All posts tagged: illusion


Ladies and Gentlemen, magicians are real. Flesh and bone, living and breathing. They are not, however, the masters of prestidigitation who dazzle us with trickery born from distraction, smoke, and mirrors. Although they employ wands —to fabricate marvelous creations and previously unimaginable accomplishments—the exclamation Abracadabra!, for them, is nothing more than eleven letters and a bit of punctuation. Real magicians spin yarns of wonder. They immerse us in worlds where anything is possible. They create something from where there was once nothing, and their stage is much larger than wood planks betwixt two curtains. Their magic resides within the pen, brush, and camera. Artists are magicians. – Writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved; illustration © 2016 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


Failed ideas. Attempts at something that eventually yielded nothing. Hope and excitement, shattered; a mess of broken ideas clearly born from inspiration that was delicate to begin with. But as the accumulated detritus is swept away—Whoosh!—a spark flickers. Hope is among the remnants. Therein rises the Phoenix. © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

Skipping Class, En Masse | 2-oz. Read | Joe Blend


Sense is a stalwart companion on the journey of life. It tells us to dance in the rain but only sing in the shower…because a slippery tub and disco moves are not good bedfellows. Sense implores us to walk before we run…because an ability to run doesn’t mean we should panic. It begs us to think smarter, not harder…because brick walls won’t let us pass, no matter how hard we try. That is sense, and it’s learned. Unfortunately, some people skip that class…en masse. Those individuals strip function from form thinking form doesn’t need to function. They think road rage is all the rage, and they stand tall thinking mere height means they’re taking a stand. Those individuals don’t think less is more because they still seek more even though it’s less. And they take advantage of their excuses, but they don’t excuse those who take advantage of them. There is nothing common about sense. Stay in school. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

Humanity | 2-oz. Read | Blog


Social media tried to connect us. And before that it was computers, which followed landline phones and so on. And those technologies were successful, to a point. That’s because they hurt us as well. Those achievements gradually lowered us into a virtual reality that, over time, evaporated what it means to be human. You see, digital is fake. It’s 0s and 1s that, with the help of light and electricity, create objects and experiences we recognize from the physical world. We think we’re pressing keys, we assume a notification is tantamount to a human voice, and we decide that pixels mimic bricks. It’s an elaborate magic trick—”smart” stuff—because what we’re participating in is nothing more than a series of taps on a flat screen. Remove the bells and whistles, turn off the light, and cut the power, and what remains is a flat surface that is no more magnificent than a table top. But most listen to the dings and pops; many are glued to the glow; a multitude refuse to cut the cord. And …

Power Cliches Keep the Hive Alive | 2-oz. Read | Blog


The prepackaged aspects of contemporary society produce a misguided mirage. That’s because “follow the leader” is the name of the game, and it is a game because square pegs in square holes built a cardboard landscape. The mentality behind the mirage—let’s call it “the hive”—believes trite speak on framed mountain peaks and bold ads for fresh fads should serve as challenges—to you and for you—to “be” a “better” “you.” It preaches the notion that working harder and not smarter will give you a reason to hold your head high. It wants you to believe that the latest and greatest tomorrow is within your grasp, but only with their guidance. Sounds great, right? Well, what the hive doesn’t tell you is that they’ll own your tomorrow if you let them. If you subscribe to their future, what was once considered cookie-cutter will suddenly appear as if it’s the cream of the crop. And you’ll dream in beige. Before you know it, life becomes a bland illusion in which you’re always chasing a carrot on a stick. …

Stale Popcorn and Cotton Candy Dreams | 2-oz. Read | Blog


Within a narrative of stale popcorn and cotton candy dreams stands a small canvas tent. Weathered from disinterest but living nonetheless within the carnival’s subtext, the tent precariously stands at a slight angle as its stained cracks crawl around a mere flap of material that, during a stiff wind, conveys a teasing invitation into a creepy catacomb. It is, without a doubt, a distant cousin to its big-top counterpart. The players—a master and marionette, both relics from a bygone era—sit upon a crumbling stage, ready to gift their performance to an audience of eager eyes and believing minds. Once seated, it’s the assumption of innocence that fuels the comfort of the audience as the man begins to move each of his arms in succession alongside the goofy and playful gestures of the clumsy doll. However, it’s when the doll lets go of the strings and leaps from the lap of her marionette—into the audience and of her own accord—that panic and mayhem set in. The man slumps over, inanimate and staring blankly at the chaos …