Excerpt for First to Bend Last to Break by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

First to bend. Last to break.


Scott Christian

Copyright © 2018 Scott Christian

All rights reserved.

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1. a key for all doors

2. growth spurt of a developing consciousness

3. a talent for people reading

4. renewing equilibrium

5. in the context of ascribing character

6. levity for stoking appetites

7. encouragement all along the ways

8. spectacles of the new mode

9. feast for the thirty-somethings

10. a view to soothe

11. just when you think you can’t get any happier

12. retracting from the cold season

13. going with somewhere to go

14. bending to avoid the break

15. steady across all

16. when fate’s a mystery

17. when ways compel will

18. out of my league

19. burst of joy

20. the calculating progressive

21. loquacity of the wordless

22. faith becomes fact

23. engineering predilection

24. a revolution of ideals

25. with quickness in mind

26. a peace worth hearing

27. in the power of a platonic love

28. art, science, sport

29. because it feels good

30. aspiring shine

31. proficiencies of a people person

32. an end to promote readiness

33. together in the sun

34. the boost

35. taking responsibility to a whole new level

36. here we are. there we go.

37. a good, old-fashioned communion

38. out of bondage

39. a dream to one awake

40. fireproof

41. worthwhile ways and a crafty conclusion

42. discernable volumes

43. luxuries of the long-haul

44. the future becoming now, becoming a familial fact

45. the daunting fact, then grace

46. by ways of moving

47. sometimes we see, and that can be enough

48. bits of domestic bliss

49. depleted

50. from the rigors of determination

a key for all doors

she wonders whether each moment—

each gilded gift or profane enticement—

is initiated by powers of both the righteous

and the wretched.

even in love she sees the possibility

of overindulgence

or vain pride.

even in hate she sees the possibility

of accomplishing wisdom

or temperance.

so much seems to hinge on free-will,

and perhaps that is the gift

meant to convince us most

of what’s precious in judgment.

growth spurt of a developing consciousness

the world, to her, is becoming a series of extensions

of the body, mind, and soul.

that is not to say that she entertains false notions

of her own divine interplay

or cosmic authorship.

instead, for instance, matter

and all its potential utility:

lifted, dropped, divided, combined, rolled, etc.—

she recognizes a sort of origin for these many actions

in environments and in herself.

there she begins to conceive of movement

as a process beginning before particular objects

may measurably be affected.

now motion begins by tides of swelling possibility.

a thing is grasped not only because it has been taken in hand,

but also because it existed to be held

and there are hands to perform the task of holding.

a talent for people reading

in looking,

practically peering,

she has learned to recognize layers of character

in observed faces.

what’s constructed as obvious and of the first order

is a combination of intent and what’s undeniable:

she sees the qualities a person pursues,

then the facts of their nature.

there too, observable guises

patched around some suffering yet repaired,

or perhaps learned behaviors established as habit.

for a time she judged people on the foundation

of their personality, assuming that

when disorder or piqued strain brought down

formal sociability,

the animal of one mind would rule.

now, she’s too certain of the will’s power

for such simple accounting.

renewing equilibrium

she pauses.

life has overwhelmed her register of senses.

checked breaths bring her back to the fulcrum

where information from the five blends

and balances

on the tip of thought.

all she needs is the reassurance of autonomous


functioning for her benefit

outside exertions of will:

the lungs expand and contract,

her heart booms,

and the vein in her wrist throbs slightly

as vital tides course

all through extremities.

composure resumes.

in the context of ascribing character

it is so strange,

she thinks,

that imagined things impress on her

equally with what’s real.

today, it seems, clouded skies quit their processioning

and squat in the habitations of heaven.

they just sit, full of indignant slothfulness,

and refuse to submit either ethereal forms

or compliant whimsy

to the routines of sky course.

now, strange again, she grows irritable—

as somehow that divergence

from precipitant meandering,

from what’s classically random,

makes its way into her person



sits there.

levity for stoking appetites

i bought a new belt today

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