Sunday, June 24, 2018

mmdcclxxviii

Making Up for Lost Time
    (the anti-maudlin)

“Who am I?” spoke 
the Doolittle to the
Transamerica Pyramid.

“A dollar for a dollop 
of muh hot dauce,”
spoke the master to 

the orphaned squatter.
“Doomsday accrues,”
spoke Maestro Brosnan w/

a clean-shaven Irish brogue 
o'course. The buildings at 
the city's center all hum in

a vibrant sort of way.  The
foghorn is almost percussive.
“Caw! Caw! Caw!” spoke 

the crow in advance of
the careening sun as the
kooky squirrel that hangs

near the top of the foreign
tree awoke (the kooky squir-
rel being, as usual, between

me and the bullish blue of
the big old bay). “How so 
very ray!” spoke the squirrel,

which rhymed quite nicely
with the hum and the drum
of the hottish doom of a fog-

lit day; with the hum and the
drum and the salty-hot Irish doom
hovering over the stench of this over-

ripe foglit day.  P.S. The squatter
kept squatting, the bull remained
quite the bully (even into elderly

bullishness) and I, myself, the very
narrator whose report you now seek,
went on my merry maudlin Monday way.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

mmdlccxxvii

Waa waa road divider
                   —Ted Greenwald

I gave myself sun-
burn!  And look who’s
at the doorway, look-
ing just as sinister as
he never looked, the
halo almost a floating
aura around this month’s
bangs.  Why, it's YOU, 
that's who!  If, for ex-
amle, we were to ex-
change a glance or two
(we do, we did), I’d
think “and just to think,
it all started with I don’t
know you, you don’t know
me. Right?"  Right.  But
somebody must have really
wanted to know something.  
(Right?)   (And what a shame, 
ignorance?)  (Right?).  “Hey, 
sonny, can you make the 
burn go a-way?”  Or can 
you at least make it go 
thattaway.  And to think, 
the burn was the burn
of the party cake, the
slight heartburn of a
heart having a panic
attack.  And the angel
reminded the heart
that there was no panic
at all, was there?  No
panic at all.  Then the
burp.  Then the twinned
laughter.  "Can you make
the burn go away,  kiddo!"
started without the de-
ranged scream, was
more of a simple whis-
per: "Burn it up daddy, 
just burn it all up.  Ama- 
zingly, since burn nev-
er really goes up.  In
that sense.  It goes
down.  “Look it’s
all burnt down,”
said Sally for the
fifteenth time
walking down
Conifer Lane
for the fif-
teenth time
in a row, thirty
months after it
all burnt down.
The 5-alarm fire
that didn’t even
fry the doorway.
If you look, or at
least when Sally
looks, she can
almost see the
cherub, his red
flowing cape,
and long ash-
whipped nose.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

mmdcclxxvi

2-Ache

Speaking
of Sir
Reality
again, 
sir? How
very déjà
vu of you!
Quick, close
yr eyes and
make it just
another bad
dream (dream).

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

mmdcclxxv

A thrilling smack
              —Ted Greenwald

who’s funnier when you’re
fifty (than when you’re in
your late thirties).   I, be-
fore e, except after sex.
Which somehow sounded
just as good at fifteen.
This is everything, almost
the very end of everything,
the everything that gets
stolen right from between
my legs.  Just got, that is.
What’s the difference be-
tween two black and gray
camouflage backpacks?
Funny just will not do for
this wise-ass crackpot,
will it?  Speaking of off-
color humor ... just will
not do for this wisecrack.
More comedy ensues, it
never fails.  For example,
take all of the instructions
at the Tenderloin Police
Department (a charmer of
a community haven, please
allow me to ensure you).
When asked about the
report I’d be filing, I
begin with fifteen pages
of handwritten words (“it’s
part of a much-larger pro-
ject,” I try to get out of the
dry craw near my goozle, and
somehow manage before the
now imaginary “and much,
much more...” comes out
like the square wheel of
my father’s long lost verb-
alized breath.  Ah, libido,
how surreal! I think, smooth
as a song as sung by Mel Tillis.
“...all of my important files,
you know, with labels like
“bills,” “housing,” “job-
search,” and “urgent.”
“It was really just a back-
pack filled with earnest
modesty and endless ‘im-
portance,” croons Tillis,
as if honey from my stut-
ters, “just a backpack
that fell alseep in the
wrong man’s backyard.”

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

mmdcclxxiv

Condescension in the Fiction Section

No one would believe my story.  And yet it would bore
pretty much anyone to tears.  My story, it ain’t no good.  
A story can come in many sizes and a good one will work on 
multiple levels, they say.  The same could be said of the icons of
today's blockbuster cinema: Superman, Spiderman, Naruto, Wolverine,
Magneto, the Avatar, Captain Underpants (he IS a cinematic superhero,

right?  I just ran into a 5 year old sporting an under-sized t-shirt with this
unlucky official moniker), Jack Black, Captain Jack Sparrow, Cap’n Crunch, 
Peter Pan, etc.  “I was born in the Summer of Love,” I say, just to throw 
people off.  I mean, look at me, do I look like the son of hippies (I certainly am
not)??  And then I wear a grimace for the rest of the day. What happened to
all of the love, I mumble intermittently from, I dunno, 4:00 to 11:00 pm 

(the latter couple of hours I mumble somewhat drowsily until later:
I wasburn in a Smermer of Loovthe!”  I shout somewhere on Haight
Street, knowing that most  people confuse this summer (not my mumbles,
necessarily) with 1969, the summer the twins were born (my little brothers), 
and the summer those men landed on the moon (or else the year that Stanley
Kubrick was an unusually prolific, not to mention quite stealthy director).  

Reality?  Most people don’t get 1969 confused with 1967.  On any level.  Um.  
Perhaps on some level, almost everyone (of a certain age) gets 1969 confused 
with 1967.  But what of 1968, 1971, 1975, or even 1979....1973?   Presently, 
I’m either depressingly or at least toyingly toodling with the distance between
the present and that grand demarcation: the Summer of Love.  Now let’s all
poke some fun at glaring half-centuries which ogle back at me like oversized

bobble-heads (aren't they all?).  And above those blurred bobs – in a precisely
delineated neon yellow – flashes the appropriate word, one we’d take on
decades later: “D’uh.”  So did folks living in the Summer of Love realize that
they were participants in the Summer of Love?  Or did that realization arrive
years later as a posthumously (so-to-speak) appellative?  And how subsequent,
if so?  This I am pretty certain is a fact that I should know, but, my memory.  

And, on a related note, as luck would have it, I’ve already lost all interest.  
Except in how it might pertain to me, as usual.  You know, that
particularly easy-going plump babe was born the second Thursday
of June; during  what (in such towns, such as the one in which I was 
born), lovingly (or laughingly) was called the morning rush hour (actually
two fantastical l-words of my own bias, because most citizens hereof had 

never even been anywhere else in the world (another fantasy/bias, if you'll
allow), when it comes to the rush of an hour, to even realize there can be 
a difference.  I was such an easy birth, too, just ask my mother, (who
definitely knows from worse).  That'd be me, born as I was in none other
than THE summer of love, a summer which will never again be half a

century in distance from anywhere else in the world (be that anywhere 
Vesta, Arkansas; Kyoto, Japan; Skopje, Macedonia; or either of the multi-
tudinous but  each unique canals of Venice, Amsterdam or St. Petersburg. 

Monday, June 04, 2018

mmdcclxxiii

Fake Excuse

When it's

impossible
to write
because
you can't
afford a
pen (and
you're too
chicken-
shit to
steal one).


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

mmdcclxxii

Part Poem / Part Agnostic

I guess I’m too old to 

die young; I mean, in

any sort of hyperbolic
way. (And I’m easy

to admit that I’d love
to be remembered

quite hyperbolically.)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

mmdcclxxi

Maudlin

That part you have
right.  That part of
me wading in all of
the bullshit, you de-
scribe it differently,
and it’s your bod-
given right, abso-
lutely, because
your attention is
sick, and not in a
good way, sick as
the victims you
point at all day
long, thinking
nothing, per-
taining to the
victims, but
even moreso
how you feel
about this sys-
tem we spent
time building,
applauding,
lauding, up-
setting, and
rearranging,
along with
our values,
how wonder-
fully precious
to have one or
two of them,
but eviscerated?
I don’t recom-
mend it, nope.
I believe that’s
what’s so shock-
ing about these
stocking-stuffers
so heavily weight-
ed with self-esteem
isssues, depressions,
the inactive ideas of
each yesterday’s gung-
ho, being solidly put in-
to a place where nobody
can remember (the idea,
yesterday, the solidity,
the action of inaction),
the pitch-perfect abuse
(sitting in front of Life-
time television yell-
why stay with such
a son-of-a-bitch!?I,
the killing of the hap-
py (where did those 
drugs go, right?)
as a sneaky mur-
derer of worse
crept in to our
universe of val-
use and such,
wow, what a
valuable uni-
verse (because,
yes, of course,
it’s since been
completely re-
veresed!), ig-
noring con-
sequences, as
if what are those?

Let’s pause for
just a moment
to prepare for
what otherwise
would be a lethal
isolation.  Which
means ignore my
pleas, ignore my
please, snub ev-
ery last one of
my pleases,
take a step
closer, just
one step, and
recall how much
further it was than
the step before
from the bleak fix
that is me, how dar-
ling of me to nostalgic-
ally imagine it so, ano-
ther step closer/further
and we might even re-
discover that release
sensation, the valve
and value of which
we lost, broke, or
just forgot to keep
their forwarding
addresses...

(to be continued,
always at some
futuristic hour,
so long as we are
still skipping and
beating, breathing
and slipping.  So by
all means stay tuned)

Monday, April 23, 2018

mmdcclxx

2. out of sorts (5 letters)

It's like

a cross-
word
puz-
zle.

It's

not
going
to work
without
the words.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

mmdcclxix

How No One Is Who You Say You Are

Who you
say you 
are is
mostly
every-
one.
While
some
do, most
people
never
add that
part to
them-
selves.
Admit-
ting the
fault that
is yours
isn't half
the battle,
but owning
up to what
one's sub-
tracted from
oneself. Hon-
ing that down
inside even
your great-
est others
is nothing
about vul-
nerability.
It is quite 
simply
about
the
truth,
which,
when all
is said and
done, turns
out to be
nothing
but a
hole. 


Friday, April 20, 2018

mmdcclxviii

This Is Not At All How I Feel About It

Many apologies. In all the years of our correspondence, I
do not recall broaching this subject, which has been many. 
And this particular topic is uncannily important, especially
with regard to our relationship. So it is with all due respect
that I respond with a question.  This is what we do.  The
answer is not when will I become my old self but how.
Sometimes never is a blesséd thing.  Its a lousy example,
but when I took the Hippocratic Oath, I never thought
I had become such a hypocrite.  Maybe the Greeks were
all Geminis, I dunno (I certainly dont remember copulating
the Halloween previous).  “I wasn't on hand for that part-
icular heartbreak,” he says nostalgically, not even using
them (his hands) to make the point.  Amused by this, Arthur
begin to sing La Isla Bonita while the rest of the knights
are serving all of their soldiers for dinner (shining armor,
indeed!). All of the henchman agree upon specifically
what to do about history. The agreement, stacked as it
were, rock upon rock (as I recall, it was mostly slate,
done in the classic style so predominant in those less
volatile but much more tawdry times), was hinged
into about seven triptychs. “What do you mean,
what is there to do about all of this history,” she
asked the by then vanished capitan while astral pro-
jecting herself into a different parlor which housed
all of the same strange people at the other parlor,
except this newer family looked a lot more exhausted. 
I agreed as I twitched back and forth amongst extreme
clarity, juxtaposition (again, in the nature of that
particular era), a perverted cynicism and a very
oddly-whetted comedy at which only I occasion-
ally would squeeze out a dry chuckle or two.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

mmdcclxvii

The White Cliffs of Dover

           Old age is not to be believed.
                                          —Joe Brainard

I woke up
this morning
with no hang-
over (I mean 
like the ones
that occur
without the
aid of a yes-
terday of
drinking or
participating
in alternative
festivities).
Meaning:
I’m young
again. Check
Roger slither-
ing out of the
bedroom and
into the L-
shaped hall-
way.  Check.
Roger.  I’m
slithering as
well, out from
under my blank-
ets to grab my
favorite pull-
over, head to
the shower
for a quick
scald and
a comb-
over.
Mostly
happy,
like al-
most al-
ways; re-
lieved with-
in the con-
viction that
I’m in no
need of a
do-over.
“Check,”
shouts
Roger
with both
arms up
in the air.

Monday, April 09, 2018

mmdcclxvi

New Poem

Stay true to your
self.  I try to be kind.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

mmdcclxv

Comic Strip Yappy

Diane, I don’t remember all these cartoons.
We have novel-sized reams of mail sent to
each other from the nineties (in particular).
Was your intention to send me both Mary
Worth AND Apartment 3-G?  The latter,
whatever the case, seems hilarious,
looks like it would be a total scream 
to me (now - I certainly did not get
them at the time).  Also, The Far Side
never grows old, apparently.  I love the
one you sent of a young Captain Hook
who’s seeing a “job therapist” (I could
definitely use one of those, by the way)
because he’s torn between two potential
careers: pirating or massage therapy.  The
look on the therapist’s face is priceless.
Or did I make that part up?  Anyway,
one thing I didn’t make up were two
“Special Report” sidebars you must have
cut from something (From what, though?   
Was there a magazine called “Special Report” 
to which someone in your family – or, just as 
likely, you – subscribed?) that were titled
“Special Report 2” and “Special Report 3.” 
They remind me of the pamphlets that folks 
in and around Chinatown are always passing
out about the ... Falun Gong ... I think?
I’ve no recollection beyond that, at
the moment because I’m reminded
of the man (I actually really miss him) 
who stood on a dais made of a couple 
of milk crates, I believe, on the corner 
of Grant and Washington Streets (or 
Grant and one of the cross-streets 
nearby Washington Street) literally 
all day long sing-saying “Happy Happy
Happy” over and over and over again.  
Only it sounded more like “Appy Yappy
Yappy” to me.  So I’d be sing-saying
the same, all the rest of the day, 
when I had the joy of running into him.  
It gave me a very warm feeling, and I 
felt reassured and okay, as in I’m gonna
be okay because Appy Yappy Yappy.  
There really are a lot of these letters, 
Diane.  All in one envelope, for example, 
there’s an 8 1/2" x 11" handwritten letter, 
along with a Gil Thorpe stripan always 
seemingly worthless comic (to me) that 
I only now, as I read through your letters 
and their various surprise enclosures,
seem to be getting.  Like, I GET 
Gil ThorpeHow crazy is that?  
And then there’s Mary Worth
another soap opera strip with
only two or three frames a day,
like the soapy and oh-so-slow
moving Dick Tracy, a strip I 
actually read and read, but
never actually got, to be per-
fectly honest.  Who knows why,
though, because even back then 
I loved  soap operas (I’d watch 
Days of Our Lives and The Young 
& the Restless – which starred
David Hasselhoff, at the time – with 
my mom from before I went to school.
I remember this!)  I always felt in these 
drawn-out dramas that there was
some sort of humor that I must surely
have been totally missing.  And
there must have been.  Because 
you sent me strip after strip after
strip, along with your three- to seven-
paged incredibly engaging letters,
most all of which I took photographs of 
before everything in my storage unit
went to auction.  These are the things
that life is made of. Of which life is 
made.  Which make life.  For which
I am beyond grateful.