Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid

Seraphemera Books is excited and exhilarated to start off 2012 with:

Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid

Written by Kurt Amacker Illustrated by Karl Slominski

The year is 1989, and Nathan and friends are having another night sitting around throwing old horror movies into the VCR. Except this VHS tape, is different. With no label and no title, the grainy video looks like one more no-budget shocker--a wannabe snuff flick shot on video and sold on the black market. But, Nathan realizes the tape may be more real than he thought, when he sees himself yelling out a name...

“Tad Caldwell!”

Determined to understand the horrifying video, Nathan learns that Tad Caldwell is an elderly science-fiction writer whose son disappeared 20 years earlier under mysterious circumstances. For two decades, Caldwell has claimed that a UFO took the boy in exchange for knowledge of their forbidden science. He poured what he learned into his final book--a cult bible of extraterrestrial lore called The First Revelation.

Nathan searches for the reclusive Tad Caldwell, learning along the way that the truth often has many sides...

That there may be more to Tad Caldwell than a man who believes his fiction is science...
And, that the tales about Tad Caldwell aren’t even close to telling the entire story.

***

Kurt Amacker is also the author of Immortal:60 and Dead Souls - about which Alan Moore proclaimed, “Even with Eastern European heavy- hitters Vlad Tepes, and Erzsebet Bathory as the deathless vigilantes of the title, the main character that emerges through this narrative is that of New Orleans herself - a Gothic beauty who moves to the rhythms of trad jazz, wearing her bruises and bereavements, her steamy history, and her wild voodoo nights with pride, with passion. A fascinating debut that delivers much and promises a great deal more.”

www.seraphemera.org/tadcaldwell.html

a great to-dew

Somewhere there’s a lawn that is begging for bare toes to sprinkle diamonds across the earth, cascading down from the tall grass-tops of ant redwood forests. That somewhere is the front lawn, while the rest of the world is still hovering in dreaming, stumbling over coffee, seeking the warmth of the night before.

Yet, out here, before the sun has properly risen, and headlights still wink at us, and streetlamps still flicker with a bzzap and a nod before taking their leave of the day to get their slumber (or go wherever the spirits of the light-trees go when their work has been called away for the day) there is a hum that can be heard - not of the click-brr-roar of the air conditioners, not the click-whrr-grrrr of the garage doors opening their giant maw and burping out all of the cubicle workers, not the clack-whomp-braaahhhh of the garbage trucks clearing away the discarded remnants of an overly-consuming and weighty life...but of the something going on, the somewhere, the here and now, the what is to come, the hustle and bustle dissipating behind a curtain that reveals that there is, in the distance, a reachable destination. The journey? Sometimes needs to be all but over - for at the destination, where we can all meet, is calling us loudly to plan a course (of course) of action.

shade(s)

shade(s)

this is the way of the world

or so they do tell
a they not yet met
a they that would bring out a worst in me
that does not need to be brought forth

turned over and around -
(as if being spun will dizzy me!)
we stumble
(our best impression of drunk
from all that we have seen drunk
for we have never been ourselves)

yet, lean close
a secret
when you spin
when they spin you
when you are being spun...
focus on the same spot
in the distance
a wall
a door
a bird sitting as your guide
through each revolution
your head remains clear
brain fooled into believing
stillness reigns inside

they will tire
their arms, legs, weary
(for you have not fallen)
it will be for them to recover
breathing heavy
worn down to the nub
for you, nothing but long ago, in bliss

and when it ceases
when the spinning is no more
you might even raise arms
in triumph -
you have been spun
right round (baby)
like a record?
yet you walk away
without trouble
an arrow
home...

when shadow and light do fight
it is only due to the ignorance of shadow
for without light
there can be no shadow.

thus...

while i love the dark
i will never tell its story.
there are plenty who will.
we are here, to tell the story of light

good night

dust to pixel dust

from the moment we're named
swaddled in parchment
spine (still) uncracked
no watermark in our veins
sheathed to the before come after
signed and wax sealed on each numbered volume
designed and concealed on each numbered page
until our last steps reveal
the texture with which the cover is bound
and its dark face, engraved

of our lifeline...but this, seems all that is destined to remain
no more than ephemeral passengers in the public domain

the faces of a family for what it is worth
when nobody remembers the joy or the shame
or rather everybody who would have...
...touched their hand
...tasted their lips
...exchanged words
...fought for dinner
...laughed with abandon...
...is dead

now but unnoticed and unpaginated history
untried and unmarked nostalgia
buried in deep from the unrecoverable days

so...when the valuables are divided
the possessions sold to
the auction house
the antique dealers
the junk peddlers
everything doled
the trail goes cold

yet, on this occasion they wind up in these hands
to be remixed and retold
without thought
(and this is where we must be bold)
of whether or not
these pages
will once more
be proffered into gold

yet, on this occasion
one glance
one unwitting pose
one gentle moment
burns into an empty frame
hung on the skeletal walls
that guard the caves of the mind
caverns of the brain
protecting all that we are
from the voice of another writer
the vision of another poet
the poison of an informational age

we begin in lust
em-dashes to pixel dust

from the moment we're given our recycled name
until passing into our paper-lined grave

thread beget fringe beget cloth

the fur has been removed from the runway
and it has grown fashionable to go cold

in stories, angels do not always succeed
in tales, villains seem to win
in moments, we expect better moments to follow
without discipline, or dedication, or desire

is this the story-line that has been written
passed down from door to door
(generation to generation)
all foreshadow of hope to be false
all allusion to a better day an illusion
the predestined and preordained coming of a saviour
a delusion which precludes the fact that nothing
will dam the deluge of devils
(the anti-diluvean antichrists, eh?)

thus murder is a way of living
and theft is a way of life
and blindness is self-induced
so as to ignore the fact
all creatures rely on the same resources as you...

...and so you ask what keeps this pen flowing
the sword-sharp tongue training for battle
darkness hiding the pleading for understanding

why we, who are not religious
keep burning the flame of angels
who may or may not exist in the form my mind dreams

the answer is simple -
that there must be lineage of hope in this world
and unbroken line that may wind
to infinitely fine
but is woven from the twine
of something well beyond the convergences
of time, life, and mind
and thus is stronger
than any blade you can find

if all it took to heal the world were a touch of your hand
would you absolve your enemies and grant them peace?

we are the bearers
of the last threads of purest hope

all are welcome to entwine

utterances_escaping_lips

waiting for a finishing before replying
hearing as much in collisions of silences
as utterances escaping lips
one might make a life
from bathing in these sacred moments
held together and torn asunder
by the motions of voices with nothing to say

yet there are places still further from here
down beneath the depths we reach as youth
as if tumbling out the other sigh of the sky
landing upon the untouched beaches of sand and glass
left waiting for those jaded by thoughts
of time and remarkable dreams
(from schoolroom textbook fiction fantasy - social studies)

there are few who walk these ramparts
those unwilling to swim waters
so charted and crowded and chowdered
with the upstream violence of life
prefer to me the forced motion of stoic agony
of glorious struggle toward death

that these visions that do partake the mind
as last gasp heresies
are safe behind trembling eyes
as there is not enough left breath to speak them
is a fallacy

yet this, too, will fall shallow in moments of cold
where warmth of familiar breath meets air
creating words which take form
while silences dance distant disappearing stars
halfway, already on their way, to someplace entirely new

when truth is close so close too close to feel
anywhere but inside
and the violence of alternating sound and silence
is heard in this forgotten song
our heresies meet in the shadow drawn
by sight and right and might and fight
light and causeless night
while undisturbed bright colors
cascading down a mountainside of clouds
in an early morning
remind of campground awakenings
nothing more cozy than a sweatshirt and some hot chocolate
the million miles from home illusion
with but a couple hours left to live
and then, must succumb, to the sunshine
worshiped by so many yet just a touch too late
to keep Ra alive in a state of mind
where god-like happenings are still be an option
instead of the mythology status
that has reduced him to tears

here, we serve, in small glasses with ch(i)ant(i)s
a purification ritual mixed, with the blood
of a time that stands timeless, unbound and naked
calls out to be called to by the few who understand
not to betray all it is they seek for the sake of ease
but seek to say that for all they have sought
and all things discovered
still more remains to be seen

(no subject)

out somewhen on a highway
in an era throughout which communication crosses were the norm
milestones were just that: of stone
graves to the places alive
only to be passed through
dying as the big cities renamed and realigned with the golden stars

in travel
time flickers past and present
linear motion ceases to run waterfall
and what is shoehorned into a year of life
breathes with release
in the scribblings of a day or two
as if even when following the serving suggestions
of seventy miles an hour
the arteries of america are launching pads to the infinity of relativity

some of what is spoke be illusion
in the debate that the day has not ended
until to bed on pillow rest head
midnight the delineation
to those spun on the hands of time -
to the wanderer even the sun
willingly holds off for momentaries
when nightfall continuation is requested
with the proper authority

this is the only magic realism conjurable
here in the western lands
when satellites transpose roads
and global positioning systems
(while poetic in name)
keep us too encased in found
and afraid of the consequence of lost

if this is true, then our collective cartography
is to draw a map to the hidden places where mystery remains
not shrouded as such
but to landmark the places where
possibility still stretches its wings
and breathes a distilling fire
even if only to remind us
that the sun sets in the west
and time need not be any more accurate
than even an untrained eye toward the sky
might portend

this too shall we do:
transpose what we see
into a key of modernity
without nostalgic grace
for the era that has long passed
but add a flourish
of fantasy
in the choired harmony
of how each of us sees
the changing of the landscape
from that which is held on to for so long
it is only at death that change may do us part
from the past

penitence for a lack of presence

there isn’t all that much to learn about me -
i have not divested my portfolio of interests
so if i am to change my mind there is a goodbye which must be made
with the past and a change made for the future.

what is present is just a present from someone else,
wrapped up in the papers that will only be recycled
and have been so before -

i am dealing only in grams of presence
a substance that keeps you coming back only to yourself for more.

this high is one that keeps going up as long as you wish it to.

this high is not dealer dependant.

this high is not for profit

although it is from the land of a prophet, once tired, having rested, regains wings.

***

however this is not to say that:

present + present = presence

an_age_of_liars_chance

this is the age of easily propagated lies

beamed across the planet in flick-instants
that do nothing but spawn debate
and distract those with illusory desire
into believing their belief will advance a cause

was there ever a utopia
when what was not truth
would combust the pages before they reached binding
the ink held fast
and would not print
the sheepskin
enough life remaining
to close the pores
so that no receipt of the deceit of man
could carry forth
after the liar had passed from the earth
and their students found someone new
to follow

in an age when nothing is to be believed
not even our eyes
what is it then that can determine
where to place our faith

(a momentary aside
turning forth from soliloquy
and breaking through the fourth wall -
in a rare occasion of definition
it seems necessary to make clear
that faith requires
neither
religion or divinity
for validity)

fallen icons
you who have served so well
and guided the voices of countries
through eruptions of murder
we do not hold you in disdain for your meanings
for although we do not agree
we believe that what you spoke
was only meant for quiet corners
inner sanctums
tiny populations
that would not grow
to raze the earth

thus to you
expired icons
we lift a glass
drink
and keep your lifelines burning
slowly
weakly
so that you may feel
the pain
not only of those dying by your extended hand
but that which comes from the bastardization
of your body and blood

...a fragment of a journey...

...

there,
the car parked
humming to a well-deserved halt
we stepped out of the vehicle
closed the doors
removed our hats
left the shoes behind
and began to talk
in the reverenced silences
that only one temple might ever deserve

with no doubt
this was the building
that will touch neither sky nor molten core
but a point on the horizon that dissipates
into the doorway
the soft places
the borderlands
between and amongst and amidst
all spaces

these are the fields
where we
are allowed
to walk
as the angels walk
where the guardians of that which is divine
may let down their guard
and reminisce of the joy
that led them to the palace of protection
millenia ago

these are the fields
where we
are allowed
to walk as the angels walk
not as with feet just above the earth
but with toes in the grass
slivers of heaven
that bleed across the earth
with nothing but a desire
to feel

here
if one listens
the song that reverberates
in the key of an individual echo
can be gleaned
from the limestone
that catches all tunes
and holds them
storehouse
for moments such as these

had we driven
from the archipelago sunrises
of Severnaya Zemlya
to the penguin rookeries
of the Bay of Whales
we might not have reached this doorway
yet here
in our own backyard
was the gateway
to another way of thinking
all together

it is here
in this field
that if we are well-timed
destiny
(not one's own
but that of the universe)
will turn face toward us
look us in the eye
and, pausing for a moment
open up a doorway
that we have but milliseconds
to stick in a foot
and block from closing
take up the robes of retiring seraphim
and learn the recipe for turning
fire and wings
into fiery wings

these are the fields
where we
are allowed
to walk
as the angels walk
and breathe as the stone breathes
in rhythm
in conjugal lung
in the synthesis
of anti-diluvean and undisturbed
with mechanistic and unlearned

(to be continued...it is late...)