Tuesday, February 9, 2016


on this day
natives celebrate polyps
Extrusion Day


If Life Hands You Diamonds

Stamping out the flames
where He'd spilled oil on the wood floor,
God accidentally made flat diamonds.
He could make a necklace
for His girlfriend, He guessed,
so as not to waste them.
For some reason this reminded Him
that He'd been meaning to invent lemonade,
but lemon trees hadn't evolved yet.
He drummed His fingers impatiently;
what to do till then?

Monday, February 8, 2016



inside of a dog
we built cities
in infinite humid blackness
high heat caused dogquakes
so we ate raw food in darkness
it was everywhere

some of us missed winter
the sea

outside of a dog
the aliens had wrecked the ecology
used up minerals
poisoned the land
they'd never found us
they were gone
the planet was ours again


Road to Somewhere

probe after probe
the natives reverse engineered them

into dishwashers
vacuums and fridges
flat-screen TVs
boy were they ready!

Sunday, February 7, 2016


If you have high blood pressure, do mosquitoes explode when they attack you?

Review of a mystery novel

Review of

Beaton, M. C., 2016, Death of a Nurse, a Hamish MacBeth mystery, Grand Central publishing, $25 hb, ISBN 978-1-4555-5825-4, 256 p.

Death of a Nurse is the 32nd in a series of murder mysteries set in the Scottish highlands. I was sent a review copy and enjoyed the book so much that I decided to review it. Even though it isn't SF. Then I mislaid the book, and before I relocated it, got another copy in the mail. Pinned by the fickle finger of fate!

Death of a Nurse is about a policeman in a small town in Scotland. Everybody knows everybody, and yet life (and death) is surprisingly complicated, and full of complicated surprises. Hamish Macbeth has a date with a hot young nurse who takes care of a cranky old man. She shows up late for their date ... a few days late, and unexpectedly dead. Macbeth attempts to find out what happened, but lies and half-truths lead him into a morass of possible guilty parties with varied motives. These include the old man, others in his household, other officers of the law, and plenty more.

I liked the smoothly believable plotting, the well-fleshed out and realistic characters, Hamish (I always prefer books in which I like the protagonist), and the denouement. Of course I liked the writing, too. What didn't I like? Death of a Nurse was a bit more serious than my ideal mystery. If you like murder mysteries, you should read this book. Perhaps you'll want to start with the first in the series (available for less than $7, including shipping), though I had no problem jumping in at number 32.



Imagine creatures so dense
they can swim through solid rock;
treading granite,
they gaze on a world they can never touch;
you are air to them;
fingers pass through you,
roiling your insides and bringing up things
best kept from view;
a snapshot measures 4.5 on the Richter scale,
a misstep into sandstone
brings a deadly fall;
the skeleton sinks to the mantle
without a trace.