Poem of the Week: Villanelle of Courage

Villanelle of Courage
March 19, 2017

I’m quite done feeling sorry for myself.
I’ve moaned enough groans and cried enough tears.
Time to store my self-pity on the shelf.

For too long, I’ve felt like a hapless whelp,
Always at the mercy of my own fear.
I’m quite done feeling sorry for myself.

Facing things alone, few folks ‘round to help,
Nagging doubts always raging in my ears…
Time to store my self-pity on the shelf.

‘Tis the cruelest thing in my life I’ve felt.
Nowadays, though, I’ve grown sick of the jeers.
I’m quite done feeling sorry for myself.

It’s about time I stood up for myself,
Took life by the horns, and conquered my fears.
Time to store my self-pity on the shelf.

After all, I alone can teach myself
To attain and keep that which I hold dear.
I’m quite done feeling sorry for myself.
Time to store my self-pity on myself.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Bonus Poem of the Week: Another Rant about 21st Century Human Stupidity

Another Rant about 21st Century Human Stupidity
March 15, 2017

Some say we’ve lost our soul. Some say we’ve lost our body…
Hence why our entertainment media’s long been shoddy,
But if you ask me, I’d say we’ve also lost our minds,
For how stupid must we be to not choose to leave behind
All the crap that’s been in the world now for so long?
What else can make us believe that we’ve got nothing wrong
On our bookshelves, radios, game consoles, and TV and film screens?
‘Cause guess what—it ain’t perfect, if you know just what I mean.
That’s just the tip of this iceberg, though, for look at what else
Is wrong with us, such as just how wrapped up in ourselves
We’ve become over the years with these days being worse than ever.
For example, look at what happens when people get together
On the Internet, and one moron acts out his or her inner child
Against something quite innocent, being anything but mild
With an illiterate, long-winded tantrum either void of punctuation
Or riddled with exclamation points and poor capitalization
As he or she batters the poor soul with whom he or she disagrees,
Spewing out insults and accusations with the greatest of ease
Peppered with death threats, name-calling, and (of course) profanity,
Thinking such a display will make him or her look like a tough S.O.B.
When reality proves he or she is naught but a spiteful brat
Who really ought to clean up his or her act soon or just scat,
For such behavior in the real world doesn’t fly with most folks.
In fact, acting childish and self-entitled often blows up in smoke
And lands people in the doghouse, where other folks come to see
Just how infantile, deprived, and pathetic we humans can be.
Alas, too many are the places human foulness rears its head—
So many, in fact, that I’m surprised my soul isn’t yet dead
From having come across so many assholes gathered in one place
Relishing over foolish crap as humanity they further disgrace
With lies, both in word and in picture, of people better than they
Will ever be, not to mention all the tacky words they say;
Racial, sexist, and homophobic slurs; curses galore;
Celebrating innocent people’s deaths; and more trash talk in store
For all morbidly curious enough to read such crap themselves
With even more warped reality waiting for them the deeper they delve.
To think such scum exist in the real world never sits well with me.
“It takes all kinds,” I understand, but honestly, why should it be
That unprovoked hatred should run so rampant in this day and age?
Will we ever move forward in this world or forever stay on this page
And never progress in the story of the human race as it can be?
‘Cause really, I’ve had it up to my brow with such stupidity.
To think, too, that I’ve only scratched the surface of how braindead
Humanity can be with all the words I’ve already said.
The problem is, though, if I were to go on with this gripe,
I’d be here all day losing my own mind reporting all the tripe
I’ve seen and heard in all the years I’ve come to know it, friends,
So please forgive me for bringing this rant to a premature end.
The point remains, though, that we as a people have a ways
To go before we can claim that we’ve grown up in any way,
And I hope that day comes soon while I’m still alive to hear and see
Humanity reach its moral potential and prove how great we can be.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Stupid Media, Stupid People

Stupid Media, Stupid People
March 10, 2017

Stupid media
Stupid people
People without standards
People with dead morals
Morals gone down the toilet
Morals and values
Values we all should have
Values we’ve all given up on
On TV
On movie screens
Screens filled with bleakness
Screens filled with gratuitous crap
Crap like brazen sex
Crap like excessive violence
Violence already rampant
Violence without levity
Levity from toxic stimuli
Levity that we all need
Need and want
Need but don’t have
Have we no spine
Have we no mind
Mind to reject this filth
Mind to demand better
Better for tomorrow’s generation
Better from media creators
Creators with more cash than credibility
Creators with more praise than talent
Talent elsewhere being ignored
Talent elsewhere being rejected
Rejected for little to no reason
Rejected at the gate
Gate locked tightly
Gate locked shut
Shut on new ideas
Shut on fresh ideas
Ideas that could reinvigorate
Ideas that could revitalize
Revitalize a scene so stale
Revitalize a scene so deprived
Deprived of vitality
Deprived of human interest
Interest from a new generation
Interest in something different
Different times
Different measures
Measures to be taken seriously
Measures to be taken now
Seriously!
Now!

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Bonus Poem of the Week: The Misguided PC Missile

The Misguided PC Missile
March 6, 2017

Living in a PC nation
Is a snowflake generation
Making all endure
That which is “pure”
Against certain stimulation,

Not stopping to understand
How they’re getting out of hand
And how their crusade
Has actually made
A mess across the land.

They claim to fight to end
The evils around each bend
In society
For you and me,
But truth be told, my friends,

They’re so blinded by their plight
That they can’t tell left from right,
And what lies in store
Hence becomes a war
That they wage day and night

Against all they see and hear,
No matter how vague or clear
Something matches the ill
That they’ve deemed to be swill
That others tend to steer clear

Of incurring their great wrath
And having them cut them in half
Or elsehow be rude
And blatantly crude
To garner from others a laugh,

Not bothering at all to show class,
But instead be spiteful and crass,
Trading in rapier wit
For clubs with which to hit
Us on our heads ‘long with their sass,

Not thinking for a minute that we
Have ears to hear, eyes to see,
And brains with which to think
And tell such humor stinks
‘Cause it’s lazy and dumb as can be.

Their arcs, too, are all the same trash
That make many yearn for the past
Back when we all had brains
And hadn’t gone insane
‘Nough to settle for any old hash.

The dramas aren’t much better, though,
Stemming from minds just as slow
And are as such just dull,
Derivative hulls
So alike they fill me with woe

With acting so painful and trite,
Dialogue so lacking in bite,
Blatant violence and sex,
And plots that leave me vexed
With acts so grim, they’re out of sight.

To think, too, we all eat this crap up
These days with little guff—
This mental junk food
When we already brood
Over all the world’s other bad stuff!

Could it be this filth fuels our rage
In this bitter day and age
When we go all out—
Rant, riot, and shout—
And demand the world turns a new page

Rather than directly counteracts
Social justice seekers’ acts
And their search to clean
This world once pristine
Of all smut and its constant attacks

On our morals and values today?
Then hey, I’ve something to say:
Instead of being blind
To who’s behind
Needs hurting in a major way,

Why not turn your eyes and ears
To what you right away can hear
And see is truly
Tacky as can be
And rip that crap a new rear?

Why not focus all your time
And energy on the slime
That’s long been killing
In a way so willing
What we all once held as sublime—

Stuff that’s long been such raw trash
That it’s been begging to be thrashed
Since it first appeared
Simply out of fear
Of it rending our morals to hash,

Which they’ve pretty much already done?
Wake up! Let’s all send on the run
The mediocre tripe
That’s long sponged all the hype
From what could otherwise have been fun,

Enjoyable, and nourishing,
Leaving even common folk wishing
That the god old days
We had not cast away
Into the past with our “Psh!-ing.”

Better yet, let’s stop being numb
To all that we know to be dumb
And take it to task
And send it to the past
‘Fore it makes us all mindless bums

Who’ll settle for anything
That the world’s clueless hacks will bring
And seat ‘fore their eyes
In high-qual disguise
That which the world will feel some sting.

That’s what’s long been wrong, you see—
Our own rampant stupidity
And if we don’t, friends,
Bring it to an end,
Where exactly shall we be

When our morals and values die?
What will happen to you and I?
Will we all stand together
And change things for the better
Or be forced to say goodbye

To all that we once thought of as nice
As the world falls to sin and vice,
Where all hope is gone
‘Cause we sang the wrong songs
Back when we all skated on thin ice?

The time to wise up is now
While we can pull things through somehow
And put to and end
The real trouble ‘round the bend,
For the future is bleak—and how!

Our ignorance is all to blame,
For it’s humanity’s greatest shame,
And come high water
Or Hell, we oughta
Get our heads back in the game.

Our pride and hate have done us squat
In escaping this nasty plot.
Now, come on, people. Think
‘Fore we further sink.
Otherwise, we’ll completely rot.

*****

 
Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Alphabet Rush of Defiance

Alphabet Rush of Defiance
February 27, 2017

Aggravation. Boredom. Carelessness, too.
Damned if I doze off every midday through.
Evenings I’ve spent working for a future yet to come.
Goodness gracious, do I feel like such a blasted bum!
How the hell can I do it? I guess I may never know.
Just judge me, though, for trying, when I have something to show
Knuckleheads like you, for a loser you may see,
But a moron I’m not, nor a nimrod I shall be.
Opportunity waits, after all, and pretty soon,
I’ll quickly rise through the ranks and leave you to swoon
At all the trouble I’ve endured and the triumph I’ll procure
Under ugly circumstances with much venom to endure.
What will you do then? X-crete in your pants with shock?
Yeah, I can believe that. Now please return to your flock
As I zig and zag through obstacles to become number one.
Until then, keep mocking me. I dare you, naysaying scum!

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Rap of the Week: Dan Schneider’s Paradise

All That logoHey, readers!

This week, I’ve reached back to the 1990s to attain the inspiration behind this latest entry on my blog: a remembrance piece dedicated to the much beloved Nickelodeon sketch comedy All That. To summarize things, I basically imagined the kind of performance piece I would have liked to put on, had I ever been a member of the All That cast, and set it to the tune of Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio from the soundtrack of the film Dangerous Minds. That being said, regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned items, I still hope you enjoy what I’ve written here. Thanks and happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

*****

Dan Schneider’s Paradise
March 3, 2017

As I walk into the Green Room of the All That set,
I take a look all around me and begin to fret
‘Cause I’ve reacted to his randomness for so long
That even my friends think that my mind has gone,
But I ain’t never gotten a laugh and didn’t earn it.
Me be thought of as a frump? Take that trash and burn it.
Just watch me hold my own against Detective Dan
And the destructive force known as Repair Man-Man-Man.
It may come at the cost of my sanity,
But I can do it all without profanity (Fool!).
I’m the kind of joker other kids wanna be like.
Now sit back as I ham it up in the spotlight.

We’ve been spending our TV lives living in Dan Schneider’s paradise,
His comic grip tight like a vice, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
We’re trapped in a cage like mice, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
“Dance, rodents, and don’t think twice,” living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.

We cast members are facin’ a situation—
Not just any normal life filled with sketch comedy “strife,”
But one in which logic soars out the front door
With the personification of a plush ear of corn
And stupid people writing questions for a little girl
To answer with such fury that’d make your toes curl
While a lactose-intolerant superhero
Monologues the forces of evil down to zero (Fool!),
And don’t expect the end-of-show music acts to save
A hapless blue puppet when his master misbehaves.
It’s all just another day on the set of All That,
And if you’re not up to it, the just scat.

The Island Girls have been stranded for so long
Without any luxuries,
And Coach Kreeton’s been battered and bruised to where
He’s as miserable as can be.

We’ve been spending our TV lives living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
We’ve been skating on thin ice living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Our fame and fortune may be nice, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise,
But it comes at such a price, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.

Minute after minute, sketch after sketch,
Commercials only prolonging what’ll happen next,
Like Pierre Escargot’s warped lessons in French
Or Squash Boy leaving his friends waiting for him on the bench
While the Cheese Police bust another perp dealing gouda
And Miss Piddlin peddles peas like they’re her personal Buddha.
That’s what happens on a Dan Schneider cruise
As reported in the Channel 6-1/2 News (Fool!).

We’ve been spending our TV lives living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Our brains have become fried from living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Kids tune in and don’t think twice when they watch Dan Schneider’s paradise,
But trust me: it ain’t always nice living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.

Tell me how can it be that our time on TV
Can have such an effect on you and me?
Tell me how can it be that our time on TV
Can have such an effect on you and me?

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

*****

All That and All That logo (c) 1994-2005 Nickelodeon Productions, Tollin/Robbins Productions, and Schneider’s Bakery. Dangerous Minds (c) 1995 Hollywood Pictures, Simpson/Bruckheimer, and Via Rosa Productions. Gangsta’s Paradise (c) 1995 MCA Records/Universal Music Group. All other content provided above, however, is the author’s own.

Bonus Poem of the Week: Sadly the Best Poem I Could Think Up on a Given Wednesday

Sadly the Best Poem I Could Think Up on a Given Wednesday
February 15, 2017

Emptiness
Dull mind
Trying, failing, wasting
What the hell, man?
Stressing, straining, stalling
Screw this!
Done

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Books DON’T Suck

Books DON’T Suck
February 19, 2017

“Screw books! Books suck!” so I hear so many say
From my generation downward since YouTube’s younger days.
It’s all about video games with them and other electronics
Upon which they derive their usual entertainment fix.
Now, sure, I like my V-games every once in a while.
Hell, I used to buy older ones when they were already out of style.
I also like the occasional movie and television show,
But does that mean I hate books or should have to? Hell no!
Sure, they might not be as interactive as games can be,
Nor are their visuals as animated as those from films and TV,
But guess what: My imagination still works and can easily
Visualize any story that one’s written for you or me,
And when I want to put my mind to use during my downtime,
I’d rather spend it reading a book than watching whatever slime
The networks have slapped on my TV, from insipid comedies
And by-the-numbers dramas to artificial “reality”
And have it thrown in my face with all the grace and tact
Like a potty-mouthed “alpha” male bragging ‘bout his soulless sex life, jack.
Let’s not even talk about movies, the gamble that they are,
Which can sometimes be enjoyable, yet other times leave a scar
Based on how poorly written and acted they often can be
With shameless violence, sex, profanity, and nudity
Thrown in for good measure by clueless writers who think
Shock value adds something to bad scripts when it just makes them stink
More than they already do, no matter the topic at hand,
Even though many a trashy movie’s made millions across the land.
Even video games can be a pain in the neck at times
With the many microtransactions, shoddy game designs
And glitches galore that have plagued the industry for so long,
Amongst a slew of other flaws that still need to say “so long.”
Not only that, but books don’t cost any electricity,
Nor do they need a special monitor to read them, you see—
Unless you’re talking e-books, but then again, I like to be
Away from my computer whenever I can, I hope you see.
One especially doesn’t need a special console to read a book.
Just have one in your hand and open it up to take a look
At whatever’s on its pages. Who knows? You just might like
Whatever tale it’s telling and how it takes you from the tripe
Of the cold, harsh reality with which we all must deal.
I can certainly tell you how a good book has often helped me heal
By taking me out of whatever nasty situation I’m in
And giving me someone else to root for whom I hope will win
In his or her own struggles, which might often even parallel
The spot I happen to be in myself—my present private hell.
Even when that’s not the case, a good book can entertain
Me with interesting characters and a moral from which I can gain
Knowledge and wisdom from which I can apply later on in life
To whatever circumstances I might face that bring me strife.
Sure, not every book’s like this, but I could say the same
For anything else out there, be it a film, show, or video game.
Besides, why should I let one crappy book or another
Prevent me from enjoying a different book altogether, brother?
Not every piece of entertainment, no matter the form it takes,
Can live up to our expectations, and I can’t help but want to make
This point real to every person who dares call all books crap,
As that’s not the case at all, for most books don’t deserve such a rap—
Just like not every film or show’s a load of violent smut
That’s aimed to appeal to idiots and leave smart folks in a rut
In their search for honest entertainment that’s been crafted with care,
Which is why folks like me keep searching for whatever’s out there
And never settle for one form of entertainment or another.
Such is the mindset I believe should be adopted by others,
Even if they’ve been forced to read utter crap in school,
Or otherwise came across a book that simply wasn’t cool,
For defecating on literature only cheats one in the end
From options in how to spend one’s time outside the grind, friend.
That being said, no matter what any naysayer might say,
Give books a chance, for you’ll never know how they’ll make your day
‘Til you actually pick one up and give it an honest read.
Who knows? You just might be doing yourself a noble deed.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Bonus Poem of the Week: Minooka…Again!

Minooka…Again!
February 16, 2017

10:28 this morning, just trying to do my thing
And get things done when suddenly, I hear my telephone ring.
Ring-a-ling-a-ling! Once again, ringing off the hook.
Damn it all! Can’t anyone simply let me finish my book?

So I check my Caller ID, and what else do I see?
The name “Minooka” flashing mockingly right back at me
With an all-too-familiar number beneath it, making me think,
“Oh, hell no! Not this crap again. Boy, does my luck stink.”

After all, over a month ago, these bastards called my home
To demand money from me, threatening to not leave me alone
Until I donated to one of the countless charities
They claimed to represent, to which I said “And their names, please?”

The fact that I also had to say “Hello?” multiple times
When I answered them to get and answer back boggles my mind.
Hell, they even hung up a few times when I dared to answer their calls,
Which I’ll admit was dumb of me, but here’s why I did so at all:

Picking up to tell them to take me off their calling list
Was the only way they’d back off—the only way they’d get the gist—
As calling them later on to tell them that very same thing
Would only lead me to an automated lecture or something

That wouldn’t connect me to a live person whose ear I could chew
Off in my mission to tell them that when it came to them, I was through.
Instead, their robot gave me an earful ‘bout their exemption from
The Do No Call list just ‘cause they’re “charity collector” scum

Who probably keep the lion’s share of whatever money they make
And give only fifteen percent to those whom they collect for. Those fakes!
I’ve been wise to that crap for so long, it isn’t even funny,
Which is why if I feel at all compelled to give any of my money

To any organization, I first see if they’re legit,
And only then, once I see that they are, do I see them as fit
Of a direct donation to their cause—never over the phone,
Especially via unsolicited calls that won’t leave me alone—

The kind of calls Minooka’s made time after time after time,
Even when I ignore them completely and they’re not on my mind,
Yet they kept on coming back in the day, and I hoped in vain that they
Would take the hint from my silence and they would’ve gone away.

Clearly, though, that wasn’t the case, and I’ve come to decide
That maybe investing in a call blocker would’ve helped save my hide—
Assuming, of course, that good ol’ Minooka didn’t have a second number
To work around such a defense, thus making such a move a blunder.

Here they are again, though, calling me in the middle of the day,
Demanding money from me as though it’s my obligation to pay.
I thought this crap was over and done with, but clearly, I was wrong,
Else I’d be singing at this moment a whole different kind of song.

Looks like I’ll need a call blocker after all now. Son of a gun!
Then maybe I’ll contact the FCC if I want this battle won.
These unwarranted calls, after all, have got to stop somehow,
Fr the harassment I’m getting now has really got me having a cow.

Enjoy tormenting me ‘til then, Minooka, for it won’t be long
‘Til you finally get your comeuppance and I prove to you how wrong
You are to keep asking the same target time after time again
For cash to fill your own bank account. It’s all just a matter of when.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Talent is NOT Overrated

Talent Is NOT Overrated
February 12, 2017

“Talent is overrated.” Such is what certain insiders say.
“So long as the concept is catchy enough, people will come to pay.
It makes no difference how stupid, forced, contrite, or insincere
A story is, so long as it brings us the dough we hold so dear.”

“I’m sorry…what?” I demand in the face of such BS,
For talent indeed means something, so allow me to address
This point in this poem for the sake of encouraging
Ambitious, intelligent authors to at last seek their chance to sing
As well as publishers everywhere to give these folks the chance
The fame and fortune that others ‘fore them have gotten from the dance,
Be said prize deserved or not, for these days, more than ever,
Folks deserve to read material that’s bound to last forever.

So talent’s overrated? Then what can you really expect
When folks pay for, read, and have their brains befouled by some hack’s dreck
And discover the hard way just how sloppy it’d been thrown together
And that it can’t hold a candle to the greats in any kind of weather?
What do you say when shock value’s the only “merit” upon which
Said story can stand itself? Can you really praise it without a twitch
Of your lips or nose or eyelids, or will you end up giving away
The objective truth that said work never should’ve seen the light of day?

Now let me tell you what you can gain from a book that’s well-written:
A tale that can stand strong ‘gainst the competition and leave folks smitten
With characters worth investing in, a plot that can last through the ages,
And a feeling of satisfaction once one’s done flipping through the pages—
That is until years pass and one feels compelled to read it again
And the tale ends up being every bit as good as it did back then.
Not only that, but word of mouth and recognition can spread
Like wildfire about such genuinely good stuff until it’s been read
By the masses far and wide who, in turn, will sing its praises
Of the work year after year ‘til its legend lasts throughout the ages,
Which eventually leads to more copies sold and hence cash earned
For author, agent, and publisher alike, leaving to be burned
Only the fools who can’t write and any agent dumb enough
To scoff at the one work’s writer and claim it hasn’t the stuff.

Many is, after all, the agent who hasn’t the brains or the spine
To support that which has value in these messy , troubled times
Who’s time and again turned down such stuff for irredeemable crap
To sell to publishers so that said suits could have cash in their laps
From feeding the desperate masses whatever they could shovel out,
Which in turn has dulled the masses’ senses and made them mindless clouts
While those who’ve demanded better for so long have been made to starve
Or to look elsewhere to sate their hunger and avoid the barbs
Of the tainted crap that’s had no talent or love put into it.
Now, tell me: When it comes to change, don’t you see the world as fit?

Because if you ask me, then yes, the industry must change.
For too long have we been fed crap. Things must be rearranged.
Talent is not overrated. Stop shoving that mantra down
Our throats because at this point, we need more talent to go around,
And not just talent, either, but also effort and love—
The kind of passion that fits talent like a hand in a glove
And has made many a classic in every industry you can name.
It’s a tried-and-true method from the past that surely can do the same
In this era, should we all at least try to make the effort to
Promote the works of talented writers to be read by me and you.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk