To the best that’s within you…


To the best that’s within you,
To your lift and your try,
To your will to see dawn,
To your laugh while you cry,

To your hope through the sorrow,
To your float over pain,
To your push through the dark,
To your dance in the rain,

To your rise from the ash,
To your straightening the bend,
To your fire to the lie,
To your go till the end,

To your cutting the knot,
To your swearing anew,
To your mind of your own,
To your you being you.

 – Quent Cordair

The Evening Tree, painting and poem by Quent Cordair. Now available as a signed print @ Quent Cordair Fine Art, The print measures 11″ x 14.” Signed by the artist/author. Introductory price: $95. Contact the gallery today @ 707-255-2242 or email

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“Mujahid” is free today. :)

My screenplay *Mujahid* is free today on Amazon. It’s earned a 4.9-stars average over 40 reviews. “A screenplay jihadists will hate and civilized people will love…. Set in Chicago during the holiday season, the story involves a conflict between Husam, a young Muslim man who takes Islam seriously, and his younger brother Jasim. The conflict escalates after Husam is handed a heavy bag by a bearded man and gets on a bus heading downtown…. How is the conflict resolved? In an immensely satisfying way—as fans of Cordair’s work would expect.” — Daniel Wahl, The Objective Standard.

Every review is so appreciated. Thank you!

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Amuse bouche…

An excerpt from yesterday’s editing of A New Eden, Part II of Idolatry.

Context: the two are on horseback:

“She stayed beside him as they rode through a grove of stubby limber pine, above which the view opened to a golf course falling away in sculpted steppes to a narrow gorge. Long lush tracts of freshly mown fairways, bordered by poplar, willow, juniper and cottonwood, were bookended by neat rectangles of tee boxes and undulating greens, bordered with lavender, firewitch and red valerian. Bunkers of clean, smoothed sand had been stamped into the layout, strategically positioned to challenge a player’s ambitions and daring. A cascading creek meandered through the heart of the course before plunging in a thirty-foot plume into the gorge, on the far side of which, perched in an alluvial fan, a half-dozen holes more were accessed by a gracefully arched bridge of steel, with abutments of local stone. The course’s verdancy was sharply delimited and intersticed by the rawness of the dun desert and its stubble of unforgiving sage and greasewood—a breathtakingly stark contrast between the improved and the unimproved, between the man-made and the natural, between the golfer’s heaven and his hell.”

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Ajax, aka “Jax”…

This is Obie the Great Pyrenees, visiting the gallery today. He’s my model for Ajax (Jax for short), Sophia Hale’s dog in my new novel, A New Eden, Part II of the Idolatry series, to be published October 1st.  Better get started reading Part I, Genesis, if you haven’t yet! :) … Now available on Amazon… obie

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The town had all been gathered
By the drums of the parade,
To cheer the clown’s batoning,
Monkeys marching in charade,
A troupe of donkeys braying at
Ten leathered trunks a’swaying,
While on seven hobbling horses
Danced a nimble boardroom maid.

Coiffed tigers whining, sniping,
From within their pixeled cage,
A talking head on soapbox red
Preached equaling the wage.
On stilts the ringling master
Promised imminent disaster
Might await a tightrope walker
High above the center stage.

The big tent had been readied
And they lined up every one,
To pay their hours and heartbeats
For the thrill of passive fun.
At dawn the cotton candy sticks,
Confetti stuck to dirty bricks
Is all that’s left but to forget
The good still left undone.


Copyright 2015, Quent Cordair. All rights reserved.

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The Swayze

Two guys in a bar.

Guy #1: So, I had this dream last night.

Guy #2: Yeah?

Guy #1: Yeah, it was a bad dream. I was hit by a car and I died.

Guy #2: Sorry, man. That’s pretty bad.

Guy #1: No, that’s not the bad part. So I got hit by a car and I died, and my wife was really sad for a while, but she was dealing with it and getting on with things; then she went to this pottery making place—

Guy #2: This is starting to sound like a movie I saw once.

Guy #1: Yeah? What movie?

Guy #2: Don’t remember the name. But Demi Moore was pretty hot in it….

(more… )

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For Father’s Day

An excerpt from *Genesis,* Part I of Idolatry…. (SPOILERS FOLLOW) The setting: In the early 5th century, in a small town in the Eastern Roman Empire, a sculptor who is grieving the loss of the woman he loved tries to work on….

*  *  *

With the distraction of work, life was tolerable enough during the days, but the blackness of the nights was unrelenting. Even worse than the nightmares was the simmering torment of anger, bitterness, and despair that had taken root in his soul and was spreading like a tumor, creeping inexorably out of the night and into the day, into his work, infecting his scenes with worrisome frequency. Faces on his friezes contorted in rage, figures twisted in pain, pushing out from the stone, and he couldn’t find his way free of them. During the times when the anger had exhausted itself into remission, he would find himself carving figures of such abject loneliness that looking at them in the evenings was enough to make him weep.

It was just so, late one evening. He had worked through the night and day prior on another mausoleum frieze, trying to reach a state of exhaustion and numbness that would overwhelm him enough that he could sleep. In the scene, the mourners surrounding the dead body were distraught; all were focused on the deceased except one figure – a man who had turned to look out at the viewer, searching for an unfindable answer. His face was sorrow incarnate.

Apollonius sat on the floor, his head fallen, his body bowed over and so tired that he could no longer lift his arms, and still his soul hurt too much to rest. The tears began to fall, making silent splashes in the marble dust on the floor, as the night’s last candle burned low.

He sniffed – and heard an echoing sniff, disembodied, not his own. He sniffed again. Another small sniffle answered. He opened his eyes to find a toddler sitting on the floor next to him, gazing up at the funereal scene, tears rolling down the urchin’s dust-caked cheeks. He was begrimed but beautiful, with auburn-bronze curls and hazel eyes flecked with umber and gold. The bedraggled cloth draping his little body was a dirty rectangle of coarse, undyed wool, a hole cut out for the head. Of the pins meant to hold the sides of the cloth together, one had torn loose, the other had ripped nearly away and was hanging by only a few threads.

Seeing Apollonius’s distraught face, the boy began crying all the harder. The two looked at each other and cried on, emptying the depths of their grief until Apollonius could no longer bear the pathos, such a pitiable outpouring from such a flawless creature who surely could know so little yet of pain, a mere child with the prospect of a lifetime of joys before him. The scene had become an absurd injustice, and from somewhere in Apollonius’s soul, from a place he had thought had long died, something rose through the thick sadness, bubbling upwards to escape –

He laughed.

It was an agonized laugh, a pained laugh, but a laugh nonetheless, and the boy, in turn, laughed at the sound of it. Apollonius put his arm around the boy and pulled him close. The two cried and laughed together until the candle flickered its last, until the forlorn faces on the frieze had vanished into the blanketing darkness, until sleep overcame the night.

Read more…

Genesis cover art 051115c

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“The Match” – free today

“The Match,” with 100 5-star reviews, is available for free today until midnight Pacific. #1A, #freedomofspeech

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Review of “Mujahid” on Order from Chaos

“The story is told in the form of a screenplay, which can seem a bit odd if you have never read one before, which I had not, but it did not take long before the economy with which the form allowed the story to be told took over and pulled me along for the ride….”

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How’s your Tuesday going?

How’s your Tuesday going, in this beautiful land of the free? For one American, who happens to draw cartoons for a living, dawn came today with the knowledge that he’s targeted by men willing to die in the effort to murder him. How’s your Tuesday going, in this beautiful home of the brave? Listen keenly for a few moments to those likely innocent sounds outside. Was that a rake someone dropped? A package being delivered? The sudden firing up of a leaf blower. A car engine getting louder as it approaches but then doesn’t fade. A car door shutting, perhaps a little too quietly… The unidentified bump from somewhere beyond the side wall, the light scraping near the front door. The doorbell ringing. The shadow of what was probably just a bird across the closed curtains. How’s your Tuesday going?

You need to go shopping. You stop and listen carefully before opening the door. It has to be done. You can’t stay inside. You won’t. You scan the bushes, the street, each parked car, each pedestrian—as nonchalantly as you can. You’re brave. You won’t show fear. Outside the grocery store, a young man who might be Muslim stands, waiting for someone perhaps, watching as you approach, his hand in his pocket. You nod at him as you pass, to see if he nods back. How’s your Tuesday going? Back home, you turn on the TV. Most of the wagging heads are implying that it will be your own fault if you’re murdered—you’ll have had it coming to you, for having drawn a cartoon, for having put lines on paper, for having expressed your honest opinion about an ideology, for having stood up against that which you know to be wrong. And you realize that the wagging heads on TV want to be proven right. They’re waiting for it.

How’s your Tuesday going, in the land of the free, the home of the brave, in the United States of America, where you never imagined you would be left unprotected by those who swore to uphold the Constitution, where you never imagined you could be left exposed and abandoned to die on an altar to someone else’s vengeful god, awaiting only the priest with the knife to arrive. But there’s no schedule for the sacrifice. Only “soon,” they say. How’s your Tuesday going?

Separation of religion and state is no more, when the state looks away as one of its citizens is sacrificed to appease a god’s anger. Religion rules once more. How’s your Tuesday going? They came for the cartoonists, but I was not a cartoonist. We’ll go about the day as we did the day before. We’ll show solidarity, if and when it happens, by changing our profile pic for a few days to a black background with “I am XYZ” in solemn text. We’ll share a clever, poignant graphic or two. Life will go on. For some of us.

How’s your Tuesday going?


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