BURNING dAN brightly embodied that bold beastly bliss sometimes referred to as "the creative spirit." He was my chief collaborator on the foundational incarnations of hitRECord.org over the years and continues to inspire us ever the more. He would absolutely positively insist that we not let this bad news deter us on our collective mission. That said, I might not feel up to it for a little while.
Watching this community blossom into what it has become never ceased to amaze him and me. We would regularly marvel at it and high five. Thank you all for that. There he is now pouring heaping hollowed watermelons full of love over each and every one of us.
Let's celebrate him, he's fucking awesome:
See you real soon,
If I read our story backwards, it’s about how I un-broke your heart, and then we were happy until one day you forgot about me forever.
I love happy endings.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Joe. I try to put myself in other peoples' shoes.
I find power in regular repetition. And a lot of inspiration from rules and regulations, both followed and broken. Rob Brown first named me Regular Joe around four years ago because I eat a lot of vegetables.
Being sufficiently selfish.
Mama, papa, brotha
Franny & Zooey
That that that that that don't kill me can only make me stronger.
9. What is your secret talent?
Wouldn't be much of a secret if I told you.
10. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
There was a mic input in a really high cupboard and only a very short mic cable. But I did manage to monkey up there and address the unruly crowd.
sex, I mean, love, I mean, death, I mean, you
Long thought-out diatribes about something the diatriber dislikes.
Stay in character until after they cut.
Well, well, well. Depending on how I interpret the question, my answer could be simple and predictable or impossibly broad and far-reaching.
You've probably heard the one about how I started saying "hit RECord" to myself as a little motivational mantra and then named a website after it, which evolved into what hitRECord.org has now become.
I suppose my earliest RECords, like most kids, would be little drawings and stuff, but I don't connect with those much these days. I do remember writing little stories when I was quite young, and loving that. My first round red REC button was the family Hi-8 video camera when I was, I don't know, eight or so? The 4-track cassette recorder (sorta like Garage band, but way shittier) was a turning point when I was fifteen.
Then there's another way I think of the word you mention, "RECording." Sometimes I say, again by heart. The syllable "CORD" is supposedly a variation on an ancient proto-indo-european root word -- the same as core, corps, cœur -- meaning heart. "RE" is an old prefix indicating repetition. So, in that sense, I've been RECording as long as my heart's been beating over and over and over again. And so have you.
Hey MoiSanom, cheers for starting this one. Thanks again <3
And in this vast universe grew a boy.
And in this boy grew a vast universe.
My brother died three years ago today. And it still really hurts.
But dude, if he could see us now. In the home stretch of our first season making a TV show. This little thing we started together. Of course he was such an optimist, he wouldn't be surprised.
Hitting RECord always makes me feel close to him. So I wanna thank you guys for continuing to play. It really does help.
Thanks again <3
somewhere... live two stories
one of hevn, one of urth,
who awake to find they’re hugging
with no knowledge of their birth.
this embrace invokes a balance
the two stories have come one.
no more fear and no desire
nothing done to be undone. (cont..)
but suddenly there is an urge
that shakes their tranquil state.
longing to understand themselves
and thirsting to create,
hevn, out of nowhere
tells a story of its own
and urth, beguiled by newness
acts this story out alone.
so with a song and dance
a tiny story came to be
a star that lit their eyes up
and enabled them to see.
with this new light both hope and fear
filled up their hearts with warning
this newborn tale was not alone
still many more were calling.
stories grew and blossomed then
sung in by hevn’s choirs.
they formed their shape aloft in space,
took life from urthly fires.
but stories are not set in stone
their shapes are always shifting.
suns lit up like fireworks
and mountain tops were lifting.
meadows stretched and liquefied
and poured into the ocean,
whose waves formed winged beasts that leapt
and fluttered into motion.
colours grew out of the ground
and spread into the sky
a watercolour world with rainbows
fifty stories high
great rocks rose to meet the stars
wishing a better view
the highest peaks were dusted white
each day, pristine and new
for everything a perfect place
a den, a hut, a hive
soon every thing the eye could see
came suddenly alive
with roots and shoots, with wings and feet
in flocks, in packs and swarms
a wondrous festival of life
of stories taking form
yet all these tales were merely sung
by hevn in collusion
with urth consumed with play acting
and plagued with mad delusion.
in time, urth started to believe
in its own mind’s inventions
it saw stories as solid truth
and followed their conventions
instead of dreaming up new tales
urth stopped and took full measure
of every narrative of old
and clung to them like treasure
hevn, wary of this path
but loyal to its friend
kept quiet for countless years
but spoke out in the end
"i'm scared our stories roar too loud
and cause us to forget
that we were just playing pretend
now all is stuck and set!
i don’t like this game anymore
when we’re no longer one
let's fall into each other's arms
and let the tales be done."
but urth, engrossed in its own myths
and certain of their power
shunned the touch of its old friend
and things began to sour.
driven by a mad impulse
urth gathered up its tales
and forced them all to huddle close
surrounded them with rails
the tales that once grew legs and arms
that shape-shifted and tangled
now sat solid, static, locked
rough edges now right-angled
"this is no game," cried urth, "it's real
these stories won't collapse!
don't preach to me of harmony
i won't fall for your traps!
our oneness is an ancient dream
this falsehood won't prevail
your words are trying to poison me
but all to no avail."
hevn wailed, heart torn in two
“can you not understand?
i only want us to be one
forever hand in hand
i have no darker aim than that
my friend, I fear remorse
when a long and lonely age from now
you’ll see we ran off course”
so then from lofty heights urth shrunk
whom rage had made a giant
now calmed and next to hevn stood
and no longer defiant.
"i mean you no distress, my love
our playtime here was bliss
our hugging time was harmony
and though it will be missed
the mystery of what we are
is more than i can stand
through stories only lived and breathed
will i ever understand.
i must let go and join our tales
and with this merging seal
a sacrifice so soon forgot
will makes these stories real."
and as urth turned to walk away
hevn stood its ground
and watched as urth leapt to the skies
and hurled itself back down!
with this loud crash, a deluge
swept up hevn in its wake
and nearly drowned when all around
became a sudden lake.
so hevn looked with teary eyes
at what urth had become
across the shore for many moons
alone and growing numb.
by the waters urth had caused
the outcast hevn lay down
and wept remembering the days
when urth was still around.
but pining was not company
it only brought upset
hevn knew one thing for sure
this fact alone was set
no matter how the times had changed
despite their different ways
hevn and urth were meant to be
and with the passing days
the emptiness in hevn's heart
came all too much to bear
its other half was far detached
there was no time to spare
to find and join urth once again
within its solid rails,
hevn sung itself a boat
and peacefully set sail.
so here i am across the lake
and left with little time
i look back on my journey here
and write this very rhyme
to tell you how it all began
as soon i will forget..
a sacrifice i have to pay
until all is reset.
i'll be with you again, my love
perhaps not as before
but i will find brief melodies
to break us from our chores.
a momentary lapse, perhaps
through lovers who can see
in moments of divine desire
the ones we used to be.
the sparks that flew in our embrace
remembered in a kiss
flickers of our ancient love
in these human blips of bliss.
and that will ever be enough
to keep us burning bright
an ember can ignite a fire
one flame can warm the night
it's time for me to let go now
and be carried away,
but i take this message with me
so it may find you one day.
through whatever way it chooses
through whomever it may find
to remind you in your darkest hour
that we were once entwined.
when tragic moments break your heart
when lost within a crowd
when fear has taken hold
and when your stories roar too loud
just remember that it’s all a tale
a big game of pretend
and one day, as all stories do
ours will also end.
but we’ll meet again back at the start
with no knowledge of our birth
we'll do it all again, by heart
a new hevn and a new urth.
i came up with the concept/story but metaphorest helped me to turn it into a rhyme. regularjoe also edited this into a much better version so check that one out too
“I thought you loved me.”
“I did. I do love you. It’s just that I’ve got to move on. We’ve come to the end.”
“Can’t you read me over again?”
“I could, but there’s another book I’m interested in.”
“There’s another book?! You’ve been looking at other books while reading me?”
“Not seriously, just skimming through the pages.”
“Skimming you say, and was it hard cover or paperback?”
“I don’t think that matters. It's neither, it's on a Kindle. Besides, you can’t judge a book by…”
“Don’t say it. A Kindle? Are you having a mid-life crisis? Where's the Corvette and 18-year old babe?”
“What's your point?”
“I don’t know what the point of having more than one book if it’s a good one, like me.”
“Because I like to read, that’s why. No one reads just one book!”
“If you had one book to take on a desert island, what would it be?”
“I don’t know; the dictionary.”
“That’s not a book, that’s an autopsy report. A real good book is about the arrangement of words to create life that lives forever!”
“Okay, War and Peace.”
”How can anyone remember all those names? You don’t have the stamina to tackle Tolstoy.”
“Grapes of Wrath.”
“I’m picking a book not a wine.”
“Both should be chosen with good taste and knowledge.”
“One Hundred Years of Solitude, on a desert island, final answer.”
“Did you even once think of choosing me? Of course not, I’m yesterday’s news. So, what’s the new one?”
“I’m still browsing.”
“You’ve already given it my bookmark haven’t you? Where’s my bookmark? You’ve put it in another book haven’t you? That bookmark’s been around hasn’t it?”
“What are you talking about? It is right here, brand new, the same one the bookstore gave me when I picked you up.”
“So that’s how you think of it? I feel so cheap.”
“I paid full price. I heard lots of good reviews. My friends really enjoyed you.”’
“You and your friends like to gossip, swap me. I’m a great piece of pulp, is that it?”
“I never said that.”
“So typical, always so cryptic, you share nothing of yourself. While I’m an open…”
“Don’t say it.”
“Well, I have a bit of gossip myself. It seems your sister wants me. She needs something interesting to take with her on vacation.”
“Don’t be absurd. You’re not her type.”
“Don’t be too sure. I heard her say she was tired of dating losers and really just wanted to crawl in bed with a good book. I may be a little dog earred and my binding isn't as tight as it used to be but I still know how to captivate a reader.”
“Well, it’s not going to happen. I mean, she can buy her own book, why does she want mine?”
“I thought you were done with me. What do you care?
“Listen, I’ve changed my mind. What’s the rush? Why I haven't even finished you yet! Remember when I couldn't put you down? I took you everywhere and you were all I talked about. I lost myself in you. I’ll reread you over and over. I’ll take you out with me to restaurants, parks, Starbucks, wherever you want. In fact, how about we go to the beach like the good old days? Let me get your dust jacket.”
you can't sleep?
let's can't sleep
The right shoe left,
knowing the left shoe was right.
The saga continues.......
Twas a shinybright earthspin, and the upover was a sheeny, cobaltic bluefest. High uptop the bigsmoke, the zeppelin zoo whished through the geogas. It was a baloonic ark, a sky-safari, and extrafactily, on this specicated earthspin, it was the dateplace for our man Morgan M. Morgansen and his lovebuddy, Destiny.
The passionpair lovestrolled through the animalium, pawtangled. Their see-globes met flit-tweets barlocked, finbeasts tanked and primates prisonized. Destiny superlated the snuffalunks, lollified the longnecks and rapturized the blackmasked rarebears as they bamboozled.
Baghidden in Destiny’s pawpouch, Madame Ballofur, Destiny’s pamperfied purrpet, see-peeped overbag, then re-snuggled bagwards, disimpressed.
The lovebuddies proximated themselves to ‘Rarebears Treatbuggy’. And there, costumated as a monochromic rarebear, stood the foodpenguin, lemonfaced as ever.
The duo partook in a pair of pinkfluff-pops. Destiny masticated her sugarstick saxifragously, leaving Morgan habberdashed. So hornified was he that he was blinkerfied to the slinkish arrivement of Lionel; Destiny's pre-now lovebuddy and a cognified smarmorific lothariator.
Morgan spit-swallowed at the sight of this regalite, this masculate heartstealer. Destiny’s see-globes frizzled sparklish as she permissed this Lionel to liplock her personpaw smarmily.
Oh he was a brazeful and bashless califrag this one, a testosteronic alphabeast, a maxified and magnificious Morgan mimic!
Morgan was shockshook out of his glaze by a “Yeeek!!” from a flabbergastic Destiny. Madame Ballofur had dissapparated, fleed the refugous innards of Destiny’s pawpouch and gone cat-about!
“Oh tragedous, wronghap! woed Destiny. “What uber-humalian, what alphaknight will revicinitate my flitulous fluff-friend?”
The be-stached suitors locked squintish see-globes, duel-bound.
The competing califrags seeked up and downish for the cutish catcritter. Lionel dove and dashed while Morgan creeped and purrcalled. But the perduous purrpet was noplace to be see-globed.
Lucklacking, Morgan slomped, downbeat onto a longtree personholder, aside the foodpenguin, who so happed to be on his workgap. The gent was chomping a speary eatstick, a Mousecub-kebab of impaled fieldfurries, their pinkeyes, scarestuck, their ringlet tailstrings rigormortised.
Morgan hammocked his topbulb in his personpaws, and let a long stream of air out of his facehole.
“I see your perduous purrpet has enbuddied the purrbeast” benefacted the foodpenguin, a tailstring twingling betwixt his citrus lips.
Sure as earthspins, there, in the bigmaned purrbeasts barbox, was Madame Ballofur, cutish snoogled under the purrbeast’s enormopaw and jubbified to the max.
As Morgan fastly vicinitated himself to the barbox for his fluff-freeing feat, Lionel apparated, duel-ready. Bashless, the malsuitor uprolled his arm coverers and brawl-begged.
Someplace a dinger dinged and the leisurespot hencecame a duellish painpit.
The prized personette apparated. Her tumbox tumbled at the see-shock of her pre and present lovebuddies bashbrawning while her fluff-friend remained catnapped.
“Anyperson, deperilize my poorly purrpet” she worded, pleady.
The flabgabbets fapslapped, duckdove and flee-jigged, slam-bammed, limb-cranked and flankyanked, pridelocked in their duelling dance. Outmuscled, Morgan was fastly grounded. The opportunous Lionel backstepped, primed for a grandslam.
Sametime, the geishily pro-Morgan food’panda’ fastflung his yeuchstick into Lionel’s painpath.
Mid-murderous lurch, Lionel sillyslipped on the foody-trap sending the mousemorsels skygliding into the purrbeast’s barbox! Lionel yeeked, girlish, as he upfooted, then downslammed. (Gogglebirds tweeted circlish round Lionel’s dazed headfront.)
Morgan uprighted himself, pummelpuffed. He fastglance spied that the bigmaned junglegiant was now divertously nomming the catapultous yeuchtreat. The purrpet was guardless!
Morgan chest-puffed and perilpared himself. Destiny lash-flapped, butterflated, as her true alphaknight shimmied the barbox .
Our daysaver slinked into the dangerden and, padsoft, toe-stepped petwards. He pawscooped Madame Ballofur into his toplimbs and fastly exit-aimed.
Still groundbound, that dastardly dipstick, Lionel, catcalled, diverting the junglebeast from his eatbait and vectorizing his feline see-globes to our man Morgan!
Morgan fastfooted safewards, supernormal speedish, the agrowled purrmonster yappish at his leg-ends.
Destiny masked her see-globes with a personpaw, too tumtangled to spectize.
In an awefeat of wowness, Morgan springpulted somersaultish and downdropped to the safe and sound, with Madame Ballofur tightlocked underlimb.
Destiny quickish snoogled her freed fluff-friend then angled, bambi-eyed, Morganwards. Her headfront was awash with apprecious butterflation and fullheart lovelust.
Lionel, diminuated, and ungruntled, his alphastate debunked, slinked into the noplace, selfsaying some gibberjack about an afternow vengement.
Madame Ballofur frisbeed an infosquare to the blubtrolling junglegiant. The enormokitten liplifted - jubilated to have acquainted this new purrpal.
Destiny snooglebroke, suddenish and touched her bottom lip with her topchompers.
“Morgan M. Morgansen, you are my solo lovebuddy, my butterflative manpet, my testosteronic alphaknight!”
Morgan pinkified at this linguistic lovepouring, then fullface liplocked his lovebuddy.
Morgan shut a solo see-globe at the panda-dressed pro-pair person. The foodbringer liplifted, recapitated his rarebear headcover and disapparated, leaving the lovejoined duo to consommize their recoupling.
And, as the great balloonic ark whished upover the skags of suburban Sellosedge, little did they comprend that this enormoblimp entained not only a plethora of rarepets, but also, a duet of the most felicitous persons in the fullglobe infinispace; Morgan M. Morgansen, and his Destiny.
While little kids pray there are no monsters beneath their bed,
Do little monsters hope there are no kids above their head?
When I was sixteen years old, I saw the Milky Way for the first time. This is the truest thing that I have ever written and it will be almost everything I can do to commit it into black and white print for the first time.
I was six months old when I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. I am lucky, the type that I have is not the most vicious or devastating. It means that I am night blind, that my peripheral vision is slowly narrowing into a pinhole of vision, and that my depth perception is gradually flattening away to nothing.
My cousins and I used to go out and lie on sleeping bags in the back of a pickup truck or, later, on top of one of my aunt's van and watch meteor showers. They would watch. I would stare up into the black sky and study the seven bright points of light that I could see and wonder what it was like.
When I was sixteen, my father did the thing that all good fathers promise their children they will do. With the help of a military surplus catalog, my dad gave me the galaxy. It happened because he ordered a pair of Russian military night vision goggles, intending to use them so he could walk his sprinklers at night in the fields to make sure that they didn't get plugged by debris in the irrigation water. When he got them, we waited for the night to fall and then, we tried them out, after breathlessly reading the instructions over and over and over again in anticipation.
Dad turned off our yard light and we went outside. I put on the night vision goggles and removed the lens caps and looked up into the sky. It was a personal miracle. Stretching above me in uncountable points of light as far as I could see, there were stars, some of them clustered so tightly together they made swirling patterns of white against the inky darkness. I stared.
I'd had people describing the stars to me all my life. What I discovered was that everyone will tell you something different, because they all see them in their own way. None of what they had tried to describe to me could possibly match the glittering arch of that night sky.
I still wasn't seeing what others would have, even with the assistance of night vision goggles, there would still be stars too dim for my eyes to perceive. Then too, there was the matter of the emerald green wash of color night vision goggles put over everything. It didn't matter. I was breathless under an arm of the Milky Way that I had always simply had to take on faith was there.
Two weeks later, someone broke into my father's pickup and stole the night vision goggles from behind the seat. They smashed the driver's side window in and ran, like the cowards that they were. What hurt the most was knowing that to the person who stole them, it was just easy cash, a quick, dirty transaction to a faceless man behind an anonymous counter at a pawn shop miles away. It meant less than nothing to them.
There was no way for us to order new ones, first of all because they had been so expensive, and, more to the point, as a military surplus item, there was only a very limited supply of them. When we realized that, I went into my room, curled on my side with a book, and pretended to read while I let my heart break around the loss of so much ordinary magic.
When I got to college, I followed my nature, which is to study the things that I don't understand, so I can find out more. It never takes away the mystery, because everything I learn leads me to ask more questions. It spins me into waves of curiosity and inspiration as infinite as the Universe itself. After consulting with the instructor and explaining my night vision issues, he agreed to let me take astronomy. There, what I had thought would be a liability turned out to be one of the most amazing assets to the class. Without all the clutter of the stars, I could find the visible planets and the stars we used for markers more quickly and easily than anyone else, including our professor. And, while I loved the process of finding out about that whole aspect of our world that I would never see, it was colored with a tinge of sadness. I still had to simply believe without seeing what I was being told. A telescope does not gather enough light to alter how much of the stars that I can see.
When I was sixteen years old, my father gave me the stars, handed them to me in the emerald green trappings of science. When I was sixteen years old, someone else stole the stars from me, and now, I have only the memories of them left. You cannot miss what you have never had. To have had only the barest taste and then lose it can almost be devastating.