Wednesday, July 31, 2019


The Chronicle and the Examiner

In this world, months roll
backward; deathless.
Calamity knows no Jane
or Jim or Jack.  I am del-
irious in this vivid delusion.

Food and coins and bills of
paper have no purpose here, 
between this ear and this ear.  
We step out of the massive
crystalline doors of our

complexes every day
and night and, once
outside, we instantly
evaporate and float
over woodland hills

until we reach, say,
the beautiful bay,
and its clean blue
waters, over which 
we float all the way

to the infinite ocean.
And once the vast
Pacific lies be-
low, we drift
downward and

we sink into the
thick slosh of it
and become one
with all of the 
earth's flora and

fauna, which is
indeed a new-
found humanity.
We think, do and

become all of these
things when we look
at the separation of

the classes, and at
all of its related


Tuesday, July 30, 2019


“Performing” One’s Own Work

Haven’t we all felt the disappointment
of watching the movie version of a novel you
absolutely adored? Perhaps until you saw the
film?   Or maybe you adored the novel even
more afterward?  I can tell you that the anti-
dote—or perhaps the reverse effect—is read-
ing a written adaptation of a movie that
was never anything written in the first
place (besides a screenplay, I assume).
Let’s take Tron, for example. Or, better
yet, let’s actually forget I mentioned that.

Is this why I dislike poetry readings so
often?  Granted, they are most often, 
at least the rare events I actually at-
tend these days, social events.  And,
let’s just face it, poets are the
most socially awkward groups that I
have encountered on this planet. Math
squadrons, perhaps?  Chemistry nerds?
I suppose there are a lot of anti-social
folks out there trying their best, I should
not let myself get to carried away here.

But let’s just say that you happen to be one
of us: a member of the poetry team.  Or that
extra-rare lover of a non-poet who regularly
hangs out with our team And, let’s say you
have a favorite poem by—let’s make this perfectly 
easy to grasp—a personal favorite living poet.  And
you get all ready one evening or weekend after-
noon to attend the reading of this hero of yours, 
and right off the bat the hero poet begins to read
your absolutely favorite piece (by any living author) 
in the most ho-hum, hum-drum manner.  Or per-
haps even worse, reads it in that trite way many
poets read their own poems when standing in 
front of the few of us who get ourselves togeth-
er just to attend such things.  It might be a game-

changer, am I right?  My most...modern... example,
or at least one that I am comfortable enough to re-
lay, is contrasting a performance or a studio re-
lease by Kanye West to the daily ding-bat non-
sense that erupts from the same mouth from 
which that musical/rap sublimity apparently
emits.  It leaves me confounded; dumbfounded;
worrying about his sanity and if whoever raised
him is actually bearing witness to this (if so, the
poor dear!)|With him, I can usually ignore the non-
stop  barrage of crap given the fact that I can listen 
tthe albums in my own home.  But this is a con-
undrum I ponder quite often (too often, I am
sure most would say).  Or, sometimes—and 
this too, I know, seems quite debatable—but 
what about the similar phenomenon that can
occur in the same general neighborhood as
heroes who have penned some of the greatest
novels or poetry or emitted some of the best
rap or vocal bravura or performed some of
the greatest on-screen or off-screen perfor-
mances to date.  Be it my opinion or yours
in such cases, surely it gives one pause.

But mostly it makes me want to jump out
of my seat and drag the reader off the stage
(or at least away from any podium or micro-
phone), pick up that which, now in mass-
produced print, was once penned by this
dodo, and read the damned thing myself.
The way it was actually meant to be read,
of course.

Monday, July 29, 2019


My ass is not an accessorary (What?)
Yeah, I said, accessorary...
         —from Tempo, performed by Lizzo and Missy Elliott

Wouldn’t it be nice to have no rules?
To do whatever you want with language?
Well, folks, I say call yourself a poet (as
I do) and freedom is yours!  You, too, can
relish in freedom every time you put pen
to paper.  Today, for me, it is purple neon,
and that is for real, too.  But yours can be
any color or just about any medium your
heart desires.  Even virtual, kids.  So
kudos to Lizzo and to the Queen.
As I’ve said before, and many
a time, rap is where it’s at (poetry,
freedom and imagination that is), and
as one who fancies himself a rapper
on paper (as opposed, I suppose, as
a wrapper of paper), each day these
days (and especially these days) I
understand anew what freedom
means to me, and might even
mean to you, be it presently or in
some soon or distant future.  I used
to say that I was only the reporter,
that I only presented the news, but
now I prefer to say (or believe)
that I offer an alternative, if for
no other reason than the fact
that the daily bombardment of
events transpiring in this world
often come at us as if in search
of a coronary implosion.  So,
as for the matter of breaking
a few rules, whether they be
literary or literal, it does supply
an alternative of some sort to
this kind of 21st century flipping
through the channels around
(only not just at eight in the morn-
ing and six and ten in the evening
and night), among the trio of fam-
iliar (and even familial) news-
heads.  No, in truth, this act
is one that gives me a great
amount of joy and at least a
nice enough recuperation from
the normally incessant bar-
rage of baloney that we are
fed at all hours of the day
and night.  Alas, reality,
however, is always here.
I like to think I am an
honest guy (perhaps
overly so); and in
any case I am fairly
straight up and try
my best to be overtly
clear.  That has been
my rather unflinching
rule of thumb for, well,
years.   But, my dears,
to just steer clear for a
smidge of time, to take
a metaphorical (or real)
paintbrush— and, in ess-
ence—make what-
ever creative advantage
you can concoct over that
what is.  So that it may rule
for just a moment over
whatever happens to be
the often dreary actual
and factual events trans-
piring near and far that
might be causing at
least a headache if not
nausea and uncontrol-
lable spasms of deep
muscles, etc.  I say
attempt to bring your-
self up by knocking
that down and, instead,
create something
of (and on) your own.
It very well may not
only bring you just a bit
of help, at least with-
stand a dozen or so en-
suing actual and factual
calamities.  Not that I
am suggesting that we
all go off the deep end
together.  After all, I
am only here to report,
and that is what I shall
continue to do until I
succumb to the battle
of truth’s bitter pill.
No need to quote me on
that.  It is just a suggestion.
Now, do carry on, and thank
you for being my momentary
ambulance and possibly my
unmitigated recuperation.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


And you are old and deep and cold and like a cheap hotel
of sleep corridors and whisperings.
                                                             —Jack Spicer

I’m not feeling so tawdry
tonight but I would love a date
with the Pacific.  A date with an
ocean seems suddenly and

terribly desperate, but I suppose
it could fairly easily be surmised
that I am.  Desperate.  But yet
I don’t think I am.  Usually

anyway.  I really would love to
date.  Am ready to.  Maybe I even
have something in the works. But
reading a blurb that pops up in my

phone just now, “Just when you
think Trump can’t sink any lower,”, says
the phone, so to speak, “he does.”  And of
course he does.  So I begin to wonder why even

to bother with this love thing.  “It’s aready
a recipe for disaster,” I say to my phone?  To
myself?  In the end it’s all just a
realy dumb conundrum, anyway.  Right?

But...but...if there ever was a time when one (I)
needed someone to grab by both hands, pull
him toward me, look directly into his eyes and

...well, that time would surely be now.  What a
time to remain in what has surely become,
by now, mostly just a self-imposed bubble,
my box, my little room in the city.  Isn’t that

what love is, after all?  Of course it is.   Per-
haps among a multitude of other things.  And
now these mullings have me missing it.  The
comfort.  The comfort a cat cannot give, for

example, or just to discern.  I mean, you can
yell at an animal for days until it gets all silly
cross-eyed at you, but still who does it come
to for food.  Nevertheless, this would have

to be torture for a cat.  What would she care
what my phone is telling me about this guy,
this president, and this unbelievably lower
he can go.  But to another human, with the

electricity moving between the palms of
each of your hands into the palms of each
of the others’ and vice versa, as that rare
and seemingly inappropriate scream gets

shouted directly into the other’s face.
Until.  The relief.  That someone understands.
And can let it go in that fundamental, if not
primal, way.  Sure, the face being screamed

at flinches at first, afraid that maybe you are
angry at something he or she has done.
But how short a time must it take to feel
his or her own burden lifted; a load that

makes one feel free again, perhaps as
momentarily free as the screamer feels?
This, after such a jolt to the system.  To
the systems of each of us, which now

get to feel momentarily repaired, as if
we have each experienced a catharsis.
In the Greek sense.  A purge.  A spew.
A vomit.  And all better now, we can go

on and live another day with our mod-
icum of happiness.  That empathy.
That connection.  That intimacy. 
That comfortability.  That relief.

The laughter.  The cursing.  The
absolute understanding between
two human beings.  That “I totally
get you.”  Now that’s love.

I think that the wishy-washy feeling that
I have had about whether I want it, know-
ing full well that I do, is no longer the
least bit wishy-washy.  I truly want it.

Saturday, July 27, 2019


Deep in the mind there is an ocean and below...
                                                   —Jack Spicer

Take me out of context
and I begin to make sense.
Is why I am the puzzle
piece that never fits; got
in the wrong box somehow.
My arms and legs are pretty
banged up, thanks to this
fact.  And, oh!  My head!
I feel like a film depicting
an extraordinarily isolated
character.  At least I have
found that there are many
such movies.  They keep
me company sometimes.
But normally I write a new
novel every day.  And an
entire book of poetry.  I
apply for every job in the
city with open positions
which are commensurate
with the experiences I
made before I became
affixed to the occasional
silver screen (I do get to
talk to the audience on
occasion...when there is
one).  Nobody calls me
for an interview, of course.
I wouldn’t exactly go
so far as to say that I
swim my life in a paint-
ing by Van Gogh.  Be-
cause Van Gogh isn’t
here.  I do, however, have
many photographs through
which I often pilfer.  And ev-
en though this can only
be done digitally, some-
times, somehow, a
little bit of the color
from whatever era
the photos I’m skim-
ing through seem to
leak like a lost rain-
bow into my very soul.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Moon Face

You light up my life.
You look down on me,
breathe through my body
as if I were wounded.  Which,

of course I am.  I know this.
Your breath is the distinction
between incarnation as opp-
osed to condescension.  I

always have appreciated
an inflamed desire, for
better or worse. Semi-
inflamed, I know is bet-

ter than worse, but I’ll
take it as hot as it gets,
with apologies to my 
environment and those

in it (I am particularly ap-
ologetic to the object of
such intense yearning).
Yes, it is better if it does

not throb so intensely,
bang so loudly, that it
drowns out my life (and
the life of others').  Moon

Face.  You know me like
no other.  The biggest my-
stery of you, ironically, is
that everyone knows you.

Intimately, in most cases,
right?  Or believes they do.
I close my eyes and hear
Bowie making “ground 

control” pretty floaty.  It’s
a nice sensation.  It goes  
quite well with your breath in
my hair.  And while that arouses

my senses, so to speak, I al-
ways have such trouble with
nostalgia.  More to the point,
with other peoples' perception

of my nostalgia.  Because, in
all honesty, I'm not terribly 
nostalgic when it comes
down to it.  But many of 

my obsessions or actions 
have me looking backward
in time.  But it is not our of
a desire to go back.  Never.

It is a way to gauge where I
am, and if where I am is where
I want to be. And if not, this
reflection helps me to alter

my course in a more approp-
riate direction.  It all boils down
to hedonism, even  the desire 
to make the world a better place

than when I arrived in it; in my
belief, that is even possible.  i
think of it as humanitarian
Darwinian evolution.  We 

are humans, after all.  Pur-
portedly the most capable
of this planet's animals.  So
when I look back and study 

last year.  Two years ago. 
A decade ago.  Mulling over
pictures and diary entries and,
well, the few boxes of memora-

bilia that I used to possess,
I am literally examining my
present self in that light, and
trying to discern if I'm still 

going in the right direction
(my assessment is fortunately
most often a resounding ‘yes&rquo;
to that, by the way, even through

the turmoil of the past few years).
But I do look back.  Like at skipping
my 12th grade Novel Class in 
high school, on many an occasion,

to drink sangria next with Martha
and her mother, next to her swimming
pool.  While watching the latest episode
of Days of Our Lives, I might add.  The

television would already be wheeled
out an in place by the time we arrived.
It was a thing.  As often as this took 
place, however, I remember getting

the award for best grade in that 
Novel Class.  I remember that we
read The Great Gatsby, Animal 
Farm, and A Brave New World

(or maybe it was 1984, since it 
was, actually, 1984 at the time).
Whichever Orwell book it was,
what a prescient trio to read

in retrospect (see how this
works sometimes?).   And
me all of sixteen years old
at the time, so ready to run

away from home to join the
circus that was college (this
is an understatement, both
the desire to run away from

home (forever!) and the com-
parison of my wonderful little
liberal arts enclave to a circus).
Before I know it, as these

thoughts swing through the
breeze and through me, and
by the time I remember that
it was just me and Moon Face

only moments ago, wouldn’t
you know it but the moon has all
but disappeared.  The next morn-
ing I call Mom, for no reason but

to say hello.  She, who lives
nearly 2,000 miles from the 
spot I now call home, has to
inform me before I can say

anything at all that she had
a little talk with Moon Face her-
self last night.  I could hear
the spark in her voice as she

mentioned it, so without say-
ing a word about the subject
of her conversation, I knew 
it must have been special.  

Now, ordinarily, I would get
a bit jealous (at least a bit)
of such a blatant disconnect
between me and my favorite

light night friend (paramour,
I would like to say, actually),
particularly if the attention 
given me was diverted by

the likes of my own kith
and kin.  But I simply
smiled this time, remem-
bering the walk back home

after being ignored the 
night before (or lost in
thought).  Or, I guess
you could just as easily

say that I was walking
away from home.  It
just depends on which
way you think about it.

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Mouth Love

Can we not hold it against ourselves

when we hold ourselves against others?
The other may be rather fond of such
mouth love, just as we are.  Sure, some-
times it smarts to chip a couple of teeth, 
or have one broken in half.  It hurts espec-

ially to have one shoved, wholly, halfway 
down one’s throat.  And no laughing 
gas around.  Trust me. I’ve been there.
We’ve all been there, am I right?  
Anyway.  Unrelatedly, I went to some-
tiing called Laugh Therapy a few weeks

ago with Cassandra.  First of all, Polk

Gulch is no laughing matter.  Take my
word for it and do not mention to anyone,
especially someone intent on laughing
for an hour or two (I still wish I knew how
this actually works, but color me a skep-

tic) that they’re in the Gulch.  It's no 
laughing matterlet me tell you.  And if you 
happen to be at the home of someone who 
resides there?  Ask what it’s like being up the 
Gulch these days (or query with What’s it 
like to walk to the corner store for a 

cigarette at two in the morning? or Have 

you met any nice neighbors yet? In my
defense, I had no idea it had already been
a decade this poor lady had survived in
such a nightmare of a slum). To each
each his own, I say  But, man, home is 

where the heart is.  And home is a mighty 
strong word for anyplace in the Gulch.
I say this just in case you are not person-
ally aware of this.  God’s word from me to
you.  Just mark my words.  See [he chuck-
les], I have a terrific sense of humor!

But do you know what they told me at

this...this Laugh Therapy session that
Cassandra dragged me to?  After about
five minutes, no less, it was two words: 
"Get out!"  Not that I hesitated in the least, 
but they did add a few more as I was picking 

up my belongings and walking out the
door.  They said....they proclaimed...
that this was AB SO LUTELY NO
place for SARcasm! The nerve!
There weren’t even any placards 
warning anyone what a serious thing

this laughter is, not even anything on the 
big blow-up beach balls or the purple ball-
oons; no "TAKE YOUR SARCASM & 
SHOVE IT.  No nothin’! And yet, I
found myself laughing hysterically — ya 
know? That god-awful terrifying laugh 

of mine, when it does show up, it shakes
me to the core.  Yet it was even more real, 
this laughter, if ou can imagine.  Such a relief 
from  that humorless lack of hospitability.
Sourpusses, each and every one of them.   
But there’s me, laughing for two, maybe 

three entire blocks straight, directly away 
from the farcical home of Laugh Therapy.
What a riot!  I haven’t even spoken to 
Cassandra since, the poor gal.  And,
what’s worse is now I’m a bit bitter
over the incident (and bitter does

rhyme with titter, does it not?  That
just got ya, ehh?).  I believe that 
under the direst of circumstances
that I have not only held on to my
humor, but I would say I have a
keener sense of the joy of sheer

laughter than anyone you might
think to match me up against.
And go ahead, I dare ya.  Just
you try to look at the choices,
and as competitively as you can.  
would win, hands down.  I

mean, come on, look what
I’m wearing, for Pete’s sake.  
And, like I mentioned, Pete’s 
not even here.  Take my hair, for
example.  How does this mess not
bring you to tears?  And just have a 

gander at the eclectic set of knick-knacks 
I’ve collected over the years—that 
now live right here on my living room shelf; 
the guffaws they’ve elicited.  And there
are, as always, the dozen or so thumb-
tacks keep head down on the ottoman.  

Granted, I used to have a lot more comp-
any than I do these days, but that was 
worth a gold mine every single time 
some poor sot went for it.  I mean, who 
sits on an ottoman anyway for Pete’s sake?  
And, he’s not even...well, you get 

my point, I am sure.  [He says as he elbows 
his pal in the ribs.]  I just dare you to tell me
that I’m the only one left laughing on this 
here planet.  In fact, I double-dog dare you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Then I realized I had fallen asleep...

to escape, to stall, because I was
downright exhausted.  Ask me again
about the waterbed.  About how our
bodies are each walls.  Longer than

you’d expect.  If you were to ex-
pect.  The boneless mass, the mass-
ive mess.  Ask me again.  I might say
the same thing I always say: Heading

home, after my first graveyard shift
at the cardboard factory.  Large
squares of cardboard are heavy.
Little known fact:  after the crash,

all four get out our of the other
care and take their turns running
after mine, cursing.  We were in
front of the courthouse in Van

Buren (is there a courthouse
in Van Buren?).  One had a
bloody head.  Another had a
bloody arm.  It is around

three in the morning.  I lock
my doors, stay i the car,
which, surprisingly is still
standing on its four feet,

not skewed in some kind
of awkward, twisted angle.
Well, I was facing the
opposite direction, as if

going back to work at the
factory where the squares
of cardboard outweighed
logs I would bring inside

at my grandpa’s place.
This heat was unnecessary,
however.  Everyone was
hollering.  The words were

not nice, the ones directed
at me, locked in my Cutlass.
I tried to ask if everyone
was okay, but it just came

out a whimper.  And my doors
were closed.  Each door locked.
Steam was forming on the wind-
shield.  This was summer in

Arkansas . Perhaps it was my
agitated pulse after the slow
motion of the bang and the
double twist at the comp-

letely hidden intersection
(embankments, an abund-
anly leafy low oak that over-
whelmelmed a stop sign, etc.).

This was the stuff of heart-
breaks in these middle-sized
towns (my inexperienced
perspective).  Are you

following?  Several eons
later, after four pairs of fists
clenched and unclenched
under what was the only

spotlight, a streetlamp
at the intersection that
only a few moments ago
did not exist.  Did it, though?

The proof would show
that apparently it did.
so.  Thanks to which,
while no one was ser-

iously injured, my Cutlass
Supreme was totalled. And
history shows that I finished
undergraduate school,

and spent two years of work-
ing in a very non-gentrifried
downtown Little Rock, after
which I moved (not to offen

northeastern Ohioans, but)
to the armpit of the nation
for graduate school.  And
all of this before I would

possess another car of my
own (which, inevitably, was
repossessed; but that is
another story).  So, living

in the two largest cities
of my life, thus far, both
exemplars of what public
transportation is definitely

not, I spent without a vehicle
of my own.  But I did it.  The
four football players from Alma
went home that summer night.

My ticket was dropped.
The violence of the night
was nothing humanly
physical, despite the

threats.  Except, of course
for that one thud-like crash
as my fender slammed dir-
ectly into the front pass-

enger's door of the mov-
ing sports vehicle, over-
filled with four bulked-out
boys (who were definitely

not on their way back
home from work), after
which my car spun ar-
ound two and a half

times while I gripped
the steering wheel so
tightly that there were
bruises on my palms

for the following week
(my only physical injuries,
thankfully).  I lasted two
more weeks at the card-

board factory.  It had al-
ready been a long
summer.  The last I
would spend in the

town I lived for my
first 17 years.  I went
back to college, back
to dreamland, back

to the fantasy-world
of my sophomore
year; the year I would
first start ‘meeting’ a

guy (the same one
the entire school year),
often at the top of
the outdoor but walled-

in concret stairwell o
of the biology build-
ing.  This happened
on quite a regular

basis, as it turned
out. Usually on week-
ends when both of
our respective room-

mates were in for the
weekend.  He had a truck,
too.  Which meant,  awk-
ward as it might sometimes

be, our meetings did not
necessarily occur only on
weekends when one of us
were without roomies.  And,

now that I think about it, there
were probably about as many
such fun-filled, invigorating week-
ends as there were weekdays.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


A Slapstick Autobiography

And narrative in the so-called novel 
suggests autobiography.  Do not roll
your eyes before you read what I am
saying to you.  Before you read the
book, I meant to say.  We all play
along but with something of a de-
meaning manner, as if volunteering
at a circus only to realize you were
about to be made to perform with a
quartet of clowns.  Sure, it’s enter-
taining, funny even, but it also reads
like it's just a butch schizo writing an
extensive diary.  This caught my att-
ention.  For thing, everyone lies.  At
least occasionally.  We had no idea
where she was going with this, nor
which part of her was uttering it.  But
we had to agree it was true.  We even
lie to our diaries.  Or at least I did.  So
I seize upon quietly, feeling a pang
of the practice in conjunction with a
perhaps embarrassing empathy.  We
all attempt lifetimes reaching some sort
of maturity.  But then there’s the kid
in me. Because of this everybody lies 
thing, it can be less and less funny as
an actor performing a role, even if comedy
is the performers forte mostly just slapstick. 
Such piquant roles are usually my best, I
hear myself saying out loud, and it is true.
But even our most various roles get more
and more confused about which part they
actually played.   Or they remember a 
role and wonder if it was a dark comedic 
role, a lead in a musical, an overly-drama-
tized love story, a raucous Shakespearian
comedy (or The Tempest).  None of out
gang do and of his tragedies (which means
we probably cry real tears more often).  
Be it be the role of a tragicomic Checkovian
uncle or an ingenue that grows so wise
during the duration of a mere three hours
that her only alternative is to slam the door
softly behind her family.  Whether such a 
climactic moment in a performance (or a
lie) is an I've had it moment or a moral 
comeuppance or both, it's the grand lie 
of the actor/auteur/artist that wakes up one 
still dark morning somewhere, often near their
supposed middle of life, only to wonder
Who the heck am I?  While better people
(and if you think my portrayal of these folks
as actors are not just a metaphorical stand-in
for ALL LIARS, then it will likely never be of
any concern to you, anyway; you are a dying
breed.  But for those who are following me, 
don't \they are just the most easily exemplified
and recognized breed of our confusion,
or dislocation, or our waking up to never
have an idea of who we are again? Or it is
passible that you missed the same point of the
autobiography as written by wildly diverse
characters who lack any consistency and yet
fit somehow into one body.  And neatly, I might 
add.  Surely you’ve noticed.  No wonder she 
and Perez are like this [crosses fingers].  But stage
directions in a poem that proves that none of us 
reading this (and let’s just  say that a million
people do overnight, and the vast majority of those 
who do read it ore than once) get the point?  We 
are all interchangable.  We’ve become in-
consistent, interchangable, and we do not recog-
nize the ramifications.  That is the minority of you
who have the gumption to even understand or 
read more than a line or two of a newspaper 
article (much less a poem).  This is why i stick
with clowning.  As much as possible.  There is 
something very consistent about a clown, so 
long as he never wakes up and wants instead
to become a prosecuting attorney, a computer
code writer or a dermatologist or something.
Let the world be filled with vapid no frills types.
That is what stepping into another's shoes can
do for you.  Besides give you blisters.  Me, my
shoes are about three sizes too long.  Such is
the life of a clown.  And I've always got more
than one hanky up my sleeve.  I can walk around
town terrorizing folks (both children and adults)
then head to my job at a party an watch those
same kid and those same interchangeable  adults
laugh themselves into a foamy mouth or a sore 
throat.  When I am down, the last thing I want to 
do in the morning is put on my clown suit and my 
oversized shoes and my big red wig and the squeaky 
ball over my nose, but at least the satisfaction of
knowing two things: 1)Who I am every day; and
2) That clowns are the most stable humans in any 
business, if not in the entire world.  Oh, and 
3) Circuses may be full of manure, but they are 
the stuff of which dreams are made.

Monday, July 22, 2019


Eggplant Application

Eggplant, as it relates to
fraud, is a gruesome topic.

Kids on this island go to for their

lethal dose.  Applied
appropriately and it

can stop a cold sore
within 12-18 hours

(this per the label).
And you’ll still 

have plenty left for
your vegetarian

lasagna (don’t
even think about miss-

ing Sunday’s pot-
luck!)!  Explaining by

exclaiming is so twenty
years ago.  My nephews

and nieces keep me in
the loop.  Or is it an

echo chamber?   I
should know as I am

a geek from way back.
When I strain to explain

how far back, I get the
yawns. Not me, mind

you.  I love being a 
geek.  I mean my 

audience.  The only
thing that all of these

young pups seem to
appreciate is when I

put up the fourth wall.
Like, permanently.  And

(the nieces and nephews
always like to remind)

with cinder blocks.
Only they would’t 

know a cinderblock
if it hit one on the head

(and the rest fell like
dominoes).  I love 

kids.  They make me
feel so young.  If I had

one tonight, I would 
take him out dancing.

I am such a block-
head that I even 

have someone in
mind for such a task.

But what if he act-
ually arrived?  We

would enjoy a match-
makers delight as we

ditched the night-
clubs to swing to

the music of the
night on the empty

2am streets of 
our city of promise 

and unity, roiling the
night’s thick fog,

which would other-
wise overwhelm with

its sickly sweet smell
of not-so-distant deadly

blazes, into ephemeral
wisps; dizzy curlicues of

delight as we dance
our way giddily over

every empty street
until dawn.  After 

which we’d retire to 
our little beating heart, 

our home, nestled snug-
ly inside of our vertiginous,

kinetic city.  The one
that we just made,

with but the two
of us, together.

Sunday, July 21, 2019


Skunk Breath

What's the matter, 
did a cactus get 
yer tongue?  Melan
choly melancholy.

Saturday, July 20, 2019


Explaining “Common Sense” to a Toddler

As hard as it might be to put this in context
without a Xanax, all ‘adults’ are crazy.
I tried it once, and I can put that in context
without medication of any sort.  It’s that
true.  It is also true—at least every once in a
while—that the fruits of our labors—both
individually and collectively—are undignified.
Every once in a while, is all I’m saying.  Futile.
Shall I expose them to proper ettiquette? she
wonders. Wait, let me look it up, he replies.  To
which she rolls her eyes, absolutely knowing that
Amy Vanderbilt never envisioned this particular
disaster.  He finds the tome, its dust cover all
dusty and torn.  The correct way to handle one-
self in the...situation we were just discussing...
happens to be...all of the above.  A black lab-
rador hops over the coffee table and onto her
lap, which makes her realize yet again how
often she takes things way too literally.  This
tendency, she surmises, is directly tied to class.
Later, I go fishing.  It is there that the black lab-
rador finds me, initially startling my chill com-
posure.  I imagine that the dog is going to
hop right into the fish pond.  As he gets
close enough in his romp toward me
for me to see that he is, yes, he is
foaming at the mouth; and this is
much too late for me to plan a dis-
aster strategy.  Or, more approp-
riately, a strategy from which to avoid
the quickly growing potential for disaster.
And disaster strategies are my strong point.
Besides, I had been fishing all afternoon
without a nibble of a minnow.  It was then
that I somehow noticed that the red and
white cork attached to my fishing line—
and me still holding the rod awaiting the
lethal clamp of the labrador’s jaws—had
just been swallowed by the darkening pond.

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Put Up or Shut Up!

One’s general use of proper
manners can be indicative of 
many things, can get you most
anywhere.  More than anywhere,
however, is everywhere.  And we
all know that one cannot BE all
places at once.  That goes for
you, too.  I have a headache. 
I take Advil today.  I don’t know
whether it will dp a damned 
thing for my headache, but
nevertheless I wait and see.
Does it go on for weeks?  In
this climate, sure.  Does it
end, in half an hour to an hour?
Sure, but can that in any way
be attributed to the Advil?