroups: wpi.flame,wpi.test
Subject: Re: Thoughts on voting today...

In article <55o91m$ak6@bigboote.WPI.EDU>,
Kris Shepard  wrote:

Hi Kris!

>"If you are part of a society that votes, then do so.  There may be no
>candidate and no measures you want to vote _for_ . . .but there are certain
>to be ones you want to vote _against_. In case of doubt, vote _against_.
>By this rule, you will rarely go wrong.

Okay, first of all... I'm not voting this year.  Let me preface all my
comments with that before I begin.

Next, let me tell you a little story.  When I was about 15 or so, my
dad came up to me and said: "So son - when are you going to get
Confirmed?  You're going to have to do it soon, you know."  And I
basically answered that I had no intention of getting confirmed now or
ever.  "But you *have* to get Confirmed.  Just do it because I said
so.  You'll never have to go to church again, just get Confirmed."

It was the last part that caught me.  How was I being a good Christian
by _lying_ that I believed in any of the tenements of the Faith, and
then never going to church again???  The way I saw it, I was actually
giving more validity to the religion by saying, no, I don't believe in
it, so I won't lie about it.

So that sums up pretty much how I feel about the election this year.
I happen to believe that it's all a major crock of horse dung, and I
don't think any of the candidates are truly worthy enough to lead the
country.  Not only that, but I happen to think that the campaign and
election systems themselves are a bogus pile of crap - the Two Party
system no longer works, and it's time we evolved out of that stage.
The electoral college cripples the true democratic process.  Special
interests really _do_ control the government with their money.

I ask you - why should I vote in a system I don't believe in, for a
candidate I don't believe in??  Does that make any sense at all?

Now if this country had a "No Confidence" ticket to vote on, I would
be the first in line to vote this year.  But the U.S. of A. is one of
the few countries in the world which does _not_ support that option -
yet another symptom of an ineffectual system.

So don't even bother trying to guilt me into thinking my decision not
to vote is "Unamerican" or "You can't complain if you didn't vote".
That's bullshit.  I have every right to complain - I pay taxes, I was
born in this country; I'm as American as apple fucking pie.  But I am
_NOT_ going to lay my principles aside and compromise my worth as a
citizen by participating in a broken process that I don't feel has any
legitimacy whatsoever.  It is the imperative of the people to take up
arms against any injustices that may be enacted upon them by an unfair
governance; and I do that by refusing to cast my vote.  I'm not
"apathetic," I'm not "throwing my vote away."

Take your little herd cliches about the election process and stick 'em.
You're just another blind, mindless cog in a system you think you can
change from the inside.  Well, you keep on turning, little gear.  I'm
getting off the bus.

|Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


Article: 1083 of wpi.students.vox
From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large)
Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana
Subject: ...

Fuck you, you uncaring universe.

Pardon me while I get this out of my system...

Today, walking back from Fuller, I noticed a ladybug crossing the
sidewalk in front of me.  I nearly stepped on the darn thing; and what
the heck was a ladybug doing coming out in the Fall, especially around
this hellhole?  I spent several minutes doing my best to scoot it off
the sidewalk onto the grass, pushing it along with the fringe off my
briefbag, gently nudging it out of harm's way.  The person I was
walking with finally got tired of this slow task, and he used his
finger to motivate it the rest of the way off.

I felt pretty good about the whole thing.  I mean, there I was,
showing some compassion for a fellow creature, and in general I felt
like I was having a pretty good day.

And then I made my way to the Wedge to do a little work and study, it
being the end of term and all.  I scattered my papers across the
tables, and another ladybug appeared from nowhere, and crawled
stilt-like across the white landscape.  At first I thought, "oh wow,
another one - how cool..."; but then I examined it a little more
closely, and realized that someone had pulled half of its outer shell
away from its body and crumpled one of its wings.

I was shocked.  I stared and stared for the longest time, growing more
and more depressed with each passing moment.  Another friend of mine
showed up and asked what was wrong.


And he saw what I saw; the impending death of a poor victim of the
baser side of humanity.  Nothing could be done; it couldn't fly, no
matter how many times it vainly attempted to light from the table.  It
couldn't fly, it couldn't eat - it would probably get hurt, eaten, or
starve to death fairly soon.  "It's not going to get better," he said
in a hushed tone.

So he crushed it under a napkin with my textbook.  Highest form of
mercy and all that - "it only took a moment," he said.  Yeah... the
last moment of its life.  I couldn't have brought myself to do it.  I
just sat there frozen by the immensity of the thing, the pure evilness
of the whole act of crippling the insect.

Now I really wish I could figure out who the dick was that pulled the
wing off that poor bug.  I mean, it couldn't have been more ironic - I
make an effort to be kind and help out one bug... and then some
asshole goes and cripples and maims another one, probably just for a
lark.  I would love to find that guy and rip off one of his arms.

I help one, and someone else hurts another, negating everything I did
with one shitty little act of malice.  Where's the meaning in anything
we do if someone or something else cancels out the good that's been

I don't know the answer.  I just know that I'm really feeling ashamed
of my humanity.

So I repeat:  Fuck you, cruel world.

And I expect nothing but the obvious response:

"Fuck you too."

|Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


Who's a cold soul?

Don't I have passion too?  Or
Am I a stone if I do not express my

Like an autumn leaf turning
Emotions change color and wither
Promise me that Spring comes soon
So I can dance in warm sun cool grass

Worn down by the savage rains
Torn up by the harshest winds
I cling tightly to the branch
I stave off the inevitable, final

Why must the sun go so soon?
Why does it become so so cold
So quickly?

I cannot bear it

Who's a cold soul?

Not I, not I...
A heart's a thing of earth
And deep down there is always still

And there I will find what I need
to survive the long winter.

						--I'm so cold... (10/7/96)


Article: 1080 of wpi.students.vox
From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large)
Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana
Subject: Spring, at last
Date: 2 Apr 1996 05:41:39 GMT

I will walk slowly in the rain
breathing in the dark smell of the heady earth
seeing the renewal in the trees, the grass
buds on the branches

I will walk barefoot in the rain
letting the cold drops dance across my skin
squishing the mud between my toes
wet drips against my face

I will step in the frigid puddles
I will kick away the stones

I will smile briefly 
at the green shoots that push through the ground
promising the return of life
the rebirth of the cycle

And then, I will no longer be walking in the rain
I will become the rain

I will praise the world and all things
living a life among many lives
showering everything with my empty self
a raindrop in a holy, gentle spring storm

			--it's raining outside, and it's beautiful (4/1/96)

|Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


Article: 1077 of wpi.students.vox
From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large)
Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana
Subject: nuh uh
Date: 18 Jan 1996 09:13:38 GMT

condemned to morbidity
constrained by mortality
a soul kept locked inside
with nothing left to share
except perhaps a scrap of stale humanity.

pain keeps us on our toes
shocks the system with the news
that we are still alive
yes indeed we are old son
to walk yet another mile in these ragged brown shoes.

what's the point of dying
if you're only just living
what's the secret to the mystery
and other such great quests
when do you learn to stop all the giving?

what do you have left to hide?

						Why am I still awake??
|Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


Every time I close my eyes
You're the only one I see
You're the only one I dream about
The one who truly loves me

When I'm lying in my bed
And I can't quite fall asleep
I just think of your cool white skin
Sighing softly next to mine

You're the one I've always wanted
You're the one I'll always need
You're the only one
I ever could have wished for

You're the one
You're the one
You're the one

How could I ever live without you?
How could I get the love I need?
What is this incredible feeling
That I get when I look at you?

I love all the things you do
And all the funny things you say
I love everything about you
Every hour of every day

You're the one I've always wanted
You're the one I'll always need
You're the only thing 
I ever could have hoped for

You're the one
You're the one
You're the one

And when you smile and laugh
I can't keep from laughing too
I can only thank the stars above
That I'm the one you really love

When I'm in your arms
I'm the only man in the world
The luckiest man that could ever be
And you're the only one for me

You're the one I've always wanted
You're the one I'll always need
You're the only woman
I ever could have dreamed of

You're the one
You're the one
You're the one

			--Inspired by love, (10/10/95)


From mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU Fri Sep 22 03:41:39 EDT 1995
Article: 1065 of wpi.students.vox
Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana
Subject: Late night musing

It's hard to look back on your life and count all the people you've
left behind... all those people that are still out there, who still
exist, but who you never see anymore.  Old best friends that you lost
when you moved away; people who were once your friend, but are little
more than acquaintances now; all the people that meant something to
you that you never see or talk to anymore.  Whatever the reason, you
no longer see this person, and you sometimes find yourself wishing
that you did see them more often, that they were still a part of your

It's weird to run into one of those people for just a brief time - to
see how different they've become, to hear the highlights of their
lives in the recent past.  To intersect again after diverging away
from one another for so long... it's strange.  Really strange.  It
almost doesn't feel right; you find yourself thinking about the past,
about the things you shared with these people, and about just how
important they really were to you.

And that's when you start wondering where things might have gone if
they hadn't left, where you would be with them now, and how things
could have changed for everyone if certain things had only happened

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if I had had more of a chance to
talk.  But it's all kind of moot now... maybe I'll see them again
sometime, since they're bound to turn up in the area again.  It seems
people have a really hard time leaving this burg.  But even supposing
that I do get the opportunity to share with them again - it's only
still going to be for a very short time, and we'll all have changed
again since the last time.  We'll still only be brief tangents to the
normal course of our lives.

What's even funnier (funny weird, not funny ha-ha) is that they're
only two houses away from me, right now, at this very moment, as I
type this.  I probably could have gone over there if I wanted to.
But it didn't feel right for some reason.  I want so badly to say
hello to them again, to welcome them into my life again, to make some
kind of contact again... but at the same time... it doesn't seem right
to just _do_ that.  Not when we're all leading lives apart from one

Maybe some ties just can't come back after they've been broken.  I
guess that some of them do, but I think that most of them just don't.
They just don't.

|Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


From mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU Fri Sep 22 03:41:47 EDT 1995
Article: 1066 of wpi.students.vox
Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana
Subject: death

I'm afraid of dying now.

I don't think I was ever really afraid of my mortality before.  It was
an accepted thing, something that was not a part of my life, something
that was just an abstract concept.  Something not real.

It's real for me now.  Being in a head-on with an 18 wheeler does that
to you.

I've been a hair's breadth away from death a lot of times in my life -
one time I was alone at home, eating some breakfast in the usual way,
and I choked hard on some food.  My air passage was totally blocked,
such that all I could produce was a very faint wheezing; I couldn't
take in any air at all, and the effect was very frightening.  I
started to panic a little, realizing that dialing the phone wouldn't
help because I couldn't really have talked to 911 (I was just a kid
then, maybe 9 or 10, I didn't really know about tracing phone calls or
what not, and I wasn't exactly in a clear state of mind at the time).

I figured I would just be dead and blue by the time they got to me
anyhow.  I floundered around a bit, trying desperately to figure some
way out of the predicament, when it suddenly dawned on me.
"Heimlich," I thought.  But there wasn't anyone around to perform it
on me... I then remembered that you could practice the Heimlich on
yourself by leaning over a chair and pushing your stomach in that way.
I gave it a shot, hard, and lucky me - the food popped out.

That wasn't the only near miss I had.  There was the time I nearly
drowned in my pool, the time I was almost hit by a car while crossing
the street in Canada, the time 90 West St. caught fire... and these
are just the ones I was aware of.  How many times was my life in
jeopardy that I _didn't_ realize?  How many times did the plane almost
crash?  How many times did the car narrowly swerve to avoid us?

The funny thing though is that I never really thought about these
events before.  Even experiencing the choking thing firsthand was only
enough to scare me for a little while (and I was just a kid, too, so
maybe that might have something to do with it).  But my first car
accident (hopefully my last) was scary enough to throw my head out of
whack for a bit.  I get flashbacks of the accident occasionally, and
sometimes I get these really intense foreboding feelings, as if I have
very little time left in my life, and that it's all going to be ending
soon.  I'm sure these responses are "natural" and all that, but I'd
really like to know when I'm going to stop getting them on such a
regular basis.  I understand that being trapped in a smoking heap of
twisted Honda can do this to a person, so it's not as if I don't know
what the cause of my mania is.

It might also have something to do with the fact that I'm getting a
hold of my life, of _my_ life - the one I'm going to live, the one
that I'm finally coming into of my own accord.  It could also be that
I've found someone very special to share myself with, someone I can
say that I love very much, with all my heart and all my being.

I have something worth losing now, I guess.  I have a life that I'm
very happy with, and I don't want to give it up - not now, and not
ever, really.  Death is going to take all these things that I've
worked towards away from me, and it can do it anytime it wants, it can
crush the fragile breath right out of my body, and it can do it in an

I don't buy that "death as part of the cycle of life" crap.  Fuck that
shit.  I don't feel like going anywhere in particular, especially if
I'm going to lose everything I have now.  I don't care if they have to
stick tubes in every part of my body to keep me going - as long as my
brain's still there, I'm still there, and I want to keep living as
long as I possibly can.

I could say that there was a upside to all this; that I now appreciate
all the finer moments of life, that I'm stopping to smell the flowers,
pausing to enjoy myself, etc. etc.  But things couldn't be more
different - I'm more frantic than I've ever been.  I'm more desperate
to accomplish something with my life.  I'm loving harder than I
probably should be, perhaps even destructively so.

All because of that 69 year old motherfucker truck driver from
Pennsylvania.  I swear that if I ever have any control over the
nation's highways, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop
interstate truck distribution.  That bastard robbed me of my
ignorance of death, and I can't say that I like that one bit.

Not one fucking bit.


|Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


>From mikecap@lizardo.WPI.EDU Fri Sep  8 15:36:35 EDT 1995
Article: 7314 of wpi.students
Newsgroups: wpi.students,wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana
Subject: A very good day

I woke up this morning to gray sunless sky and felt rather cold.  I
managed to crawl from bed into the shower and out again in time to
leave for my 9am class.

The cheerless sky depressed me somewhat, having been exposed to so
much sun in the last few weeks; yet I knew, I hoped almost desperately,
that we would get rain soon, that the dust and brown would turn back
into soil and grass once more (still no rain yet, by the way, just
clouds and cold air...).  Walking out the front door and onto the
street I felt the first hazy impressions of a drizzle on my bare skin.
It was only a very light drizzle, like the air blown out from a
humidifier, but it fell continuously as I made my way towards the

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes nice little things happen to
me, little things that make the day into an especially good one.

An old man was walking on the opposite side of the street, bent and
wrinkled, coughing horribly as he slouched his way several houses down
the street.  We kept the pace with each other, me wincing and leaning
on my cane, he taking his time and making great efforts to drag
himself across the cement.  He sat onto some steps with a great
harumph, and looked up at me as I looked at him...

"Where're the crutches?" he said in his old man's voice.

I was taken aback.  Here, a complete stranger asking me about my
current walking condition.  I could only think to say:

"I'm walking with a cane now," and I showed it to him, since it was
obscured by my right side.  "I'm getting better."

"That's good," he said, and I walked on to the end of the street.

I didn't feel the wet anymore.  I walked much more easily than I had
before, and it somehow felt much more comfortable to take every next
step.  I had been recognized, and someone - a neighbor - had cared
enough to inquire about me.  I've gone the whole day today in a simply
incredibly positive mood, all because of the kind words of someone

It's days like today that really make me feel glad to be alive.

|Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38|
|           |My Home|


Just the other day I found myself being reminded about important
dates, and how I couldn't remember some dates over others.  It made me
realize what the nature of "important" was.  I used to think I knew
what was important, but it's kind of changed for me now.  You figure
that there are dates in your life that are important - you know, like
your high school graduation, or your first date, your prom, shit like
that.  But for me - I can't seem to remember any of the dates.

I can't remember the first time I drank alcohol.  Or the first time I
drove a car.  I can't remember the day I lost my virginity or the day
I had my first kiss... all these things that I previously might have
thought were important, things that "changed my life forever"...


I didn't know what that meant.  Not until Tuesday, December 20th, 1994
at around 1:30pm on Route 12 about a quarter mile away from the Auburn
Mall.  That day, that moment - that event is burned so firmly into my
head that I am never going to forget it.

I was driving with a friend to pick up my girlfriend's locket, a
Christmas present that I had engraved at the Mall.  We had just
stopped at Dragon's Lair East, a local game and hobby store near
Webster Square, and I was reading the comics and gaming materials I
had bought there.

The world stopped.  Or rather, was jarred off its foundations.  It was
like a movie, taking the camera and shaking it so hard that the whole
image was completely vibrating.  And the sound... like nothing I ever
heard before, or ever hope to hear again.  Crashing, tearing,
twisting... I can barely describe it.  Like a tornado, like a train
rushing past.  I think I must have screamed, but I sure didn't hear
it.  I looked around, got my bearings, and realized that the car was a
smoking wreck.

We had hit a semi head on.  My friend's face was slumped over the
steering wheel, covered with bleeding lacerations.  I checked myself
and noticed that I was intact, not cut badly anywhere... but an
omnious warmth in my leg signaled what I knew to be true, that I had
broken it.

"My leg's broken.  I can tell."

"Jesus," said the paramedic.  "Left leg, lower, it's... jesus... 
mangulated," he moaned and coughed.

Mangulated.  My left foot and ankle had broken to the right, pushed
aside by the engine block as it sloughed its way through the
underbelly of the car.  I didn't feel any pain then, nor could I see
what had happened to my foot.  Gotta love those endorphins.

I know my immediate family's birthdays:  Dad, January 30th.  Mom, April
13th.  Sis, February 1.  I know what day my paternal grandfather died,
but that's because it was on New Year's Eve.  I can't remember when my
great-grandfather died, even though I can say I loved him more.

Maybe the dates aren't that important.  Maybe what's important are the
feelings that I associate with the events, and not the events
themselves - the dead moments of the past, rustling like old parchment
in my head.  They're only subjective memories though, they're not even
close to what truly happened.  What difference does a day make?  Maybe
a bigger one than anybody thinks.  Everything can change in a day.
You could go from being happy to being depressed, being rich to being
destitute, sane to insane, married to divorced, young to old...

Or from being alive to sucking dirt.

It's amazing how you can turn a negative experience around if you
really want to.  I could look back on what happened to me and think -
"If I had been driving, it wouldn't have happened." or "Maybe if I was
paying attention I could have stopped it." or simply "Why me?"  But I
don't.  I don't blame anyone for what happened (actually I blame
Willard K. Weist, 69, of Pennsylvania - the driver of the truck, but
let's not dwell on it).  

I look back on it now and recall that I wasn't panicked.  After some
futile attempts to crawl out the broken window I realized I had to
wait.  I tried to help my friend, I held his bleeding hand, tried to
talk to him.  I gave all the firemen and paramedics all the
information I could.  I stayed conscious the whole time.

Looking back at that tells me that I have the strength to survive a
disaster.  That I can go through a catastrophe without panic, that I
can have a clear mind even with a broken leg.  A worthy prize, but a
pretty steep cost.

I still have a bum leg.  I still have the lump/dent that reminds me of
how far away from my tibia that chunk of bone is.  I still ache on the
hot humid days and the rainy days and the cold damp days.  I still
have the flashbacks occasionally, and I'm right back in that steaming
mass of rended Honda Civic waiting to be burned alive or saved, and
they throw the blanket over me and saw the top of the car off and oh
god please don't let this thing blow up and they pull me out and jesus
christ it hurts so bad grinding bones and yes they really do grind
isn't it interesting that I've never felt quite this much in pain
before holy shit it hurts.  [insert screaming here]

Still... it could be worse.  I'm still here.  I can still walk.  I
still have a future.

I'm not a hedonist now, nor do I think I will ever become one.  If I
hadn't thought material things were insignificant before, I sure do now.
But neither am I spirtual.  People are always telling me I'm going to
end up believing in God someday, but you know, I was a hair's breadth
away from death, and it hasn't changed me in that way.  Christ, my
whole family's faith has been practically reaffirmed by my survival -
"Boy, you sure had somebody looking out for you!" and so forth - and I
couldn't have reacted less.

I guess it all comes back to what's important.  And what is that, you
say?  What is the sacred mystery that I learned from staring death in
the face?  What secrets were revealed to me?

Take it as it comes.  Live every moment to the fullest.  Love with
every ounce of your being.  How many more cliches do you need?  

Let me just put it this way... mortality has a way of sneaking up on
you when you least expect it, so you better make damn sure you're
prepared to face it when it comes.  Life is what's important, and
living it is the hardest thing you're ever going to do.

It sure beats the alternative though.



			   Why did you try
		 to coax life from these stony limbs?
		 You are no Prometheus to this world
		  No god of enlightenment and faith
		    You're just a man, only human
		      What madness compelled you
		   to breathe warmth into cold clay?
		      I would rather have stayed
		       a lump in the dark earth
       	      Than to feel the heat of the sun on my face
	       for I know how easily it is snatched away.
		 Curse you for bringing me into being.
	        I hate you with the heart you restarted
	      Why have you brought the dead back to life?

	      Did you think you could bring back my soul?

			      ANSWER ME!

		   You don't know anything, do you?
	   The trappings of life mean so little to the dead.
		       Having lived once before
		       I wish to suffer no more
		 I ask that you take your "gift" away
			    Or at least,
			 Do not abandon me
		  to this cruel new fate I must bear
		   for now the lonliness is upon me
			  I am empty inside
		     I am collapsing into myself

		     Dear god, what is this fear?
	     You've thrown me back into an unknown world
		     it is no paradise to be sure.

			      Damn you.

		    Why have you done this to me?

							inspired, (4/15/94)

What is beauty?

Beauty is a state of grace; a perfection of the soul that shines outwardly,
blinding all that can see and stunning those who cannot.  Beauty lies within 
the teardrop that falls from the cheek of a mother holding her child...
Beauty is the spread sky, the parting air and the wind through your hair...
the freedom and joy of flight...

But we do not see beauty in ourselves.  That is why we are loved, so that 
the beauty within is brought out - by those who love us.

Love is beauty... beauty is love.

You are beautiful...  I love you.  That is how I know.  It is not opinion, it 
is solid unchangeable fact.  You are beautiful.

You are love.


	A promise unfulfilled

	The heart is a precious stone,
	flawed, but when polished
	shines a beauty undreamt of
	by those who looked closest before

	The head is a wellspring,
	overflowing ideas of love
	a pure clear stream in the dreams of open minds
	and the fantasies of lovers

	The body is but a vessel,
	it cannot capture the spirit
	nor contain the boundless care of one for another
	the bliss of sharing hearts

	Will you share with me?  Can I be so bold?
	To feel, to know... to know and to see.
	Can I feel your skin beneath my touch
	your brow beneath my fingertips
	your lips against my cheek?

	My soul and mind and body are here, now...

	Will you be with me?


Falling From Grace

Like two worlds
we collided
for such a short sweet time
then scattered
in a million random pieces
thrown to the wind
as if we were nothing important at all

A light
a hope
a burning eye
the life
the pain
and now I'm falling
falling from grace

You can only lose paradise once
but now that it's gone
the memory stays
like a knife in the heart
a sword in the back
a dagger in the eye
a hole in the gut.

my life
my pain
no light
no hope
falling in space
the emptiness descends
falling from grace

You never know what you've found
until it's lost
but then what's the point of having
if you can't ever know
what it is you keep?

How did I get here?
Where did this fire come from?
What will I do now that you're gone?

The tears on your face
my heart so out of place
gone without a trace
falling from grace
falling from grace


Only people who think that the future is changeable have plans.  The rest of us
are just fuck-ups who know better and have cold spots where our hearts should
be.  And after that, all that's left is this bitter taste and empty hands.  But
that might just be me... I'm sure there are plenty of other people out there
who have much more than they think they have.  Matter of fact, I know that 
those people are out there.  And God help me, I despise them.  I despise them.
All our lives are ruled by circumstance.  There is no other law but this.  Some
of us get nice things, and some of us don't.  Some of us don't know what we 
have; not until we lose it.  Some of us just don't listen, some of us just 
don't understand.  Some of us are fucked from the start, and even though we try
not to think about it, though we try to hide it under false hopes, we can't
escape.  Some of us don't know what we want... and those people are the lost.

But you know what?  It doesn't matter.  IT JUST DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER.


	You must never forget that there is darkness in the world.  

	Void exists within us all, dissolving our sanity slowly over time,
corroding our souls with the knowledge of oblivion, like acid from a broken,
rusted battery.  We would rather not acknowledge the existence of the dark,
but we have more names for it than we do for the light... it occupies our 
thoughts constantly if we are thinking people.  But the secret, the power 
behind the power, is that it can only beat us if we let it beat us.  The 
darkness can only win if we give up, if we quit or stop trying.  Even when
we cannot win, when there is no reason to continue, we have still won - in
the securing of life.  Where there is life, there is yet hope, and where there
is hope, there is light.  The void has no control over us - we always and 
forever control our own destinies.  Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

	Even if the universe crushes our reed, our thinking reed, we still
know that we are being crushed, and that is our greatest triumph.  The uncaring
universe can fuck off and die - we will still have had our moment in the glory.

	But you must never forget the darkness.  It must have its due, and its
price must be paid in time.  

	Yet... perhaps... even that may one day be conquered.


The Kiss

I stood, staring blankly
at the empty air.
My hands were not my
and my mind was not my own.

You were there tonight.
Your hair brushed against
my palms
and I longed for 
the sound of your voice.

Your voice...
urging me on,
asking me to hold your purse
as you went inside.
Sweet melody and soft sounds...
your voice like a chorus of angels
when you told me I was

And now...

I brought you home.
Outside your door, the
night enveloped the sky,
and the stars shone weakly, 
their tiny lights flickering,
vainly pushing back that huge

We stood there, waiting...
you smiled at me, I 
smiled back in my awkward way.
And you went

And now...

Now I'm sitting here.
Staring emptily at the
hands that held you for
too short a time.

Where was the kiss?
Your lips against my own
softly caressing
your breath on my face
your eyes gently closed.

There was no kiss.
I didn't dare to try.
You were so beautiful.
I was too shy.

I wanted your warmth so very badly...

And now my hands hold nothing
but the cold, cold air.


	How does it feel to be a fuck-up?  How does the knowledge of one's
mistakes affect a person?  Self-knowledge is the worst kind of knowledge,
because there is no denying it... not really.  When faced with the consequences
of one's actions, even the strongest of us turns immediately to jelly.  

	So how does it feel?  It feels like nothing I've ever known before.
I can't describe the loss in words... there is no analogy; not even losing a
limb or a life compares.  Insanity, anger, frustration... these are all 
symptoms of this recurring sickness in my mind.  How could I have been so 
wrong?  How could I have misjudged so completely?  How can I go on like this?  
These are questions I face every second I'm awake - only the oblivion of sleep 
stops me from leaping into this frothing morass of madness.

	To think that I could have changed all of this, to imagine what it
could have been like... it's the worst punishment anyone can endure.  But
I can't keep myself from wondering - what if?  What if... these are the most
tragic words man has ever uttered, and they are by far the most pathetic.
But how can I stop myself?  How am I supposed to forget that I've lost my
chance?  How can I live with the knowledge of having missed love by a single

	The most amazing thing is... I've been dead for about three and a half
months now, and I'm only just starting to realize it.  But que-se-fucking-ra.
Life goes on.  I'll survive.


	Please tell me I'm right.  I really don't think I am.  I really can't
face myself anymore.  I can't accept what I've lost.  I can't live like I did
before anymore.  I can't ever go back...  I can't change the past, and I can't
affect the future.  I've become nothing; I've lost my existence.  The only
things left are my tears... but they'll dry, won't they?  They'll stop coming

	please... i'm lost... i'm gone... .......

	help me


The world was ending
A man sat and moped on a beach somewhere
The man was a scientist
As before, he pondered the meaning of things
Suddenly there was a bright flash of light
and God appeared in the sky

The man stood up

"I knew you'd come."


"I thought so."

The silence was heavy on the scientist's heart

"All my life
 I have searched for answers
 Pondered the questions
 Found answers
 Found more questions..."
The man's voice trailed off

God said nothing

"I just thought...
 I just wanted to know...
 To ask you
 What my purpose was."

So God came down
And stood on the Earth
He walked up to the scientist
And spoke


The man was about to speak
But God turned him to dust
And then God left
And the world ended quietly
With a soft sad sigh.


	Why does everyone want to know what love is all about?  What drives
people to seek love out, and what makes them guard it so jealously when they
get it, and what is it about love that brings people together?  I suppose it's
conceivable that a person can live without love their whole life; but how
could anyone call that living?  Love, even love that isn't shared, is a 
completely powerful thing - it can dominate your life, it can raise you to
new heights and plunge you to new depths.  Tolstoy said that there are as many
different kinds of loves as there are heads with minds in them.  He may be
right, there may be no "true" kind of love.

	Giving is the most important thing involved; giving everything you 
can, in hopes of making things good with the world.  But sometimes you just
can't, and those are the worst times.  Sometimes you can't do anything, you
can only sit and watch and cry and tremble with a deep-seated fear.  And all
this right before the pain in your guts starts, the pain that gnaws at you and
reminds you how incompetent you really are.  But it really doesn't matter at 
all, because it's all meaningless, and all the pain is senseless.  Pretty soon
all that exists is pain... constant, chronic pain that never leaves you no 
matter how hard you or your friends try to make it better.  But by that time,
you really don't notice anything anymore, especially the important things,
because those are the ones that, when you screw them up, fuck you up the worst.
A nice big feedback loop of misery and self-loathing.  No end in sight, either.

	Then again, what the fuck do I know?  I'm nobody special.  I've only
ever loved one person in my whole life, I've only ever let one person love 

	And you know, there truly isn't a feeling worse than the one you get
from letting someone you love down.  There really isn't.


There were many times I pondered on 
the meaning of life
too many times to count.
And my thoughts turned to
the futility of life.
When we die it seems
that nothing is left.

I remembered 
how much I thought about
the reasons.

All that time misspent
asking why.

And I realized how much of life
I lost
because I had to know
But as I write
I gain a piece of wisdom
which is no longer any use to me
so I tell you this:

Life is precious
too precious to waste
time is too fleeting 
to spend visiting
the dead
or reading empty words.


A hand, a touch
A hand, a stroke
A mouth (soft), lips, a kiss
A mouth, an ear, a chill
A mouth, a neck, a shudder
Another kiss, harder and softer
A breast, a hand (soft)
A breast, a mouth, a shudder
Tickling, tingling
A thigh, stroking, caressing, kissing
slowly (so soft, soft)
faster, but slowly


my love

hold me


Time is a killer.  It leaves nothing, it gives nothing, it rules your life.
You are bound by time.  Your mind counts the seconds, your body is ruled
by a biological clock, your soul screams soundlessly for all eternity.  Yet
Time is nothing more than an invention of small man, who needs to grasp at
the ungraspable and define by imposing his structure upon the natural order.
A sad, sad thing is man; tragic by his own self-inflicted standards, ruined
by the construction of his own unreal Time...  How many times have you found
yourself at the subjective crossroads?  There is no absolute; the illusion
of order is complete, and subjugates all our reason.  But it is as fragile
as a flower, blows as dust, rattles like wind in the leaves.  Nonetheless,
the illusion is as potent as any poison - it seeps into our frames and scars
us, over and over, again and again.  We're only fooling ourselves when we 
think that we have Time.  No one has Time, but Time has everyone.

How much longer?  Forever.  Soon.  Just wait.  When?  Later.  Now.  Wait.

Infinity is just a heartbeat away.




Now proceeds the less angstful stuff...


How often I have seen faces in my dreams
faces not my own and not of others I know
strange faces that act out little dramas in my head
for no particular reason
living their brief unreal lives 
for a brief unreal time

Stories of love and of hate
of birth and death and rebirth
the fantastic and the sublime
mix freely with the harshness of what seems true.

Am I someone else's dream, I wonder?
Where is the meaning in my life?
Am I as transient as those made of dreamstuff,
and what happens when that someone



long ago...

when i didn't dream of anything
i was often told
how sweet dreams were
and how they gave you what you need

now i know...

i've got something special in my hands
and the last thing on my mind right now
is letting go

is this a dream or
is this a melody or
is this just exactly what I need...

sometimes i think of different things
what i used to want
what i thought i had
i didn't know...

but now i've got to know...

is this a dream or
is this a melody or
is this just exactly what I need...

is this a dream or
is this a melody or
is this just exactly what I need...?


flesh is beautiful
flesh is ugly
flesh runs and melts like candle wax
flesh grows and rots


touch my flesh
know its destiny
feel life within it
and death without it

say the word
like a slush it moves
say it slowly
it fits so well

flesh is our enemy
we must conquer flesh
we must fight or we will die

taste of me
this is my flesh
this is what I am
what you are.

We are all flesh.


Article: 2275 of wpi.students.voxhumana

In a hundred years,
the wind will change
the ground will shift
water will rise and fall.

In a thousand years,
the sun will rise
trees will grow
petals will open and close.

People will be born and die.

In a million years,
they will all be less than dust.

In a trillion years
there will be nothing.

At all.

Think about that, and then tell me how important you are, or how
important anyone else is in the scheme of things.

Then come to me and tell me what's important.

And I'll tell you if you're wrong or right.  I found out the hard way.
But I learned the answer.

I know now.


An Orgy of Death

How frail is life
How easily it withers
and dies
Washes away like a 
Melts away like a 
then gets snuffed.

How fragile is life
It breaks like glass
and is no more.
The faint breath just
and nothing remains
no movement of 
the eyes
the chest
the heart
no thoughts from the brain.
No more sounds from the lips
no harsh words of hate
no soft tokens of love





Article: 987 of wpi.students.vox
Subject: dreams...

	I had a dream about the sea.

	I don't know why.  I usually don't dream about things; I dream
of people, or of events... not of places.  Not just places.  It was so
strange... all I could see was a crashing surf, an endless expanse of
rolling waves, bobbing up and down, white and blue and green and white
again.  Creatures ranging from the microscopic to the gargantuan rocked 
back and forth within it, moved by cycles and tides they had no
understanding of.

	Maybe it was because someone told me how much they feared the
sea.  Someone said to me that the only thing they were ever afraid of
was the open sea... and I couldn't understand why.  I used to have to 
think about things that I am truly afraid of; now I've found something
to fear.  It's very much like the sea, it's very powerful and quite
unstoppable... unpredictable... destructive and creative at the same
time.  I was never afraid of it before; now it frightens me like nothing
else I have ever known.  Now I am small before it, tossed by its waves
and ruled by its cycles.  Now I am a child running from the incoming
tide and the crashing surf that drives its way towards me.

	Now I am standing alone before an ocean I have never known.
And I'm afraid to move, for fear of drowning.  

	God help me... I'm so afraid.


	The cursor is blinking impatiently at me, waiting for my input, pulsing
furiously even as I type the words that magically appear on my screen.  What 
should I do now?  What is the next command I want to issue?  I suppose
eventually we will make the machines clever enough so that I won't have to
think about what the next step will be.  No amount of tinkering is going to
clear up the bugs in this program...

	My memory's become all patchy; one thing slips out, and another thing
slips in.  0, 1, 0, 1... on and off.  Is that all there is?  Is it all so 
black and white?  It all becomes the same after a while.  Even sex is just
another process that runs and eventually gets killed.  Break.  Compile.  


	Goddamnit, I am not a machine!  I am not someone else's creation, I am
not a tool to be used, a resource to be harvested, a variable to be 
manipulated!  I am a living, breathing MAN and I am the master of my own
technology, my own particular pattern of life.  No one pushes my buttons...
no one but me.  But I can no longer trust myself; I am staked to the ground,
fettered by the ties of information, bound by a thick power cord that keeps
wrapping around and around and around...

	The TV flickers in the background.  The phosphor screen emits flashes
of a scene that I cannot change or alter in any way, dictating what I see for
me, controlling me instead of me controlling.  No escape, no hope.  QVC.
MTV.  ABC.  




Article: 963 of wpi.students.vox
Subject: A valentine

This is for everyone who wants to be happy, who wants to find love.
Everyone who cares - I know you're out there guys.  Show someone some love.

For me.

For You

I thought of you the other day
of what you could give
of how I could live
and of what you meant to me.

Can you teach me how to fly?
Can you show me what it means
to spread my wings and
embrace the sky like a friend?

I want to be your love
to know and share and see
to grow and care and be
with you.

But if I can't have that
It's enough to be your valentine
to know your heart can be with mine
that we could spend the briefest time

But if I can't have that you say
I hope it is enough
to tell you what is in my soul
that no one else touches 
my heart 
in quite the same way.

And if I can't do that
If I can't have that
then I will take my love
say my thanks

and go.

I hope it can be different.
I want to be so badly.
But we take what we can get.
If I get nothing
I take nothing.

I'm sorry if that hurts you.
But pain will go away
they say.

We all need joy.  We all need life.
Everyone wants to be happy.
To have something, instead of nothing.

Will you be my valentine?



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