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