Stone Riley's Blog: Stone Riley's Shoebox

March 7, 2019

March Seven 2019

I'm afraid to check my e-mail for fear of finding bills.
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Published on March 07, 2019 07:26

February 14, 2019

Also The Dancing Ground

This is an excerpt from a novel...
This printer friendly...

Also The Dancing Ground Again
>>Explanatory Note

Here is a character-cementing chapter from a history romance novel called “Dark Of Light”.

We are among the Ancient Greeks, where we penetrate their mysterious religion by means of imagining human lives gathering, arriving at, and attending a religious festival, their sex and religious lives in other words, which look quite different from ours.

Given the world's situation I thought this would be good to show readers now.

But imagine something else for a moment... This is a tiny city somewhere on some rather isolated bit of land that yields fruit to early human agriculture, in the oldest layers of the Ancient Chinese Annals. Or indeed it may be somewhere else but similar

This farming settlement with their small sturdy housing clustered tight inside some sturdy simple wall, and a few trails leading away, and a few high windows where they keep watch, in a landscape, a rather isolated city with it own ways.

Imagine that. Perhaps among the Greeks, but only if it's in their Old Ancient Dark Age.

In other words, this is contrasting with the existing Greek novel of which the material below is a chapter. This little city we're imagining here is metaphorically CONTRASTING with the human life described below.

This little city we're imagining is to represent the Modern World.

Imagine that. And there is a story happening there in the Modern World's tiny city. They have gone berserk.

For long they've had organized militia obviously, organized in several squads, and they have one squad we're going to call the Western Modern World.

That squad recently cooked up an insane ideology of universal conquest. They laid waste to wells and fields and everything. The little city burns.

But that is all in contrast to the virtuous loving normal honest human life described below.

Also The Dancing Ground Again
>>Chapter from a history romance novel “Dark Of Light”.

There was a moment when she knew her marriage bed and all of that would never be. Or rather when she knew that if all that were never done then still her priesthood would be worth the lack of it. Or rather when she first with conscious judgment chose her priesthood absolutely past all that, regardless what might be. It was so hard for boys to take a girl like her but by that time, that afternoon of choice, her dearest childhood chum already had a husband and a newborn.

A stitching bee. She was home for the holiday. Old Auntie Kettle plucked a random fussy little child from underfoot, examined it and knowingly declared "Oh, he wants to eat!" And with a glance about the little yard where they were sitting at the work she then of course thrust the hungry child into the bosom of the only healthy milking woman present. Of course, and yet . . .

Sixteen herself, her infant then days old, scarcely yet a week of life between she and the tiny one she loved above all else, and it her first, and never yet another child had she yet put to tit, and sleeping unsuspecting of this breach, this betrayal of a holy trust, this fracturing of sacred love, it sleeping unsuspecting nearby in a shady basket cradle wreathed with dainty flowers.

Old aunties know their work. There was a choice to make - community or selfishness - and now was time to get it made.

The young mother's face was blanched in horror and she stared.

And the priestess girl, the closest friend, the cousin tried and true, the intimate of bygone times, now come home for the holiday, was sitting just beside with mouth agape, astonished at the shock of such an ordinary thing. And her own tits were yearning to give suck. And yet she understood it all intensely without jealousy.

No spite and yet suddenly the tears burst out in panicked grief that such a life as this, of such surpassing beauty as this was, would not be hers. Where would her Goddess take her? Was she a stranger here already? The temple's early years - the years they gave the girls and boys who would apprentice back into the village rites - were almost done and no one thought that she would leave Elfesus. So could she ever again be home in this loved and dreaded village yard, this place of utmost courage? Was she a stranger here already?

Here was, in fact, the tragic fact that had and has informed great tragic song and poetry across that culture-world from Ur to Ireland. To live where they were living, with the means of living that were then in hand, humans must compromise continually between competing demands which were, despite the contraries of those demands, so doubtlessly innate to human nature or else so innate in the way that they perforce must live, as to be both, contrary though they were, doubtlessly sacred. These people danced a labyrinth with every step.

And then she understood that understanding this so well - that seeing this eternal tragic majesty of human life so well - was more than human heart could bear at such close reach. She was not made to be one of the aunties here where every instant of your life demanded so much acquiescence to the Fates. And this was just the very thing the village boys all feared of finding in her bed, this wish for knowledge over faith. This constant groping in the cavern of the well behind the eyes. This blaze of unaccounted thought. This laughter bursting from her weeping heart. Indeed, they understood her to be mad. And here and now - on this particular ground at this particular moment of this life - she was.

It can't be said the fit of laughing weeping took her unawares this second time. She felt it shadowed when she saw her well loved cousin start and stare. Then when the well loved cousin nodded, pulled the chiton down and held the hungry one to let the hands and lips seek out the teat, she felt it like a storm of knowing rushing up her spine. Then when an eager voluntary squirt dripped down the little cheek the fit came fully on.

She sat there slumped down on her stool just like the other time, the stitching things all fallen from her violently shaking hands and trod beneath her tapping feet, but this time knew exactly why she laughed and wept. The world was just so beautiful. And yet, what was the use of this? The dire frustration of these crippling fits - the inability to work, the liability it placed on her companions - all came exactly to this point: They who were so beautiful, how could she ever serve them as a lunatic?

But then her well loved cousin looked her in the eyes to gain attention, looked down at the child she had at breast, looked into her eyes again with dire anguish manifest in each contour of her face and silently clearly asked: "Dear priestess friend, is this a crime that I have done?"

Did they see she looked at things they did not see? Did they realize that this insanity was saturated all and all with holy revelation?

Apparently they did. For it was Auntie now who stood behind her quaking body, embraced to try to hold her shoulders still, and - even while her head was bobbing to and fro and even while the sobs and laughter barked out of her throat - the old matron bent to speak distinctly in her ear: "Is it a crime what I have done?"

The fit then passed immediately and never would return. She sagged into the old woman's arms. She gulped and gasped for breath. She cried out hoarsely as the spittle flew: "It is so beautiful! It is all so beautiful! There is such courage! What is good is done!"

And in that moment she had chosen priesthood far beyond all else.
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Published on February 14, 2019 07:37

February 13, 2019

Old NE Pothead Self Portrait

Old New England Pot-Head, Self-Portrait

{{ I'll fill this in later today,
{{ for now I'm only claiming the title,
{{ a whole lot like claiming a championship.
{{ Thank you.
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Published on February 13, 2019 04:07

February 9, 2019

Impressions Of Malcolm X

Printer friendly version of this poem...
This poem is a chapter of my new story book here ...

Here in Disorderly Studio, on the very highest art materials storage shelf, there is a novel manuscript. On the highest shelf and it's now been there for years. About my relationship with Malcolm X.

After 5 drafts in 18 months of solid work, I hid it there. Spring had come up in this window in our new house in the woods twice.

Apparently my relationship with Malcolm X is hard to describe. Just as, in contrast you understand, my deep admiration seems clear and easily described for Statesman Shirley Chisholm and Champion Muhammad Ali, as two contemporary examples.

In fact, I distinctly remember this…

By the time that King died, when I ran out and bought a copy of it, by then the cheap massive printing of Malcolm's Autobiography was a thick compact paperback on best newsprint, available on paperback racks across the country.

And inside of that edition's back cover, the last page, there was supposedly a dumbfounding news photo, a photo of the crowd on the city sidewalk outside the auditorium, while inside those doors Malcolm lay sprawled in blood on stage, among the scattered chairs, the hero still lying there when a news photographer arrived and snapped the outside picture. A martyr made.

I mean to say, I remembered this photo of that sidewalk crowd's astonishing and anguishing gestures and faces, sub-minuscule dots of printer's black on good newsprint palest gray, the shocked crowd around the outside doors, a sacred temple threshold, a thing of such humanity to seize your breath away, or so I thought, when I sat down to write this book of mine.

And I decided mine must be a poem novel. The most intimate kind, a guided tour of the writer's soul. For me therefore turned out to be a poetic seeking toward my fantastic vision of a holy shrine. A literary pilgrimage to a Xanadu sprung from Soul instead of Hollywood.

Are you aware that expert modern artists make up stupid rules for their art projects? The expert ones with hard projects. Is that surprising? A fruitful modernist Dada mode. It conjures Guidance.

Well, for this poem novel I invented this rule… It was only after those 18 months, plus more weeks too after I put it on the shelf, that finally I sifted through my book stacks, and found that thick compact paperback on brown aging best newsprint, bought from a Houston drug store the morning after Dr. King was killed, and I looked inside. The photo isn't there. It never was.

But now I've written several other paperbacks successfully, and many poems, and that rule has woken up and begun telling me it's time to start this hard project up again. Like the time when I discovered I could finally paint well.

Take it down from the shelf of art supplies, up there beside the Merlin novel. Okay.

Malcolm X was a violent anti-violence hero. Had irresistible war and peace swirling vividly around him, not unlike the Blessed Prophet in an earlier age. And like the Blessed Prophet, found the deepness of his soul in calling Peace.

I too stepped into a manhood world of many active warring sides. And I read Malcolm's Autobiography, and viewed that imaginary photo at the end of it, picturing news of Malcolm's death. And faced with this demand for sacred action, I picked his side.

And I can tell you this from observation… Malcolm X was a Leading Chaplain to the beleaguered U.S. Army private soldiers of my time. As, for one example, Malcolm was transmitted through my beating heart into a U.S. Army place where I was.

The deepness of the message, where I was, was this… Its irreversible spiritual stepping out of violence into a ceaseless cry for peace.

Its stepping out and its arrival there at Spirit's Peace, where all else that's needed might be done. Spirit's Peace, a distant rearward base back toward a decent human life. To us that seemed accomplishment supreme, arrival there.

And so to speak, to me it meant finding and stepping in those temple doors in my imagined photograph. To pay my deep devotion and high respect. To ask the hero if I have done the Sacred Duty well.

As I have it, the fully finished and neatly stitched up Draft Five of it, it was even ready for a little private trial distribution till I hid it on a shelf. Afraid for my reputation. Because its wording style is circling rambling gibberish just pointing round and round.

A style from an earlier book, an interesting wording style which this book wrecks by pointing round and round. So that needs work. Or does it?

The Devil card from Riley's Simple Tarot
Above: Current design for the paperback book's front cover.

Free Downloads
This story printer friendly...
My new Army Stories book (this piece is a chapter of it)…
My older Tales Of Men & Women book...
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Published on February 09, 2019 11:27

February 8, 2019

You Will Not Regret The Trip

{(Tech Note:
I have brought this posting to the front of the blog, republishing it here, instead of earlier in the stack where it was. It's original posting date, which was accurate, was spring 2017. Speaking technically, I did that by changing its posting date to Now when I am cutting and pasting this note to you. My apologies for any confusion.)}

"Foreword to Documents For The Reader” by Deborah Jarvis.
(This is a foreword to a story book written by Riley.)

A real kind of writer does exist, one who transcends the word slavery of the student and the easy slide of writing for pleasure. One who is in the passionate embrace of their muse, in it fully, one for whom that lovemaking calls forth an issue that is joy for the writer and the reader too. This writer seldom spells their meaning out, instead allowing the reader space to contemplate meanings.

For a collection of works like this it's hard to write an introduction, hard to capture such an immortal mind on a page of mortal words. I thought it would be simple when Stone approached me for an introduction to this volume. I thought: This should be simple, seeing that I've known him for years. I've read his works, had him read my future and fortune multiple times. It should be easy. Then after reading the book I took up writing several times but could not get a grasp on how to do it.

Like for a beginning student burdened by words, the words had to be dragged onto the page and sense had to be beaten into them. They would not flow. I thought, I'm a writer. What's wrong with me? I finally gave up for a long while. But then finally my muse woke me with a kick on a cool Saturday morning at five a.m. At long last I could write.

All writers depend on their muses to some extent. For some the muse is omnipresent. Stone has been on excellent terms with his muse for a long time, and it shows. Stone’s visual art is lovely but abstract – I am no lover of abstract art – yet his pictures speak to me in the same way his poetry does. Neither form speaks directly, both certainly are often unclear, but meaning does come clear if you look and look again.

There are no simple verses in this thin volume, not in the visual art or poems or stories. Of course Stone's tale of meeting the love of his life comes to mind.*** Perhaps this is a simple theme, and familiar, but here is actually a celebration of the union of souls long destined for each other. This becomes, in fact, the kind of love we all dream to have but never dare to speak beyond a whisper, for fear some god with beetled brow will show disfavor and deny us.

So open this book as the transcendent item that it is, dear reader. Walk through its pages then return here that much wiser, that much richer and, in all ways, more wholly and more truly you. You will not regret the trip. Along the way you will have witnessed at least some portion of what the muses can teach us in this modern age of reason and machines. You will have seen proof that underneath it all, and through it all, a sense of wonder is still moving.

*** Footnote: That paragraph is talking about a memoir love poem “The Fig Tree” which I put in both the slim “Documents For The Reader” and then the big “Tales Of Men And Women”. In my subsequent “Army Stories” book the memoir love poem's title appears as “Beauty”.
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Published on February 08, 2019 08:00

February 7, 2019

Riddle How Old Am I

Please note… I have studied riddles to some extent and I present them as powerful mind-strengthening exercises. Good riddles are wonderfully challenging and amusing ways to explore and practice careful thinking. They are an ancient custom of the whole human race. So if you don't mind, I would like to claim my thing with riddles is a public health effort. -Thank you.

First of all, absolutely first, in case you are some kind of Druid-ish person of some sort, living somewhere in some ethnicity or nationality at some point in history, I NOTIFY YOU I am playing DRUID RULES NO HOLDS BARRED. So there's that.

And second, as the Druid Rulebook says, if you already know the answer to the riddle before it starts, and whereas this here riddle hasn't even started yet, well then the Rulebook says you MUST pretend you do not know the riddle's answer for as long as you possibly can.

That's if you know the answer before the riddle starts. Like it starts and now you realize that you already knew the answer. Obviously a decent person is certainly expected to really play along anyway, as much as possible, you must play along, and if you admit you know the answer, then you're cheating.

And that Rule is especially important to you and I because anybody who reads the stuff I scribble already knows I'm VERY OLD, or anyways they know I'm VERY OLD now, so they know the answer of this Riddle before it starts. And do please pay attention.

So you must pretend you do not know my age, right??

So here's A Riddle… How Old Am I?

And you must not answer because you know the answer.

Here's my Means Of Exposition … By means mainly of Tomfoolery, I intend to baffle you, to baffle your thinking as if I were Whiffling The Intake Baffles of your mind's Thinking Engine, I shall endeavor to do you like that, despite the fact you already know this riddle's answer.

I'm not promising to accomplish that, just stating the goal of this exercise, but I am guessing I have a partial success already at whiffling your input baffles.

I shall process our Riddle farther…

You may have noticed that I have a presence on the internet. But if you've noticed it or not, I do. So I'm going to tell you about my first website, my very first website, but first the professional software engineering desk where I stole a little time from work to do the initial sketched pages of my first actually-serious art project. These things were only a few years apart.

I'm going to give you those two brief descriptions of those two real things as clues for our Riddle. That's fine I hope. But then I'm going to require you to guess how old I am from that. So first the old desk and then the old website.

My software engineering desk, when I first stole some time for serious art… It was an accountant's desk at a New England mill, for I used accountant's tools and supplies.

A goose neck lamp with a lens you could focus, that was clamped on one corner of it. Hardwood surface that mechanical pencils could not indent. Open a drawer, lots of small compartments for the many bits of hardware used to make marks on paper, put different sizes of paper together, and finally take them apart. It was a desk for structured careful paperwork.

Me, to publish the final versions of my engineering papers, after lots of preparation, I would sit there with rulers and stencils, doing originals of the final versions in nbr. 2 pencil, then finals of the final versions in the very fine ink pens technical draftsmen used. Lettering all freehand.

I would be filling in graph-like coding sheets and also structuring large open drawing spaces which had a little form on it to document your drawing. The little form was up in the big sheet's corner.

I used the largest shapes of paper that our smelly coal-powered xerox machine could absorb and emit.

How long ago do you think that was?

My first website… It was an extra little benefit thing, a little one-color note-card-looking wysi-wyg drag-and-drop thing, a screen editor like a rolodex card you could stick a few things on. You could have one picture of you. This was a rough little free option only for paid-up members of the world's only e-mail service.

I'm saying the world's only e-mail host offered this primitive free tiny-website bonus for paid members. Size of a small card. Had a primitive kind of hyperlinks that could only link to other paid-up e-mail users. No picture editing and no spellcheck.

That was my first website. Used it to advertise my Druid Storytelling service. How long ago do you think that was?

Yes, this is all true. I swear that every word of this is true.
Okay, is your brain baffled yet?

Suggestions if you are perplexed and haven't given up…

First if none of this, none of this, none of this text at all, is intelligible to you whatever, none of it makes any sense, then re-read the whole thing four or five more times and try again.

That's one of my suggestions for you.

But failing that, would you like to see a little TECHNICAL ANALYSIS of this Riddle??? A technical summary? Of this riddle??

Technical Summary… The Riddle's First Half… Mis-direction…

The writer lies repeatedly and largely. Even claims the whole first half of the riddle is not even part of it!!!! Thereby, a twisted bit of idiotic logic that is flatly stated as being true, there in the first half, but then the writer fires a starting pistol, claiming the riddle is now immediately starting, while actually half way into it.

So you're supposed to sign up for the team, put the argument behind you, accept whatever First Half has told you about the riddle, and thus hobbled, you are then commanded to make sense of the sorry sodden mess of strangely perverted logic that the riddle has become.

That's the First Half of this complex riddle.

Second Half… Attractive but misleading syllables.

“Coal-Powered Xerox Machine” An attractive but misleading syllable! Actually, at that time, much of the electricity on the New England power grid came from coal-powered generating plants, thus making all of the electrical office equipment coal-powered, so to speak.

“My Druid Storytelling Service” This phrase struggles to paint an image of ancient castles on the rockbound Cornish coast, with Ancient Druids hurrying about from place to place, castle to castle, on little donkeys perhaps, and accepting their performance gigs by messenger pigeon. That would be pretty long ago.

But actually there was a very popular fashion for stand-up storytelling in New England in my time, up on stage. And the character I developed for the stage was a kind of Merlin person who would conjure up things in your mind, so to speak, a Druid storytelling service.

Ps. You might enjoy my newest book of woke-up stories.
Free complete download plus other stuff here…
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Published on February 07, 2019 07:31

Pecans And Amizon

Dear reader, have you seen any book of mine on Am-I-Zon? (and you know which criminal organization this secret code name Am-I-Zon? means), well if you are seeing one of my books there, please do not buy it there at Am-I-Zon?, or any other slave operation.

In fact, if you see my book for sale at any slavery operation anywhere, any slavery operation of any type at all, you are authorized to steal it and fart on your way out the door. In case you're not familiar with that, it was an early-internet euphemism for website sabotage.

You see, I was actually shocked, certainly not surprised of course, yet somehow actually shocked, some time ago, to see a brown photocopy of an old small-town newspaper item about the introduction of pecan tree growing to South Georgia.

There were some of these old news paragraphs there about my great-great-grandfather who had “a successful pecan slave operation before the War.”

Pecan slaves? How is that especially shocking?? Because I enjoy pecans? Why does it seem absurd?? It was ordinary reality. Anyway, please don't buy my books at Am-I-Zon? or etc.


Ps. You might like my newest book of woke-up stories.
Free download plus more...
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Published on February 07, 2019 07:08 Tags: capitalism, racism, slavery

February 3, 2019

Who Am I Talking To

Who am I talking to???? I've been writing on this blog for five winters now and I have sixteen followers here. That's 16, 5 years. Already. Good people whom I am talking to, who are you please????

If I jiggle some buttons here on this blog-hosting site, I get a peek at you.

Some of you have even photographed yourselves. Thank you. My photo that you see here was by a professional art photographer who was touring a museum one day where I was a Costumed Docent!!

This blog-hosting site is dedicated just to Books only in a fanatically religious way. They're very strict about it here in this domain. There will be only Book materials here only here for fing goddamn sure and that's the explicit wording in the terms of service. So of course that does limit the spectrum of your details I can see.

But I'm not telling any tales about you, I'm just offering a little summary. Here it is…

You people like fantastic writing, different sorts of it. That's the gist that I can see. Many very widely various sorts of Fantastic Writing, that's what you like. Any type of written information that is fantastic. Have I got that right??

Well then, hello there!

Ps. You might enjoy my newest book of woke-up stories.
Free complete download of it here…
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Published on February 03, 2019 06:10

Devil From Simple Tarot

The Devil card from Riley's Simple Tarot

View the card deck...

This is a tarot card where the very first rough sketch, a concept that struck immediately at the very conception of the whole deck project, sketched on unsuitable paper at a software engineering desk, without even changing my writing instrument or adjusting my lamp or shifting in my seat, that sketch was finally used as-it-is in the published product whose subsequent edition is now available just a few clicks away from you today. I've always known the Devil is a Fascist.

Orignal art: 4.5 x 2.5 inches, extra-fine marker pen on xerox paper, 1979. A poster with tattered edges shows the Nazi swastika wreathed by iron chain. The Devil is announced and numbered “15”. An explanation lettered under that says “Will can nearly make us gods.” It's an obvious pun on the infamous propaganda movie.

Here in the U.S., with Tarot readers whom I have talked with on the subject, for them, when the Devil card appears in your reading its big primary meaning will be SELF-DECEIT. Self-deceit primarily or only, that's what the card tokens, not evil and danger from outside yourself.

AS EXAMPLE of that principle A RIDDLE…
QUESTION… What is it called when the field of human events somewhere is utterly overrun by huge devouring machines built out of congealed money?
ANSWER… Surely that is called FASCISM.

AND ALSO… As all sane adults know, MONEY does not exist anywhere outside the human mind.

THEREFORE… Money is the Devil.

I also thought this Devil sketch would be an imitation of the historical real Nazi campaign posters, the real ones, the campaign posters back in their day in 1930's Germany. I have seen some of those and I made an attempt to display their style.

Those posters then were in a melodramatic and Brutalist looking style, quite pleasantly invigorating for excited stupid hateful people.

Countless of the sheets, truckloads of them in two colors and in three or four alternating graphic designs, they were stuck up on lampposts all over the whole damn country, in the election when Hitler mastered the country.

My fine pen moving on the transfulgent paper, I was imagining my sketch as being back then, as being one of those sketches for that.

But now, instead, let's imagine how much money bankers and treasurers must have conjured up from poor people's blood for Hitler for that campaign. And as we know, money is the devil.

View the card deck...

Free Downloads
My new Army Stories book…
My older Tales Of Men & Women book...
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Published on February 03, 2019 01:25

January 29, 2019


I am insanely passionate for the work.
That's been very well established for a long time.
So please forgive every slight that I may ever do to anyone,
for otherwise I shall be passionately ashamed.
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Published on January 29, 2019 15:13

Stone Riley's Shoebox

Stone Riley
A poet writing essays. Why the title? You know you keep a large size shoe box with all those creative ideas and suchlike stuff scribbled on the back of electric bill envelopes?
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