Alright, today I'm going to give you fair warning about the topic about to be bloviated: poop.  So, if you aren't crazy about becoming more aware of my fascination with caca, or if you just finished a chocolate eclair, then you might want to turn on the Science channel and crank the volume up really loud.  I don't know how that will protect you from this blog post, but I really like the Science channel and can watch it as you pretend not to read.

I haven't always been a connoisseur of dung - a scatologist, to be precise - but having owned cats most of my adult life, I've managed to find myself face to face with the feces of the species on a regular basis.  Speaking of regular, let me pass on a little advice to my older readers: mineral oil.  Just a teaspoon a day and you will have no, I repeat NO more problems with contipation.  Now, getting back to the main theme of this post - crap - I realized one day, while watching my leashed dog hump and pump out a couple of caramel-colored logs, that I have had an intimate relationship with my own guano as long as I can remember.  As a matter of fact, I can't think of a period in my life when I didn't have to drop the children off at the pool, unless you count that time I duct taped my external sphincter for a week on a dare.  Ah, the stupidity of youth.  If I had kept my butthole taped much longer I would have had to go into public service.  But that's beside the point.  In addition to my own personal experience with toilet muffins, and the daily rendezvous with my kitty's egesta, I have, on occasion, had to tread carefully in certain public places just to avoid marrying the soles of my shoes with another animal's excrement.  There is nothing fun about scraping some german shepard's fresh tootsie rolls off my Reeboks.  Yet, even while cleaning out the hills and valleys of my sneakers with my fingernails, I still find stool wonderfully captivating.  Now, don't get judgemental on me.  I know for a fact that as soon as you pinch off a few loaves into the pot, you turn around and look at them just before sending them to the nearest fresh water supply.  Yes, you MUST examine it, mustn't you?  If you find yourself staring down at an obsidian sample floating in the loo, you call your doctor immediately and share with whomever answers the phone every last detail of that mutant turd that had just been squeezed out of your colon.  Oh, yes, you will take pictures, too, and will not hesitate scooping the specimen into an empty toilet paper roll and then dropping it into the nearest sandwich bag before screaming to the nearest medical facility, and then almost fainting in gratitude when a tepid technician slices it, smears it on a slide and stares at it through his microscope then tells you it was caused by your eating those three bags of licorice the day before.  I know, oh, yes I do, that time you pushed one out so long that it circled the circumfrence of the bowl twice and had the overwhelming urge to call all your family members together to witness your glory.  Oh, indeed I do.  But unlike you, amateur poopy-dooper, I acknowledge my ongoing awe with manure of all shapes, sizes and smells.  I could tell you stories that would make your anus stand on its own, but I won't, because I know you won't appreciate the time I found a completely intact Baby Ruth bar encased in a thin layer of excreta, somehow swallowed whole and still as wonderfully nutty and chewy at the end as it was from the beginning.  You would never fully comprehend the physics of corn kernal preservation, or the beautiful dookie art found on the wall of a local McDonald's bathroom.  No, I will save and savor my observations and memories in the hope that someday a University may find my research worthy of Grant monies, and then I'll be sitting on top of the pile looking down on all you dung haters.  Then I'll be the shit.  Just wait and see.  And don't forget "mineral oil'.
My neice Danielle Chamberlin from Houston recently took a college course in poetry, and was tasked withhaving to write a sonnet.  With syllabus in hand, she called me and asked for my help, knowing I've written dozens of them over the years.  As I told her, there is more to a sonnet than just cranking out iambic pentameter; it is an art that involves reaching down into the pit of your soul and searching for just the right notes that resonate with intensity and truth.  In order to give birth to a sonnet, you have to have a pretty good understanding of the rhythm of words; in the English language, every multi-syllable word contains certain stressors, or emphasis on specific syllables within the word.  For instance, the word 'before' is spoken giving the second syllable the accent, as in 'be-FORE'.  Once you begin to see the way words flow, you can step into the making of a sonnet and stand a fighting chance.  Now, I like to tell student sonneteers that imabic pentameter, the classic rhythm of a sonnet's line, means that there are ten syllables per line and that the stressors need to belong in every even numbered syllable, or as I call it, the "DUM".  Here is an example of a line of iambic pentameter: da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM.  Read the following iambic pentameter sentence outloud and hear where the stressors are: "Sublimely shifts the length of night and day".  Did you notice the rhythm of that line?  Here's another: "I hear you cry for me and scream my name".  Do you hear it?  Iambic pentameter forces the poet to find words that feed into the rhythm of the line.  Read this sonnet I wrote and find yourself being lead from one line to the next:

Sublimely shifts the length of night and day
Until the journey home from work is dark;
Meanders forth a hint that sparrows hark,
Migration soon must take the place of play.
Ebullient children once, they now dismay
Returning back to school to ere embark;
'Sent on to worlds of high remark,
Considering their minds don't stray away.
Like leaves that turn from green to brown and gold
Our lives so much like summer's changing time
Soon bring us from the days of young to old.
Unbroken by the chilling, changing clime
Remains the oak, though still in winter's cold
Emerges in the spring as truth sublime.

Now, this sonnet is far from perfect, and if you have a keen ear you'll find the places that stray from the strict rhyth.  Not only does a sonnet need to stay within imabic pentameter for each of it's fourteen lines, it must try to conform to certain rhyming schemes, and also consist of four movements within the poem.  Expert sonneteers will toss a lazy attempt back in your face.  If you are interested in this form of poetry, there are dozens upon dozens of websites out there than can help you.  If you want to read the very best, look no further than William Shakespeare.  Now, before I let your eyes rest from this lesson, notice that the above sonnet is not only done in iambic pentameter and consists of the standard fourteen lines and leads the reader through varying themes of the subject, if you look at the first letter of each line and then read downward, you will discover the sonnet's title.  This is called acrostic poetry, and if you want me to jump into that subject you'll hav

It is ironic that my first success as a writer on the international theater is through a novel containing the most vile and visceral material to ever be published, considering that were you to know me on a personal level you would discover that I am perhaps the most non-violent human being on the planet.  I have studied and practiced the art and science of OOBEs (out-of-body experiences), Astral and Etheric travel for over twenty five years and have come away from it with a deep and abiding respect and love for the experiences I've had.  There exists on the Inner Planes a host of great spiritual beings whose sole purpose is to assist soul on its journey Home, and while there are indeed also malignant entities which seek to dominate and desecrate, a student of inner travel is completely safe if they are under the wing of one of these Guides and Masters.  I must admit that I have always been attracted to all things profound and profane, and in my years of reading horror I have largely come away dissatisfied.  I seek to push the envelope of horror, to snatch it from the table, rip it to shreds and scatter it to the wind.  I want to connect with the primitive nature of the reader, to cause him or her to toss the book across the room in terror and then stay up all night with the light on, all the while fighting the urge - and inevitably losing - to pick the book back up and continue the story.  If you throw up I've done my job.  If you wake up wearing a sheen of sweat and a scream in your throat, I've made my mark.  When you read my novels, you know i will be talking directly to you, and you will never be the same again.  Then, when you find yourself on the floor quivering, sure the darkest horror imaginable is reaching out to you, I will gently tap you on the shoulder with hope and redemption, bringing you back from the ledge of your own worst nightmare.  I will tuck you in before a warm fire, give you a steaming cup of hot cocoa, put on some soothing music,, and then when you are at your calmest, my monster will come from behind and whisper in your ear that you are doomed.  Now, after reading the Oober series, you will be thoroughly flayed alive.  While you are raw I will cook you over the fire of suspense until you are quite well done, and then marinate your soul with the sweet honeyed truth of all the wonder and slender awaiting you just beyond your mortal senses, and show you how you may walk in the garden unafraid.  Until then, however, you should keep your arms and legs inside, make sure your harness is secure, and hang on for the ride of your life.  I hope you enjoy!
So this is where I place my thoughts so that others may witness my narcissism in action.  Unfortunately, my thoughts are often as substantial as helium, and even makes me talk as if I've inhaled it.  But wiser minds than I recommend writing a blog, so as the Zen Master said, "Here goes nothing".  You - and I anticipate your being the only one to read this - may find these writings much like taking a powerful sleep aid, and if you find yourself plagued by insomnia, this will come as a small blessing.  However, being the self-professed curmudgeon as I am, the likelihood of my being able to market this cure for sleeplessness is next to impossible.  My chances are actually wearing impossible, to be exact.  Therefore, consider this blog an unselfish mission of hope to your inability to sail into the land of dreams.  Perhaps I'll add this to my resume as volunteer work.  Hmm, a narcissistic volunteer.  This might very well create a rift in the time-space continuum.  God, I hope so!
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