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Joseph Armstead
“The darkness of death is like the evening twilight; it makes all objects appear more lovely to the dying.” --- Jean Paul Richter, 1763-1825
Recent Activity
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No One Knows My Words by Joseph Armstead (heartbeat in sync with the arrythmic tick of the clock) Perception... ...clarity... ...cinematography... [This is the resultant of inductively defined recursive data where non-aligned codification specifies a list of strings to be either empty or part of a structure that contains a string and a list of strings, self-referential, gramatically limited to positive integers in a syntax such as Backus-Naur form to conclude in a sum of two expressions.] elucidation definition abstraction deconstruction summation [For a tree "t" consisting of a pair of a values "v" and a list of forest data... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2014 at This Strange Fruit
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The Compression of a Snowflake by Joseph Armstead Don't worry why things happen the way they do. Worry that the things that happen are part of a larger random conspiracy. No, this is not a sign of encroaching madness. It is evidence of Chaos Theory run amok... It is the compression of a snowflake between Perhaps and Almost. Time is crystalline chaos, a scattershot thing of vast planes and twisted edges, all radical metaphor and ruined mathematic conceptualization drizzled like syrup over a colossal spider's web, ephemeral as smoke on a breeze and yet steely hard, and it weaves through... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2013 at This Strange Fruit
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It Gets Darker, My Child by Joseph Armstead I see... a translation of retinal stimuli, making assumptions and drawing conclusions from incomplete data, seeing is believing. particles of electromagnetic energy traveling in photonic packets across the measurable wavelength spectrum capturing images, pictures a cognitive interpretation, observing Truth in neural transducement, frozen moments in Time, lies and history, dream and illusion, Order and Chaos at Eternal War, all caught between the invisible infrared and the invisible ultraviolet The light from the sun does not illuminate. Truth is hidden. Everything is masked. I see... the colors bleed like cheap dye as their... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2013 at This Strange Fruit
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And Fearless, Surrender Nothing to Death by Joseph Armstead The grinding metallic growl and stacatto clacking from the aging gears of a truck barreling down the street outside provides a moment's distraction from staring into the depths of the shifting shadows, a thirsty vortex swallowing the bulk of my wary attention, as I peer into the far corner of the tiny room. Chaotic piecemeal memories of ash and cinder dust mix with the aroma of old nightmares and secret shame riding the billowing winter's wind; all bleach-scented ice and the water from dead oceans. The thing, that strange, foreboding, amorphous... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2013 at This Strange Fruit
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Only the Ugly Know How to Tell Beautiful Lies by Joseph Armstead The moon is a crescent, like a scimitar, waiting to open a beautiful wound. ... Mammon abides, langorous and reptilian, the seductive darkness of her streets, like the velvet lining of a leather glove clutching the handle of a smoking gun ... He smells the dryness of the rust adorning the skeletal remains of the fallen Towers of Commerce, an metallic aroma of miserly reminiscences filtered through the simmering anger of past hostility, and he adjusts the apertures of his night-vision goggles to allow more light to flow... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2012 at This Strange Fruit
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Villainous Saints in the Hausdorff Dimension by Joseph Armstead Madonna with wounded flesh, her aloneness squeezes life from her ...sometimes she cries... It is an euclidean invariance. The door slams shut and the gunshot sound reverberates down the shadowed hallway, moebius strip enclosure, as pounding footsteps retreat back behind closed doors. Surprises abound, unexpected ferocity, betrayal of trust, as the tears fall, each a silvery-clad town crier and harlequin for a soul wounded by the inevitabilities of Life together, encumbered, enmeshed: stress/frustration/encroaching age/dead dreams, sliding down the warm, membranous surface of her face, --- ill-defined irregular subsets of a greater... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2012 at This Strange Fruit
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Sorrow in the Harsh Winds of the Trapezium by Joseph Armstead I thought of you and my spirit spiralled skyward... higher than the wind... beyond the highest mountain's top... beyond the most distant wisp of cloudcover... beyond the moon's serene and lonely orbit... ...away... Infrared light brings no heat to the polar iciness of the Void. A desert of dry clouds, invisibly irridescent, gather in the ocean of dark matter enveloping the ghostly cluster of brilliance at the blazing heart of a ruined and ancient sun. Arcs and bubbles formed by stellar winds glow as they collide with the strangeness... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2012 at This Strange Fruit
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Born As Scorpions, We Slew the Oracle by Joseph Armstead As one, the Choir speaks, many voices possessed by a single thought, proclaiming from behind bronze masks of Olympian faces frozen in a tragedic grimace: "We have seen. We have felt. This we know, this shall we do..." Waking, inhaling sulfur and sand from off the face of a rock, cast off from a shattered ruin, a fortress in the desert sands, the rock hard and unforgiving, made from crazy angles and sharp edges, our unblinking eyes quickly focus on a dry diaspora, an arid cosmos, made of minutia, an... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2012 at This Strange Fruit
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********************************************************************************************************************* Triskaidecagonally (Mushin No Shin) by Joseph Armstead Like the wind, it passes over you and ruffles your fur... This is not how it should be. It is the artificial methodology of dissected grammar in perpetual disarticulation, a projection for which the range "U" and the null space "V" are orthogonal subspaces. Act, react, intuit, absent of discursive thought and judgment, flawless execution of practiced motion, forgetful of all techniques, a still pond clearly reflecting the inverted imagery of the moon and trees There are no wolves in the forest, but you hear the echoes of their howling: infinite recursion... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2012 at This Strange Fruit
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The Night Season By Joseph Armstead Stare into the shadows and gloom And curse the endless chatter Of your restless, unquiet mind. In Purgatory, a proud heart, abandoned in Perdition, still beats. A single, courageous soul stands firm and withers not ‘gainst the fearsome and the foul. A solitary ray of brilliant light, the last fallen warrior, unintentional hero and reluctant rebel, braves the darkness of the eternal pit and journey’s ever onward, searching… The time is not yet come to sleep. Close not your tired eyes. In Purgatory, a flower dares blossom. Trapped and caged, the lone bloom, an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2012 at This Strange Fruit
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Tropic of Luciverium, or Notes On Topological Pattern Complexity and Sand-Demons on Horseback by Joseph Armstead I don't like to travel. As it was once written in a proverb, "It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive." ...forbidden character input rejected by device interface: invalid substitution, entry truncated, sync attempt incomplete... A forty-five minute mass transit train ride spent in agony sitting next to a young woman journalling in her internet blog, bitterly cursing all the while about her job and her boyfriend, via an App on her sleek and wedge-shaped fifth-generation mobile phone, ends with disembarking at the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2012 at This Strange Fruit
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Icicles Like Fangs in the Devil's Smile by Joseph Armstead Something between us is broken. It is too much like music video imagery, surrealism and cinematic cliche, commercialized dreaming, watching a silhouette solemnly play piano atop the ice of a frozen lake, against the backdrop of endless winter, and yet there is Truth in it, a plaintive statement of isolation, elegiacized and romanticized, pomp and perniciousness, but robbed of the excitement from any hint of scandal, a scotch advertisement depicting a dandified Lord Byron holding a gun, striking a James Bond pose... The words are not coming out right. The... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2011 at This Strange Fruit
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To Gethsemane Do We Devils March by Joseph Armstead As I pass the headstones in the cemetery I think of rain falling on the meadow over the hill and the flash of light off the drops speckling the fenders of my bicycle are rhinestones; I am a child in transition, a thumbtack on the corkboard of Realities, wading through water soaked grass down a trail through a silent necropolis... To Gethsemane do we Devils March. In the heart of the labyrinth, howling wind erases my voice, music of the spheres cast in case-hardened steel, set upon the double-cut teeth of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2011 at This Strange Fruit
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Strangling Eagles By Joseph Armstead Astride the Towers of Reason, suffocating in the clouds most high, We're the lightning that drives the heartbeats of the Angels who kill things too beautiful to eat; How sharper than a lion's tooth, more savage than a rhino's horn, More faithless than a motel romance, Slicker than a thief picking pockets, We few standing breathless in the rarified atmosphere sing "Glory hallelujah!", our voices masked by the roar of the Beasts at our feet. We'll give you the black symphony of broken love and willful lies, rumours of a faded postcard Heaven where miracles... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2011 at This Strange Fruit
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Fire Drawn To A Bloom by Joseph Armstead the crash is electric, burning invisibly in an ocean of coolness ...majesty and fury... ...nature and physics... and the scent of burnt copper on the howling wind dances a tango with the fragrance from an autumn blossom Awakened from her dark dreaming, the Lady Fair draws a breath, tasting the Real, inhaling the detritus of Time, and gathers courage to face the tempest. an angel disguised as a butterfly alights on the bloom, the stalk bounces, bending from the ephemeral weight ...seeing, seeking... ...tasting, feeling... and the storm fans petal and wing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2011 at This Strange Fruit
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Dragon Fruit and Blood Spice by Joseph Armstead The wolf coughs, its muzzle wrinkling like the onset of wisdom on an old man's forehead, but actually more like the cocking of the slide on a gun, and it breathes in a scent from the shadows: The darkness smells like pepper and sizzling honey. The feral beast feels the wind fanning the hairs on the fur along its sides and it knows that this is the touch of its Master, the caress of its Maker, and the canine hunter's primal mind erupts with the sensations and feelings of a dream of... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2011 at This Strange Fruit
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In Tongues by Joseph Armstead Voices raised, our words, streaking through the air between us like meteors afire, burn, leaving sizzling contrails in the demilitarized zone of space separating you and me, the inarticulate screechings of angry primates, primitive speach insufficient to properly render and define the true complexity of this picture of our fractured reality. We speak and it is the diary of a monster blinded by moonlight, an atonal opera relating a tragedy of errors, a tale told in sonic booms wrapped in the last sigh, burning cold, of a dying flower. So incomplete and yet so decidedly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at This Strange Fruit
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The Tears of Nebuchadnezzar by Joseph Armstead Our kings are bedraped in robes of vermin. The seeds our Forefathers sowed sprout, birthing a parade of steel bulls, metal maniacs driven by psychosis, loosed from neon cages, pent-up and escaped from slaughterhouse concentration camps before a televised audience, hypnotized and narcotized by digitalized imagery projected in 1080p resolution. Should you care? This is the music of stones falling, pirates and braggarts, swingers and saints, this is the aria of a homicidal serenade, the din, the cacophony of a colossal storm passing... Like liquid razors, these are the tears of Nebuchadnezzar. Children,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2011 at This Strange Fruit
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Nightblind In the Season of Lights by Joseph Armstead The lustre of the glittering jewelry of revelry, necklace of lights adorning the tender throat of a hapless mid-winter's season of distress and desperation, dulls as viscous tears falling unbidden from her reddened eyes slide across their liquid pearlescence. She cannot see past the welling waters of her abandonment. Image courtesy of Dreamstime Photographic Stock: "Portrait of Crying Girl" by Ingadudkina (Inga Dudkina), dreamstime_14028740.jpg ***************************************************************************************************************************************************** Portrait in Urban Debris by Joseph Armstead A car horn bleats and you look up, seeing only mechanical motion, no details. Grinding your teeth, you look... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2010 at This Strange Fruit
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They Smile With Stiletto Eyes by Joseph Armstead something twisted and brittle grows imperiously under the burning glare from a distant dying sun crippled souls swimming orange panoramic skies, open and vast, the high frontier streaked with thin purple scars and elongated, julienned cuts of flashing metallic azure, the bloom reaches towards the ruins of Heaven in the perfume of its rosy musk, the voices of ghosts... They smile with stiletto eyes at tomorrow. Dialogue: Her -- "It's the sound of the telephone, don't you see, that electronic bleating, that sudden, startling interruption of your thoughts, its the absence of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at This Strange Fruit
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South of Eternity by Joseph Armstead The journey begins with a single sob, choking back the hysteria of surrender under Reality's relentless assault. The castle in the clouds drops like a stone and shatters on the stony face of the arid plain. Hope plummets, gravity's slave, tears float on polluted air. The dreamer wakes, alarmed... There are times when the Great Machine that moves the Cosmos coughs and shudders, gears grinding to a momentary halt, as something unexpected gets caught in the intermeshing teeth of Causality --- (clickety-clack, snicker-snack, the machine heart in the belly of the beast skips a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at This Strange Fruit
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Between Darkness and Pittsburgh by Joseph Armstead The voice on the radio debates the worst of the day's news with a ranting idiot while I drive through an icy evening's rainstorm and I can still taste this morning's coffee on my dry inarticulate tongue. The interstate stretches onward ahead of me in lengthening shadow, like a rubber band pulled too far, too tight, all wound up and, like a serpent, ready to strike. Her face is in the back of my mind, haunting me from an unfinished dream, and the sound of the windshield wiper blades across the cracked glass... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2010 at This Strange Fruit
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Kneeling Before Anubis, Lazarus Wept by Joseph Armstead (whisper) Atop the Temple of the Sun, bathed in radiant gold, starlight blasts away our masks... i.) Kissing the Eyes of the Dead midnight oxygen flows to earth, littered with dessicated pumpkin seeds and the fading remnants of communal nightmares, haunting the City Primeval, we dance a jingly-jangly foxtrot across oil-stained, debris-strewn streets, not daring to look one another in the eyes, never catch our taffy-pulled, Francisco de Goya-esque reflections in the windows to someone else's soul --- it is a brittle kindness, it is a neurotic's etiquette --- wanting, lusting, desiring,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2010 at This Strange Fruit
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The Nightview Motel by Joseph Armstead Moonlight gleams, cool and bright, falling like silvery rain through the smog-stained clouds, dusting the streets with stardust, and a coal-black car, vintage 1975, rumbles into the asphalt parking lot, old and fierce, like a weary dinosaur lumbering into the dragons' graveyard, and inside the lobby of the ramshackle, beaten-down motel, under the glare of flickering fluorescent lights, the motel's Night Manager looks up from his television and awaits the next guest to sign in. Muffled voices drift like ghosts from behind the closed doors to rooms rented by the hour, squalid temporary sanctuaries... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2010 at This Strange Fruit
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Bleeding Dissonance Razor-sharp blades of moonlight rip past the slats of a venetian blind, eyelid to dirty decrepitude on the face of a brick monolith, stained by fingerprints in the accumulated dust of neglect and abandonment while a car horn bleats so loud, so piercing, so explosive, yet so expressively small, ringing in angry impatience over the sounds of coarse voices raised in bitter disagreement about a passing moment's trivial inconvenience it is a music of hurt: the sonorousness of acrimony Nightfall brings no release from the nervous energy of the teeming anthill, These are the sounds the bells make... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2010 at This Strange Fruit