Friday, January 31, 2020


[many apologies but my laptop went kaput this week and I spent hours on this long pretty plain diaryesque poem for you but the last save made everything ajumble.  I will fix it anon.]
Losing Your (Street) Cred
It’s the end of an(-other) experimentalmonth at the beginingof an (-other) experi-mental year.  Andwhat have you gotto show for it?This is a question I often ask myself (asI am obviously doing here as if truly add-ressing you....  Whatam I doing here?
Here happens current-ly to be the long line out-side the Tenderloin Hous-ing Clinic, which isn’ta clinic in the medicalsense, but rather, where I pick up my funds for myrent for my SRO (or, moreexplicitly, my transitional housing).  There is always asmall sum left for my phone bill and maybe a razor or two.But this is all the cash I get forthe month after I pay my rent,($308 - yeah sounds amazingand it would be if I could justland a job).
I did have an interview thisafternoon.  But I had twointerviews scheduled foryesterday that were can-celed last minute.  One due tothe interviewer being ill, the o-ther because “We seem to havefound the right candidate”(woo hoo!).  So I am off to astart, albeit a rocky one thisround.  I do have severallined up next week.  Theysound quite promising.  I calmmyself, try to do my form ofmeditation, stay focused, answerquestions succinctly, avoid me-andering, concentrate onsuccesses rather than actions(whatever that means) and don’ttalk incessantly with my armsflailing about, thinking these maypossibly remove the obstaclesthat exist between me and thatperfect next cubicle.
My financial credit report is nogood. This check I’m waiting inline for is all the currency I getthis month besides foodstamps($194, so yeah, significant, but it’samazing how quickly it all goes).
So what is my conclusion?  Isimply keep trying to live.  I keepconducting these experiments,more and more of them, andthey get more and more randomand absurd as time goes by.  ThatI am a lost man which (am I simplytrying to convince myself?) is nota bad thing.
Mostly broke, job-searching withhope upon hope, a fairly constantstream of unfortunate luck,tucked in my broken bed in mytiny apartment that I have livedin for eleven months, which wasimmediately preceded by twoyears of living in a shelter, andsix months of living on the streets.
But my street cred is somethingI never thought about until a fewshort years ago...well, in general.And on that, I have no idea.  Thislife in which I wake up daily intoa new mystery and a newly burg-eoning preposterous lack of cred.Mostly broke, job-searching withhope upon hope, but always witha bizarre lack of luck, living lifewaking up most every morninginto a new mystery.  And thesemysteries refuse to resolve, andtherefore accumulate.
All here in this small place calledSan Francisco, even with its ludi-crous or electric (depending onwhom you ask) influx of new peopleand the vast changes of recent, it isa place I am happy to call home.  Infact, I have endured hardships justto keep being able to do so.
But with all of my friends locally saveone and three long term partners (andpossibly a fourth) having fallen de-cidedly by the wayside perhaps neverato be heard from (by me) again, andwith the additional loss of every material thing I kept for the first 50 years of my life now completelygone, whenever I do this walking,be it day or night, within thiscity that I love, around peoplewith whom I am either familiar orat least comfortable, I always feellike I have a bar over my head likeso many video games, or like ona battery-depleted mobile phone,and it's down to somewhere be-tween zero and 5%.  That's howmuch juice I have left.  I am in direneed of a juice station.  I’m in needof life, of air, of water, of love.  AndI’m definitely and clearly in needof some cred, in any form I canpossibly score
These words I am always conjuringout of nowhere and then sendingas long missiles to nowhere in themiddle of the night, no matter howhungry or low on percentage or inneed of cred that I might be at thetime, always give me some satis-faction, some comfort, some juice.My words.  Always dying to escapecompletely word-sated, word-hungryand just plain wordy body.  And soout they go.
So,Good night.God bless.And mayWe all ariseA’smilin’ inThe morrow.
Because I have so very muchyet to tell you.

Thursday, January 30, 2020


Grump Slump

Today, I must
admit that I am
caught up in a
bit of a grump
slump.  Which
(for future ref-
erence) I refer 
to as a glump.
As of today, 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020



“Whatever you do,
don’t lose
your mojo.”

said Greg as he was

“I’ve got a
secret,” which,
for the life of him,

he could not
recall at all.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


A Little Bit More About All Of The Todays

           But I’ve never had heart failure. 

                                     —Henry Wei Lung

I read from a book that has listed as a description ‘an occupy
lyric’ and I remember being blindsided by my people, the ones 

who had been on my side, taking everything out on the police 
officers, bullying them as if to show we can play this game, too,

all of this directed at the women and men in uniform who daily 
risked their lives to protect my sorry ass and those asses of

all of the others.  Asses full sorrow, and police officers and 
an endemic problem that was decided by MY PEOPLE 

should be hate hate hated on bullied manipulated spit upon.
While those uninformed who attempted to contain, attempted

to safe zone, attempted to anti-violence.  I on the West Coast
bombarded with television snippets of my people taunting the

men in uniforms.  A visit from J from the East Coast, who
was telling me he believed he lost his poet cred because,

just like me, we could not understand and therefore stand for
and with Occupy This or That.  How could WE be the bullies?

we both wondered allowed, a bit slight in the eyes through which
could be discerbed the stress, the denial, the loss of the ideal.

The officers looked on, mostly nice as pie.  Corruption, I have de-
cided is not an overused word.  It exists.  I have learned in a matter 

of three small years that to strike at the corruption at the heart of the 
heart of all hearts would be to kill the animal of all animals.  This

weary planet so-clled Earth would finish harboring resentment for
those upright hairless beings that neither an upright value.  Em-

pathy for Earth was always the problem, ironically.  It kept its creatures
going.  Its population defiantly nabbing every ounce of dirt and bone

and sap.  Empathy was ruining everything.  Then, suddenly, 
like the monstrosity of the many leagues of stunning dinosaurs 

that had by now been long since forgotten by even sometimes
the Earth itself, they had mostly indulged themselves into an 

existence so arrogantly, so unaware, so full of refusal, of even
being incapable of getting along with themselves little too arro-

gantly as well, thought the Earth, a bit too blistered with the memory 
that they may have existed once, a mere hyperbole; and then, just as

suddenly as they seemed to coerce and to rule had been decimated.  
No more gigantic gout-punched thundering clubfeet to extend or delay 

extinction.  The time had come and gone for dinosaurs, too.  Time 
had come for dinosaurs.  And then the dinosaurs left, saying goodbye

only in gasps.  Earth could not laugh, nor has it ever been to 
find itself in any position in which to exhale with humor, would

an earth such as Earth exhale (save it for the porpoises to find 
out) except deep within its incinerator, which cleared

many stages of ice.  Earth never laughs anymore.  Old
things just come undone.  And unempathetic pale and

upright creatures beat the Earth and the other pale and
upright creatures into the driest dust.  Dust of forget

me.  The dust of equanimity, equal once and for all, our
patriotism finally glowing, or even sparkling as if tossed

with glitter, in the fog of all of the swamp-seeming fog-
rolls full of nothing but bone mist.  The mist of bone.

An oxymoron or a paradox, were some of the things
that the remaining words were thinking (but not

saying): words do not talk, people did.  Yes, humans
used to talk.  Not anymore.  Now they exist merely

as the mist of bone.  I do not like any more of what I
see than you do.  My desiccated shadow lengthens.

Do you remember the Pacific?  Do you remember
wanting to swim to the other side of the planet,

floating upon its glorious waves like the pale
people somehow manage to do.  Sometimes.  But

not anymore.  Now I can walk from here to the
islands in the middle of the Pacific.  Where once

a nation pretended to end, a desert begins. But
words cannot float like people do.  Words just

remain in their place, ready to be frozen into
a mountain, rendered illegible, unable to ex-

plain that there was once pronunciation, once
the Pacific Ocean that covered incredibly vast

amounts of rich soil and contained three-
quarters of the inhabitants of the universe.  Even

the words had no idea where they came from, nor
what gave them the power to know these mysteries.

Monday, January 27, 2020


Ears Upon Some California Dirt, 
Listening For Signs of Life on Mars

     You are as beautiful as a telephone, colors
     of bone, rocket ship, and cocktail lounge——
                             —Rebecca Lindenberg

So why can’t you call?
Oh yeah, because it’s
MEAN WEEK.  I didn’t mean to,
honey, I promise.  I didn’t

because I’m mean, too, occasion-
ally.  Occasionally I try to be mean.
I find it difficult.  Isn’t that strange,
family I come from and everything?

See, I did it.  Oh, yes, I did.  But it
isn’t ever easy.  And you know what,
also?  Also, when everyone is down
and I’m the clown, the funny

and most depressing clown you’ve
ever heard, depressing is worse than
scary because depression’s the scariest
when everybody’s just back

from the party, down like a log, because
down is where logs usually get made,
so down is usually where they must
be to get logged, you know?  Unless

there’s some new technology of
which I have yet to be made aware.
Which is always the case, as it turns out.
What I was asking, that question which keeps

burning my eyes red and turning my head
into rotten hammered potatoes (Since I’m
presently catching up on music cuz I’ve been
nearly four years in the bunker, uaable to show

my face, unable to move my lips sometimes, unable
to pay for the spinach I needed to beat up Bluto, I
must give a shout out to Tierra Whack!)  Beating
people up is something everyone knows I do regularly.

Like bigot jokes.  Funny thing is since nobody really
knows me anymore (and they never really even seemed
to, but there were once plenty who were around enough
to, you’d think), and like I just noted parenthet-

ically, since maybe nobody ever even hardly knew me to
begin with, these bigoted beating up jokes maybe are
best not brought up.  I know many rumors that have
started because of opening my mouth to riff on what

I absolutely believe to be true and fine, yet have never
even tried such things (like bungee jumping, only these
things are usually about sex; not sex while bungee jumping
either), but note to depressing clown self trying someday

again perhaps (and flailingly failing) to liven up the down-
trodden (“It’s a PARTY, DAMMIT!”).  Nope, to be real,
which, oddly, is a rather hardheaded goal, I am a pacificst
to the extreme,  Heck, I even planned conscientious

objection or hitchhiking to Canada from Arkansas if a war broke
out, back when the draft was the draft, or really half a draft, and
one I’d yet to sign up for.  It was the days of Jimmy Carter,
and I believed I’d have to go to war with Iran.  It was 1979, I was

all of twelve years old that Christmas, the first one of the in-
famous hostage crisis (ok, toddlers, think Ben Affleck&rsqo;s
Argo).  Mean again!  We’re friends, right? Naw, I’m just joking.
But decent fellows?  Naw, I’m just joking.  But respect, man!

I was never mean to you.  Was I ever mean to you?  Sure, I had to
pretend to be mean just to make sure you don’t slip and fall.  It
has happened more than once, and somehow you keep missing that.
Missing everything about nice and help and promises and respect

and gracious and gratuitous (the good kind).  You had a dream,
you said.  You seemed serious, called it that at first.  Then it was
just something you had to do, or, NEEDED.  But what were
you doing during everything I did or did not do to give you

that dream?  Showing myself to be the jackass I am, I suppose?
So, all kidding aside, and I mean all kidding.  Why. (?)
Can’t.  You.  Even.  Call???   That one simple thing that I asked
of you.  That one tiny effort that would put this whole thing at least

neatly into a drawer that never need be opened again.  I decided
or your convinced me that you deserve better.  Easy enough.  But
what do I deserve?  What did I get?  Again, I joke. I cannot let
go, am told this is a joke taken entirely too far.  And not just by

you, even as you laugh dementedly (not at anything funny
at all, by the way).  It was my word that was a joke to you.  My
promise.  To you.  It was your promise, your word that was
a stand-up routine to you.  And to me?  It was a commitment.

A big one.  I stood by.  One I made happen under the worst of
circumstances.  I did it!  I stood my ground, waiting for
your end of the deal to follow.  Waiting for you to be
safe.  Waiting for you to arrive (I would pick you up

at the airport, of course  - that, I suppose, was another
one-sided joke, oft-repeated by both of us, but no matter
how laughingly from me, dead serious)  (Do I mean
dead in a bad way?  It is the word that comes naturally

into my head, no matter how hard I try otherwise.)
So if you must, go ahead.  Run like a coward
from every ringing telephone.  I have a certain fam-
iliarity with this routine.  The difference here is I have

more cards in my hand.  And I have that adamant I will
never let anyone ever do this to me again thing.  It’s a
very large thing, as it turns out, I am thinking, looking
at my unplayed cards.  I do not like this sort of thing.

But you cannot even call me.  Even though YOU know I’m no
jackass.  I mean not, you know, like, all jackasses; but maybe
I am the loser jackass.  And his cousin, the fool jackass.  And would
you just look at me, sitting here (I know that it is an impossibility,

but nevertheless) STILL attempting to save your sorry ass
with a telephone.  Hi, it’s me.  How are you doing?  Please don’t
forget the consulate, and where we were the autumn we met, when
you landed right in front of that temple in Bangkok, all serious-like.

Sunday, January 26, 2020


14 Year Old Fiddler — The Orange Blossom Special

Some things work to take your mind off of others.

Deference, it’s sometimes called.  But that
is not what I am talking about.  I am Jack Spicer
drinking Purity organic coconut water (not from
concentrate) in my SRO transitional home on one
of the seediest blocks in the city.  A block I have
come to love.  I have been here a month shy of a
year and soon I will be somewhere else.  As I
move ever so slowly back up the human ladder.
Despite some pretty amazing sightseeing along
the way.  Friends falling along the wayside until
none exist anymore in the city in which you chose 
to survive.  Your family.  A cat you half-owned be-
ing taken from you, along with several iPhones and
your laptop, sleeping less than two blocks from
where you lived for 13 years, but only that night
on the sidewalk, improperly putting the bag with
the cat, the laptop, and everything else you prized
as most important to have at your side after 50
years of living between yourself (myself) and
the cold wind rather than between you and the
building next to which you slept.  Next to which
I slept; on the third night I was officially homeless.
Being asked to pay for a milkshake at the Grubstake
before even receiving it, after having been to the
Grubstake dozens of times before and never once
being asked to pay before being served my meal,
never once being asked to leave.  Losing a job
to get an apartment after living in a shelter for
two years (well, 6 months of that on the streets,
while working for the City and County govern-
ment, no less!), because your appointments to
finally get your own place to live happen to
coincide with your first day of work, which takes
two hours instead of 30 minutes.  And this before
being told you have to come back the next day
for another two hours.  Then being told you could
not move into the unit because of your eviction.
After living in a shelter where the only incentive,
the only carrot in front of your nose constantly
was that if you stayed there a year or so solid,
you would get a place to live that was your own.
But here I am, sitting in my lovely little SRO on
the seediest street in San Francisco, as I love to
exaggerate.  Writing this poem to you, a bit per-
turbed about someone I knew before I was kicked
out and assaulted by my apartment manager be-
cause I needed to go to the emergency room (panic
attack).  He tried to choke me in the U-haul truck
that was only full of 1/3 of the items from my
apartment, over 1/2 of which were not mine
but the asshole’s who left with no explanation,
who had cosigned for the apartment with you
some 13 years earlier, who promised just a month
or two before that I would never have to worry about
leaving our apartment, as long as he was around (why
should I take that as foreshadowing?).  He also took the
telephone bill to pay, since it was half his anyway.  Or 
at least until he disappeared some 5 years ago (without 
one word to me since! I had interviews lined up all week
and my phone went dead at the beginning of
that week and come to find out, he had stopped
paying the bills months previous.   I like the
week I have had of reflecting on these things,
also having many interviews lined up the next
couple of weeks, looking at everything with a
much different perspective and hopefully just
the right amount of focus.  How different
the thoughts are now, how clear and mid-
coherent they are compared with the
past several years.  The ability to make
humor out of it.  Then one small thing
can set me off again.  Someone else
disappearing into the sunset, perhaps
never to be heard from again.  Wanting
to be dead to me.  And presumably vice
versa.  After years of work in a different
direction.  This becomes familiar.  The
answers elude me.  How to unclog that
pipe?  How to successfully cover every
leak that spouts?  Impossible.  One only
does what one does.  Which sometimes
is what one can.  All that one can.  All
I can do seems to be growing exponen-
tially as I write this.  That is new.  That
is joy.  That is an extenuation of life, a
real life, or the expectation that it will
occur, will be extended, life as maybe
I had never known it before, but not
sheer poverty, not homelessness, I
still have time to go someplace for
a vacation.  There are trips to wine
country I can make, getting out
of the city for the first time in
around 4 and and a half years.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Many things are nice now.
But how would I have be-
lieved what a lifetime this
last five years has been?
How is one to ever real-
ize that the 11 years you
woke up with the one person 
who you ever knew you want-
ed to every day just wanted
out for most of the time he
was waking up right next to
you?  To me?  And who’d
not even have the guts
to say a word before simply
disappearing?  Life is odd.
I have said I can do this be-
fore.  I seem to be ... doing
it.  But there is so much more
to do.  Especially now that
I’ve seen what I have seen.
Where does one go from that, really?
Up, up, and up.  Until you are high
enough to have a voice.  Hey, my 
voice is back, it will say, and it
has something to tell you.
Yes, it will.  Most likely.
Stay tuned, if you will.
The suspense nearly
killed me.  Not anymore,
two words that instinctually
I almost bow my head
and say as if it were a prayer.

Friday, January 24, 2020


My Ex

I just put him into
my last poem with
a resounding clunk.

My efforts at humor
know no bounds.  
However, I be-

lieve that the
phrase, Ya big
lunk! which O-

live Oyl says
near the end,
even as back-

handed as it
might be, is

at least a par
ial compli-
ment, right?

I mean, no 
matter how you
spin it, wasn’t

there always 
some kind of 
raw attraction

between Olive
and Bluto?  Even
if seedy and faux

repulsive, didn’t
the big galoot 

enormously more
sex (appeal?) than
Popeye ever did,

even eating his
cans of spinach.
I mean, even Wim-

py had a better deal
of a meal than poor
old Popeye did.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


teevee encompasses
almost everything.

     When I poke my fingers into them I can see it
     When I poke my fingers into them I can see it.
                                                     —Jack Spicer

maybe I am just
ing stuff and be-
ing paranoid. but
at least I am foc-
used.  so it might
be great to talk.
plus, who the
fuck wants to
talk with any-
one when it’s
something that
is planned un-
der the most 
ominous and

let’s find
another par-
ade, she said.
which i think
meant, so, hey,
what’s some-
thing much better
to yap about
than drama-
tical suspense?

nobody paid
any attention
after that. there
were just too ma-
ny channels, i
personally think.
i am not really
sure, however.
harvey had the
phaser and he
barely used it.
nobody said
anything a-
bove a whis-
per, or at least 
over the voice
of rue mcclan-
ahan (it was
decided early
on that poli-
tics was off-
limits).  may-
be when maude
spoke (you know
how she always 
yell-spoke), there
were some mini-
convos (the hip-
sters, the ones 
who would ev-
en say convos
back then), at
a decibel level
slightly under
maude’s.  god
knows that’s not
her name.  or does god
know that?  one can 
never be too sure.

the scientists know.
global warming knows
(there was a debate 
about whether this 
was politics or sci-
ence).  jane fonda 
knows (there was 
the same debate,
except instead of
science they most-
ly said something
unfriendly about
vietnam. and poor
henry fonda, and
all in the name
of patriotism for
chrissake. pat-
riotism!  patron-
age!  patrilineal
poppycock!).  to

which i crack-
led something
about how she 
was on this fab
show called grace
& frankie.  or frankie
& grace.  and there 
were a few unpuzzled
looks, particularly from
harvey, who looked ab-
solutely delighted as he
spoke into his phaser, 
first frankie & grace
(nothing), then grace
& frankie, and the 
morning turned in-
to the afternoon and
the afternoon turned
into midnight and
the elation was, well,
i think there were
some in attendance
who were allergic
to happiness.  it 
happens.  but oth-
erwise the elation
was so contagious
that five of us were
still watching epi-
sodes at seven the
next morning.  it
is not necessary
to see that we
laughed, we
cried, we had a
lot of sandwiches
and drank a lot
of merlot.

Political incorrectness

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


it’s not that i’m atheist on porpoise
(i can’t help that i was born this way)

this morning i attempted
to log in to,

but somehow i caught my-
self before it was able to

be revealed.  will the real please stand

up (and here, i want to 
say “i am groot” mainly

because i am not, but also
because television).  tv has

entered my life once again.
it reminds me of all of the

beautiful ugly things to 
which i am attracted.

but i did not need the
boob tube to remind

me of such things.  i’m
a hypocrite (she’s a hypo-

crite, he’s a hypocrite,
they’re all hypocrites,

wouldn’t you like to
be a hypocrite, too!).    do 

you think sammy davis jr
ever ate an m&m.  here’s

to hoping that the candy man
did not.  but he passed into

the great beyond before
the political correctness

that was half of post-
modernism ate the 

peanut butter sandwich 
of homogeneity and arose

the demon with the seven 
heads and the three sixes 

(go ahead, you can hunker 
down on that with chagrin).

no, it was well before that.
well, was it before that?  

yes, as surely as it a was well
after his toe-tapping demise 

that came the moment when 
somebody dropped their choc-

olate into somoebody
else’s peanut butter.

it was the wondrous white
chocolate of santiago and

the butter was actually made
in beirut from hazel toes.

not my grandmother ha-
zel’s toes, which were

frostbitten on martin luther
king junior’s birth-

day, one year before it
was a federal holiday.

quick, which year did
i just make up like i

was wearing fish-
net dreams and 

fantasy fishhooks
(and don’t think

too fast lest Lester
the ventriloquist’s

major dummy rises
from his rimshot grave)?

Monday, January 20, 2020


A Dying Language

I nicked myself shaving
this morning as the person
I saw in the mirror, who was
not me but my imagination,
perhaps a vision from the other
end of the planet, the opposite
end, or perhaps complete imag-
ination, evaporated — leaving my
face markedly odd in the mirror, fractals
of it, cracked in dozens of pieces, or so it
seemed, by the dancing rivulets of crim-
son rushing down my cheeks and ears
and over my lips and chin, down onto my
white-haired chest.  These scarlet lines made
me forget the tragedy of the evaporation of my
mirrored companion.  I have an active imagina-
tion, as my friends, my doctors tell me.  I still 
recognized the beautify of the tiny puff of mois-
ture that disappeared into something like a tiny war
of droplets of acid played out until my glistening
red facial springtime thaw forcing me into dozens
of pieces became even more beautiful than the
fancy evaporation and disappearance of my face’s
companion face.  The luck of the razor and the anguished
hand.  That hand that had yet to cup the, if were to imagine
it to be real somewhere, somehow, face that appeared so
perfectly in the mirror this morning, which has already
landed (for real!?) in London, or Singapore, or Korea by
now, far from the crusade of the phantom battalion forced
by the mixture of the sour vapor and crimson cracks that
tore poor Humpty so severely that all the kings horses and
all the kings men could never put it back together again.  All
the pieces of the puzzle mystically sticking incongruently, their
open mouths out of which gaped each odd-shaped tongue attempt-
ing to lock them together forever.  Everything about this odd head
so very real until it was covered in the mist of the piping hot
water, rose like a big translucent balloon with a head in it, and
dissipated without even a pop over the reaches of the mirror,
into a warm melt of nothingness which floated by the school
of poetry in the south of this land at the other end of the cont-
intent, through all of the gibberish of English residue.  To a
place where no war had even been seen.  What a fantastical
world this place where the language was so foreign and the
English residue of of jibberish kept whispering, as if taunting
those who live there every day, except when they traveled 
to show up in long-away mirrors.  Only the taunts no longer
affected these beautiful inhabitants, was only a sussuration
that swept the countryside, affecting no one but perhaps the
occasional tourist.  The fantastical land had given over to an
amorality with crippling sharks that circled angrily in every 
pond that was nearly deep enough; with sultans to the south
having never traveled far enough north to even see this aged
empire, and just above the border to the north of the empire
of heads that showed up in mirrors half-way across the planet,
there were caverns and caverns filled with gold.  none of the
inhabitants of the land of sussuration had seen any of this gold,
but wandered their fields of rice daydreaming of the green of
currency that grows the greenest.  The longer the afternoon,
the greener their alcoholic dreams of recurrence.  Until without
one of the inhabitants of the empire lifting its head, the country
grew full of the people who lived in the north with the hundreds
of caves full of gold, and even further north than that.  They app-
eared from nowhere with handwritten bills suggesting the gold
existed ad could be traded for anything, including ever parcel of
the land of the empire between the sultans and the golden caverns.
Soon the land belonged to the northerners, but for no reason than
there were piles of papers drawn suggestive of the gold, which
at first pleased the inhabitants and quenched the thirst that had
developed by the breeze of the constant sussuration of the gib-
berish of the English residue.  The northerners had devised a plan
to trade every parcel of land for a piece of their paper suggestive
of the gold in the caves near where they had formerly lived, the
land now hollow and hard to walk upon.  It was around then 
that the king of the empire of sussuration began to breath his
last breaths.  This was a kind who had seen no war, who had 
lived longer than any other king, and whose name was longer
than anyone could know except those who lived in the land
of sussuration.  Each inhabitant began to call the king by his
name, and before anyone could finish that name, his royal
namesake was gone.  The inhabitants soon discovered that
their land had been taken from them in bits and pieces until
they had none left to themselves, by the northerners and their
pieces of paper which suggested gold, all without their ex-
press consent or knowledge, and why not?  They were busy.
They were happy.  They were automatons.  They men gamb-
led away their weekends in ways Las Vegas would ridicule.
Their wives, still almost believed property, took on the aura
of the current and future Stepford Wives of other empires who
soon found their demise among gadgets and electronic circuits
while their husbands spent long weekends gambling.  What
else was their to do, they thought.  The dreams of the fathers
and the dreams of the mothers became the green dreams of 
beaten skepticism and so on, and so on, and so on, ad infin-
itum, while the children played in the fields of rice or in the
ponds full of sharks, never knowing any better.  The king-
dom was demoted to a land of open arms attached to wide
smiling and welcoming faces to arms up-raised in fear, which
made their mouths tremble uncontrollably, through which
they would speak, in succor or in solace, the dead language
that rose above the tourists ears, who would come season
after season to the same destination, and whose papers
filled with the suggestion of gold, mixed with the currency
that grew the greenest would go directly to the new rulers
of the land, unbeknownst to the tourists, whose lips smacked
of alcoholic coffee beverages and ganja leaves..  They would
each arrive at the same destinations as last season, and the
season before that, never knowing the difference.