Wild Geese know the season but do you, Mary Oliver?

April 2, 2015

Hand-crafted notes from an adulterous generation no. 2
[Flash Fiction]

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

“The American poetess, Mary Oliver, inspired Freddie by her poem, Wild Geese. He wrestled with it like Jacob wrestled with the angel…”

A heavy tear slid down Martha’s cheek, she paused and took a sip of water from a stainless steel bottle.

Martha looked over to the open casket with a black glossy piano finish. Her handsome brother lay peacefully with death. He had a face that reminded everyone of superman. It was the strong, square jaw.

“I remember the day Freddie first heard Oliver’s poem. Another student had read it in his junior year high school AP English class. He came home wildly excited. He could not praise the poem enough at dinner and then he read it – defiantly, enthusiastically, and proudly.”

Martha smiled and Freddie’s ex-husband, Roy Saul, sighed loudly in the front row as he removed his buffalo-hide, long coat.

Martha reminded Roy of Freddie. She and Freddie had the same dark brows and lashes. And full lips.

If only Martha were a man. He would go down on her…

Martha continued speaking.

“Some say Oliver’s words transformed Freddie. Or put him under an enchantment.

Not all at once. The apparent transformation from the outgoing, gorgeous, varsity jock that had nailed three prom queens to the soft-spoken, sensitive book worm and monkish lily gardener would unfold in due time. Freddie’s transformation, however, happened much later. By greater words than the words of a poet.”

Sitting two rows back from Roy, Louis Cohen, Freddie’s neighbor, a prayer warrior and Messianic Jew, gave a loud Hallelujah. He wore a pin on the lapel of his black suit jacket. “Repent” was written in silver.

“Freddie’s journey, however, was a long and dark journey. I can tell you this because we were very close. He shared everything in his heart with me. Just as I shared my heart with him.”

“That’s why I have to remember Freddie and share him with you as he is. For Freddy has not abandoned us and we shall see Freddie again. In glory and with a crown.”

Roy interrupted Martha with a loud, enthusiastic voice.

“Freddie was handsome, stylish, intelligent, funny, charming and well endowed!”

Martha was not going to let Roy dominate the moment…

“Yes, Freddie was all that. And you’ll get a chance to share your memory with us after I have spoken, Roy.

But Freddie was also lonely. He felt rejected. He had lost trust in people. Freddie had lived in a place of fear, sorrow, despair, anger, grudge and hate.”

“If he had taken the Xanax and Valium I used to deal to him, he would have felt so much better,” shouted Roy from his pew.

Roy stood up – slender, ripped and glorious in his custom-fitted white suit. He turned to the friends and family sitting behind him.

“Freddie wanted to go clean. Whatever that means, right? Honestly, it didn’t help him.

‘Clean’ made Freddie morbid and serious. How boring is that!”

“And that’s why you cheated on him and broke his heart,” Martha asked Roy.

“That’s why you had brought six lovers (on different occassions) into the same bedroom that you shared with Freddie – thinking that Freddie wouldn’t come in from the garden and find you taking pleasure with someone else.

Or if he did (which he did) that it wouldn’t break his heart.

As if he didn’t long for true things, for true love and for your goodness.

Or will you say that Freddie is not entitled to these things? That none are entitled?”
Roy turned around. He was almost embarrassed by Rachel’s public accusation and sat down.
What the fuck does she know about things. She’s not gay. She doesn’t know how we feel.
Roy turned possible replies to Martha over in his mind.

Martha was not going to have the last word on things. She didn’t know shit. She lost her husband to another woman. She had stage three breast cancer and two kids with heroine addictions. What the fuck did Martha know about anything!

… 

Tears streamed from Martha’s blue eyes.

“We’re here to honor our Freddie and share our love for him.

And to love Freddie is to want to know him.”

Looking around, Roy’s eyes locked with the eyes of another man who sat across the aisle from him – a hot, new date. Roy felt excited, warm and tingely in all the right places.

Martha continued.

“Freddy walked in darkness for most of his life. He walked in dry places where there was no rest.”

Martha’s tears increased.

“However, Freddy was transformed and he found freedom at last – a peace and joy which I am…

… still trying to understand.

Freddie discovered that life was more than him. That it was more than himself. That freedom was being free from him. From his unending search for self-pleasure and self-amusement.

Freddie had discovered that his hunger, loneliness and pain could be healed by God. When he lived out the word of God. And, expeditiously, by being a gift. For we are made wonderfully. By helping others do good. Helping them to be good.”

Martha had difficulty speaking.

“When I was driving Freddie to the hospital…

and he was bleeding all over the car.

He put his hand over my right hand as it lay on the steering wheel.

He. Said.

He. Was. Happy.

Because. Finally. Finally. HE. WAS. GOOD.

Jesus. Had. Justified. Him. And. Made. Him. Righteous.”

Martha was quiet for a moment. She took a deep breath.
“And then Freddie closed his eyes as he recited his reply to Mary Oliver.

And this is what he said.

Before he died in my arms – on the shoulder of I95…

‘Wild Geese know the season but do you?

You do not have to be good;
you do not have to be made complete and know joy
and to receive God’s blessing.
You can be a tare – torn, cursed, worn and thirsting,
cursing the day you were born;
blasphemies rolling off of your swelling tongue.
Meanwhile, the stars still rejoice –
each was counted and named.

You can be fiercely free, flung,
undone, like glowing coals, hurling, burning brightly
and bearing down, angrily,
equally upon neighbor, lover, enemy,
family, even stranger
for little birds have made wicked nests in your heart.
Meanwhile, the Leviathan
shakes his square beard with laughter.

You made them yours, your flesh, who you are, set apart,
these fiery darts – like treasure.
Precious. As powerful as any addiction.
… 
Rebellion and rejection,
pride, prejudice and self-seeking pleasure?! Repent!
Repent. The Kingdom is near.

Where are the mighty buffalo?
Where, the buffalo hunters?
The bee and the butterfly?!
Were their gods but idols too?
Nearer. Now, in fact. Hereto.
Due are the rents, praise, thanks and living sacrifice.
Notice rolls down like thunder.

Meanwhile the whole world shudders
with shame for the lawless things;
the hearts of men grow colder
while their hands profit evil.
No moon lit garden, no goose,
no mossy rock nor shall poetry
redeem our depravity.

finis


Stan Faryna

2 April 2015
Fairfax, Virginia


The Prodigal Daughter

September 12, 2013

The Prodigal Daughter

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Cold Play, Atlas

Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.
Luke 21:10-12
“What do you think of the novel I lent you? Exodus?”
“It’s naive. To put it kindly,” answered the black bearded man.
“I remember how it was before the walls came down. Before we came to America. Your mother, she never forgot what it was like to live under a dark spirit of lies, slander and accusation.
She never forgot the fear, ambition and terror of the party members. Oh how our neighbors and colleagues proudly wore their red star. They wore the sign of their fallen master like a badge of courage! Yet they lacked any courage. They lacked chests.
Here, we are again.

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

Now there is a good book!

C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

Have you read it?”

“What,” Sarah thoughtlessly replied.
Sarah unhappily sipped on her iced venti caramel latte. She glanced at her candy apple red iPad. 6 new email.
She glanced at the first email.
DHS Sector 3 Battalion 3 Nimrod Protocol
Does he check out?

As she reviewed email on her iPad 3, Sarah fidgeted with the key to her company car – a sleek BMW X6.
The key to her car was a source of decisive inspiration for her- especially her lucky key ring charm. A black cat of Swarovski crystals.
She so loved how it sparkled!
Sarah was working things out in her head.
How do I get him to understand, she wondered to herself.
The christians must be stopped before they start a civil war. They needed to be detained. The radicals. The Christians that believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was supposedly resurrected and who will supposedly come again.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah noticed a tall, dark and handsome man nod to her from a nearby table. He looked like Apollo – the god of war. He was hot.
“You’re hot”, he texted to her.
She texted back.
Me too! I think so too. Here’s my number. Call me, maybe. 😛
“I’ll carry your world…” he texted back.

Sarah rolled her eyes and winked at Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Then she slid a button forward on the side of her iPad and the monitor became a mirror. She checked her look and smiled. Her azure blue lip gloss was killer. Dangerous. Sexy. Forbidden Fruit.
I am that hot… she replied with a grin.

The black bearded man lit a hand-rolled cigarette. The smoke was fragrant. Notes of anise and chocolate reminded her of childhood and Sundays. Sarah played with a lock of her black hair and impatiently turned her attention back to the suspect.
 …
“But don’t you see – it’s prophetic. Christians can’t be trusted. They’re the problem. They’re standing in the way of progress. The Christian threat to our nation’s peace and security can not be ignored.
The Christians – they want to swallow us up and force our culture to fit their vision. They have no right to protest against the will of the State. The will of progress!
They must be rounded up,” she blurted out.
The facts and, obviously, the final solution was incontrovertible. He’d get it, she hoped.
She sucked on her latte and savored the sweet caramel.
“Prophecy belongs to the Lord. False prophecy, on the other hand is the territory of demons,” the man replied, interrupting Sarah’s thoughts.
“Who is trying to swallow who? Who is trying to force who’s culture to fit who’s vision?
Why are the intellectuals being rounded up? Why men and women of conscience and moral character?
You know; they did that in the old country. But the Communists could not contain the human heart.
Because the human heart longs for God, for forever, and deliverance!
The human spirit hungers for the beautiful, the good and the true. It cries out for deliverance from evil…”
Sarah rolled her eyes.
There he goes again, she thought to herself.
Yet another speech to the invisible but presumably doting Noble Prize committee.
The black bearded man paused and took a gulp of hot espresso. Then he continued.
“If I am the problem. If we are the problem…
Or if Christians are the problem and the problem is not the compromised wealth, dignity and welfare of the nation, then the so-called problem will be resolved in reconciliation, dialogue and love.
Your detention camps are not a solution.
They are the factories of evil, houses of horrors and, ultimately, a curse upon the nation!
Wars, unjust laws, and prolonged detentions – these are never the instruments of peace but our self-defeat. A defeat of our humanity. All of us.
These instruments of evil must be protested and deconstructed.”
Sarah expected a grand quote about now. It was a burden she had long ago become accustomed to suffer.
“I remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was during his mountain top speech when he had spoke these words.

Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.”

 …
“No!” Sarah replied.
“America is great, because we make it great.”
She was shocked and stunned by his outrageous, dissident and dangerous reply.
Professor Celan was a lost cause, she thought to herself.
“Don’t tell me you’ve converted to Christianity!?” she exclaimed.
In her pocket, she secretly texted her office. It was automatic, practiced, unapologetic, professional…
Pick up the dissident.
The GPS location and street address for that Starbucks store was included with her text message. A white van was dispatched and would arrive at the destination in five minutes.
“No, no. I remain a Jew but I will stand by my Christian brother and sister,” he replied with a gentle, warm smile.
“We are, all of us, members of the same human family. One family.
of all the words I have asked you to reflect upon, remember these words.
Because these words may unlock your heart. Not today but someday. These words will help deliver you from hate.
Chaplin spoke them in his film, The Great Dictator.
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.”

Tears welled up in the blue eyes of the black bearded, Russian American immigrant. But through the salty tears, a light shone bright in the eyes of Paul Celan, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature and Professor of Poetry at Harvard’s School of Literature and History.

“Daddy?”

“I forgive you, Sarah. And before your friends come to detain me without reasonable cause or by due process of law, I want to bless you, my princess.”

The black bearded man stood up, raised his open hand and blessed his daughter with an ancient Jewish blessing.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace…”

What’s up with the Jesus freak? Want me to take care of that… texted Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.

Note: My attempts to write flash fiction are mostly inspired by John Magnet Bell of Start Your Novel. This particular foray into flash fiction was also inspired by the Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, Josh Wilner, Garland DeCourcy, Michael Jackson, Derek Prince, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Jack King.
More Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna
I’m a creepy, lonely man!?
The Greatest Show on Earth is on Andaman road
Get Lucky
Stan Faryna
12 September 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

The Corsair: What is Love?

March 26, 2013

The Corsair: What is Love?

Episode One 

 

Author’s Notes:

I rewrote episode one. The protagonist needed a better introduction due to the complex Whovian backstory. 

Phil Collins, In The Air Tonight

Mark of the Time Agents known as the Corsair's Horoscope

Through binoculars, Tauran watched the slender brunette crouching on her hanches in front of a nine year old girl. She was buttoning the girl’s coat. Then she gently squeezed the little girl’s nose, honked, and laughed. The little girl laughed with her and threw her arms around the woman’s neck. Stacie hugged her back.

Releasing the girl, she stood up and looked around. A yellow school bus pulled up and the child climbed aboard. Stacie waved good bye.

He wondered what the relationship was between Stacie and the girl and he wondered why this was a Friday ritual. This was the third time he had observed this scene.

Perhaps, Stacie had met the girl on one of her adventures and bonded with her. Perhaps, Stacie had selected the girl as a recruit for the time agency. Just as Stacie had selected him, so long ago. He looked at the mark of the Corsair’s Horoscope on his huge forearm – the oddly thick snake swallowing it’s own tail. Read the rest of this entry »


The Corsair: Whovian Fan Fiction

March 1, 2013

The Corsair: Whovian-Zombie Fan Fiction, American-Gangnam style

Chapter One. Episode One. Zombies – oh my!

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

AC DC, Highway to Hell

“I want to do something amazing,” blurted Stacie as she shifted in the red leather arm chair and tugged on a lock of brown hair at the back of her head.
AC DC’s song, Highway to Hell, played in the background.
Stacie wore jeans, a white tee shirt, a pirate’s frock coat, and a Doctor Who scarf around her waist – like a sash. On the front of the tee shirt was a picture of Captain Picard’s face and there was text, There are FOUR LIGHTS!
there are four lights
“You do amazing things.”
“More amazing, mon Ange!”
“My heart is empty,” Stacie explained. “I want to do more! I need to serve….”
“Winnie-the-Pooh once said that sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart,” replied Az.  Read the rest of this entry »

Honor glitters greatest in the human heart: P2 Graphic Novelette

November 20, 2012

Honor glitters greatest in the human heart…

A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

by Stan Faryna and Brandy Hupperich Renfroe

Thanks also to Madalina Cristea for her work on the designs for the Omega honors.

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OMEGA GUILD FILE no. 0maa200912

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Queen, We Are The Champions

Glimpses of the Previous Episode:
All that Glitters is not Gold

All that glitters - A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

All that glitters - A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

All that glitters - A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

Part Two

Emma Frost on stage

Emma Frost Quotes Abraham Lincoln

Emma Frost speaks about human ambition

Colossus speaks about Omega Guild's Honorees

Omega Guild's Guardian Honor

Captain America salutes the Guardians of Omega Guild

Omega Guild's Centurion Honor

Captain America salutes the Centurions of Omega Guild

Chuck Norris likes PVP in Marvel Avengers Alliance

Top 100 PVPers of Marvel Avengers Alliance

Emma Frost - Omega Poster Girl

Dr. Strange Recruitment Poster

…..

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This graphic novellete is a fan generated, non-commercial and creative exercise in player generated content for Disney-Playdom’s game, Marvel Avenger’s Alliance.

The characters (Storm, DeadPool, Phoenix, Tony Stark, Cyclops, Nick Fury, and Captain America) are the property of Marvel-Disney.

You can play this free game here, join the Omega Guild Facebook Group, or subscribe to The Hero School Review – if you already play.

About the creatives

Brandy Hupperich Renfroe

Brandy Hupperich Renfroe is a wife, mama, graphic designer and cake baker extraordinaire. She loves dogs and has a huge crush on Thor.

Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is a daddy, online strategist, entrepreneur, design wonk, and techno bohemian. Stan is currently working on a science fiction novel about the end of the world and everything else.

You can read some of Stan’s epic story here: https://stanfaryna.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/the-heart-of-a-hero


All that Glitters : A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

November 10, 2012

All that Glitters is not Gold

A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

by Stan Faryna and Brandy Hupperich Renfroe

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OMEGA GUILD FILE no. 0maa110912

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Rihanna, Diamonds

All that glitters - A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette Read the rest of this entry »


WTD: someone very special for my online stalker

April 24, 2012

WTD: someone very special for my online stalker

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

“Why won’t you reply to my emails?”

Fuck Off!

“Don’t use that language with me.”

Oh – Grow up! What else can I say to you to make you stop? If I say, fuck, a million times, maybe you’ll stop.

Maybe, you’ll finally get it. You’re raping me emotionally. Stop means STOP! Stop sending me fucking emails!

Bette Midler, The Wind Beneath My Wings

Read the rest of this entry »