I wrote this poem in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday the 13th. A good friend of mine, the poet Larry Jaffe, and I have written back and forth for years. So it was natural for me to post it for him first and then on Facebook amongst friends around the world where things were popping in real time.

Now I thought I’d put it here to store it.


Winging overhead
Our humanity soars

There is no darkness
In the City of Light

Our hearts, our souls
Reach out, touch
Collapse inward in release

Hugging eternity
Even a black hole
Punches through reality

The flower of rebirth
Brighter than a million suns
Forever, together, we embrace

(C Thomas Fortenberry, 11/13/15)

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The Tenth Justice

I have called for this for years, but a quote by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginzburg just brought it back up in conversation, so I thought I would revist the subject here.

Someone posted this meme quoting her.


I agree with this. It is important that we have true diversity on the courts, especially the Supreme Court, so that we accurately reflect and understand the complexities of our culture.

This is also why for years I had advocated the creation of a Tenth Justice, a Native American Justice, to represent the indigenous peoples of this nation. They have historically been voiceless and treated as invisible in this, their land. We could easily rectify this by having one of their elders sitting on our Supreme Court. The wisdom would be welcome to all, but specifically they would have a voice on all federal issues that touch their peoples, be it environmental, education, land use, etc.

To be clear, I am not calling for a special chair for each ethnicity. We don’t need the African American Judge, the Hispanic Judge, etc. I think the usual 9 are fine to reflect the diversity of American life. We should always have a cross section of genders, ethnicities, lifestyles, religions, etc., reflected in the court’s makeup. This is a unique case, because Native Americans exist outside the system and outside of every day life in America. They are truly the only people treated as “separate but equal” and yet, as is always the case in these scenarios, they are not equal. A Native American seat on the bench of the Supreme Court would go a long way to correcting this problem, even if largely symbolically.

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The Second Improbable Book Signing

Our second book signing occurs on December 5th, down at the BooKnack bookstore in Rock Hill, SC.

Our first book signing in Charlotte was a great success and we completely sold out of our stock. Would love to do it again. Please come out and support us! Be glad to sign a book for you.


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Hot Spots in the Great Pyramid

This month has been full of speculations (some scientific and some wild) about a recent anomaly discovered on the Great Pyramid (Khufu’s) in Egypt. Recent infrared scans of the structure unveiled hot spots on one side that are up to 6 degrees hotter than the surrounding stone. Theories range from the enigmatic machines of ancient aliens to the actual burial chamber of Khufu (which has never been discovered).

I would be ecstatic if they have uncovered a new burial chamber. This would be the first major untouched tomb since Pharaoh Tutankhamen. With modern archaeological techniques and technologies, it would be an infinitely more important find.

Here are a few articles on the topic:

Gizmodo’s, “There Are Strange Hot Spots on Giza’s Great Pyramid, and No One Is Sure Why.”

History’s, “Thermal Scans of Egypt’s Pyramids Reveals Mysterious Hot Spots.”

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Never Forget Nushu

Nushu (also called Dong language) is a fascinating secret language developed by women in a part of Hunan in harsh, old, patriarchal China. It was used to educate and evade repression, since women were largely forbidden from the realm of formal education. They would often write it in hidden spots in books, on fans, and even stitch it as embroidery in clothing. It is always amazing how far repressed people will go to not only survive, but educate and thrive.

Nushu is now, unfortunately, a dying language spoken by only a handful of women. It should be formally studied and preserved. I do want to write on this formally one day, but for now I am only including it in my fiction. Experts should study this before it vanishes as a living language.

Nushu on Omniglot
Nushu on Wikipedia
Nushu on Ancient Scripts


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Banging Molten Iron in the Rain

Working on a new book of poetry.

This will be a bit difficult because it is going to be philosophical and based in part in Russian.

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Umbrella Dance

shivering trees
wetting the spine of the world
umbrella dance

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