# 236:

We believe in illusion.
That’s why we wear clothing.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Lost In The Desert

















I was in Egypt when I was 15, but it took many years for me to realize where I'd been and what I'd really seen.




~ by Russ Allison Loar (far left, on camel)
© All Rights Reserved

# 220:

If you truly care about this world,
you must live with a broken heart.

It has always been so.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Ways We Lie























"This is not about sex!"





~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Illustration: Danmark Lovers ~ 1872
© All Rights Reserved

# 215:

Perhaps the difference between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics is a product of multiple realities with borders that may or may not overlap, along with realities beyond our scientific capabilities to perceive.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Blackmail



To You Whom It May Concern,

I am in possession of certain facts and sensitive material that have no relevance to you in any way.

Unless you deliver $1 million in unmarked coins to my home within 48 hours, I will be forced to release this irrelevant material to the newspapers, which, in all likelihood, will not publish it.

This is your next-to-last warning!

Ima Moron
54321 Blastoff Avenue,
Zoloft, CA 98765-4321


P.S. Do not give my address to the police.




~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 119:

Though the elements of cultural decline
may be momentarily popular,
they will not escape the verdict of history.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Holding On




















What can we hold onto?
When everything changes,
When everything passes,
When the years recreate who we are,
Sometimes lifting us,
Sometimes tearing us apart.

O love,
The clichéd word so easily pronounced,
The greeting card verse
Spoken without feeling,
O love,
If kept alive and breathing . . .

There is so much to love in this world.
Even when you are old and confined
You can love a memory.
Even when memories fall away
You can love an idea.
Even when cognition falters,
When fear invades,
When the dark idea of godless death threatens,
Believe!

Hold onto love,
However untranslatable it may seem.
Love will persist.
You will be saved.






~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Photo by Sharon Pruitt ~ Pink Sherbet Photography
© All Rights Reserved

# 68:

What if we have come here
from the future, not the past?



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




In A Perfect World


















I n a perfect world
there would be no need for emulsification.





~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 94:

Poetry: What it means is more important
           than how it’s dressed up.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Heh, Heh, Heh





L aura was breathing harder now, her head resting against George’s shoulder as they sat in his pickup truck at the drive-in movie. It was a long movie and she had been up since the crack of dawn. She was asleep.

"Looks like you managed to cut off our only escape route,” Princess Leia tongue-lashed the handsomely handsome Han Solo.

“Maybe you’d like it back in your cell, your highness!” Han rhetoricated mockingly.
“Aaugh!” Laura screamed, awakening to the sound of laser fire pontooning from the small metal speaker box hooked on the passenger side window.

“Laura, what’s wrong?”

“Oh George, I just had the most frightening dream of my life. I dreamed you were president and I was First Lady and a band of bearded evildoers blew up New York City!”

“Heh, heh, heh,” George spontaneously chuckled, draining his fourth Budweiser. “Heh, heh, heh. That’ll be the day.”




~ Story & photo morph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 118:

Stubbing your toe is God’s way of
testing your vocabulary.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Youth Has An Expiration Date


It is somewhat amusing to older folks to hear pop song lyrics and see pop song videos in which handsome young men worship at the altar of beautiful young women. Oh those words of eternal passion, pledged by the young. How quickly terms and conditions come into play as familiarity grows, as obligations mount, as the marriage ties that bind, bind.

And what of the aging process, that chronological decay of flesh that robs us all of youth’s bounty? Can you visualize a wrinkled old man and woman in a pop song video, singing:

Almost paradise
We're knockin' on heaven's door
Almost paradise
How could we ask for more?
I swear that I can see forever in your eyes
Paradise*


Herman, Marjorie & Bess Allison ~ Redondo Beach, California 1917

No, me either. Youth passes, passion passes and we move on. Yet I remember spending the night at my grandparents’ house many years ago when they were in their seventies. I woke up early the next morning and peeked into their bedroom to see if they were still sleeping. I just happened to see them waking up. My old, wrinkled grandfather gave my old, wrinkled grandmother a kiss and said “Good morning.”

Almost paradise.



*From the song “Almost Paradise” written by Eric Carmen and Dean Pitchford



~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Leaving Home


















It's not the holding of his hand,
but the pulling of his arm that makes a boy leave home.





~ Words and photograph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 109:

Learning is a series of constant beginnings.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




My Cat



































O the quiet life of my cat,
The empty bliss of this is that.




~ Words and photograph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




A Worried Man






He was such a worried man, so sure something 
was about to go wrong. Every time the clock struck the hour, he counted the strikes, fearing
the clock would make a mistake.



~ Text and photo by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 114:

However inspired they may be, your holy books were not written by God, they were written by men. However inspired your holy books may be, they do not represent the will of God, they represent the will of men, and so are flawed, imperfect—human. Read them, learn from them, see their strengths and see their weaknesses, then set them down and continue.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 95:

Life is about the experience, not the outcome.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 269:

Hell is not a place, it’s a condition.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




The Universal Question


You have to make an effort to not do something, much less not do anything. Perhaps more properly “not doing” should be called “pre-doing.” This suggests a possible answer to the universal question: “What is the universal question?” The answer, of course, is the question.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Everyone and everything.
Everyone and everything who?
Yes!


So before the universe there was nothing. So what came before nothing? Once again we are faced with the contradictions of logic, which suggest the answer: Nothing. Perhaps then “nothing” should be called “pre-something.” Whatever created the universe, aka, something, was, I suppose, not in existence during the time of “pre-something.” So, once again we return to the question: “Where did the universe (something) come from?” Some quantum physicists may tell you that coming and going, that time itself may only exist in certain selective states. This may be true, for I was in Utah once. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in the company of a quantum physicist, whatever you do, don’t ask what time it is!

Now what I want to know is, what came before nothing, aka pre-something. (I cannot discard my sense of linear time, my sense of here and there, of before and after.) If something indeed came before nothing, then did that which created the something before “pre-something” make a conscious decision to eventually extinguish something and start over again? (There is Biblical precedent for this.) So doing extinguishes not-doing in order to not do nothing?

{Blues riff into with harmonica}

I ain’t gonna do
What I’m not gonna do
Cuz I’m already do-ing
It
.




~ Writing and Artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 34:

Folderol is its own excuse.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Enchanted Princess



She is glowing
And her light penetrates me,
Fills me with unexplainable joy.

She dances playfully around my soul
And I am awakened,
Enchanted.
All is love beyond love.

She has placed a diamond in my heart.

I do not understand the blind
Who cannot see her,
Who see only another pretty girl,
An object to possess,
To label and put into some convenient category.

It weighs on her fragile heart
That anyone should expect her to live
An ordinary life,
This enchanted princess,
Surrounded by so much that is ordinary,
This enchanted princess,
So ready for the magic to begin.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by Cy Brinson
© All Rights Reserved

# 270:

If you believe I’m a moron,
then I shall impress you
with my averageness.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Filling

















When at last the lover leaves intensive care,
All is a fragile balance on the edge of relapse.
One must re-learn the enjoyment of simple things:

The bitter spark from a cup of coffee,
The sweetness of sugar on the tip of the tongue,
The penetrating warmth of the sun
Shimmering through the crisp afternoon breeze,
The pleasure of another hour,
Another day,
Filling, filling, filling
That dark and dangerous place
Where love was.





~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by Maxine (aka: Maxxximpact)
© All Rights Reserved





Life Went On





It was Sunday,
And many millions
Living in the most powerful nation on Earth
Spent most of the day
Watching the big football game on television,
Cheering,
Moaning,
Screaming at the electronic moving pictures of football players
Running back and forth and sideways,
Trying desperately,
Valiantly to get hold of the football
And take it to one end,
Or the other,
Of the green plastic space
Some still call a field.

The next day,
Life went on,
Much as it had before.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


# 265:

Meditation is a runway,
sometimes a long, long runway.
At some point you must lift off and fly.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Despair
















"Don’t do it!” I implored as the old lizard who had lost most of his tail stared wistfully into the frothy, swirling waters of the Jacuzzi.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Lizard painting by Robert Lennon
© All Rights Reserved

# 264:

How many of God’s creatures would kill us if they got a chance?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Tuesday


















I found a piece of paper in a parking lot.

It had been run over numerous times, torn and trampled, faded by the sun and still damp from a light morning mist.

Because I was not in a hurry; because I was not wearing earbuds and distracted by music; because I was not staring at a cell phone screen; because I was not talking to anyone; because everything has design, color, shape and texture, I picked up the square piece of paper.

It had been some kind of glossy, card-stock advertisement for a nightclub, probably stuck under the windshield wiper of a parked car long ago.

Looking closer, I saw the face of my lost love, a strand of her curly long auburn hair falling across her bare thin shoulder and finely sculpted collar bone.

She was smiling and looking skyward, as if she could see all the way to heaven.

That was Tuesday.




~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by a parking lot
© All Rights Reserved





# 263:

One may be able to define enlightenment
without actually being enlightened.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved





You Are Here



You are here.

         I am here.

I am writing this for you to read. How do you like it so far? Not too interesting, eh? Well, you see, there’s a very important theory behind this rather unorthodox way of beginning a . . . of beginning a . . . of beginning this. You see, blah blah, blah and et cetera ad infinitum. (Imagine a long-winded, deeply serious lecture, punctuated with those very special words that immediately give you the impression the speaker is indeed much more learned, articulate and insightful than you, humble reader, could ever be.)

 Excuse me for a minute, I have to get something from the attic.

          [Time passes.]

          {Back again.}

 Thanks for waiting.

          I had to go look for this book on various schools of literary criticism, because I was going to look up a suitable word to brandish in my discussion of  just what in the hell it is I’m doing here. But it seems I’ve brought down the wrong book. You see, I keep all my books on literary criticism packed in boxes up in my attic. I find the chore of writing more relaxing this way. 

Anyway, the word I was looking for was mimetic—an all-time favorite with those who would rather discuss reading than read—but I’ve got the wrong book. Please excuse me for another moment because I must take this book back to the attic, for in browsing through the index, I stumbled upon the entry: “Neo-Platonism,” and it’s making me queasy. I’ll be right back. 

[More time passes.] 

{Back again.} 

Sorry I took so long, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for, and because I am a bit obsessive-compulsive, I nearly got sucked into cleaning my carpets because the steam cleaner is also in the attic, near my box of books on literary theory. 

I do get distracted by the ephemera of everyday life. In fact, I’ve spent the last few years on preparations alone, laying the groundwork for some really serious and incredibly important writing. 

First, I had to buy a computer because the writing machine I purchased shortly after the age of reptiles required cranking by way of foot pedals. Then there was the moving. I had to move to a more literary city where I was less likely to have neighbors who rebuilt 55 Chevys in their garages late into the night. And you know what a time-consuming task moving can be. It was. Only last week did I finally finish decorating my den slash office. And then there were those photo albums I’d always meant to organize. And so forth. 

You get the idea. 

So anyway, I was about to explain that this rather freeform manner in which I am writing is actually based on my experiences in graduate school English department. I learned that one can invent a plausible literary theory for  anything. For example, Hamlet is really a dog afraid to bite his evil master. Bad Hamlet! Bad, bad Hamlet! 

            It’s not that I believe that traditional storytelling is passé. I love a good story, especially when it has the word “that” in it a lot. I myself have many ideas for stories, like the one about how Mozart is reincarnated into the 1970s as a slovenly piano player in a suburban steak house. He can play pretty well, but this time around he attracts more flies than attention. 

But the minute you (I) start writing a story like that, you’re just (I’m just) chained into this traditional structure of character and plot development and so on and so forth, until you just think (I just think), “Why bother?” Because in the end, it’s just another gimmicky story of the type that one sells to the movies (Make me an offer!). Where’s the fun in that? 

Huh? 

[Insert interjection here.] 

So if one (Don’t worry, I’m not going to do this anymore, after this one last time.) does not engage in storytelling, then what is the point? And there (here) we have arrived at the crux of the issue (Sorry, I could not resist one last parenthetical. But then, you had to know it was coming, didn’t you?). 

Was it not some philosopher employed by the Hallmark greeting card company who once wrote, “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.”? Or is this just an excuse to demonstrate the use of punctuation outside quotation marks, since the question mark in question would alter the original intention of the quoted material if placed within the close-quote marks? (Take that you funky wagnalls.) 

        Which reminds me of a story: 

        Once upon a time, there was a little brown mouse with tiny black eyes who was very, very hungry. He was searching for something to eat in old Mr. Shimelplatzer’s house when he happened upon a bottle of Minoxidil. Old Mr. Shimelplatzer was trying to grow some new hair. The little brown mouse with the tiny black eyes pushed the plastic bottle off the bathroom counter falling to the floor cap flying contents oozing puddle. 

        The little brown mouse with the tiny black eyes scampered over to the towel rack, lowered himself paw-over-paw down the bath towel and tiptoed across the throw rug, leaping over the bathroom scale to inspect the strange-smelling pool of liquid. After the little brown mouse with the tiny black eyes licked it all up, he awakened the next morning to find himself transformed into a super-steroid, red-eyed, 23-foot monster mouse. He subsequently killed a lot of slow-moving  senior citizens before being blown up with microwave radiation by the National Guard. 

        Excuse me for just a moment.

        [A brief interlude, passes.] 

        I had to open the door of my den slash office for Inky, my swaybellied black cat who spends many long hours in the faded adobe-colored recliner where I once spent many long hours writing something I called poetry. Inky will not stop meowing at my door until I let her in, then she meows at me for a minute or two before settling in on the seat of the well-worn recliner, where I once spent many long hours writing something I called poetry. 

        Ah yes, sigh, those heady, ennui-filled days of youth. Now, I sit wearily on this adjustable office chair and type assorted letters into this computer that appear before me on this screen where they line up to become words and sentences, where they all gather together to do this funny little dance called, “Pretending To Matter.”



~ Text and artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Time Travel

















If we could ever figure out how to travel backward in time,
we’d have to get rid of the word “after.”



~ Words and photograph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved