Stories of Who We Are and How We Eat
Throughout history, humans have struggled to find sustenance in an uncaring world while maintaining their basic humanity. These are the questions of who we are and how we eat. The forms of each have changed in the shifting sands of time, but the search itself has proven to be a staple of our greater imaginings. So now, separated by thousands of years from our more primitive ancestors, those who laid the foundations for this modern world, who have we become? And how have we come to eat? This collection of short stories portrays one man’s take on the answers to these questions, with each tale contributing its own unique brushstroke to the picture.
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Beginnings and Endings: Part One
An All Too Human Selection
A Puzzling Piece
Beginnings and Endings: Part Two
Excerpt from “Preface”
But as weeks became months, and months turned into years, little drops of reality began to seep through the widening cracks of my fractured sanity, making it more difficult to maintain the delusions. I surmounted this obstacle at first by liberal additions to my nightly quota of vodka; but, eventually, even the alcohol was not enough, and that seed, first sown by a girl in my college days, began to bloom. I started down a course of highs and lows, nights where I climbed back to the heights of my delusions, and days where I wallowed in the self pity of my unrealized potential, all fueled by the increasingly erratic delusions and the desire to escape the looming reality of just how pathetic I had become.
Excerpt from “Beginnings and Endings: Part One”
With a low growl, Otrok tears at the meat. As he chews the morsel, he wonders if it would not have been better to have already died, to have been killed back in the forest, to be beyond the fear and dread these men inspire in him. But these thoughts do not run far. He is an animal, and, to an animal, there is no fate worse than death. To live, regardless of the cost, regardless of what you have to trade in return, is an imperative above which Otrok cannot rise. It is in his blood.
* * *
Scenes from the Death of My Romantic Youth
From the author of “Stories of Who We Are and How We Eat” comes a poetry collection that will plunge its readers into the depths of the youthful loss of romantic idealism. Julien Haller begins with his own tale of struggle for meaning and purpose in this modern world, and then explores each facet of the journey in deftly woven verse. The poetic themes range from coming-of-age pains to the hope for tomorrow, and from the disappointment of failure to the search for a light at the end of this very dark tunnel; however, in each piece there exists subtle bridges narrowing the gap between all the others, built of the beauty of the written word.
Preaching to a New Choir
The Binding Watch
The Unknown Yous
A Song for the Three Parts Dead
Bitter the Soft Fruit
Can I Be?
Poetry of the Universe
The Lack Thereof
The Ubermensch’s Herald
The Quaint and Musty Artist
Ode to a Musician
The Telltale Heart
The Still Frame
To Become Who You Are
Tides of Change
Poème de Crescenza
The Death of My Romantic Youth
Adventures on the Sea
The Wind at Our Backs
Excerpt from “Preface”
It is funny how the little and insignificant accidents of life can, when strung together in the right order, or played out against the right context, form an intricate web from which there is no escape. Along blindfolded paths they build and they pile, they race and they rush, until the fuse burns down to the creamy nitroglycerin center, and everything you thought you knew implodes in one earth shattering moment. It is then that all those insignificant events, all those meaningless steps through which you had drifted half asleep, hardly remembering, they come back to you as shrapnel from the blast, burying themselves in your cerebral cortex, now twice as real as when you first lived them.
Excerpt from “The Death of My Romantic Youth”
So with no other recourse to break
This mundane cycle which traps me
In its vortex of nauseating existence,
I photoshop the lies of fantasy
Upon the portrait of my life.
They shine light on the dark hours,
Make crisp and bring into sharp focus
All the little trinkets salvaged
From my wasted and broken dreams,
From my inert memory to be remade
In the image of my imagined glory.
But it is the shadow of reality,
Those inevitable ink stains
Upon all we create in hubris,
That makes plain and inescapable
The death of my romantic youth
I live in these, my remaining days.