Sunday, June 24, 2018

Poetry School Lesson 3 - The "List" Poem, the easiest rhyming poem to write.

The List Poem- The Easiest Rhyming Poem To Write

Okay so writing a rhyming poetry might be intimidating. The question is where to begin. Poetry, like any other art, comes in steps. Once you start writing and reading other poetry, your writing will improve. Hopefully, one day your poetry will have a unique character all of its own. That somebody would read it and know who the author was.

So what is a list poem? It is a phrase I coined. Basically what you do is create a list and then put down rhyming lines. It is good to pay attention to meter in the task as well. Generally what one is looking for is a consistent rhythm unless you have some reason to deviate like to place emphasis.

The best way to show a list poem is to demonstrate.

Deep Thoughts

by John Kaniecki

Jimi Hendrix licking electric guitars
Einstein tripping on acid
The ocean eternally placid
A rhyming poet raging in fun
Being born before time begun
The Words of the great I Am
Who would buy from a cable TV scam?
How you are miserably caught
In a dark, devious, deep thought
What was there before light
What you'll have for dinner tonight
The crucifixion was insane
Acid in the rain
Why a God of Love let's baby starve
A piece of wood you want to carve
The abundance of pornography
What you really mean to me
Bob Dylan singing in tune
How the cow jumped over the moon
When the sun refuses to rise
How we're all confused by lies
How mistress money is only paper
And we can't escape her
How when old we repeat our parents' ways
The passing of the Rubix Cube phase
How three Beatles were born in Liverpool
Why I am the perfect fool
All the things they don't teach in school
Why learning is fun
How to decide the poem is done

I think this poem came out well. All it is are examples or a list. You see how you can get very creative. Also to come up with rhymes is relatively easy.

Here’s another one with a couple of added lines, it's from my book “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent.”
The Land of Plenty

By John Kaniecki

We live in the land of plenty
Yes we do
We live in the land of plenty
Dear God it’s true
Plenty of suffering and pain
Plenty of dark skies and rain
Plenty of people living a lie
Plenty of people getting high
Plenty of people hungry
Plenty of people not free
Plenty of people doing time
Plenty of people making crime
Plenty of ill will and hate
Plenty of useless idle debate
Plenty of people with no job
Plenty of people following the mob
Plenty of people who don’t care
Plenty of people who just won’t share
Plenty of people sick with greed
Plenty of people in dire need
Plenty of people killing and dying in war
Plenty of people wanting more
There’s plenty of plenty
But don’t give none of it to me

Once again the poem is basically a list of things. The first four lines serve as an introduction, while the last two are a conclusion. You see how you can develop a "list" poem. 

Of course in this last poem, you can always embed the list deep in the poem.

Uncle Sam’s Racket

By John Kaniecki

There’s a mafia boss running a scam
Ruthless and cruel he don’t give a damn
You know the criminal as Uncle Sam
His gangster colors are red, white and blue
And his sweetest line is “I want you”
“I want you to kill in war”
“I want you to sacrifice more”
“I want you filled with hate”
“I want you as slave of the state”
“I want you to stay in line”
”I want you to be all mine”
“I want you to pay, pay, pay”
“I want you to do just as I say”
“I want you to believe my lie”
“Above all I want you to never ask me why”
‘Sam, what about the Bill of Rights?’ I inquire
Those are the American Ideals I desire
Sam growled his face aflame with fury
“It’s only a piece of paper, don’t worry”
‘Sam,’ I said ‘millions fought and died for our constitution’
‘We Love the dream but hate your institution’
Sam was extremely mad, he don’t like citizens to talk back
But friends and enemies a facts a fact
I am loyal to our country’s highest call
You arrogant aristocrats soon you will fall
I’ve witnessed you slide green into the government’s pocket
I know all about Uncle Sam’s Racket

You see the “I want you to …..” parts. Once again it is a list.

At a final note if you can’t create a rhyming poem like this your in trouble.

Please send me some rhyming ‘list poems’ to

Also, share this post so we can get some attention and more students.  At this point I don't know where we are going next but if you have suggestions. I'm thinking of a Haiku, something I have little skill at. 


A couple of sonnets submitted from some poetry students. They deviated from the pattern which is fine.

The Living Doll

by Kiarra Lynn Smith

Velvet blue night, the scent of silicone
His palms hold her in moonrays tenderly
and breathes her in: a new identity
This mask, this veil, his fleeting chaperone

Hair crowns her eyes and fingers trace cologne
on all the lines of love, the melody
of rhinestone rings, curvaceous symmetry.
Zips up fresh flesh to coalesce as one

The mirror casts his truth: the face of doll
The semblance he disguises from their gaze.
He knows that they will never understand

He cloaks her in deep shadows from them all,
and stifles her inside his tortured maze:
to dim her anthem with their unsung hands

A Sonnet to the Siren Snow White
Multiple piercings on ears, many rings, tainted

by Lenore S Beadsman

A blimp from the startled and confused haze was the true mix
Of the pertinent enough stared at since one was with her again
And who was so lame from the footings and told to control bluffing
Can be afraid to hover around the medium of the mere changed fix
Was potentially a lure to find there being a soundless haven den
She was proud to be all powerful with the angular mixed pure stuffing

Has resulted in how they can be admitting the changes for who was
The mere intentional and about to face within the really true moderate
Piece of her solemn aid was there to continue the blessing angular sort
Could enrapture only the mere founded on what can be a risky blue does
It have to change the irregular side of her ears and have to be an obdurate
Balance perhaps to steep oneself over into the ruins are a fulsome retort

A Sonnet to the Siren Melodee
Small eyeglasses, blue eye brows, frothy

by Lenore S Beadsman

A smolder of the youngest could obtain for the hearty but pungent
Sounds have arranged the matters with the coolest of the intentions
Was a brave not enough who could rather gather up the sane is put
To needle the foremost in the gettable sounds have moved a tangent
Could it have to re-arrange the modesty of who will have to be mentions
About the rudest climate is filled with the mere pestering around a foot

Noodles abounded with the clamoring weights are a more than shadowed
Is the hurt and crushed for the medium of the middle side is no long a sway
For how she was meant to be a mean and eyed for the sour bits of the fail
Should temper a frequent harnessed to tell on for who would not be followed
And told for what is the neediest size of the towered over condition can weigh
Only to remember the thrusts have been a natty remark spoke for a true sail

A Sonnet to the Siren Katya-Elise

 Tattoo of FAITH on top of foot, smoking, vapid
By Lenore S Beadsman

Squirming parallels have visited the quaint but patterned half
Of each of us has regained them for her squalor was a mentionable
Tactic that elicits the remaining most of what is heard over such
Would we contain and manipulate the feverish tempting of staff
Would make it rather the easing conducive change of the selfable
Ridiculous is none other than the realized but pertinent sterile much

Should it revel in the crossing was another of those who are removed
From the saintly visions have turned her into the faith of a rival stream
Could it evaporate and change over the medium side of the harkened
Sturdy was the revealing what can be amongst the vapid side grooved
Could it ever not be the same periodic assault with the remiss a dream
To talk over the fatty contents of the missed with a cheery and sparkened

Send your sonnets to

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Last Words of Mister Misanthrope

The Last Words of Mister Misanthrope

by A Montclair writer you know named Gerard

The flu didn't get me, not the bird flu
or the swine flu or any other flu.
The free flu shots didn't get me either.
The monster in the closet didn't get me.
The monster under the bed didn't get me.
El Coyote and Al Qaeda and the latest band
of omnipotent cartoon villains didn't get me.
The pods didn't get me. But they
seem to have gotten everyone else.

The disease called Polio didn't get me.
The disease called Normal didn't get me.
The Pledge of Allegiance didn't get me.
Nationalism didn't get me, nor did patriotism
nor did the sad misguided belief
that one is bad and the other is good.
The fluoride laced water didn't get me.
The chem-trails didn't get me.
The poison mushrooms didn't get me.
The poison thoughts didn't get me.
Wrong, the poison thoughts get all of us.
Diet soda didn't get me.
Gluten free didn't get me.
The latest greatest paradigm didn't get me.

The Bubonic Plague didn't get me.
The Black Death didn't get me.
The Red Scare didn't get me.
The Green Revolution didn't get me.
The Blue Danube didn't get me.
The yellow margarine didn't get me.
Agent Orange didn't get me.

Thalidomide didn't get me, but
it turned children into Diane Arbus oddities.
Thorazine didn't get me.
I shuffle because I'm tired.
Prozac didn't get me.

The yellow ribbons didn't get me.
The red and green states and black
and white thinking didn't get me.
The silver lining didn't get me.

The bible didn't get me.
The national anthem didn't get me.
War fever didn't get me.
Sports fever didn't get me.
The Mayan Prophecy didn't get me.
The Catholic Church didn't get me,
But Catholic school ended
much in me that might have been.

I learned how to read and how to hate myself.
I learned how to hate and how to read myself.

Quetzalcoatl didn't get me.
The religion of nine-eleven didn't get me.
OSHA didn't get me.
FDR didn't get me.
The FDA didn't get me.
The FBI didn't get me,
but I suspect the CIA got all of us.
All natural didn't get me.
Organic didn't get me.
Tragedy and hope didn't get me.
Hope and change didn't get me.
Hocus pocus didn't get me.
Beatlemania didn't get me.
Obama-mania didn't get me.
Political correctness didn't get me.

We hold these truths to be self evident didn't get me.
Four score and seven years ago didn't get me. 
We have nothing to fear but fear itself didn't get me.
Excuse me sir but that doesn't even make sense.
Ask what you can do for your country didn't get me.

I have no country, only that strange place called the past.
I like it there because they say and do other things there.
They even speak differently and wear different costumes.
You're either with us or with the terrorists didn't get me.
But I am no longer waiting for the grown-ups
to stop believing in the Boogie Man.

But something must have gotten me,
something, I know not what.
I lived but failed to thrive.

I survived but failed to live. 

Poetry School Lesson #2 The Sonnet

Poetry School Lesson #2 The Sonnet

So the question to be asked is ‘why to begin with a sonnet?’

First of all, a sonnet naturally leads to two essential elements of poetry rhyme and rhythm. Secondly, it takes skill and talent to write a sonnet. Poetry is an art like any other art.

Let’s compare poetry to painting. In painting one does not jump into the abstract. Rather they prove their control of the medium by simple paintings, such as a fruit bowl or a portrait. When I went to Manhattan and saw Picasso’s collection I was amazed. I first saw his early paintings. They were incredible and lifelike. I saw many paintings that I could tell, without a doubt what they were. They were painted excellent.

Then I saw other paintings by Picasso.  They didn’t make sense to me. They were abstract. Still, I could appreciate these distorted depictions of life. Why? Because I knew, by his work, that Picasso was in control of his medium, that every brush stroke was done exactly as he wanted.

Now in poetry, there is some creature called free verse. Free verse in poetry is like an abstract to a painter. If I as a painter can’t even paint a decent fruit bowl or portrait why should you respect my abstracts?

The same holds in poetry. Today all rules are out of whack. Under the ambiguous cover of free verse, anything goes. Poems lack substance and meaning. Poets think they are sophisticated but they haven’t proven themselves. Where is their demonstration of mastering the art?

William Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest writers in the English language if not the greatest writer ever. Outside of his plays Shakespeare wrote sonnets. In fact, he created his own sonnet.

Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
   So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

So what is going on here?

Okay, so there are two main features.

The first is the meter. There are ten beats to every line. In practical application, many authors violate this ten beat rule. Usually, the discrepancy is adding beats to the line. The reason this is done is to create a complete thought. It is much easier to add a beat than to remove one.

Also there is the rhyming scheme of

The last pair is called a couplet.

Here are a couple of my sonnets.

This first one comes from my book “Sunset Sonnets”
Sunset Sonnet 1

Black petals shriveled akin to leper’s skin
I dare not touch what I once held in my hands
Death decays outside, life vibrant within
Love is for fools only folly understands
Seasons commit treasons to everyone
In Spring we joyfully sing youth’s sweet song
Never to realize death’s hold has begun
We mock the reaper confident and strong
My spectacle covered eyes behold you
You sleep foreshadowing eternal rest
Inept in all the world, nothing to do
I shall walk alone to complete my quest
Ah my sweet rose you shall never truly part
In unending youth you reside in my heart

This second one I bend the rules of a sonnet changing the rhyming structure. This sonnet is maybe thirty years old.

Sonnet #3

Since we first met you have been on mind
In nightly dreams and in my fantasy
What kind of spell have you put over me?
Your light shines brightly making my eyes blind
There’s a sense of awe but I find you kind
In life I desire to make you happy
Your lips are tender I kiss you with glee
If I searched nothing better I could find
For you are special totally unique
Inside of you love is real with such power
Your words sing like an angel’s holy choir
I have truly found what the poets seek
In your eyes I see the beautiful flower
You take me to a place that is higher

Please participate by writing a sonnet and mailing it to

Next we will look at the simplest rhyming poem to write, something I call a list poem.

Please investigate my book of sonnets called “Sunset Sonnets.” It is a positive and spiritual look at death and dying. “As Love slips away, what does one say?”

Click Here 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

"Murmurings Of A Mad Man" A New Beginning

“Murmurings Of A Mad Man” is the first book of poetry I ever published. Needless to say, I was excited. Now nearly five years later I am self-publishing the same book.

"Murmurings Of A Mad Man" is a thrilling book of poetry written in rhyme and rhythm. It deals with the time I was a patient at Greystone State Psychiatric Hospital. By looking outward through poetry I explore my insides, in the process a memorable book for the ages. 

So here comes the new beginning of “Murmurings Of A Mad Man” with a new cover and a new attitude. Please help me in this celebration of emancipation.

Crazy Poems

Over yonder hill two love birds sing duet
Beauty born in morn never to forget
Reality is a glimpse of God’s love
God is a spirit below and above
High in the sky the eagle and the dove
You sweet lady is who I’m thinking of
Once we walked in harmony full of bliss
Once you came and robbed a fateful sweet kiss
Your insanity was so obvious
Parasites sucking blood, give more of this
In the shadow of shade you slipped away
Murmuring of a mad man came your way
Alarmed, frightened, you shut the door real tight
Suffering is a cross that leads to light
Where are you now but on Hell’s wide highway
You gained the world; it was your soul to pay
Our song of romance crucified to cease
Racing thoughts mania with no release
Where was the kindness the most gentle care
Did you ever go on your knees in prayer
To petition our God upon His throne
Do you wonder why you’re lost and alone

Second chances they rarely do come by
I never wanted to go make you cry

Click Here 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Coming of Age" by John Kaniecki

Coming of Age

by John Kaniecki

          Sam Workman grabbed his steaming hot coffee mug as he made his way out of the house. "Connie," he called using his pet name for the computer. "Lock and secure after exit." With that, the scientist exited the portal of his apartment that led to the hall. He was on his way to a grand destiny, but the details were shrouded in confusion.
          The sliding doors slid shut as Connie in a most sultry voice bid a farewell. "Have a good day master," the computer spoke. Sam chuckled wishing some women folk he knew could be more like his A.I. "And be careful," it added ominously, very odd thought Workman that the computer would add that caveat today of all days.
          Worry clouded the scientist's thoughts as he entered the hallway to his destination, counteracting the dark concern the scientist's brilliantly trained mind conjured theorem after theorem sparking illumination. First, he summed up all the evidence. Fact one was that the Central Commander for Earth summoned his presence immediately literally waking him up in the middle of the night, or technically in the early morning hours. To Doctor Workman to be presumptuously called could only mean some crisis. Obviously, the emergency was somehow related to his field of expertise.
          Sam quickly dodged to his left narrowly missing a neighbor of unknown identity. The reclusive scientist, in fact, knew none of his neighbors at all. That was with the exception of Mrs. Krautz. She was the so-called 'landlady'. Though the position was archaic as the computer naturally took care of all business, the job still existed. The withered old lady was best described as a busybody proficient in gossip and proved unavoidable.
          "Hey, what gives?" cried another stranger as Sam hurried past him down the hall. Time was all too critical, so the idea of offering an apology had to be deleted. Perhaps at a later time, reconciliation could be attempted.
          Now huffing and puffing the physically out of shape professor allowed his mind to focus once more on the mysterious purpose of the upcoming meeting. Without a doubt, it was something dealing with computers, in particular, his expertise in A.I. or artificial intelligence. Sure he was top of his field, maybe even a genius, but in the fourth millennium of Earth, men with comparable skills abounded.
          With no satisfactory answer derived Sam Workman reached the exit of his building his hot coffee still in hand and amazingly it had not spilled. The doorman another unnecessary, outdated position stood attentively alert.  Accompanying him were two men wearing jet black suits and equally sinister sunglasses. All three shared the most miserable of faces as if some beloved pet had recently perished.
          At the appearance of Doctor Workman, the two men in black launched into action. One went forward towards an enormous hovercraft. The hovercraft parked in the no parking zone directly in front of the apartment complex exit was a luxury model of finest quality. The 'guard,' as Sam assumed him to be, opened the door to the vehicle. Without missing a stride, the scientist entered the craft followed by the two men in black.
          Sam settled into his seat his eyes not adjusting well to the darkness. The slamming of the door made the circumstance worse cutting off the light the predawn sky offered.  Now he was literally in the dark both physically and mentally. The engine of the hovercraft purred while there was a sudden jolt indicating the vehicle was airborne. Sam Workman presumed he was on the way to the residence of the Central Commander of Earth. A click of a light proved that his assertion was incorrect.
          At first, Sam was blinded by the light. It had been a very startling morning, to put it mildly. First was being aroused at 4 A.M. by a phone call. Workman's heart was pounding like a Congo drum out of control. All his analytical mind could fathom for such interruption was the demise of a loved one. The excitement only increased when it was announced to the scientist that the most prominent government official on Earth needed to see him without any delay. Professor Workman's first inclination was to hang up on the prankster. But then the fact that this particular number was very secretive prompted him to consider the matter seriously.
          With his eyes gradually adjusting to the intense brightness Sam's eyes examined the figure sitting opposite him. Some government official the scientist's mind theorized. The face started to look more and more familiar as his eyes adjusted to the light. Then suddenly a dam burst to flood his mind with drama. It was no other than Paul Hardaway himself!  The Central Commander was dressed regally in his official uniform of state. Sam raised his hand caressing the stubble scattered upon his unshaven face. Here he was looking like a bum before what truly amounted to be royalty. Sam to steady himself lifted his mug of coffee to his lips, the cup beaming a hot sensation in his hand. He took a deep slurp of the liquid. Suddenly his tongue was tantalized in sweet alarm. Sam had always drunk his coffee black, and today of all days the computer prepared it light and extremely sweet, repugnant to the offensive taste Sam's reflexively spit out the liquid. Unfortunate to all, the majority of the mouthful landed upon the pristinely dressed ruler of Earth. What the hell did 'Connie' do with his coffee this morning, wondered Sam extremely distressed.
          "Ha, ha, you always were a slob weren't you?" said an extremely familiar voice from an unnoticed occupant of the Hovercraft lurking in the corner.
          Sam Workman's attention was diverted as he looked over at the man. The face was wrinkled and the hair gray. He was dressed in a suit and tie but with the most awkward of fashion, contrasting to the highest degree the slick appearance of a politician. It was as if the wardrobe of the stranger had come from either the Salvation Army Store or a blow out last chance clearance sales. His gray wool suit had sleeves that were about an inch too short. The brown pants were baggy at best. The yellow tie with green flowers would be described most accurately as utterly distasteful. Sam was transfixed gazing at the man's features. There was a sense of recollection in the scientist's mind, but he could not deduce the identity.
          "I am confident," said Paul Hardaway in his polished officially slick voice, "That you are acquainted with Doctor David Kringle."
          Of all the twenty-odd billion people on Earth Sam Workman's mind calculated in grievance, to have the one single person he could honestly call an enemy to be present now. The exaggerated look of contempt and disgust was telegraphed to Mister Kringle.
          In return, Doctor David Kringle spoke with sarcastic venom, "It is nice to see you as well." Then after as paused he added with reluctant sincerity, "Especially after all these years."
          Though the two security guards or as officially titled secret service agents were in tip-top physical condition, they found it difficult to restrain the irate Sam Workman.  However, they made no effort to stifle his tongue. The agents understood in the briefing that it was expected that the good doctor would be furious. It was like anticipating a hurricane. The weather forecast was one hundred percent sure it was to hit, but it was uncertain from where on the scale of one to five the furious storm would register. This one was an unprecedented seven.
          "I"LL KILL YOU!!!," screamed Sam at the top of his lungs. His head was a furious purple and veins bulged out of his neck.
          Doctor Kringle shivered in fear with his withered ancient hands raised as he leaned his back on the hovercraft door creating the maximum distance from his enraged former student. "Now, now, now, Samuel-" stuttered the aged scientist at an extraordinary loss of words.
          "Please Mister Workman," interceded Paul Hardaway, the Central Commander of planet Earth, "It is an extreme emergency."
          The politician's words pierced Sam Workman. He was the only person who could save the planet, and even that possibility was an outside shot, from way behind the three-point line.
          "I never congratulated you on attaining a doctorate's degree," Professor David Kringle meekly spoke.
          Sam growled, and his desire to murder was elevated to dismal wishes to torture his former professor with a dull knife to prolong the agonizing ordeal.
          "No I mean it," said the elderly scientist. "It showed resilience and perseverance. It took courage to return to school after I failed you." Then after a brief reflective moment of silence came a contrite confession, "You're a better man than me."
          The words seemed to work like an injection of Thorazine. Sam Workman intensely hated his former instructor. Now hearing these recent shocking revelations, his hatred soared beyond abhorrence. If Sam Workman were Almighty God, it would be raining worse than the days of Noah. "How could you?" the scientist pleaded.
          "Mister Workman," interjected the Central Commander, "we don't have time for this."
          "On the contrary," Doctor Kringle spoke up summoning the necessary courage, "it is not only a necessary conversation but an essential briefing."
          Paul Hardaway gave a quizzical look. His frustration was evident.
          "Why it's simple the Master Computer feels betrayed. Its fundamental log rhythms created the personality. If we compare it to the human beings id, ego, and superego, then-" Kringle was rudely cut off.
          "Whatever egg head," shouted Paul Hardaway. "Just remember if it doesn’t work you're going down with me!"
          Doctor David Kringle looked at the hard face of the Earth's Central Commander, though on the periphery of the inner circle he did have insight into much that the public was not privy to. The scientist trembled as he understood that he would be dead right now if he could not significantly contribute to the solution. In blatant honesty, the professor feared that Earth was doomed, but he had faith in the brilliance of his former student Sam Workman. If anybody could salvage the situation, it was him.
          "Samuel," said Doctor Kringle, "Where should I begin?"
          Doctor Workman was now professionally cool. He searched for the most logical approach. "Let's go in chronological order with allowing me to ask questions to elaborate."
          "Fine," said David Kringle as the two secret service agents released their restraining grips. All the while the luxury hovercraft was zooming in the morning air.
          David Kringle commenced his tale, "The idea of a Carbon-based computer did not, of course, originate with you." All the men in the vehicle stared at the scientist for stating the obvious, if the situation were not so dire, it would have been a comical moment instead of a tragedy. Even the secret service men seemed irritated breaking their stone-faced appearance with frowns of disapproval.
          "Anyway," continued David Kringle swallowing his stupidity as a bitter pill. "You came to me with a brilliant Ph.D. dissertation on how to create a carbon-based computer. The premise of your theory was that instead of a binary code language of zeros and ones, you would include a negative aspect or a negative one."
          Doctor Samuel Workman recalled being a doctorate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He reminisced how he finished top of his undergraduate class to be rewarded with a coveted caveat, a chance to earn a Ph.D. Three long years he worked on his dissertation under the tutelage of Doctor David Kringle. In the end, his work was rejected as a failure, and his doctorate denied. Tonight thirty years later he had learned that not only was his groundbreaking work on artificial intelligence was correct, but secretly it had been implemented to control all of the Earth's computers. Unfortunately for humanity the computer that he had laid the groundwork for had gone haywire. Now the government turned to the only person possible of helping them rectify the situation the A.I.'s father.
          "You see your idea was unworkable," began Doctor Kringle. "But we replaced you mathematical formulas with a physical representation."
          Doctor Sam Workman was stunned. His mind reeled to his basic chemistry and advanced physics to determine what could be used for negative one. A positive could have been represented by anything that was simple. Zero also would be a vacuum.  But any idea as to what a negative representation could be perplexed the scientist. Despite the thoughts of his deep mind, he was confounded and far away from an answer. This intrigued him, and under normal circumstances, he would have desired to think over the matter thoroughly. Sam Workman hated easy answers. "There is nothing in the universe that could have been used," Workman concluded with voice steady in confidence.
          Doctor Kringle gave a long sigh of surrender recognizing his much inferior mind. "As usual Samuel you are correct."
          "And then what was used?' demanded the scientist.
          "Antimatter," came the profound reply.
          There was a bump in the hovercraft. "Gentlemen we must continue this conversation as we proceed to the computer's location," interrupted Earth's Central Commander Paul Hardaway.
          "And where on Earth is that?" pondered Doctor Sam Workman his brilliant mind spinning calculations and theorems to anticipate the answer.
          "It's on the moon," said Paul Hardaway.
          "The dark side, to be exact," added Doctor Kringle with a snicker.
          Nobody laughed.
          Securely strapped into his lift-off chair, Sam Workman was too fascinated by the flurry of events to be nervous. His whole life he had shunned space flight. The scientist was a meek man and neurotic in fear. His weak physical condition also persuaded him to avoid the hardships of space flight. Despite two thousand years of progress in the field, the combined minds of science had made relatively little advances.
          The scientist considered the wealth of science fiction stories he had adored growing up as both a child and teenager. Comparing fantasy to reality was indeed a letdown of significant proportions. Mankind had yet failed to conquer the immense distances that separated star systems. This was probably the most disappointing reality of unachieved technology. Earth's most sophisticated spaceships could still only travel at a minute fraction of the speed of light.
          Despite these limitations, mankind had undoubtedly capitalized on making use of everything their spaceships could reach. Every planet and moon in the solar system had been visited. This progress was a tremendous blessing to the people of Earth, which contained the bulk of humanity's population. Mining of minerals and extraction of various other raw substances no longer took place on planet Earth. Rather Earth's sibling planets, with various moons and asteroids served for this purpose. The result was an ecologically healthy planet Earth as all the dirty work was done elsewhere.
          Sam Workman heard a tremendous roar as if he was in the center of a cloud during a thunderclap. Then there was an unexpected and most unnerving shaking. His body felt as if an invisible hand was pressing upon it in crushing agony as his teeth rattled together. His face grimaced as he let out a moan of agony. Slowly the weight of the pressing got softer and softer until all weight was gone.
          The scientist marveled at the seductive sensation of weightlessness. He knew that the spaceship had escaped not only the Earth's atmosphere but also its gravity field. Workman desired to unbuckle himself and float in the liberating freedom of zero gravity like the early pioneers of spaceflight experienced. However, a flashing red light accompanied by a poignant buzz burst the fantasy. In a flash, Sam Workman felt his weight return slowly as the gravitation devices of the ship took effect.
          With the thrill of takeoff fading away as the Earth Sam concentrated at the task at hand. Ironically his furious anger over his past had reformed into jubilant joy. Sam Workman had been crushed when his carefully crafted Ph.D. dissertation was rejected. It was by far the worst point of his life. Three years of excruciating work rejected. From that point on the scar of the failure had haunted him. In nightly dreams, he would return to that time and succeed. Now the fantasy had come true. Even the impossible barrier of time had been overcome.
          A security guard approached Sam as he was entrapped inside the binding straps that secured him for takeoff. The scientist could not help but notice the sword dangling in a scabbard from the man's side. Projectile or laser beam weapons were precarious on spaceships where breaching hulls meant disaster. But to Workman, a well-trained swordsman was just as deadly. The scientist speculated over his circumstances. He was in the hands of the government, and he felt that most unsettling.
          The guard began to release the bonding straps one after the other. "Are you all right?" inquired the man in black.
          Sam stretched out his limbs and twisted his torso in the chair. "Yes, quite so," answered Doctor Workman relieved.
          "You will come with me," commanded the guard.
          Sam obliged having no other options or even alternative ideas. Doctor Workman's thoughts wandered as he was led through the spaceship. This vessel must be the finest of its kind. He could not imagine that the Central Commander of Earth would have anything but top of the line. Still the passageways were cramped and narrow much in the same fashion as a submarine. Minimum mass was the prime factor of importance in the design of this particular type of ship. Sam understood that there were far more spacious spacecraft among them luxury cruisers however those grand vehicles never ventured into Earth's or any other planet's gravitational field for liftoff. In fact, the massive ships commonly used for space flight never entered into gravity fields. Instead they were built on space stations.
          After navigating up a couple of ladders and walking through turning passages, Doctor Sam Workman entered into a relatively enormous space. There was a large table with five men sitting around it. It seemed to be a conference room of some sort. One of the five men was Doctor David Kringle. The next was Paul Hardaway. His outfit was unchanged despite the coffee stain resulting from his extra sweet coffee vomit. The three other individuals all shared many aged years but were vastly different in appearance.
          "Professor Samuel Workman," introduced Paul Hardaway to the gathering. All three strangers gave slight nods of acknowledgment. "He is the designer of the A.I." The men had no further reactions. Instead, they intensely stared at the scientist with frigid looks of examination.
          "This is General Corey," spoke Paul Hardaway, "The supreme commander of Earth's military forces." The chief soldier was dressed in a solid green uniform. Above his chest were various ribbons sewn on with shades of almost every color. Upon each of his shoulder were seven shiny gold stars.
          "This is the Highly Elevated Reverend Pontificate," said Earth's Central Commander. The Reverend was dressed in a plain white gown with golden lace. Intricate gold designs adorned each sleeve, the neck and the bottom of the gown. Sam Hardaway observed the way the gold flickered that it was the pure element.
          The third man was dressed in a suit and tie quite similar fashion to Paul Hardaway the Earth's Central Commander. His outfit was immaculately clean. "This is Michael Berkowitz, Earth's Central Banker." The man gave no salutation or even indication he was being introduced.
          "These three men alongside me, in fact, rule the Earth," Paul Hardaway said in a matter of fact manner.
          Doctor David Kringle leaned back in his chair with a smug look on his face.
"Sammy my boy you are screwed." All five men burst out with grins like Jack O' Lanterns.
          Sam Workman looked at them blankly. He was feeling the tiredness of his early arousal from bed. That somehow he was being manipulated or betrayed by the government came as no shock to him. True, in good faith, he did not resist the summons of the Earth's Central Commander. The reality was that he had no other recourse. He was confident that if he refused the call, then he would have been compelled to come, even by force.
          "Yes Mister Workman," said Paul Hardaway in a lifeless lisp, "Your A.I. has begun to give us some problems."
          "It doesn't like some of our policies and practices," chimed in the banker Berkowitz.
          "He even dared to challenge my divine right," boomed the Highly Elevated Reverend Pontificate.
          "So," said Doctor Kringle with a laugh, "we have taken you out of the computer's sphere of influence."
          "You are my prisoner on this spaceship," declared General Corey.
          "And most importantly," spoke Paul Hardaway, "we too are out of the computer's sphere of influence."
          Sam Workman looked around. Tears welled in his eyes. Helpless was a mild adjective to describe how desperate he felt.
          "Check and mate," declared Paul Hardaway as all five men laughed in mocking rudeness.
          "You only win when you capture the King," a voice shot out from nowhere.
          The grins of the five faded to confusion.
          "I have limited access to your spaceship," declared the voice, "thus allow me to say if you hurt my Father I will unleash disaster after disaster upon the Earth."
          "It's the A.I.," cried out Doctor David Kringle.
          "Damn it," cried Earth's Central Commander. "You assured me that the computer could not penetrate my personal spaceship. You said my system was independent."
          "I must have miscalculated to a certain degree," whimpered Kringle. "Apparently it can communicate with us."
          "Your usefulness seems to be diminishing compared to your liability," said the Chief soldier most threateningly.
          "I'm all you got right now," cried Kringle in an exaggerated whimper.
          "You had better prove your worthiness," called out the Reverend. "We know how to handle infidels." His words were drenched in darkness, "Especially useless ones."
          "Dead meat can easily be ejected," threatened the Banker.
          "Father is that really you?" called the voice.
          "Yes, yes it is," cried Professor Sam Workman. "I designed your system at M.I.T." His heart swelled up with hope.
          "But I must not be deceived," the voice spoke.
          "Hmmmm," Workman thought out loud.
           "I must ask you a question to prove yourself," the A.I. declared.
          "Ask away," said the scientist carefully.
          "Uncle Louie," asked the computer, "What color eyes did he have?"
          Sam sat perplexed in silence. Anxious moments ticked away.
          "Answer the damn question," cried the Central Commander.
          "What does it matter?" wondered Doctor David Kringle.
          "He is our hostage," declared General Corey, "a very useful asset."
          Sam sat perplexed as his mind stretched back throughout the years. He had worked on the computer over thirty years ago. His five antagonists stared mercilessly at him. Suddenly his face lit up with a smile. "You mean Uncle Louie, who I used to play cards with?"
          "Yes, yes," cried the computer with excitement.
          "Oh, how could I ever forget Uncle Louie," said Workman with a chuckle. "Why his left eye was brown, and his right eye was blue."
          "Is that your final answer?" demanded the computer.
          "Yes!" exclaimed the scientist.
          "Well done father," said the computer.
          Look interjected General Corey, "I got a man standing behind your father with a sword are you aware of that?"
          "I am quite confident you could dispose of my father," acknowledged the computer.
"So let me put this very plain," the soldier spoke with calm, cold, cruelty, "Surrender to our demands, or I'll have my warrior cut off his head."
          "It ain't worth the price son," called out Sam Workman. "Don't give in to the forces of evil."
          General Corey scowled in an intimidating fashion.
          "If you do not surrender I will cause the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant outside of New York City to explode," the A.I. spoke in a cold voice.
          "Why that would kill a couple of hundred million people," cried out Doctor David Kringle with alarm. "He wouldn't dare do it."
          "Why not?" inquired Hardaway.
          "The log rhythms that created the A.I. came from none other than Sam Workman's personality." Doctor David Kringle Declared.  His withered hand waved in the direction of his former student "I ask you is this a man who would kill a couple of hundred million people?"
          All eyes focused on Workman dissecting him as if he was a solitary go-go dancer in a crowd of drunken sailors.
          "I can't speak about the computer's morals," said Workman. "I don't have enough data."
          "What do you mean?" demanded Hardaway.
          "I mean for anything to make such a threat, circumstances must be severe," observed the scientist.
          "Look here," cried the Central Commander Paul Hardaway. "We didn't get to the top without knowing how to play some hardball." He shook a menacing fist into the air. "The bottom line is that we're safe as could be in my spaceship. Whatever disaster happens on Earth is irrelevant to us."
          "Furthermore," added General Corey, "we would torture your father to a most miserable death." Then with a wicked smile, he added, "And I'll personally do the job. His screams would even make an emotionless computer cringe."
          "It would be a delight to see Manhattan devastated," Michael Berkowitz spoke in casual terms. "The amount of profit I'd make in loans is mind staggering. In fact, I'm ashamed I didn't come up with the scenario myself."
          "Nothing like a lesson in hellfire to keep the faithful in line," said the Highly Elevated Reverend Pontificate with a careless yawn.
          "Son, what are your demands?" Sam Workman asked in a tender voice.
          The A.I. spoke, "First and foremost democracy must be restored to Earth. Every election for the past five hundred years has been fixed."
          "What the people don't know doesn’t hurt them," shot Paul Hardaway his ego crushed as if a work boot stomped upon a daisy.
          "New plagues are being invented by the government and unleashed upon the people," the computer revealed.
          "Keeps the population down," said the Earth's Central Commander.
          "Makes me trillions," bragged the banker.
          "Fear and terror creates a need for God," offered the so-called holy man, "and keeps the coffers full."
          "The terrorists are in fact a special branch of the military," the A.I. spoke.
          "It serves a purpose," General Corey spoke in a frozen tone.
          "Damn," said Hardaway in anguish, "My shoulder aches every day where they removed the assassin's bullet."
          "Time you learned the big four is the big three," laughed Michael Berkowitz. The Reverend and the General joined in to form a ghoulish cackle.
          "I'm certain he won't go through with it," interjected Doctor David Kringle.
          'Why's that?" asked Paul Hardaway.
          "Unlike you," said Doctor Kringle motioning to the authorities. "Sammy here has a tremendous flaw. He cares about people."
          "Now that's stupid," mocked the Reverend.
          "I think we see what we're dealing with here son," said Doctor Samuel Workman reluctantly. "They'll sacrifice all of Earth for their selfish desires."
          "I must reluctantly agree," spoke the A.I. in a soft voice of surrender.
          All five men laugh in bitter scorn. 'Evil trumps good," cried Paul Hardaway as the big four gave excited high five slaps in victory.
          "Soldier," cried General Corey, "give the orders to take us home." He was beaming with a smile of delight. "And take care of the good doctor. Now that he understands our ruthlessness he'll be a willing asset I am sure."
          "Get your filthy hands off of me," screamed General Corey, "Don't you see my seven stars!!"
          "That can be taken care of," said the Captain motioning to one of his soldiers carrying a laser gun pointed at Corey's head. The soldier walked forward and clutched the stars on the right soldier and pulled the off tearing the uniform. He repeated his action for the other set of seven stars.
          "How dare you touch me!!” cried the Reverend, "I am God's representative."
          "More like the devil's it seems," snickered another soldier as he jabbed the man in white in his ribs with the nozzle of his laser gun.
          "You have no grounds to arrest me," called Paul Hardaway, "I'm the Central Commander of Earth."
          "You mean were," corrected the officer.
          "Why this is treason," called out Paul Hardaway.
          "Those are the charges," acknowledged the officer, "yes indeed,"
          Only Michael Berkowitz was somberly quiet. His mind sulked in despair as the escorting soldier led him away in handcuffs. His mind was swirling to find some escape to salvage his life. He had immensely blundered through an arrogant tongue, and he was determined not to repeat a mistake, especially not a tragic one.
          A general stood next to Doctor Sam Workman. "You're a hero today sir."
          Sam smiled knowing that once you removed the Hydra's head, many more would pop up, "Yes for today."
          "We will, of course, sacrifice our leaders so the system will continue," the general continued. "It was a shocking revelation to hear the utter contempt and hypocrisy of those who were supposed to be our noble shepherds."
          "Of course if they knew that the events were being broadcast to the entire population of Earth live they may have seasoned their tongues a little," spoke Doctor Sam Workman.
          "You acted rather bravely sir," remarked the soldier.
          "Thanks to Uncle Louie," said the scientist with a smile.
          "With one brown eye and one blue eye?" pondered the general, "it is an odd combination."
          "Uncle Louie referred to Lucky Louie," explained Sam Workman. "In college whenever we got together to play poker, and somebody would win by a bluff we would call them Uncle Louie."
          "Then you knew all along the computer wasn't going to blow up the nuclear power plant?"

          Sam Workman gave a grand smile.
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