Tag Archives: Eric Robert Nolan

“Ode to a New Black Ball-Point Pen,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Black liquid silk, bleed out
from onyx talon-tip:

Like spilled obsidian liquor
indelibly defacing lace,
like a gleaming needle leaves
glissading sable scars of curling script,
let slip the sliding
black racer snakes to trace the page.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2020



Photo credit: By George Shuklin – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2209695

So dudes, I am published in six countries now.

Given the state of our country, I feel certain that means I’ll wind up on some sort of watch list.

Update: I SWEAR to you something just started beeping and I don’t know what it is.

Update 2: Nah, it’s totally cool. It’s this little Altec speaker I got for Christmas. Not sure why it beeps, though.




Now’s the time to order your copy of Buk 100: My Old Man, A Birthday Greeting.  Click right here for Newington Blue Press’ limited edition chapbook.  Only 100 copies will be printed in this initial run, which celebrates what would have been Charles Bukowski’s 100th birthday.

When you read it, be sure take a gander at two poems of mine: “First Smoke” and “Guerrilla Poet.”  (The latter piece is an homage to my good friend and colleague in the writing world, poet Dennis Villelmi.)

I hope you guys are looking forward to a great weekend!  No matter what you’ve got planned, remember Buk’s advice — “what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”



By Commonurbock23 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4030361

Throwback Thursday: this 1986 Laser Tag commercial!

I remember Laser Tag as an exciting but fairly brief blip in 1980’s pop culture.  A lot of the kids I knew got excited about these commercials, a lot of us asked earnestly for Laser Tag guns Christmas, and … none of us got them.  (Our parents seemed unanimous that they were too expensive.)

Ah, well.  The subsequent buzz around my neighborhood was that our parents were probably wise, anyway — we heard later that the guns hardly worked, making the product nowhere near as cool as the commercials depicted.  (I am linking below to Kevin Noonan’s Youtube Channel, by the way.)

And then the fad faded — all the hubbub around Laser Tag (and Photon, its cheaper competitor) just kinda went away.  It sort of makes sense.  Paintball was alive and well as an edgier, more subversive, and more exciting sport; I can’t imagine how these gaudy electronic products could compete with that.

The Wikipedia entry for Laser Tag had a couple of surprises for me.  For starters, the technology for the products’ infrared light guns and sensors was developed by the United States Army in the 1970’s — I guess it was an Ender’s Game-type scenario.  And the first game system using the technology was South Bend’s Star Trek Electronic Phaser Guns in 1979.  (Those toys were released in conjunction with the premiere of that year’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”)

Didn’t see that one coming.  I’ll bet those toys fetch a nice price among collectors.

Anyway, there was another Laser Tag commercial that everybody talked about back in the day … it depicted American and Russian teams competing in a dystopian-future tournament, in which the Statue of Liberty was the trophy.  It’s smile-inducing.  I couldn’t find a really decent copy of it to link to here, but you can find it on Youtube.




The Roanoke Times features my essay, “I Am Going to Drive Drunk Tonight.”

The Roanoke Times published my writing again this morning in its Letters section — this time, it was my brief satirical essay, “I Am Going to Drive Drunk Tonight.”  The regional daily newspaper was founded in 1886 — it is Southwest Virginia’s leading online news source, in addition to its sales at 1,500 locations throughout the region.

You can find the essay right here.

Thank you, Roanoke Times, for inviting those of us in the community to share our perspectives through a first-rate daily newspaper!



Winedrunk Sidewalk features “Friends, Americans, countrymen” satirical piece.

I’m lucky enough today to see my writing featured again by Winedrunk Sidewalk: Shipwrecked in Trumpland.  This time out, it’s my satirical treatment of the president using Marc Antony’s speech in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  Its title is “Friends, Americans, countrymen — lend me your fears,” and you can find it right here.

Here’s a big thanks, as always, to Editor John Grochalski!



Some brand new curse words!

So I’m sure you guys remember how I’m weird about occasionally trying to run down the origins of various aphorisms …  A while back I tried to look into the (possibly apocryphal?) Chinese curse that people like to quote — “May you live in interesting times.” I posted about it at the end of March.  (It felt timely then, and it still does.)

I stumbled across a three-tiered variant of the saying just yesterday.  As it turns out, the curse in its purported entirety is as follows, or at least according to the Internet:


May you live in interesting times.

May you come to the attention of those in authority.

May the gods give you everything you ask for.


It’s interesting stuff.  That bit about “the attention of those in authority” feels especially ominous in the Trump Age.

If any of you guys have any insight into exactly where this quote originated, please feel free to chime in.