So today marks the sudden shift, the chasm-deep drop off between the time I worked on my epic “here and there” to really WORKING on it full time.

In that regard, this post is in answer to a comment Rich made a few posts back – about updating on the progress (or even with pieces of) my work. I think that’s a good plan. Anything to help keep me centered and focused and excited is good. If nothing else, at least there will be a recorded and public document of my thoughts should I go completely insane from the pressures of writing a thesis, suffer a complete psychotic break, a cabin fever resulting from being closed inside my own head – tear off my earthly garb, and lope off into the forests between my family’s house and the Fox River, howling and flinging small woodland creatures at trees and children – never to be found again, existing only as a suburban legend and a strange noise boaters might hear on the river, between the hours of dusk and dawn…at least there would be such a document so people would know.

But…a writer who always talks about what he’s going to write, is usually the writer who does not write (in which case he’s not really a writer, right?). So you probably won’t find whole chapters or an entire synopsis – but little bits of thoughts and lightening bolts from my synapses.

So today…we’ll start with quotes. I like quotes. There is an alchemy of potential ideas in words removed of context. There is a necromancy in saying aloud the words of those who have passed on – strange things a person can resurrect and conjure on paper or plasma screen or brick walls. I have a very HUGE file of collected quotes that contribute to or inspire my major work. Some are there to give me some ideas for verse structure and imagery. Others are there to be put at the heads of chapters (I’m a SUCKER for chapters that begin with quotes – if a girl walked in with a tank top that had a good quote on it…I’d probably be smitten for life).

So, instead of giving a synopsis and describing the plot to you all – I’m going to give a taste of the quotes. The idea appeals to me. It would be like someone asking you where you were last night and you replied with a series of scents – like telling a story with a series of moods rather than narrative. So here ya go…the list will probably be long, a long post…but feel free to come back and sneak a peak. If you have quotes you think would fit in…I’m all ears (please reply).

The story is calls SOULS UNSURE. It’s about a voodoo priestess, the dark and mischievous muse she summons (Crow), and a sort of fallen angel who really, really doesn’t want to play hero (Syth) – does not want to go back to a forgotten Limbo (Sheol).

“This is the sorrowful state of souls unsure.
Whose lives earned neither honor nor bad fame.
And they are mingled with angels of that base sort
Who neither rebellious to God nor faithful to Him,
Chose neither side, but kept themselves apart-
Now Heaven expels them, not to mar its splendor,
And Hell rejects them lest the wicked of heart
Take glory over them.”
-Dante, The Inferno

“And then I: ‘Master,
What agony is it that makes them keen their grief
With so much force?’ He: ‘I will make brief answer:
They have no hope of death, but blind life
So abject, they envy any other fate.
To all memory of them, the world is deaf.
Mercy and justice disdain them.”
-Dante, The Inferno

“I cry when angels deserve to die”
-System of a Down, “Chop Suey”
“An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
in veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breaths fitfully
The music of the spheres.”
-Edgar Allan Poe, “The Conqueror Worm”

“Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Is just a freight train coming your way”
-Metallica, “No Leaf Cover”

Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?
-The Prophecy
“I pulled off your wings
Then I laughed
I watched a change
In you
It’s like you never
Had wings”
-Deftones, “Change (In the House of Flies)”
“I am ashes where I was once fire.”
-Lord Byron, “To the Countess of Blessington”

“Down in a hole and I don’t know if I can be saved
See my heart I decorate it like a grave”
-Alice in Chains, “Down in a Hole”

“For the Emperor who governs from on high
Wills I not enter His city,”
-Dante, The Inferno, Canto I, Lines 99-100

“Down in a hole,
Losing my soul
I’d like to fly,
But my wings have been so denied”
-Alice in Chains, “Down in a Hole”
“I’ve felt darkness
closing in on me
Chilling shadows
surrounding me
I’ve had the poison
leak into my skin
And it corroded
my heart away
Bled away
Cut away
Dark night of my soul…”
-Fear Factory, “Timelessness”

“Speak to me with the answers I crave
About these souls and the sepulchers they fill:”
-Dante, The Inferno, Canto IX, Lines 5-6

Throw away
The charade of your life.
Let the flame of my heart
Burn away
Your complacence tonight.
I command you to rise,
Wash away
The decay of your life.
Feel the light of your eyes
Find the way
Through the darkness tonight,
Fearing no one.”
–Disturbed, “Rise”
“Demons dreamin’
Breath in
Breath in
I’m coming back again”
-Godsmack, “Voodoo”

“The Crow is an ethical finality. He is the dream-carrier of holy retribution. He knows every devil was born in heaven.”
-A. A. Attanasio, intro to The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams

“Oh, I been flying…mama, there ain’t no denyin’
I’ve been flying, ain’t no denyin’, no denyin’
All I see turns to brown, as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand, as I scan this wasted land
Trying to find where I’ve been.”
-Led Zeppelin, “Kashmir”

“For though my rhyme be ragged,
Tattered and jagged,
Rudely rayne-beaten,
Rusty and mothe-eaten,
Yf ye take well therwith
It hath in it some pyth.”
-John Skelton, Collyn Clout (c1522)

“Alone it falls to me to be his guide
Through the dark valley. It is necessity,
And not his pleasure, that puts him on this road.”
-Dante, The Inferno, Canto IX

“So, the crow spirals down through a collapsed dream and the only sound he makes is…like a concave scream.”
-James O’Barr, The Crow

“Shrouding all the ground around me
Is this holy crow above me.”
–Tool, “Third Eye”

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.”
-Eccles. 9:10

“And now I can hear the notes of agony
In sad crescendo beginning to reach my ear;
Now I am where the noise of lamentation
Comes at me in blasts of sorrow. I am where
All light is mute,”
-Dante, The Inferno, Canto V, Lines 24-28

“Never did I wanna be here again
And I don’t remember why I came”
-Godsmack, “Voodoo”

“Hell is more bearable than nothingness.”
-P.J. Bailey

“In the city, where angels fear to hover and devils come to croon, the sex of the night lets down her black narcotic hair under a yellow opium moon.”
-James O’Barr, The Crow

“Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
For down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.”
-Edgar Allan Poe, “City in the Sea”
“This isn’t Hell but you can see it from here.”
-James O’Barr, The Crow

“My fears come alive
In this place where I once died
Demons dreaming
Knowing I…I just needed to realign”
-Godsmack, “Re-Align

“No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv’d only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades…”
-Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1, Lines 63-65

“Beyond all doubt that this was the dreary guild
Repellent both to God and His enemies –
Hapless ones never alive, their bare skin galled
By wasps and flies, blood trickling down the face,
Mingling with tears for harvest underfoot
By writhing maggots.”
-Dante, The Inferno, Canto III, Lines 52-57

“Her blue eyes are smokey like an opium den
First she giggles and blows you a kiss
Then she’ll whisper sweet nothings
like a serpent’s hiss”
-Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Shake Your Love Maker

“They open their throats wide as Sheol,
like Death they never have enough.”
-Hab. 2:5

“Did your God show you the door
Well, I’m here to eat your apple to the core”
-Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Here Comes the Snake”

“There were much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the Bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.”
-Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”

“The beautiful life is always damned
You gotta fall into the quicksand”
-Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Brown Derby Jump”

“Don’t let the dark into me
Don’t let the vengeance of Heaven be you”
-“Gary Numan, “Dark”

“You got to move fast to beat the devil
You arm is too short to box with God”
-Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Drunk Daddy”

Shriek the lips
Across ragged tongue,
Convulsing together. Sing
violently, Move the jaw
Cry aloud. Bound up the Dead
-Rob Zombie, “Superbeast”

“Dead I am the one, exterminating son
Slipping through the trees, strangling the breeze
Dead I am the sky, watching angels cry
As they slowly turn, conquering the worm”
-Rob Zombie, “Dragula”

“The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.”
-Martin Luther

“Oh now feel it coming back again
Like a rolling thunder chasing the wind
Forces pulling from the center of the earth again
I can feel it.”
-Live, “Lightning Crashes”