Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Gambling

Fortunately, the gambling bug never bit me. 
I often play solitaire. With real cards on a real kitchen table. I have no idea why I pay it. It's a dumb game. All that winning does is reorganize a deck of cards into the order they were in when the deck was new. But I find reminders of a few of life's lessons when I play:
  • Pay attention so you don't miss lost opportunities
  • Think ahead
  • You can win if you cheat, but cheating makes the entire endeavor pointless
  • And this: You can do everything right and still lose
The deck has been ordered by random chance or, if you wish to believe so, luck or a higher power, and that order will be the primary factor in whether you win or lose.
solitaire on table
Another resounding loss.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Freak show

What do you think when you see pictures of yourself? I'm horrified by my own. The internal image of me I carry around conflicts sharply with photographs of myself.
man carrying corgi cabins in background
Me holding a Corgi with cabins in the background.

The picture here was taken today (Sunday, January 21, 2018) by a friend in Valley Forge Park. I was walking a sister-in-law's dog (I picked her up just for the photograph). I look so misshapen, a word I seldom use because a) It's antiquated, and b) I'm not sure how to pronounce it, which I know doesn't matter when you're writing something but you should know how to pronounce the words you write.
Soon I'll have my right leg amputated and look even weirder than I do here. (See previous entries for background on this if you wish.) 
This evening, my city's football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, will compete against the Minnesota Vikings in a playoff contest. As with every football game ever played since 1958, I will not be watching.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The brothers know

My two older brothers came over at noon today and I told them about my osteosarcoma and how it will require having my leg amputated and has spread to my lungs so even if I do get my leg amputated it will probably kill me in a year anyway, even if they can take out what's in my lung right now.
They handled it well, giving advice and all that. The main thing they said to do is to wait until I'm a hundred percent sure about everything (I have two meetings coming up this week that will reveal much, most of which I doubt I'll be happy to hear).
It's good for them to know this because some things may happen faster than you'd think—the amputation, for example—so getting prepared mentally will be good for them.
Meanwhile, I think about dumb stuff like my legacy, or lack of it, not having had children or done anything that will outlast me. 
I have two nieces and nephews. Two are the age when getting married and having children wouldn't be a bad idea, if they want to. The other two are a little young for that. They're still in college. 
grave stone
My father weeding around his mother's grave stone.

In any case, I want one of them to tell me they'll name a son after me or, if it's a daughter, give her my middle name. 
Names have never meant much to me. Sometimes I'll meet someone who gets genuinely angry if you get his or her name wrong. They get all, "It's who I am. It's my name!"
Please. Your name is an arbitrary label your parents gave you. You can change it if you want, and many do. I've head that in some regions of America people call cars and trucks "vehicles." Fine with me. I eat hoagies, sometimes.
But now I'm imagining a twelve-year-old boy looking through an old photo album and seeing a picture of me. "Who's that?" he asks my niece or nephew. They tell him it's his grandfather's brother, who died before he was born. The kid goes, "Huh," and turns the page.
What if, instead of that, my niece or nephew says, "That's the man you were named after. He died before you were born." The kid looks at the photo for several seconds. 
Then he says, "What was he like?"

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dog walk

Pets are wonderful. At their best they lift your spirits with unconditional love. At their worst they remind you of the primitive, selfish parts of you that you, being human, struggle your entire life to conquer or at least suppress. (Or they're throwing up on the carpet. Never a hard surface that'd be easy to mop up. Always a rug or a carpet. Always.)
I had pets as a boy. Nothing exotic, the usual animals you'd find in a suburban house in the 1960s and 70s. Dogs, cats, gerbils, fish, turtles. As a teen, I wanted to be the cool guy with a boa constrictor, but when I found out you had to feed them live animals I demurred.
I never had a pet as an adult. 
Partly this is because I moved around more than most and, even when I was in one place for awhile, I was never sure where I'd be a few months from any given time. (I had hopes, dreams.) Partly it's because I lived in cities and I couldn't imagine having a dog or a cat that stayed in all day—or longer, for most cats—the small apartments I could afford to rent. When I was a kid you'd let your dog out in the morning and he'd (we always had males) run around all day, sometimes longer, if he smelled a female in heat. The dog would come back tired but happy at the end of his time in the wild. Everyone did that back then. Leashes were things you had to hunt for if you had to take your dog to a vet. (Sometimes quiet afternoons would be shattered by the awful sound of fur-covered bone getting slammed by the die-stamped steel of a car, followed by a shriek and a series of yelps that could have been anyone's dog; no one could tell because it was a sound they made only then. Sometimes it was your dog.)
Another reason I've had no pets since childhood is that my feelings for their suffering from ailments, injury, or age hurt me more deeply the older I became. The opposite should be true and maybe it is for people who form strong connections to their partners and children, but those are things I never did.
Two animals have died while I've cared for them and the grief I feel even decades later hurts more than anything else. The memory of deaths of people I've loved gives me a dull, empty ache. With animals, the memory induces a sharp pang that makes me draw a breath rapidly.

corgi on leash
Me walking the dog.
Right now I'm taking care of a sister-in-law's Corgi and I'll be doing so for the next four days. I've done this several times before and the dog and I know each others' routines well. She hasn't been with me for over seven months because of the operations I've had that have failed to keep a terminal illness at bay, but she remembers all the little rules and customs I follow. She knows which door I'll use to exit the house, where I'll put her water and food, whether we're going to visit the back yard, walk around the neighborhood or, joy of joys, go for a car ride. When I get up from the desk or couch she knows whether I'm going into the kitchen to do something food related or to another room for another reason.
Animals aren't psychic, but they know things. Dogs' sense of smell is so beyond anything we can comprehend that it might as well be psychic. 
After a few drinks, I hold the dog close and say, "Do you know how sick I am? Do know when I'm going to die?"
She wriggles, says nothing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Today's interactions

When people ask me whether or not I've ever been married or in a committed relationship, I give a standard answer, when it's appropriate.
"I've always been single," I say. "By choice." 
I wait a beat.
Then I say, "Not my choice, of course. Theirs."
I say this without bitterness, though there is some. I would have loved to have come home to a dwelling with someone already in it who's gotten the mail, lit the lights, put on some music, started a meal. As much, perhaps more, even, I would have loved to have been that person who did those things, ready to greet someone I love with a smile, a hug, a kiss, as they shed a heavy coat and enter warm rooms.
It never happened, though, and now, with my likely terminal illness, I've downgraded my online dating profile to say "friends only, preferably just online." That gets very few hits, of course, and that's how I want it. Yes, a chunk of me wants attention and sympathy, but a better chunk of me doesn't want to inflict my woes on others.
I'm getting more out of the little interactions we all have every day with others with cashiers, librarians, restaurant employees, that kind of thing. I'm normally polite and friendly and I get genuinely surprised when I see customers ahead of me in lines merely grunt or less when dealing with store workers. I know, though, having been on that side of the counter myself for several years, that those store people are working, so I keep my interactions brief. When I was a cashier, I understood that some of my customers had no one to talk to when they went home, so I allowed myself to be their captive audience, within reason. But I don't want to be them.
Today I went to two places while running errands. 
Corgi dog
I just realized that this dog will be alive when I am not.

The first was a pet supply place. Tomorrow, I'll pick up my sister-in-law's Corgi to take home for five days while my sister-in-law visits her daughter and I was looking for a hair trap to put in the drain. The dog is clean and a delight, but I like to give her a bath when she arrives. She enjoys the baths too, racing around the house after them, twisting on her back. The store didn't have a hair trap, a young woman explained, but as I was leaving I saw bathing areas designed for dogs. For $10, you can use them and bathe your dog in an ideal bath, without having to get on your knees to do it (in my case, that would be "knee," by the way; see prior entries). They give you shampoo, an apron, and towels. I'm looking forward to using it tomorrow
Estettle Harris
Estelle Harris
My second interaction of the day was at the Trader Joe's two doors down from the pet supply place. The man ringing me up commented on one of my purchases.
"Having paella tonight?" he asked, on seeing the frozen package.
"Well, maybe not tonight," I said. "But soon." 
The man was much younger than I am, in his late twenties, I'd guess. Would he understand what I said next?
"Really, I just bought it because of 'Seinfeld.'"
He laughed, getting the reference. 
I said, pitching my voice higher, "What am I gonna do with all this paella?"

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Stolen Philip Roth interview

Charles McGrath interviewed the writer Philip Roth by email recently. When you're ill with a bad prognosis, certain things jump out at you, of course. 
I've always liked Roth, though I haven't read everything he's written. Here's a part of the interview that was published on the New York Times' website Jan. 16, 2018. The rest is at least as interesting.

Charles McGrath In a few months you’ll turn 85. Do you feel like an elder? What has growing old been like?

Philip Roth Yes, in just a matter of months I’ll depart old age to enter deep old age—easing ever deeper daily into the redoubtable Valley of the Shadow. Right now it is astonishing to find myself still here at the end of each day. Getting into bed at night I smile and think, “I lived another day.” And then it’s astonishing again to awaken eight hours later and to see that it is morning of the next day and that I continue to be here. “I survived another night,” which thought causes me to smile once more. I go to sleep smiling and I wake up smiling. I’m very pleased that I’m still alive. Moreover, when this happens, as it has, week after week and month after month since I began drawing Social Security, it produces the illusion that this thing is just never going to end, though of course I know that it can stop on a dime. It’s something like playing a game, day in and day out, a high-stakes game that for now, even against the odds, I just keep winning. We will see how long my luck holds out.
Philip Roth
Philip Roth.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The mind doctor

I'm seeing a psychiatrist. I'm not doing it to probe my inner psyche and explore why I've never managed to have a successful relationship, or how I feel about my dead parents and living brothers, or to talk about symbolism in my dreams. I'm doing it because I want short term advice on how to cope with my pending demise from the sarcoma that has spread to my lungs and has an over seventy percent chance of killing me in the next year. I'm also doing it for the drugs, which in this case means Lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication. (The pills are minuscule. If squirrels carried cash, Lorazepam would be the size of their dimes. When I take them, I'm not sure whether or not they went down or are lost between my cheek and gum.)
Lorazepam
My hands are pretty big but still, Lorazepam pills are tiny.

I've seen the psychiatrist twice now. He seems like a good guy. He reminds me, in looks and a little bit in manner, of the actor Charles Grodin. 
Like all people in that field, he's good at helping me re-frame things, seeing them in a better light that's ideally a more realistic one than the negative spin I naturally tend to give things.
His office is in a small brick complex near one of the oldest suburban shopping malls in America. It's an upscale part of town. I went to a farmers market for a late lunch before and had a very good falafel sandwich. (An American farmers market where you can get a falafel sandwich? I'm all for it.)
After the sandwich, I went to a Starbucks for a cup of coffee. Today is Martin Luther King Day so the kids were out of school. Most of the teenagers I saw were girls. Where were the boys? Home playing video games? At movie theaters? I have no idea. The girls were fun to watch as they learn to move about in the world of adults, buying cups of coffee and shopping, choosing where to sit with friends, talking, building friendships. When I was a boy that age I and other boys with a day off thought mostly about blowing things up with firecrackers and getting away with it, or finding a place to smoke purloined cigarettes and get away with it. 
Anyway. I'm seeing a psychiatrist. Most in my condition would have a spouse who would help them cope. Not me, though.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A day to treasure

Yesterday I had the kind of day I won't be able to have more of as my disease progresses and then kills me over the next year or so.
A friend came out from the city in the late afternoon and we had dinner. Her husband was with friends watching a football playoff game. She and I have no interest in the sport. We've known each other for over twenty years, though good times and some bad ones. I've learned a lot from her, far more than I could possibly have taught her, but that's not the basis of our friendship.
I met her at a train station less than a mile from me, we went to my house and had coffee. At dusk we took the walk I do around my neighborhood. She liked it and understood the beauty I see in parts of it. 
woman at train station
My friend getting off a train for a visit.

Around six, we went to a good Japanese restaurant near me. (She's Japanese and I lived there for three years. We met in Philadelphia.) We ordered a boatload of food. Literally, a boatload: the food came on a small wooden boat. We'd stopped at a liquor store beforehand and bought a very nice brand of sake she'd wanted to try and drank that. 
I haven't told her of my illness, so our conversation was about normal things. The funny things her husband—who I've met several times and like—does and says. How her parents are doing in Tokyo. Her job. The cat she got as a Christmas gift.
She brought me special noodles that the Japanese prepare at the beginning of the new year. (I'll make some tonight.) She caught the 8:35 back to the city.
Yesterday was a day I'll look back on with great fondness many times over the coming months.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Crowded tables

My favorite thing to do these days of waiting to hear when and how my illness will kill me and to what degree it ruin my body before it does is taking a shower.
I take two quick showers, one when I wake up, another before going to bed. As brief as they are, they're delightful. The change from dry to wet, then dry again. And showering is a minor, pleasant form of work that feels good. Getting clean takes just enough concentration to take my mind off being ill, but not so much that it's hard to do.
Another comforting thing is eating. Not so much the eating, but preparing the food and getting things ready. If you've ever fasted completely for just one day, you were probably surprised by how much free time you had that day. Modern humans need far less time than ever before to attain sustenance, but when factoring the decisions and shopping in with the preparing and cleaning up afterward, we spend more time around food than we think we do.
Today I had a test, a pet scan, so breakfast was out. I'm not overweight but I can easily miss a meal, yet I found myself internally whining like a child over having to skip breakfast. It seems that I have something medical going on every two weeks that makes me have to limit or skip meals.
breakfast cafe at farmers market
A breakfast cafe at a farmers market.

After the test, which took about two hours, I made up for my trifling deprivation by having breakfast at a local farmers market. I seldom go to it but it's a very good place. It used to be the only grocery store in town and the first time I went was probably when I was an infant, carried by my mother, nearly sixty years ago. 
The tables were crowded. I asked an older man who was seated alone if I could share his table. He was fine with that. His son came by later, a man in his early forties, I'd guess, who grew up here and now lives in Colorado. The father, Larry, was a friendly, chatty eighty-five year old. He's originally from New York but moved to this area—Southeastern Pennsylvania—in the 1970s. He asked how long I'd lived in the area and I gave him the simple answer of all my life; nearly sixty years. There was no need to go into the years abroad and other cities.
"When you're eighty-five," Larry said, "sixty sounds like a teenager."
My impulse was to tell him that while I'm sure that's true, my odds of living to be eighty-five, or even sixty-two, are slim.
I said nothing, of course. My pancakes had arrived and tasted too good for me to want to ruin the moment.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Ignore these poems

In the middle of the last decade, around 2005, I had a hernia operation. The operation was no big deal, but the anesthesia had an odd effect on me. I woke up and found that I was talking to myself in rhyme with very little effort. I've read that that can be a sign of madness, but the compulsion faded in a week or so. But meanwhile, I was writing little rhyming verses, at least once a day. I called them "poems," but only with my tongue in my cheek. I do know that poetry is one of the higher forms of art there is and I admire those who write them.
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth. Best named poet ever?

I wrote a lot of them. It became a daily challenge to me, like doing a crossword puzzle or sudoku, and I'd post them on Craigslist. Sometimes, people would write to me only to tell me how bad they were and they would beg me to stop. I never understood that. The heading I used clearly identified what they were, and all anyone had to do to avoid them was to not open them.
So here they all are. If you are stranded by weather in a crowded airport and can only get this screen for some reason and you read them, you will be the only who has, besides me.

Fridays (8/18)

I have a rule for Sat. and Sun.
Those days when free time is rife.
If only then is when I have fun,
I need to change my life.

Summer’s End (9/12)

The last few weeks of summer
Are a wonderful time of year.
You can fire up the Hummer,
And trample nature without fear.
Me? I cycle ‘round the loop
Enjoying the dusky skies
At the end my eyes are filled with goop,
From pollen, dead gnats and flies.

Philadelphia (12/21)

Philly, your center shines so bright,
Your buildings like jewels they glitter.
But blocks away something’s not right,
Do folks here try to litter?
Paper, cans, butts and the like,
And tons of broken glass—
If I weren’t just one man on a bike
I’d kick slobs in the ass.

Death (9/26)

Death can come so shockingly fast
We never see it coming.
We try to make ourselves last and last
We eat right and take up running.
When loved ones die we soon regret
The things we never said.
But all they wanted was us to get
Closer to their death bed.

Hard-Assed Dads (9/14)

It’s good to have a hard-ass dad,
Mine was mild and weak.
Tough ones keep you from being bad,
I’m polite but much too meek.
The plus of being the nice pops,
Over ones who are never lax.
Is when the pushing never stops
And junior kills you with an ax.

Books (9/15)

I often seek to buy great books
At stores, yard sales, conventions.
I haul them back to admiring looks
From those with like intentions.
Later, though, I arrive at home
To an electronically cluttered scene:
Discs, TV, the Net, the phone!
I’m on May’s Time Magazine.

Friendship

I’ve had some friends who’ve stood me up,
Said “I’m there!” and then don’t show
I walk home, plodding, alone I sup
It’s a feeling I too well know.
In truth I am a bad friend myself
For many it’s easy to see
I use them, like books from a shelf
To dilute being with just me.


Future Pet (9/1)

When it comes to liking the household pet
I’m partial to both cane- and feline.
But thinking of which one to get
I’m waiting a bit to choose mine.
The brave new world of gene splicing,
Should give more options for us yuppies.
It will be, oh so enticing
To see litters of pitties and kuppies.
Half cat, half dog, that’s what I’ll pick,
A friend both loyal and mysterious.
The idea may make some sick,
I am, however, completely serious.
My Persian pit bull will climb a tree
And scare off all the bad guys
He’ll me-ark! and then jump up on me
And bloody both my thighs.
Or how about a golden catriever
To fetch my pipe and slippers?
She’ll purr and whine, a stress reliever,
I’ll feed her beef and kippers.
My cog or dat I’ll keep for life
My house will need no locks.
But I’ll need to find a good strong wife
To clean the litter box.

My Love Life (11/16)

I’ve been crazy in love only twice,
The first time was in college.
She decided it’s women she found nice,
And in time she shared that knowledge.
Time two was someone I found a beauty
Shy, smart – she had it all.
With her I’d have done full marital duty,
She said yes, but in St. Paul.
If you saw me it’s fine if you just ate,
I’m not so bad to see.
Friends don’t believe I’ve been celibate
Since 1983.
Women don’t just like looks and money
And men who aren’t too old.
Other things draw them like bees to honey,
Or so I have been told.


Time (8/23)

Why do we stare so much at clocks
They so well do remind us
That soon we’ll be in urn or box
With all our years at minus?
I wear a solar-powered watch,
It will tick long after me.
Unless my death I really botch,
And die beneath a tree.

Money (10/9)

I’ve worked hard for years,
I’ve earned my keep.
I’ve seldom had to borrow.
I respect my fears,
I sow then reap,
And save for dark tomorrow.
I never made the bigger bucks,
I have no yacht or mooring.
But meeting rich folks for some yucks,
I’ve always found them boring.

Global Warming (8/24)

It seems the Earth is heating up,
Some say that man’s to blame.
It’s true we can’t drink from a cup,
Without aid from a flame.
Others would cite solar flares,
Sunspots and natural trends.
For many nature’s not in their cares,
It’s no means to their ends.
What’s weird is how at this late date,
When science should have the clout,
Deciding why we’re one big hot plate,
Depends on which party you’re about.

People Watching (9/18)

It’s fun to look at people,
Go about their daily lives.
The old, all frail and feeble,
Young men in search of wives.
Women can be so pretty,
That one’s wearing a hat!
(You’ll see in both the town and city,
That half of us are fat.)
And children, aren’t they great?
See them play and yell.
But that girl can’t be eight,
And she’s whining to her cell.
Quite the tableau this city scene,
Anything but a bore.
And though I’ve had enough caffeine,
I think I’ll ask for more.

The Suburbs (8/29)

I’m tending to an old friend’s house,
A cat, a bird, two fish.
In my city dwelling I often grouse,
The suburban life’s my wish.
At night it’s dark, you can see the stars,
No light pollution’s haze.
People are polite, even drunks in bars,
But I haven’t conversed in days.
See, if you’re just there for a bit,
You’ll notice some hesitation.
A neighbor’s dog barked, I yelled “Silence it!”
They regard me with trepidation.

Middle Age (11/10)

The first sign I hit middle age,
Was around ten years ago.
My hormones began to cease their rage,
To the point of sometimes no go.
Young female beauty lost its power,
I treat them like all others.
They are just another pretty flower,
I hope they’ll be good mothers.
It’s sad that my heart gets no kicks,
From past passions and fears.
But it may be good to save those ticks,
For my declining years.

The Inquirer (8/20)

A staff of hundreds to cover the region,
And Op Ed page most solemn.
The awards it earned once were legion,
Now it’s sports and gossip column.
Its readers run to Net and TV,
The execs find this most vexin’.
So they put the news on the Web for free,
And shrink Sunday’s TV section.
That’s not exactly what I’d do,
In fact I find it funny.
But who cares? The rag’s been sold to,
A PR guy with heaps of money.

I Want a New Bike (8/30)

I want a bike with a carbon fiber frame,
They are so light and zippy.
It’s not to chase any cycling fame
(I mean, I’m over fifty)
But when I see much younger boys,
Ride new bikes to their homes
I think I need some newer toys
To keep up with Mr. Jones.
Another plus of carbon over steel
Isn’t just the ride.
It’s how my aging back will feel
When carrying it inside.

The Troops (8/22)

“Support the Troops,” car magnets shout,
It’s a thought with which I agree.
But you can get what this war’s about:
Those cars get 10 m.p.g.
Roadside bombs rip open Hummers,
Sorry boys, no more summers!
Oil’s why your blood’s been shed,
Have some shrapnel in your head!
The recruiter said, “Come fight awhile,”
Turns out he’s a pedophile.
You won’t be told your work is done,
Until Haliburton’s had its run.
Support the troops, those hapless suckers,
But not D.C.’s house of venal fuckers.

School Days (8/25)

College kids headed back for class,
The young ones soon will follow.
It’s good to educate en mass,
And make citizens less hollow.
But when I see pop culture trends,
Of teens and young adults,
I recall my youth and that of my friends,
When the greatest fear was cults.
Now it’s Tommy’s online gambling,
That sparks his parents’ fear
And Jenny’s cell phone rambling,
While shifting to fourth gear.
But kids have ways of surviving,
And these seem OK, to be fair.
They’d better keep on thriving –
They’re funding my health care.

The Girl for Me

I can’t describe in words Miss Right,
Outline my wants and needs.
I couldn’t pick her out by sight,
Nor find her among weeds.
I’ve turn ons and offs, to be sure –
Brunette, thin, no armhair please.
Not tall, smart, she’s the soup de jour,
Limit: One cat with no fleas.
I saw a sleeping girl on a winter bus,
It lurched, eyes met, she smiled.
Decades ago, in Minneapolis,
I’ve kept the moment filed.
I had a second to have my say,
No guts, no words, no groan.
The smile faded, she looked away,
And since I’ve lived alone.

Before Sleep

With eyes shut I’ve flown round the planet,
And served as president.
I’ve made love at once to Jill and Janet,
And skipped out on my rent.
The trips of my adolescence,
Before Persia was Iran,
Are much like those of my senescence
(A nice word for this: Old Man)
Not to say wants don’t evolve,
Or that ambitions don’t get more grand,
But privately, I lose resolve,
And flee a life quite bland.

On the Wagon (8/31)

I will never drink again,
It surely rots my liver.
Instead of drink I’ll study Zen.
Become less taker more a giver.
Booze has done little for my life,
It’s made me fat and sloppy.
It did, however, help get my wife:
No sober girl would have me.

Labor Day (9/4)

Today we honor all our workers,
By taking Monday off.
Cashiers, cab drivers, soda jerkers—
Go play a round of golf!
Travel? No they'll take a pass,
Stay home and rest their mitts.
Can't go far with this price of gas,
When they cut your benefits.
The gap has widened from rich to poor,
So recent studies tell us.
Easy Street dreams are out the door,
Mr. Trump, we're feelin' jealous!
We buy media fantasies
Of winning nonstop instant riches.
We're watching nonstop lotteries,
While removing our own stitches.

Steve Irwin (9/5/06)

At forty-four you died at sea
A wife, two kids behind.
You loved nature as much as me,
But forgot nature is blind.
Like Tim Treadwell you got too close
To animals you observed
To them the world's a gracious host
And people a mere hor d'ourves
Not to mock: you have done much good,
Showing creatures on our screens.
You showed us what's outside our hood
(Such travel's beyond my means.)
Your lessons will not be forgit
By those with a remote
But swimming with danger seems less legit—
I'll stay on board the boat.

SNL (9/8/06)

It’s been on for over thirty years,
It’s bloated and misshappen.
The past few seasons confirmed all fears:
The writers have been nappin’
Half the cast has just been axed
We won’t really notice
The new ones will be just as lax:
They’ll be mocking ads for sodas.
Live shows should be such a thrill
With SNL there was hope
For moments that could shock and thrill
(Did she just rip up the pope?)
But now it’s on a tape delay,
The FCC watching each line,
So sayonara Tina Fey!
Oh wait—you’re on prime time.

Scientology (9/7/06)

L. Ron Hubbard once made a bet
With other sci-fi scribes
That a new religion he could net
With a novel with holy vibes.
Dianetics was the result
It worked, you’ve seen the news
It pulled the spoiled into its cult
Ted Danson, Kristi Alley, Tom Cruise.
Half a million think of ancient lizards
When planning how to live
We’ve sometimes asked our social wizards
Will this nonsense ever give?
Answer: Who knows, but it’s all right
All faiths will have their day
Religion is fiction for our plight;
It keeps dark death at bay.

Rain (9/6/06)

Rain is lovely in the ’burbs
It cleans the trees and plants.
But if your hood consists of curbs,
It’s subject to some rants.
Trash-clogged drains make instant lakes,
Shoes get good and wet.
One drive by is all it takes,
To lose your stay-dry bet.
It rains on the just and the unjust,
And those who have great moves.
But fall rain, is it ’cause you must
On row houses with flat roofs?

Gettin’ Old (10/6/06)

In June it was a hernia,
Last fall my back went sour.
I’ll retire, move to Hibernia;
I’m decaying by the hour.
Hair falls out, caps come undone,
It’s getting most distressing.
Can’t believe I’m just fifty-one.
Gotta go—my skin needs pressing.

September 11 (9/11/06)

Has it really been five years
Since that awful thing occurred?
Despite a lake of tears
Our vision has stayed blurred
To what on that day shaped us
And made us feel as one
Like a lance spiked to drain pus
We hugged when it was done.
Words and pictures can’t catch
Pain that will not cease.
Close the door, set the latch;
Have one day of peace.

Democrats (9/13/06)

The Dems are just clueless as sin,
And all they do is bitch.
They think they can get a win
With a column by Frank Rich
They lack a leader with clear sight
Like Reps have with George Bush
They’ll do their best this midterm fight,
But it’s gonna take a push.
Fifteen House, six in the Senate
Is all the Dems will need
To make ‘06 their winning pennant
Get set for legal weed!
But the new machines, the run on volts,
Who knows who really won?
Something’s scrambled? Six million votes?
My new rep’s Atilla the Hun?

The Pope (9/19/06)

The pope has dissed Islam
By quoting old material.
They’re angry to the man;
I read this eating cereal.
We’re all told to believe
That most of them are moderate
And use a mental sieve
To part the ones all full o’ hate.
Most Germans were quite level headed
In nineteen hudred thirty-seven.
But that noisy, ugly crowd most dreded
Sent most of them to heaven.

Spinach (9/20/06)

As children have long known,
Spinach is a deadly weed.
It’ll kill you once it’s grown,
From its vile little seed.
A third of us think 9/11
Was arranged by the government
But I saw two choppers, or was it seven?
Poison spinach, then off they went.
Why put e.coli on our salads
And make us eat more beef?
Prez Bush has his friends in Dallas,
To them it’s some relief.

Dad’s Birthday (9/21/06)

Today my dad is 86,
He’s reached a ripe old age.
He thinks, he talks, he’s in the mix,
He reads books page by page.
I feel old remembering disco,
(It wasn’t all bad, dammit.)
But imagine your years eclipsing Pluto
Orbiting as a real live planet.

Summer’s End (9/22/06)

Summer’s the season I dislike the most,
It’s far too hot and sticky.
Give me autumn, and warm toast,
I settle in like Lucy and Ricky.
The 23rd’s fall’s equinox,
And I’ll stop wearing whites.
Rosh Hashanah, anyone for lox?
Forget the humid nights.
We may like riding in open coaches,
On a balmy summer’s day.
But when it’s 90 out come the roaches
On urban streets to play.

The Human’s Home! (9/27/06)

The human’s home! I just can’t wait
To jump up high and lick ’im!
If it’s not him I’ll fill with hate
Bark loud and then go sick ’em!
We walked this morning, he and I,
I stopped to go to the loo.
I love him so, I nudged his thigh,
So kind, picking up my poo.
Where he is all day I just don’t know
And why I cannot guess.
Now he’ll give me treats and show
His love with a rub of my chest.
He’s a god to me, this two-legged dude,
He commands light and turns strange gears.
He can turn metal cylinders into my food,
May he live for twenty-five years!

We Are Not Safer (9/25)

Sixteen spy agencies agree
In a lengthy, sober assessment
That Islamic rads can’t wait to see
Our eventual dismemberment.
Our weird revenge upon Iraq
Did little to frighten bad Saudis
They’re readying to go right back,
To killing us Satanic rowdies.
Could the prez really have been so blind?
Did he glean anything other?
Has a sibling ever been kind
To a really mean big brother?

Old Woman in a Store (9/28)

I’ve shopped and bought things all my life,
And spent great sums of cash.
I was a fair mother, worker and wife,
But I spent with much panache.
I acquired things with great taste
They filled my many rooms.
Now it all seems such a waste
(My death, you see—it looms.)
The days I spent in so many stores
Low clerks to do my bidding.
They ported my finds to my car doors,
It seemed so right and fitting.
Chance and birth gave me more than they,
To many I was unkind.
Old now in stores I spend my day,
It’s the only attention I find.
They listen to me, or so it appears.
As my AmEx card they take.
It strips away so many years,
No matter how dumb and fake.

I Get Girls’ Numbers  (9/29)

Saturday is here it’s time to don
My grade-A party suit.
I’m sure that I will come upon
A babe who’s really cute.
Chicks dig me, yeah, they like my style
They think I’m clever, cool.
They talk with me for quite awhile;
A stud, I do so rule.
I think I meet chicks from TV,
This ain’t no shuck and jive;
The numbers that they give to me
All start with five-five-five.

Porn

I think that I shall never see,
In magazine or Web site
A woman who’s as lovely
As the one I ate with that night.
It was ’88, our clothes stayed on,
Yet promise filled the air.
Despite the years, no memory gone,
Green shirt, red pants, clean hair.
I’ve chased love among the pixels,
Of porn I’ve had my fill.
It all has the warmth of missles,
As deep as “Jack and Jill.”

The Chinatown Bus (10/4)

The C.T. bus is how to go
From Philly to N.Y.C.
Twenty round trip just makes me glow—
I’m as poor as poor can be.
Shout through the window, pay in cash,
Hop on and grab a seat.
I sure hope the bus won’t crash!
(Ah, don’t be so effete.)
From Lower Manhat you take the tube
And get away from there.
Midtown’s where it’s at, you silly rube.
I think I just saw Cher!
End of day, back on the bus,
And head back to your house.
A safe trip with very little fuss.
What was that ... a mouse?

To Being Dumb (11/14)

Oh to be very dumb,
Dull, slow witted, not bright.
A cerebral cortex completely numb,
To question nothing in sight.
Accept all outside stimuli
Hook line and sinker.
Just getting by without asking why.
A doer, not a thinker.
The dumb, you know, have great success:
Madonna, Don Trump, G. Dubya.
Their minds are clear (mine’s a mess!)
The dumb have no doubt, fella.
They don’t see the shades of gray
That many others do.
They just want to get their way
They need no high I.Q.

I Love the Young (10/2/06)

Their skin is so soft,
Their minds are so open.
I hold them aloft
And weep when they’re mopin’.
I’m was quite the sage,
The coolest kid in class.
When I was their age,
Bullies kicked my ass.
I can’t excuse what I did,
Judgment hit by blindness
Can anyone forgive?
Do I deserve any kindness?
The GOPers pretend,
That me they don’t know.
I’m the Dems dividend,
It’s me they may owe.

Bob Woodward (10/3)

In the bicentennial year,
Redford was you on celluloid.
To Bush book one was dear,
You hypocritical hemorrhoid.
The winds have shifted, the war looks dour,
So this time you wrote the truth.
Info you sifted showed the hour
Is here to bare a tooth.
The war was crap, the public knew it,
Yet the press just said rah! rah!
You idiots, you completely blew it,
Here comes the long fatwa.

The Girl Killer (10/5)

He bound and shot young girls,
Then he did himself in.
He aimed his gun right at their curls,
Like fatal electrocution.
An entire family dies,
If it’s when they’re so young.
And don’t believe those lies,
That they’re just passing on.
To say one “gave” or “took” a life
Implies it still exist somehow
When it’s been cut off with a knife
It’s over, starting ... now.
People are acting shocked,
Like this is such a real stun.
Are our memories so blocked
Of September, two-thousand one?

North Korea (10/10)

Bush is mad at Kim Jong Il,
It seems he’s got the bomb.
Them having nukes won’t fit the bill,
It’s time to ring the gong.
’Course we’ve had ’em for many years,
And made tens of thousands burn.
But we’re special and good, allay your fears!
We drop so others can learn.
From what I’ve seen of N. Korea’s missiles
I’d say sleep well as you can.
They might as well be full of thistles –
They’ll likely hit Iran.



Pumpkins (10/27)

They cost a fortune this year I’m told,
Those great big orange gourds.
I’m sure that many will still be sold,
Purchased by dukes and lords.
Buy one? I’m not in the mood,
And my money is at minus.
Also, it’s a sad waste of food,
Leave them alone with Linus.

Political Ads (10/11)

The bad guys frown in black and white,
The good guys smile in color.
The voice over drips with rightous right,
These ads could not be duller.
The Dems, Reps say, will raise our taxes,
To pay for schools and more.
The Reps will cut them with fire axes,
Though that never helps the poor.
There’re tons of ads across the nation,
But only papers question their accuracy.
That’s because every TV station
Lines up for tons of currancy.

Bush and the Press (10/12)

Bush seems happy these days at newsers,
Relaxed, he says “Nice suite!”
He can handle those ink-stained abusers;
Facts, who gives a hoot?
No matter what the question is,
He just sticks to his playbook.
He can block off any new biz,
(In chess when you move the rook.)
The only way to tell what he speaks
Is not at all defensible,
Is when most the English that he leaks
Is entirely incomprehensible.

Sixty a Day (11/13)

Sixty a day, most tortured first,
Are found on Baghdad streets.
Torture, you know, really hurts,
Agony, that continues then repeats.
Bush calls Iraq a “young democracy”
While mocking our own Democrats.
When Hussein was in power I didn’t see
Dead bodies nibbled by rats.
Not that Saddam was a good guy,
He was bad, that much was clear.
But did anyone ever see why
Iraq was something to fear?
Half a mill killed since our war there started,
And no sign things are getting better.
Seems we tried to shit but only farted,
While blood makes their streets wetter.
Can we force them to be like us? Sure we can!
Is what Bush and his cronies tell us.
Look how well it worked in Japan
Not the same? Ah, you’re just jealous.

Cold Weather is Here (10/13)

I whined all summer about the heat,
(It hit a hundred and five.)
Cold weather, I said, just can’t be beat,
It makes me feel alive!
Now my toes are blue, my nose is numb
My wardrobe must expand.
I check my account and its travel fund;
No trips to a distant land.
I miss seeing fit young bare-armed women,
I miss being cooled by Slurpees.
I miss time at the beach and going swimmin’,
I miss digging in sand for car keys.
But I remember on salient fact,
That makes me lose my cold frown:
When you move your body and make it act,
It’s easier to warm up than cool down.

Mean on the Internet (10/16)

I’m mean as hell to folks
When talking on the Net.
They come looking for yolks
And find the meanest dude they’ve met.
Ask a simple question
And I’ll call you a retard.
It fills me with the notion
That to you I am the Bard.
Why am I so savage?
I’ll tell you man to man:
I’m a dog licking his package;
I do it because I can.

My Home Team Lost (10/17)

My home team lost last Sunday’s game,
I’m really quite sad and tres miserable.
All this day I have felt nothing but shame,
Finding nothing around at all risible.
None of the players grew up in this city,
And they all make a zillion plus bucks.
But if their loss you don’t show enough pity,
I’ll treat you like a hunter does ducks.
Each player would leave if offered some more,
I know that the coach would flee too.
Why are you being such a terrible bore?
The networks must get what they’re due.

Middle Age (10/18)

Middle age doesn’t happen all at once
It sneaks up when you’re not looking.
You overhear being called a dunce,
Just when you think you’re cooking.
All day at work you feel just fine,
Young coworkers are tired and shot.
Turns out they have lives after nine,
While you’re in a shower that’s hot.
On weekends you snooze just like Fred Basset,
Your energy level has faded.
For the first time ever your age is no asset,
Is it a wonder you’re feeling so jaded?

The TV Season (10/19)

Mystical shows are most current this year,
They follow the template of “Lost.”
They’re creepy and tinged with a wee bit o’ fear,
And made with not too much cost.
Reality shows are starting to tank,
Though they still have a large loyal crowd.
“The Bachelor: Rome” is who we’ll all thank,
When they’ve signed off and finally bowed.
Sitcoms are steady, reliable treats,
“Two and a Half Men” is still on.
Sports shows are brimming with athletic feats,
Travel shows show over yon.
When you leave TV’s demo and no longer look,
You’ll find there’s a great big surprise.
You, a warm bed, a light and a book
Propped on knees, consumed by your eyes.

Happening Right Now (10/20)

In a small town near Green Bay, Wisconsin,
A forty-year old named Pete Maste,
Knows learning how to speak Klingon
Has been nothing short of a waste.
Jane Clark’s having nothing but strife,
She’s lost her car keys again.
She’s been like this all of her life,
But she cries when she loses a pen.
Trisha Sax has just given birth
To a baby whom she will name Ned.
She has the oddest feeling on earth;
It’s wishing her husband were dead.
Jack M. is today ninety-two,
Alone he sits by a window.
He raises his eyes, which are blue,
And asks, where did the time go?
Now twelve, Scott P. had an orgasm,
It’s his first (he’s behind a locked door.)
Such a wonderful, joyful, great spasm!
This is life? He can’t wait for more.

The Economy (10/23)

Some say the economy might have a big fall,
Others that it’s doing real fine.
Still more just don’t understand it at all,
“It’s hard,” they say with a whine.
I once knew a guy worth one zillion bucks
Before the dot-com bubble burst.
He felt like a guy who had ten thousand trucks,
Or the media magnate, R. Hearst.
Dollars consist now just of bits and bytes,
And through satellite feeds they are flowin’.
With no standards behind them they’re exactly like kites;
Their value depends on wind blowin’.
I say money’s protected there’s no need to worry.
I’ve got mine all in Good ’n Plenties.
Friends look at me funny and yell, “Bank it now, hurry!”
But I’m enjoying this new Roaring Twenties.

My Favorite Animal Jokes (10/24)

What do you put on a pig’s sore?
The answer to that is “oinkment.”
Good joke? Hang on, I’ve some more;
A dozen would not make a dent.
What did the hen say when an omelet she saw?
(This sounds like an old children’s verse)
“What mixed up kids!” she said, that’s all.
(This joke’s a tad perverse.)
My kangaroo once got quite ill,
The sickest ’roo in the nation.
What he needed was no pill,
He required a hoperation.
My dog lost his tail, it made him sad,
And seeing him made me feel sick.
At a retail store a cure was had,
Of tails he had his own pick.
My favorite’s last, of course,
It’s, Why couldn’t the pony talk?
The reason is he was a little hoarse.
That’s all it’s time for my walk.

The Smell of Fall (10/26)

Some years ago while on vacation
I was driving in late November
Through a backward state in this ol‘ nation
(Or was it in early December?)
Window open a crack, I caught a whiff
Of something not smelled in years.
I knew what it was in less than a jiff—
Burning leaves, but allay your fears.
In some places it’s OK to rake and burn,
Or it’s a law that ain’t enforced.
“It pollutes the air! When will they learn?”
(Ah, go see a movie at the Bourse.)
It’s good to compost all used organics,
It’s an idea no longer debated.
But there you are lighting those new wicks
And planning to be cremated.

Two Dozen Years (10/25)

Poor Enron former head honcho Jeff Skilling,
He got sentenced to twenty-four years.
For a while he sure made quite a killing,
He bought houses as if they were beers.
He claimed to be innocent but still showed remorse
For all the bad stuff he did ... Not!
But all know that he would have remained on that course
If only he hadn’t been caught.
Judge Lake gave poor Jeff a pretty good slap,
For his accounting tricks and bad deals.
Now he’ll be well off the financial map,
While ex-workers must scrimp on their meals.

Kerry’s Comments (11/3)

John Kerry made a comment,
Youtube then picked it up.
Now all of a political bent,
Talk about it as they sup.
All say, “Uh-oh, bad move,
People think he’s dissing the troops.”
Why so dumb, out of the grove?;
“People” are you, you silly moops.
America’s big, it’s huge.
Miles between the ends.
Do you really think your view
Stops with your set of friends?

How to Vote (11/6)

Tomorrow’s the day we’re all to vote,
Or so I have been told.
Here’s advice to learn by rote,
Forgive me if I scold.
When entering the voting booth,
(Which these days is more a curtain)
Try to face an unpleasant truth,
It’ll help you be more certain.
Leave your interests at the door,
Before you cast your ballot.
Are you a CEO? An old crack whore?
Are you, perchance, Gene Shallot?
Forget about your affiliation,
Give your ego one day’s rest.
Your one small vote can help the nation,
Think: What does the most the best?


It’s Over! (11/7)

By eight tonight there’ll be no point
In airing political ads.
They may decide whom to annoint,
But they’re like a kick in the ’nads.
They’ve taken up the air
Of radio and TV.
They had me pulling out hair,
From you and then from me.
Now the only time we’ll hear such gall
When we hit the remote or dial,
Is when watching your average commercial.
Enjoy it, it just lasts awhile.

Election Day’s End (11/8)

The election’s over, voters spoke,
Of ballots there was no lack.
The Reps’ strong back has now been broke,
Blame the Prez and his love for Iraq.
It’s good to be not manipulated
By the admin’s ginned up fear.
We want good policies, stipulated.
In old days I’d shout Hear! Hear!

Cultural Snapshot (11/9)

Britney and Kev are getting a divorce,
Madonna adopted a child.
Movies seldom feature a horse,
Men love “Girls Gone Wild.”
Borat wears a funny stache
While making fun of Yanks.
B.O. records he may wall slash,
Does anyone remember Tom Hanks?
Models too thin, all else too fat
Democrats are back in power.
Complex TV shows are where it’s at
You need a book to understand each hour.
Youtube segments are just minutes long,
Which is all the time anyone has.
Only old folks buy CDs for just one song;
I-pods are cheaper than gas.
More singles than wedded, the census shows,
And yet we’ve hit 300 million.
The rich are richer, the poor take their blows,
Shut out of every cotillion.
People blindly say “Support the troops,”
And send care packages and e-mails.
But atrocity stories are getting through—Oops!
Why is she pointing at genitals?
Life is longer, kids still shout,
The planet is getting hotter.
Despite extra years most don’t figure it out,
Just a few are getting smarter.

Taking Advice (11/15)

“Wear your bike helmet,” said my M.D.
“When going to and fro.”
If I don’t, he said, it’s easy to see
I’ll get hurt and be mentally slow.
I’ve taken much advice in life,
I don’t smoke, drink little, eat right.
I am quite careful with my knife,
And get solid rest at night.
When driving I wear a seat belt,
When walking I look out for muggings.
I get no love (bad looks I’ve been dealt)
So I don’t get the recommended huggings.
The only advice I completely ignore
Although it seems quite sound,
Is what’s printing on my washer’s door—
Measure my load to the pound?

Watches (11/17)

The young, these days, won’t wear a watch,
Not a Rolex, a Timex or Seiko.
It seems they won’t even buy a Swatch,
While driving their Toyota Echo.
It’s not because they’ve become hippies
Following Garcia’s advice to deep six the dial.
That era’s over, you bet your sweet bippies,
Show up late and things can get quite vile.
It’s because when they look to the time,
When in groups or sitting alone,
They think it’s great, just fine,
To refer to the screen of the cell phone.
I like the idea—those things are dead on,
Getting time from a satellite feed
It’s to the second for Jane and John,
Though it’s far more perfect than I need.
When I ask the hour the response is quaint,
They reach for pocket or purse in no hurry.
And despite the fact the old days this ain’t,
It seems so very nineteenth century.

Dullsville (11/22)

The big election’s done,
And so’s the aftermath.
You cheered if your side won,
If lost, you took a bath.
Now the scene’s in limbo
Until January twenty.
We wait with arms akimbo
In this great big land of plenty.
Will things change or stay the same?
We ask in seeking fervor.
Was my voting nuts or sane
Back in early November?
It’s hard to get all worked up
During this downtime.
I think I’ll play some with my pup
And compose another rhyme.

Playstation (11/20)

They waited outside in the rain,
To get the latest version.
They endured the cold and the pain,
To buy electric diversion.
I understand the “must have” feeling
Though me it’s never bit.
I hope this device has them reeling,
I trust it is a hit.
They seem silly to me but aged am I,
(Though younger than Gene Hackman.)
And I admit I could now own the sky
With 80s quarters spent on Pac Man.

Thanksgiving (11/23)

It’s our holiday, we nutty Yanks,
This day we eat dead bird.
They chose a Thursday to give thanks
Friday’s better! Haven’t you heard?
On this, our reworked harvest festival,
I can be sincerely grateful.
That my first name isn’t Percival,
And that my looks are not too hateful.
I’m also glad I have house and heat
To keep me warm at night.
That my job’s health care tends my feet,
And I’m too old to fight.
That my family’s well, though getting old,
My parents soon may die.
(They had a good run when young and bold,
Quite a girl and quite a guy.)
Most of all, and no joke here,
I’m glad I’ve no kids missing.
For those who do life holds no cheer,
You’ll find them snapshots kissing.

Black Friday (11/24)

Today’s the day to shop, y’all
And kick off the holiday season.
Get up and go right to the mall,
Don’t ask for a good reason.
It’s called Black Friday ’cause of ledgers
Back when they used hand and ink.
Ink went to black thanks to pledgers
Who used credit to buy a sink.
Many still say it’s the busiest day
For stores around the nation.
They’re wrong; in this time of e-bay
Just go to any computer station.
The true big day is after Xmas,
When gift card holders stores assault.
Them and all who just marked Festivus
Join in the shopping gestalt.

Thanksgiving (11/23)

It’s our holiday, we nutty Yanks,
This day we eat dead bird.
They chose a Thursday to give thanks
Friday’s better! Haven’t you heard?
On this, our reworked harvest festival,
I can be sincerely grateful.
That my first name isn’t Percival,
And that my looks are not too hateful.
I’m also glad I have house and heat
To keep me warm at night.
That my job’s health care tends my feet,
And I’m too old to fight.
That my family’s well, though getting old,
My parents soon may die.
(They had a good run when young and bold,
Quite a girl and quite a guy.)
Most of all, and no joke here,
I’m glad I’ve no kids missing.
For those who do life holds no cheer,
You’ll find them snapshots kissing.


Dullsville (11/22)

The big election’s done,
And so’s the aftermath.
You cheered if your side won,
If lost, you took a bath.
Now the scene’s in limbo
Until January twenty.
We wait with arms akimbo
In this great big land of plenty.
Will things change or stay the same?
We ask in seeking fervor.
Was my voting nuts or sane
Back in early November?
It’s hard to get all worked up
During this downtime.
I think I’ll play some with my pup
And compose another rhyme.

O.J., 2006 (11/21)

In ’94 O.J. killed wife and friend
Only twelve people didn’t know it.
For years the story didn’t end,
Kato? Forman? Please just stow it.
He came back with a ghost-wrote book
Just in time for Christmas.
Fox TV promised us a look
At parts of it, let’s say an isthmus.
Then Rupert M. seemed to see the light
And then put on the brakes.
He made a choice that at first looked right,
Thanks to mad affiliates.
Now four hundred thou books sit in boxes
And video tape in the can.
While Murdoch and his den of foxes
Come up with a different plan.

The Way Bush Talks (11/29)

What is with our president
When he speaks before a crowd?
He gets a stronger Tex accent
Blinks funny and talks real loud.
And why does he o-ver ar-ti-u-late
Like we’re a bunch of dummies?
I haven’t talked like that of late,
Even when I read the funnies.
Doesn’t he know “a” is said as a schwa,
That quick said little grunt?
When you’re going blah, blah, blah,
Of words it is the runt.
Not to criticize what he says
Just this small bone to pick.
If I did I’d load up with Pez
And make this rhyme an epic.

The Almanac’s Here! (11/30)

The World Almanac is out,
Here for two aught aught seven.
We nerds cannot help but shout,
It sends us so to heaven.
It’s filled with facts from far and near
About our world’s nations,
Like that country music is most dear
On U.S. radio stations.
That Ertha Kitt, Neil Simon and the Pope
Will become eighty years old this year.
That college is now an expensive hope,
With fees ten times ’80’s, oh dear!
Keep snake bite victims calm,
And the wound below the pumper.
America’s day begins in Guam,
Westerners are getting plumper.
There’s so much more that I must see
Before I go to sleep.
I may try out for Jeopardy!
If my mind all this I keep.

Still Weird Weather (12/1)

The weather’s been odd since my youth,
In nineteen seventy three.
Heat waves and storms both quite uncouth,
Floods sweep folks out to sea.
No one says the world ain’t warmin’
We all agree on that.
Antartica may soon be hosting vermin,
It’s time to get a cat.
Right now back East it’s super hot,
If you factor in the season.
Few people want to ask a lot
About the possible reason.
We drive, we burn, we cut down trees,
We tear the sky en route to space.
We’ve brought Ma Nature to her knees,
Cut off our nose to spite our face.

Workin’ Gear (12/5)

Ads come each week in my Sunday paper
For working clothes for men
I’ll ditch church soon, pull off a caper,
Escape before “amen.”
It’s work clothes I want, the real deal, Mac,
Not my Lands’ End little red coat.
I want to get me a canvas shirt jac
And Gore-Tex boots for a moat.
Duofold long johns and utility jeans
Make me look like a regular guy.
Twenty dollar flannels are within my means,
Those work gloves a hell of a buy.
I want Al, Jake and Spike to be my new peers,
We’ll joke about who’s got the best phallus.
Don’t tell my new buds it’s been twenty-odd years
Since one of my hand’s had a callus.

Parade Magazine (12/11)

You come in all my Sunday papers,
As if an afterthought.
You detail the stars’ latest capers,
And what Hollywood has wrought.
Howard Huge is your one comic,
Your I.Q. lady has a funny name.
You’re supported by ads for the sick,
Stock villians you’re quick to blame.
The page two Q’s are a study in chance:
“Mr. Blank is still working, yes?”
Hey everybody, hold on to your pants,
See him tomorrow on CBS!
You remind me most, I must say,
Being a coastal reader,
A lot of Americans twixt N.Y. and L.A.,
Think like our current leader.

New Cell Phone (12/6)

Today I had to get a new cell
Cause of the changing face of high tech.
The thing’s so small I wanted to yell,
“I’ll just wear it around my neck!”
It’s got features galore but I won’t use any
I only want to call mom and dad.
The Net’s on the phone for more than a penny
I don’t need the news all that bad.
Friends names and photos in a ’lectric book,
Warnings, advice on a small color screen,
Ring tones hide in a computer chip nook,
It’s so cute, I hope it stays clean.
Soon we’ll all have implanted chips
In our brains or maybe our throats,
We’ll send friends all of our funniest quips
By blinking instead of remotes.

Philosophy (12/4)

Deep thoughts are good, they stretch the mind
Like yoga does the body,
Thinkers I’ve met are often kind,
A result from their strange hobby.
They debate good and evil, the nature of man,
And how we came to know stuff.
It’s a natural impulse from here to Iran,
One life span is hardly time enough.
They’re speculative folks, not ones of action,
Their answers often just get questions.
The question never done to my satisfaction:
Why something stead nothing? Suggestions?

Pearl Harbor (12/7)

They came flying low in small agile planes
On this date in 1941.
The ships were lined up, pins in bowling lanes
They flew in right under the sun.
Losses were heavy but could’ve been worse,
The big ships were far out at sea.
This kind of war we’d had yet to rehearse,
We had no thought of how smart Japs could be.
It was militarily brilliant and we had it coming,
We’d cut off the trade routes they needed.
It wasn’t the last or our wartime dunning,
It’s surprising how well we succeeded.
Now our guys fight but there’s no need to worry;
This war’s a mistake by a loser.
But if I were eighteen I’d be ready to hurry,
Far north and become a new hoser.


E.coli (12/8)

E.coli you are tacky as hell
You make us sick and vomit.
In true form you’re at Taco Bell,
Lower class than Wallace and Gromit.
You’re named after Ted Escherich
And the Latin word for colon.
But the wrong strain of you hurts like a bitch,
And keeps us from going bowlin’.
You’d be a joke, you tiny bacillus,
A pathetic, wannabe scourge.
If not for the fact you sometimes kill us,
When on raw foods we gorge.
When we die, pal, the joke’s on you,
If you get me I’ll go out with a laugh.
’Cause if I buy it, you do too,
There goes the baby with the bath.

Women (12/12)

I’m nuts about women, oh yes I am,
They are my favorite gender.
Call me sexist, I don’t give a damn,
I just find them so kind and tender.
Their voices so light and skin so soft,
Bright colors are what they prefer.
I hold their innate ideals aloft,
For a way to peace ask a her.
Some are mean and petty and cruel
In fact, too many here to list.
But in praising them I’m not a fool,
Instead I’m a generalist.
They need us men, we hairy brutes,
To move things and open tight jars.
Mostly they need us to call them cutes,
And protect them from ourselves in bars.

News Alerts (12/13)

It’s fun to get a news alert
Via e-mail through the Web.
You never know if it’s going to hurt
Or if an enemy is dead.
I get them from two news sources
The Times and ABC.
They’re my favorite old war horses,
And subscribing has no fee.
I question some of the value
That comes across my screen,
Perhaps it’s not my purview,
Like chastity to Charlie Sheen.
Fed rate stays put, yeah, so what?
My money’s in coin jars.
Pinochet’s dead, that’s great, but,
Is that going to start some wars?
When I learn to ignore my little brief friends,
And delete them without a look,
One will come that will spell our ends,
Missiles coming! End of book!


What Should I Do? (12/14)

I started a mess for personal reasons,
And drummed up support from all.
The mess has gone on for many seasons,
And the lies I told were tall.
My backing has dwindled to near zero,
And I’m barely calling the shots.
I lost my position as a big hero,
Too many have connected the dots.
I just don’t see a graceful exit,
Sideways, frontways or back.
There seems to be no way to fix it,
Why the hell did I invade Iraq?

Sex (12/15)

It’s been nine years since I’ve had sex,
It was fifteen years before that.
I’m no dog, no Fido or Rex,
But I was all right once up at bat.
I’m bad with women, I lack the swagger
The confident, funny guys got.
I see one I like, I don’t think “I’ll bag her!”
Instead I think “Wish I was hot.”
I’m crippled, short, bald and now getting old,
My prospects, they sure aren’t improving.
And it’s hard to approach and act cocky and bold,
When you think twenty a year would be grooving.
Being single ain’t bad, it’s quiet at night,
You get used to much talking with self.
I do what I want with nary a fight,
The low stress is quite good for my health.
Someday I’ll make plans for my pending farewell,
I’ll met someone each day on a bench.
I don’t want to be found in my little cell,
Buzzing, squirming and emitting a stench.

The French (12/18)

The French got a bad rap from us
By not joining our latest fight.
We treated them like a bowl of pus,
Though it turns out they were right.
We mock them for their surrender
To the Romans and the Germans.
While we’ve never had to defend our
Nation from Caesars and Hermans.
They value learning and philosophy,
Excellent wine and real good sex.
While we watch the tube fat as can be,
Cooking ribs on our new decks.
If I had to pick a reason to hate,
And drag them through the muck,
It’s how they bring foie gras to plate,
By torturing an innocent duck.

Dangerous Sports (12/19)

Mountain climbers say it’s fun,
Bungee jumpers, sky divers too.
I’d rather go out for a run
Than fall and turn to goo.
Hooked, they are, on the adrenaline rush,
Auto racers take hard turns.
Strong men yell and girls gush,
Until they’re covered with burns.
I’ve never tried these lethal sports,
I’m chicken and not very tough.
But take it from, you young brave sorts,
Growing old is scary enough.

2006 Crime Rate (12/20/06)

Crime went up from Jan. to June,
Folks from the Bureau tell us.
If you feel safe you’re mad as a loon,
Of Europeans we should be jealous.
The uptick is three point seven percent,
It’s the second year of an increase.
Those with robbery as their bent,
Were ten percent busier, say police.
Rape rates went down but just by a hair;
One-tenth of one percento.
That’s negligible, so ladies, take care.
When a stranger offers you a Mento.
Most crimes are young-on-young,
Getting what they think they need.
But you don’t have to be Carl Jung
To see the real cause: Greed.

Headlines for 2007 (1/1/07)

You can’t predict the future,
No matter how hard you try.
But gleanings you can suture,
Here are some, just on the fly.
African Leader Shot by Guards
Way Out of Iraq Unclear
Actor Calls Jews ‘Retards’
Hunky Film Star Says He’s ‘Queer’
Earthquake in Asia, Death Toll Unknown
Car Companies Report Fiscal Trouble
‘Sure Fire’ TV Show to Remain Unshown
Survivor Found in Rubble
Men and Women Have Different Minds
Latest Terror Plot is Foiled
School Violence Up, Study Finds
Priceless Artwork Soiled
Supreme Court Justice to Retire
Underdog Athlete has Good Chance
Airline Says it Won’t Rehire
Principal Nixes High School Dance
Sex Scandal Rocks the Capitol
Pandemic Flu Threat Overstated
Common Spice Found to Cure All
George W. Voted ‘Most Hated’
Writer of This Falls in Love, Weds
The West ‘Does Satan’s Bidding’
Ignore Two Lines Up, Return to Your Beds
I’m Still Drunk and Can’t Help Kidding

Final Shopping (12/22)

The Sun it goes around the Earth,
You’d be amazed how many don’t know this.
Of good education there is a dearth,
But they say that ignorance is bliss.
Soon we celebrate the Sun’s return,
Though it never really left.
Should I buy my mom a fern?
What gifts can have some heft?
I got catalogs late in August,
I should be done buying by now.
Yet for three, shop I must,
But I’m not sure exactly how.
My parents are in their eighties,
They have everything they need.
A leather kit for dad’s diabetes?
For mom’s glaucoma ... some weed?
In my youth they expected near nothing,
They’d be happy with my drug store gets.
A flashlight, clock radio, wind chimes ding!
Oven mitts, the Clapper, Chia Pets.
Now it must be something nice,
Thoughtful, kind and mature.
The easy way will be to sate their vice,
And get them a decent liqueur.

It’s Christmas Day 12/25

Christmas is here, it’s here at last,
Got most of what I wanted.
Some of my presents really kicked ass,
On others, Santa just punted.
Gift cards are great, but they soon expire,
So it says on the fine print on ’em.
I was hoping to use them when I retire,
Stead of tossing them in the out bin.
And those of you who gave me books,
Thanks heaps, they’ll come in handy.
Hope store clerks spare me dirty looks
When I trade them in for candy.
A Christmas sweater, oh how dear!
I’ll wear it as I leave your door.
Did I mention that I’m not a queer?
Another garment for the poor.
Good news, I’ve got Tuesday free,
And this winter weather’s so warm.
I’m heading for a shopping spree,
Part of the returning gift swarm.

Everybody Happy? (12/26)

Did the kids express their satisfaction?
Was the nog sufficiently eggy?
Did the wife give you some Xmas day action?
Or did you dream of someone leggy?
Are you glad to have returned to work?
Have you gained weight from all that beer?
Is your boss still acting like a jerk?
Have you resolved to change next year?

Hanging Hussein

No one really liked him, especially us,
So we went and took over his nation.
We named judges who are on our big bus,
To make sure they’d end his long run.
It’s the noose for Saddam, soon if not now,
How simple, crude and effective.
But killing will go on; bombs, guns, kerpow!
Despite change in our free nation’s elective.

Gerald R. Ford 1913–2006 (12/27/06)

Leslie King was your name at birth,
Lucky for you, you were adopted.
You ruled the most powerful country on Earth
After Nixon’s cred was co-opted.
You were the only VP and P never elected,
And bald, just like our pal Ike.
A post prez legacy you never erected,
You instead said, “Golf’s what I like!”
You made WIN buttons to Whip Inflation,
As if we could fight a common noun.
It’s a lesson still not learned by this nation,
As fellow Rep. Bush sees going down.
Thanks for healing the wound Nixon caused,
Pardoning him helped us move on.
When I learned of your death I looked up and paused,
A good guy, I’m sorry you’re gone.


Resolutions (12/29)

Resolutions are the dumbest things,
They have no bonding ability.
They’re for peasants, not for us kings,
We with mental agility.
Yet we make them, if only to ourselves,
As Earth finishes rounding the Sun.
We consult books we find on the shelves,
Answers, ideas come hard won.
Winter’s long, cold nights give time to plan
How best to improve our souls.
But our resolutions both woman and man,
Are quit smoking, lose weight—some goals!

Headlines for 2007 (1/1/07)

You can’t predict the future,
No matter how hard you try.
But gleanings you can suture,
Here are some, just on the fly.
African Leader Shot by Guards
Way Out of Iraq Unclear
Actor Calls Jews ‘Retards’
Hunky Film Star Says He’s ‘Queer’
Earthquake in Asia, Death Toll Unknown
Car Companies Report Fiscal Trouble
‘Sure Fire’ TV Show to Remain Unshown
Survivor Found in Rubble
Men and Women Have Different Minds
Latest Terror Plot is Foiled
School Violence Up, Study Finds
Priceless Artwork Soiled
Supreme Court Justice to Retire
Underdog Athlete has Good Chance
Airline Says it Won’t Rehire
Principal Nixes High School Dance
Sex Scandal Rocks the Capitol
Pandemic Flu Threat Overstated
Common Spice Found to Cure All
George W. Voted ‘Most Hated’
Writer of This Falls in Love, Weds
The West ‘Does Satan’s Bidding’
Ignore Two Lines Up, Return to Your Beds
I’m Still Drunk and Can’t Help Kidding

The Old Couple (1/2)

Just yesterday we were Lindy Hopping
And we called each other “Dear.”
Now we need help when we go shopping,
And our minds are not so clear.
We got through wars, we raised three kids,
Moved to the suburbs and rested.
We said “blacks,” “Jews”; not “coloreds,” “yids,”
Our kindness was never bested.
For fun we often went out dancing,
We drank cocktails until all hours.
At night we’d be at home romancing,
In the morning, there’d be fresh flowers.
Now when we go out to see our friends,
It’s usually in a nearby church.
We’re there because they met their ends;
Dead birds, knocked off their perch.
Soon it will be us—who will go first?
If only we could go together,
One final, tender yet brilliant burst.
But hush, let’s discuss the weather.

3,000 and Counting (1/3)

So many dead and more to come,
Over in the Mideast sandbox.
Shot by a well-made Russian gun,
No armor, defended by Fox.
I’ve seen soldiers talking on the tube
Explaining their don’t-leave reason.
Each one sounds like the other rube,
(Yeah, I’m committing treason.)
They say leaving now would be so tragic
As it means others’ deaths meant nothing.
It’s clear the Army doesn’t teach much logic,
Will three thou more help the dead’s ranking?

Brief Weather Poem (1/4)

The weather’s fine on both our coasts
But the opposite in between.
In LA and NY we’re warm as toast—
It feels like Halloween.
The mid section has lots of snow,
And they shovel, slip and bitch.
From space we look like, I don’t know,
The biggest ever ice cream sandwich?

My Personals Ad (1/5)

I’m bald, short and crippled,
I make just a little money.
My muscles aren’t quite rippled,
My mother thinks I’m funny.
I’ve limited success with ladies,
They number below seven.
An atheist, I’ll burn in Hades,
Instead of go to heaven.
I’m a truly awful cook,
I don’t at all like kids.
If our child dies do look,
To make sure the cause was SIDS.
Call me now, we’ll get together,
And you’ll then say that you’ve necked
With a guy who likes women named Heather,
And demands they be perfect.

Happy Birthday, Elvis (1/8)

Today’s your birthday Elvis,
And we normals know your dead.
(If alive you’d break your pelvis,
Just getting out of bed.)
You had a mythic 42 years,
And have made more money since.
You’re postage stamp brought us to tears;
Lost youth can make one wince.
You were a baritone, tenor and base,
You turned on the rock ’n’ roll light.
Girls swooned at the sight of your face,
Sullivan called you “thoroughly all right.”
Sure you stole from Negroes.
The best artists always do that.
At least you didn’t wear cornrows,
Like wiggers hide under a hat.
Your stuff will air for years to come,
For better or for worse.
May the King’s music continue its run,
As long as the Bard’s verse!

The Surge (1/9)

People are so good these days
At picking words for others.
We all now call the queers the gays
And nigras are now the brothers.
Leaders have the talent too
Of making things sound nice.
It’s “Israeli friend” and not “the Jew,”
“Revenue enhancement” will suffice.
Up next now we’ll have “the surge,”
To describe sending more to Iraq.
It sounds like a nice plumbing purge
To ride arteries of bad plaque.
Remember as the death toll climbs
And the number gains more zeros,
You may soon be subject to fines
If you call them “dead men” stead “heroes.”

Newspapers

The Wall Street Journal got slim,
And now has racy layouts.
The Times will soon follow him,
Reporters are having doubts.
Big firings last week in Philly,
The Post and LA Times are hurtin’.
Small weeklies where it’s hilly
Don’t think their futures are certain.
It cost lots to buzz cut lands,
And buy ink and presses and trucks.
To put wads of pulp in hands,
Requires a lot of bucks.
If you want to write about your world
And have your name be seen,
Think not of banner heads unfurled;
Learn to write for some type of screen.

The Afterlife

Some think their souls will live forever.
Good for them, that’s swell!
They think their body’s just a tether,
From Earth to heaven or hell.
When they die they’ll be judged,
By an old white bearded man.
If deemed that their life has been fudged,
It gets more than a critic’s pan.
Break a rule of which you’ve never heard?
Like coveted a neighbor’s ass?
Sorry, you poor, hapless nerd,
You’ll burn forever in gas.
Think of nine followed by a billion more,
And multiply it by the same.
That many years for making God sore,
And it’s not even eternity’s name.
Religions play a pretty good game,
To keep you hooked and paying.
Believing such crap will drive you insane,
Don’t hate me, I’m just saying ...

Jury Duty

I have jury duty today,
When some get it they get sad.
I find it to be much like play,
And don’t feel one bit mad.
I’m proud to do my civic duty
And have a day off work.
Will I meet a real nice cutie
Or be sequestered with some jerk?
My state has death for murder one
So if I’m picked I must think well.
Will I err and let him have no fun
Or err and let him raise more hell?
It’s safest for all if I just sigh
And opt for what’s most severe.
I’ll say “Beats me, let’s hang him high
And go and grab a beer!”

Internet Advice

Spell "Internet" with a capital "I,"
Same for the Net and the Web.
On posts do be slightly shy,
We all know you're a reb.
Write nothing you wouldn't say
To those you do not like.
Don't call your boss a gay,
Don't call a Jew a kike.
All you is digitally stored
And can be summoned in a flash.
Want to know if someone whored?
Easy, you just need cash.
If you want to be real funny
And get attention with a joke,
Remember this, my honey;
"LOL" makes all readers choke.

Immigrants (1/16)

The US has a lot of dudes
Who come from other lands.
Some move slow, as if on ludes,
Some have dishonest hands.
Mostly, though, they're all all right,
And happy to be here.
If only they'd quiet down at night,
Their presence we'd all cheer.
As years pass they will assimilate
And sit in the front of the bus.
They'll name their children Bill and Kate,
And suddenly be us.

Hillary and Barack, ’08 (1/22)

One’s kinda female, one’s kinda black,
They set lefty blood a coursin’.
They’re gonna run, Hill and Barack,
And neither of them’s horsin’.
But do either really have a chance
At being prez in Jan oh-nine?
It’s more like seeing a first date’s dance,
Which to most should be just fine.
Gotta think about a “Mrs. Prez,”
And a White House with a brother.
We’ve got one U.S. Rep. who wears a fez,
And some share genitals with their other.
E-Day results beamed to brains,
May find future voters annoyed
That after much work on tough campaigns,
They’ve elected the wrong android.

How to Tell if You Have Class (1/18)

Do you belong to the upper crust,
Or on C list, not A?
Blow on your specs, remove the dust,
And take this test, O.K.?
If you wear a sports jersey,
Sing "Happy Birthday to Yous!"
In the Social Book you won't be,
Hang on for more clues.
Is the only suit you have for court?
Do you lick finger to turn a page?
Chew gum and smoke, are you the sort?
Do you think Dr. Phil's a sage?
Have you donned a nutria pelt?
Do you drink beer from a can?
At airports must you remove your belt?
Do you address your friends as "man"?
If all this is true, you ain't Main Line,
But it's cool, just swell, you'll see.
When dead your buds will think it's fine
To paint car windows, "RIP."

 Horror Movies

 I've sat in many movie places,
 Feet stuck right to the floor,
 Seen raw fear on actors' faces,
 And been scared to the core.
 Hitchcock's "Birds" ruled my roost,
 The suspense was something frightful.
 DePalma's "Carrie" gave my heart a boost,
 A shock ending so delightful.
 At age ten vampires filled my head,
 Men turning into bats!
 I still see creatures 'neath my bed,
 And have a fear of cats.
 Now all that scary movies do
 Is show tortured people screaming.
 Cut open here and out comes goo;
 Little tension, zero meaning.

Unmarried Women

There ain't nothing like a dame,
Nothing in the world.
They find marriage a big pain,
So say facts just unfurled.
Fifty-one percent are now unwed,
Living, working for themselves.
But they don't spend nights alone in bed,
There are men sharing their shelves.
It's the contract they feel they don't need,
That silly piece of paper.
Sans that, if men put 'em off their feed
They're off on another caper.


First Snow (1/23)

It snowed a titch on the East Coast
During the warmest winter in years.
No longer are they as warm as toast,
Time for local news to exploit the fears.
Will it snow a lot? The weather guy asks,
A house ad running at ten-thirty.
Stay up till he completes his tasks,
Find out—will your shoes will get dirty?
Two inches may fall? Quick buy some bread!
And milk and eggs and butter!
Three inches? Goodness, we may soon be dead!
My poor heart’s all aflutter!
All hail our weather guys and gals,
As they don snow clothes decades old,
To report on snow and act like pals—
Team coverage saying, well, it’s cold.

The Union’s State (1/23)

The Prez told us how we’re doing
And as a speech it was first rate.
Sixty-two claps and zero booing,
But it sounded like a player’s first date.
Put good and bad in the same breath,
And say it with a broad smile.
It’s how you sell a live man death
And make people crawl a mile.
We love freedom and clean nuke energy,
Is a sample sentence he kinda said.
We get it and we dig the synergy,
Though those two ideas are hardly wed.
He spoke 49 minutes, a quickie, really,
A length that for him did behoove.
Would’ve been longer but that’d be silly
When just 34 percent of you approve.

Watergate (1/25)

The Watergate biggies are mostly all gone,
Nixon, E. Howard Hunt, and more.
Does anyone remember Mitchell, John?
His story’s now a huge bore.
A minor operation, the type often done
When political parties are vying.
In high level races, to ensure you have won
It helps to catch the other guy lying.
Think Dick was ousted for a coverup, do you?
No, it was a whole other thing;
It was because Vietnam he blew,
George W.’s the next guy we’ll zing.

Sayonara, Ford (1/26)

Biggest loss in decades, eh?
Way to go America’s car co.
How many sales did you lose today
With your cars, which are so suck-o?
You invested heaps in SUVs
Looking at next year’s market only,
At car shows your concepts tease,
With models cool, but lonely.
Toyota’s got concepts on the lot
And small cars ready to go.
Cars that last, Hyundai’s got,
While your service records blow.
You embarrass us with your boxy crap,
Use imagination for once.
Soon Chinese cars will your sales lap,
You deserve it, you Yankee dunce.

Girl at the Art Museum, 2007 (1/29/07)

Your eyes were bright, you carried a big pad
As you trod museum halls in search of views.
You found sculpture to draw, what times you had!
Like a drunk who’s found good and cheap booze.
You draw quite well, your lines strong and clear,
Your use of the page is complete.
Forgive this old man if I thought you so dear,
If your burning passion I found merely sweet.
But I’ve seen you in this museum before,
With your pad, your pencils and charcoal.
You mingled with the viewers, yet wanting more,
Through the canvass, the marble, to the soul.
You were there in 1985, before that in ’77.
In 1960 you were much alive, in ’40 again in art heaven.
Your first trip was a Friday in 1929,
You looked as you did today.
Tell me I’m nuts and I’ll say that’s fine,
Just don’t take my constants away.

Man Asleep on a Train

Sleep, big guy, catch some zees,
On the train from suburb to city.
It’s night, cold; outside you’d freeze,
You’re tired and poor what a pity.
Worked hard all day at a low-paying job
Cleaning and tending the whites.
A three-hour trip each day, you dumb slob,
They invest and trade, hitting the heights.
You’re an honest, good man, crime’s not your game,
You’ll work till you drop, sixty-five.
Once out your masters won’t remember your name,
It’s as if you were never alive.

Barbaro (1/30)

Barbaro, Barbaro, you magnificent beast,
When you ran you flew faster than wind.
You gave spectacle from greatest to least,
And were punished without having sinned.
The shattered leg on replay made us all wince,
Although we are quite different critters.
We’ve felt your pain in all the months since,
And the thought of a run gives us jitters.
I think little or racing, I too much love the horse,
I’d rather watch tennis or hockey.
I’ll change my mind and watch it of course,
If they can run without having a jockey.

Specter and Bush (2/1)

“He is not the sole decider,”
The senator said of Bush.
A real leader, not a hider?
Could be Specter’s final push.
He’s gettin’ old and just had chemo,
Though seems fine—the hair is back.
Maybe soon he’ll get all emo,
And get the Prez up on the rack.
Even dedicated Reps. are saying,
To anyone who can hear,
W’s numbers have ’em prayin’
He drowns in his very next beer.

Super Bowl (2/2)

The time has come to see the big game,
It happens this time every year.
If you miss it, you must be simply insane,
You be at that tube Sunday, you hear?
Athletes who make millions of bucks,
And would jump at a chance to make more,
Play hard, retire, have lives full of yucks,
While conventional rules they ignore.
When watching the show look for the guy
Who calls those time-outs without need.
He makes sure the ads all the big companies buy
Are aired so the rich get their feed.

Big Bombs (2/5)

Big bombs are good at killing lots
While they shop or go to work.
They blow up adults and the tots,
They kill with one quick jerk.
They get airmailed or sent by truck
And sometimes in a car.
They’ll turn a good bod into muck,
Some will fit inside a jar.
They do their job so super well,
There’s just one problem with ’em:
It doesn’t take too much to tell,
That they’re a coward’s weapon.

Fur Coat in a Restaurant (2/6)

You horrible woman, you total bitch,
Wearing fur to keep cold away.
May you be found frozen, face up in a ditch,
May your sons turn out to be gay.
Those small fury critters only wanted to live
And enjoy every day as it came.
For vanity and warmth their souls they did give
What are you, completely insane?
Listen to me, I’m better than you are,
I know what is best for our planet.
This beef is good, does it come on a skewer?
Which waitress is ours, is it Janet?

Ground Control to Major Tom (2/7)

Some think it may be a tumor
That made her act so nuts.
Space virus? Another rumor
Met with only “buts.”
It’s good to someone amended
Show convention some defiance.
Surprised she was apprehended;
Her degree’s in rocket science.

Global Warming is a Myth (2/8)

Thousands of the learned type,
Smarter than most of we,
Now say warming ain’t no hype.
(But they get no Exxon fee.)
Of course because we’re all so stupid
We won’t believe it’s true.
How can it be when in this month of Cupid
The cold makes our lips turn blue?

Anna Nicole Smith (2/9/07)

You were born to the working class
Meant to toil, labor and suffer.
You grew up to have marketable ass,
From hard life it gave you a buffer.
Not born or taught to have it all,
You indulged in everything you could.
Food, drugs, things, you had a ball,
Excess, to you, was good.
Died before official middle age,
Was it heroin? Was it coke?
Sad that you never turned the page,
From this week’s tabloid joke.

Best Sellers (2/12)

When you go shopping for a book,
Do you look at the list?
Is popular, for you, a hook?
Do three lines give the gist?
Why is “Plum Lovin’” number one
On NYT’s fiction side?
“Marley & Me,” still not done?
Cute pet, let’s tan his hide.
I know people who read a lot,
They’re always with a tome.
A novel with ’em always got
And many more at home.
But they read only the greats,
Which others may find creepy.
Reading I just really hates,
It always makes me sleepy.

Dear Julie G. (2/13)

I know all about you, Julie,
Though you have not seen moi.
Info on you I could get a fee,
Or follow you a la film noire.
I know where you have stock,
And where you work and live.
I know that you like classic rock,
And charities to which you give.
“How do you know all this?” you say,
“Me, have you been stalking?”
No, Julie, but on the train today,
On your cell you would not stop talking.

I Will Hurt You (2/14)

First I’ll burn your skin,
Then cut out your eyes.
Perhaps I’ll break a shin
And throw your liver to the skies.
Out will come your ticker,
I’ll stomp it, oh how keen!
You think I can’t be sicker?
Look what happened to your spleen!
I’ll tie your stomach into knots,
Your intestines my new gloves.
For you, dear, I’ve the hots,
And you’re the only one I loves.

The Simultaneous Sequel (2/15)

None would underestimate
How stupid we all are.
Attack Iran? Oh, how great;
Another losing war!
The Soviets funded Viet Nam,
But we never bombed Moscow.
Even when peace was not at hand,
Fight equals? A sure no-go.
Now Bush is trying to prepare
All you might call a ninny,
Iran sold weapons over there?
Oh dear, a casus belli!

Men’s Health on Women (2/16)

Looking at your hands can turn her on,
She works to stay hairless and smooth.
Do not name your penis “Ron,”
She’s Googled your ex-wife, Ruth.
You’ve made her cry more than you know,
She wants you to talk dirty.
She likes to see you make some dough,
And get jealous when she gets flirty.
She wants you to be a man in bed,
And hit her sensitive spots.
When your relationship is completely dead,
She put mementos in a box.

He Zhongpin, 42 (2/19)

I was Chinese, you can tell by my name,
And for fun I did thrilling sports.
Now I have just a slight bit of fame,
By dying in an odd way, of sorts.
While paragliding on Valentine’s Day,
The thermals went up super high.
For me and one German, up, up and away.
Who would live and who would die?
Above Everest we went, to where air was quite thin,
And the temperature well below zero.
I tried, but my chute I just couldn’t rein in,
Do my friends think that I died a hero?
Was it no air that killed me, or was it the chill?
(I was dressed for the Australian summer)
I thought warm thoughts but couldn’t summon the will.
(In Chinese there’s no word for “bummer”)
I had one last thought before meeting my end,
If it’s weird, I was light in the head.
From Earth I did now just completely ascend,
I will only return when I’m dead.

On this Date (2/20)

Whites scalped Indians, 1725.
Wasn’t too nice a thing to do.
1792: George made the P.O. alive,
1809, the Court gave Feds power over you.
Austria said they were out of bucks
In the year 1811,
Sixty-one years later the Met opened, ducks,
And became art lovers’ heaven.
Pols got equal TV time,
Of attack ads since no dearth,
That happened in 1959,
In ’62 Glenn circled Earth.
Four years ago 100 plus died
In an R.I. fire – a greatest fear.
Such agony cannot be tied:
Be careful with flames, now, hear?

Stars and Money (2/21)

It makes no sense how many stars
Can’t handle fame and money.
They get drunk and do drugs in bars,
Drive badly, die—ain’t funny.
Surrounded by yes men and gals,
They’re never told to stop.
They rehab a bit, then break those vows,
Like a fat kid drinking pop.
Those troubles won’t affect us many
Who never a tabloid graced.
We may well die without a penny,
But long lives, at least, were faced.

No Poem Today (2/22)

No poem today, my mind is fried,
I can’t put words into a row.
It’s like all my neurons have gotten untied
And my brain – it simply won’t go.
I can’t say a thing to enlight or offend,
Concepts and ideas are not there.
I’ve stressed and gone quite off the deep end,
And I’ve pulled out most of my hair.
Maybe something will come and I’ll write here tomorrow,
Perhaps on the issue of crime.
But right now, sadly, and much to my sorrow,
I’m unable to make a phrase rhyme.

The Weekly Suburban Paper (2/23)

Oh, the weekly suburb sheet,
It details so much of life.
Local crooks, turn up the heat,
Talk to a commissioner’s wife.
High school sports are pretty cool,
Zoning issues cause some big trouble.
A kid drowned in a public pool?
Circulation may very well double!
And don’t forget the society page,
Gowned women, black-tied men.
School pages talk of the latest rage:
Blue jeans are back again.
Last and saddest are the obits,
Accounts of lives lived long.
Grandkids’ names are listed like hits,
Careful – don’t spell any wrong.

The Academy Awards, 2006 (2/26)

The awards came out, “The Departed” won,
Lapping a VW bus.
Whitaker proved he was second to none,
Though O’Toole shined bright in “Venus.”
Mirren makes a real good cop,
And now an excellent queen.
Arkin, he’s the best grandpop,
And Hudson got her dream.
Marty took forever to win,
Those were top guys he beat.
Best cartoon—this just in:
Was, of course, “Happy Feet.”

I Love My SUV (2/27)

My SUV is big and strong.
It helps rid Earth of all that gas,
Oil’s been trapped much too long.
I use lots, and small cars I pass.
I sit in the seat, way up high
And feel superior to all you.
It is my ship, I’m Captain Bligh!
Do what I tell you to do.
Mini Cooper? Bike? Pedestrian?
I just might knock you down.
I’ll close my eyes and count to ten,
While you look at me and frown.
At intersections you can’t see past me,
So wait till I’m off the phone.
Because even though I’ve room for twenty,
I’m traveling alone.

The Stock Market (2/28)

The Asian markets are opening low,
And we should all be nervous.
Those boom markets were where to go,
But it seems they are indeed pervious.
Shanghai’s a massive city now,
The financial center of China.
A slide of nine percent? Bu hao!
Investors want something fina.
The Nikkei, Seoul, all are falling,
Say the folks who’re in the profession.
On savings soon we may be calling,
As we head for another recession.
But ooops! Silly us, we made a boo-boo;
The drop wasn’t big after all.
A glitch in N.Y. (a tech spilled his Yoo-Hoo),
And then Greenspan made a call.

You Kids Today (3/1)

A report about you college guys
That came out a few days past,
Said you’re narcissists sans disguise,
And the ill effects will last.
You’ve heard you’re special since day one,
In camp losers got a prize.
When looking at each other while having fun,
You seek you in the other’s eyes.

Feminism (3/2)

Feminism is a thing real swell,
It puts women on equal footing.
It got the fair sex out of household hell;
Doing laundry, making pudding.
But I know women who’ve gone too far,
And not in the right directions.
They won’t meet you at the bar,
And blame the one who gets erections!

The Future Economy (3/5)

The Boomers soon will call it quits
As they hit sixty-five years.
They’ll stop their fight, put down their mitts,
Sit home and drink posh beers.
Trouble is, there’re many of ’em,
And all will need care and tending.
They’ll be four workers to each dozen,
And money troubles never ending.
But wait! This won’t happen till
Around year twenty forty three.
With global warming there’s a chance we will
Watch them drown in an Ohio sea.

Supporting the Troops (3/6)

Our brave gals and guys are fighting real hard,
To accomplish an invisible mission.
Lots of ’em got dealt a really bad card,
And came home with some limbs a-missin’.
They drove through Iraq in no-armor Hummers,
Got blown up, just look at them bleed.
They’re rotting now in both winters and summers
At our crown jewel, old Walter Reed.
I’ve sacrificed too, our guys I’m all for,
I’m definitely going to heaven.
That magnet I have on my SUV’s door,
Cost two bucks at Seven-Eleven.

The Scooter Verdict (3/7)

Scooter, it looks like you done it,
Obstructed justice and perjury.
Maybe you should escape and run it,
Change your face with surgery!
Bush is “sad,” Dick “disappointed,”
Your wife wept in the courtroom.
A crook and liar, you’ve been anointed,
And you might do 25 years in June.
You’re taking the rap for the evil Rove,
Who keeps lit the George W. flame.
Next time think and say, “By Jove!
I mustn’t dime on Valerie Plame!”
Icebergs show us just ten percent
Of the danger that lies below.
This White House prolly cheats the rent,
There’s more we’ll someday know.

The Craigslist Racist (3/8)

The craigslist racist loves to rant
About the inferiority of others.
See all as equals? No, he can’t.
Nor will he see “them” as brothers.
He spends hours each week with stats and pics
To show us how we they’ve been hurtin’.
The rest of us to them are real stupid hicks,
But of one thing we can surely be certain:
Many in our cities are awfully bad,
You can spot it as soon as you see ’em.
The answer, though, isn’t so rad;
Just take a kid to a game or museum.

The Daily Number (3/9)

Each night I play the daily number
It makes my heart feel glad.
I don’t pay for it, that would be dumber
Than naming my first son Vlad.
Painted ping pong balls dance so cute,
I shout “Six, one, three, now go!”
They rise up in that little chute:
Nine! … Seven! … Zero!

Dark Mornings (3/12)

We woke at two on Sunday morn
To set the clocks ahead.
We stayed awake, ate flakes of corn
Before returning to our bed.
Daylight saving came early this year,
They say it will save us plenty.
But the study saying so, I fear,
Was done in 1970.
The government does lots for us,
It builds dams that look real fine.
I wish, though, that it got on the bus,
And didn’t mess with time.

My Confessions (3/13)

I was raised pretty rightly,
But I haven’t always been good.
Here are my wrongs, written sprightly,
With a pencil made of wood.
At seven I stole Mike’s G.I. Joe,
His gun, his boots and all.
At nine big kids told me to go,
So I hid their ball.
At eleven I copied from a girl named Dee,
During a math test we both were taking.
It was the first time I ever got a B,
My hands, they were a’ shaking.
At 15 I took ten bucks from Mother,
I bought candy, a record and Mad.
At 16 I eavesdropped on my big brother,
To see what girlfriends he had.
In college I cleaned up my act
And did only good for years.
At times I showed too little tact,
After downing too many beers.
Just two more wrongs I’ll now relate:
At thirty I touched a girl’s thigh,
At forty, and this contained some hate,
I shot a man to watch him die.

Dieting  (3/14)

I’ve been on diets several times
To knock off a few pounds.
I tried a fork that had no tines,
It was crazy as it sounds.
I drank quarts of water really fast
To fill my empty belly.
Someone said fat wouldn’t last
If coated with KY jelly.
I ate just meat, eschewing bread,
They said that that would help.
But soon that seemed so very dead,
I once heard a cutlet yelp.
I stopped dieting, said, “Screw this mess,”
And lost a fifth my weight.
The secret, I found, was to eat less.
I did and now feel great.

Cruise Control (3/14)

I love cars that are cruise controlled,
They make me so very glad.
It’s a feature on which I’m fully sold,
Without it I’d be quite sad.
You reach a speed and push a button,
Take your foot off of the pedal.
Sit right back, dine on mutton.
The inventor deserves a medal.
Going too fast? You bet I am!
But it sure won’t speed my doom.
Cops caught me? Don’t give a damn!
Blame Scotty in the engine room.

The Oldest Man (3/16)

The oldest man turned one-sixteen,
It happened just this week.
A life so long must be real keen,
If that is what you seek.
His last name’s Nestor, first is Hryhoriy
He lives in Ukraine, you see.
I’m glad that’s not my first name, surely
(And Ukraine no longer needs “the”)
At age 100, he retired from work,
He labored on a farm.
My alarm goes off, I go berserk,
How did he avoid some harm?
Dictatorship, wars, and grinding poverty
Were most of what he saw.
He stayed put, and worked his property,
Viewed the empire’s rise and fall.
When asked how he lived so long
His answer came untarried:
While most have partners in life’s ping-pong,
Mr. Nestor never married.

A Raisin in the Snow (3/19)

My East Coast town is covered in ice,
Thanks to a near-spring storm.
It’s made me take to a mild vice:
I’m sleeping more than the norm.
Tires spin on glare ice and sing
A melody of aggrieved whine.
(I’m glad in skies I’m not a-trav’ling,
Airport worries are not mine.)
Soon we’ll have a summer long and hot,
And pollen will fill the air.
Right now that time feels likely, not,
Adjust thermostats with care.

Crossword Puzzle Clues (unfinished)

I’m bad at crossword puzzles, friends,
My mind don’t work that way.
I start them but never reach their ends,
Yet there are thanks to some I’ll say:
Asta, you old “Thin Man” pup,
We don’t see you much these days,
And FDR’s Fela, hey, what’s up?
Have we gone our separate ways?


Exercise (3/20)

Exercise is good for you,
So do some every day.
It keeps us all from being blue;
It makes you feel OK.
Walk fast, run hard, swim and bike,
Lift weights or play some tennis.
Roll a big wheel down the pike,
Box a man named Dennis.
Throw a ball and do sit ups,
Ski down or cross a field.
Stand up tall and win some cups,
Use well what you were dealed.
Exercise will keep you fit,
Make sure to do it often.
I do much more than just a bit,
And will carry my own coffin.

Spring is Here (3/21)

Ain’t much you can say ’bout spring
That no one’s said before.
Yeah, new flowers it’s sure to bring,
But such news is quite a bore.
Women wear their prettiest skirt,
The men show a little muscle.
Rising sap makes animals flirt,
In new growth, hear them rustle.
Baseball players step up at bat,
And all becomes much greener.
It’s time to lose that winter fat
And get a little leaner.
Not all is good in this second season,
It raises my ire, yes.
And it’s that for no real good reason,
I pay the I.R.S.

Suicide (3/22)

Suicide is wrong and bad
So don’t you ever do it.
Killing you makes others sad,
An’ that’s the main thing to it.
Mental strife, it comes and goes
But laughs weigh more than tears.
At the apex of your lowest woes,
Please take heart, my dears.
One life is it and there’s no god
Seek help, don’t write that letter.
It’s cold and lonesome ’neath the sod,
Hang on ’cause things get better.

The English (3/23)

The English are a most classy lot,
They live on a small island nation.
In the U.K. it’s almost never hot,
And our language is their creation.
Those accents drive our women wild,
Eyes glaze over at what’s said.
Knees weaken, gals become most mild
At “It’s ‘Frederick,’ luv, not ‘Fred.’”
They conquered all, the Beatles  here,
The Stones and, yes, The Who.
They arch a brow, say, “Isn’t it queer,
How Yanks like the Grant named Hugh?”
They take all of the good jobs in publishin’,
And reception desks just love ’em.
It makes you want to take one way out fishin’
Sneak up behind and then shove ’im.

Rehab (3/26)

Never been in rehab,
But I sure wish I could.
You go in feeling unfab,
And walk out feeling good.
People cut you lots of slack,
And forgive all your misdeeds.
They’re just so glad to see you back,
After a some months of stringing beads.

Anna (3/26)

Think I’ll take a million drugs
And eat food by the ton.
I’ll give rich guys lots of hugs
And strive to just have fun.
I’ll marshal all my fame and money
To be a household word.
I can be America’s honey,
By being the most absurd.
I’ll think of now and not tomorrow
I’ll live a life quite fine.
When I go there’ll be no sorrow,
And I’ll be dead at thirty-nine.

The Huge, Poison Toad (3/28)

Your name’s “Toadzilla” the papers say,
And you weigh about two pounds.
(The story broke just yesterday,
Now it’s making rounds.)
You don’t belong in Northern Oz,
Hawaii’s where you should riot.
They brought you over just because
Cane beetles were to be your diet.
It didn’t work and not much kills you,
If crocs eat you they die.
Two hundred million? Wow, some view!
Australia’s yours, no lie.
You’ll never hit mainland U.S.,
And bother this great nation.
The reason why’s an easy guess:
Tough laws on immigration.

World’s Tallest Man’s Proposal (3/29)

Be mine, my little flower,
And I’ll be good to you.
Though I am a tower,
Don’t let it make you blue.
Last year I rescued dolphins,
By use of my long arms.
It’s one of many happenins’
That shows off my big charms.
I’m seven foot nine inches
And you’re two thirds my height.
To kiss me we’ll need winches
(Relax, that was no sleight.)
A simple herdsman I may be,
But I’ll try to make you happy.
When we have our giant baby,
I’ll help you change the nappy.
Here I am on bended knee
To ask you for your hand.
If you look up and say yes to me,
Our lives will be most grand.


Animals are Smart (3/29)

We think they’re stupid so we eat them
And use them for our clothes.
We cage them, shoot them and we beat them
And do they care? Who knows?
Now some science types have found
That critters may be smart.
Beyond monkeys who long have clowned
And elephants who make art.
Western scrub jays can make plans
When seeking to catch food.
And ravens have logic in their glands
And pass it to their brood.
Chimpanzees, longtime tool users,
Have always caught insects to lick.
Now it seems they’re weapons abusers,
And are able to sharpen a stick.
They jam their spears into small holes
Where little bush babies dwell,
They pull them out stuck to the polls
And make their lives pure hell.

Over 100 (4/2)

Philadelphia’s a sixth the size of N.Y.
And half that of L.A.
So it’s homicide stats are hard to buy
And of hope there is no ray.
Over a hundred dead in just three months
And lots more sure to follow.
It’s ghetto men; respect and blunts,
The preferred bullet point is hollow.
Whites say they care and ain’t it sad,
That so many are being killed.
In private they think it’s kind of rad.
(“Hey, boy, I want my gas tank filled.”)
And it’s true when they make the rare arrest
And when lined up and someone’s picked ’im
It is indeed a difficult test
To distinguish the shooter from the victim.

Dirt Makes You Happy (4/3)

British scientists studied the effects of dirt
And have found out something of note.
It’s a finding worth more than a flirt,
For concepts it gets my “yes” vote.
Friendly bacteria boost serotonin
Like Paxil and Prozac, both drugs.
Stead of lying around, bitchin’ and moanin’,
You’ll smile and give people hugs.
It’s linked to the system that boosts your immunity,
Though the mechanics aren’t quite fully clear.
So get dirty when you’ve got the opportunity
Instead of just drinking more beer.

Spring and Rising Sap (4/4)

Haven’t had sex for decades,
Just think about it now a little.
Memory of it slow fades,
But I’ve forgotten how to fiddle.
It’s a game, finding a mate,
And I never learned how it’s played.
Does this person want to date,
Or just out to get laid?
Should I be funny, should I be bright?
Should I talk about my work?
Be myself? That can’t be right:
The last time I was called a jerk.
Soon oppressive heat will come
Then chilly autumn and December.
My springtime yearning will be done,
Desires? I don’t remember.

See You Tuesday (4/5)

He would never say where he came from
Dad’s life don’t matter now if it’s gone
His name was Bert, that’s right
And on one quite dark night
He’s up my nose
He comes and goes

Bye, Dad, until Tuesday
When I’ll sneeze a glob of goo
I snort coke with every new day
So I’ll never miss you ...

Don’t question why good coke is right for me
It’s the only kind that there should be
In the news I’ve got some fame
Because my dad was truly flamed
I won’t be bossed
(I’m watching “Lost”)

“Son you’ve got to choose,” my dad did say
“You and Mick, please tell me if you’re gay”
Snorting all the time
Keep your dreams
And good coke you’ll find
Ain’t life too kind?

Bye, Dad, until Tuesday
When I’ll sneeze a glob of goo
I snort coke with every new day
So I’ll never miss you ...

Urp! (4/6)

“A wonderful bird is the pelican,”
Wrote Dixon Merrith in 1910.
“His bill will hold more than his belican,”
(I bet he wrote with a pen.)
But in London just now a real hungry bird,
Walking around tourists with kids,
Did something most would consider absurd
And is now featured on scary Net vids.
A pelican whose hunger was more than a smidgeon
And too lazy to fly out to sea,
Opened his beak and took in a pigeon,
Folks gasped and said “How can that be?”
It took twenty minutes for the pelican to swallow,
The pigeon a flapping, feathered dish.
Puzzled experts’ opinions soon were to follow,
“They never eat squab, only fish!”
But our city friend had the last giggle,
Before heading from north to south:
Prior to his final wriggle,
He crapped in the pelican’s mouth.

Donny Boy (4/9)

Oh Donny boy, the blacks, the blacks are calling
From Al to Jesse, they all want your hide
The show went on, and your rates may soon be dying
’Tis you, ’tis you must go they may decide.

But come on back when the furor has turned mellow
Or when enough really miss your show
’Tis we’ll be there ready to say hello
Oh Donny boy, oh Donny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, though MSNBC went flying
And we have fled, fled to MTV
You’ll come and find a place where we are lying
And look and say an “Ave” there for we.

And we’ll all fear, tho’ now soft spoken you may be
That all our wants you’ll never learn to see
If say “ho’s” with something less than glee
Howard Stern will be the choice for we.

Why Go On Living? (4/10)

Sometimes you’ll see a craigslist post
From someone not doing well
“Why is it,” he’ll ask his unknown host,
“That my life is nothing but hell?
I’ve got no job, no spouse no hope,
No way to make some money.
Others look happy, as if on dope,
While I lack all life’s honey.”
They say they’ll jump or shoot or drink
A fatal, poisoned brew.
They’ve been pushed beyond the brink
And life they won’t renew.
Responding posts will sneer and tease
And call them loser and whiner.
“Aw, kill yourself, won’t you please?
I’m headed to the diner.”
I’d say, please wait, and think a bit
About what you have in mind.
In this world you may not fit,
But there may be more to find.
Earth’s been spinning fourteen billion years
Four billion of that with life.
Countless beings have shed tears,
And struggled and lived with strife.
All so they could propagate
And evolve in tiny stages.
Can’t you seek help or at least wait
For the end of your allotted pages?
Finishing a bad life may seem dumb
Yet it’s something you should do
For infinite time past and the same to come
There will only be one you.

Kids (4/11)

Kids are fun when they’re young,
They laugh and smile and gambol.
Symbols like those supplied by Jung,
Of joy they top the poll.
What happens to them after ten
Is anybody’s guess gu ess.
Once so pure and suddenly then,
They turn into monsters, yes?
They hurl threats and scream and yell
And sleep to well past noon.
They give mom and dad only hell,
Make them think, “Boarding school—soon?”
We want them gone, out of the house,
Put on the college-bound bus.
Leave us now, you spoiled louse,
You’ve morphed into something like us.

Extended Duty (4/11)

I’m coming home, I’ve done my time,
Or so I thought just yesterday.
Thinking about a leave so fine
To learn that it’s been yanked away.
Three months added to my Mideast hell
Keeping troop levels up is the gist.
A war lost is no easy sell,
And no newbies want to enlist.
Instead of twelve months it’s now fifteen
Of waiting and dirt and fear.
The support we’ve gotten is worse than obscene;
Magnets on your SUV’s rear?
There are 145 thou of us just in Iraq
There’s a surge now so it must be.
If I ever meet Gates I’ll pat him on the back
To affix a sign that says “kick me.”

Goodbye, Kurt (4/13/07)

Oh, to be fourteen again and discover your books,
Angsty questions posed by a professional writer.
Swear words, love of women, those merely hooks,
Above those, you were an idea fighter.
Cementing your worth, to me at least,
Was a teacher’s disdain for “Cat’s Cradle.”
That man, a frustrated, wounded beast,
Could not feel a vision so fatal.
Critics? You had them, they played their games
Of disparagement and political leanings.
But now who even remembers their names
Those parasites, living off your meanings.
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth.”
You wrote with Mr. Rosewater in mind.
You posed one rule there—it leads to great mirth:
“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

The War Artist (4/16)

Of our guys and gals over there
Doing a brutal, tough job,
Three do art in the Middle East lair
Michael Fay is one of that mob.
A Marine, he still works unfettered
(He’s done at least one amputee)
To capture essence, drawing can’t be bettered
It’s an improvement over TV.
Fay’s work will never be hung in the Met,
That’s not what he’s doing it for.
But it might remind us to say thanks to a vet,
Whose been over there fighting our war.

Those Poor Kids (4/17)

Crouched in terror someplace at their school
Those students, most of them young.
Will I die next, killed by this mad fool?
Has my song already been sung?
No matter the circumstance, time or the place
A gun is a coward’s resort.
Shoot ten in the back, and five in the face,
There’re many more lives to abort!
People with good intentions will say
Don’t try to score points using pain.
But why not put gun arguments in play
Before it all happens again?

Unrequited

It’s awful when somebody likes you a lot
And you don’t feel that way about them.
They invite you over to share their food pot
You stutter and pause and ahem.
The chemistry only travels one way
From you to them, it appears.
They’re hoping that you will want to make hay,
You’re wishing you’d had many more beers.
Worst of all is that they’re not a bad sort
And your option is living life solo.
If only you were up for the sport
(Faking love’s hardly quite polo)
Say this and do that and you’ll give someone joy
They’ll bloom and live a life that is full
Have kid, have two, a girl and boy,
Living a lie can sometimes be quite cool.

Cell Phones and Bees (4/19)

Bees are vanishing and no one knows why
But a new theory has been put out to test.
Cell phones may well affect how they fly
(It’s serious, please hold your jest)
Bees are our friends, they give more than honey
They pollinate crops for our chow.
Their loss would be not at all funny:
No food? What will we do now?
East Coast counts are down seventy percent,
The West Coast is lower by sixty.
This, despite no apiary rent,
A solution would be welcomed as nifty.
We’ll have only four years if bees go away,
Said someone who thought through things fine.
It’s as true now as it was in his day;
And his name was Al Einstein.

A Partial List (4/18)

Called Stack, Ryan Clark studied bio
And marched in his college’s band.
Described as the greatest who you’d know,
Let’s give the late man a big hand.
Kevin Granata studied palsy cerebral,
A most busy professor was he.
If to this disease you one day do fall
A cure may not be there to see.
Emily Hilscher, 18, loved every critter,
And worked all the time for a vet.
Those who knew her are more than just bitter,
They’re sadder than sad as can get.
Mary Read was beautiful, loving and caring,
Of potential she must have had plenty.
To guess how much would take some real daring;
Mary Read will never be twenty.
And Reema Samah and Daniel Perez,
Matthew La Porte, Jocelyn Couture-Nowak,
Caitlin Hammaren was loved, everyone says,
Jocelyn’s two kids want mom back.
Jarrett Lane played music as did Dan O’Neil,
Farewell Henry Lee, Maxine Turner.
Shot many times, how does it feel?
The end of life as a learner.
Minds can’t encompass all that’s been lost,
No words can capture it all.
A nut, easy guns, and now a great cost,
A sign of our empire’s fall?

An Awful Week (4/20)

An awful week, as bad as they get,
This third week in April was.
Good people slaughtered, pure blood let,
Being shot hurts, oh it does.
Every high school principal knows
That when a kid takes his or her life,
To tamp down the death glory glows
By not airing his or her strife.
Network ninnies, dumber than spit,
Aired a stupid kid shouting boo-hoo.
Soon someone will plan a much bigger hit,
Saying, “I’m sure I can beat thirty-two!”

Gun Control (4/23)

Controlling guns ain’t for the U.S.
We like our weapons a lot.
Argue with logic, apply duress,
Legislation? It’s had its best shot.
Gun guys say “Amendment Two!”
Wrote when travel was in wood boats.
They seem to fear attacks from a slew
Of Brits wearing bright red coats.
Placing any limits is a slippery slope,
Those for many beliefs will say.
But the civilization’s final hope
Is in seeing some shades of gray.

Arm Every Student (4/24)

A week has passed since that stupid nut
Murdered so many good people.
Minds are numb, a mourning rut,
Here’s the church, here’s the steeple.
People have said much idiotic
And made unfunny jokes.
A search for meaning seems Quixotic,
Any answer surely a hoax.
The lowest idea to date put forward
Is to give more students guns.
That will help? Oh, good lord;
We’re not defending against the Huns.
The whole idea of higher learning
Is to hone the wit and mind.
For a life complete we’ll soon be yearning
If we respond to hate in kind.

The Other Earth (4/25)

Astronomers found another rock
Which might be like this one.
Nice temps, so water’s out of hock
Surfing there could be fun.
It’s one point five times bigger than us
And a year’s just thirteen days.
(Perhaps while waiting for a bus,
Marriage will be cool for gays)
Of 200 exoplanets found to date
For life it holds the most hope.
Moving there would be quite great.
But the trip’s beyond our scope
It’s 20 light years away, due south.
A lotta miles from here.
On TVs they’d be watching “Alf”
And ads for Bud Lite beer.

Have a Seat (4/26)

When my days are up completely
And this world I do not roam.
(Cremate me, nice and neatly;
My ashes in your home)
I don’t want a giant statue
To commemorate my life.
(I’m telling all of this to you
’Cause I never had a wife)
Sell my books, my laptop, and my boob tube
To whomever will pay full price.
Sell kitchen stuff to some rube
Who will pay for precooked rice.
Spend that money on something sane:
A park bench for all to share.
The sitters will never know my name,
But by then I just won’t care.

Pulling Out (4/27)

Out in months from Iraq,
Said the House and now the Senate.
The troops did great, let’s get ’em back
In time for the home team’s pennant.
“We’ll veto that,” say George and Dick,
And veto bills they can.
Odd, that veto coming so quick
From two who dodged the Nam.
Meanwhile, lots of good folks dying,
And not just our men and women.
Hitting the bad guys is quite trying;
In citizen blood they’re swimmin’.

Memories Recovered (4/30)

Memory problemed mice can be,
Scientists have just found,
Taught to learn again, one-two-three,
And be pronounced as sound.
I hope this treatment spreads to man
Soon rather than late,
’Cause I’m not sure if I can
Avoid this awful fate.
Not that I show any sign
Of trouble recalling a thing,
So far my mind is just fine,
I can juggle while I sing.
If I’ve a problem I’ll not worry
I’ve just learned something nice:
Scientists can help critters furry
I think that they’re called mice.

Plane Crash Dream (5/4)

I’m on a plane, it’s going down
Don’t know the reason why.
On my face not smile nor frown
(Why won’t the damn thing fly?)
Can’t see outside, windows are fogged
No idea when we’ll smash.
I wished more of life I’d hogged
’Fore conversion into hash.
At eight hundred feet per sec
My end will come quite fast.
I wondered if at time of wreck
Would this thought be my last?


Lonesome George (5/1)

I’m lonesome George the tortoise
And was once last of my kind.
Till searchers found with purpose
Another me in body and mind.
They’ve given me many a dame
For the past thirty-five years.
(Next to me they look the same,
So it’d take a lot of beers.)
Besides, they’re not my species,
And loving them would be nuts.
Like asking you to eat feces
And getting kicked right in the guts.
This other me they’ve found
Is a hybrid of some sort.
The face is sweet and round,
But it’s a male so I’ll abort.
I’m eighty-seven years old
And I’ve lived my life quite well.
Two footers like living bold;
I’ve treasured my thick shell.

Uh-oh (5/2)

The pole is melting faster than thought
At nine percent a decade.
If warm theories you haven’t bought,
Hope you like warm Kool Aide.
Many people get riled and mad
When change is blamed on man.
You’d think that they’d instead get sad
And correct all that they can.
If scientists are wrong about causes
And we’ve cleaned up pollution still,
Won’t it be good to have such pauses
And exercise our will?


Conservatives (5/3)

Pity us conservatives,
Have mercy on us please.
Our policies were bad biz,
You’ve got us on our knees.
We backed the wrong horse twice,
Last time that we’ll do that!
We’ve only thrown bad dice
And we’re drinking by the vat.
So when we talk on Rush or Fox
And attack you libs and get ya
Don’t take it hard ’cause we ain’t gots
Good stuff in our agenda.

If I Were Blind (5/7)

If I were blind I’d see no reason
To ever leave my place.
I’d stay inside each season
And never shave my face.
On treadmill I’d walk or run,
My bike a stationary.
When my phone-work day is done
I’d spend time with my canary.
When friends invite me out to eat
I’d say, “What are you cookin’?”
Then I’d prepare the same meat,
And phone dine stead of lookin’.

A Visit by the Queen (5/8)

The Queen of England just dropped by
To say “Ello! Ow are ya?”
I tickled her ribs and winked in her eye
And said “Welcome to Amerka!”
She’s a sweetie, that aging gal
A real good leader, you bet.
England and us, I’ll tell ya, pal,
We’re as close as we can get.
I made up a reason to invade Iraq
And Tony said “Can we come too?”
He came over and I slapped his back,
Saying, “It’s fun, but it ain’t true.”
Queen Liz said we’re all “woven together,”
(I love it when she talks all plummy.)
If I get liquored up again, ever,
I’ll give her the dirt on Rummy.
Last time here she met my dad
This trip, me and Mickey Rooney.
When I think of the times she’s had,
Golly, I start feelin’ looney!
She watched the Derby, saw Jamestown
And came to my white tie dinner.
We danced all night, really got down
Her dynasty, like mine—a winner!

Men (5/17)

Don’t you love men, aren’t they great?
They are so big and hairy.
Girls find them perfect bait
Though sometimes they can be scary.
They make big bombs and build stuff
Like cars, yo-yos and chairs.
If sometimes they’re too rough,
It’s not like anyone cares.

Foiled This Time (5/8)

They’d hope to go to Fort Dix
With many automatic guns
And lots of lives they’d nix
Like Attila and his Huns.
A video store guy took note
When they wanted a DVD burned,
We “dodged a bullet,” a quote,
But have the bad guys learned?
Next time they may take more care
And not video their training
Another attack they’ll surely dare
Vigilance must not be waning.

To Mother

You pushed me out when I was born
With many grunts and shouts.
You fed me from each morn to morn
And ceased your boxing bouts.

At two you wiped my ass and nose
And made sure I was glad.
Sometimes you got the rubber hose
When I had been real bad.

You helped me with my studies
Like English and mathematics.
You made sure I had buddies
Though most were thin asthmatics.

You helped me pay for college,
And yes it was a state school.
Yet still I gained much knowledge,
And can say that I ain’t no fool.

I love you mom you’ve been so good,
You protected me from rickets.
Now I’m bussing to your hood,
With Mother’s Day lottery tickets.

Albatross! (5/10)

He’s looked for love for decades four
This albatross living in Scotland.
He’s 8,000 miles from his breeding core,
A navigational error most grand.
His seven-foot wingspan fails to woo
The gannets that preen near him now,
The poor bird hasn’t got a clue
Lovesick? Oh, yeah. And how!
Give up, big guy, my feathered friend,
You’ll never know love’s heaven.
Fly solo until your bitter end
In twenty thirty-seven.

What’s Important (5/11)

Food, shelter, clothes, money,
Health, water, might.
Air, music, friends, honey,
Silence, safety, light.
Dirt, plants, sky above,
A better cure for gout.
Warmth, perhaps a little love,
And things to think about.

I Hate the CL Poem Guy (5/15)

I hate his poems, they’re really bad,
They just could not be worse.
His writing ability is truly sad,
Just stupid AB verse.
He—or she—writes one a day
Each weekday, I wish it were fewer.
He’s written hundreds and I must say
They all belong in a sewer.
Worst of all, they make me think
Of my youth and creative hope.
When I drank tap from the sink
And canned coffee was my dope.
Half a novel in my desk drawer
At two a.m. it read so fine.
After sleep: a mediocre bore.
Surely it can’t be mine.
I’ll never read before rapt fans
And ink six-fig screen deals.
So CL poem guy will get my pans
As I sweat nine to five for meals.

Climate Change is Hogwash (5/14)

Don’t fall for all this climate change flap,
There’s not a bit of truth to it.
That leading panel wrote mere crap—
Of truth there was not one bit.
Two hundred scientists know nothing, brothers,
I’ll get my info from Rush.
Endorsed by the U.S. and one-nineteen others?
I’m watching Fox News, please hush.
Cleaning things up because you believe this jive
Would mean clean air, more fuel for we.
But it could ruin my Sunday drive
And I’ve bought a new SUV.

Gotta Vote

Election Day is here again
Time to poke a chad.
Sure, it’s a bother, frien’,
But overall not too bad.
Why it’s not a holiday
Is a mystery to most.
It’d give more of us a say
If we all had time to post.
Let’s send off these crooks
To commit their coming capers,
Don’t give them your own looks;
Vote as you’re told by the papers.

Goodbye, Jerry (5/16)

You founded the Marjority, Moral,
Put religion on politic’s plate.
People mixed you up with Roberts, Oral,
You both preached intolerance and hate.
You said we got God pissed
So he gave us eleven, September.
You called Muhammad a terrorist,
Which rang true, as I remember.
You were key in electing Reagan
And also both the Bushes.
A liberal you’d call a pagan
And ask for cleansing pushes.
You called Tinky Winky a fag
And wished him to go to hell.
But look now, your life’s in the bag
And so many think it’s swell.

Wholesome Poem (5/18)

Respect the elderly, please
Be forbearing when they’re slow.
Help them get through life with ease
As they wait for death’s cruel blow.
Don’t drive over the speed limit
Give way to others at all cost.
Does the other guy need a minute?
There’s a chance he may be lost!
In public do not swear or spit,
Keep it down indoors past ten.
No people must you ever hit,
’Less they’ve strayed into your den.
Think not of gender or race,
Don’t hate those who may be heavy.
It means nothing, a person’s face,
When you’re shoring up the levy.
Watch less TV and read more books
Drink little and do no drugs.
To children give nice looks,
If they’re yours please give them hugs.
You’ll circle the sun eighty times
A hundred if you’re lucky.
Be kind to all, even mimes,
And you’ll see life can be ducky.

Unwholesome Poem (5/21)

The hell with everyone but you
Push ’em out of your way.
That sad old man looks a little blue?
Screw ’im, I bet he’s gay!
Take what you can, ignore the others
Screw and smoke and drink.
Don’t hear crap that we’re all brothers
From some stupid, whining, dink.
You have one life and that’s it, you see,
The world’s problems are not yours.
If some say that you lack empathy,
Knock ’em down, those loser bores!

Some Recommended Movies (5/22)

There’s The Godfather and Casablanca
The Wizard of Oz, Doctor Zhivago.
The Graduate and Lawrence of Arabia.
Raging Bull and Rear Window.
Star Wars, of course, and Tootsie,
High Noon and good old Psycho.
All About Eve, American Graffiti,
On the Waterfront and Fargo.
But if you’re choosing number one,
It won’t be King Kong or Shane.
Also not making it? Patton.
I’d go with Citizen Kane.

The Upright Position (5/23)

A team of scientists Argentine
Have found help for jetlag blues.
The remedy is one so fine
That it’s been featured in the news.
Those flying from west to east
Can take Viagra while they travel,
And when they have their breakfast feast
Will find time did not unravel.
Used with therapy concerning light
It resets the body’s clock.
(But will anyone adore the sight
Of airplanes full of cock?)
Results have not yet been tested
On humans, young or oldsters.
The only critters who’ve blessed it
Are laboratory hamsters.

S’long, Tony! (5/24)

You swept to power in ’97
Biggest win in 50 years.
England became Thatcher’s anti-heaven,
And all greeted you with cheers.
You loosened much the stiff upper lip
When Princess Diana was killed.
Crying soon became real hip,
The Thames with tears was filled.
England’s economy began to boom,
You made peace in Northern Ireland.
A Kosovo triumph gave you room
To make you Europe’s good friend.
But you blew it getting cozy with Bush,
It seems boys will be boys.
When saying this many will say “Shush!”:
It’s an illegal war of choice.

Dinoswim (5/25)

New ancient footprints now depict
That in Spain in a time long past
A dinosaur then took a dip.
Bipedal, he swam quite fast.
He chowed down, they say, on meat.
One twenty-five million years ago.
(To fight him would not be sweet,
You’d never get in a blow.)
Some say disease killed T. Rex’s brood,
But asteroid theories are winnin’.
Perhaps they waited not after food
Before they went in swimmin’.

Hot Weather Poem (5/29)

My brain is cooked by weather hot,
And it’s still only May.
Sequence of words has logic not;
Can’t order what to say.
When mind is baked odd thoughts come
Don’t know why but they do.
Now to share with you some
From my between-ears goo.
Getting dressed, sticky and damp,
Why so many buttons on clothes?
Why slow down on entrance ramp?
Why so much hair in nose?
Why kill someone over paper money?
Why ever hurt a kid?
Why do I sneeze when it’s sunny?
Why no guidance from my id?
Why communicate with strangers?
Why drink milk from a cow?
Why ignore so many of life’s dangers?
That’ll do for now.

Memorial Day (5/28)

Around three million years ago
We started making tools.
With them we farmed and pounded dough,
Made monkeys look like fools.
Soon we shaped clubs and axes
And spears and arrows and knives.
We used them to enforce high taxes
And steal the others’ wives.
Years ago war meant muscle and grit
A warrior’s life was hell.
Epic tales of battles writ
Are of men who died most well.
Now a random bullet or bomb
Can any troop’s life hit “mute.”
It’s a brave act now, just signing on,
You who did I now salute.

Reincarnation (5/30)

Everyone wants to feel special and cool
But it takes hard work to be that.
It’s hard to achieve when you’re but a fool
And who wants to wear the dunce hat?
So they claim they lived a life or two previous
And not just any life, oh no.
Their brains twist and become quite devious
And say they were once Shemp or Moe.
Fecund minds make up stuff a lotta
And at meetings you’ll meet ten plus
Women who say they were once Cleopatra
And the Caesars could fill up a bus.
This skepticism is perhaps not nice
And I should keep my opinions unfurled.
But I’ve heard big mouths are a common vice
Among we princes from another world.

Wedding Bell Blues (5/31)

A goat, it seems has married a man
Who was caught while making love to it.
This happened recently in the Sudan
And the man did not have to woo it.
The owner caught him having sex beastial
And took him to a council of elders.
He paid a dowry but got no wedding feastial,
Which is standard for such species melders.
Guys, if you travel there with real horny feeling
Be careful when seeking relief.
Don’t return with a bride who will have your folks reeling,
But if you do go for one made of beef.

Pillow Men (6/1)

The Japanese, they love raw fish,
Tofu, baseball, good cars.
A new pillow there fills a woman’s wish,
It’s a thing quite Venus v. Mars.
Shaped like a man’s headless torso
But with one long and sturdy arm,
It’s like a boyfriend if not more so
And promises no woman harm.
If I could get a woman’s version
I’d rush to a store right now:
As far as seeking coupling immersion
I’ve long ago thrown in the towel. 

Paris is Free (6/8)

Free at last! Free at last!
Paris has flown the coop!
Stead of a steel toilet blast
In her mansion she’ll now poop.
No prison-yard-built guns for her,
No ballpoint-and-needle tats.
She got the hell out of stir
Before getting to know the rats.
The Hilton name still has some clout
Or was she truly ill?
All we know is getting out
Earned her more bad will.
But what is truly fair and just?
Who should jails have as residents?
Surely on that list you must
Include at least five presidents.

Dogs (6/11)

A cat can be a wonderful pet,
Clean and quiet and small.
It can be the best thing to get,
If your apartment isn’t tall.
But a dog can be the living end,
Loyal, steadfast and true.
So he’s called man’s best friend,
Just the companion for you.
Unlike other critters he feels much joy,
He jumps and dances and smiles.
How good to say, “C’mon, boy!”
When walking those lonely miles.

The Sopranos Finale (6/12)

Ain’t never seen the show even once,
Something you might greet with jeers.
Pay to watch a box is for a dunce
And I see plenty with rabbit ears.
Net boards and water coolers are filled
With complaints about the end.
People say they were wrongly billed
And they liked the violent trend.
All that anger, effort and voice
On a show that was pure fiction.
Fuckin’ silence on our war of choice
(Please forgive me my poor diction.)

Things to Not Think About (6/13)

Someday you will decay and whither
Your muscles will turn to jelly.
Punks may beckon you to come hither
Laugh and slash your belly.
Your mind will slow and memory fail
Your skin will droop and sag.
In all but darkness you’ll look like hell,
When nude doctors will gag.
You might be richer than Joe Blow,
Be loved by each girl and boy,
But someplace deep inside you know
Others get much more joy.
Even when all is going just great
And on an upward trend,
You’ll remember that at a definite date
Your life will meet its end.

The Dead Whale (6/14)

The bowhead lived years six score,
It plied distant cold seas.
At forty-nine feet and inches more
Humans to it were fleas.
The attack last month by Eskimos
Ended its life for good.
Sad that it should have such foes
When it’s older than most wood.
It’s stupid to kill what’s free and wild
In the name of a shallow tradition.
Make sure that this rhyme gets filed
Under “Those headed for perdition.”

My Will (6/15)

Here I am at the age of fifty
Shuffling off the coil.
No wife, no kids, no things nifty,
And I’ll soon be under soil.
This will be brief, I ain’t got much,
But what I got I’m giving to friends.
Just use ’em as you wish and such
Till you all meet your own ends.
Jennifer, you get my microwave
I know you love to nuke stuff.
Chris, of dudes you were my fave,
Don’t like my old bike? Tough.
Kim, my vacuum’s just for you
Do change the filter yearly.
Kathy, you get that chair that’s blue,
I hope you love it dearly.
My cordless phone is for you Val,
You can gossip while you move.
My recordings are for Laura, my gal,
(The old ones have a groove.)
My artwork goes back to its makers,
And you know who you are.
My clothes I’m sure will get no takers,
To Goodwill in a car!
My computer is now obsolete
Not wanted by even the poor.
While taking what’s left to the street,
It can prop open my door.

Father’s Day (6/18)

Sunday was your special day
We drank and talked a bit.
I finally told you I was gay
At that you had a fit.
Then you calmed and said you’d known
That I wasn’t like all others
You’re a little glad that I’m no clone
Of my uncles and my brothers.
I’ll try to make you proud of me
And show you I’m first rate.
For starters, just you wait and see
How your house I’ll decorate!

The Critics (6/19)

At best they can illuminate
Points by others not yet seen.
At worst they just demonstrate
Bitterness quite obscene.
The beauty of the critic’s job,
One of the culture-judging few,
Is that how can any unruly mob
Be a critic of just you?

Dear China (6/20)

You’re great, you’re fab, we love ya oodles,
You gave us many new things.
Toilet paper, gunpowder, delicious noodles,
And you had emperors stead of kings.
In modern times you made some goofs,
Going Red, what were ya thinkin’?
It took time for you to learn some truths
That we all learned from Lincoln.
Now you’re booming and working hard,
GNP growth in double digits.
You’ve gone from rationing your lard
To exporting lots of widgets.
But, if I may say, were having trouble
With what you’re doing now.
I don’t want to burst your bubble,
Or kill your big cash cow.
Don’t use lead paint when making toys
And poison our dog food.
Keep your girls so your boys
Will have a girl with whom to brood.
When you burn coal without a filter
Bad things go way up high.
It puts the environment out of kilter
And makes a greenhouse of the sky.
Do all this, won’t you, please?
C’mon, don’t be a jerk.
I’d visit you, fly over seas,
But I’m broke; you took my work!

Bye, Bye, Birdies! (6/21)

You seem to be all over the place
And have numbers that go sky high.
Robins, pigeons, get outta my face!
(I’ll have a wing and also a thigh.)
The Audubon folks say that you’re dwindling
A 40-year drop of 68 percent.
(Cut down that tree, I need some kindling
And a house to earn some rent.)
We could save Earth and make it all better
By having one kid instead of two.
Shrink our numbers like a steamed sweater,
More everything for us and you.
We won’t do it, won’t give it a thought,
We’ll increase beyond any peak.
Total destruction we’ll have wrought
And we’ll bid high on your last beak.
Our economy, a fake construct,
Needs endless growth to keep it happy.
When it sags I can’t buy a new truck,
And gas for it. Sorry, Flappy!


Things I Didn’t Do (6/22)

I didn’t murder O.J.’s wife
Or hurt her good friend Ron.
I didn’t take J.F.K.’s life,
Nor his son’s, John-John.
I’ve never nailed an intern
Or killed a London whore.
Chicago I did not burn,
I hid no votes for Gore.
I’ve not lied about W.M.D.s
Or caused famine in a nation.
I’ve never charged false fees
When I’m away on my vacation.
I’ve never done a caper
By picking a building’s locks.
And I always take one paper
From the paper honor box.

G.W.B. (6/25)

I’ve been around for several years,
Longer than most of you.
A lot of laughs, a lot of tears,
A lot of drinks of brew.
In those years I’ve seen many leaders
Some have been just swell.
Others have been bottom feeders,
Made for history book hell.
Of all of those in the U.S.A.
We’ve had as White House resident
The worst, I think we’d have to say
Is our current president.

The Light of My Life (6/26)

The girl I love keeps herself fit,
Eats right and exercises daily.
If there’s a jar and I can’t open it,
She’ll say, “I’ll do it!” gaily.
When bullies attack, she’s at the fore,
Ready to beat them all up.
No keys? Ha! She breaks down the door.
(She’s considered a little bit tough.)
My honey and I, we seldom do fight,
And when we do it’s under two rounds.
Afterward, I am a pretty sad sight;
My love benches four hundred pounds.

In This Corner (6/27)

Used to see wrestlers on UHF,
Has-beens in costumes with guts.
All of them fat, some were half deaf,
Those who believed it were nuts.
Then they found steroids and got super pumped,
A homoerotic wet dream.
They got on prime time and sitcoms got bumped,
And, oh, how the audience screamed.
One over juiced and killed wife and kid,
(Who seemed to be pretty good folk.)
Each time you watch your wrestling vid
You’re supporting a really sick joke.

The iPhone (6/28)

Gotta rise early and get to the shop
And be the first to get an iPhone.
I’ll run to the corner, that first bus I’ll hop
(The store is five miles from home.)
I must have the Iphone, I simply can’t wait
I fail to see how I’ve lived sans one.
When folks see me with it they’ll think that I’m great
And that hanging with me will be fun.
I’ll show them a Web site and take some cool pics
I’ll impress all the girls and boys
It’s swell that even now, at age forty-six
I can make friends with really cool toys.

Cornography (6/29)

It took us just ten decades
To burn most the oil we got.
(As that era starts slow fades
The world has gotten quite hot.)
D.C. guys now want to use corn
As fuel for our trucks and our cars.
Maybe spaceships will be born
That use kernels to get us to Mars.
A problem with this stalky plan
Is the numbers just don’t add up right.
Use all biomass, even flan,
The number is still out of sight.
Worse with the school of thought
That uses finite stuff like old oil
Is with a barren planet we’re caught
When we burn off all our topsoil. 

Ice Cream (8/2)

I had banana, always the best.
My friends had other flavors.
A new shop, to me, time to test:
Hot, busy, they gave no favors.
Cool calories in the gut,
Fat cells full and happy,
Fallen cones for the mutt,
Summer sun setting, how sappy!

Driving Along (8/3)

You’re driving along, not thinkin’ much
The day is a bright one and clear.
Minor concerns, the traffic and such,
Tonight with dinner a beer?
Then something happens, something not right,
The world shifts the wrong way.
Your mind can’t decipher this incorrect sight,
How can the whole planet sway?
You plunge into water with terrible force,
You feel a bone snap in your neck.
You can’t move, water drowns you of course,
You say “The world ends with this wreck.”

Sports (8/6)

Baseball players are all on roids
Bikers are doping up too.
NBA bets insured by Lloyds?
Giving the mob its due.
A football player fighting dogs,
Even golf looks not a bit clean.
Look hard at the latest logs:
Boxing’s the most honest scene.

The Infrastructure (8/7)

Don’t know why but we’re falling apart,
Rotting from inside to out.
Seems the U.S. could use a fresh start,
Something we’ve long been without.
Mines collapse and bridges fall down,
Steam pipes explode in the street.
Go visit any old East Coast town
And you’ll see things work but they creak.
All this decay suppresses morale,
And saps our good will to advance.
The rich will say “Taxes? Don’t look at me, pal,
And get your hand out of my pants.”

I’m a Teacher!

I’m a teacher! Look at me!
I work nine months a year!
I really want a higher fee,
Six figs is what I should clear.
Critisize me and you’ll get boo’d
For dissing my noble job.
Question my union? Oh, how rude!
You’re fighting a real tough mob.

TV (8/9)

TV brings news from all over
And is friendly, interesting, too.
With TV you’re a world rover,
From here to Kalamazoo.
With rabbit ears you see lots
With cable much much more.
You watch porn if you’ve the hots;
Don’t need to get no whore.
If it offends you mustn’t gripe,
Don’t whine and bitch and cough.
It may show you nothing but tripe,
But you dare not turn it to off.

To Brad Pitt, My Juror (8/10)

I hope I get an even deal,
I really didn’t do it.
(Goddamn all those punks who squeal)
I loved “A River Runs Through It.”
People judged you bad when you dumped Jen,
Not me! It found my favor.
She was my leastest favorite Friend,
And Schwimmer could not save her.
Think well of me, Brad, won’t you please?
Do right by all that’s holy.
I bought five copies of “Thelma and Louise,”
And think I love Ms Jolie.

Conspiracy Buffs (8/13)

Area 51 is home
Of aliens quite outrageous.
Half the nation worked alone
Making J.F.K. uncontageous.
Dollar bills and secret shakes
Are how Freemasons talk
About making sure Hostess cakes
Control minds (thanks, Jonas Salk!).
We buffs know that eleven, September
Was a planned out plot.
The motive’s something we can’t remember,
But that don’t matter a lot.
We know what we know, we’re smarter than you,
We know the means and ends.
But tho smart we need a clue
On getting girlfriends.

Karl Rove: Out (8/14)

You’re bald and unattractive
You’re mean and not too bright.
In subterfuge you’re active,
You seldom do what’s right.
You helped the worst prez ever
Get seated in the White House,
Your rep will never sever
From that of a common louse.
In a year you’ll be a footnote,
So all who know well say.
You as “architect” is oft wrote,
Just like Joe Mengele.

Elvis Died 30 Years Ago (8/16)

My god, has it been 30 years since
I sat in a car waiting for my father,
And the radio cut in, I wince
Just a little to hear them bother
To say Elvis had died at 42,
That Vegas, jump-suited joke,
Who made hick women go coo
And by now was probably broke.
Then the station played songs, three,
While I sat behind the wheel,
Early songs, forgotten by me,
Not aired then (disco: the deal).
Shit, my teen self thought, all right!
These rough, rocking early tracks
Made my suburban blood fight
For air, freedom to the max,
I wanted to head out that night
For dark streets and sad rooms
And bar fights, life on the street
And to feel passion that looms
Around corners, in people you meet.

The City (8/17)

The country is great, nice and quiet,
A place to hear yourself think.
In second come suburbs, such a riot,
You can sit on a porch and drink.
But cities are tops, in everyone’s book,
They’re where you want to live life.
Search a little, and find your nook,
An escape from noise and strife.
Life’s great spent in a really big town,
It’s to city life that I’m wed.
Excuse me a sec, I’ve got to get down,
A bullet whizzed past my head.

The Debates (8/20)

Hush, now, you, it’s debating time
We must all be quiet and still.
Applaud and there will be a small fine,
Of coughing there should be but nil.
Hopefuls are at it, they have been for ages
With statements and clothes we can parse.
Which looks the best, up there on the stages?
Who makes it all look like a farce?
I might run one day, I’ve lots of good plans,
I love poor people and rich people too.
But put me on camera, I won’t get the fans;
My face is a pile of goo.

Cooler Weather (8/21)

It’s ever so nice now
That the temps have cooled a bit.
It’s hard to understand how
Heat and people fit.
We wear clothes near all the time
And shoes made of thick leather.
It should be made a major crime
To wear anything in hot weather.
T’were that the case let’s have a rule
About who is dressed in what.
Nudity would not be cool
If there’s a zip code on your butt.

Always be Kind (8/22)

Always be kind to others
No matter how hard it may be.
Treat them like sisters and brothers,
Pretend you’re all stranded at sea.
Think of your rep and of how others see you
And of how you look to yourself.
If wronged, don’t be too quick to sue,
Be the best book on the shelf.
Your days are numbered and old age is long
And soon you’ll have done your last trick.
When dead your friends will sing a light song
And say “He wasn’t a prick.”

Stay in Forever (8/23)

Can’t leave now, we said in March of ‘03,
It would be a dishonor to Lou.
He got shot in Baghdad that month, you see,
Doing what he said he would do.
No leaving in April, May or June either,
‘Cause it wouldn’t be right for those dead.
There were Carl, Earnest, Janet and Cleaver,
Sammy, Adam and Fred.
The more who get killed, the more we’re entrenched,
The harder it gets to pull out.
William, Jon, Mark and his dog all got benched
(An I.E.D. blew off his snout).
This war’s looking like ‘Nam in ever more ways,
And we’re just as slow to get it all now.
Looks like we’ll be there for many more days,
And wait till we’ve lost 58 thou.

Sex after Seventy (8/24)

I am old and so’s my wife,
Century and a half between us.
Not sure just what’s left of life,
Before we take the big bus.
But like half of those around our age
We still get down and funky.
By day I am my honey’s sage,
At night she calls me hunky.
The secret to remaining randy
And having fun in your old beds:
Have images of your youths handy
And keep popping those new meds.

The Cosmic Nothingness (8/27)

The universe may be infinite
So it’s a tiny little blip.
But the void found doesn’t fit
With science old or hip.
About a billion light years wide,
A thousand times size expected,
There’s absolutely nothing inside;
Even dark matter was not erected.
What purpose could it serve,
Emptiness that vast and great?
Perhaps it can calm a nerve
To on such void to meditate.

Alberto: Out! (8/28)

Your initials and your job match,
Which was pretty cool.
But working for the wrong batch
Made you an Hispanic fool.
You did as ordered, they made the calls
You fired without visible doubt.
Pity you lacked cojones (that’s “balls”);
Now you’re the one who is out.

The Bright Side (8/29)

Our friends in Jolly Ol’ have found
A side effect of climate change.
Seems that in the land of the pound
Insects widened their range.
Butterflies once in just the south
Have settled way up north.
No longer living foot to mouth
The nectar up there flows forth.
Floods, extinctions, fires, bah!
Who cares if all’s hot and wet?
If you’re where they call autos “cah”
Get out your butterfly net.

Women and Sports (8/30)

Women athletes are just that,
Get your mind out of the gutter.
When they run the hundred in seconds flat
Do not one catcall utter.
Ignore firm, taut glistening thighs,
Tawny arms, perfect boobs.
Strong backs, flat abs, clear, bright eyes
Aren’t for viewing by rubes.
Small garments make them free to squat,
To jump and throw and twirl.
Don’t matter if you find one hot;
Forget that it’s a girl.

SAT Down (8/31)

Sats r down reel low rite now
Teachers show much concern.
No 1 cn determine how
Students jest wont lern.
May b the SAT is smply old
& 2 far past its prime.
Kids mght find it 2 cold,
Iz tht such a big crime?
Bad w/numbers and w/words
Ain’t good the adult sez.
Bullshit, there just dumb turds:
Listen sumtime to the prez!

Goodbye, Buddy! (8/13/07)

S’long Merv, and thanks a bunch
For the laughs and two game shows.
Jeopardy clues? No hunch,
And Wheel of Fortune blows.
But we watch them anyway
Guess we like the tunes.
Glad you came out as gay
Though it upset some goons.
Your interview questions hit like air
Not one sticks in the mind.
Don’t mean to sound unfair;
To Zsa Zsa you were most kind.
Who’d’ve thunk you’d get such cash
With some shows and pricey huts?
You ended up with more than a stash
Than a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.

Craig’s List (9/4)

I screwed up big time, yeah I did,
Tried to score a BJ from a cop.
Sounds bad on tape (thank god no vid)
I’ve fallen to bottom from top.
First on list is make up with wife,
She stood by me all the way.
Try to ease my daughter’s strife;
I’m sorry, but daddy’s gay.
Be good to Idaho, every last hick,
I’ll live there for awhile yet.
Make sure further charges don’t stick,
Good legal can do that, I bet.
Hit some books, now that career’s been writ,
Hole up, avoid time with queens.
Look up the word “hypocrite,”
I should know just what it means.


First Light  (1/1)

The First should be solstice plus one,
Tho I guess it doesn't matter.
Get on a scale when this day is done
And I bet you've gotten fatter.
You drank, you ate, you worked out little,
Now your clothes don't fit.
You gained six pounds, all in the middle,
Your liver looks like shit.
Sad part is, it's a weekly thing,
Near daily to tell the truth.
You often do that toilet sing
(Hush now; that's so uncouth).
Might be time to check your face,
Before that next big frolic.
You'll start the road in that basement place
With "I'm Pat—an alcoholic."


Day Two (1/2)

Day two, oh-eight, still looking good,
The Eve and day went well.
Did not see one terrorist hood
Try to send us all to hell.
The weather held, no big storms here,
Most planes got off in time.
People traveled far and near
And all got back home just fine.
Can’t judge a year by just one day
To do so would be hairy.
But it can help hold this at bay:
The rest might be quite scary.

$100 a Barrel (1/3)

It’s laughably easy, here’s how we do it:
We first make the price super high.
The news will soon TV screens hit
And poor folks will see it and cry.
After a bit we drop the price down
But higher than it was just before.
Now the poor will no longer frown,
Gas up! You’re dumb to the core!

Iowa (1/4)

We treat it like an event most big,
Though it don’t mean a thing.
The fact that you just might not dig
Is one you won’t hear us sing:
We get piles of money from campaigns
And though you might take umbrage,
We go through lots of sneaky pains
To inflate what’s small by coverage.

How Religion Works (1/7)

Nice girl vanishes hiking in the woods,
Thousands pray for her return.
Prayer and searches don’t turn up the goods
(They’ll find her body near a fern).
If she’d been found OK, they’d say “God did it!
He heard and answered our pleas.”
She wasn’t, but they still say, “Don’t you dare fidget!
Keep praying, don’t get up off your knees.”
No one can determine how His mind works
Except in the right circumstance.
And that is the one where nonsense lurks:
When it numbs you to a comforting trance.

What Women Want (1/8)

Though you don’t need one, get a nice car.
The same goes for hair and for height.
Have two big houses, one near and one far,
And remember that she’s always right.
Think of her only, shun city whores,
Listen when she talks of her friends.
Take her to dinner and open all doors,
Do all this till you need Depends.

The Results (1/9)

The campaign is now done,
There’s zilch left to see.
There’re just two in the run
We’ll dissect them with glee.
All that’s left now
Is money and show
As we wait to see how
One of them will blow.

Music (1/10)

I scoff at the young and their new MP3s,
Tinny sounds in little bud phones.
“Music sounds better on good ol’ CDs,”
I tell them and just get back moans.
My dad thinks I’m nuts to like digital,
Says analogue vinyl’s what’s best.
His dad liked vacuum tubes, dang it all,
Said transistors flunked all his tests.
And his father, when in search of sound,
That would soothe his innermost soul,
Would wait for an orchestra to come around,
Sit, listen, emerge feeling whole.

Goodbye, Beekeeper (1/11)

Six-five, lanky, strong and cool,
Climbing since a New Zealand kid.
Learned every mountain tool
Set sights on the highest bid.
Everest, five-and-a-half miles high,
Lungs, brain, don’t work too well.
It takes an effort just to sigh
And don’t dare attempt a yell.
You and Tenzing Norgay,
In May of 1953
Were first to make it the whole way
And look down on the world to see:
Glaciers, mountains, a curved Earth,
All small from way up high,
The planet to the sun give birth,
At least to a mountaineer's eye.
You came down that giant ramp
In glory you’d never quite doff.
First words when back in camp:
“We’ve knocked the bastard off.”

Cities (1/14)

Bullets fly, glass shatters,
People swear, shout, spit.
Outside they discuss matters,
Who hears? Don’t give a shit.
The water’s bad, the air, worse,
Lungs clog with fine soot.
Shopkeepers are often terse,
People shop each day on foot.
The schools suck, housing’s pricey,
Brass rings for those who fake it.
The roads are gutted, bridges dicey,
Despite all this I’ll take it.

Memory (1/15)

Memory make us what we are now,
Without them we’re just a page long.
Lose them and you’d never know how
You got to this verse of life’s song.
They fade with age, a major hitch,
Live long and your body pays fees.
Time’s hand turns down your dimmer switch.
(Where the hell did I put my keys?)

Heading South (1/16)

In all my years, and there’ve been many,
I’ve never seen so many say
The economy’s tanking (Got a penny?)
And that nothing can save the day.

Racism (1/17)

If you are white, you better look out
If running for an elected seat.
Don’t ever dare say a thing about
Another race or you’ll be beat.
Say “good,” the press hears “hood,”
Say “great,” and they hear “hate.”
They won’t listen, though they could,
But they’ve deadlines and they’re late.

The Primaries (1/18)

The show’s in town, big shots are here,
We’re on the map for sure.
Look at that gown! Is that one a queer?
(They say his wife ain’t pure.)
The money spent on print and air
Would fill a good size truck.
Could go to schools but they don’t care
Why would they give a fuck?

The Corduroy Killer (1/21)

At six you knew each move,
By eight you took chess classes.
By 1972,
You brought it to the masses.
Your I.Q. was 181,
Spassky was the foe you beat.
But when your life was done,
Some things obscured this feat.
You railed against Jews and dames
(Both these, though, was your mother).
When bringing art to board games
Keep your mouth shut, my good brother.
Fussy, weird, imperious,
Your last days spent in Reykjavik.
It surely made you furious
To have a rep then made a wreck of it.

Relationships (1/22)

It’s not easy being a couple,
Making one of two.
Your bodies may be supple
But not ready for love’s glue.
Some freedom’s put asunder,
You must like the other’s art.
Don’t you often wonder,
When do married people fart?

Here It Is (1/23)

Welcome, Reccession!
How ya doin’, buddy?
Your gears have long been meshin’
And the market’s gotten muddy.
Housing sure has tanked,
Who’d of ever thought it?
No money has been banked,
But a house? You bet I bought it!
Here comes a roller coaster ride,
Be sure to smile and not frown.
Enjoy leaning side to side,
And expect a lot of down.

H.L. (1/24)

Just another man with troubles,
Seeking solace in scrip meds.
Riding high on fame’s light bubbles,
Nights spent in hotel beds.
Use to be that when you died
T’was worms your body met.
Different now, as friends have sighed;
The worms are on the Net.

Shot Season (1/25)

The writers struck
New shows weren’t aired,
It’s our good luck
That no one cared.
The tubes are dark
Until the Bowl.
Visit a park,
Revise a goal.

Txt msgng (1/28)

i txt my girl 2x an hr
we bth find it funy
i txt her whn im in th showr
she iz my litl hony
we txt n txt frm evryplc
wearng mittins or a glov
n i cant wait to c her face
i ges this must be luv

State of the Union (1/29)

Every year, by old decree
The Prez talks to us all.
Last night his speech was just to me
(My meds ran out last fall).
“You,” he said, “have power magic,
And must use that power well.
If you don’t, it’d be most tragic
And would send us all to hell.
Be sure to vote your mind real soon
And cast your ballot right.
Sure, you’re crazy as a loon,
But you’re still in the fight.
Think critically, and read a paper,
Better yet, read two.
Those slick pols will try a caper,
But don’t let them fool you.”
At that he turned into a bird
With feathers a fiery red.
As he soared aloft I yelped, “My word!
That’s the smartest thing’s he’s said.”

Sly (1/30)

The curious case of Stallone, Sylvester,
A top-earning movie star.
In college did not do each semester,
(But neither did Teri Garr).
The first “Rocky” was a pretty good flick,
It got Best Picture nod.
His work since then has made most sick,
’Cept those who like his bod.
“C’mon,” he says, “let’s all shoot up.
Let’s use some growth hormone.
I’ve been using it by the cup
But don’t like doing it alone.”
Using such things is not too smart,
In fact, it’s far from fine.
Yet please don’t ban it from my mart
At least till I’ve got mine.

Eyelight (1/30)

With age mine eyes do yearn for light,
When reading prose or verse.
They strain against the darkening night
And each month they’re getting worse.
The brightest bulb behind my head
Is what I need to see.
I’ll read at night until I’m dead
A book on bended knee.

Fat (2/1)

In the 70s, we all heard well
Those who said eat less fat.
Yet now our bods have gone to hell
And folks say, “What’s up with dat?”
Seems that when the fat was cut
We ate more carbs and sugar.
Eat veggies, fruits and lose that gut?
No thanks, this tastes much gooder.
Exercise also don’t get no rave
If you find car and tube more fun.
Work out taking me to my grave;
By then I’ll weigh a ton.

To Women (2/4)

Do not ask what we are feeling
If you want us to stick around.
That question simply has us reeling
And we’ll bolt when we hit the ground.
We don’t care about your boots,
Your cat’s illness (hope she’s better).
Phone calls? We don’t give two hoots,
And it’s e-mail, not “a letter.”
Weekends are our special time
To fart, nap, scratch, play ball.
Antiqueing? Why that sounds just fine!
When done by all means call!

Reflections (2/15)

Mirrors are so very useful
When driving car or truck.
But when of me I get an eyeful
I often say, “Oh fuck.”

H2O

This sounds untrue, but it ain’t
And it has to do with water.
Whether you’re sinner or saint
Mom, dad, son or daughter.
Each drop of water that you drink
In peacetime or in war
Was once pissed out on way to sink
By at least one dinosaur.

Super Tuesday (2/5)

Super Tuesday is here right now,
Looks like all we need.
To choose the candidate who’ll bow
On each network’s life feed.
Once picked all we’ll have to do
Is wait for the November day
When we’ll get more than just a clue
On which crook will be in play.

Aging Mother (2/6)

Mom is old, too old to dust,
Don’t know what to do ’bout that.
And with Dad gone and turned to rust
I wish she’d get a cat.
Feeble, restive, up and down
Little chores all ’round the house.
A picture moved, and with a frown
She thinks she’s seen a mouse.
Not long until she’s all used up
And will no longer exist and be.
A blink ago, her dad’s little pup,
Searching hard for her skate key.

Disappointments (2/7)

Popcorn smells great when it’s just made
But the taste don’t live up to its scent.
Coffee promises to make you not fade,
Yet after three cups don’t bet the rent.
Cinnamon’s aroma can make us all wild,
True with nutmeg and fried garlic too.
Though they may speak to our inner child
They might as well be tasteless goo.
Biggest letdown of all, according to me
Is the one that’s got most in its hex.
Isn’t it crazy for all us to be
Thinking mostly about having sex?

Tough Times (2/8)

When all looks lost and you feel at half throttle
You have neither money nor friends,
You may feel like it’s time to start hitting the bottle
To cure your emotional bends.
Don’t do it, it will only make things much worse,
A headache is all that you’ll gain.
Breathe deep and remember this line in this verse:
Life is supposed to have pain.

The Strike is Over (2/11)

The writers’ strike is over now
But “24” will be 12 hours long.
Goodbye, forever, Bionic Gal,
The timing was more than a bit wrong.
Dave’s had writers ’cause he owns the show,
Jimmy’s been funny solo.
Jay and Conan sure do blow.
Will writers help ’em? Oh no.

Women are Insane (2/12)

They want us full of love and not hate
As if we were could change just like that!
They want us to approve of their weight
And think it’s nice that they’re wearing a hat.
They want us to be good with the kids,
Work ’round the house and be not lazy.
We’re to love them and not our porn vids;
Have you ever heard of something so crazy?

What to do at Night (2/13)

Turn of the tube by nine,
Then you dim the lights.
Make sure the kids are fine,
Cease your marital fights.
Take a good warm shower
Into good warm sheets then leap.
Read for about an hour,
Then fall fast asleep.

How it Goes (2/14)

How can it not be so simple?
You both size the other one up.
A nice smile, bright eyes, and a dimple,
You go out one evening to sup.
It goes well, phone calls soon follow,
You see a good movie and kiss.
Life alone starts looking hollow,
You yearn for long-wedded bliss.
Then something in one of you bolts,
More is wanted at once.
A touch, it no longer jolts,
And the other looks like a dunce.
Then come the horrible acts,
Things that should never be said.
Fussiness, picking on facts,
A relationship poisoned by lead.
Finally comes the big split,
Tears, a long wail, a moan.
Why cannot things ever fit?
You ask as you go it alone.

Presidents’ Day (2/18)

Stay home and do no work,
Take a nap at three.
Sci-fi channel: Captain Kirk!
Tell the spouse to let you be.
No mail means there’re no bills
Or mags to reach your hovel.
Dust your window sills,
Have a seat with a good novel.

So Far (2/19)

This century ain’t even one decade old,
Means it might be too early to tell.
Yet it’s running hot, not a bit cold,
To date it’s been much worse than hell.
Wrong believers get heads cut off,
Nukes again are a threat.
A virus may kill us after we cough,
Crazies shoot all they can get.
The last century saw rivers of blood,
This one is giving a notion:
As poles melt and turn land into mud
Those rivers will change to an ocean.

The Drinking Life (2/20)

It ruins your guts
And makes you stupid,
Drives others nuts,
Acts a shit Cupid.
Costs far too much,
Keeps careers down,
Foot slips off the clutch,
At kids’ funerals they frown.
Yet you still drink
Even after you’re booked,
Gee, do ya think
That maybe you’re hooked?

All Beef (2/21)

Countless millions killed
To eat an oily patty.
When dead skin peeled
So shoes can look natty.
Forced to eat corn
Instead of good grass,
Fattened from when born
For America’s wide ass.
Can’t walk, use a chain
To drag it to its death,
Don’t think about its pain
As it takes its final breath.

Oscars (2/22)

Time again to see who’s best
At acting and directin’.
Who this year has passed the test?
Who left film buffs retchin’?
The movie guys who get me most,
Who really make me wheeze,
Are the ones who chase me coast to coast
As I sell my DVDs.

The Season (2/25)

Moderate temps, the sun is bright,
Got enough food to eat.
Mind O.K.; know left from right,
Enough money to pay for heat.
But inside aches, feels kinda hollow,
The good times have little heft.
Feel bad today and will tomorrow,
And have ever since you left.

Politics (2/26)

They fight and hate,
Try for the kill.
Tease and bait,
Then hook the gill.
They do what they can
To win the game,
But the parties they ran
Are, guess what, the same.

North Korea (2/27)

Life is simple here,
And we like it very much.
We have not a fear,
With joy we are in touch.
If something bad occurs
Dear Leader doesn’t tell us.
Our joy then still endures,
Admit it; you are jealous.
We work, we read, we eat,
We die when we get old.
In winter we have heat,
In stores kimchi is sold.
True we are not free,
But freedom’s overrated.
We prefer it, see,
To being the world’s hated.

William F. Buckly (2/28/08)

So long, old friend, Buckly, Bill.
You died while at your desk.
Though you had been gravely ill,
You still gave us your best.
Tons of writing, thoughts a’blazing,
A liberal’s ally and foe.
Conservative ideas were raising,
’Twas you who led the flow.
More shows than Carson, fifty books,
’Nough columns for forty-five more
From us libs you got mean looks,
Yet, good man, you never bored.
Yachtsman, novelist, you’ll be missed,
A reasoned voice all through it.
Now’s Neocons have meanness kissed;
They bite the weak and chew it.

Bars (2/29/08)

Americans must be a nasty bunch
If you look at the numbers and think.
One percent of grownups crunch
Their cereal while in the klink.
Many of ’em hurt not a soul,
Just stole a bit, sold grass.
Now they burn tax money in the hole,
While covering their ass.
It takes big bucks to house the lot,
Though they sure do make nice plates.
Three squares a day, a simple cot,
Adds up to massive rates.

It’s March (3/4/08)

Here again, that so nice month,
Too a word for strong walkin’.
Be smart and not a silly dunce,
Feel its breezes and stop talkin’.
Winter’s gusts have lost their bite,
Spring promises to be sweet.
This heated Earth’s dying rite
Is in summer’s brutal heat.

Compact Fluorescents (3/4/08)

Compact fluorescents are the best bulbs lit,
Though the name is a real bitch to spell.
They’re getting cheap and in most sockets fit,
Two features that make them now sell.
A problem they have is if you must read
And use one of them to see by,
Turn it on first then go have your feed;
When sated, its beam will have reached high.

Fifth Time this Season, I Swear (3/5/08)

Tickle in the back of the throat,
Head feels like one hundred pounds.
Nose running, wet as a moat;
Another cold’s making the rounds.
Careful am I, washing my hands,
Not touching my eyes or my nose.
Why, then, these goddamn swollen glands?
And shit feeling from my head to my toes?
One day I’ll be dead, and that’ll be great,
No fear of more winter issues.
Bury me, then, when I’ve become late,
But throw in a big box of tissues.

Insults (3/6/08)

You are as dull as an old ladle,
As hip as a denim shirt.
I bet that when you were in the cradle,
Your visage made strong eyes hurt.
You clearly have a low IQ,
You dress like a colorblind bum.
You know fewer words than in a haiku,
And ten is your largest sum.
You eat too much, your breath is awful,
Your bladder leaks like a sieve.
It’s amazing that it’s considered lawful
To let someone like you live.

Tired (3/7)

I am so very, very tired.
All I think about is sleep.
But I know that I’d be fired
If at work I take that leap.

How We Do It (3/10)

Obama? Not a chance.
Hilary’s gonna win.
But after that last dance,
Her chances now look slim.
Hey, she’s coming back!
Seems he ain’t so hot.
But now, look at Barak!
A chance again he’s got!
This horse race is so vital,
And pols give networks so much cash.
So stay glued to our channel,
Don’t read, that would be rash.

Drugged Water (3/11)

Our water, studies show,
Is full of drugs it seems.
The parts are far below
Amounts needed to cause scenes.
And if it troubles you
And gives you quite a scare,
Just think of it anew
As the answer to health care.

Dark Nights (3/12)

The nights are black as pitch,
Jostling clouds portend storms.
Walking home in a ditch,
Observing pedestrian norms.
Many killed by bombs today
But too far away to matter.
Dark thoughts held well at bay
By modern life’s loud clatter.

Crescent Moon (3/13)

The wedge of moon
Slices the sky.
A sad night tune
Makes women cry.
Future is bleak
But it lights the night,
Answers to seek;
It’ll be all right.

Bad, Bad, Bad (3/14)

You naughty man, you banged a whore
Though you said you were against it.
Your career? Right there’s the door!
You’ve entered now the deep shit.
Why don’t we all think at first
About what could happen later?
Think not the best, but the worst,
And remain a masturbator.

Stood Up (3/17)

Arrange to meet
At a nice place,
Ready to greet
And show your best face.
Minutes go by
They soon make an hour,
You give up and fly
Home for a shower.
You’re sleeping alone
Feel empty in your gut.
There’s no one to phone
To help with this rut.

Bailed Out (3/18)

The gu’ment saves you if you’re rich
But not if you are poor.
(You may have to dig a ditch
And live without a door.)
Yet those with nada and those with lots
Should both suffer fate’s cruel axes.
Dux bed sleepers and the guys on cots
Both pay very low taxes.

Five Years (3/19)

Am I the smartest guy around?
I think I may well be.
The first time G.W. made war sound,
My B.S. alarm went Wee! Wee!
Five years in and four thou dead
(And that’s just our guys and gals),
Many more injured in the head,
Now retards are their pals.
By chance at this sad yearly mark
We lost an excellent mind.
Goodbye, dear friend, Arthur Clarke
We need more of your kind.

Interesting Study (3/20)

Fascinating stuff, reported just now
’Bout how some lies just keep right on living.
Seems they get a good part of their wow
From peoples’ love of small and big fibbing.
They stick even though they’ve no back;
We want to believe that they’re true.
The hijackers were from Iraq?
Makes sense to me, how about you?
The more familiar the lie,
The more often ninnies believe it.
Ask them why falsehoods they buy
They say, “It works, why would we heave it?”

Some Lies (3/21)

You don’t look at all fat wearing that,
Fascinating people, the Flemish.
Bald men are fine when wearing a hat,
Sugar won’t give you a blemish.
The paycheck should get here at any time,
I’ll start eating much better tomorrow.
You get all this for just one skinny dime,
Your suffering has caused me much sorrow.
It meant nothing, that fling I had with another,
My only true love is just you.
We must attack them, I swear on my mother,
Or I’ll hold my breath till I’m blue.

Babies (3/24)

Baby little, soft and cute,
Sometimes it cries real loud.
Sometimes it is nice and mute,
Like sleeping on a cloud.
Babies make me laugh and smile,
And make me feel so fine.
I like them lots, a whole big mile,
’Specially when they’re not mine.

This Century (3/25/08)

We Yanks ruled from ’45 on,
Our money, army, movies were cool.
We’re starting to see those days as gone,
And playing the part of the fool.
Our life quality is down the list,
Crime, health, name it, it’s hurtin’.
Other nations took our gist
And made the good parts certain.
The twenty-first may be ruled
By a country that ain’t now fina.
In fifty years we may be schooled
By our many good friends in China.

The Doughnut Girl (3/26)

Work done, headed for train,
Another toiling day done.
Mind fatigued, feet in great pain,
An evening ahead of no fun.
The doughnut girl sees me coming
She knows what it is that I’ll order.
Bavarian cream, it tastes just so stunning.
The sweetness becomes my new mortar.
I pay for one, she gives me two,
It’s late in the day, she has many.
I tip the jar a buck, spirits high anew,
She smiles, her name tag says Reny.

Spring Cleaning (3/27)

Out, out, out, with tons of crap,
And washing, cleaning, scrubbing.
A break at times, to take a nap,
Then back to give dirt a drubbing.
Heaps of unread books and mags
In the recycle bin they’re headed.
Clothes not used go in big bags
For those folks outdoor bedded.
Other clothes removed from chairs
Washed and put in drawers.
Remnants of nests made up of hairs,
Evidence of bitter mouse wars.
Weights, books, clocks all on the street
For neighbors to load in their Rover.
Sitting in my clean place is now a treat,
Perhaps I’ll invite a friend over!

R.I.P. Papers (3/28)

Newspapers are out, as dead as vinyl,
The Net and TV are what’s hap’nin’.
They’re as quaint and as useless as manners, it’s final,
(Don’t use bother to use your new napkin).
Geezers all say, “You’ll miss them, you’ll see!”
The young all plug in and tune out.
Those in between say “We’ll save a tree,
But how will ‘Prince Valiant’ turn out?”

Unrelated Thoughts (3/31)

Gay people marrying is just fine with me.
Silence is good late at night.
It would be nice some day to live by the sea.
Couples should usually not fight.
Solar-powered watches are much fun to own.
Credit companies are such venal jerks.
A happy sight is a dog with a bone.
Executives get too many perks.
Swimming is fun but costs lots of money.
People should hang up and drive.
Toast tastes great with butter and honey.
One day we’ll be dead not alive.

Instances of Denial (4/1/08)

I don’t drink that much when judged against most,
The print on this page is too fine.
That was the truth and not a big boast,
I drove well but there was no sign.
I’m not a bit fat, just pleasingly plump,
My hair is pretty much present.
That horrible smell didn’t come from my rump,
And my breath is really quite pleasant.
No, I’m not short, I’m compact and strong,
And I’m normal, I am not a loon.
I’ll be moving out of Mom’s house before long,
’Cause I know that I’ll get a job soon.

Ware Ware Nihonjin (4/2)

We are the Japanese,
Do you remember us?
We ruled the old ’80s
(You Yanks made quite a fuss!)
Our housing bubble grew then burst
And we had a long recession.
(That’s right, we did both those first;
Hope you enjoy your session.)
Now you’re busy with your war,
While we’ve been working hard.
Our butts are leaner than before,
While yours are full of lard.
Modern Youth (4/3)

We’ll kill this bitch, stab her to death,
She’s caused us only trouble.
We’ll cuff her, beat her, see her last breath,
And throw her body in rubble.
She’ll be history soon, forever dead,
Ha! Ha! She’ll rest in pieces.
I made this plan while in my bed;
We’ll do it after recess.

April Showers (4/4/08)

Now’s the time for April showers,
Already well under way.
’Tis said they bring blooms on the flowers
We’ll give our moms in May.
But while they fall from skies so grey,
As from a dark heaven sent,
I think only of finding work today
And I’m four days late with rent.

Chuck (4/7)

Epic roles, an epic life,
A Ben-Hur Oscar won.
Decent kids, a long-time wife,
You later loved the gun.
Who knows our changes due?
From lib to con you went.
Have we ever any clue
How our minds get bent?
All that hard work acting,
Voice booming as if an amp.
Viewers now reacting
With laughs now; it’s all camp.

Brains (4/8)

They say the brain has many layers,
Overlapping and intertwined.
Yet I question science sayers
About the things they say they find.
I wonder if my brain should shatter,
On the ground, dollops of goo,
Would not a smidgen of gray matter
While dying, drying—think of you?

Encounter with Fame, #1 (4/9/08)

Fourteen years old, a sullen teen,
And it’s 1972.
Nixon’s in town, pretty keen!
Let’s go see what he’ll do!
I’m aware enough to really hate him,
The red-faced, smiling bad man.
In one second I peg and rate him
And I’m not gonna shake his hand.
“Shake his hand, ___!” Shouts my mom.
(Different generation, her kind.)
The man who controls the biggest bomb
Says “Where’s ____?” but me he does not find.

Freerice.com (4/10)

I donate rice to mendicants,
To those in need of aliment.
It’s better than useless CL rants
About who runs the parliament.
I need no money, I’m no footpad,
I’m as poor as any lubber.
My means of giving is quite rad,
And it cost not an ounce of blubber.
I go online and work on words,
The amatory dhole in me grows,
I shed my diadem made of turds,
Free food for who? Who knows?

City Life (4/11)

Most is paved and you forget
Not all plants exist for looks.
When rain falls and things get wet
It rinses, cleans street kooks.
No stars to see, all killed by lights,
A dome a thousand feet high.
Household pests the only blights
Machine hums a constant sigh.
The young enjoy the faster pace,
The old grow wary of speed.
The rich fight hard for higher place,
The poor fall low and bleed.

Bitter Battle (4/14)

One went to Harvard, one went to Yale.
Both lawyers, our most favorite peoples!
One’s slightly dark, the other quite pale,
Both say they love buildings with steeples.
One said that in tough times people like guns
And look to the heavens for hope.
The other said “You linked hillbillies to huns,
And you better ease up on the Pope!”
One of three people will soon be the boss
Of a country with problems galore.
Millionaires all, yet not at a loss
To get down and act like they’re poor.
We’ll pick one and go on just as we are,
Hated by most, in a rut.
When we see running a true shining star
We say, “He can’t win he’s a nut.”

Cougar (4/16)

Lost, scared cat,
Wants only to live.
Cops forget that;
Bullets like a shiv.
Coulda used a net,
Or tranquilizer dart
But then they wouldn’t get
To show off their gun art.
TV newsers love it:
“Wild cat in a big city!”
Take your grin and shove it,
What was done was more than shitty.

Bugs (4/17)

There are many, many bugs.
I like no more than seven.
Of the others in my rugs;
They can all go to heaven.

Warmer Weather (4/18/08)

Warmer weather is here, ride your bike
When you go to papal mass.
If no wheels, then just hike,
And work off your fat ass.

Breathing (4/21)

If I want to I can hold my breath,
Or make myself breathe faster.
If by either I could cause my death
It would be a true disaster.

Pennsylvania! (4/22)

Oh, great state, home of the ruffled grouse,
This primary coming means much!
From you comes Joe Namath, the football souse,
Bill Cosby, Grace Kelly and such.
Your twelve million denizens are all set to vote
For Clinton, Obama or the other dude.
They’ll vote in Erie, Punxy, in P’burgh by boat,
And in Philly they’ll do it with addytude.
How did it happen that you make the choice
Of who’s gonna climb to the top?
Why does our crazy system give you the voice
To make you our chief exec cop?

The Universe (4/23/08)

The universe is big, it’s downright huge,
And it goes on forever and ever.
To see just a little you’d need a light-speed luge,
And learn where to wormholes now sever.
But no law says it must be, no edict says “Exist!”
There’s not one rule making it so.
If swallowed whole tomorrow, who can resist?
And who would ever be around to know?

Goals (4/24)

My Page-a-Day calendar is getting much thinner
As it nears it’s halfway gone mark.
Each day it tells me that I’m quite the sinner,
And notes new dates in ink most dark.
In January it arrived new and thick,
Filled with promise and new things to know.
Now the year and its promise is vanishing quick,
Hopes for change melting like snow.

Advice for Men (4/25)

Know how to make your shoes glisten,
Learn how to throw a good punch.
Know when to shut up and listen,
And wear a shirt so it won’t bunch.
Be able to make a kid laugh hard
And a woman feel soft and sweet.
Be sure to leave on all the lard
When cooking a big chunk of meat.
Order fast and once when eating out,
Figure out how to tell who’s lying.
Eat dairy to avoid getting gout,
Be there when your parents are dying.

Spending Less (4/28)

Americans are spending less
During what the Prez calls a “slowdown.”
Eatin’ more Tom Turkey, cutting down on Bess,
And staying home for a hoedown.
We’re driving short and renting vids
Instead of taking vacation.
We’re clipping coupons, collecting lids,
And cable’s our chief recreation.
If things stay tough and the trend keeps up,
And we keep on with this good behavin’,
We may see our accounts and say, “Huh, whut?
Could it be I’ve started savin’?”

Missive From Earth (4/29)

We’re held solid by gravity,
It is our planet’s glue.
We do environmental depravity,
Yet we’re still quite green and blue.
If you get this short note,
This brief, tiny little yelp,
Tell your leaders an Earthling wrote
And asked you for some help.

Food Prices (4/30)

It’s going up, the cost of chow,
Thanks to expensive oil.
Eating in makes some sense now,
(But where will I take my goil?)
Expensive food may have a plus,
And the bright side here is that
Some day when you get on the bus
Your seat mate might not be so fat.

Church (5/1)

You go to church for many years,
Sit and listen and pray.
It’s what you need for your fears
Of your life going astray.
If it ain’t your thing you still must go
If you want run for office.
No one will vote for those who know
The idea of a god’s a big miss.

Moving In (5/2)

A door slams, feet pound upstairs,
Loud voices, bright with new.
Keys turn, a voice compares,
She wants to paint walls blue.
Friends carry boxes, pizza’s served,
Summer plans, talk of classes.
Into first apartments swerved,
All the young men and lasses.

Tolling Belles (5/5)

Let’s get horses, lots of horses,
And over breed them for speed.
Then we’ll use our greater forces
To make them pay us heed.
We’ll race them in our useless shows,
And do it to make money.
If they suffer painful, killing blows,
Well, they’re just dumb animals honey.
Shattered bones ripped through her skin,
Pain ended with a shot from a vet.
Why hasn’t this sport not gotten thin?
Why aren’t we tired of it yet?

Pigeon Love (5/6)

If I throw up in your mouth
Some predigested pretzel,
Will you let go far south
Or will you treat me like an Edsel?
If I bob and weave and strut
And my feathers are sleek and strong,
Will you be my wing-ed slut
And make me feel that I belong?
If I coo and dance and preen
Can I part your scaly legs?
If you let me be obscene
I’ll be good to all our eggs.

American, 2008 (5/7)

Americans are for nation building
But not in the way you’d think.
It’s America’s hope they’re wielding,
Starting with the kitchen sink.
Our health care’s inefficient
Our schools suck, so does our transit.
(A trip to Europe would be sufficient;
You’d wonder why some pans it.)
Our infrastructure’s crumbling,
We’re losing in two wars.
We need Asian money—humbling!
Politicians spend it all on whores.
TV news is run by Disney,
Our papers are rife with fakes,
We care about wearing flag pins (Is he?),
We’re fat from all those cakes.
Our social nets are torn,
Our crap cars still guzzle gas
Still too many poor born,
And our president’s an ass.
We owned century number 20,
Saved the world, did things right.
But we’ve gone from land of plenty
To a land of endless blight.

Two Legs Good (5/8)

We were not built to walk erect
But I’m most glad we do.
It makes my hands stay so perfect
And I’m high above the poo.
Two-legged life is mighty fine
Beats living in a sty.
If I find reason to whine
It’s ’cause I cannot fly.

Coupling (5/9)

It’s good to be a couple
(Though it’s something I never did),
It keeps your body supple
(I’ve kept my loving hid).
We all need a companion
(I shout at my TV).
And sex without the scandlin’
(Some women charge a fee!).
And when it’s time to say goodbye
(I’ll choose that date myself),
You’ll have kids to moan and cry
(I’m already in poor health).

Women Athletes (5/12)

We men love women jocks,
How they stress good strategy.
We ignore the flowing locks,
And how they’re cute and all dainty.
Smarts, dedication, drive—
That’s what matters most.
We watch them all high five
While eating buttered toast.
We ignore their skimpy shorts,
Toned limbs, abs, butts so fine.
We just think they’re all good sports.
(Your wife’s fat, so is mine.)

High Tech (5/13)

I’ve all the bells and whistles,
My stuff is up to date.
Look under the weeds and thistles
And you’ll find that I’m first rate.
I can call anyone there is,
And look at pictures that move.
I can give anyone the biz;
I am truly in the groove.

China (5/14)

Oh, Middle Kingdom, nation strong,
Achievements too many to list.
A civilization extant so long,
Centuries, some shrouded by mist.
Great plates have shifted, many dead,
Your ancients will tell you the text.
Some will welcome, others dread:
A change in leadership is next.

Toxic (7/21/11)

My state’s toxic level is number two
I read earlier today.
The article was on Yahoo!
(The writing was just okay.)
We burn heaps of coal to power stuff,
Huge amounts of it.
I’ve lived here decades and breathed enough;
My lungs have turned to shit.

In Sympathy
7/23/11
I have sorrow for the she or he
Who has to work outside,
And those who live far from the sea
And have a fatty hide.
I pity the Amish, the Orthodox Jew,
All covered up with clothes.
It’s down to ninety, ninety-two,
But them’s the nighttime lows.