Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time Elapsing

I 've only now gotten the computer back in the house after many weeks. I've been sick a couple of months and it's bad. Pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, both inoperable, untreatable, impenetrable. In hospital a few weeks, out of it now, a few weeks, in hospice now at home and totally weak. Don't know how much time is left, but it could be short. I suppose i'll be a bad writer from now on and a worse speller...

Sunday, May 23, 2010


And then one day British Petroleum decided that they would fuck the Universe and that no one could stop them or make them admit it or force them to pay with their lives for it.

"Tough shit, America, we're a corporation with all the God-given rights that your stupid-ass corrupt politicians gave us!"

Although the corporation is Satan, we'll never be able to do a fuckass thing about it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Hear From No One

I hear from no one much
Or at least very seldom.
Some send me their junk mail,
Though it’s not clear if they don’t know the difference
Or if it’s only that they think I won’t know it…

I’ll read the first few words of anything,
Though that don’t mean it doesn’t make me mad.
There’s no longer any purpose in getting mad, though,
Just as there is none in practicing indifference to one and all.

I prowl the broken teeth and bones
Of my array in the mirror
And wish for more input in the soup,
Though I’m expecting less.


Current draft: 5/22/2010
Created on 5/20/2010 10:58 AM

Friday, May 21, 2010

Straight View

Can you cure me of what ails me
Or cure the ailment of its attachment to myself?
Is there any hope or spell for anyone I know
Or just these strange straight views down long deserted roads?


Current draft: 5/17/2010
Created on 5/17/2010 6:57 PM

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Pristine Blonde

I think she was a pristine girl
Who went out into the world
With many delusions and intentions,
One of which was to sleep with Jews and Negroes
To prove her liberality—whether to herself
Or to the white-bread world she came from.
I was never certain, but I’m certain that she thought so!
Alas, that I was white and Protestant.


Current draft: 5/20/2010
Created on 4/25/2010 10:54 AM

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grateful Or Not

Not one of my lovers
Were ever much like me or even close,
But for that I should be grateful.
I should probably even roll over and play dead.

Almost all those I loved, you see, were guilty
In some small respect of things I’d never believe,
Things I couldn’t imagine that I’d ever tolerate.
Now that they are gone, I’ve reflected, find I was mistaken…

I suppose it’s just that I’ve discovered and suffered for
How I miss them, how hard it’s been to replace them,
How feeble is my existence, growing old without their faces,
Without those native traces, voices, and embraces to keep me.


Current draft: 5/19/2010
Created on 5/15/2010 8:31 PM

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Carmen Delzell (Opposites)

I hear the voice of an American woman living in Mexico.
She speaks of her attachments to nature in a rural landscape
With 2 burros, 9 dogs, and some chickens.
She is immersed, it seems,
Though she is also uncomfortable and lonely.
She is similar—however opposite—to myself.
Once in a while, she sees a truck drive down her dusty road,
Whereas I live immersed in modern-life’s most unnatural world
Where it’s always hard to see the stars
And cars are always passing me by,
And I am almost always uncomfortable in it.


Current draft: 5/18/2010
Created on 5/15/2010 6:30 PM

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Too Late

It’s getting too late to die young,
So I’ll have to live with that—
Though I cannot say how long.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beautiful Day, My Ass

“It’s a beautiful day,” the house-painter said
each morning as I went out,
and it always seemed such garbage to me.
I’m sure that sunny days must be of worth
To those who work outdoors,
But I don’t work and I’ve been sick so long,
It doesn’t mean a rat’s-ass thing to me.


Current draft: 5/4/2010
Created on 5/4/2010 1:36 PM

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In The Flame

I don’t really care for living, I fear,
But I’m incapable of facing death—
Not the rope or the jolt or any drowning or the gun.
There’s nothing to it, I am told, but I can’t get there.
I just stay stuck here in the flame in dread and doubt
And never leap for heart’s true beauty or go out.

Now when I ache I don’t know what for, but only
That there are few if any hearts that break for it.
I can’t pretend to pray for it
Or expect any other to see to it
And fail myself to see that this old heart, when divulged,
Is anything more than it ever was.

Sad songs and movies
Never used to make me weep
Nor illness, age, or death,
And I would as lief return there
Where a grievous song was only a song
And my heart among life’s beauties was ever mine to give.


Current draft: 5/10/2010
Created on 5/5/2010 4:27 PM

Sunday, May 09, 2010


You were always such a good girl.
It made it more delightful to me
That you chose me at one time to do those bad things with!

You were so nice, I mean, if not good!
You were nice to your parents,
To your friends and those who weren’t
And even those who weren’t likely to be.

Even me now that my life is lived in spite and nearly over.
You’ve always been a sweet kind soul,
And well-behaved and intelligent, too—
And that made you not only tolerable to me,
But one of the few who could tolerate me!


Current draft: 5/8/2010
Created on 4/23/2010 3:15 PM

Friday, May 07, 2010

Missing You

I miss her a little still, it’s true, but
I miss you more and you’re still here.
I missed out somewhere
In a long-ago dream that never ceased,
I took a long step across a too wide stream
When things got too real and I wetted myself,
Whether anyone knew of it or not.
It was only a misstep,
Combined with something I lost or threw out
When it didn’t seem like anything of very much value.
I was unquestionably mistaken,
But I know I can’t take it back.
I miss you when I cannot caress or even kiss you,
But there’s nothing new in that.


Current draft: 5/07/2010
Created on 4/20/2010 9:36 PM

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

from "Things Are Strange" or "Things Have Changed"

Bob Dylan: Feel like falling in love with the first woman I meet
Putting her in a wheelbarrow and wheeling her down the street


(By Lennon/McCartney)

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more

Monday, May 03, 2010

Swiss Cheese Memory

I had an odd remembrance the other day. First I recalled the ascot I wore for a couple of my teenage years, probably in the same time period that I bought into the popularity of Carnaby Street--you know, all those splashy colors, sometimes with white cuffs on colored or striped shirts, sometimes white collars that also contrasted. I recall also a blazer that I guess you'd call a dark gold; if there was some other name for the color, I never learned it. Maybe some called it "tan", though I don't recall it. At any rate, I remember that the ascot went with the blazer, though I can't recall the ascot's color or if it had spots or stripes or any other pattern. Ain't memory a wonderful thing when it decides to leave so many holes in the fabric?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

How Or Why

I know you’re younger than me
And none of my business,
But I wish I had a pretty woman like you to kiss
Once again before I forget how or why.
But I’m really just admiring you
When I didn’t know I did—
I don’t mean for you to feel discomfort
Or to start to wonder when I’ll die.


Current draft: 5/1/2010
Created on 4/27/2010 3:54 PM

Strangely enough, this is post #2,222.

Forever Young

by Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Copyright © 1973 by Ram's Horn Music; renewed 2001 by Ram’s Horn Music

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kill The Sidebar

One of the recent changes I made at Judy Garland's Blues (poetry blog) that I really like was to get rid of the sidiebar by changing the template to the "Simple II" that's been around a long time, but seldom turns up on blogs because sidebars are so popular. I decided they were unneeded claptrap in a dedicated poetry blog. Besides, the sidebar items can still be found if you make it to the bottom of the blog. Just a small alteration, but I like it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where Is That Painted Lady?

Here's a link to a poem written in my old age about the "first love" of my youth. As I've done previously with other poems that were either long or of very special quality (this one is a little of both), it's located at my poetry blog, "JUDY GARLAND'S BLUES".

See this poem about love and loss and art and beauty and remembrance, if you wish, at PAINTED LADY.

I Weep For Poems And People

(For My Aunts Pearl and Louise Who Died The Same Day This Week)

I weep for poems that went astray
And people who seem long-gone as dust
That some ill wind blew away eons ago,
But they only now have died.

I weep as if for a stranger on a sinking ship or for
That fraught overwrought final bearer at the eternal pall—
We’re dead-fast running out of time
And good simple souls and tissues for our tears.


Current draft: 4/28/2010
Created on 4/26/2010 3:51 PM

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It Injures Me

It injures me when you think ill of me,
Though I guess in truth I injure myself
When I know you are forced to such disgust
And disappointment and forgiveness
By all my vulgar snarling and despair.


Current draft: 4/25/2010
Created on 4/22/2010 10:39 AM

Saturday, April 24, 2010

God Will Get You Either Way

I've decided God is indifferent to some of us and hates the rest. Which group I fall in, I can only guess.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Thousand Dollars

If you sent me a thousand dollars
With which to make the trip from here to you,
That would be enough,
More than enough,

But not enough to overcome my constipated brain
And aches and pains—I would have the road maps and the means,
But not the spirit or the strength to actually get up and go.
You might think I might as well be dead.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dead Or Alive?

What's the deal, did I die?

I don't think so.

Okay, then, don't clam up!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Our lives are full, too full--
But full of what? TV and dis-ease,
Distant neighbors just there across the street
Or on the left beyond the fence—
All I know of them is the constancy of their yapping dog,
And all they know of me is that I haven’t killed that dog.

It's all true, it's all false,
It's all a great grief and all a great relief.
It's nothing we didn't mean
And nothing that meant very much,
We still are not subject to sense, but only to sensations
We submit to alive
Though each maintains that all is hubris,
And is all we may ever achieve.


Current draft: 4/19/2010
Created on 12/25/2009 7:01 PM

Sunday, April 18, 2010

To Suspire

I talk so much of dead things
(I talk too much),
I slog through lifetimes mired in it,
So it seems like suicide would be close or in the air
Or else I’d have no explanation for all this crap
I opine and emote, always repining for something else—
Who the hell knows what?—in ugly notes like this.
I’m not in line for the good stuff,
Not waiting calmly for the best,
Not even self-deceived that it could come to me
As a result of work on any given day or in this way.
I’m just making clamor to suspire, I’m just drawing fire.


Current draft: 4/18/2010
Created on 4/8/2010 3:52 PM

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I hesitate to write to you
Since you told me
That everything was crazy there
Without disclosing any detail,
Though I hope it’s nothing or only too much work.

I hope it isn’t disease or despair
Or divorce or death, but even so
Something more desolate or devastating
May exist than I have been inclined to imagine.
I lift a glass and say a prayer to being wrong about it all.


Current draft: 4/17/2010
Created on 4/10/2010 6:57 PM

Friday, April 16, 2010

What To Do

I'm running out of shit to say. What'll I do about that? Improvise. Get buggy. Don't attract attention to it. Too late.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turbotax Is A Turd

I used Turbotax last year and didn't recall it being Hell on earth, but apparently I am very forgetful or they made "improvements" since that time that made everything as clear as mud, not to mention inserting as many extra screens and pages as they possibly could. As far as I'm concerned, they made my EZ form headbustingly difficult. I hope they all die in grievous misery, then wake up the next day and realize it was a dream and they have to go through it all over again!

In fact Turbotax is a double turd. They informed me this morning that my form was rejected because of some wrong data that I could re-enter and correct the mistake. It was only that I'd changed a 6 to a 9 in a long ID # and that was easy enough to correct, but then it took 40 or 60 clicks more to get to the end of the program where they send the form to IRS again! God, I'd like to kick the shit out of somebody wearing a suit and tie down there!!! I only do my taxes by computer because I'm lazy, but they're putting me through more hoops than if I just filled out the paper form, goddamn it!

Judy Garland’s Blues

Why was Judy Garland sad?
Did she have everything—but not love?
What drove Judy Garland mad,
Or do I give her too much credit?

Was she just privately unlucky, after all the public luck?
Did she have two armfuls of nothing in the worn valises
She dragged into another mansion of expenses, pills, and airs
Amid lost things never declared, forever beyond her reach?

Did she have everything—but not love?
Was she too often left behind as a child
Or was she poisoned in the vein
As by too many drinks or a rattlesnake...

Twisted by some familial demon spirit she became
That Voodoo spirit, the reel and spin, the deadly living blues,
Forever frightened—no matter her age or image or magic—
Of what to choose and what to lose, out of control to the end?

Did she, like you, like me, have everything—
But could not feel the love that others gave
Or stay as brave as needed every moment?


Current draft: 4/12/2010
3rd draft: 04/26/05
Created on 5/4/2004 11:21 PM

Monday, April 12, 2010

Writing Poems

A lady came up and asked me,
“How do you decide on topics for a poem?”
They don’t spring full-grown, I replied.
The topics seem to choose themselves in the end.
A few words or sentences will occur to me
And after that it either grows organically or
Is built upon like a skyscraper where the architect
Comes in almost every day and changes the plans again.


Current draft: 4/11/2010
Created on 4/11/2010 3:26 PM

Sunday, April 11, 2010

All The Lonely People

(Strange Tales #3)

I woke up wondering in those days if Eleanor Rigby
Was an avatar of that quiet lady down the street.
She seemed so precise and poised, though plain,
Something in the way she moved was sweet to see
Each morning, but we never spoke or met.
I’d meant to attend her service yesterday
Because the gossips said there was no one going,
But I had to work—it was just another day in my life.

My neighbor’s daughter Loretta on the left is seldom home
And seems to play her devil music for no one when she is.
Sometimes she strums her guitar and gently weeps
Out on the veranda and doesn’t think that I can hear her.
Other times she plays old Sixties records real loud;
She lets them endlessly repeat and looks left and right
And sighs as if waiting for someone to perform with...


Current draft: 3/26/2010
Created on 3/26/2010 10:16 AM

There are 5 Beatles references in each stanza above; almost no one will have trouble finding them. I just found it entertaining to do, despite the damage to the originality of the poem.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Entertaining Notions

Your newly “created” group of friends sounds worthwhile,
Almost indeed sounds daring in a world
That just gets by on who it already knows
Or can meet online without any germs or fingerprints.

I recall the beer and alcohol parties
In my youth that, if they didn't go so well for me,
Went that way because my expectations or hopes
Were too great or off center and didn’t fare well with drink.

Of course, they didn’t fare well without it, either.
Now that those occasions are so far in the past,
I wonder how it'd go to try to dance my way again
Through a group of semi-strangers talking rot?

Would it be different now that I have fewer expectations?
I start to think that’s so sometimes, but soon recall
Brief meetings a year or so ago with lovely Lois—
Though not in love, harsh loss and heartbreak turned up not
Far behind her that ended my exaltations just as soon as ever.

I discovered again my capacity for hopeless indignation
And continued inclination to show my ass when annoyed.
It’s part of my eternal damnation that I never come through,
Never entertain in time the notion that I might be
Boring or stupid instead of the other damn fool!


Current draft: 4/10/2010
Created on 3/26/2010 2:53 PM

Friday, April 09, 2010

Some Facility

There’s been a turndown in my learning capacity—
It’s been more than five years since I could still
Learn a new system of maneuvers with some facility,
But that seems gone. I feel so simple-minded.

All that I attempt is difficult,
Whether it’s a new thing I want to learn and can’t
Or some Swiss cheese topic I sweat to refresh,
But cannot guess my way through or long retain.
I veer away from each equally now

Because I don’t like to be tested
And I don’t like to admit it. You know,
Whether TV shows are too complicated or too fast or I’m
Just growing deaf, I’m always losing track of the story.

I used to have
A sharp imagination
And a Velcro memory,
But sometimes now it’s just mush.


Current draft: 4/9/2010
Created on 3/5/ 2010 1:21 PM

Thursday, April 08, 2010

What Can It Matter?

He was a caretaker at the cemetery when he said,
“What can it matter, after I’m dead? Things will go on
And fester or prosper without much praise,
And none will raise a stone or marble monument for me
And none will raise a strong objection to who inherits
And any damn fool will be sufficient to write my epitaph.”


Current draft: 4/8/2010
Created on 4/3/2010 11:46 AM

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My Father Passed Away

“My father passed away,” said a woman's voice,
Speaking softly somewhere behind me on the bus.
I turned and looked back, but couldn’t tell
By anyone’s expression who had spoken.

I turned and faced forward again,
Thinking of various friends in the past
Who’d said the same words to me
Or words to that effect

And recalled as well the dour scenarios
In which I had to tell the same dire news
To some who did and some who didn’t know him,
The same dull choking news that all must say
Someday whether they can speak it well or not,

Whether they have religion that can sustain them or not
In whatever way may move them,
Whether their philosophy envelopes it and cushions it or not,
Whether any veil can mask it’s depth of sorrow or not.

My father’s been dead these twenty years
And I’m not used to it even now, except I know it’s true.
Sometimes I can decline to think of it,
Almost at times forget—but can’t get over it.
It may fade, but it never disappears.

Sometimes I’m glad that he’s not here
To see me do some things so badly;
But I also wish he were here
Because I know that he would help me.


Current draft: 4/7/2010
Created on 4/6/2010 4:46 PM

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Audio’s On

Since I had a stroke, old friends have assured me
That I sound all right, quite normal, but I doubt.
I hear it wrong; maybe it’s just a feeling from inside my brain
That can’t get out and that no one else can apprehend or sense.
The audio may be normal, but the brainwaves are suspect!

Perhaps my mind was always like that—like this—and no one
Ever knew what attempts at control were occurring there,
Though I certainly thought I did.
Maybe there were always connections
That I felt were obtuse or loose, askew or awry.

It’s sliding away from me,
Even when I don’t know what it is.
Am I lazy or just tired? It’s hard to tell.
I used to be lazy,
But it was nothing compared to this.


Current draft: 4/4/2010
Created on 3/28/2010 1:27 PM

College Girls

(Strange Tales #12)

Right now I’m afraid
I’ve murdered some college girls
Before I went to sleep last night.
It seems like that’s what I remember. They were
All alone and studying half-nude in their rooms,
All sweet and pure, you know the way they are.

Surely I would know it
If I’d killed them, you say,
But that’s how the cops always think.
Sometimes that’s why they’re so slow to apprehend.

I think I started with a rotund young blonde
Who was robust and busty, both!
Something delicious to tell your pals,
If I had any pals to tell, I mean.
She shouldn’t have opened the door like that
To just anyone who hollered “Pizza, Miss!” in a bored tone.

It worked just as well, though, on the next two dolls
Who were brunettes and very slim. I guess
They thought they could afford the calories,
They just couldn’t afford to meet me!

They cracked the door and peeked out and saw me
Fumbling with the empty pizza box
And a couple of dollar bills and change
That I’d swiped from blondie’s desk.

I imagine they’re telling somebody in hell right now
How they thought the pizza guy looked okay!
Don’t any of these girls in the dorms ever know
If they did or didn’t order Delivery?

Oh, well, murder’s my game
And I take it rather seriously.
I used to play board games and canasta
With the same relentless intention in my youth.


Current draft: 4/4/2010
Created on 4/2/2010 7:18 PM

Monday, April 05, 2010


These poems may be nearly over. There's been nearly a dozen of my "strange tales" without much reaction, so I conclude that they were just more crap that I needn't have worked on with such attention. Anyway, I'm getting sleepy.

Nearly Over

(Strange Tales #11)

I thought I overheard the grayed old transvestite
At the midnight motor-psycho party say,
“I didn’t impress the girls or boys in the playground
Very much when I was young and nimble;
How could I expect much difference now?
If they only see now what I can see
In the mirror or out the window—
How little of me there is, every day, inside or out—
How I’ve grown soft and weepy and ugly. Pathetic!
I’ll lengthen my skirts and carry poison pens in my purse,
If that’s what it takes, though I worry it won’t be enough.
There’s no other way to deal with it, n’est-ce pas?
I’m afraid everything I think or wish would be nearly over.
It would not take a sharp appraiser’s eye very long,
Now would it, to pass such bargains by?”


Current draft: 3/29/2010
Created on 3/3/2010 2:59 PM

Sunday, April 04, 2010


(Strange Tales #10)

It feels like I’ve worked so hard lately,
The grizzled chief gravedigger moaned—
Though not compared to what
I’m supposed to be able to do—
That all of life just seems ludicrous.

I am tired all the time
And tireder still
If I attempt anything of consequence.

At home I never essay anything much more debilitating
Than washing clothes and hanging them in closets
Or picking up fallen twigs and branches in the yard,
And yet I feel quite beaten, in almost any sense.
I guess one day I’ll just be walking along
And fall headlong into a hole.


Current draft: 3/29/2010
Created on 3/24/2010 1:26 PM

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Overcome It

(Strange Tales #8)

“I can’t express it exactly,”
The Venetian Vampire said one afternoon,
“But eating solid food often makes me
Feel spiritually choked, regardless of what it is.

“I try to think, This will pass. I concentrate on the motion
Of the boat and if I’m lucky, I overcome it,
But still I seldom eat more than half of anything
Except small portions or a glass of blood-colored wine.”

“I begin attentively by cutting every portion in two
And imagine I’ll eat the rest later.
Sometimes that’s possible,
Sometimes I can’t stuff it in.”


Current draft: 4/1/2010
Created on 1/17/2010 1:48 PM

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hatchet Woman

(Strange Tales #2)

Sometimes if you kill just one to begin with,
The curiosity of cats will bring another
And then another, and pretty soon
You have a crowd in the burial barrel.

I’d been linked by the Law
To the Hatchet Woman more than once,
But it hadn’t stuck even though I did know her well.

The Hatchet Woman could be so kind—
I liked to see her naked—
But not everyone could know her that way.

They continue to arrest her now and then
For this and that, but that doesn’t stick, either.
Boys accuse her of being a gypsy or witch, yet also of
Killing and eating black cats, which makes no sense.

There was a stink coming from her house last summer
And a lot of suspense, but the police found nothing,
And Sheriff Snell admitted he couldn’t stand the smell
Long enough to really look things over.

I made her meet me down by the creek and get dirt on her
Back all that worst month until the odor passed.
I must admit I burned at least a hundred incense sticks
In the crawl space under her house and spread lime, too.

In the end
There was no one missing from home,
No pets reported missing, either,
And the sheriff vowed to forget the whole damn thing.

He told the town he was sick of the gossip
And was going fishing!
I wondered why they never heard from him again,
But I expect he decided he didn’t like the fishing here.


Current draft: 3/30/2010
Created on 3/25/2010 5:20 PM

Law Of Averages

(Strange Tales #9)

I guess the law of averages
Just wanted me to stay at home
Without any sugar-free cookies
And with that cold colored corpse that day.

In any case, it was not an elective.

Whether anything clever can be said
About the laws of aversion and gravity
Or old Aunt Mae’s embrace of Negro gardeners
In her dotage, I don’t know, but I wish I did.
Whether legal or lawless,
We white men always feel we ought to know
Or we’d lose control of it all.


Current draft: 3/31/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Just A Hermit

(Strange Tales #6)

“You’re just a hermit,”
The ghost of whimsy said,
“No matter how you cut it.”
Then she disappeared in smoke,

“What would you have,”
I replied as I sharpened my knife,
“When talk about drugs and mayhem is already so cheap,
Shall I tell another wretched lie?”


Current draft: 3/30/2010
Created on 3/28/2010 10:53 AM

Get On You

(Strange Tales #7)

Boy, would I like to get on you!
I said to the girl that night.
Is that too rambunctious and crude?
It probably is,
But I’m just the one to do it.

“Get on with you,” she said dismissively,
“I’d rather smell a fart.”
I’d like to get on with you better than this,
I told her, even if it cost me dearly!
“Your wallet won’t get you anywhere,” she replied.


Current draft: 3/23/2010
Created on 3/16/2010 7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cute and Mean

(Strange Tales, #5)

I used to think you were cute,
But then I found out
You were just blonde and mean,
Not a muse and not a bit amusing.

Soon the pulse of life in me went blank and stark,
Standing at the baby’s grave, though I pretended otherwise,
Then all the stars we steered by blinked out that humid night
And left each one alone, perspiring and deaf in the dark.

Now all those negative images
I collected all day for years and could not conceal,
Could not repeal, are piled up high above my ears;
I’ve shouldered them far, for fear of worse,

Though some of them are yours. Now it’s here,
You can see they garner no awards, no medals,
No honor or joy that I can tell,
No matter what our wishes are, no matter what the baby was.


Current draft: 3/30/2010
Created on 3/27/2010 4:46 PM

Advice I Ignored

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain,
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders.
For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder. -- Beatles

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Are You Doing?

(Strange Tales #1)

What are you doing?
Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter.
It used to matter, but things change.
Now laundry hangs in the back yard getting dusty
And is sometimes yanked off the line by dogs
While old friends reach wrong numbers
And my speed-dial turns up the dead and disconnected
Faster than a sharpshooter shovel or the far too lively
Armadillos that keep digging up undesired dismembered
Bodies each night in Preacher Arnold’s side yard
And the dogs scatter the resurrected parts through
The wealthy neighborhood of Needle's Eye each morning.


Current draft: 3/30/2010
Created on 3/25/2010 2:21 PM

Horror Of Connection

(Strange Tales #4)

I have a horror of connection, pro and con.
I guess I’m pretty often miserable for little reason
Or mistaken and need correction like a dog on a lead.
Whether I ever find the time to show the price of it or not,
I wonder what kind of time and money it will require
When I finally have to pay the bill?

It’s more than I can negotiate, defray, or dispel
Most times, this honor of connection we bestow.
No one who knows can tell,
Though markers on the graves I’ve dug
Suggest to me the cost is high
Even if you die in debt.


Current draft: 3/23/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Sunday, March 28, 2010


For some reason, the uses I made of my previous computer did not require me to worry about using batch files or the command prompt, so I never did. I guess those were years I was deep into blogging and I did "backups" other ways. Now I've got this laptop and thought that it'd be useful to have some batch files again, mostly for backup purposes. I know I've used other command prompt commands in the past, but the only ones that I wanted to revive were variations of the "dir" and the "xcopy" commands.

Xcopy allows me to make highly specific backups to my flash drives, whether the backups are Full backups, incremental backups by date, or incremental backups by archive flags (copies only files that have been modified) Then I always have a safety copy of the important stuff in case of fire or flood!

Using those commands, especially in a batch file, makes certain things very easy, but I hadn't taken into consideration how long it'd been! I had trouble remembering the EXACT correct terms. And Microsoft changes made it a criminal investigation to discover how to get the command prompt in a window. The changes may have occurred earlier than Vista, but things are certainly relocated since I used to use it on a daily basis, two computers ago. I suspect that it's a small percentage of computer users who even know that command prompt and batch files exist these days. They aren't necessary, though they are delightful work horses if you have need of them.

I thought it'd take me 15 minutes to sort all this forgotten material out, but it was more like 15 hours of researching, 15 minutes at a time!

Now you know why nobody pays me for researching computer answers!

Mr. Fuck-up or Mr. Fool?

A Fool's Tale

I felt like my hair was getting too long two days ago and decided to cut it. For the past couple of years, I've been using electric clippers with several different size guides and accessories that I never have mastered. I use as few of them as I can get away with, most times. So far, I'd gotten away with being slouchy, but this time I decided I'd make more effort for once to reach WAY BACK behind my head with the clippers, which are pretty heavy, and clip the hair on the back of my head that's always left much longer than needed to match the rest of my haircut length. BIG MISTAKE! My arms aren't long enough and my strength isn't great enough to do a good job and I ended up less like I'd cut my hair and more like I'd shaved it back there!

Thank you very much, Mr. Fuck-up, where you been so long?

Oh, well, it'll grow back in a month or so, I guess. I don't know if I'm seldom around anyone who is observant or if it's just that all the ones I see regularly are not the "commenting" kind, but since I wear hats so much of the time, my new "skin" job may not draw much discussion of how those heavy clippers finally made a complete fool of me. La di dah...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Feeling Sorry

The old man in the Home was feeling sorry for himself
When he said to no one in particular:
Another goddamn fucking week’s gone by
And I have little new to say, not even a lie.

Others might help you to your wheelchair
Or fetch your heating pads, prostheses, pills,
Or hearing aid, and your other gear and gadgets,
But it probably won’t be me.

I have too many aches and pains and abuses myself
To feel like abusing you or feel much sorrow for you
Or think of rescuing anyone from anything.
It’s all been said to me and I couldn’t afford to care—

I was promised no solution and No Rescue.
I may not be worse, but it hasn’t make me a better man,
At least I know that this is all that’s left
And as much as there ever will be.


Current draft: 3/19/2010
Created on 3/10/2010 7:57 PM

Friday, March 26, 2010


Boy, I just had the strongest impulse while sitting at the computer to have a cigarette, something I haven't done in over 10 years! Jesus, save me! It was an unconscious impulse, however, so as soon as I realized what my autopilot was scheming, the desire disappeared like a puff of smoke. I can't imagine anything more stupid for me, unless I was to start eating large amounts of sugar.


Yesterday marked the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron; it always gets lost these days in the shuffle of world news.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Only A Kiss

The drunk crawled out of the cardboard carton
And said, “I’d just like to kiss a girl,
Even if she’s an old girl
Who admits she’s old as me!

As long as the spirit in her crazy heart
Still runs true and she doesn’t want to
Throw me to Satan or drown me in God—
Then I’d be true as well while the bottle lasts!”

I’m hip, fellow misfits say, for they needn’t imagine
What it is to live without a lover’s kiss
Until you’ve gone so long without
That you forget what it is you miss.


Current draft: 3/25/2010
Created on 3/16/2010 2:06 PM

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Take The Blame

(I’m Just A Sick Bastard)

I notice that a large part of the world—
My world, I mean—has no comment most of the time,
Because they’re busy leading lives with no relation to mine
And I can’t complain that I’m surprised.

After all, it’s been a long, long time
Since any of them walked or worked in tandem with me
And I have to take the blame and live with that,
Whether they treat me as if I’m alive or dead.


Current draft: 3/24/2010
Created on 3/15/2010 1:25 PM

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Enough Opinion

Although I no longer have
A good enough opinion of myself,
I still let myself think sometimes
Or dream at will about flirting, romancing you—
I still can’t help it! I never seem to know my age.
I wish I never knew my limits just as well.

It would even be unobjectionable
If you smelled of lavender and vanilla
Like that sweet-old-lady scent I sometimes detect
In the red-ribboned curls and laundered shirts
Of that pretty coffee-colored girl who lives downstairs
With Granny Merle, who isn’t quite so sweet, I’m told!


Current draft: 3/21/2010
Created on 3/17/2010 11:07 AM

Monday, March 22, 2010

Who, Me?


I once had an adult dog like this. This picture makes me wish I could have been a puppy when he was!

Run, Rabbit, Run!

I ran over a rabbit with my car today.
Now I’m disgusted with myself.
I don’t know why,
But then, I don’t know why not.


Current draft: 3/22/2010
Created on 3/21/2010 5:18 PM


Having had private discussions previously, as well as reading some Internet hooha about the natural sweetener made from the plant, Stevia, I’d begun to carry the notion in my mind that “natural” must be better if it tasted good enough, so I was on the primrose path. I saw a boxed container of a hundred packets for the second time in WalMart's supplements section and, much to my regret, bought it. It didn’t taste sweet and it did taste bad.

I would have bought fewer if I had a functioning brain, but in any case I had only found it in this one size. I've tried it twice so far, on some Cheerios, but I couldn't taste anything very sweet in it, though the second time I did detect an unpleasant taste. It sure wasn't sweet enough! I had a similar reaction to the taste of Sweet n Low years ago, so I guess I'm stuck with Equal. Splenda is okay, as well, in the packaged food products I’ve encountered. I sure don’t like being on the hook for $6 worth of useless Stevia packets. I don’t think I'll ever try it again because I don't see how it's going to improve with frequency of use. It's horrible so far.

Don’t take my word for it, though; my taste buds have been wonky for several years now and many foods taste bad or wrong to me that you probably eat every week. I imagine that it's an aberration that I don't even have in common with all other diabetics.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fateful Missy’s Golden Slumber

It’s just one goddamn poem after another
This guy sends her; he must think
His every word, like drops of piss, is golden.
Maybe his shit doesn’t stink, either?
Will no one ever wake him
And put him wise before he wets his pants
Or will we have to dance him here like one of Missy’s dolls
Until we break him in lieu of any first intended consequence
Of kindness or any understanding we might conceive,
Like puppet masters anywhere?

[Around and round you go and stumble,
Over and over tumble in the same jerky two-step dreams
Of filmy fushia crinolines and girlish lipstick grins and
Awkward boys who slightly bow in tightly fitted formal pants.]


Current draft: 3/20/2010
Created on 3/18/2010 9:28 PM

Saturday, March 20, 2010


You feel this,
You feel that—
Aw jeez,
You’re always feeling
Some stupid drama of regret
Regardless of anything real.

In truth you’re only stringing words together
To fill the time away from Jack and Jill;
That might make sense,
But it doesn’t really matter if you do.

Are you lonesome,
Are you blue,
Can you stir a bumpkin stick in Elvis soup
And boil it till it’s true?

Politics, dread politics, rave on—
Declare yourself for ABC,
Protest that pensive weakling XYZ—
It’s pretty much the same damn trip,
Whether you puff up on the left or right
Or shove it up your ass in fright,

And beauty, dear beauty,
There’s no chick that pleases or appeases you
Like it used to do,
No name or word that we applaud,
There’s no bird notable for taking flight right now,
No one to write the names down except for you and me.

What good will it do, though,
For you to carry those names around
Like a leaden weight
And me to carry you?

See how low your flag is flying,
Can you keep it from the dirt?
Is there anyone of any moral stature or high feather here
To keep fledglings in repair or from being hurt?


Current draft: 3/18/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Write Me

No one writes me often enough, I’d say.
Often enough for what? one might ask.
Often enough to distract me from myself,
Would be my answer.


Current draft: 3/20/2010
Created on 3/19/2010 7:47 PM

Friday, March 19, 2010

Not News

Goddamn the planet Earth! I guess that about covers it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Too Bad

Too bad there’s not something to hang on to,
But this will have to do.
Too bad there’s not someone to cling to,
In the dark of night or the starkness of any Sunday.

Are you anxious, are you rude?
Can you follow the Golden Rule
And lift your skirt
Without being crude?

I’m in the bed undone like tangled strings.
I’m on the phone unspun like wireless tongues.
I’m on the way to being out of here
And out of my mind for fun.


Current draft: 3/18/2010
Created on 3/15/2010 4:33 PM

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Answer To Whut?

Yyyy not?


Current draft: 3/17/2010
Created on 3/17/2010 10:38 AM

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Everyone Soliloquy

Too many of those I love just drift away—
I can only guess that they have their reasons.
I deserted some, I admit, but I guess
I never felt that they were being left alone.

I’ve been wrong about it all before, though—
Maybe everyone is alone behind the mask, behind the mesh,
And fools like me can only see it from inside, not outside,
The cruel flesh and flash of hope.

Now I am he whose soliloquy sounds as alone
As that of any other tired or timid man
Who has dropped by the side of the road
And waits for, yet rebuffs, the touch of
Any holy joe or passerby who nods or speaks.

I guess they wait for me as well
And have lingered long, just as disappointed
With the sounds of one more man talking to himself,
One more who doesn’t care for any holy Jones or passersby
Who’s laughing unless they’ve rung the bell and paid the toll.


Current draft: 3/16/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crosshairs of Love

Here's a link to an old poem of mine that I never expected would draw much attention. I still feel that way.

See it, if you wish, on Judy Garland Blues at Crosshairs of Love.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Marlene Dietrich: Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.

Cemetery Visit

The arrows through the heart out here
Are not due to Cupidity, but to vanity and death
And to misery and loss. How those slight memorials
Ever came to be known as Monuments
Seems strange to me, seeing how few of us
Can claim to have been monumental
Until someone bought us a big polished stone.


Current draft: 3/12/2010
Created on 3/12/2010 10:58 AM

Saturday, March 13, 2010

That's a Long Story

Here's a link to an old poem about some fictional storm that roared through my brain long ago. It is long and I will be lucky if anyone ever reads it, but I have at least found a place to keep it until I want to read it again.

See it, if you wish, at HURRICANE COAST.

What Stinks?

Dogs’ Superior Noses

What I never understand is: if dogs have such extremely superior noses, how can they be so cavalier about sniffing one another’s bottoms, not to mention other odors that you and I would find repulsive? I would think than an increased sensitivity to some of those odors would make the dog stand up on his hind legs, hold his nose, and declare, “You stink like that corporate pig farm next door!”

As far as I can tell, though, dogs never find anything repellent. Thinking that the world stinks is obviously a human trait, possibly an acquired taste. I don't know if there is such a thing as an "aversion gene", but dogs certainly don't have it!

I wonder if it’s wonderful to be so tolerant and uncomplaining about the various stinks around us? It must be; dogs always appear pretty happy and never appear to be holding their breath!

The Generation

I used to expect that I would be like the others,
That I’d be part of The Generation as I’d always been
And would hit the ground (my age) running
Or at least still walking, not shuffling,
That maybe I’d at least be mobile,
Not haltered and hindered and half-immobilized.


Current draft: 3/13/2010
Created on 3/12/2010 8:12 PM

Friday, March 12, 2010

One Week Bleeds

One week bleeds into another,
And time appears from under the table,
Then disappears from under my feet
At a pace more rapid than the dance.
Timing is a matter of constant cumulative debate,
Like raindrops in clouds, like rabbits in heat, but
One week bleeds into the other,
As these cold perceptions on the Internet do.


Current draft: 3/11/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Internet Kisses

It’s alright if you go away,
So many others have.
We’ve never met in real life, anyway,
So I wasn’t expecting a cleanup visit from
The Virgin of Vatican city
Or a down and dirty night of bliss
With a burpy local vixen.


Current draft: 3/11/2010
Created on 2/5/2010 8:05 PM

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fair Warning About Smoke Alarms

Warning! This could happen to you!

I decided it was time to replace the 9-volt batteries in the two smoke alarms yesterday, but when I looked at them, it seemed like they were awfully old and maybe the smoke alarms themseles should be replaced. Though it is true that I can't stay on a ladder very long (I get dizzy these days), I bought a pair of alarms at Wal*Mart and later was lucky that my brother in law (who's older than me) came along and changed them out. I felt a little creepy about it because I could have done the job if I could stay on the ladder properly, but I can't do it any more. Anyway, everybody breathed a small sigh of relief.

Before 24 hours had passed, I returned to the house after burning some pine straw and tree debris, sat at the kitchen table to watch the news, but immediately started hearing that high-pitched ping-ping-ping!

"What the hell?" I thought. The alarm didn't seem to be coming from the right direction, so I thought about killing the TV, but in the end just turned the power off. I could now clearly determine that the sound was coming from behind me as I faced the hallway with the two new alarms!

"What the shit?!"

The sound led me through the kitchen and into the laundry room where nothing was evident about what was "alarming" and Where it was alarming from! Was the washer or dryer on fire somehow? No, no, not that. That alarm note was killing my brain (as I guess it was meant to do) and I became desparate to find it. Finally, after the longest five minutes of my life, I bent down toward the kitchen garbage can and the noise was very close indeed then. It occurred to me at last that one of the discarded smoke alarms must still have a battery in it!

"Goddamn battery!"

I thought that both had been checked and removed, but it wasn't so. My best guess is that the smoke from my debris fire in the back yard has eased it's way into the laundry room and down into the garbage. I only hope the new ones work so well if there's ever a real fire in the house.


(Just Another Piece of Tale)

I don’t know, but I also don’t expect,
That Carlotta even kept us in mind after she left
Or that she can be considered in any sense
One of your or my oldest friends
When technically it may have been so.

There has been no further friendship, though,
No further contact or word sent via another.
There has been nothing for decades,
And she has become nearly nothing to us,
But she’s hardly the only one.

A list of insuperable length might be assembled
If it were seemly for me to blame them
And then write the wretched names of men
Who’ve pulled a similar “Poof!”
And disappeared for decades—

But it’s not very appropriate, is it?
“Real men” still don’t get it sometimes
And still don’t care
To care very much about men
When they see it’s Love instead of Hate.


Current draft: 3/8/2010
Created on 3/8/2010 4:41 PM

Sorting Things Out

How can you miss me when I won't go away?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Their Biography

Write me, bite me,
People whose names I’ve never heard before
Send emails to tell me that their biography is now a book—
How grand! I wasn’t even aware it was a paragraph!


Current draft: 3/9/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Critics Are Unpatriotic?

Adlai Stevenson: Do not... regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Dog And Pony

Here's a link to a new poem about the structure of the universe. I will probably not get any criticism or commendations for it, but I've grown used to that.

See it, if you wish, at Dog And Pony Dream. It's NOT about animal sex.

Being A Poet’s Favorite Fan

I think I’ll just leave you
A little more alone about it from now on and
Not attempt to slip any more poems under your door
Or in your face or email folder or coat pocket.
You can still find them when you’re in the mood.

It’s factual enough my work’s depressing, even to myself.
Now even though I express it to relieve it,
I still shouldn’t belabor or weary any worthy reader
Who’s apt to feel the foreignness and the horror of it
And would prefer to evade the tiresome honor of it.
I can’t blame you.


Current draft: 3/8/2010
Created on 3/8/2010 2:45 PM

Witness And Judge, Part Two

(For Parents Dead Or Alive)

Who else would have worked so hard for us
Or spent so much of their own lives prompting us
Not to overspend or underwash or eat that stinky cheese!
It may be tempting to be venal and resent how often
They nailed us for mere venial sins, but do we recall
And admit who saved us from killing ourselves as kids
Or, later, from living in debt or jail
Or in a dirty home or in the street?


Current draft: 3/8/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Things Aren't Good Enough


That day I wrote to you at last,
I was just taking a shot in the dark.
Hoping that nothing’s gone from bad to worse for you,
Though sometimes old ghosts may disclose that
Things aren't even good enough to tell when they get worse.
I was just reaching out, like a clown come down from heaven,
To see if I could touch a sharper edge
Before perception dulls and imagination fails.

It could have been someone else I reached,
Just another wrong number
With nothing better to do,
The same as the night before
And the night before that.
I think I’ll have the phone removed soon.
I wonder how long I can continue disconnected
In this derelict haunted house without you?


Current draft: 3/7/2010
Created on 3/4/2010 11:09 AM

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Meet Me After

What will you do, I wonder, when I am dead—
Will you expect to meet me After,
Like meeting for drinks after work
Or will there never be again a time
When we can be alone together
Dimly lit by verve and candles
And talking poems and English Lit in a quiet corner
Even while surrounded by celebrants of every kind,
Who talk about weather, booze, and games
In loud fluorescence-brightened rooms?


Current draft: 3/6/2010
Created on 3/1/2010 7:38 PM

Friday, March 05, 2010

If I'm Boring

I can’t tell if I’m boring the shit out of the universe
Or if it’s just myself who’s wandering, wondering
If I’m sliding down the slippery slope
Of nearly projectile expulsion from my own posterior
Just once more or for the final time.


Current draft: 3/4/2010
Created on 3/4/2010 11:23 AM

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Things Are Already Spoiled

Things are already spoiled that way,
Just as you say, and there’s no way to avoid it.
I can look back at it and forward at it,
But there’s no cheer to be found in it

And it’s all the same in the same stoic frame
On that cold familiar freezer shelf,
In this old unpainted kitchen, on the same dead street.
It’s the same sad sell. I’m famous for it.

I suppose it would be fair
If you’ve got to where
You don’t want to know much more about it
When most of these poems babble alike,
Quite depressive and insane
And obsessed about death or inactivity

Or how words sound or work
As they click around, about, and
In the track or pockets of the roulette wheel—
So you’re right in your remarks,
But what else would I know?

The carousel you sent failed to arrive.
I just got a piece of mail about it from Amazon,
Saying that the horses didn’t survive
And the poles were bent
And all the brass rings were tarnished.


Current draft: 3/4/2010
Created on 2/25/2010 2:11 PM

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Disrespect (Rizzo's Tune)

It’s true I treat my friends with disrespect
And that’s not good, not even for me.
I assure you that I don’t just get away with it.
I’ve never gotten away with anything,
As far as I recall, and probably never will.
But maybe I just don’t recognize it.
Maybe my every breath is hateful and spiteful
And my renditions for the public all disguised.
Who would practice such grand deceit
When there is no merit in it and nothing to be gained?


Current draft: 3/3/2010
Created on 2/5/2010 2:58 PM

Monday, March 01, 2010

Zombie Love

Is this the place?
They said it was the place
Where small evils rule and sagging cuties cruise
And fat clumsy zombies hump themselves into a frenzy
In the dead of night. So is it, any such?
They said I could just drop in,
They’re always home at night…

Is this the place where hideous hot-blooded zombies
Wake and fall in love and rut in mud,
Ring silent silver bells in heat, reproduce as such,
And wear each other's fingers out?
They rush ahead, but don’t they know
Those fingers, lips, and tongues
Will fall off soon and turn to mush and dust?

This is the place where maiden aunts
Point out that even youthful bosoms
Must turn concave at last without a touch of mirth
And sport the smell of must
As much as lust and lavender
Or damp asshole and chilly earth.
Oh God, they’re getting up, they’re crawling out!

They still can yearn for love and touch even if only
Stitches, spit, and formaldehyde hold their insides in,
Even if love stinks or drools too much in bed
Or most lose all mortal pleasure in its exquisite touch
When thick dark discharges ooze and spread like murk
Across their once-expansive now breathless breastwork.


Current draft: 3/1/2010
Created on 12/26/2009 11:34 AM

Live Again

(Thinking Of You)

If I could put the broken bits and ashes of my life
Back together again, or
If I could gather in one place
All my far-flung hopes and friends
And all the foolish dream ships that I smashed
Or scuttled or scattered in the wind—
Whether or not we ever kissed or ever will again—

I’d breathe at rest at last
Without a worry for your soul or mine
Or for this dread, this dire anticipation of loss,
I’d live again, however small, devoid of tears,
Maybe serve to cheer you one last time
More than you’d expected or ever will again
Before the years insist that you or I must pass.


Current draft: 3/1/2010
Created on 2/22/2010 8:15 PM

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Pablo Casals: The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?

In The Present

I can’t claim to be a good judge of my own poetry, at least not in the present and not very often. Since it’s mine, I love almost everything I write when it’s current, but Time is the real judge, even if it’s still just my opinion. If I find a poem that’s many years old, that I can barely remember the process of writing, and that I still like, then THAT’S the sonofabitch that I know was pretty well written and it makes me feel good that no one bothered to kill me before I could write it! (I may not be the Ultimate Egotist, but he/she doesn’t live very far from here!)

Since last year, I’ve written more poems in a short span of time than ever in my life—at least a hundred poems so far when most years or even most decades since the ‘70’s, I never produced that many. Sometimes I’ve been so tongue-tied that I only produced 4 poems in a year or 10 poems in a decade. For one decade, at least, I have the excuse that I’d taken up writing short stories instead. At times I realized that there had been whole decades where no one I knew at work or play, except for old friends, even knew that I wrote. I guess I didn’t care if any of them knew. As a perpetual elitist, maybe I thought that they wouldn’t know what to care about if they knew.

Though I like many of my new poems very much, it’s hard to know, once again, if they’re really good or if they simply please me in the present. To please myself is probably the only reason I write, so I guess things are working out.

p.s. Some people wish some of my poems were more cheerful, and so do I—but it isn’t very often true of me, so I don’t try to write it. I used to have a greater sense of comedy in some of my writing, and I miss that, I admit.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Old Friends

My old friends,
Sometimes I think I don’t know
What any of them are for anymore.
Does that sound too utilitarian?
Whatever it is, I guess
They may think the same or worse of me,
For the same facts are true
Going one way as going the other.

What comes and goes doesn’t change much.
I sometimes like to think
That there’s something real
And yet there’s something in the mirror, too,
Something that’s distorted, perhaps not really there,
But I expect I’m wrong, as I am about so much.
I’m just a resentful cur,
Who feels no one’s as down as I am—
Not as beat down, or as let down, or as down on himself—
For now, that’s all the barking at the moon that I can bear.

Current draft: 2/27/2010
Created on 1/28/2010 6:38 PM

Friday, February 26, 2010

Poetry Can Be Used

Poetry can be used
To look at the small moments
Or the big picture,
Whichever you like, whichever applies.

One minute I’m up to my eyeballs
In the concrete details they say construct reality
And the next I can’t keep again above the mist of abstraction
That always floats like less than feathers in my mind.


Current draft: 2/26/2010
Created on 2/16/2010 11:44 AM

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Any Good

(Bad Dreams)

It doesn’t do me any good to dream of a good game
Or to get depressed about it
Or to say it aloud or instead be silent
Or to portray it in poems laid out like a fan of Canasta cards,
All alike on one side, over and over again,
While we’re always freezing the pile
Until one can meld and go out, then count the cost.

I might as well have drowned in drool last night
As to get hung-up in this hapless countless dream where
I’ve fallen down the stairs running like a dog in his sleep,
And into a fan blade in the final moment of the dream
That chops me up like lettuce until I wake wetly,
Then I meld and ache because I find I can’t go out.


Current draft: 2/25/2010
Created on 2/20/2010 10:51 AM

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All Lost Souls

All lost souls show themselves eventually,
If not perpetually on display.
Whether on stage or in the firmament
Many stars excel or show their beauty
For a while, but time does not last.
Time will exceed their grasp.

For the lost, the light fades in and out
And keeps the audience constantly guessing—
We see the light but know the star may be already dead.
For some, the light burns very brightly at the start of life,
For others at the end—but always it is quenched,
Whether when expected or by early notice.


Current draft: 2/24/2010
Created on 1/18/2010 7:23 PM

Lines by Willie The Shake


To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In A Vacuum

I guess I’ve lost the depth of contact
With most of the people I used to know
Who cared to read my poetry,
Who had the taste and the propensity
To review and critique and recommend,
But now I guess there’s not enough proximity.

It’s said we see ourselves too much through others’ eyes
And I find that no less true with my own writing.
It’s hard for me to judge it or care for it
If too much of it occurs in a vacuum.
Whose fault it is I know—I can only blame myself,
And so I squirm.


Current draft: 2/23/2010
Created on 2/17/2010 10:51 AM

Monday, February 22, 2010

Even Poetry

Even poetry isn’t this unpopular,
So I guess it’s me.
First you’re alone, is the first thing we learn,
Then others die and you feel a greater sense of it.
Then after all you die and you’re alone again.
Like an actuarial clerk, I spend more time
Keeping track of life with pencil and ink
Than living.


Current draft: 2/22/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Typing With Mittens On

Have I mentioned my new "convertible" red mittens? No, they're red on both sides, but there's a "pocket" for the fingers that can be lifted over the fingers or OFF of them when I need to feel things such as keyboards or car keys or sugar-free cookies. My fingers still get somewhat cold, but it's an improvement to the general warmth of my hands. And covering up or removing the finger pockets can be done more quickly than removing the gloves I'm used to using. Even with the pockets removed, the knit extends halfway down the length of each finger, so it's taken a while to get used to the additional resistance that I experience trying to move my fingers to the right keys, but it can be done. I know some of you may be thinking, like my cousin, why don't I just turn on the heat out here in the study and quit being stupid?! Answer: because neither you nor my chummy cousin have offered to pay the subsequent heating bills.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

U.S. Congress

I wish all these dumb greedy bastards and smart-ass SOB’s
In the U.S. Congress would just wake up dead one morning.
After all, what could it hurt?
How long could it take to replace them all
With someone just as vile—23 minutes?

Friday, February 19, 2010

May Have To End

They may have to end it all
By putting me in jail.
Or I may have to put an end to them
And end up in jail.
I don’t have much courage
Or I’d be able to make a plan
Or make a break for it
Or remake myself
Or insist on another take—
Anyway, just get somewhere I could
Buy my way out of here once and for all!
I could abide the horror of loneliness
If only I could avoid how long it is.
I guess that’s the Hell they speak of.

It’s failure to start that pins me here as I am,
So it would seem a little wild to see myself turned
After all this while into some kind of sucker for success.
Unlike those Dostoyevsky characters I used to read,
I don’t see anyone around I should murder yet
Except of course myself
And that’s an unpleasant option.


Current draft: 2/18/2010
Created on 1/17/2010 8:50 PM

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Everyone Soliloquy

Everyone I ever loved has drifted away—
I can only guess they must have had their reasons.
I deserted some, I must admit, but I guess
I never felt that they were being left alone.

I’ve been wrong about it all before, though—
Maybe everyone is alone behind the mask, behind the mesh,
And we can only see it from inside, not outside,
The cruel flesh and flash of hope.

Now I am he whose soliloquy sounds as alone
As that of any other tired or timid man
Who has dropped by the side of the road
And waits for, yet rebuffs, the touch of
Any holy man or passerby who nods or speaks.

I guess they wait for me as well
And have lingered long, just as disappointed
With the sounds of one more man speaking to himself,
One more man who doesn’t care for holy men or passersby
Unless they’ve paid the toll.


Current draft: 2/18/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Too Sensitive

Tell the world that I was too sensitive,
That’s the only explanation I have,
Even though it’s stupid.
The problem was never what was too expensive
Or too far away or too beautiful for me—
It was just as is.

Maybe I was undeserving, but that’s not the reason why
Nothing could ever go right or come to me anew
Or ever stay in my darkroom. It was just bad DNA
Or some kind of kinetic or intuitive or intrinsic madness,
Not to mention that I just resent being interfered with.


Current draft: 2/17/2010
Created on 2/13/2010 11:51 AM

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Being Useful

Young Hollywood men who brag at length
About their sex and drug lives
Have no excuse for existence
And their yammering TV critics even less.
They all make a living being useless.
I myself expect some useful mobster
To show up at my doorstep with a shotgun any moment
And humorlessly blow my ass to hell.


Current draft: 2/13/2010
Created on 2/13/2010 11:32 AM

The Unconscious

I carry a cane these days
And sometimes observe the expressions of others.
I wonder if people and dogs and cats
Keep expecting me to use my stick on them.
It’s what I think about a lot for my amusement,
Not so much to strike them,
But sometimes to just tap or wave it
Until I have their bloody attention!

Still there are some people
Who need a serious beating
And there are some pets
That need to be nudged or whacked.
I wasn’t consciously planning, though,
To carry out the verdict.


Current draft: 2/16/2010
Created on 2/4/2010 11:58 AM

Struggle Between Hot And Cold

For some reason it’s colder out here
In my study than it is outdoors.
People who see me walk down the sidewalk
From the house to here must think me
Greatly overdressed for it IS often warmer outside
Than my cold quarters here would ever suggest.

As I step over the threshold
And shut the door behind me,
I think for a second that I feel
A small draft of cold air strike me
Before I realize that it’s me who’s
Brought a small draft of warmth inside
And if there’s any struggle, this heat I bear will lose.


Current draft: 2/16/2010
Created on 2/14/2010 3:46 PM

Monday, February 15, 2010

Witness And Judge

There’s a thousand ways to die, they say,
And that may be so.
There’s only one kind of death when a parent dies,
And that is hard-to-bear.

We go on with our pursuits and affairs
Or let the time play out for life
And try not to think of it,
But it never really goes away.

We avoid such questions as
“What would your mother think?” or
“What would your father say?”
We spend a lot of time silently hoping
That no one’s watching today.

They aren’t apparent
So we can’t see how they take it
When we start to wheedle or whine or lie and cheat
And that’s somehow worse than when
They could still get in our face for it!

They’re the kind of ghosts we dread,
Worse by each individual’s standard than if
Frankenstein, Hitler, and a lady with a beard
All showed up at your birthday party
With pamphlets and sticky kisses,
Then very disgustingly licked
All the dessert forks and the cake knife, too!

It’s bad enough to be you or me, however the wind blows,
Without having a constant witness and judge in our head!
“Oh, quit that! Get that finger out of your nose!
What would your Daddy have said?”


Current draft: 2/15/2010
Created on 2/10/2010 12:01 PM

To My Cousin, Distant And Near

I wish I could be a better friend to you
Or be more help with things,
Instead of this lump of clay
That knows how to talk.
As we get older, I realize,
Talk gets even cheaper
Because the old stuff’s been proven
So often to be so worthless.

But I’m not gonna kiss you,
So that’s that!


Current draft: 2/15/2010
Created on 2/15/2010 11:48 AM

Is It Safe?

You ask me if your emails
And other info left on the Internet are safe,
And I don’t know the answer.
To the best of my knowledge,
No one is ever safe.

Are we in jeopardy?
Who can say? We can but wait.
In the meantime, if I were you,
I wouldn’t even cross the street
Or ride the express to Heaven’s Gate.

Current draft: 2/14/2010
Created on 1/19/2010 12:41 PM

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lucille Clifton

Did you ever hear the name Lucille Clifton?
She died yesterday before I’d ever heard of her.
I surfed somewhere on the Internet
Where they quoted one of her poems in full.
Yes, I liked it, and so I read a second one—
And now I regret never knowing her name,
Never knowing Her at all.
She was a black woman eleven years older than I am
And probably had little in common with me
Except poetry, which is to say,
At least a portion of Everything!

I think the world is poorer now, though
I don’t know any way to inform them
Except by writing this, even when I’m unsure
How anyone will ever know who I am!
Maybe in an ideal world
One poet will lead to another,
Like dominoes that fall.


Current draft: 2/14/2010
Created on 2/14/2010 4:27 PM

Another Other Poet's Poem

won’t you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Jackass (On Valentine's Day)

I was just thinking that I'd ask you
If you have any clones of yourself
You could spare, maybe one
Who could avoid the detrimental effect
Of being the object of my desire
On Valentine's Day.

I just want one who could come and entertain me!
However, as most men discover most of the time,
A woman is seldom the kind we want her to be
And probably neither are clones!
In short, if I'm a jackass with a real woman,
How could I improve the outcome with a specious one?


Current draft: 2/14/2010
Created on 1/20/2010 10:43 AM

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Silver Spoon

A silver spoon gives satisfaction, they say,
But so does a wooden one, in a pinch—
It’ll keep you from starving just as well.
Meanwhile, more misery is shown
On the TV news than you can reasonably process
And you’re tempted to not care or maybe not
Even notice the wretched children of the earth
And their disasters. It seems as though there are some
Whom shaking earth and bad stars from afar may strike
Repeatedly, without even pausing to aim.

“Nothing’s fair!” the heavens submit
Before anyone can even dial 9-1-1.
All this while God himself subsides
And Madonna thrills the world
Because she sleeps with younger men
And we worry ourselves sick that some other celebrity
Has hair that may be falling out fast beneath his faux fur hat.


Current draft: 2/13/2010
Created on 2/12/2010 12:56 PM

Friday, February 12, 2010

Portrait Of A Painter

I cannot say how much I admire
How much you attempt
And how much you accomplish
As if you had plenty of time to spare.

If I had the time myself,
I think I’d rush by
Just to fall in love with you
For a moment or an eon,
But as it is, I barely have time
To say that I’d like to!

(How fine it’d be, though, to be in love
With a lady of such finesse,
Who paints so much more
Than her own eyes and lips!)


Current draft: 2/12/2010
Created on 2/9/2010 4:01 PM

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I'm not a curmudgeon--just ill at ease and therefore vindictive and vicious.

Plow me back into the soil and I'll poison the planet.

That's how I see it, anyway.

Lady Severe

The mature woman pictured on the Internet
Was probably only a little older than me,
Yet I realized I’d been thinking of her
To myself as “the old doll on that blog”
And thought I should take a second look.

She does look a little severe, I thought,
But she’s still pretty foxy, whatever her age,
And it wouldn’t be much to confess that for a while
I dreamed about a roll in the hay with her or
Even just an exploratory kiss
Between Mars and Venus, so far apart,
Or between this circus clown and Her Majesty!

Of course, I’m about as likely to meet a Queen
As some mythic movie star like Marilyn Monroe
Or some historic heroine like Joan of Arc.
I can’t help but wonder if she’d be very angry
If I very politely lifted the hem of her dress?!

Bless her, she looks like
She hasn’t been kissed for way too long.
Maybe she’d like it, despite her words and glances,
Even if it mussed her hair or wrinkled that dress.
I could chance it. (Take a cha cha cha chance!)

Her hard earned wrinkles
Would not dissuade me,
I’d give it a try even if I had to climb over a fence!
But of course there’s my own wrinkles, and I’m no prince.
I might fail to impress her at all—
She might rather kiss a snail.

Sometimes these things can sneak up behind you
Or you look up and she’s such a Beauty
Right there in front of you!
You wish suddenly
That you were a handsomer and a richer man
And that your quiet charms were evident
Instead of all your faults!

With all her own life and death problems to distract her,
She probably wouldn’t be ready for my sudden clumsy onset
Or my neuroses trying to climb on top of her.
My apologies, dear Lady Severe,
For being so rude—but fuck it, I don’t care.

I’ll just remain very quiet over here,
Though I’m tired of solitude,
And you can keep your head buried in that book
And I’ll dream deep about parting your legs
And we won’t have to face anyone or discuss any look!

Still I wish you would talk to me,
Talk to me, talk!
Just because I was born like this,
With ennui and awkward conversations already in my head,
Doesn’t mean I like the stupid shit I talk about!


Current draft: 2/11/2010
Created on 1/18/2010 11:41 AM

The Air I Breathe

Maybe I’m wrong and it’s my solitude
That I need most of all.
It has long been the air I breathe
And it might not gladly suffer a sea change.

So, should lady luck in a watery manger
Slip into a mermaid suit with an aqualung
And manage to please me with her underwater dance
In spite of all the danger,

There is no telling
How much or little influence
Might come to fruition between us
And spoil the front of my pants!


Current draft: 2/11/2010
Created on 2/6/2010 7:36 PM

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Too Much In My Head

I suppose I live too much in my head
And not enough where people can see I’m making a mess,
But there’s nothing to do and nothing to say
That would make it turn out all right.
It would still just be fucked up.
If you worked in Washington D.C.,
You could make a bill out of it,
But it’s improbable you could make a poem about it.


Current draft: 2/10/2010
Created on 2/8/2010 2:13 PM

I Have Turned Loose

I have turned loose of everything,
I sometimes think,
And it’s close to being true.
Whatever remains isn’t much,
Doesn’t justify my attitude,
Won’t rectify my course
And in hard times won’t even help me
Rationalize my way out of a paper bag!

I’m trapped and haven’t hung on to much
Beyond the pettiness of the physical world.
Not much of that, either, but
Any character or any morality or any well-being,
That’s certainly all gone to hell,
Or quite diminished, and that’s as good as gone.

Gonna buy a new dump-truck,
Gonna Make a new plan,
Learn to spell my name right,
Empty my trousers of sand.

Whatever else there is,
I misspent it or I abused it
Or maybe I simply misspelled it.
I outlasted some parts of myself in an ill wind
That blew no one any good, yet
There is no merit or gain in any of that!

I’ve reached an age where near companions
Say, “You’ve made it this far, so why worry?”
I don’t know why and I don’t know why not, either.
I wish I could give it all up,
Just fling aside my attachment to it
Like it was a soiled old work-sock,
But I can never pitch it far enough!
It lingers still!

Gonna buy a new dump-truck,
Gonna Make a new plan,
Learn to spell debt and debtor right,
Empty my bedpan of sand.


Current draft: 2/8/2010
Created on 1/15/2010 5:00 PM