Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What Am I Trying to Say?

Blighted, blunted and bound
by bumbling bones, begging
for brighter, better and best.

Unstirred underlying
overtures of unknown


Wanting words with
weight, weaving waywardly
without wrought.  

Bumbling, bumbling, bumbling,
because the better is bound by
baffling blindness.


Bitter and bland,
bandaged by blunder,
bound in befuddlement.

What is it I’m trying
to say?

Friday, May 27, 2016

A Minute to Remember

History is rife with
memorials to men, women
and moments.
Plaques, stone monoliths,
statues, and buildings.

Memorials meant to remind,
honor and to cherish those
that weathered, braved, conquered,
or defied. Memorials to great people,
places and events.

Built for love like the Taj Mahal,
or built for death like the Great
Pyramids, built for honor like
the Vietnam Wall or built for
prestige like the Coliseum of Rome.

There are memorials of the spirit
as well, which are less monumental
in scope but no less worthy of remembrance.
People without monuments, plaques or
statues. People we have loved.

With only a faded or fading memory
of the sound of their laughter, their smile,
the touch of their hand or the love in their
eyes. They have the indomitable monuments
of our memory.

The history of the world may not have
been immensely changed by them, but
they are to be remembered for what they
did, and not how they should or could be
memorialized in stone or steel.

It’s all part of the same human memory,
the collective remembrance of sacrifice,
of hope against all hopes, of waking up one
day and saying, “I’m going to do it,” and
getting it done.

For the sake of family or friends,
just because someone had to do it,
because no one else would, because there’s
dignity and bravery in all our actions when we
choose to do good, to do right.

History may be rife with the towering
memorials to our past, but the true
memorial is us. To go on and pass down
the love, the kindnesses, the passions
of those that went before.

We need to take from those stone memorials
the lessons that were learned and admire
them not because they are architecturally
impressive but because of the accomplishments
they represent.  

A toast to a friend, a teacher, a lover, a mother or father,
with a glass of beer, wine, water or
pop can be just as monumental as the historical
landmarks we see almost daily, dotted along
our landscape.  It’s Memory that is important in Memorial.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I'm Something Alright

I’m 30% farts.
I figured it out.
Last night, as I sat,
on my couch,

I’m only 70% man,
and of that 70%,
60% is water. My blood
 is 92% water,
My brain and muscles are 75% water.

My bones are about 22% water,
but the rest of me,
is farts.
A regular King Toot.
Gastro Dominus Rex.

The music of my ass,
my stinky children of the night,
howling, roaring, sputtering,
making me laugh in spite of
how gross.

I’m Vladimir Pootin,
of my own private Russia,
in the reluctant bachelor pad,
tree top high over the streets.
Where my flatulence goes unheard.

So I’m mostly farts, and I’m sure
you are too. We’re all little methane
pumps carving out our own little clouds
of poison when no one is looking or

Unless you have friends who think it’s
as funny as we do and we become a
veritable horn section of some
symphony played in memory of meals
once eaten.   

We’re all just farts in the breeze,
in a philosophical sense. Some of us are
loud, stinky, sloppy, sweaty, quiet, mousy,
aggressive, hilarious, dangerous, and we never
last longer than the breeze blows.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

La Violencia

History is written by
violence. We’re all tattooed
by the violence of our lives,
scarred by the becoming who
we are through violent means.

Growing is an aggressive stretching
of bones through years of adolescent
aches and awkwardness, it’s a ripping
and tearing away of the old and building
anew over youth.

The journey of our bodies, from skinned
knees and elbows, split lips to acne, to
thinning hair, to weight control; all of
it is violent. The magic of life, but
violent nonetheless.

We’re all covered in the marks of
becoming who we are; cuts, bruises,
scrapes, scars, missing teeth, bad eyes,
sore knees, painful backs. A terrorized
victim of violent times and changes.

It’s in our minds, as the pain fueled
lessons of corporal punishments, spankings,
standing in a corner, holding dictionaries in
both outstretched arms for as long as possible
for talking in class instead of learning about Plato.

The experience crafts us into the
embodiment of violence.  We often
say the ends often justify the means, because
the brutal violence of our own becoming was just
normal. It was what was done and to be dealt with.

I think that’s why we can find violence distasteful,
and fear it or demand it’s end, but we tolerate it.
Tolerate it to such a point that it just becomes so
normal. Because we were formed from it in one
way or another. Like aching bones growing.

The universe exploded violently into
existence. The Earth was pummeled by
meteors and volcanic upheaval, evolution
was cruel and a constant struggle to just

The violence of our history is written
in our blood and bones.  It made us.
It defined us. It elevated the strong, devoured
the weak, culled the herd, and exposed us
to be carved by time.

Maybe we think the violence in the streets,
is just part of the violence of growing up,
maybe the violent murder of others is just
the painful process of maturing as a species;
something to bear as we grow up and are marked.

And don’t we all already know the axiom,
“Violence begets Violence”, but continue with it
anyway. Even our entertainment is based on
the human history of violence. Overcoming
violent adversity towards catharsis. 

It has made us.
We keep letting it.
Blood in the streets
until the lesson is learned.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


A cliché walks into a
cliché and says, “Did you
hear the one about that
old cliché?”
The cliché then laughs
like a cliché villain in a
cliché movie, in a cliché town.

The Premise stood up
and then fell apart as
the premise was very weak
after all the talking about
himself.  The premise was
all over the place.  And no one
could follow it.

The cliché said something about
blah, blah, blah, and so on and so
forth until the premise got back on
his own two clichés and stood cliché to cliché,
as the cliché set in the West and cliché’s
tumbled in the clichéd street and clichés
cawed on the wire.

The Premise felt a little stronger, but
felt a cliché nagging at his memory, it was
the cliché that had clichéd his cliché. Whom
the premise loved so clichéd. This cliché was
the cliché that caused all the other clichés.
The premise was sure it was just what he needed.
The cliché to end all clichés.

Needless to say the premise was far
stronger now that he had the cliché right
where he wanted him to cliché.
The premise could now take his cliché out on
this cliché and everything would be wrapped
up on a nice cliché and the clichés could
go on having learned a valuable cliché.

The End

Monday, May 23, 2016

Imagine it on the Side of an Old Van

                “I don’t want to help you,” said the Old Wizard, “Your cause is lost. You are not from around here. I don’t like your shoes and you have a funny odor that I can’t place but it’s something like mildew and ass mixed in a barrel of shut up.”

                Humberto stood silently at the doorway of the Wizard’s simple Earthenware house. He leaned against the jamb and just stared in at the grizzled old Wizard.

                “I’ll turn you into an actual douche you know,” said the Wizard, “I can totally do it. I have the spell like, right here. I’ll do it. I’ll make you a douche with a terrible clichéd tattoo.”

                Humberto rolled his eyes, “Are you going to be a pain in the ass all day or are you going to help me rescue the princess or what?”
                “You’re the pain the ass. I was doing totally fine with all my stuff until you showed up on your ugly horse in my yard. Yeah, that’s right, I said you have an ugly horse,” said the Wizard.
                “Now, now, now, good Wizard, I know you don’t mean that. He’s a regular horse,” said Humberto.

                The Wizard stood from behind his wooden dining table and ran his fingers through his long bushy hair. His robes were dusty and threadbare in all the wrong places. He cracked his back. He cracked his knuckles.

                “Is a Wizard gonna have to hurt a bitch,” he said.
                “Hold it. You know I’m the good guy in this story. You’re not going to hurt me. You’re going to reluctantly join me in the quest to save the princess but along the long way through our perilous journey you’ll become like a father figure to me and I’ll become the son you never had. You know that’s how this is going to go. So get your walking staff, your magic runes and your sack and lets go,” said Humberto.
                “No. No. No. That’s a different story. This one is where the Wizard is actually completely bat-shit crazy and will straight up turn you into a used douche and then toss you in the woods where you won’t biodegrade for like, a thousand years and you’ll be so bad for the environment that others will take up the cause of totally hating you for being a dick to the environment that they’ll forever refer to anyone who’s an overconfident ass master as a douche,” said the Wizard.

                Humberto pulled at the collar of his tunic and adjusted his silvery armor, “Are you The Wizard of Red Cloth Prairie?”
                “Me? No. I’m the Wizard of Kick Your Ass Mountain,” said the Wizard.

                Humberto stepped back from the doorway and looked for the old wolf marker the gypsy in town told him to look for above the doorway.

                “But you have the wolf’s symbol over the door,” said Humberto.
                “That? That’s been there forever. It was there when I bought the place from an estate sale,” said the Wizard.
                “Oh, wow. Then I’m so totally sorry. I guess I got some bad information. Sorry to have troubled you,” said Humberto.
                “You sure as hell did. Now beat it before I go all douche crazy on you,” said the Wizard.
                Humberto turned back toward his horse. That damn gypsy took his money and gave him bad information. He’d have to have a word with her when he got back to town. 

Friday, May 20, 2016


Death is random,
or so I’m told, by
those in the know.
It happens when we
least expect it and to
those that expect it
the least.

Life is also random,
or so I’ve been told
by numerous scientific
journals, TV science shows,
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and
experience. It can also
be unexpected.

Life and Death, just,
happen. For and to all
of us, mere chance.
The linchpin of the
lottery that is existence
and oblivion. Just chance.
Opportunistic circumstance.

My mother referred to it as,
“Kind of a Descartes thing.
We just are and then we are not.”
(You can see where I get this poetry
thing from, clearly).  And she’s right,
It’s luck and chance we exist at all,
and luck and chance that we’ll cease.

It hammers home the true inexplicable
wonder of actually being alive in a time
and place that exists only in that time and
place. It’s amazing to have a voice, to have
movement, to think, create, laugh, cry,
hug, to feel the buzz of a lover’s kiss.
It’s special, it’s lucky, and it’s short.

That’s what makes this lucky chance, this space
between birth and death, so amazing,
so steadfastly delicate, so intricately
terrifying, so hilariously morose, so
unambiguously vague. It’s confusingly
simple and hugely small.
It’s all random, everything.

What we call purpose is merely
the luck of two individuals, lucky enough
to exist at all due the unlikelihood of the right
sperm getting the right egg, meeting and
being lucky enough to enjoy each other for
a lucky few moments in the lucky corner of
our lucky solar system.

We all are.
One day we will be a, “was”.
And we’ll be remembered for
how lucky we had been and how
lucky others were to have been a
part of our lucky story, in that
space between life and death.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sam the Moon Faced Boy

Sam the Moon Faced boy,
looked up to the night sky.
He stared at the Moon
and saw his own reflection,
he wondered who would
tease the Moon.

Sam the Moon Faced Boy,
walked home from school
every day along a very busy
street, where drivers and
passers-by would point and
stare as Sam walked by.

“Look at the size of that kid’s head,”
they’d shout and glare.
“I can see Neil Armstrong’s footprint,”
one or two would say.
“I didn’t know about the eclipse today,”
some old wise ass would snicker.

Sam the Moon Faced boy,
never let it get to him,
he never let the enormity of his
head, his extremely white skin,
the little tuft of hair on his north pole,
be a source of shame.

Sam the Moon Faced boy,
knew he was better, no matter how
their words would sting and stab.
He knew his eyes were the most
beautiful blue. His mother called
them her sea of tranquility.

Sam the Moon Faced boy
looked up at the night sky
and at his own reflection in
the window glass, superimposed
over the true Moon.
Only one had tears in their eyes.

“Can’t lie to the Moon,” said Sam
the Moon Faced boy as he wiped
his cheek with his sleeve.
“Can’t lie to the Moon,” he repeated
as the stars and the clouds moved
across the heavens.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Didja Get the Number on that Truck?

I asked the guy what it all meant,
what was the deal with all the murder,
hate, killings, beatings, rapes, random
attacks, religious zealotry, blood-thirsty
ideologies and such, what was it all about?

He just shrugged at me, smiled and kept
sweeping the same spot of sidewalk with
his worn out old broom.  I shoved my hands
in my pockets and kept walking until I got
to a flower shop.

I went inside and I asked the clerk the same,
what was the deal with the beheadings, the
lynchings, the fires, the traumas, the abandoned
children, the bombs, the sadists? She said they
were out of roses but to come back Tuesday.

The rain started, I pulled my hood up against
the pelting winds, my socks got soaked in puddle
after puddle. I looked up and the sun was still
shining,  there wasn’t a cloud to be seen.
Yet I was drenched, in the rain of our human misery.

A tanker truck rolled past me on the street,
the large tanker had the words “ Grade-A Fear Juice”
painted on the side and it was headed to the near-by
public school cafeteria.  The tanker had a sign on
its back advertising for a cable news station.

I shook the dampness from my head and followed
the truck as it made its rounds, from schools to offices,
to government buildings to the mansions of the wealthy,
to the huddled masses of the poor, to crack houses to
sixty-thousand dollar a night re-hab centers.

The tanker truck driver was formless and shapeless,
in shadow and secrecy he went about his work.
Amping up our inner and often irrational fears of
boogeymen and bumps in the night into terrorists
and dirty bombs; minor concerns into terrifying nightmares.

I thought it was just us
creating these things through jealousy,
misunderstanding, poor education, selective
listening, bigotry, and run of the mill untamed

But no, there’s a tanker truck driving around,
creating all this fear of each other, of our
neighbors, we’re not to blame at all for all
the terrors we’ve permitted. It’s that tanker guy,
doing it all. And none of it means anything at all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Son of Daedalus

Feathers floated to
the dusty ground.
Stirred by the dry wind
into dizzying tornadoes
of failure.

An ever growing shadow
was cast on the ground,
expanding with each passing
second as the people took
notice of the deteriorating wings.

The people pointed and gasped
up at the sky as Icarus
tumbled and spun
toward his doom due to
his over-ambition.

Icarus flapped and fumbled,
trying to steady himself against
the buffeting winds of his fall,
scattering feathers through the

The crowd stood in a horrified
stupor, watching the poor son
of Daedalus plummet helpless
to the spinning Earth and the
angry sea.

The giddy ambition of Icarus,
despite his father’s warnings,
to fly level and straight were ignored,
and Icarus tumbled from the
sky after soaring toward the sun.

Blind ambition, to do a thing
just because one can, isn’t often
reason enough to do it.
The sun can melt your wings
and you can fall to your death in the sea.  

I think that’s the lesson I learned
from the tale of Icarus as a child.
It’s tempered my ambition
and perhaps made me afraid of flying too
close to the sun.

By Jacob Peter Gowy - http://www.museodelprado.es/imagen/alta_resolucion/P01540_01.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27493281

Friday, May 13, 2016

We Laugh, Therefore We Are

Podiatrist office,
Walk-ins welcome.
Proctologist office,
please be seated.
Optometrist office,
the doctor will see you.

These things make me
chuckle. They’re just
dumb enough to tickle
my funny bone and
remind me.

Remind me that the
world isn’t always
full of doom and gloom
no matter what terrors
are globally occurring.

Humankind is funny.
We can’t help ourselves.
One person’s tragedy is
another person’s punchline.
We’re just funny.

The sound of our laughter
in a room, crowded with
all different types, creeds,
beliefs and sexes is the great
human leveler.

When I am in a group and
we’re all laughing hysterically
at the dumbest thing is the time
I feel most connected to the
whole of humanity.

Levity, mirth, absurdity, jokes,
are our keys to success.
A people without humor are
cursed and miss the subtle joys
of recognizing our ridiculousness.

Laughing to the point
of tears and a belly ache,
trying to catch your breath
and waving your hand in your face
make us all the same.

Internist office,
please check in.
Neurosurgeon’s office,
mind the wait.
Otolaryngologists office,
ENT-y thing for you.

Oof, that last one was
rough. But I’m sure you
have your own terrible ones 
to share.  Cheers!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

What are you Writing About Today?

I’m all starts and no
finishes today.
I’ve started several
poems, short stories,
essays and pieces of
prose and all of them have
gotten stuck at the tips
of my fingers.

I’m unable to navigate the
roiling seas of my thoughts
to any white crested clarity,
worthy of putting word to the
page, or screen, or program,
or whatever this machine for word
making is.  

No one is at the wheel
as it were, because the Captain
is in his cabin, doing things…
Which, for the lack of a better
metaphor, makes writing something
worthwhile sort of difficult.

My thoughts are watching,
shrugging at me as I prance
around like a lunatic
at an anti-prancing convention
because they have no idea what I’m
doing either.  

“It’s all part of the show,” I yell.
But they’re not buying it.
They know me better than I
know myself.
“You’ll get tired of prancing soon enough,”
they’ll say confidently.
And of course they’re right.

I’m not focused.
I’m aloof with ideas
and lost in their muddiness.
[Erase, erase, erase, erase]
Whatever I had written,
It was not good.

“Getting tired yet,” asks my thoughts.
I hate to admit it, but I am.
“No, I’m gonna keep prancing till
the world ends or I find love,” I shout.
My thoughts give me a thumbs up and
return to reading the novelization of
Dirty Dancing.

“Damn it.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Trick Is...

What are you missing?
What isn’t there?
There’s a space for
something, but nothing’s there.

Who’s really whole?
Not missing that piece?
Full of themselves,
yet incomplete.

Is it in a song?
Is it in a poem?
A lover’s longing look
as you stare into each other.

In the mirror?
In the thoughts of others?
A reflection of the self
with jigsaw spaces.

What’ll fill that hole?
The gulf of absence?
A hand held close to the
heart and a kiss on the cheek.

Is that enough?
Is that all you need?
Some need more,
some need less.

But most of the time,
it’ll do the trick.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

In the Shade

Under the shade of
an old gnarled tree,
knotty and twisted
with the arthritis of
age etched in the bark,
sat a young boy picking
at the dirt.

A hot summer breeze
riffled the leaves and
creaked the branches
but brought no cooling
relief to the boy in the
shade, picking at the

A picnic party of adults
was taking place across
the clearing, they were drinking
and dancing and joking and
smoking, and doing those thing
adults shouldn’t do. Things the boy
couldn’t do.

The boy leaned back in the shade
and felt the rough old bark against
his skin. It was coarse and sharp but
not uncomfortable. The boy looked
up through the twisted branches
as the hot summer air brushed the
leaves to and fro.

The sun sparkled and dappled
in the flapping leaves, the tree
groaned slightly in the wind,
the boy looked back over at his
mother at the party, dancing with
some guy who wasn’t his dad,
just some guy the boy didn’t know.

The boy folded his small arms over his
scabby knees and pulled them up to his
chest. He rested his forehead
on his forearm, but it was too
sweaty. He was the only kid at
the party, but he wasn’t the only

The old tree creaked in the heat,
the boy looked down in the dirt
around the thick stitch-work of roots
trailing through the dry ground, he pressed
his hand into the cool dirt and let it
linger. He thought he could feel a
heartbeat in the ground.

The boy turned from the base of the
tree and felt along its rough hide,
the boy could swear he could hear
whispering. He pressed his face close to
the bark and held his breath but it
was quiet except for the gentle creak
of the branches above.

There were yelling voices from
across the clearing, adults fighting,
the boy’s mother yelling for him, that
they were leaving, while two other men
shoved at each other, neither one was
the boy’s dad.  The boy felt the tree once
more, gave it a pat on its knobby side.

The boy ran from out of the shade at his
mother’s beckoning into the hot
summer sun. They’d get in the car and
drive back home to the city where there
were no shade trees to listen to,
no old souls to lean on. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Post-Modern Romance

The only things left
to remember anything,
were a pair of ankle socks
and a pair of sunglasses.

A day of irresponsibility,
irregularity, nonsense,
foolishness, and an all out
zest for living in the moment.

Has no memory, other than
a pair of ankle socks and a
pair of sunglasses left behind
in her hurry.

Moments of wild speculations,
impossibilities, never will be’s
and never were’s, mashed between
slurred cocktail stories and heartaches.

The time and the place for
responsibility had no grip,
the only purpose was in the time
spent wondering about nothing.

Avoidance, preposterous avoidance,
of the ills and ails plaguing our troubled
souls, yet spitefully damaging and adding
to our woes.

A clink of the drinks, a toast of half
mumbled love, kisses and hand holding
meaning nothing other than what they
meant for the second they existed.

Until all that was left was a pair
of ankle socks on the floor and
sunglasses on the table as the
only reminder it happened at all.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Strange Ballad of Gary Lemonade

Gary Lemonade doesn’t
care about your party.

Gary Lemonade doesn’t
care about your dress.

Gary Lemonade doesn’t
like that look on your face.

Gary Lemonade doesn’t
want a quiet night in.

Gary Lemonade does
want to dance.

Gary Lemonade does
want to touch your lips.

Gary Lemonade does
like your legs.

Gary Lemonade does
need a drink.

Gary Lemonade wears
a leather jacket with spikes.

Gary Lemonade wears
steel toe boots to weddings.

Gary Lemonade wears
boxers instead of briefs.

Gary Lemonade wears
neck ties with tee-shirts.

Gary Lemonade wants
a date with you.

Gary Lemonade wants
to sleep with you.

Gary Lemonade wants
the red Kool-Aid.

Gary Lemonade wants
a houseplant in the car.

Gary Lemonade didn’t
know about it before.

Gary Lemonade didn’t
learn about it then.

Gary Lemonade didn’t
bother to read the book.

Gary Lemonade didn’t
see the film.

Gary Lemonade is
thirsty for trouble.

Gary Lemonade is
hungry for bad.

Gary Lemonade is
practicing with a knife.

Gary Lemonade is
stealing hearts.

Gary Lemonade feels
his age.

Gary Lemonade feels
the Earth spinning.

Gary Lemonade feels

Gary Lemonade feels
too cool for Friday night.