Sunday, January 29, 2012

Xenomorphine Table of Literary Content

FROM "Xenomorphine (The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book2)"
To be released 12/12/12.
(Order will change prior to print, based on art design and development; current draft order of content. Concepts copyright 2012 artemis sere.) 

Step4: Orientation
  1. Tulsa
  2. Xenomorphous Laws
  3. How To Enslave (A Nation)
  4. The Day the Darkness Died
  5. Deadlines
  6. Alive in the Land of Xs
  7. Doublecross
  8. Push-ups
  9. Woe the Road
  10. Gnomonocle
  11. Single File
  12. Cartographical Heart
  13. Victim of a Faulty Grading System
  14. The Topography of Descent
  15. Zatara
  16. Pick One
  17. Synthetic Hope
  18. Redirecting Route
  19. The Spindizzy
  20. Slideroads
  21. Back to Basics
  22. Classassination
  23. Lessen Plans
  24. Follow or Fall
  25. Scapegoat Branding
  26. Inquisition
Step5: A Union of Storms
  1. Deadweather
  2. The Tornado Within
  3. Wastelaid
  4. Fellshelter
  5. Count The Coming Thunder
  6. The Siren's Serenade
  7. Static Skies and Erratic Reasons Why
  8. Intersection
  9. Discharge
  10. To the Ruin of Us
  11. Into the I
  12. Turbulent Entities
  13. Blown Away
  14. Falling Up
  15. Sturmaz
  16. The Red Spot
  17. Supercells and Salty Hells
  18. X
  19. Sound and Fury
  20. That's Why We Hold Hands
  21. A Matter of Degrees
  22. Duck and Cover
  23. Flood Insurance
  24. Deluge Tunage
  25. Debris
  26. The Grand Unification
Step6: Six Martyr Place
  1. Beyond the False Door
  2. Lost Vegas
  3. Old Dreams and Grounded Hopes
  4. I'm Sorry, I Got the Sherpa Drunk
  5. Astor
  6. Become (the Enemy)
  7. Sermonella Poisoning
  8. Obscurious Burning
  9. The Wake of Days
  10. Poor You
  11. Most Wicked Diction
  12. And Your Little Dog Too
  13. Arachnation
  14. Shades Drawn
  15. End Without End
  16. Mio Piacere
  17. Echoes of the Empty Hallways
  18. Patient Antithesis
  19. Junkie Shakes
  20. Theo(ry)logy
  21. The Golden Fool
  22. Dimmer Switch
  23. Redemptive Spike
  24. The Tattered Ends
  25. These Walls Bleed
  26. Faithfallen

Thursday, January 12, 2012

epilogue (from "Xenomorphine")

can it be 
the fall
is what we required
all along
blackened bloodied
bruised are we,
taught through
toughened muscle
and pectoral strain to
relay all traces
of entropy
and atrophy
and the fast fade
of we--
built to battle
but not to win
our loss true
our fail destined,
blurred and blinded
gypsies in the fog,
we, the builders of this
chiseled epilogue
can it be
the pain
is what we predicted
all wrong
cracked fragments
unfit are we,
taut through
difficult struggle
and dire strain to
feign all traces
of empathy
and charity
and the true shade
of we—
built to bleed
but not to clot
our hope spilling
our path plot
crossed and bitter
shadows in the fog,
we, the guides of this
severe epilogue
can it be
the end
is what we admired
all along
divisive villains
disavowed are we,
tract through
mortal troubles
and terrible vices to
hide all traces
of humility
and unity
and the tangled threads
of we---
built to stand
but not to last
our fate decided
our mold cast,
lost and isolated
walkers in the fog,
we, the scribers of this
desolate epilogue

tellit (from Artemis Sere's "Obscurious")

after all of it
what have you gained?
it's a zero sum game
where we win one frame,
lose the next, yet
reality is shameful
in this empty world
the voices have silenced
mostly, the interested parties
have scattered to other caves
based what you stand for,
and who you are

so tell me
who you are
detailing who
broke your heart
in two,
so tell me
who you are
when the light falls
hollow is all we know
now, so tell me
the truth, if you can,
even if it was never
part of the master plan,
for free is what I need
to be me
so tell me

beneath manicured exteriors
and protective threads
you're just a nucleus of fraying layers
of tissue both alive and dead
so tell the truth and blend it well
or recess from view, and fade further
into your silent hell

why do you
need the voices
when the standard
is loneliness
and abandon

so tell me
who you are
detailing who
broke your heart
in two,
so tell me
who you are
when the light falls
hollow is all we know
now, so tell me
the truth, if you can,
even if it was never
part of the master plan,
for free is what I need
to be me
so tell me

astor (from Artemis Sere's "Xenomorphine")

this place
stinks of atrophy
and darker days,
skeletal structures
swept dry by swill rain
and howling winds,
allowed to rot
alone and forgotten,
lessened yet strong
tall yet sullen
silent yet

the walls
bleed with stain
and the pain of
offering wide shelter
to the wayward, and
solace to dark shadows
with flapping wings
that stalk the dripping
floors and peeling

the dead walk free,
frolicking in the outer mist
where hope has gone

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

artemis flux

It began with a message from a cute girl, wondering if I was still around. She had visited my profile and was interested in chatting, even though I had abandoned the site months ago. So, I rejoined and responded to her inquiry, with renewed hope and excitement and vigor for that dating space. 

It took three messages before she had moved on, and the conversation became quietly over, a feeble spark that never took to flame. Hope breathed for a spell, until the spell wore off.

And now I'm back, having paid for another month.  I don't usually hit dating sites during this time of year.  The common patterns of people in the Midwest seem to be mostly hibernational. Dating and devoting time to maintaining relationships is difficult during a season that sometimes won't let you even step outside. So, for four months out of the year, the passive/aggressive people of this place recess into cozy homes and checked-out lives for much of the winter. 

But I am now a year older and I seem to have eclipsed into a different age bracket in the dating system.  The available options for a secular SWM seem to be dominated by kid-focused moms and emotionally-wrecked midlifecrisisers. For someone without roots, there's no natural connections to tap. I have no network. I have no "old friends". I am ether.

Artemis, in flux.

Last year, I was called superfluous and arrogant by two different women--one, who I once cared about deeply, but knows nothing about me now; and the other, a fast-moving star in my orbit who never got to know me.  Yet, those words still eat away at me and reverberate in my heart, with edges that cause thousands of little cuts.  My Dad would tell me to "consider the source", and my friend Dan would suggest "that it's in the past, and I should let it go". 

How does one do that?  How does one simply forget? I put no effort into hanging on, but I am still haunted by my past. It would stand to reason that the only thorough way to overwrite the pain of the past is to reset the present, but I seem to be caught in a continuous loop of relationship failure.  I can't make it work.  I haven't been able to make it work in over a decade now.  It's been so long since I've had a stable and meaningful relationship with another woman, that I don't even remember what it's like. 

And even now, when things in my life are going in a very positive direction, I can't seem to reconcile why it hasn't worked for me. It is a riddle that I cannot solve, a lock that I cannot pick. I am baffled at my bad luck, driven batty by my inability to connect at a stronger level with someone.

I'm tired of metaphors. I'm drained by the drama and disheartening turns, and driven to sadness by a problem that I can't project an answer for.  These days, my world is amix with the fibers of heavy fabric, strands of disassociated hopes and dreams that won't pass to dust.  Caught in the cardinal tug of the person I should've been, and the person that I ended up being, I can't seem to cut loose to just be.

I am still around. The flesh anyway. Everything else seems to change with these bitter winds.

I'm thinking I should hibernate too.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Paper Faith

Tim Tebow set a Twitter record. I read the headline, but I have no interest in the article. People want to believe in him. Hell, people have to believe in something. If soldiers aren't dominating a prone and lesser enemy, at least have a QB find his way to ironic dominance.

Who are we? What is our identity now?  Santorum preaches ultraconservative, God-must-rule-your-days bullshit. Obama appeases and displeases with every action.  Romney is a Mormon, and fully believes that you should have as many wives as pets (truly, no one should have more than one wife; the contrary is circular madness). Our leaders use faith for paper profit, spin a doomfilled future as much as any dimestore prophet.  America is the land of the spin, home of the crave.

What myth do you believe in?  The myth of perfect.  The myth of ownership.  The myth of governorship.

The myth of money.

We all have our sucker punch, the thing that hits us in the gut, brutal and foundational.  It determines us.  Undermines us.  Belies the evolution of us.

Faith looks good on paper, but in the final accounting, the myth seems too powerful and distractive. What happened to the faith in humanity, above all else? What happened to the confirmation of this race, the empowerment of the living?

Why do we check our responsibility and control to the hands of someone that has no power over our day to day operations? Regardless of all the pulp fiction and pulpit diction, there is no proof.  There is no answer.  There is no truth but human.

Choose your side. The words were created to push you to one.  Or the other.  Unless you're discerning enough to search for the correct questions. 

Don't give in to the flimsy.  You are the answer.  And the question.

We don't need pulp to guide us; we need us to strain the pulp.

Be the strainer. Stronger. Firmer. 

More porous than pious. 

The less we retain, the more human we remain.

Artemis Sere's Top Twenty "Albums" of 2011

Everyone's got an opnion when it comes to music. I am no expert, but I listen to a wide variety of stuff. I'll tell you what: this was an awesome year for music. If you've tracked my social world, you probably think I'm a "metalhead" or a "rocker" or one of those heavy labels. Truly, my tastes ebb and flow based on the product and the production. The Twin Cities' Hip-Hoppers Doomtree and Dessa are again prominent in my list, representing a bit of a departure for me. But, their work is undeniably rich, layered and real. I gravitate towards those kinds of acts. Real, raw, rugged. The soundtrack to edge of darkness and failure and collapse, with whispers of hope. Or not.

 I don't listen to the radio. I stopped listening to any kind of radio years ago. I research my musical interests on the internet through articles, blogs, recommendations and social connections with people that have great taste, or are slaves to the industry. You won't find much on this list that exists on radio; you probably won't find much that is represented on VH1 or MTV or any format that you have access to. I'm not saying that from the perspective of an elitist, as if my music is better than yours--quite the contrary; I'm just offering you guidance on where to find this music. You probably won't be able to run to Target or Wal-Mart for most of these.

But I implore you to check them out. This is a global collection of artists that I am deeply proud of. My list last year was clear-cut and easy to determine: Cyanotic's "Medication Generation" was the shit, with Dessa, Pendulum, and Morcheeba in the mix. This year seemed far more difficult for me to determine my favorites, not due to LACK of favorites, but because so many of these albums on the list empowered me, mystified me, captured me, and helped me escape at many points throughout 2011. I feel like I will slight some artists by arranging the list the way I have, and tagging the number one for 2011 that I have. Part of me wants to be political and give points to some of the most popular players in the scene, to show you how participatory I am.

How agreeable I am. How like you, I am.

But I'm not like you, and this list reflects that. My primary genres are rock, metal, industrial, electronic, hip/hop or rap; I don't listen to country, and I try to keep up with the genres that I love. This is my list, filled with oddities and heartstrings and personal favorites, spanning a variety of styles. I enjoy learning about the world of music from my friends and family. It seems that I discover a new band every day, and value the exposure to music that I get from my Facebook connections and other social avenues around the globe.

So, without futher ado, here's my top 20 favorite albums for 2011, ranked last to first. Enjoy! I hope you give some of these a listen; if not, recommended some music my way by posting a video on my wall and exposing me to what you're listening to these days. Cheers! May 2012 be our best year yet! 8)

Artemis Sere's Top Twenty "Albums" of 2011 

(20) "New World March" (Haujobb)
Genre: Industrial
Why? Because it's dark and inventive and it creeps me out a bit. Atmospheric and fun.
Favorite Songs: "Dead Market", "Lost", "New World March"

(19) "Is This Hyperreal?" (Atari Teenage Riot)
Genre: Industrial, Politipunk 

Why? Their kinetic, crazy, psychopolitical powerpunk was sorely missed, even if their accents and sometimes-obscure lyrics can get a little grating. 
Favorite Songs: "Is This Hyperreal?", "Black Flags", "The Only Slight Glimmer of Hope" 

(18) "The Invisible Plan (EP)" (Kidneythieves) 
Genre: Hard Rock
Why? They're back and betterthan ever. If this was an LP, and not an EP, it would be ranked higher.
Favorite Songs: "Underneath", "The Invisible Plan"


(17) "Heritage" (Opeth)
Genre: Metal
Why? Grandfathered onto the list because they're Opeth, but I was frankly disappointed by the new album. It is an adventurous folkmetal experience, but far from the glory of their previous work.
Favorite Songs: "The Devil's Orchard"

(16) "Conditions of My Parole" (Puscifer)
Genre: Electronic rock
Why? It's a good album, but not one of Maynard's best products. Underwhelmed would be my feelings about it.
Favorite Songs: "Telling Ghosts", "Man Overboard", "Conditions of My Parole"

(15) "Th1rt3n" (Megadeth)
Genre: Metal
Why? The album does remind me of old-school Megadeth, around "Rust in Peace", but the songs aren't as powerful. Not a bad addition to the Megadeth collection, but not a startling rebirth of the metal juggernaut. Props to Dave Mustaine for keeping with the plan, afterall these years. Will see them on "Gigantour" in a few months.
Favorite Songs: "Thirteen", "Sudden Death", "Deadly Nightshade"

(14) "Caution" (Left Spine Down)
Genre: Industrial
Why? An interesting, intriguing hyperpop/industrial/punk mix, featuring Jeremy Inkel from Front Line Assembly and Noise Unit. Their last album "Fighting for Voltage" was brutal and aggressive; "Caution" is explorative and creative. |
Favorite Songs: "The Truth Is A Lie", "From Thirty to Zero", "Caution"

(13) "Until We Have Faces" (Red)
Genre: Rock
Why? Despite their evangelical ways, I still appreciate their musicianship. Unfortunately, every time I've seen them live, they've totally sucked, and the crowd was as exciting as Sunday School. My criticisms aside, they make great music and are polished artists.
Favorite Songs: "Faceless", "The Outside", "Feed The Machine"

(12) "Castor, The Twin" (Dessa)
Genre: ...Unsure. Adult Contemporary. Pop. Hip/hop.
Why? She's a powerful poet, an admirable songwriter and a brilliant artist. She has the talent and creativity to strike gold with almost anything she touches. Dessa will set her own limit in the industry; she has enough talent to be sickeningly dominant if she chose to be.
Favorite Songs: "The Chaconne", "Mineshaft II", "Alibi","The Beekeeper"

(11) "Sucker Punch Soundtrack"
Genre: Various, Industrial, Electronic, Classical, Rock
Why? Emily Browning's serenade, Skunk Anansie's power and Bjork's wail. And sexpot Carla Gugino. Absolutely loved the movie and the role the music played in its' story.
Favorite Songs: "Sweet Dreams", "Army of Me", "White Rabbit", "Search and Destroy"

(10) "We All Bleed" (Crossfade)
Genre: Rock
Why? I would bet that most fans of rock music remember Crossfade's anthem "So Cold", and perhaps some of their other early works. As with most bands that don't achieve multi-million dollar success, they faded into relative obscurity. They've screamed back with "We All Bleed", which is far and away the most interesting, powerful and complete Crossfade album to date. If there wasn't so much great competition this year, "We All Bleed" would be higher on the list.
Favorite Songs: "We All Bleed", "I Thought You Should Know", "Suffocate", "Dead Memories", "Prove You Wrong"

(9) "Blue Stahli" (Blue Stahli)
Genre: Electronic rock
Why? You've probably never heard of Blue Stahli, but heard his music in movie trailers and tv commercials. His first full-length album is filled with hits and slick tracks. Stahli is a highly-talented artist that should be tracked, as his music is common in the background static of our world.
Favorite Songs: "UltraNUMB", "Kill Me Every Time", "Scrape", "Give Me Everything You've Got", "Metamorphosis"

(8) "The Path of Totality" (Korn)
Genre: Metal/Dubstep
Why? Count me as a fan of the metal/dubstep crossover. I am also a big fan of remixes. Korn partnered with many alt-genred artists for "Path", and the result is a fresh scoop of Korn. "
Favorite Songs: "Narcissistic Cannibal", "Get Up!", "Bleeding Out", "Way Too Far", "Chaos Lives In Everything"

(7) "Sounds of a Playground Fading (plus remixes)" (In Fames)
Genre: Metal
Why? In Flames is smartly evolving their music to become less obscure death metal and more accessible to greater audiences. Their songwriting is crisp; their lyrics are tight; and their music now has strong electronic influences. They are still metal, but as demonstrated with their mix with Pendulum last year, they have the ability to be more than just a Cookie Monster metal band.
Favorite Songs: "Where The Dead Ships Dwell","Jester's Door","Deliver Us", "Liberation"

(6) "No Kings" (Doomtree) Genre: Hip/Hop
Why? They are a supergroup, a troupe of accomplished musicians with different roots and styles, complimentary and trendcool. I honestly don't spend much time in this genre,so I don't make a great Hip/hop critic. I just know they spins some sweet rhymes and can f'in BOUNCE.
Favorite Songs: "No Way", "Own Yours", "Team the Best Team","String Theory"

(5) "Atavist" (Otep)
Genre: Metal
Why? Otep is an artistic idol of mine. "Atavist" is the continuation in a long line of culture-challenging and redefining pieces of art developed by Otep Shamaya. It is powerful. It is loud. It is bitterly gorgeous, much like the lady herself.
Favorite Songs: "Remember to Forget", "We Dream Like Lions", "Not to Touch the Earth","Fists Fall", "Baby's Breath"

(4) "Volatile Times (IAMX)
Genre: Electronic rock
Why? Chris Corner is a creative genius. He continues to pump out awesome, beautiful and unique music with every release as IAMX. Formerly the frontman for Sneaker Pimps, Chris is a rare artist that can push the envelope and still retain a modicum of darkness and raw truth. The range of his talent seems endless.
Favorite Songs: "Volatile Times", "I Salute You Christopher", "Fire and Whispers", "Ghosts of Utopia"

(3) "The Unforgiving" (Within Temptation)
Genre: Hard rock
Why? "The Unforgiving" is a concept album that involves murder, revenge, death... all of the important stuff. It is based on a comic book series, and while I don't fully understand what the concept is, I can tell you with great certainty that the album rocks. Yes, I like just about every song on the album. Sharon Den Adel is a divine vocalist, and is showcased brilliantly throughout.
Favorite Songs: (every song on the album but "Iron" and "A Demon's Fate")

(2) "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two" (Beastie Boys)
Genre: Electronic, Hip/Hop
Why? Consider this the previous number one on my list; I went with "Unseen" because I really wanted to give "The Haunted" props for their continued great work. But that's no slight to the new Beastie Boys record, which blew me away, and still does to this day. In a case where someone has to be number one, I went with the ugly stepsister, instead of the neon-pop, clubthump and bop of the Beasties. I compare this album to Beck's "Guero", where every song seemed to explode with vibrant character and color with repeat listens. I've always been a Beastie Boys fan, but "Hot Sauce 2" validates why we've been on their side since they lost their "License to Ill".
 Favorite Songs: "Too Many Rappers", "Say It", "Crazy Ass Shit", "Here's A Little Something For Ya", "Ok"

(1) "Unseen" (The Haunted)
Genre: Metal
Why? The song "Done", plain and simple. My favorite song of the year, my anthem, my mantra, my past, present, future. A perfect song during a wildly imperfect year. "We're born free from the first breath to the last, and you should carry your head high..." The Haunted continues to be a top-level favorite of mine, and "Unseen" did nothing to change that. I haven't tagged a metal album as my number one in some time, and am proud to call this my favorite album of 2011.
Favorite Songs: "Done", "The Skull", "No Ghost", "Never Better", "Unseen", "All Ends Well", "Motionless"

Thanks again for reading. I look forward to your feedback.