Author Archives: Arik Bjorn

What Follows Thus, Derives from Hither

I culled through two decades of published clips with a number of publications, and the four entries that precede this wee-post seemed the best to pop the cork on my blog.   These four articles really define my development as a writer from “there” to “here.”  I’m proud to showcase them, flawed as they are.  We are all human and in various states of…

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Where in the World is Brunel Athis?

Ft. Dimanche, Haiti. Twenty years ago, at the age of 16, I found myself roaming the tiny republic of Haiti by myself.   I was the product of an ultraconservative upbringing and had already made several “evangelism trips” to one of the world’s poorest nations.  Haitians needed “saving” by the bucket-load, I was convinced—despite the fact that the Haitian people are the most spiritually faithful people you could ever visit, no matter the unthinkably deplorable comments recently made by Pat Robertson in the wake of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake.   I had secured enough funds (by selling my baseball card collection) to get myself to Haiti and back during the break between my junior and senior years of high school.  If I experienced any miracles that summer, it was probably convincing my parents that I had enough contacts in Haiti to be considered safe.   I hopped a plane to Miami and from there to Port-au-Prince, where I met up with a Haitian friend more than willing to serve as my Sancho Panzo evangelism translator.  From there we took the nation by storm, roaming countryside villages and conducting evening evangelism tent…

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Vonnegut Lives! (a short story, of sorts)

  (“Vonnegut Lives!” is one of the stories in the author’s debut work of fiction, Birds of a Feather: Short Stories & Miscellany, available in paperback and as an ebook on Amazon, Goodreads and Smashwords.)       Kurt Vonnegut stood in front of a large opal-plated gate.  ‘I must be getting old,’ he thought, ‘how did I end up here?’  He tapped the last cigarette from a pack of Pall Malls and searched his Brooks Brothers jacket for a pack of matches.   A gruff voice startled the great humorist, “Need a light?”   Kurt Vonnegut turned and noticed a barrel-chested man wearing a gossamer robe.  The robe was cinched by a belt with a key-shaped buckle.  The stranger had a thick beard and a balding head bordered by a curly, natural tonsure.  He held out a box of matches.   Kurt Vonnegut took the box of matches, lit his fag, then noticed a halo hovering above the stranger’s head.  “So this is the great clam bake in the sky.”   The stranger smiled, “I’m St. Peter, keeper of keys.”   “A pleasure,” Kurt Vonnegut replied.  “I’m Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., humanist and…

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‘+’ or ‘-’ and sometimes ‘+/-’

Only twelve humans have ever touched the surface of another galactic sphere. One of them, Astronaut Charlie Duke, once gave a homily to my high school chapel. While one might have expected Duke to deliver a cliché “you can reach for the skies” exhortation to my pimple-faced coevals, he instead shared a fascinating disquisition on experience.   It was really neat. (This cheap modifier will make sense later.)   Mr. Duke surely did not intend to deliver an existentialism lecture that would straighten Jean-Paul Sartre’s eyeballs, but that’s about what happened. Duke attempted to convey the breathtaking phenomenon of standing on the lunar landscape and beholding our own Little Blue Planet floating in the celestial foreground.   He explained that after he set the record for a lunar surface stay—more than 70 hours—he returned to Earth. And found himself really bored.   Duke was mired in a thick, intergalactic-postpartum funk. After all, once one has driven a dune buggy on the moon’s rough Cayley Plains, what else is there to do? (Other than bed Eva Longoria.)   There was actually a positive end to Mr. Duke’s…

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Wild Things

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Ancient Egypt & U.S. Corporate Personhood

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Please Vote!

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Button of Justice!

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Dear God…

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X-Ray Charles

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