My Poem “Run Jesse, run!”

It is the hallmark of a great film,
a great television show,
a great play, a great writer,
a great cast, a great production staff,
a great actor portraying
a great and complex protagonist,
who by the great gift of their craft
is able to make us –
the viewer, the audience –
care for them, accept them,
and become emotional invested and involved
in the story and in the journey
of the characters that we follow
from the second that we first see them
all the way to the last moments
of the last chapter and finale
that will ultimately – hopefully –
deliver a satisfying conclusion
that makes the journey that you
have taken with these familiar
characters worth all the time,
all the energy, and all the thought
that you committed to them
over the hours, the days,
the months, perhaps even the years
that it has taken to reach the end credits.

It can sometimes be hard to find
an ending that ticks all the boxes,
that answers all the questions,
that wraps up all the dangling threads
that remain to be addressed
and given a reason for why
they were not connected to the
greater narrative that underpins
everything that is a part
of the ultimate story being told…
in any given story it is always
out of the hands of the writer
and the author which part of an ongoing
story people will respond to and why –
sometimes it is the simplest
and the smallest of plot points
that resonate the most
and which over time become
what people remember the most,
as if what they saw shined like gold.

It is always a test for an audience
when an author creates
a character and they put them
through things that push them to their limits
and they change them in ways
that are hard to watch,
and it can sometimes be hard for people
to continue to empathize with
a certain character when they
start to behave in morally
questionable ways of being…
quite frequently, in some of the best
stories ever told, an audience gets
to watch the evolution of
a protagonist into an antagonist,
the hunter into the hunted,
the wronged into the redeemed –
and vice versa –
and the once imprisoned against
their will make their getaway
and run for the hills and away
from all that they are leaving behind –
like the character of Jesse Pinkman
driving like a bat out of hell
in his black and red ‘El Camino’
away from his past and towards
a future that not even he knows.

“The average person looking at someone doing evil or wrong wants the person to get away with it. I think it’s the most amazing instinct. The audience can’t bear the suspense of the person being discovered. “Hurry up! Quick! You’re going to be caught!” – Alfred Hitchcock

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My Poem “Walter White (A Breaking Bad poem)”

What would a man do for his family?
What would a man do in order
to secure a future for his family
after he passed on –
perhaps even after this same man
had to witness the crystal empire
that he had built crumble
into shards of glass and then into dust –
like King Ozymandias –
after which having to live
with the consequences
of the actions that he took
to bolster and to reaffirm
his damaged ego?
What would a man do to feel alive again
after being given a short time to live?
How would the power to be someone else
change someone, and who or what
might they become?
What if someone were to become a cook
of a dangerous product
capable of destroying the lives
of those that imbibe in
what this maestro of chemistry
cooked better than anybody –
who slowly went from being someone
whiter than white, law-abiding,
and a model father and teacher,
to a black hat wearing,
gun-wielding, criminal
called “Heisenberg” who
pulled the wool over the eyes
of his family for over a year,
who broke bad with a former student of his,
called Jesse Pinkham –
in the City of Albuquerque,
in “The Land of Enchantment”
that is the State of New Mexico –
and who in the end lost everything that
he had ever worked for
and sacrificed so much for,
and that is the story of the main protagonist
of one of my favourite TV shows,
‘Breaking Bad’, and the legacy
that it has left since its final episode
“Felina” aired continues
to draw many new people
to seek out, to watch, to enjoy, to live,
and to endure the highs and the lows
that were played out from beginning
to end by the character and “cook”
Walter White and the blue crystal
that was his signature dish.

My Poem “The Wolf Within Me”

It was about three years ago,
around this exact same day
and month of the year,
when I decided to write a poem
for Halloween called “The Wolf In Me”;
however, to my amazement, what was
supposed to be a poem slowly but surely
grew into becoming a short story,
a novella, and then ultimately
a short novel capable of standing
on its own and filling an entire book –
and this story was the first chapter
in the tale of Olivia Hunter:
a young woman burdened with a curse,
a secret, a gift, a spirit within her
capable of transforming her into a Wolf,
because the secret that she lived with,
alone, was that she was a werewolf.

When I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I had no idea that it would ultimately be what it became…
when I first began Olivia Hunter‘s journey
with her I was just as in the dark about
where her story would take her,
because there was no plan as to the direction
of every twist and turn…
when I first began writing, imagining,
and bringing to life the world,
the characters, and the story of
“The Wolf In Me” I felt myself
be carried away and compelled
to write more, to know more,
and to find out more about
what was going to happen
and where Olivia’s story felt like
it was telling me – the writer – to take it…
when I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I began to feel more and more –
the more that I wrote –
that I could be a writer
who explored and exposed different worlds
and different depths of life, of people,
and fully investigate subjects like
identity, change, life, loss,
and those things that are important
to everybody’s daily lives
and their state of mind.

Since I finished writing “The Wolf In Me”
I have written many other things –
short stories, poems – and I even wrote
and published a sequel to “The Wolf In Me”
called “The Wolf In You”;
however, for some reason, from time to time,
in my mind I am drawn back to the thought
of the character whom I imagined,
thought about, lived, breathed,
and wrote about, every day until
I had to say goodbye to her
and let her story speak for itself –
and I silently wonder how she is,
where she is, what she is doing,
and if one day Olivia Hunter may choose
to inspire another story about her
that speaks to the spirit of The Wolf
who I believe resides within me.

My books “The Wolf In Me” and “The Wolf In You”,
as well as all my other books of poetry and stories
are available to buy online from Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository
in Paperback and as an eBook.

Happy National Storyteller Day!

My Poem “The Art of The Act”

Every performer is a character…
everyone who performs on a stage,
on a screen, to a camera, to a microphone,
from a speaker has to adopt a persona…
every actor, every singer, every politician,
every comedian, every personality,
every person known for doing something
or for being somebody has to embody
a certain magic and emanate a certain gravity
in order to make their audience
fall under their spell…
everybody who has a gift
and who has this hunger within
to craft something of their own creation
and their own imagination
that they want to share with other people –
something that people like,
something that people understand,
something that people respond to
and empathize with – is an artist
with a heart and a soul deeper
than the deepest well…
everybody who plays at being someone
for a long time naturally has moments
when the character that they play
seeps into and starts to influence
the actions and the boards walked
by a performer during the moments
when they are being who they really are,
behind the mask of the character that they portray,
when they are doing the day to day
activities of real life…
every performer sometimes has moments
when they find it hard to see the dividing line
between one side of their personality and the others –
which can ultimately lead to moments when performers
look in the mirror and they ask themselves: who am I?
every performer wears a costume,
every performer has their own voice,
every performer longs to dive into a world
and be someone else – even if it is for a short time –
and every performer has their own back-story,
as well as the story that they tell themselves
within their mind which they are at the centre of…
every performer is a magician –
even if they do not directly advertise
that they perform magic…
every performer is an artist of an art…
every performer is constantly a student
and a teacher of those who follow them
and to those who they are walking
in the footprints of who are sometimes
so influential to a performer
that their performances are considered mythic…
every performer – no matter who they are –
in order to continue to do what they do
and to continue to love how they choose to live
often times have to play and practice at
being someone else and at having to act out
the performance at being the person
at the centre of the art their act.

My Poem “Supernatural Obsession”

The thing about the universe,
the thing about the world,
the thing about life,
the thing about death
and what happens after we die
is that we simply do not know
everything that is out there,
nor do we know what is going to happen next…
we don’t know why any of us are here,
nor do we know what real aliens look like,
or why some people are haunted by ghosts?
So much is known about the world –
however, so much about life is still unexplained…
so much has been explored
and so many questions have been answered –
and yet there still remains fundamental questions
about the nature of life and what awaits us all
in our after-life that are constantly being posed
within someone’s brain.
Heaven? Hell? Angels? Demons?
What world awaits us and who should we expect
to find on the other side when it is our time?
Is where we go next dependent upon
if we have lived a life in which
we have been cruel, or if we have been kind?
It is existential questions
that drive our souls as we live our lives…
it is questions of morality that define
the stories that we tell one-another
that are the content of what we dream about at night…
it is our fascination with questions of the incredible,
the impossible, the unbelievable, and the phenomenal
that will continue to always spark to life
humanity’s collective imagination…
there will always be characters
in paranormal stories and adventures,
like Sam and Dean, who will be our guides
and our storytellers of paranormal events
and experiences that will continue to fuel
our long-held supernatural obsessions.

My Poem ‘Cornucopia’

Different voices appeal to different people…
different values can be found
within the heart of members of the same family…
different songs and different styles of music
strike different tones depending on
who is listening to them…
different minds and different lives
contain different thoughts, feelings,
and drives, that need the right elixir
to elicit a reaction to break the shell
of their outside facade to set them free.

We are all different – nobody is a robot…
we are all looking for what makes sense –
but sometimes life is a melting-pot
from which we have to put the time
and the effort into molding the molten-soup
that we find into exactly what we want.

Humanity is a choir
of many different accents,
that at times sing harmoniously
as-one with the same message…
our entire planet and every form of life
is an opera with an infinite number
of parts and characters…
some people can be kind,
some people can be savage –
and yet everyone is a vital instrument
in life’s interstellar-orchestra,
even though some people may not think
that what they say actually matters.

I have always championed diversity,
differences, and variety…
I have always thought that it was both
healthy and necessary to make-believe,
to find something that you love doing,
and to never feel too self-conscious
about doing what makes you happy…
some people listen to music,
some people make music,
some people express their gifts
through art that can be easily shared –
me, I write poetry…
but one thing is for sure:
everybody is meant to be different,
and the world is meant to be
a diverse cornucopia.

My Poem ‘The Stranger Things’

The stranger things are,
the stranger things matter;
the stranger things are what shine
far away in the dark,
and they are as beautiful and mysterious
as the planets and the stars;
the stranger things become
the more that we think about them,
and the more that we become invested
in the strange things of the world
the more our heart beats faster.

Everybody is “normal” in their own way,
and yet equally as strange;
everybody is a character in someone-else’s story,
and a figure in someone-else’s painted landscape;
everybody can be “at home”
at the same time that they are “away”;
everybody can be beyond who they see
when they look at their own reflection in a mirror
and wear within their mind a vastly-different face.

To me, the stranger things are
the more interesting they are;
to me, the longer something stays unexplained
the more intrigued and the more drawn to it I am;
to me, the stranger things in life –
the mysterious, the one-of-a-kind, the extraordinary –
are constantly leaving their mark for me to find,
like a calling-card;
to me, the stranger things –
the unknown, the questions, the fables,
the stories of aliens, fairies, and monsters –
are so inspiring and amazing,
the more I hear, the more I see, the more I imagine.

What can seem strange to one person
can seem “every-day” to another;
what can seem fantastic to a child,
or to someone who is young-at-heart,
can seem to someone with a closed-mind
like something that could only be found
between the pages of a book-cover;
what I have learned in my life,
as a story-teller and a story-reader,
is that anything and every-thing
can be a fountain and a treasure-trove
of thoughts and energy –
and that life, if nothing else,
is never boring and can be always interesting;
living and breathing in a world deeply
brings with it oracles of gifts,
and they can be found in the strangest of places
filled with the strangest of things.