Sunday, December 29, 2002

a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

No matter how high the castles we build,
Or the depth of the footprints we leave,
Soon after we have left all these behind,
They are swallowed by time's tides and seas.

Lost are the riches, the fame and the glory.
Forgotten are all names and all deeds,
With a few steady strokes of the clocks infinite hand,
All I am will be washed away clean.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

"Night Call"
by Michael Sherrillo

Tortured sounds fall upon anguished ears,
In misery I cover my head and weep.
Unable to stop the bleeding cry;
Devils dance while mortals sleep.
"Her Beauty"
by Michael Sherrillo

Her beauty sounds of Sirens lure,
Pulling my soul towards red stained rocks.
Unable to resist its pounding call,
I chain myself away from deaths docks.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

"Left Behind"
a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

Weighing the soul with invisible chains,
Long empty halls echo strange things.
Laughter and weeping, great joys and great shames,
So depressing, so sad, since no one remains.

Souls long departed, the still hallways call
Crying out, longing for their space to be full;
Though there is no one to hear them...
No one at all.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Life's Lesson #3491A
by Michael Sherrillo

Even the best, most mind blowing, amazing sex you can ever have can't even compare to the feelings you get just sitting next to someone you truly love and care about.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

Coffee forgotten, turning bitter and black.
Untouched, alone on the counter it sits.
The slam of the door long faded and gone.
Empty silence, piercing, no longer held back.

To bright, cold light gleams off tiles to clean.
And the high polished faucets reflect maliciously;
Void, and the bleak cup's sharp voiceless scream.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

"Power Nap"
a haiku, by Vance Tran

The dejected fall,
Sleep not to dream but forget,
Perk of depression...
"On Finding Joy"
a moment of Zen, by Michael Sherrillo

I firmly believe in each day stopping for a few moments outside, closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, and just absorbing a little bit of the world's beauty and warmth. You never know... on days colder and darker than these, you may be able to spread some of that beauty and warmth too others.
"The Season"
a Hallmarkian message, by Michael Sherrillo

We leave this world as empty of possessions as when we arrived... maybe even more so, since even our bodies are left behind. This should teach us what is really important in this world. Right now we are entering upon the time of harvest, for this is the season in which the fruit of our souls ripens and is shared. I firmly believe in the importance in gifts, but not as objects, rather as expressions through which we show our love, appreciation, respect, compassion, and empathy for those around us. Gift giving is more than the money the new Gap jeans put a person back, it's a symbol for what you mean to them, a physical expression of the inexpressible intangible emotions which we have for each other. This sharing is what binds us together as people, for it is truly a custom that crosses all cultures and countries. The act of giving is a universal one, it is something that can be understood and recognized no matter what religion you believe in or culture you have. The one thing that grows and changes in our lives, the one thing that matters, is our relationships with other people. This connectedness of humanity, this love, is truly the only and most important gift that we can ever give and receive, and the only one we take with us from this world when we depart from it.

This time of years tends to make me wax religious, so bear with me if this isn't your denominational taste. I firmly believe that when god said he made man in his own image, he wasn't referring to our physical nature. We need only look around to see the inherent differences in each other's appearance. I believe that god was referring to what was most important, the soul. God made the soul of man in his own image, and as we strive for a relationship with our fellow man, and we desire and hunger for that connectedness we have with close friends and family, so does god share that hunger to be with us. The human condition can be said to be a constant state of reaching out, each in their own way, and so is god eternally reaching to us. To often we get caught up in the dogmatic practices of each particular faith. God becomes less of a real being with feelings, desires, and emotions, and more like a scale to which our actions shall be judged on. But god isn't really about religion... god is about relationships. It's about the relationship we have with our creator that matters most. And the relationships we have with each other that reflect this. Make sure that you plant through the year what it is you truly wish to harvest during this season, both in this world and the next. Invest in what really matters, and reach out to all those around you... you'll be suprised at who you find reaching back. =) ~Happy Holidays! (and Festivus for the rest-iv-us)

Monday, December 09, 2002

"Why I Could Never Be Gay" or, "Why I Understand Lesbianism"
a musing, by Michael Sherrillo

Humor. A very normal and essential part of human nature, to laugh, and love laughing. And why shouldn't we? Haven't myriad studies been conducted on the health benefits of a jolly guffaw, or the biochemical endorphins and relaxing drugs released into our bodies with every twitter? Of course, so my frustration lies not in the problems of humor, but rather in what subjects it is that we tend to find humorous. Let me illustrate... there is a quite room filled with people, everyone concentrating on his or her tasks. Suddenly, punctuating the silence, someone farts. Many a disgusted look will appear on the faces of those nearby, even before the odor, if any, arrives. But if careful attention is played, you will notice on almost every male face a slight snicker, the hidden attempt to not smile or laugh. Maybe this is a genetic trait carried by our genes, but ever sine our first days in preschool, to the male gender, farts, burps, and other bodily noises have been an endless reservoir of untapped potential humor. The male fascination in the disgusting extends on into adult life to include bathroom jokes, sexual puns, limericks that would make a sailor blush, and other entries into the physically repulsive. I cannot even count the number of times I've seen men intentionally fart on others, burp in their friends or girlfriends faces, and run away laughing hysterically. Unfortunately this trait seems dominant in our whole gender, as statistically accurate as any other number pulled out of... well you know, can be, I'd estimate approximately 30% of men actually participate in these crude instances. While 90% percent of men laugh at them and find them funny.

Now, I think, in a non-homosexual context, that the male figure can be very attractive. (Though sexual organs of either gender I believe are rather repulsive looking) I can understand how many great Greek statues and sculptors have shown great examples of mans physical perfection immortalized in stone, bronze, and marble. I also know now why so many of them don't have heads, or are only of the upper torso. Because this perfect model which the sculptor was using probably spent the whole time standing their farting and burping! I can only imagine what a laughing stock of Athens the artist would be if with perfect proportions, lean and slender form, high forehead, godlike nose, chiseled chin, arching cheekbones... and mouth half open and grinning frozen as he passed the time trying to burp the alphabit, an imaginary belch of noxious fumes ripping forever silently through the museums air. This is probably half the reason I like girls so much (ther other being hopefully obvious). I’ve never had a girlfriend who while studying with friends would run over, moon me, and fart in my face, and scamper away giggling (I've had all to many male friends however who have [BUSTER!]). I'll never understand how men can like other men. Maybe as friends this kind of behavior is acceptable... but as a boyfriend? How romantic… after a beer he emits a loud belch and then would call me over for a kiss... my gag reflex is instantly triggered by the very though. This is also why lesbians make so much since... if you consider their crude habits and personalities (or rather lack their of), there really isn’t all that much attractive about guys in the first place! If women didn’t need us to make offspring, our whole gender would have died off eons ago! The Amazons had the right idea, though I thinks it's a good thing men were in control so the movement didn't spread too much or I wouldn't even be here! And for all you straight girls... I am so very sorry. I'm sure you know what rude obnoxious creations us men can be. And I have that much more respect for you for putting up with it, for our species sake. Though I now know why you always silently hope for a little girl. And frankly, so do I.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Erm... Correction
an informative post by Vance Tran

Due to the design change, the message board link is on the right...
The Messageboard Situation
a administrative post by Vance Tran

Due to popular demand (an e-mail from one reader... hey, that's fairly popular for this *hush-hush*, "underground" site, um... yeah....), a UEF Messageboard(TM) has been added. I haven't used it yet, but I think you have to sign up for an account. I'll post some more info and a permanant link over there on the left-hand-side of the page later. Have fun. Go nuts.

United Elbows of Fury - The Messageboard...

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

"What it is to be Male"
a observational rant, by Michael Sherrillo

I've had a revelation recently, it all stemmed from very simple observation; Guys smell. Now, as I recently found out, this isn't a secret, but at the time I didn't know. I should explain by saying that I live on a guy’s floor in a dorm. And as I walked down the hall recently to my room, my nose was assaulted by the most noxious and repulsive mix of body odors I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. I at first though someone had broken a sink bomb on our floor, only to find it was really the stink bomb of manhood. You see, I had always know on some level that in certain specific scenarios guys smell bad, as a high school athlete, I couldn't help but be mugged by the odors of the locker room on a daily basis. But I had no idea that this was actually the general state of maleness. While in college, I now try to avoid other guy’s rooms because I found very odd and disturbing odors wafting out their doorways. But it seems that recently, an "open door" policy has began, as most of the guys now leave their doors open for most of the day as they and their roommate’s go in and out. This may make the area friendlier as we tend to talk, mix, and mingle more, it makes the hallway a venerable war zone of nasal nastiness as each rooms distinctive and uniquely putrid aromas likewise mix and mingle till they gain strength in numbers and begin to duke it out against the now 3 month unchanged glade plug-in which was our halls first, last, and only line of defence
Upon complaining of this unholy situation to many of my female friends, they matter-of-factly responded, "Of course, it's a guys hall." I couldn't help but have my chin drop. Apparently I was the only one bothered by this recent development. The fact that guy’s smell was not the secret that we males seem to pretend it is. Every day we shower (though you couldn't tell by the smell of it), soap, shave, aftershave, and just generally pretty ourselves up... all in some vain dual lived Clark Kent/superman situation where we hope that the secret identity of our stinky selves will be kept secret from those we try to get closest to. When actually, they've know about our second nature all along! Oh, the twisted webs we weave... you may wonder why smelly guys bother me, since I am a guy. Well, because there are a few of us who actually care and spend a little bit of effort trying not to smell, we haven't given our nasal system the chance to build up an immunity to the stinging breath of Satan you call B.O. My window is always open, fan on, and scented candles at the ready to ensure that my room smells as much like a fresh ocean breeze as possible. So, because of my consideration for any visitors, friends, and other hall mates, I have to hold my breath as I sprint from the doorway, eyes watering, to the relative safety of my little slice of home and hope that I don't accidentally take a breath and pass out on the way. I wonder now how girls make it in our halls and rooms as frequently as they do, and I have a hypothesis whereby they coat themselves in a smell-protective feminine bubble of peach body lotion and designer perfume, which acts as a temporary shield/filter which makes our otherwise fatal atmosphere breathable. Tests are currently being conducted to verify.

Friday, October 25, 2002

"On Death and Morning"
a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

Sunlight sprouts on hilltops far.
Growing, it reaches for the sky,
Giving birth unto the dawn.
Lighting early mornings night.

Pushing forth it's golden head,
this brillant sliver ignites the sky.
Smoking clouds now burn bright red,
and in the silent fire, die.

Ashes now, floating high,
Are all of the night which do remain.
As the newborn sun, on it's blue playground,
begins it's journey across the day.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

"Lock 'n Key"
a random though, by Michael Sherrillo

You've entered the lock of my heart.
I now only await the sweet turn of your kiss,
To see if true love's doors will open.
"Above Me"
a short story, by Michael Sherrillo

High above me you sit, like a princess from a storybook. Even from below, I can see you beauty, blinded at first by it's force, thinking I'd gazed mistakenly up at the sun. Then, slowly you come into focus, framed up there against the bright sky and drifting clouds. I blink once, twice to make sure my eyes arn't decieving me. Each closing, the few seconds you spend out of my sight, seem to last far to long; and still your there. Details begin to come into focus, hair, the color and texture of cornsilk, being swept back by the hight softly blowing breeze. The way you seem to radiate a light of your own, skin softly glowing with beauty. Eye's, even from here I can tell how captivating they are. They are not the type eyes you merely look at, these are the eyes you fall into, lost and drowning in their and depths, only to be resurrected by their passion and honesty. If true beauty lay in the soul, then for the first time in my life, I believe I have seen somthing truly beautiful. I can only reach up in a futil gesture, wishing you gaze could see me, down here, so very far below. But even if you were here next to me, a part of me knows that I could never truly touch where you exist. The look on your face, I know that we are two lonly travelers of the same sort, each passing through life, hoping to find that one thing which we can cling to, to anchor our wandering souls as we drift on the currents of time. Could you ever see me... somehow I think not, I am just a passing shadow in your eyes. To be worthy of you glance, I need more than just to love you. A glass slipper, a slayed dragon, or a perfect kiss while you sleep; these are the tokens which should win you. You deserve a knight, a prince, a hero... not me. I have no greater desire than to spend the rest of my life, standing in this very spot seeing you. But, like the fading changing beauty of seasons passing, so do you anwser some silent call, and all to quickly vanish from view. I stand for a while longer, just gazing up at the spot where you once were. Maybe minuets, maybe hours, time left long ago, but as the shadows grew long and the wind grew brisk, I felt the tug of the world calling me back. So, pulling my coat a little tighter against the twilight's chill, I turned away, and without looking back, walked on. Only to late would I feel the sensation of being watched, longed for, of being silently called. But before I could turn back, I knew it was gone. Had I looked, I would only have seen the slight sway of a curtain falling back into place. As I walked, I could almost see the building and the single lit window on it's top floor slowy shrinking and fading from view, until I finally turned a last corner, and they were gone behind me forever. The current of time pulled on, and each of us, wandering, lost, drifting, and alone... were swallowed by the darkness of the encroaching night.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

"On Birthdays"
a thought, by Michael Sherrillo

We only age in retrospect.

Monday, October 21, 2002

"Flight or Folly"
a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

So fast, while never seeming fast enough.
So quick, but feeling so slow.
My heart can't decide, it races and stop,
At the very sight of you.

Like a bird, trying to take off on a lake;
Wings beating as we quickly gain speed.
The spark I see in your eyes, has jump into my life,
And igniting, set my spirit aflame.

Faster and faster, we speed down our course,
Will we crash, or will our hearts join and soar free?
You make me smile, and laugh like a child,
With you, I feel I can be me.

With a destiney unknown, and a fate which awaits,
We purposefully spread open our wings.
Since you've entered my life, all these new feelings have arrived,
As you've opend your heart to me.

Without any final care, we lift into the air,
As love sets our souls free.

"First Morning"
a haiku, by Michael Sherillo

First thing this morning,
Before I opened my eyes,
You were on my mind.

And the night before,
While I drifted into sleep,
My last thought's of you.

What you mean to me,
What you touch has created;
So frighting, so new.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

You say a million sweet and cute things.
You mean them with all of your heart.
But I never seem to do the same for you,
I never can find the right way to start.

How can I find words to describe,
All the amazing parts of you I see?
It's like trying to tell a man born blind,
Of beauty as the sun sets into the sea.

The warmth of your soul,
The soft touch of your laugh,
Or the way your presence
Sweeps me off of my feet?
I cannot imagine any possible words,
Expressing what it is in you I see.

Maybe because, in my heart I'm afraid
These feelings might not be returned or recieved.
Or maybe the thought, of scaring you off
Is what now locks my lips so complete.

But I feel a connection, clear and strong
Something special between you and me.
I only hope that we can enjoy it together
And between us, discover the beauty we seek.

a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

So close, and yet so far away,
My neighbor across the street.
Why is it a few yards of air,
Feels more like miles of concrete?
Because, as my heart reaches out to yours,
You quietly, peacefully, sleep.

All I need do is pick up the phone,
to rouse you from Sandman's keep.
But I think it'd be best,
If I just followed suit,
Since I know I'll see you
In my dreams.

a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

Each night I've had
a dozen plans,
and cancelled every one.
Hoping this night
I'll have the chance
to hold you in my arms.

Friday, September 27, 2002

a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

Dappled, softly glowing,
the sun filters through the trees.

Like a golden shower,
my spirits are cleansed here beneath
"The Nature of Man"
a limerick, by Michael Sherrillo

We bang our heads against the glass.
Smarting, hurting,
We stumble back.
Then, rising up
With a foolish grin,
We charge back towards that glass
a Haiku, by Michael Sherrillo

Each day the grass grows;
No matter how many times cut.
Life is persistence.
a poem, by Michael Sherillo

How do I know what hopelessness is;
when my goals have flitted out of reach?

Is there a smell upon the air, rotten or fair;
something fragrant or something bitter sweet?

Maybe it's the way, the soft shadows grow,
slowly changing the world into black.

Or maybe it' the sigh of a lonly tree in the breeze,
swaying, forever, forward and back.
a poem, by Michael Sherrillo

Each day we make a thousand wishes,
silent, in our hearts.

And each day we sigh a thousand sighs,
as the dreams, unrealized, depart.

Monday, August 19, 2002

"Summer's Night"
a short story, by Michael Sherrillo

He lay beneath the large oak tree, looking out. There is something special about the summer sky at night, warm breezes and cool earth mingle around you as the grasses hiss and the trees sigh. Looking up at the diamond studded night; he felt certain emptiness, a peaceful oblivion of comfort, almost womb-like security. Out here, under the oak tree, he could sit with his eyes half-lidded in contentment, taking in the entire nightfall at once. The sounds of the world were drowned out, as if the stars had turned up the silence till nothing else remained. The problems of his world became far and distant, here there was only room for peace, and everything else was pressed out and away till they became specks on horizon, then nothing.

The sounds of his parents yelling at each other washed over him thought his mind was so far away that he could no longer hear them. The usual sounds of dishes breaking, the baby screaming, and the TV turned too loud were nothing more than the faint hiss of static in his mind. Beneath the oak tree, he sat, alone with the world. No close neighbors around, no one to hear, to see, to know…no one but him. The tracks down his cheeks were partially hid in the darkness, revealed only through the shifting glow of the harvest moon, filtering down through the boughs and branches as they gently swayed above. The dilapidated house behind him might as well have not existed at all; the uneven glow coming through the windows from the TV, the figures moving back and forth in the kitchen, just shadows passing bare bulbs and unshaded lights. At one point, the sound of yelling stopped and was replaced by a tump as something struck flesh. Only to return more frenzied than before. The sound spilled on, over, and away from this silent sentinel as he sat still; repetition had dulled his notice of it even if he had been aware enough to hear. His own body had marks covering it, his arms lightly greened from being grabbed a little to hard to often, his neck sore and stiff from being pushed or thrown… but those were the good marks, those were the ones that would go away. He hated the ones that didn’t the ones inside; those marks covered his soul. The sight of a plate flying across the room and hitting his fathers forehead, splitting his eyebrow as he fell back against the counter and slumped down, blood staining his shirt. The picture of his mother’s eye one morning, swollen completely shut and surrounded by a dark rainbow of colors fading from deep purple to light green. The memory of their faces inches apart as spit flew from each other’s mouth and the veins and tendons on their necks throbbed with the intensity of the curses being thrown. These scars were there every time his eyes closed. Bitterness, anger, hatred… burnt onto his innocence. Searing him with pain that spilled out from his eyes in hot tears. So little of it he understood, but this was his entire world.

There was beauty in the summer sky, it didn’t yell or scream. It took him into it’s its dark folds and shrouded him from the world around him. He couldn’t feel the salty tears burning his eyes, or the runny nose dripping off his chin. He couldn’t even hear the pleading whimpers wrenching his whole body and burning his thick cotton filled throat. And he couldn’t feel the weight of his parent’s revolver in his hand. He only felt the emptiness of the sky, saw but was to young to understand the perfection and beauty of it. So complete was his innocence and his awe, the as the barrel, warm and wet from being held too tightly in hands too small, pressed against the side of his head like he had seen in cartoons. His only moment of total conciseness was when he looked one last time at the stars, like so many diamonds in the sky, winking at him, as if they had secret for him only. He saw the peace of the night above and wanted to become a part of it. As he closed his eyes, the darkness came, and takes him away with it.

A few miles away, off the poor country road, sat a small house with a smaller old couple in it. They both stopped eating their dinner and looked up at each other. “What was that?” the woman asks. “Probably just a car backfiring out on the road.” He replies. “But I don’t hear any car…” she worries aloud. For a moment they look at each other, their eyes meet and lock briefly, speaking without words. If they had been able to afford a phone, they might call someone, but without it, they both knew there was no point in worrying. “Your probably right” she thinks aloud, as her gaze shifts to the window pane and the darkness beyond, “just a car out on the road…”

Friday, August 09, 2002

an exerpt from a conversation between Michael and Vance

M- referring to ESPN TV commercial "Women's Professional Soccer... isn't that an oxymoron?"
V- "What professional and soccer?" *chuckle*
M- "No, professional and women."

*Though this was an actual coversation, it was done in a humorous context and does not
reflect the actual views of Michael, Vance, or the UEF staff towards women or soccer. Thank You*

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

a haiku, by Michal Sherrillo

Fiery bellied clouds;
Daylight fading into dusk,
Igniting the sky.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

"The Surfer"
a short story, by Michael Sherrillo

The wind ripped off the tops of the head high swells as they raced past, saltwater flying so fast it stung your face as the waves crest were torn before the blue mountains began to curl and crash down. The sound faded like dying static on an old radio, replaced only by the faint warning sirens from the town on the horizon. The whole village was still illuminated, as if the people who, only precious hours earlier fled in terror from their homes, were still inside cooking dinners on the still warm stoves and watching tv on screens now lit only with images of the comming horror.

The untamed ocean isolated him from all he knew, not even a bird could be seen in the angry black sky. Somewhere high above, the sun was still an hour away from setting, but below, night had already descended. The roar of the wind was all that existed to him now. Howling against his small boat as he sat, half submerged in water, waiting for the right moment.

All his life, he had surfed. Since his father had given him his first board, the blue water and the power of its waves had been his whole life. From the obscure 40-foot sets at Shipsterns Bluff, the common crowded scene at Maverick’s, or the 80-foot mountains at Jaws. His life began the second he lay on his board and his fingertips first touch the frigid water, and ended when the wave detonated around him. Every moment before and after those two points was meaningless. The entire ocean was his god, and his servant. With the board beneath him, he worshiped and tamed in equal measure.

Now, as the small craft perilously flew and sunk, he remained focused. Eyes unwaveringly set on the distant horizon; fixed on the point where the blackness of the sky melted into the dark fury of the sea. Soaking wet, he remained unmoved, jaws clenched as the spray stung his face and the cold bit through his sopping parka down to his bones. His eyes narrowed slightly as the subtle change overcame him.

He felt it before he saw it, a slight vibration, almost imperceptible over the choppy sea’s he rode. Then, the faint line of the horizon shifted. Had he blinked, he would not have noticed the change at all, but he's seen it. Engine bursting into life, his hand twisting up the throttle till his veins stood out next to the lines of water that poured off of him. Soon, whether they were minuets or lifetimes he could not have guessed, the sea around him darkened. He turned the boat slightly as he looked up at the sky, his eyes slowly rising till he saw the last of the dark clouds begin to vanish before him as the swell hit the underwater shelf and began to climb. He locked the throttle into place and ripped off his park, his wetsuit now the only thing protecting him from the elements. The wind became a roar, over which he was unable to hear even the wide open engine only a few feet away. It was all a muted roar, as his eyes remained locked onto the wave's top as it climbed up the sky, appearing to swallow the angry clouds overhead. Then, suddenly, silence. The wind stopped, the waves disappeared, as the spiked ocean became black glass. Even the sound of the engine seemed very faint and distant as the total silence swallowed him whole. For one heartbeat, there was complete peace, and then came the hiss.

Soft and malevolent as a deadly snake poised to strike, it rapidly grew, louder and louder, till it was a deafening roar. The boat began to be pulled, going faster than the engine would have allowed. He began to climb. Head looking straight up to where the sky would have been, which had been enveloped by the wave. Every muscle in his body was clenched as the boat began to rise faster, higher and higher he climbed. His eye’s narrowed again, as in one swift motion; he passed the point of not return. Moments before he came near cresting the top, he pushed the rod as hard sideways as he could, whipping the boat around, and looked straight down as hells mouth opened and gaped before him.

The boat flew on the verge of insanity as the angle of the wave and speed of the boat quickly increased. Death called to him as the black sea above began its deadly curl. The motor coughed then died, but the boat continued to fly, powered by the force of the wave above and beneath it. Cutting across and down the face of a tsunamic tidal wave, he stood. Hundreds of feet disappeared beneath him in seconds as the wave began to fall around him. In slow motion, he saw the curl coming down and the gray sky being crushed before him. The boat was on a race against time as the wave exploded around him, and the pipe began to close. Detonating with the force of a thousand sticks of dynamite, the concussion of the pressure wave ruptured his eardrums, and blood ran from his ears and nose, but all he saw was the disappearing clouds beyond.

As the pipe closed, he reached out his hand, a final gesture of hope, before he was thrown into the belly of the beast. There was a period, a fraction of a second long, before the ocean closed around him that he knew with the disappearing sky he would not make it out alive. In that second, totally aware of the death surrounding him, he smiled. He had fought a lifetime against this god, and, for the few moments he had raced and surfed this wave, had become one himself.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

"What Women Want"
by Michael Sherrillo

Authors note: after my previous article, "Women!" I spent much time/effort polling, studying, and pondering my predicament, and have come to these conclusions about the opposite sex.

I, like many nice guys before me, having often wondered on a datless saturday night, why do girls keep complaining that there are no nice guys out there when clearly I'm right here? I've heard many a nice guy also rant and rave about our hopeless predicament because the girls who keep wanting nice guys keep dating assholes. We all know the stories and have read the Dear Abby articles, but I, unlike my fellow nice guys, have successfully crossed over. I am and will always be a nice guy, but to succeed in this dating game, you must also be a little crafty. After years of painstaking research and field studdy, I have successfully deciphered what it is women truly want... a challenge. It's all very simple... if you already cook, clean, are nice, chivilrous, successful, kind, funny, and loving... why would a girl want to be with you, your missing the key element that all assholes secretly have... mystery and sexiness. You must learn to be a sheep in wolf's clothing. Women want to be able to say, I had this great wild sexy man, and it was wonderful, but then I took him, tamed him, and made him settler down and become also the perfect husband and father. Girls want a diamond in the ruff. So, be chivilrous and successful, those are the key elements... if your not chivilrous and happy/successful, no girl will want you for more than a one night stand at a cheap motel. Everthing else is just DONT"S. Don't call a lot... it sends clear signals of desperation, which is neither mysterious nor sexy. Don't NOT call when you said you would, building up hope and then crushing her spirit will fill her with disappointment and hurt and will only embitter her and turn her into the much feared wackadoo, commonly know as psychotic and/or stalker. (depending on your regional dialect) Don't forget to learn everthing you can about female anatomy, being good at oral sex will more than compensates for any physical... shortcommings *wink wink*. Don't jump into a relationship or sex... nothing will make her want you more than making her wait a little to get it. And finally, don't change to quickly. Reveal your depth and true nature slowly, her learning what a great catch you are should happen like peeling layers off an onion, not chopping open a watermelon. If there is one thing I cannot stress enough, it is go slow! Take your time with everthing, make her want it before you do anything, weither it's telling or showing her your feelings, calling, or sex... This is the key. This is what all assholes have that we don't, their stupidity allows them to just not care. Women are attracted to that. If I knew why, I wouldn't be a scientist, I would be god. Though I believe god is a man, so I doubt even he truly knows what he created. All I can say beyond that is... good luck, fellow sheep.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

a rant, by Michael Sherrillo

Men in this decade are very confused, espically the younger crowds. We have been brought into this world with the seperate camps of feminity and masculinity having been razed and in ruins. And yet, the stereotypes which they created still exist in the our minds. We are expected to think of women as our complete equals, while still opening doors and pulling out chairs; as equal breadwinners, while still often paying for dates. Can you really blame men for this? No, simply because men, as a group, will do anything it takes to be with women. What they want will always, eventually, happen. I have never heard about a guy excited to drop money for two people on his first date, he spends that amount becasue he knows that is the only way this girl he likes will go out with him. This is reality. So this rant is directed at the femal gender, for it is really you who is to blame. In a society where you wish to be considered equals, how can you expect you private relations/relationships, to exist simultaneously when you ask us to treat you differently in each.

I may be a man, but I have feelings, something that the opposite sex seems to forget. Becasue I may be a male, does that mean I also don't want to feel attractive, even sexy? That I don't like being asked out, pursured, told how much I'm liked? Do I enjoy being called or getting sweet messages and being told I'm loved any less? NO! But because I am realistic, I know that I will never find a girl if I don't ignore how I feel, what my wants and needs are, and spend the rest of my life making her feel special so she will want to be with me. But just a though to all you "old fashioned" girls out there, I may be a male, but that doesn't mean my purpose on earth is to court you. Maybe it wouldn't hurt if the girl called me once in a while, instead of alwasy wanting to be chased after, maybe a little of the affection I feel and show for you could be returned. One time, in my life, a girl I knew gave me flowers. It was the only time something like that has ever happend. It was so wonderful to recieve for once that I cried, and will never forget her or her kind and loving act. Everyone wants to feel loved, liked, and attractive, guy or girl. We men having been doing more than our fare share for some time now, maybe it's time you girls tried a little too, even if it's just asking for our number or giving us a call.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

"Without you"
a short story by Michael Sherrillo

What more improbable place could a person find love than on the Las Vegas strip? There exist a very real reason that this town is so fondly referred to as Sin City. Where the lights and flash of nearby casino’s promise wealth, happiness, and riches untold if you only step inside. One-armed bandits, shooting the green, spinning the wheel… the biggest decision of the night is picking your poison. Who could imagine that walking down this street of empty promises and hollow hope that I would find love? Not the Vegas love of high rollers, cheap hookers, and 24 hours neon lit chapels. I found the love which can only be understood by poets and madmen, the love which stops your heart, quickens your breath, fills you with hot and cold, and finishes you off as your legs crumple beneath you.

It happened close to midnight. The water of the Bellagio was shooting into the air, music filling the streets as thousands of people walked to and from hotels and shows. Anyone who thinks that New Your is the city that never sleeps obviously hasn’t ever been here. I’m not sure what made me turn my head, maybe it was fate, destiny, karma… at least that’s what I’d like to imagine. Though blind luck and good fortune are probably closer to the truth. I caught it coming out of the corner of my eye. A white Eclipse convertible filled with people, music pouring from the speakers in the car. As it came closer, I could see the people, and that’s when time stopped. She was sitting in the back seat. Even now, I can still see everything perfectly; her beauty so radiantly burned into my minds eye that I can see every detail as if it were yesterday. Even from across the street, you could tell her complexion was flawless. You knew that if you touched her cheek, you would find not skin but the finest of silks, the cool rich color of milk. Her head tilted back slightly, and her eyes were half closed with pleasure as she let the warm summer winds of dusk caress her face. Her lips were slightly parted as she smiled, with teeth that gleamed white against the neon lights behind her. Though it couldn’t be heard, you could tell by the look of ecstasy on her face that she was laughing, though not at any joke or comment, but just to laugh. Her happiness was so complete, that as her profile passed by, you could almost not bear to look. She glowed more like an angel, so total was her joy. Her blonde hair streaked strawberry half hidden from the wind under a red beanie flew behind her like a shimmering trial in her wake.

Though I cannot and will not ever be certain, my heart knows she saw me. Her head turned slightly, her eyes, for just a moment, lit upon me, a face in the crowd. Maybe it was a reflection of the light around us, or wistful thinking on my part, but I could swear that I saw just the slightest glimmer in her eyes when she did, and before she disappeared into the see of red taillights, with a look more cryptic than the Mona Lisa herself, she smiled, and was gone.

That night I just stood there, watching the lights fade away. I lost the car after only a few seconds passed, but I never forgot her. She will always remain the angel, untouchable, who passed from the land of heaven onto earth for just a few seconds, and in that instant of time, changed my heart forever. Though I’ve married, had children, and seen them have children of there own, I have kept her always hidden within me. Though I often wonder what happened to her, if she’s still alive, did she ever marry, have children of her own, I hope I never really find the answers. The person I saw that night was perfect. To know any more about her would be to corrupt that memory, and kill her in my mind more swiftly than any bullet ever could. So, for now, as always, she remains an object of hope, and the embodiment of dreams. A rose, hidden among the weeds and thorns… some nights, I’m sure, she still rides that lonely strip of empty dreams through the town, wind in her face, head held high and back, forever laughing, forever young… a single light, hidden in the darkness of the Vegas night.

Monday, July 08, 2002

a short story by Michael Sherrillo

He began walking towards the sea, like he did most evenings he could. He stopped fort a moment at the end of the boardwalk, taking off his shoes, and letting out a sigh as his feet first touch the soft sand. He slowly made he way towards the sea, with the slow meandering gait of a man walking off the day’s troubles.
Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw something. What were normally just a few miles of barren sand nestled between crags on the New England coast was now occupied by a strange presence. Though he had many times seen footsteps along the beach left over this late at night, sometimes of couples walking before the sunset, other times the excited prints of children playing in the surf. On Wednesdays, there were always the signs of a runner accompanied by mans best friends, who inevitably left a sign of his own at the edge of the farthest bluff before they turned around.

But this night was neither Wednesday, nor were these the tracks of some previous daytime beachgoer. Though he couldn’t consciously say why, somehow he knew these were the steps of a woman. They captivated him, there was something mysterious in the way they appeared to come right out of the water, for when he looked farther down, he cold see no place where they entered. In fact, he noticed that the beach was perfectly clean, without step, mark, or track anywhere. He began to follow the steps, and as he walked next to them, he let his mind wander, as he did on most nights he walked by the beach.
There is some awful sadness involved with turning forty. It wasn’t that he had no real friends or family to speak of. That he had no party, no phone call, not even a card. The sadness comes to everyone at some point, either the day of, or after the hangover the morning after, as they stand in the kitchen and suddenly realize that half their life is over.

This night on the beach, the though struck him with profound depression. He followed the steps, though his pace slowed with the weight of his thoughts as he began to reflect. Forty. Forty. Forty. Forty. The number repeated with every step. He was five foot six, and at least 30 pounds overweight. Forty. He still had a teenager’s pimple complexion. Forty. He was a traveling computer analyst, with no home, friends, or family left. Forty. He had been picked on in high school, invisible in college, and almost ignored in his career. Forty. His hair was thinning. Forty. And, he hadn’t made love to a woman since his last girlfriend slammed the door closed on him in college and whose last words of wisdom to him had been, “I fucked you the first time because I was drunk, and the second because I pitied you. The few seconds it lasted I barley knew you were in, now leave me the fuck alone!” Though he guessed she was never technically his girlfriend, it was still the closest he had ever had. Forty.
He saw the last fifteen years pass, though they were all virtually identical. Every night he had spent in some hotel room, usually stopping once a week in the one he was at now. Though he had traveled to almost every major American city, he had never explored any one beyond the confines of the motel which he slept at. He would come in every night late after starring at the computer screen all day. Sitting on the bed, he would watch TV, though he usually didn’t care much what was on, just for the comforting familiar glow and so the sound would help fill the otherwise emptiness. Before he went to bed, he would lie there and jack off to scrambled porn, sometimes the hotel would have HBO so he wouldn’t need to squint. And then he would fall asleep, flaccid dick still in his pudgy hand. And then fly out in the morning to do the same the next night somewhere else. Forty.

One memory struck him, vivid and clear, he couldn’t remember when it happened. But one night, he had managed to get an erection. Though he tried, he couldn’t ‘t keep it up long enough to orgasm. He fell asleep tiered and frustrated, defeated by his own body. At some point in the night he had woken up, the TV making a high pitched whine letting him know regular broadcasting had ended, and would resume at six am the following morning. He opened his eyes for a second before realizing what is was that had awakened him. He had a wet dream, though he couldn’t remember it, and he had rolled over into the wet spot in his sleep. He just lay there, the though that his own semen was stuck to him was repulsing. Yet he couldn’t find the strength to move, then, as if from nowhere, he began to cry. He felt helpless, powerless, and pitiful.
He couldn’t remember ever feeling that alone before, and hadn’t since until tonight. Forty. If there was one single perpetual thread extending throughout his life, it was that he was alone. There was often people around him, at work, on his was through the motel, hundreds of bodies separated by a few feet of plaster and drywall. And yet they were all as far from him as they could be were he out in deep space while they slept here on earth. Forty.

The though came to him that the true reason he took these walks was really his way of searching. He hope, in his deepest thoughts, that some night he would find a kindled spirit, also alone and walking, and that maybe, for some unspecified amount of time, he could would find that he wasn’t alone, that there existed in all this world, one other person like him. That’s when he noticed her. Far off in the distance, just a speck against the sand, the thing he had been following. She was still walking, that much was clear, but he must have been going faster than her to catch up this much. Almost unconsciously, he quickened his pace, just slightly. He must meet her, he must see her. Even if he never says a word, he knew he must see the face of this person. Desperation gripped him, and maybe it was at this point (though it could be argued he had always been) that he began to go a little mad. It was as this thought occurred, that he might just be going crazy, that he also found out he was sprinting. Though it came as a surprise, he didn’t slow down or stop. His head was no longer filled with anything except the memory of the wet sheets sticking to him, and the feeling of his complete isolation, interrupted only with the word forty after each stride.

It was when he brought his hand up to his cheek and felt the salty tears streaming down his face that he saw the woman’s, whose figure he was now able to make out very well, direction had altered slightly. The footsteps that had before been almost exactly parallel to the ocean were now angled slightly toward it. The muscles in his legs were beginning to cramp as his lunges were screaming for more air through gasps. He would have called out, but all his energy was focused on making it just far enough to see her.

As the burning became knots of pain, and the pain in his chest became a stitch in his side, he watched her make her first step into the water. With the last of his strength, he ran faster. Splashing into the water without a blink, the cold water splashed up his legs as he stumbled towards her. Reaching out his hand, his fingertips just inches away from her, as the last of her disappeared beneath the waves.

For a second longer he stood. Water up to his shoulders, waves splashing over his soaking head, gasping for breath as tears continued to pour down his face. He tried to let out one anguished cry, one great sob, but all that came out was a raspy gurgle as he fought for more air. The images circled his head, the sticky sheets, the whine of the TV, and the loneliness. Forty. Forty. Forty. The words, now seeming to mock him, continued to sound. He looked back over his shoulder only once at the beach, now so seemingly far away, and on it, he saw not two, but one set of footprints leading from the distance, his own. As he looked, another wave came, covering the few parts of him that were left above water. As the wave receded, nothing but the beach, the sand, and miles of cold, dark ocean remained.

A few days later, the man staying in room 118 at the nearby motel was reported missing, though with no relatives or next of kin to contact, little more was done. The single set of footprints which would have been the only clue, had been washed away with the rising tide.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

a collection of original haiku's,
by Michael Sherrillo

Just another day;
Forever standing alone,
Hallowed in my heart

Age has changed it's face;
No longer the home I know,
Time has left it's mark.

The hour last so long;
Before it's totally realized,
Time steals it away.

Feet take me forward;
I walk into my future,
While my heart lingers.

Pebbles in a pond;
Creating many ripples,
Touching shores unknown.

One single motion,
Tassles moved from right to left;
Lives forever changed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

They roar in the spring;
Giggle gaily through summer.
Silenced after fall.

Friday, June 07, 2002

a haiku by Vance Tran

I have to break out.
Once a shell of protection,
But now a prison.

Monday, May 06, 2002

a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

My desire is great,
sadly, my fear is greater;
and so, my voice hides.
a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

How do I ask,
for what's more valued than gold;
worth more than diamonds.
a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

The question is stuck;
anxiety now locks my lips;
I remain silent.

Saturday, May 04, 2002

"Her Kiss"
a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Soft kisses like wind;
sweet sensations course through you,
caressing your soul.
"The Mall"
A haiku by Vance Tran

Teeming with people;
cesspool of humanity,
the cultural void...

Thursday, May 02, 2002

A Original Though
by Michael Sherrillo

Love is neither a goal or
a destination, but the
most profound of journeys,
because it is one of the
few we don't travel alone.
a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Concentric circles;
ripples spreading forever,
fading to nothing.
a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Water droplets fall,
cascading in succession;
each one joins the whole.
a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Purpose to my life;
a flag sail now taut with wind.
The sleeping soul wakes.
a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

The morning sunlight;
softly kissing away sleep.
Refreshed, I awaken.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

With slience I fade.
I'm pushed into your life's cracks;
becomming nothing.

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

a haiku by Michael Sherrillo

I have failed myself.
Not in my ability;
but in my desire.
"A Spring Breeze"
a letter of love, by Michael Sherrillo

I hear your voice in the wind. As
I walk, I imagine I see you, and for
a moment, before my mind reminds
me that this is a wonderful illusion,
my heart races, as your name fires
through my mind and catches on
my lips like a bullet fired from it's barrel.

You, like true loves ghost, hover so
taintalizingly close. I reach out my arm,
hoping to touch merely the hem of your
skirt, so that for one brillant moment I
find that for which I have searched for in
day and dream... love.

I cannot pretend that I deserve even a
glance, for the beauty i see therin is
more than my mortal heart could stand.
All I long for is to love you, for asking for
such an awsome thing as to be loved
in return I may not deserve.

I never expected, never let myself hope,
that in my reach, my humble desire, you
would fall into my arms, as a piece of me
died, so that it could always remian in the
total happiness of that first embrace.

I still remember the days, seemingly so
far away, in which I would float, just watching
you soaring off the ground into the sky, both
powerful and graceful, a hawk that would float
in the air, suspended in time, and then, softly,
come down. I used to lose myself in you then
as compleatly as I lose myself now in your
every word, your touch, your glance. But,
somehow, by losing myself I have also found
something which is far greater, something
which I hope to someday call Love.
"Love's Breeze"
a poem by Michael Sherrillo

Your name blows across me,
Like a warm gentle wind.
I have been pierced,
You, so like a golden arrow,
Have cut through the exterior persona
Of how I am portrayed.
The falseness, which I surround myself in.

Your pointed shaft has darted though me.
And touched a part of my life, my heart,
Which I was afraid would never be found,
And of which I had begun to doubt existed.

I see you, and I see not a person,
I see an angel, floating above me.
One who has gathered the sun in her lips,
The moon in her eyes,
And the eternal joy of youth in her laugh.

And you sit in the sky, archer of love,
Holding in your hands my fate.
For like a fine musician, you have taken this old
Harp, and from it, beautiful music now floods.
The strings of my heart now play,
The song of your name.

Not because of any skill in the instrument,
For it is just an empty vessel.
But because of you, and all which you are,
You've filled me until I overflow
The feelings, which you evoke, spill out into prose and onto page.
But I flood without worry of ever being empty again.
Not after having met, an angel like you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Streaching forever,
the road which lay before me;
into the distance.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

"Rinse and Repeat"
A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Soap runs through my hair,
dime sized drop, rinse and repeat;
now, conditioner.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

A Unoriginal Thought
by Michael Sherrillo

Women can be divided into two
basic catagories; infallible angles,
and irredeemable whores. The fun
part is figuring out which is which.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

"From Afar"
A stream of consciousness by Vance Tran

I glance and there she is.
Amongst the deteriorating buildings
and litter riddled lawn, she stands out.
She is not like the others, I can sense it.
Her spirit is good and pure, fiery and true.
Her beauty is unique, with subtle strands
of hair framing her face, hiding her demure smile.
The sunlight surrounds and protects her from the rabble.

But, I am foolish to feel this way.
She cannot possibly begin to look at me
and feel the way I feel about her.
I am just me, not deserving, invisible.
Besides, I have done this many a time,
elevating mere strangers to saints in my mind.
She is not special in any way, I conclude.
So, I quickly look away and tell myself not to feel.

With a sigh, I walk away, and try to shrug off the grief. -
A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Through windows comes the
slanted sun. Dusk nears as light
slips across the floor.
A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

In sadness I drown,
from the ceaseless bitter tears
which my love now weeps.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Daylight is darkness
when loves light is shrouded by
my own hearts sorrow.
A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

Night ages the soul,
experience ages the
mind. Through these, we grow.
A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

With a troubled heart,
I walk the night in sorrow,
seeing only darkness.
A haiku by Vance Tran

Droplets of water,
Streaming down my furrowed brow,
Wash the day away.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

An Original Thought
by Michael Sherrillo

Why is it that athiest can be so tolerant
of others religious beliefs. But people with
religious beliefs are so intolerant of athiest.
An Original Thought
by Michael Sherrillo

While taking a test, when you are faced
with a true/false question, if you can
eliminate one of the anwsers, you should guess.
You have a better chance of getting it right.

Monday, April 15, 2002

Vance Tran and Michael Sherrillo would like to post this joint announcement to apoligize to Mike Griffin for an earlier offensive haiku. A wise man once said, "with great power comes great responsibility." Let us learn from this mistake and continue on. We're sincerely sorry, Mike.
"Mike Sherrillo"
A haiku by Vance Tran

Michael Sherrillo...
Too many syllables, eh?
No, I think it fits.
a haiku by Vance and Sherrillo

Mike Sherrillo sucks
Big, big, big, big, big, big ASS!
Suck it, Mike, suck it.

An Original Thought
by Michael Sherrillo

There are seven little words
I've found no woman EVER
wants to hear, but that every
man says at least once.
"I love you, there, I said it."
A haiku by Vance Tran

I feel we must push,
push our way through the masses,
the unwashed, unclean...
Introduction to "Leaves"
by Michael Sherrillo

Each day comes and goes,
Passing unseen as the breeze.
And as it blows throughout our lives,
We all become so many leaves.
by Michael Sherrillo

In green youth we each hold fast,
To the trunk of our family tree.

Then, when grown, we all fall off,
And each of us is tossed and turned,
As we are all cast our seperate ways.

Each leaf comes to a place of rest,
Some close, while others still far away.
And sitting, we age, turn brittle and brown.

But the winds of time continue to blow,
Leaving none of us unchanged.
And now, we fly again, as dust,
And in that wind, find each other the same.

"Kung-Fu Haiku"
by Vance Tran

My young pupil failed
I say, "No, kick high, then low."
"Good, young grasshopper."
by Michael Sherrillo

This car, no longer
With wheels moves,
But by desire is powered,
By imagination is driven,
And by fate is destined,
To follow the curves and contours
Of the roads which chance
Places in our way.

A haiku by Michael Sherrillo

The twisted blade turns
round and round, neither following
nor being followed.