Google Translate Sings the National Anthem

flag

I sent the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the national anthem of the United States, through a bunch of languages in Google Translate and then back to English. The result was . . . unique.

Google Translate Sings “The Star Spangled Banner”

Aha! You say

in the light of the aurora.

See your sunset!

Bands of light and dramatic confrontation.

Today we are looking

 at the wall.

A bomb exploded at a red light.

However,

it is consistent.

Bud, Stars, and Stripes.

This port

is home

to thousands

of Courage.

-M.M.


The Writer {a waltz}

The_writer

credit: tasteofomi.deviantart.com

“The Writer” is a piano waltz I composed. Originally, it was titled the “Elipses Waltz” because  of the reoccuring “dot dot dot” motif. (. . .) Below you can find links to the pdf sheet music as well as a rough audio recording of the piece.

The Writer [PDF Sheet music]

The Writer [mp3 audio]

Thanks for music-ing with me!

-M.M.


Why I Am Who I Am {experimental flash essay}

beach campfire

Why I Am Who I Am

I.

The campfire was dawdling and people were beginning to go to bed. I listened to the sound of waves as I followed my flashlight through the park. The air smelled like the black of stars, the grey of sea salt, and the puce dampness of brick. It was the smell of living halfway in civilization and halfway out. The smell of frogs and raccoons and trees. The smell of evening awake.

II.

  1.  scissors
  2.  red paper
  3.  mine
  4.  nice job
  5.  kissing is gross
  6.  glue sticks
  7.  wood chips
  8.  tire swing
  9.  kiss her
  10.  no
  11.  uncertainty
  12.  bliss
  13.  running
  14.  a chain-link fence
  15.  whispering parents
  16.  car accident
  17.  student in the hospital
  18.  new teacher
  19.  library
  20.  tree house
  21.  friends
  22.  no school today
  23.  empty backpack
  24.  new school
  25.  grass
  26.  monkey-bars
  27.  numbers
  28.  pencils
  29.  paper with lines
  30.  scissors

III.

My brother had an extra incisor. Five front teeth. When his adult teeth began to grow in, the dentist recommended he have the surplus tooth removed. When he got back from oral surgery he showed me the tooth. It was as long as a mini-paperclip and faded like a bony sunset from yellow to white to pink to red. The tooth looked so sad, like an uprooted flower. Though I still hope his life is better without it, I sometimes wonder if the dentist stole an important part of my brother that day.

IV.

“Mom! I just saved a baby lizard!”

“What?”

“It was drinking from the hole in the base of the basketball hoop—the one Dad filled with hose-water last night so it wouldn’t tip over—and it fell in.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. So I put my finger in the hole and it grabbed on.”

“And where is it now?”

“Outside on the sidewalk. It’ll be fine soon.”

“I’m sure it will. Now go wash your hands. It’s time for lunch.”

-M.M.


Airbourne

paragliding-2

The first complete song I ever made sheet music for was called “Airborn”. (I have since learned that this is not the proper spelling.) I went back and tidied the music up a bit, and now I present it to you in PDF form. In my mind, the piece has three sections which can be labled “take-off”, “flying”, and “landing”.

Airbourne [PDF]

-M.M.


Hero

hero

“Hero” is a piece I composed about a – you guessed it – Hero. Sometimes I picture the hero as a Greek or Roman sword-weilding hero, and sometimes I picture the hero as a Link or a Frodo. Other times the hero is just a normal person, but no matter the definition, the story is the same. A hero sets out on a journey only to come across an insurmountable challenge which nearly destroys all hope until the hero rises triumphant from the ashes. That is what this piece is about.

-M.M.


Crossword Poem

D
T C R O S S W O R D F S A M
H N A W U
S M I L E S W R I T I N G L I M
N K A A N E S S B
Y B A C O N T H E H L
C L R D D L I
R A O O E O O N
P O E M S M U M B L I N G S G
S I S A T H I S
A T H I S A N D S
C H S W I S H D O N T L
R A O A A C R O S S
D O N T R M K S
S S A N D G E T T A K E
F A L S E N I H
M D E M A N D P O E M

Note: The following stanzas were constructed using only the words from the crossword above.

 

Crossword Poem

I.

This is that crossword poem

Swish! Blam!

Bacon Sam.

Random Mumblings on demand.

Don’t take down,

And don’t get lost,

Writing in the false across.

This is that crossword poem.

II.

This is random writing.

Crossword across and down.

Sam is lost.

Bacon is lost.

Take that down the poem.

False swish. BLAM!

This is writing.

Don’t.

III.

Sam is writing on bacon.

Don’t get lost in that crossword.

Writing on bacon is false mumblings.

Random demand: Swish that bacon!

Blam down and get lost.

Sam is writing on bacon.

-M.M.


Good Omens

sprinklers

Good Omens

 

I took it as a good omen

when the sprinklers popped up

out of the grass and began to

sing water as I walked by.

 

I took it as a good omen

that the moon was nearly full that night,

not bloated with tryptophan pride,

but just full enough for contented humming

and glowing.

 

I took it as a good omen

that the moths flocked to the porch light.

As the loneliest light bulb

in the house (or out of the house),

it was good to see it

get some attention.

 

I took it as a good omen

that my coat was frayed,

for a good day at the grind

is well-worth the pain

by the time the body hits the mattress

and drifts off into dreams

of good omens.

-M.M.


Underpass

underpass

Underpass

I enter and inhale the shadows

coated with the invading dust

of everslow construction.

 

Amidst the swirling haze

lingering about my tennis shoes

I see a half-buried can of coke

forgotten by a hardhat weeks ago,

a plastic wrapper that used to say “Hostess”

but only reads “oste” now,

a discarded card from a hotel:

HAIRDRYER IN CLOSET,

and a sticker ‘y name i’

poking out of the grime.

 

From the concrete ceiling

I catch a whiff of someone else’s yesterday­­—

something between gasoline and pizzabreath.

 

None of the cars overhead

—the landlocked jetplanes—seem to care.

Care about the sticker, card, wrapper,

can of coke, or someone else’s yesterday.

 

And so I suppose I shouldn’t either.

 

I inhale the light

leaving that strange world

shifting behind me in the shadows.

-M.M.


True Love

Llama Love

True Love

 

“You want to do WHAT?”

“Marry him.”

“But… he’s fictional—”

“And perfect.

“And I wrote him into existence.”

Romantic, isn’t it. I just can’t wait to—”

“BUT HE’S NOT REAL.”

“So what?”

“So what what? Are you going to put the book on the altar and…”

“Yes. Won’t it be wonderful: I now pronounce you book and wife. You may now kiss the book.

“You’re unwell. I ought to call the—”

“Oh hush up. It’s true love. Don’t be jealous.”

“Jealous? I’ll try really hard.”

“You never were much of a Romantic.”

“That’s why I write about friendly, dignified, personified…”

“…DREAMY! Don’t forget to dreamy.”

dreamy, and apparently attractive llamas!”

 -M.M.


Looks Like a Pretzel

pretzel

Looks Like a Pretzel

 

He told me it looks like a pretzel, but isn’t.

But isn’t? What looks like a pretzel but isn’t?

A tangle of noodles? The Gordian knot?

A piece of pastrami that’s twisted a lot?

Infinity, broken and drooping? A sin?

The handles of scissors? A pretzel-shaped pin?

The shape of an ear if you squint your left eye

and turn your head sideways? A smile in the sky?

A shredded umbrella? The orange of a peel?

(Or peel of an orange if you get what I feel.)

Two italicized e’s with a mirror between?

The path of a shirt in a washing machine?

The wires in your brain? The shape of your heart?

A crumpled up dumpster posing as art?

He told me it looks like a pretzel, but isn’t.

But isn’t? Let’s just say it doesn’t.

-M.M.


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