Monthly Archives: May 2011

Haiku Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, part 2

Let us continue!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 20: The First Task

Harry Accio’s
broom, avoids dragon, steals egg,
ties for first with Krum.

Chapter 21: The House-Elf Liberation Front

Ron stops being douche,
refriends Harry. Hermy finds
Dobby in kitchen.

Chapter 22: The Unexpected Task

Ron and Harry need
dates for the Yule Ball—Patil
twins will have to do.

Chapter 23: The Yule Ball

Pre-dance: snowball
fights, special socks, Fleur’s a bitch.
Dance: Hermy’s with Krum,

Fleur looks hot. Post-dance:
Snape is shady, Hagrid’s half
giant, Fleur’s a slut.

Chapter 24: Rita Skeeter’s Scoop

Skeeter’s exposé
on Hagrid’s past leads to brief
vaca from teaching.

Chapter 25: The Egg and the Eye

Bath time research leads
Harry to believe the next
task involves merfolk.

Then he gets tripped up
in trick step and loses school
map to Prof. Moody.

Chapter 26: The Second Task

Harry grows gills, saves
Ron (and Fleur’s sister) from lake,
shows moral fiber.

Chapter 27: Padfoot Returns

Big dog godfather
sneaks into Hogsmeade to dish
old magic gossip.

Chapter 28: The Madness of Mr. Crouch

Harry and Krum talk
Hermy, find crazy Crouch, and
go warn Dumbledore.

Chapter 29: The Dream

Harry passes out
in class and dreams a little
dream of Voldemort.

Chapter 30: The Pensieve

Dumbledore can’t
leave Harry alone for five
minutes; the boy snoops.

Harry sticks his face
in a bowl of gooey white
stuff and sees visions.

Chapter 31: The Third Task

Quidditch pitch maze holds
monsters and magic to pass
through for the third task.

Harry battles Sphinx;
Cedric battles Krum; both fight
spider, tie for cup.

Chapter 32: Flesh, Blood and Bone

Oh snap yo! The cup
was a portkey?!? Cedric killed;
Voldy gets new digs.

Chapter 33: The Death Eaters

Daddy Malfoy and
other Death Eaters return.
Voldy monologues.

Chapter 34: Priori Incantatem

Harry, Voldy duel;
Voldy’s victims’ shadow-ghosts
help Harry escape.

Hmm, I wonder why
Voldy can’t kill Harry. Will
this come up later…?

Chapter 35: Veritaserum

Oh $#!* Moody’s not
Moody! He’s Crouch junior, a
servant of Voldy!

Junior confesses:
killed Crouch senior, helped Harry
win cup/Voldy rise.

Chapter 36: The Parting of the Ways

Harry explains all
to Dumbledore. Minister
Fudge is a dumbass.

Chapter 37: The Beginning

Dumbledore tells school
Voldy’s back.Twins given cup
gold to start joke shop.

Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle
are hexed unconscious on train
for being douchebags.

I guess Hogwarts needs
a new Defense Against the
Dark Arts professor…

Inches Away!

An army of inchworms parachute
in on strings of silky steel. They
scramble and squirm as if frightened
of falling as they slowly descend from
some invisible biplane. The
first few reach the ground, their
camouflaged flesh allowing them
to easily infiltrate the perimeter
of spring foliage. The rest of
the platoon still drifts from the
sky, swinging in the wartorn winds
of May. Three soldiers are stolen
by this violent breeze and cast
off to shores unknown. A spot of green
writhes upon the table down
below; their sergeant stands before
me, defiant and poised, prepared
to strike that crucial blow. I
push my chair backwards
as I stand up to fight back;
it slices through a wall of
tethered strands, sending
the remaining troops to
plummet to the ground. The
sergeant squiggles safely
away so he might fight
another day, and I the giant
turn back to this page, fully
unaware of the battle being waged.


It didn’t take; the world didn’t fold in on itself
and I was not faced with tidily-folded piles

of clothes from the chosen ones. I had been
looking forward to a cease-fire, an end to

the constant interruption of my desktop distractions
by the outwardly decent, because they – after all – would

be the ones to be swept up, leaving the rest
of us to loot, pillage, plunder or just sit there

as we always have, changing channels while
the wild, blind End Times rip through.

Breakneck Lake (excerpt)

The day of the Breakneck Lake fire I was in the middle of doing my laundry. Jeff had left the night before, and all week I’d saved up my dirty clothes, knowing I’d need something to keep me busy, keep my hands from hanging limply at my side while my thoughts followed him across the country. He was headed west, and I stood at a change machine jamming dollar bills into the slit before the green light was completely illuminated.

“Goddammit,” I said. The woman next to me had a kid with her and shot me a glance to communicate her anger at my use of such language. “Fucking machine,” I said.

I returned the woman’s stare then, hoping for a confrontation, a light for my fuse. My cork had slowly been wriggling out of place in the months since Jeff announced he was leaving.

“I gotta finish school,” he’d said. His lips were greasy from lo mein leftovers, and I had handed him a napkin, waiting for an invitation to join him in San Fransisco. Even after he’d finished eating the rest of the Chinese food, my appetite having suddenly waned, after the little paper boxes had been stuffed into the overflowing trash can and he’d finished the peanut m&ms in the glass bowl I kept on the coffee table for a quick breakfast on the way out the door, the invitation did not come. It was then, in the Laundromatic several blocks from our apartment, that I knew it would never come. I was not asked to join, nor would I be asked to follow.

The woman retreated to the other corner of the laundromat while her daughter checked all of the coin machines for orphaned quarters.

Haiku Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, part 1

My personal favorite of the seven!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 1: The Riddle House

Voldemort is back,
killing witches and old folks,
Wormtail at his side.

Chapter 2: The Scar

Harry writes letter
to Sirius post-Voldy
dream; past books recalled.

Chapter 3: The Invitation

Grapefruit for breakfast,
World Cup invitation, and
birthday cake for brunch.

Chapter 4: Back to the Burrow

Dursley’s living room
destroyed; Dudley poisoned by
the twins’ cursed candy.

Chapter 5: Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Ginger twins aspire
to open joke shop. Harry
meets older Weasleys.

Chapter 6: The Portkey

Harry travels to
Quidditch World Cup by old boot,
meets Edward Cullen.

Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch

Twins bet with bookie
Bagman, are bored by Crouch, both
Ministry high-ups.

Chapter 8: The Quidditch World Cup

Hot Bulgarian
chicks fight off leprechauns, turn
into angry birds.

Krum snags the snitch for
Bulgaria, but Ireland
wins, as twins predict.

Chapter 9: The Dark Mark

Death Eaters—Voldy’s
former friends—mess with Muggles
post-match. Party: pooped.

House-elf Winky sacked
when found with Harry’s wand ‘neath
Voldy’s calling card.

Chapter 10: Mayhem at the Ministry

Reporter Rita
Skeeter tears Ministry of
Magic a new one.

Chapter 11: Aboard the Hogwarts Express.

Mostly setup: talk
of Hogwarts, other magic
schools, Mad-Eye moody.

Kind of a pointless
chapter, now that I’m really
thinking about it.

Chapter 12: The Triwizard Tournament

No Quidditch this year.
Instead, deadly tournament
against other schools.

Chapter 13: Mad-Eye Moody

Draco Malfoy: the
Amazing Bouncing Ferret!
That’s Moody “teaching.”

(Books’ best line: “Can I
have a look at Uranus,
too, Lavender?”—Ron)

Chapter 14: The Unforgivable Curses

Moody teaches some
illegal spells, and maybe
hits too close to home.

First appearance of
Avada Kedavra. Plus,
Harry gets more mail!

Chapter 15: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

Huge horses fly huge
woman’s students; sailboat sub
carries Krum and co.

The two other schools
competing in Triwizard
Tournament arrive.

Chapter 16: The Goblet of Fire

Cedric, Viktor, Fleur…
Harry? Four champions of
TRIwizard tourney.

Chapter 17: The Four Champions

Gryffindors are stoked,
but everyone else is
pissed Harry got picked.

Moody thinks someone
wants Harry dead and that’s why
he’s a champion.

Chapter 18: The Weighing of the Wands

Skeeter wants Haryy
as scoop; champions’ wands weighed;
Hermy’s teeth enlarged.

Chapter 19: The Hungarian Horntail

Dragon! A dragon!
I swear I saw a dragon!
…Wait…that’s Pete’s Dragon…

Hagrid lets slip first
task: dragons! Harry talks to
Black via fireplace.

Cthulhu Do You Love?

I still recall the first time
I saw him. How the mere

sight of him gave me goosebumps,
sent a wildly electric ripple

through every inch of my
body. A madness so elated,

so asphyxiating, it could
only be described as “love.”

There was a mass to him.
A certain girth — not fat, by

any means, but there was
something about him, both

his body and his essence,
that was larger, greater than

life itself. It was rough, worn,
and manly, but it screamed

of how it might hold me through
the endless nights, and I knew

he would surround me, protect
me, like a boundless blanket.

I longed for nothing more
than to drown myself within

his reach, wrapped up so
tightly in his aileron. Such a

warm, coriaceous span! And O,
the tendrils of his lips. When

finally they came to me, that
was when I found myself so

truly and utterly consumed.
How they would gently caress

my mouth. How each kiss was
like a massage, gently tickling

each nerve with the delicate
dance of fingertips as he

fondled my lobes. “Fhtagn,”
he whispered sweetly, and I

had no defense but to give myself
over to him, with all my deepest soul.

An Excerpt from “Drama Queen.”

In the theatre, there are a number of superstitions. One must never utter the name “Macbeth” while inside the theatre. A bad dress rehearsal foretells a good opening night. Never wish an actor “good luck” before he sets foot onstage.

Pioneering acolytes of Thespis that we were, we created our own set of irrational beliefs.

“C’mon, JT…you have to.”
“I’m trying…just…okay, there we go.”
“God, that’s so gross.”
“Fuck off.”

The Drama Club calendar – indeed our entire worlds – revolved around two major events: Musical in the Fall, Festival in the Spring. Festival was not for the casual, application-padding thespian. You had to be a whole different level of dedicated to even consider it.

The agreement at the time was that Hig directed the musical, oversaw Thespian Night, and taught the classes. He was the Big Kahuna in all aspects….except the Festival. That was Bud’s domain.

Bud taught English, but his true love was the stage. At the age of five, Bud was cast in a play as Joan Crawford’s son. Somehow he had made it from the Great White Way to the slightly less glamorous South Shore, and to Hingham. And Hingham he led to its great triumph in the 1970s, when “The Crucible” made it ALL THE WAY TO THE FINALS.

That Hingham had not made it to the finals since was a dark cloud that hung over our heads. Like the Curse of the Bambino, Hingham seemed doomed to never again grace the stage of the Hancock. A yellowing, peeling poster from “The Crucible” dominated Bud’s classroom. It hung as a perpetual reminder of Hingham’s former glory, a withering rebuke, an emblem of both shame and inspiration. Try as we might, we would never live up to “The Crucible.”

Until our bare, no-holds-barred production of Ramon Delgado’s “The Little Toy Dog” changed everything.

“Don’t rush me. I’ve got this.”
“I think you underestimate the importance of timing here, JT.”
“So, SO gross.”

In hindsight, it was a really strange piece. This somewhat expressionistic play followed childhood sweethearts Tom and Mary Pat as they faced the realities of adulthood. How it wound up in Bud’s hands was anyone’s guess. We scoffed at its archaic language, and its bizarre Greek chorus of people pretending to be trees and office furniture. But it turned out to be the perfect vehicle for us, our personalities, and our tendency to think of ourselves as an impenetrable fortress of awesome. This was, after all, an ensemble piece. We enjoyed working with each other, enjoyed one another’s company, and so the stilted dialogue and awkward staging came easily to us, even as we mocked it.

Yet we were convinced that the reason we made it ALL THE WAY TO THE FINALS was because JT was farting for luck right before the curtain rose.

I think it started purely as an accident of chance. JT cut one before a full run-through and there were no notes afterwards. By the time we performed at the prelims, we fully equated JT’s flatulence with success. JT farted, and we moved on to the semis in Swansea.

JT farted in Swansea, and the curse ended. We were going to THE FINALS.