A Sad Truth

Some sell their security to the highest bidder
Purchased for fleeting favor,
Evaporated by the inherent insincerity of money,
When there are those who offer a lifelong deposit of love


New Fiction by Michael Ray King


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The Continuing Adventures of …

There come times in our lives when we need to be saved from ourselves. These times tend to be rare when thought about in terms of actual minutes and seconds. Our overall body of work remains forever comprised of working off of the decisions we make in life.

Our legacies, our reputations, our character, all get defined by the hours, days, weeks, months and years we spend working toward something. Most of the time, we don’t have a rat’s chance in hell of even knowing what we work toward.

We place labels and stories and mystique around our journeys in life but in the end, its all a crapshoot. We target something, too often anything, and we run our various flags up the pole touting what we stand for.

When we believe we know, that’s when we’re most vulnerable. When we believe we know, that’s when we make our most major mistakes. When we believe with every fiber of our soul we stand in the limelight of trouble and destruction. Like when I knew I loved her so deeply nothing could ruin my world.

Except her leaving…

Our Own Brand of Crazy

Our Own Brand of Crazy…Just Sayin’

Each of us possess our own brand of crazy. That inner insanity which causes us to whack out. We don’t know why. We don’t know how. We like to think we control this phenomenon but when the beast raises its head, we give over to the absurd.

Absurd only in that we don’t understand ourselves and why we’re driven to this internal place where we feel out of control. Some of us find a lot of success in hiding it or denying it or no acknowledging the intruder even exists. The toughest times we ever seem to go through spring from this stranger exerting his/her influence over our decision making.

Billy Joel wrote about the Stranger. He related the Stranger to relationships, which appears as the breeding ground most of us experience. The Stranger pops up in so many areas of our lives though. Work. Education. Self-esteem. Self-confidence. Self-awareness.

I know this writing comes across quite abstract but isn’t that the nature of the Stranger? When we make up our mind to deal with the Stranger, invariably we do not exert much control. In fact, we give over most often to the Stranger out of fear. We know something is “wrong” with us. We just want whatever it is to go away.

We steel ourselves to decisions which steer us from facing some of the cold, deep truths within us. Only the bravest give battle and dig and delve into what can only be defined as our own brand of crazy. This place within us does not acknowledge reason and logic unless these things serve its manic purposes.

Ultimately, we make decisions based on insanity. This isn’t just you and me. This is everyone. The entire human race. The flavors of each of our Strangers has been written and sung throughout the history of man. As a collective unit, mankind stands as one great psycho-lab. Look at what is going on around us. Do you think you’re immune?

Since we suppress our inner Stranger most of the time, our most effective weapon is denial. Denial the Stranger exists within us and then denial that the Stranger can exist as quite the self-destructive, malevolent entity. We will make drastic, life-changing decisions based on something we cannot fully explore.

Too bad. There’s loads of discovery on the trek to exploration. Funny how we are all on this journey of life and coming up with all kinds of answers. Most work to externalize and blame or give credit to outside experiences. Some dive inward into many forms of spiritualism. We all truly cannot define nor tie down the key, root truth as to who this Stranger is and what motivates the Stranger.

Our own brand of crazy. Many go mad, at least mad as most of us define madness. They do things which cause us to internally jump back in alarm. We see the manifestation of others’ dealings with the Stranger. Most often, we react in horror and a million other emotions when faced with another human being falling prey to their own resident loon.

There’s quite a number of us who spar often with our Stranger. We’re typically labeled “creative artists.” We do not deaden ourselves to our inner crazy, we actually explore pieces, snippets, and dark voices. We walk the moors of our internal chaos, observing, capturing, and placing the results into the world for everyone to see.

None of us grasp the whole. The entire morass. If we did (or possibly do) we go mad. In our modern world, we’ve developed more ways to avoid our own brand of crazy than at any time in history. All our gadgets and whizbangs and glitter and noise only serve to distance each of us from our truths.

Unfortunately, this type of suppression and denial only leads to pressure-cooker conditions which then lead to bizarre decisions based on feelings and motivations we cannot fathom. We give over to stupidity or folly, even in the face of knowing we’d be better off taking the course of challenge and growth.

Did you ever wonder why “control” is so important to humans? Could it be that we’re frustrated because we cannot control our own brand of crazy? Please don’t look for answers here, at least over-arching, life-figuring-out answers. But do consider this: maybe, just maybe, when your inner crazy, Stranger, brand-of-crazy-persona takes over your life, remember you may choose defiance. You may choose a level of control.

This calls for making decisions counter to an emotional, ruthless tsunami which threatens to engulf everything you are if you don’t flee. Maybe, just maybe, standing your ground and making your own decision to pursue a different path from the one on which you’re being swept away is the best course of action.

In the end of life, we’re defined by our ability to maneuver through our own brand of crazy. We each have it. Each of our brands of crazy is different. We can be similar but in the end, we each are unique. This is both the crown and the curse of life.

Thus I acknowledge this day, a partial glimpse of my own brand of crazy. Adjusting to another’s brand of crazy determines our relationship with them. Like Billy Joel said, one day that Stranger will kick you right between the eyes. I say its more than a “one-day” kick, it’s lifelong.

Fight for your best choices in the moments dealing with your personal brand of crazy. Don’t base these decisions on anyone outside of you. Their Stranger will kick you right between the eyes for sure. You will either be brave when faced with what many call our “internal demons,” or you’ll do what humans do most of the time – you’ll duel with the Stranger in a defeatist manner.

You’ll even acknowledge the happiest days of your life and walk away from them, simply because you cannot understand your personal demon. The daring choice is to fight. When faced with walking away from the happiest days of your life because your own brand of crazy is on the fritz, muster your courage and go for happiness. Ultimately, this would be why happiness is a choice – one we far too often ignore.

Lol! My own brand of crazy this morning? I got an email at 4:44 with the title line, “Go Write.” Accessing crazy for the moment complete…


Tattooed Heart

Tattooed Heart

Smoke and dust and ash and debris and sorrow and pain and anger

Residue throughout the heart
Clean-up an act unfathomable
Existence a stretch
Hope a mocking concept

Dim light which flickers cluttered, hollowed halls
Reveal poison ink soaking the soul
Portrait etched deep into eternity’s grasp
Undying love with nowhere to go

There, perched in resplendent Princess glory
Mocking life and its labored breath
Never to fade into time’s forgetfulness
Forever carved, forever bleeding, forever loved

Every moment, memories flood
Every moment, anguish, the loss
Every moment, a torture to breathe
Every moment, acid tears fail to wash away the stamp

No recovery from wounds so deep
No recovery on any horizon
Simply endless love left engraved
Stranded. Encased. Nowhere to go…


A Reason to Breathe


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A Reason to Breathe

The Look
The Laugh
The Smile
The Wit
The Aura
The Style
The Walk
The Kiss
The Hands
The hands which supposedly meant something – together

The Lie
The self-deception
The pattern before two sets of averted eyes
Neither acknowledging history repeats itself

Averted because the love was real
Until the pattern returned and slowly engulfed
The pattern which only one pair of eyes examines
While the other moves on to the next dead end matrix

A reason to breathe
Always wiser to come from within
To root from within
To blossom from within
To soar from within

Maelstrom wreckage
Deep inside mangled debris
Observations of the sources of missile launches
Aimed and detonated from trumped up lies parading as reality
All to support the pattern
A wan smile, painful in its truth
Debilitating in its sadness
Creeps a slow path to a long recovery
Turns the anguish aside with knowledge
The truth that when calculations become the determination of love
The reciprocity once believed existed
Flutters as silent ashes to smoldering scorched-earth soul landscapes

In that smile of recognition
In that glimpse of truth
A smile not of joy, not of derision, not of vengeance, possibly more of sadness
Births life.

A reason to breathe
Born from recognition of strength from previous ashes
A smile born of joy and exhileration
Born of revitalizing life-support
Carried to higher health by artificial means
Fantasies that the support was everything
That the support gave life
Only to learn the evocative truth – it only served as transition

A giclée representing a soaring work of art
False in its representation
True in is mimic of truth
A beautiful adornment
Only but a ghost of the truth of its conception

When the support gets turned off
It’s revealed in all its cold splendor
It’s false hope
It’s valued service
It’s innate inability to truly feel
To truly accept love
Most important its lack of ability to invest itself in love
Its existence dependent upon money and maintenance

A reason to breathe jerks reality into existence
Detonates all one believed as truth
Opens up a world of invigoration
A world of pain
A world of heartbreak
A world of dashed dreams
Yet a world of magnificent future
Magnificent opportunity
Magnificent vibrancy
All unknown while unconscious
Even though the dreams felt real

A reason to breathe always stems from discovering a will to live

The wan smile?

Let the search begin – from within – reason enough for now


My Abuser


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My Abuser

I fought my demons every day
Negative self-image she’d always say
In words and deeds, emotionally splayed
But now I stand and face my abuser

My strengths they grow by leaps and bounds
Each time I put antagonism down
I walk away from the evil sound
I distance myself from my abuser

The taunts and trials of warped mentality
The hateful skew of her reality
The attempts at my emotional fatality
All fade as I escape my abuser

For until I saw her ugly head
I’d left my soul for gone and dead
I’d live each day in mortal dread
Of my abuser

Clarity forms and happiness grows
My love may flourish in cultivated rows
Within my heart which truly knows
I need fear not my abuser

She’s nothing now but a sad sick being
Who in her sickness, she’s short of seeing,
How many lovely lives she’s bleeding
By simply existing as an abuser

My path begins where now I choose
I know aspiration will never lose
As long as I embrace my truths
And release the pains from my abuser

As the sun comes up I love the day
As nighttime falls I dance and sway
Joy abounds in my life in each new way
Now that I know the sickness of my abuser

I acknowledge no more her stranglehold
I’ll live my life and truth be told
I stand this day, say proudly bold
She exists no longer as my abuser

Days become soft and gentle again
I see myself a stronger man
I claim my place in love’s strong hand
The fetters dissolve…and I smile…again


Did I love you well this day?
Could my words find better paths?
When you think of me do you smile?
Did I love you well this day?

Did I hear you well this day?
Could my ears engulf the beating of your heart?
When I listen do you smile?
Did I hear you well this day?

Did I touch you well this day?
Could my kiss land more love?
When we cuddle do you smile?
Did I touch you well today?

May I love you well in this life?
May we walk our journey together?
May we think of one another fondly?
May we know our hearts as one?
May we listen to each other’s smile?
May we kiss eternity into existence?
May we clasp ourselves together?
May our lives stroll into a singular sunset?
May we discover our peace together?
May we know our ultimate question?

Did I love you well this day?

One Day…

One Day

A young boy dreams of being a hero
The one absent in his youth
The one rampant in books, on screens,
Running wild throughout imaginations

So he dedicates his life to goodness
To love
To nurture, compassion, dedication
But he’s never good enough for her

He becomes irrelevant
The story plays the same
Heroes fail
Tattered dreams litter a life worth sharing

A young boy lives in the man
Ever anxious to conquer apathy
Disbelief, underappreciation,
While weariness collects in his bones

Dreams of being loved crumble
Sculpted castles in the sands of time
He cannot be the next shiny thing every day
Tears bleed his soul, silent searing salt trails dig at aging cheeks

As time washes him away, he yet dreams of being a hero
The one present in this life
The one who loved true and well
That he may rest one day in the legacy of a life well lived

For he owns a love worth sharing…

The Locker


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The Locker

Folded neat in that special place
the place where you dream
the place where you quietly, gently unpack your love
the place where you wistfully view moments, past and future
Lie the heart and soul of your desires
the desire for hope
the desire for love
the desire for romance where lips meet in passion, caresses last a lifetime
Too much covered by dust and neglect, begging questions
why am I unworthy?
what have I done to deserve brokenness?
am I that unlovable?
Yet emotional hands demand the locker remain open to reveal your life
the desire for special moments
the need for intimate connections
the pain of not knowing why dreams elude you
When smiles arrive, too many lie distant from the present
the passion from eyes so sparkled
the nights and days of romantic embrace
the timeless sensuality of togetherness enjoyed
So you unfold hope
the one tattered and torn by doubt and neglect
the one that gives life, though little supports its canvas
the one which moves you forward despite all evidence
And you wonder at your inner strength
that capacity for deep and caring love
that dogged belief your dreams stand viable, achievable, despite scant proof
that ability to right yourself under the impending disaster of inevitability
You cry a little
for love that could be so perfect
for peace that could quell all demons
for intimacy that could fuel your life for eternity
And you see revelations
your worth stands undervalued
your love lies underused
your stalwart dedication falls underappreciated

You rededicate yourself
to strength and support
to love and its power to affect change
to living each day in the confidence of your direction
So you pack it all back in with gentle fingers
for each day your needs find fulfillment
for each day your love wins
for each day intimacy finds its bloom
And you always place the tattered hope in last
which covers all your fears and doubts
which touches all your dreams and desires
which lends strength to overcome weariness and disillusionment
To revitalize, despite the sense of emptiness in your locker
because you believe in yourself
because you know love will win
because without that threadbare parcel of hope, you would join the apathetic, downtrodden, hardened souls of this world, who never to find their heart’s desire, never to know that amazing caress, kiss, quiet expression of love from another

And you close the lid with a soft sigh 
knowing you must love yourself
knowing you chase a phantom
looking forward to the big reveal that your locker indeed held the treasure of a lifetime

To begin your day with love…


What We Need to Hear


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Short contemplation here on an aspect of creativity for those of us who step out into the world of potential disaster. No, really. Isn’t this the manner in which we often look at what we do?

Not all the time, I get that. When we’re in the throes of creative passion, our work becomes larger than life on a scale which sometimes threatens to devour us. We thrill in the process of giving ourselves to our passion. We don’t merely have sex with our writing, we make love to it, and when we REALLY give ourselves over, we make love with our creativity.

But what about those other times? What about the steps we walk, the mundania we suffer and the doubts and fears which threaten to overwhelm and consume us. I’m sure every creative person struggles at some level outside their internal “zone of creative passion.”

I woke this day to the thought of what it means to create something from nothing. To place your potential livelihood into the nebulous hands of your chaotic inner muses. To live at times daily with reality biting pieces of your heart and brain leaving you with a muddled mess of insecurities and fears.

At some point, you must decide to either play at creativity part time or commit. Who has commitment issues? Just because you commit to full-time creativity endeavor will by no means chase your demons away. In fact, too often this position awakens beasts within which you never understood nor ever desired to face.

A couple great things happened to me in the midst of a gestalt-creative-fear-meltdown this day. One, the love of my life and fuel for my heart communicated love for me in a most non-blatant, even ultra-subtle manner in which she would have to stop and examine simply to understand how deeply and desperately I needed that show of affection.

At times this condition of fear and inner questioning becomes so debilitating and so ridiculous that if anyone were inside my emotional ball of chaos they would certify me nuts. But one innocuous, mundane, basic beyond belief show of love and commitment can take a meltdown to a blog post and a re-energizing of creative passion and confidence.

Combine that incident with three other positive notions and my jet engines roar and I feel hope once again. I stumbled through the Facebook Desert, locked to my bedsheets in dread and foreclosure on my foundational creativity, and tripped across this podcast by James Wedmore:

This cuts to the core of my desire in promoting writing. This strikes to the very heart of my strength, my love, my soul, my purpose.

Next, a dear writer friend, Mary Rogers-Grantham posted this quote from Anne Rice: “To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.”

These two items were enough to get feet on the floor and action behind my mind. Then My Princess called. We truly didn’t exchange mushy romantic pillow talk. She wanted to find time for us to be together. In a nutshell, she let me know she desired my physical presence in her life. I’m important to her.

She loves me.

Hence these keystrokes. But this should not stop here as some cutesy little story about restored hope and motivation. My truth stands as this – the abject responsibility to be able to rally myself cannot depend solely on others. As creative artists, we must work through our angst, our fear, our terror, our despair, our waning confidence diving like a meteor crashing into the surface of the atmospherically challenged moon, and somehow, someway, become self-sufficient in our own quirky way.

That stated, surrounding yourself with people who love and support you often helps you find that connection to viability, motivation, and courage. We need to care far less about what others think of us and our creative endeavors and care exponentially more about what we think of who we are and what we desire to accomplish in our lives.

I don’t tend to ponder blog posts. I puke them out, just as I encourage writers to puke out their books. I may go back over this writing a time or two in an effort to catch typos and to see if the words make any sense, but for the most part, the writing will always remain raw, right off the fingertips of my heart.

My dear, dear friend Ayesha gave me that encouragement years ago. She told me she loved the power of my raw writing. This comes from one of the most incredible writers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. She handed me a compliment which concerned my most beloved aspect of writing, the pure words. She validated me, but more importantly, her kindness helped me validate myself.

So, now I’ve meandered all about and amazingly, the title I placed on this post before I wrote a word remains valid. What we need to hear, yes indeed, are the encouragements of others, but if we never take that encouragement the next step and hear our own deepest inner voices speak the very same words to our souls, we will remain awash in our own destruction.

What we need to hear as creative artists is our own voice validate our efforts and speak love over what we choose to motivate ourselves to create. I vehemently recommend you search for truth within and make something of that truth in everything you do. Don’t do it for money. Don’t do it for others. Hear your voice of creativity in your heart, nurture this gift, and boldly present your expression to the world – not for the world’s approval, but for yourself and the connection which might help someone else sharing life with you on this planet.

Hear yourself honestly say that you believe in yourself. That’s what we need to hear. We won’t always hear that voice proclaim this. Too much of our creativity comes from the negatives of this life. When you question yourself and your worth, however, this is the time to parade that stalwart voice which foundationally either stands tall or crumbles.

Others will help you get there. This day I’ve listed four. Ultimately though, you will have to decide to forage for that inner voice of personal validation. Strive for that. Search for your core strength. Find what you need to hear. Others may echo this voice and remind you, but this voice will ultimately be your own. Cultivate your inner belief in yourself.

Hear what you need most to hear.