Why Morphine?

Morphine is a pain medication of the opiate type which is found naturally in a number of plants and animals. It acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to decrease the feeling of pain. It can be taken for both acute pain and chronic pain. Morphine is frequently used for pain from myocardial infarction and during labor. It can be given by mouth, by injection into a muscle, by injecting under the skin, intravenously, into the space around the spinal cord, or rectally.

— Wikipedia

The group had a chemistry and influence; definitely a certain kind of sexy

That’s what people generally think of when they hear that word—the drug.  However, I’m not referring to the drug in the medicinal sense.

Morphine was a band founded by Mark Sandman, Dana Colley, and Jerome Deupree (with Billy Conway subbing in for Jerome when he was taking a break from being ill). You’ll see that they were classified as Jazz Rock, Alternative Rock, or Experimental Rock. They were anything but alternative. They were unique. Described by Mark and the others, “Low Rock,” and to me, I would agree.

The group had a chemistry and influence; definitely a certain kind of sexy.

I hadn’t found their music until 2009. So a wee bit after our car accident. I was hopped up on a cocktail of antidepressants, tranquilizers, and in a surplus of guilt. Combined with alcohol, it was a total mess. I was referred to them by my best friend (and co-author), Al. The first song he played for me was Cure for Pain and I resonated with it. Something deep inside just clicked. Next was Honey WhiteBuena, and Like Swimming. Later, I developed an obsession with the sound of Hanging on a Curtain. Especially, during the hours of 1 am and 3:30 am driving/walking around Mason, MI.

Little by little, I became more in love with the sound that was Morphine. Then there came the find that Morphine lost Mark back in 1999, and there would be no more sweet, sweet, sexy bass and saxophone. No Sandman. No more Morphine. I was crushed. At the same time though it made me appreciate the find. It seemed meant to be. The band, though the loss was tragic, I never got the vibe that they were a tragedy kind of deal. What I mean by that is that though they had darker toned songs or sad songs, it [the songs] gave a glimmer (or shimmer) of hope and positivity.

As such, life went on, and it still does. Al and I wanted to give something back in return to the members of Morphine. . . in our own kind of way. We had an idea. We executed it, and well, we did it.

Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle is much more than just a writing project. It’s the time, blood, tears, sweat, memories, and more shared between two friends. Who, wanted to make something, and to give something back to one of the finest musical groups.

Morphine went on as well. There was the formation of Orchestra Morphine, Twinemen, A.K.A.C.O.D. so the music projects were aplenty.

The remaining members eventually formed (Members of Morphine and Jeremy Lyons, The Expanding Elastic Waste Band, then The Ever Expanding Elastic Waste Band) Vapors of Morphine. They carry on the sound and the music that is Morphine. I look forward to seeing them perform, one of these days when I get a chance to visit Boston. Though, I would love to somehow, some way, get Orchestra Morphine, Twinemen, A.K.A.C.O.D., and Vapors of Morphine altogether. Either for a benefit cause or something like minded.

I’ve been off medication for going on 7 years now. It has been a rollercoaster ride, for sure. I had help, though from my wife, friends, family and the therapists that were stubborn (and kind of enough to listen (and point me in the right direction)).

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy has helped a lot too. I was skeptical at first, mostly because I had to keep thinking about my car accident, the emotions, feelings and otherwise associated. It was stuff I didn’t want to think about or deal with. Not anymore. And now? Well, I like to think my load is lightened enough that I can function and be a real person, and myself.

I have moments here and there, where my anxiety will peak, and I’ll give in a little… to the darkness. But I take a little Morphine and then I remember what and who I was, and the long road I’ve traveled on.

Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle. . .It may not be a big hit now or ever, but we can rest easy for when our time comes to visit the other side, that we made a story, a world, and universe in honor of Mark, Dana, Jerome, Billy, and Jeremy. It’s our box that we filled up and sent back.

That we shared what influenced us, molded it into a story and dedicated it right back.

Art matters. Music matters. Reading and writing matters. Everything matters. Without these though we’re so limited. . .and on the borderline of being drones and bland; creativity strangled, raped and stripped.

I’d like to keep up with the arts, set up funding, contribute back to what matters. Especially, now that it’s all in danger. It is partially the reason why I established A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group. Art matters. Music matters. Reading and writing matters. Everything matters. Without these, though, we’re so limited…and on the borderline of being drones, and bland; creativity strangled and raped. I hope to bridge the gap in writing between authors, publisher, and readers. If then, musicians, labels, and fans. And then, it’s on to movies.

Whether or not all that happens, well time will tell. However, you cannot sit idly on your hands and not did anything. Take action. Do something. It’s a two-way street after all.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I do believe it’s time for some Morphine on this fine Friday.

Here’s to you all: have a lucky day.

Until next time, remain strong, be vigilant, and remember you’re not alone in the darkness.


P.S. My favorite song? A fierce tie between Hanging on a Curtain and The Night (both versions).


A Poem/Tie-in and Post: The Prelude

When I did my other little ditty about “Time,” I had another spur of the moment kind of thing that led me to do the following piece.

This one, I felt I would include in my third or fourth book of The Lodestone Files: Among Us: Contact, Assimilation, Control, Extermination series.

Those moments I find enjoyable; random spurts of creativity, and one where I am not at war with my mind in focusing on something (like that sweet, sweet sleep) and being restless until I have to be up 20 min before my alarm goes off. Of course, now that I mention that, I probably will be tossing and turning and God knows what else.

In any case, it’s a visit to my therapist in the AM, where I will divulge my last few weeks of ups, downs, and everything in-between. So needless to say, I am looking forward to that shut eye, unloading of what’s gone on, and what the time until the next session will be.

On the plus side, I am going to go to sleep with Mile High by Morphine playing and that’s pretty good. Ah. Love it. When I need a good wind-down time song, chillax, or be me. . .pop on some Morphine and let the music weave its way in.

I digress, though.

If you’re interested in the first book of the series, download it on Amazon (free in most areas; if it’s not free in your area, let me know! I’ll get you a PDF copy. You can also opt-in with your email, here.

The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows: Among Us: Contact, Assimilation, Control, Extermination Book 1)

If you’ve already done Book One, we’ll I have number two done and readily available. If you opt-in via email, I will send you a PDF copy of that too.

Well, that’s about it. I’ll be catching some Zs and stuff. More to come tomorrow and all that jazz.

Until then,


The Prelude

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

The time is almost here,
A time we should all fear.

The time is almost here,
A time we should fear.

The time is here,
We should fear.

The time to fear,
Is almost here.

It’s almost here,
We should fear.

What it could become.



Who are you?
Who am I?

It’s near,
We fear.



It’s already here.
They’re near.

All there is, all that remains. . .
is fear

This text was hastily written on what remains of a wall in a dilapidated apartment building. A crumpled skeleton lays on the ground nearby. Perhaps, the remains of the author or another unsuspecting victim.

The prediction of the alien’s invasion so many years ago.

Walter’s Jealous Dream

Motel photo by r_neches. r_neches has no affiliation with me, or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by r_neches. r_neches has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Alone in his car, he closed his heavy eyes and tumbled fast into the world of the dreamers. The bright sun reflected dimly off the dark-green shades that covered his green eyes. He now stood outside before a red metal door of the motel. He looked down over the railing, behind his right shoulder. He saw the blue ‘69 Mustang Coupe parked next to the black ‘77 Dodge Charger.

Inside of him, rage swelled behind the dam that laid ready to surge into a righteous reckoning. He brought right hand up slowly to the door, restraining the lesser half of man. He knocked firmly on the door. With each knock parallel to his now aching heart. Each was a strum of doubt, sadness, and of anger—such strong emotions and more, all swirled within his distraught head.

The red door taunted and mocked him, as it muffled the sounds of passion from within. His hand raised again—slowly, shaking. With anger now at the reigns, he firmly pushed the door in with his right shoulder. His eyes hastily scanned the room, searching for their target.

His gaze fell upon a bed—a bed of treachery, distrust, unfaithfulness, a tramp with that smug son of a bitch. He walked in. His eyes fixated on the rigorous movement that made the anger grow exponentially. He clenched his hands, fighting back the tears—watching on as they moved as one. The woman cried her mysterious lover’s name, clawing, and scratching his backside.

It was enough. Walter drew his gun, tired of the torment. He raised the barrel and pointed at the mysterious, but well-known man’s head. “You fuck ugly twat. You always did have to hound them.”

The man’s head turned all the way around, still pursuing his carnal needs. “You are just jealous, Walter. You never had the guts or the girth, and you never will. You speak of fuck ugly, yet you’ve never looked at yourself.”

Walter shook his head.“Before, perhaps, however, now it’s different. . .”

The man laughed hysterically as he pushed with more ferocity into the woman. “Oh my, she’s quite good, Wally-boy. Oh, yes, I am certainly having the time of my life!”

Walter grinned, “Ah. You mean the one that’s now about to come to an end? He aimed with precision, “So, long, Elias.” Like an elite marksman, with finesse and precision, Walter pulled the trigger.

The hammer initiated the sequence of one’s demise. The war horn trumpeted the coming end, bringing the specter of Death with it. The scythe was raised high and swung with such elegance and sheer brilliance. The bullet burrowed deep into the back of Elias, penetrating his heart. As the new home had been found, Death followed through, banishing the treacherous man down into the gaping fiery chasm of Hell.

With his vengeance nearly complete, he turned away from the woman. “Goodbye, Terra. . .” Alone and left behind on the bed of broken promises and vows, was the shadow of a now missed lover. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she pleaded ‘No.’

Walter exited the room, with the door latching shut behind him—silencing everything. He took off his sunglasses, wiped his eyes, and returned his shades to their place. He gazed up at the clear, crisp azure sky.

Everything began to shift and with it, Walter sighed. He knew very well that what had transpired was fictional, and could never happen due to certain facts. He sat up in the car, adjusting his shades. It was another jealous dream.

Moments later, Dana made his way to the car. He knelt down next to the driver’s window. “Hey, Walt, is that dream still bothering ya?”

Walter nodded. “It’s alright,” he sighed. “It’s just a dream, Dana, no worries.”

Dana shrugged. “Well, Walt, sometimes our dreams speak to us. Tell us of the past, present—hell even the future.” He cracked a grin that he had been retaining.

Walter rolled his eyes. “When the hell did you become all-knowing about dreams, Dr. Katz?” He scowled.

Dana cocked his head at Walter angrily. “Hey, wake up!”

Walter raised an eyebrow, confused, “Huh?”

He felt a sharp, sudden pain in his jaw. He woke up and found himself in his car, dazed, with Dana leaning against the driver’s door. Dana poked his head inside. “What the hell were you dreaming of? Shit besides that, what the hell were you doing asleep?!”

Walter sat up in the car, the driver’s seat springing up. He vaguely remembered what had transpired before the dream. “Jesus, what the hell did you do to me, Dana?”

Dana placed his hands on his hips. “Let’s just say that we are even and leave it at that.” He ran around to the other side of the car. He flung open the passenger door, and plopped in, hastily putting his seatbelt on. “C’mon, Walt. We gotta go!”

Walter grunted as he slammed the pulsating red beacon on the roof of the car, and tore off from the parking lot. “I sure hope you at least brought me a damn cup of coffee, Dana.”


Robert J. S. T. McCartney
A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group
Other Writing


This piece was inspired by Mark Sandman of Morphine’s “Jealous Dream” off Sandbox: The Music of Mark Sandman