Blood Stained

On last seasonal piece:

Blood Stained


you bleed I smile

I bleed you smile

we slither around in pools of blood

smeared white flesh 


in gradually clotted red browns

incarnadine couple

the blood stream carries us away

to the sea of candy apple red

smooth then rippled

we sink slowly into the sludge

seeking pudding for breakfast

tottering along scabbed shores

of idealized tissues

patterned lace across a windshield

when the car hit the pole 

the head hits the window

flecks of blood dance in the air

to settle in cunning trails

along a grassy lawn

on someone’s open-mouthed 

shocked face

into that open mouth

found new home in a new body


the dainty dangling red dew

dripping off the overhead street light

the morning rain 

will pull blood to the earth

make for better roses next year

you just wait and see

it happens all the time

the undignified deal of war

bargains for blood

sacred weeping virgins

in dusty obscure orthodox churches

is that her blood 

his blood 

blood of the lamb

immaculate and sloppy

caked and flowing

we are in the the presence 

of the great bleeder

confessing the inability of science 

to stop the flow

of medicine to suture the wound

the inability of philosophy to cauterize

the challenge of where to flow

taking us along 

not for a ride

for we are the ride 

the tide

the blurred fingerprint 

on a rear view mirror

touched in the act

the tactile moment of it 

between our fingers

brought to a tongue

can these hands be licked clean

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Bloody Footprints

One final Halloween movie inspired piece. The opening scene is all I remember the rest is impure imagination. Blood is best fresh and this one is really dripping dripping dripping.

Bloody Footprints

the movie opens

on a busy sidewalk

someone with a knife

stabs a stranger

keeps on going

while the victim collapses

remember the knife

the flash of it

the thrust

blood blood blood


people stepping in it

as they step over the body

on their important way

bloody footprints

quickly splotching the sidewalk

as the camera

pulls up up

the police arrive

the credits roll

over the expanding trail

of bloody footprints


steps lead to smart shops

to offices

into elevators

down marble corridors

over carpets in hotel hallways

cafe floors

washroom stalls

blood gets on hands

trying to clean shoes

the fingerprints on mirrors

coffee cups


dried flakes fall between

keyboard keys

smear smart phones

traces tracked undetected through

airport screening machines

splotches on luggage

the blood travels around the world


the sidewalk

with the outline of the body

is a pool of blood

after crime scene photos have been taken

after cellphone photos have hit the net

city works come to clean it up


the camera looks for the stabber

pushing through crowds

roving over heads shoulders

no faces

hands washing

blood pooling in sinks

almost dripping down the walls

of apartments

seeping out of TV screens

bloody footprints

lead up to a door

the bell rings

you reach to open the door

the closing credits roll

Too Not Much


Another of the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Green as a writing prompt.


Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have

it would have been too much work

too much responsibility

there so many other things

I would rather do

it was enough to have the chance

I didn’t set out

with that in mind

so the fact that it didn’t happen

doesn’t bother me a bit

I had nothing to prove

my family us proud of me

they were thrilled I had the opportunity

they were not let down

when I didn’t get the win

they knew it would mean

I’d have less time for them

helping and growing with them

is more important

Ii am already blessed enough

my life is so full now

I couldn’t have taken on

more responsibility  more acclaim

I have too much going on

I have to find a way of doing less

not taking on more

no matter who profitable

or how much it might

enhance my reputation

I don’t need any more exposure

money is too much work to maintain

I’m happy to keep my life simple

there are those who thrive

on that sort of accomplishment

I’m not one of them

having this opportunity

confirmed that for me

I have too much of what I value

to care about winning


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#NaNoWriMo Cascade & Sample.02

perfect nano

“I’ll be right down.” He glanced at the time on his cell. He wasn’t expecting Warszawa until after lunch. Something must have come up.

Since his first consultation for the RCMP he’d been called in on several cases where documents were concerned. Soft-wear he had developed enabled him to quickly ascertain if a photo had been doctored. In a couple of instances he had been able to remove the the alteration to reveal what was there before. He’d refined that to do the work on the child porn case.

He went down the back stairs to his office. Robert Warszawa was already sitting in front of his desk.

“Could you explain to Ushio (Dan’s assistant) I am not a good sergeant but a dogged Inspector.” he reached out to shake Dan’s hand.

“I’ve tried. He once asked why you don’t wear red.”

“That is what I’d call racial profiling.” Robert laughed. “I know our appointment wasn’t till this afternoon but …”

“You had to know what I’d found?”

Dan took a folder from side file drawer in his desk.

(“I hate to tell you but the these are authentic.”)

“Tech talk first. These are repros.” He put on a pair of cotton gloves and spread the photographs on the desk.

(“Crap I was afraid of that.”)

“You mean others made from the same negative?” Robert rubbed the scruff of beard along his chin line.

“No these are copies of photographs. Clearly someone didn’t have the negatives but waned copies of them for some reason.”

“Copies of copies?”
“Not unusual. We used to do that fairly frequently here. Someone wanting to share family photos from an old album. These copies are third generation versions. From the quality of the image. Each such retake affects the image quality.”

“They weren’t scanned?”

“I doubt it. It was like taking a picture of a picture. Only we’d do it under very controlled conditions to get best possible quality. These are okay but not best possible, I’d say. Now I could venture as to what camera was used to make this copies but I can’t tell what took the originals.”

“Anything else?”

“From the content? They’re just a bunch of holiday snaps. The sort a Dad may take. Beach. Amusement Park. Probably Florida from the hotels in the background.”

“I figured that much.”

“But …” Dan pushed one of them from the others. “In this  one of the crime scene.”


“Where you found them on the coffee table.”

“That’s right.”

“Why aren’t there any blood spatters on any of them.’

“What do you mean?”

“Look for yourself. Here …”

Robert came over the desk and leaned over Dan to see what Dan was pointing out.

“There’s spatter on the napkins, shot glasses. If these were there at the time of the shooting there would be spatters on the top one at least. Nothing.”

“Fuck me! So they were put there after.”

“Or the top couple were taken. But there’s no spatter on any of them. I presume you dusted them for prints?”

“No! We assumed they were there all along.”

“Which brings me to my next question? Did you find any other photos like these at the crime scene. An album of family photos?”

“Nope. Just these.”

“Hmm. Okay, then this will seem even odder to you. You realize that these are random. They’ve been made to look like a set but they aren’t.”


“For one thing there are different families in each of them.”

“Different? How?”
“As in not the same people. Sure at first glance they all look like the same mom, pop and the three kids at the beach, at the amusement park, on the McDonald’s terrace. They are in fact three different sets of people.”

Warszawa took the photos and studied each of them carefully.

“Here’s a comparison I work up for you.”

Dan opened a file on his desk top computer that had isolated the faces of the families and place them side by side.
“Holy fuck!” Warszawa said. “What the … ”

“I’d say these probably aren’t the victim’s at all but left there by the killer.”

“Interesting theory Dan but leave that sort of wild speculation to us professionals.” Warszawa got up to leave. “You have anything more surprises for me?”

“Not yet. But take them, as I have my back ups to look at. I might do some location search to find out where they were taken.”

“You can do that?”

“Experimental at this point. A program I’ve been working on like Face Finder only for places. If these spots have been photographed before and uploaded nearly anywhere my spiders will find them.”

“Keep me posted. You’ll do a written to go with these.”

pants don’t sweat it

Here we are at day 9 of NaNo 2014 and things are moving along much better than expected. I’ve passed 20,000 easily and have pushed my daily count quickly from 2200 to 2300 as I get into the flow of it (partially by cutting down the flow of other things in my daily life to make for more writing time.)

Pushing the word count has forced me to push my initial scene idea into new directions. I’m pretty good at making people talk and I can let them go off on tangents – sometime that tangent gets a strike through. Some will a write out in revision if they haven’t lead anywhere productive.

pillow have you seen my pillow baby standing in my shadow

At this early stage I never know what I may want to pick up on later and figure the more information I have at this point the more I’ll have to chose from later anyway. Better to lay loose threads now than have to go back an stitch in some new pattern.

This sample is from day 2. As you can tell I’m writing off the top of my head as things take shape. The strike throughs are starts of things that got cut. This scene was to show how Dan would analyze a photo, as well as show his relationship with Warszawa. Friendly but formal and a bit distant.

socks nice socks

While I wrote this, the fact that the pictures were left by the killer, and not the property of the victim came to me in one of those moments of insight. This quickly cascaded from a curious plot thread to what will possibly be a major sub-plot when the RCMP look back at some other cases and find similar photographs have been planted on the scene. A serial killer who leaves other people’s photos at the scene of a crime? I like that. (2019 addendum: This will be plot thread for Picture Two Perfect)

The minimal tech talk reflects my lack of knowledge of this sort of document forensics – I’m having fun making it up as I go along and as long as it seem real to me I’ll be happy, as this point. Write first, research later.

I do know a couple real photographers. One specializes in b/w & still uses film. I’ll tap him for believability when I get to rewrites.

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The Killer Wants To Know

The Killer Wants To Know

the killer wondered

how long it took for blood to dry

he never left a crimson spatter pattern

he didn’t leave clues

there was so much about death

that he didn’t understand

like how long it took for blood to dry

did it get absorbed

would it slather the surface

and clot  cake  dry

become flakey then powder

be blown away in the morning breeze

could it be resurrected by rain

he knew what was released on death

the bowel bladder

abrupt shudderings

that were the price of what he did

to liberate this world

from all these unnecessary fucks

all these jerk offs

who didn’t see how precious life was

until he would suddenly confront them

in the washroom of a noisy bar

music pounding so loudly

people thought the thump on the stall door

was someone’s fun drug reaction

but most of them didn’t know

how long it took for blood to dry

not that he asked them

why worry them with more

than how good is the coke he offered

then push them into a stall


life gone

him gone out the door

his impression around the neck

satisfying and simple

but now he had something new to learn

he had to find out

and there as only one way

to find out

how long it took for blood to dry

hello stranger


This is the last in the Killer series. You might notice the influences of CSI on this. I used to watch crime TV (then got bored with it) but found some of the language had a curiously poetic quality. An previous Killer poem used the word ‘dappled’ which was a natural spring board for me to the term ‘blood spatter.’

book dirty anatomy book

Now I don’t know if this is an actual forensics term or one popularized by TV writers (like ‘perp’). I tried to make Killer’s motivation clearer & perhaps more inhuman at the same time. To kill to see blood spatter patterns or to time how long it takes for blood to dry almost makes sense as I get into this characters way of thinking. It allows these motivations to distance himself from what he is actually doing. It’s not killing, its research.

cage escape

Though I then slip into some of his other reasons for doing it – to teach some lesson about the importance of life which the dead can’t then use. So I flow into the illogic of a mind set in way I didn’t expect.

spatter interesting spatter

Next I go into an actual kill in a club washroom. This is pure imagination, though it has all the elements of the opening scene in some TV crime show – the bass heavy club sounds, the luring into the bathroom for what the victim thinks is either a sexual opportunity or a chance for a line of coke. Death happens – camera pans up & up as we see that body slumped around a toilet, the killer leaving and club goers dancing into the show’s opening credits.

Performing this is fun with that tasty invite at the end that I can address to the audience.

carte what’s the spatter here?

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