Monday, December 30, 2013


Holidays are the enemy--they mark the passing of the years. 
This time you've defied the bastards
by sleeping straight through midnight on New Years Eve.

The runaway train of time keeps gaining speed--
summer fall winter spring
seasons never pausing
only waving like excited tourists passing through.

Most of the time, sleep comes grudgingly.
You lie in bed and think about old lovers,
inspecting the shards of shattered dreams.
One in particular keeps coming back.
A dusky young girl who said: I don't want to sleep with you
because I'm afraid I will fall in love with you. 
Ever the reassuring one, you replied: No you won't.

After falter, before correction
is the moment of truth
when a man must admit
that he's turned his life to shit
before setting about the business
of rising from the mire.

While driving to work you pass a service station
where a man in camouflage fatigues
wields the gas pump nozzle
as if it were a weapon.
Or a phallus. 
The car in front of you sports a bumper sticker
that says: Never deprive someone of hope--
it may be the only thing they have left.

After falter...before correction. 
The man who seeks to make connection
discovers that the days of infinite possibility are gone--
but only because a world turned deaf and blind has deemed it so.
The ego, in its fatal attraction to the body, must always lose. 

The poet with too much time to think
teeters on the brink
of disaster.

Sleep comes reluctantly,
but sometimes,
in that kaleidoscopic moment between
consciousness and dream
an apparition in white appears. 
A lovely vision
in her gossamer gown
through which the mounds 
of her breasts are clearly visible.

She reveals  herself as Aphrodite, no less
(who sometimes intervenes on behalf of mere mortals)
and her first appearance ends abruptly
when you find yourself oafishly
reaching for those twin globes.
(Not the first woman you've known
to retreat under like circumstances.)

But she returns the following eve
and on your best behavior
you listen intently to all she has to say--
resolving to pass it along
to anyone who will listen.

She says that every day is a clean slate,
waiting for the touch of the master.
And if you've ever doubted that
you create the world
lie in any meadow and check out the sky.
The elephant in the clouds does not exist without you.

Let your mind become the wind
and it will carry you as far as you want to go. 
And if you don't look at everyone you meet and see yourself,
then you've got a cheapass mirror
you bought at Woolworth's on the day
they turned the freedom riders away,

Laugh like a madman.
You are, you know.

Ask forgiveness like someone who has hurt
everyone he ever loved.
You are, you know.

Fight like that hero
who will stand for what's right.
You are, you know.

Dance the dance of a lover
who is drunk with dreams.
You are, you know. 

Pray that you may have one more day
and possess the clarity of mind to use it well.

Understand that living doesn't happen to you
but that you ARE the living.

Trust in the innate goodness of the universe
for if life is indeed a joke
then we will all share it someday
just as we are doing it now
with our poker faces--
too practiced in the art to let on.

The flame of youthful desire burns undiminished,
even as the seasons grow cold.

The child never dies...
he lives inside the heart of the 90 year-old
just as surely as darkness affirms the sunrise.

As certain as winter implies spring. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Why do da player always 
point his finger to da sky
when he make a touchdown
an' never when he make a fumble?

Cuz it all come from da same Source
it all come from Da Man
an' he give you da fumble
to keep you humble
an' make you a better person

So next time you fumble
point dat finger to da sky
an' don't ask why

An' all dem crazy people
on da sidelines
let 'em boo
cuz you got a special finger
reserved for dem too!

Friday, November 22, 2013


November 22nd
a grey and drizzly day in Tucson
befitting the mood of the land
as I watched the somber tributes
to the fallen leader on CNN
fifty years goes by in a heartbeat

And Jackie, on automatic pilot,
in shock--she flew in the rear
of Air Force One next to his casket--

And watching her in her pink coat that day
for some reason made me think of 
that nude poster of her 
I first saw back in the seventies
pasted to the ceiling of this bar 
called My Brother's Place
that no longer exists 

The original had turned up in
Andy Warhol's crap after he passed
and it was even signed by her
To Andy, with enduring affection
what's THAT about, man?
don't even want to know

Found a copy for sale on eBay 
at a beginning bid
of fifty bucks
(man her legs were long)
and I thought what a conversation piece
 to have on your wall
or would it be sacrilege
to remember the Queen of Camelot that way?

she was the ultimate opportunist
parlaying that First Lady gig
into a stint as trophy wife to 
a Greek Billionaire so butt-ugly
it almost made me cry
it was such a blatantly 
such a cynically 
materialistic move
as if to say look what I went through world
I deserve this
and don't you say nuthin'
her signal that innocence was now lost
and we should follow suit

watching that old news footage
I had to wipe away a little tear 
for her 
in her pink hat
for what she once was
for a time and a place that once was
(for what we all once were)
that exists now in a land called

Monday, November 11, 2013


at least he was sayin' it 
to the guy's face
ya know
at least the guy
knew where he was comin' from


the only people 
who ever blindsided me 
an' ran me clean off the road
were the ones 
who had professed
their undying love
just the day before 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


TUCSON, ARIZONA               
NOVEMBER 3, 2013

'twas the Day Of The Dead
and I was outta my head

took a few shots
and then went to bed

d'Verse Poets Pub

(Check out the last video and that brave little "papoose") 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I'll take you over here
at the self-checkout
she said
I said okay
if you do it 
cuz I don't know how
to work it
never had the patience
to fool with the damn thing
and as we were standing there
this brother walks up
though you may prefer 
but that would be presumptuous
you don't know where the dude is from
could be African-British
or African-French
or African-African
I prefer brother 
like Whoopi Goldberg said
I'm not African-American
I'm American

So he asks the lady
who happens to be Hispanic
if they have any couscous 
and she wrinkles her nose
and says "koos koos"
what's that?
and the guy is at a loss to explain
having never encountered a supermarket employee
who didn't know what couscous was
and I say well it's a grain
and he says yeah that's it
and she is still saying
never heard of koos koos before
and I say do you have an ethnic foods section?
looking at the brother and hoping it's okay
to use the word ethnic
in front of him
and she says that would be aisle four
and he looks relieved

never landed in the middle-east
but I know what couscous is
having been back to the garden
a time or two
but gotta wonder about her
maybe she will go home and tell her family
about the new word she learned today
and maybe they will look up its origin
and maybe they will even try it
and maybe
just maybe
the butterfly effect of that
will engender a little more understanding
among us
and bring the world together at last


Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It's very clear
Obamacare is here to stay
not for a year
but ever and a day

In time Newt Gingrich may stumble
Rush Limbaugh may crumble
they only bawl and bray

Obamacare is here

Obamacare is here

Obamacare is here 

to stay-eeeeeeeeee

(With apologies to George and Ira Gershwin, authors of "Love Is Here To Stay.")

Monday, September 23, 2013

RANT # 547

 you see
now that Pandora's box
has been unlocked
and she has flipped her lid
all the little nasties who've been unleashed
can never be corralled again 
and they will do their dirty work
over and over and over again

All the wailing and gnashing of teeth
or passing some legislation
that  has none
will solve nothing
cuz you can't take away our toys now
and some 
will always choose
not to play nice

An AK-47 

IS a weapon of mass destruction
but you were too busy
screwing around 
and searching for them 
in some other land
to take notice

what to say
what to say
it's just the price you pay

Go ahead and say

it's not the weapon
it's the madman
but how many drive-by knifings
do you think would occur
if that was all that the loonies
had at their disposal?

Don't even go there
that's a vision of utopia
and what we have is dystopia
(and a touch of dyspepsia)
and it's 
going to go away

As the lame

try to placate both sides
and the bodies pile up
inside the school
or at the mall
we will learn to live with it
learn to adapt
just be sure to kiss
your kids
and tell them you love  them
when you send them off in the morning

Technology will always be

that double-edged sword

Live by it

die by it

Monday, September 16, 2013


Imaginary Garden With Real Toads--d'Verse Poets Pub

We held out such hope for the man
in the beginning
but he has fallen under the spell
like all the others

We need to kill you
to save you

Doesn't get the crucial  point
that yeah 
it might be better to die
instantaneously from a missile strike
than the horrific effects of gas
but in the end you have still annihilated them
the innocents
who happened to be in harm's way
no different 
or better
in the long run
than the other side

We held out such hope for the man
but power corrupts
and it's no more than a global
chess game
to any of them

Taking out Osama
was meaningless
'cause you can't kill an ideal
all it does is create
another martyr
(but it looks so good on the resume)

It goes on
and on
and on
for those who have come
under its spell

The sandbox bully
grows up to play
in a bigger arena
and his victim vows
to get even one day

I held out such hope for the man
but all you have to do
is look into his eyes
so plain to see
that he's just like all the rest
who gaze at the world 
through the murky veil 
of maya 

Monday, September 9, 2013


In a campground
somewhere in Utah
(memory fades)
setting up my tent
some older folks
occupying the adjacent space
with a big  RV
looked like a couple 
of married couples
and "Mother"
likely in her eighties
along for the ride
sitting around
boozin' it up and
havin' a high old time
convivial conversation
and laughing
so much laughing
ringing through the pines

Their own private

And I thought good for them
they're happy, man
while simultaneously remembering
some statistic about alcohol abuse
being rampant among the senior population
and I thought
who has a better reason
ya know
don't need to explain that
don't need to explain it at all
suffice it to say
that for a few hours
maybe they were able to forget
or even forgive

Watching the cold stars emerge
it was time to turn in

Then sometime during the night
must have been about 2 a.m.
there was a commotion
over in the RV
and someone said
"Mother fell"
and disoriented voices repeated it

Mother fell

Prolly trying to make her way to the head 
in the dark
but you could tell it wasn't good

And then the ambulance was on its way
to come and collect her
their idyllic forest getaway
soon to be a rude awakening
of glaring emergency room lights
that nice rosy glow
of a few hours back
now faded
like a long ago dream
of happily ever after

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


The lonesome moon roams the streets
searching for mad love
in all its myriad forms
it's image reflected in the gutter splash
that peppers my trousers
as a fancy horse-drawn carriage blows by.

A calypso drumbeat seeps
from some nearby edifice.
The crickets sing along.

I duck behind a shop
to drain the snake.

Memories of sinning in the alley
come flooding back.

I'm so uncouth
I laugh
slurring my words
it's only life
I'll just go back again
and take it on the chin.

Drifting along
weaving this way and that
muttering curses
into the dying night.

I am the master of my fate
but where are my subjects?

The moon climbs rapidly
in its umbral sky.

A poem swirls round
in my head
edgy and cryptic
teetering right on the brink
of beginning to stink.

It's about walking  up to
the precipice
 looking down
deciding to back away
and fight another day.

I believe in mad love
in all its myriad forms
one's only leverage
in a broken world.

A cock crows.

A street sign says
69th Avenue
and I know I'm getting close
though can't remember which
of these lawns might be yours.

This one looks fine
for a little nap
and a snooze
I know you will  find me
and make me your famous souffle.


Let the dogs come by
with their pee "drive by"
just as long as I 
can be here
on the street


Written for Kerry's Wednesday Word Challenge at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.I had the honor of providing a list of 20 words to be used in a poem. I managed to utilize all twenty of them! Please follow the link above to get in on the fun.

Monday, August 12, 2013


I saw this late night TV show
about tantra
and sacred sexuality
with this truly intriguing dude
of the severe 
Hungarian features--
long straight hair
and hot bod
who says as a tantra instructor
he's had sex
with anywhere from a thousand
to two thousand women
(he lost count)
all in the name of divine energy
and liberation
of course.

They toss around words like dakini

(female embodiment of enlightened energy)
and polyamory
(all right, if you must know, pigs--it means promiscuity)
and they showed some actual tantra going on
(it's SEX--okay, pigs?) 
these folks are new-age 
to the point of self-parody.

But this is serious stuff, folks--

and I, of a long-standing
Buddhist/ Hindu persuasion
am not here to make light
of any of it--
but I think we just gotta laugh
at ourselves sometimes and
 the lengths we will go to
and the ways in which
we try to dress it up
(like putting lipstick on a pig, pigs)
when all it's about
or has ever been about
since the day we left the garden
is just getting laid. 

Friday, August 2, 2013


It was a dark and horny night
dirty diapers and the Doppler effect
were in the air

Damaged child
with his Tinker Toys
don't make any noise
fighting the storm of surprise
under the guise
of normalcy

Who have you been
for lo these many lives
and how many people
are crying quietly inside you?

He heard a dog panting
felt its hot turd breath
on the back of his neck
the dog proffered his paw
and introduced himself

All relationships
involve sacrifice
and just as Paul Simon
has surely suffered for his Art
we look at the world
and discern discordant landscapes
a woman's mountain
a man's molehill
If only I could remember
your memories
but I'm stuck with my own

on an international scale
is what's required
we'll send Olive Oyl
with an olive branch
and if that doesn't work
we'll send Popeye
to sock you in the eye

We've trained with the best
we've paid our dues
or you would not see the stellar
lip-syncher who stands before you today

Back off boogaloo
I've got no use
for pretentious retorts
you're certified crazy and
there's some kind of shit
some kind of madness
in the way you've chosen
to live in this world

Blue smoke
echoes of ourselves
reverberating through time
I'm setting off for someplace
east of the sun
and west of Rangoon

And I don't owe this silly world a thing
but maybe another poem

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Oh how I loathed
Kate Smith
with her black sequined dress
with what must have been 
a really tight girdle

When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain
on our little TV 
every day at 4

and that diminutive version of me
I was ready for some damn rock n roll
but we were right on the cusp
and it didn't exist yet

And Ma would say
(through an alcohol-induced haze)
that someday, son, you will see
that love is just the way she sings it
so when you find a girl
a really NICE girl
you will commit to her
and properly channel your lust
but only when she doesn't have a headache
are you getting all this, son?

And I told her Paulie had said that
there weren't any nice girls anymore
and that that was just an act
because they were horny too
and she said go to your room

But I didn't mind because
there were some magazines 
stashed away there
that seemed to show that Paulie 
had a pretty good idea
of  what he was talking about

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Why do they have to put
every STINKIN' word
in the English language
in the dictionary
if you know how to read
you already know what
a cat
a table
a tree
a bird
or a turd is
(1. A piece of excrement.
2. A contemptible person.)

It's just a ploy
to sell you something big and fat
at a hefty price
(like a front row ticket to a Wynona concert)

Like that bag of potato chips
that's only half full--
it's sold by weight, you see
but they could have put them
in a smaller bag
if they weren't trying to rook you

Like the half page of fine print
beneath that satellite TV headline:
FOR ONLY $19.95
sakes alive
you'll spend the rest of the day
 trying to figure out
what you'll really pay

Deception runs rampant

A sad commentary
on our human condition
the profit motive overshadowing  
all sense of decency and fair play
as we shrug our shoulders and say
that's just the way people are

So many turds floating around
in the human gene pool--
there oughta be a sign regularly posted  that says:
"Pool Closed For Cleaning"