Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes

The Bad Poet

The bad poet mangles words and scorches meanings, bludgeoning beauty until it resembles a bloated corpse left in the desert sun for an entire season. The bad poet ruins ideas, polluting them with bias as thick as an atmosphere of … Continue reading

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Habitually Strange

More than half of the month of January sped past without my knowledge or consent. Okay, I knew it was in the process of slinking along, but I am stunned to look back at the speed with which the last … Continue reading

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Swellage and Shrinkage

Arguments can be made, pro and con, about whether it’s best to get to know someone before or after you know their political persuasion. I understand and agree with both of them. On the one hand, I’d rather know early … Continue reading

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Empty Can

Instead of the routine follow-up with the oncologist yesterday, the visit turned into something a little different. After listening to my breathing—more like wheezing—she said she was concerned about that and my persistent cough. She prescribed an intense course of … Continue reading

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Small Talk About Things That Matter

What is fiction? It is truth clothed in costumes. It is the view from the other side of the mirror. It is the tragic/comic outcome of unrestrained authenticity. It is reality disguised to protect the writer from judgment or institutionalization … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | 2 Comments

Thinking Through Spider Webs

Finally, I seem to be returning to my “normal” waking habits. Today, I was up around 5. Lately, I’ve awakened at wildly different times, almost all considerably later than has been my typical pattern for years. I’ll attribute the deviance … Continue reading

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And Then Where Would I Be?

Since I wrote yesterday’s public blog post, an absurdist unfinished fantasy, I’ve written five more pieces. Most of those drafts, if not all, will never see the light of day on this blog. They may find their way into longer … Continue reading

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Biological Hallucinations in the Coming Century

Whether dragons were real or not, is it possible we might be able to create them? I think it would be great fun to build a dragon manufacturing facility. The dragons would be crafted from one hundred percent biological components. … Continue reading

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Mediterranean Course Correction

I inquired of Google this morning: “What is the Mediterranean lifestyle?” The first answer I found—and the one I intend on adapting as my own—was this, from a blog entitled, The Mediterranean Dish in a post labeled Live the Mediterranean … Continue reading

Posted in Change, Compassion, Doing Without, Empathy, Generosity, Philosophy, Ruminations, Self-discipline, Selfishness | Leave a comment

Somber Sourness on a Saturday

Last night’s brilliant light shows and rolling thunderclaps seem to have disappeared into a silent, dreary, cold, wet morning. I can tell by the shuddering of the few remaining leaves on the trees outside my window that there’s a breeze, … Continue reading

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As If I Were Weather

This morning is another of those days reminiscent of late nineteenth century London, as described in stories about serial killers going about their business under cover of pea-soup fog. When the air is this opaque, I do not know whether … Continue reading

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Dragons and Coffee and the Abstraction of Hope

I’m on the road route trail footpath to recovery. For some reason, getting over this cold is a much slower process than I expected. Perhaps it’s because my respiratory system was compromised when I had lung cancer and/or the surgery … Continue reading

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Doing Alone

When friends’ shoulders aren’t there for the crying, when love is a wall made of stone, when life seems a prelude to dying, when you’re lonely and weeping alone. That’s when you create your own salvation, you craft it from … Continue reading

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Through the Mist

I feel slightly more human this morning than I’ve felt the last few days. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, though. Feeling human means something different for me than it once did. No longer is it a matter of … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Philosophy, Religion | 2 Comments

More of the Same

My cold is no better. It’s probably about the same. Could be worse, but it’s hard to tell. I went to bed early last night, hitting the pillow before 9, but it was hard to get to sleep. Eventually, I … Continue reading

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Illness. Painful Sickness.

I am sick this morning. It began a few days ago. Last night, my illness mushroomed into a full-blown cold (if that’s what it is). A flood of mucous filled my sinus cavities and has attempted to escape through my … Continue reading

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Making Music

If I could start recording my voice at any given moment simply by pressing a single, easily accessible button, I might have recorded dozens, if not hundreds, of songs by now. Only the lyrics, of course, with no musical accompaniment … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Poetry, Writing | 2 Comments

I Think I’m Losing the Battle for My Soul

I don’t pretend to be an expert in geopolitical intrigue. And I don’t want to be. But I wish the United States government had listened to me after 9/11 and had decided not to invade Iraq under false pretenses. And … Continue reading

Posted in Anger | 2 Comments

Mind-Jaunts on the Second Day of the Two Thousand Twentieth Year

Every day is an anomaly. A mistake. An error awaiting correction. An aberration requiring repair and embarrassed explanation. A deviant eccentricity causing constant adjustments to the concept of normal. There is no normal. Normal is a fantasy based in delusion. … Continue reading

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Beginning Anew

My temporary break from posting to my blog ends with this post. Between December 18, my last post, and this one, I’ve written twenty “drafts” that could have become posts had I chosen to make them public. And they might … Continue reading

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My Final Post for A While

This may be my last public post for a while. That doesn’t mean I won’t write, only that I won’t necessarily share what I’ve written. Considering the extremely low traffic to my blog and the almost non-existent feedback I receive … Continue reading

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Trampling Cultures in the Name of Temporary Pecuniary Joy

I read an article this morning about the impending demolition of the last remaining structures in what once was Dallas’ “Little Mexico” neighborhood, an area its residents called “La Colonia.” At its peak, 15,000 people lived in the area. The … Continue reading

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I awoke to witchcraft this morning. I witnessed the effects of heat traveling through wires protruding from wounds in the wall. The heat caused water to boil and chickens’ eggs to congeal and harden in response. Heat from another source, … Continue reading

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I am a dormant volcano. A raging inferno whose fuel, spent in spectacular displays of fire and molten rock, has disappeared into the center of the Earth. I may be, in fact, an extinct volcano, one with no recorded eruption in … Continue reading

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Someone Else Thinks Inside My Head

Several of his friends regularly commented about Skyler’s writing, frequently expressing amazement at how vividly his words painted his characters’ thoughts and physical surroundings. “It’s as if you were there, behind his eyes, recording every detail,” Ophira O’Malley said to … Continue reading

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