The Merge

You and I

Walk a darkened road; shadeless,

Dimly lit by a street lamp,

That we have yet to reach.

You from that side, along the wall.

Me from this, along the curb.

You on the right.

Me on the left.


I anticipate

Your fear

With mine.

The one that knots my guts,

And lumps my throat,

And sweats my palms.

The one that you and I have almost always known.


Your father warned you about:

The thief, the murderer, the rapist.

My father warned me about:

The cheat, the liar, the oppressor.


We merge under the light.

You sidestep toward the wall.

I to the street.


My father said never to corner a wounded animal,

And we are the most dangerous kind.


© J. Manuel






In Defense of Violence: Ancient Japanese/Chinese/Internet Proverbs


I often reflected on a proverb. I cannot say when I first came upon it. Maybe I read it in a translated Japanese text, or was it Mandarin? There’s about a thirty-percent chance that it had Cantonese origins.  Though it’s more likely that it was a meme of mysterious origins (scrawled with ball-point pen on the back of a local cable company’s billing envelope sitting past due on the welcome desk of a strip mall, ninja school that hosts nightly masquerade balls for its LARPing members… no shinobi-no-mono). From there it likely spawned into the dark web upon the Cheetos-fingers of a plump pubescent would-be warrior of the night, and circulated with its unattributed quote through thousands of I.P. addresses where it finally found its way to my Facebook feed.
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On the Gentle Art #14

bjj evolve

What are you afraid of? Are you scared of things that go bump in the night? Monsters? Demons? Serial-killers? Clowns? Serial-killer clowns? Or worst of all, spiders? Maybe you are the type of person who is scared by the more mundane: heights, water, flying, subway travel, or mystery meat school lunches? (I always stuck with the PB&J myself. I didn’t trust the Soylent Green Sloppy Joes. Badly behaved kids had a strange way of disappearing. They said to the “alternative school”, but I never trusted them either.)
Continue reading “On the Gentle Art #14”