The Now Defunct Law and Order

The Now Defunct Law and Order

The now defunct Law and Order, Criminal Intent show’s

actor does such a fine job of acting


out the writing with his own unique, quirky style,

getting up close, tilting his head to the


right and then the left, jotting notes in his journal,

pausing, blankly saying it is


an idiosyncrasy passed from father to son

while the guilty guy excuses himself,


exits stage left, that is, out the interrogation room

door not to be seen for a while,


but Quirky Cop nails it and him. This is the Quirky Cop before

he gained all the weight for a different role


and never lost it, except that he began to lose it right

before our eyes. Only this time it wasn’t


a father to blame.  He had a strange relationship with his Quirky Mother.

The Fat Woman sings and the Opera is over


and I don’t even have an ocean

into which to disappear because I live in the desert.


So, you think you are the first one who will inevitably

become (like) your flawed father (or mother)?


Get in line.

What Has Happened to US?

What Has Happened to US?

What has happened to us?

Was it lurking just under the surface

all those years I thought

we were making progress?


I shouldn’t have expected much because

I knew all about original sin.

It was in my Reformed blood

by osmosis and conditioning.


I have to re-member that in spite of the doctrine, it

was a couple of really good Sunday school

teachers who exposed me to the real Jesus.

Will he now stand up?


Those (the reality of things going south

inevitably and the good news that Jesus

is still speaking even though he hasn’t

stood up, yet) things


carried me through the seventies after the

dashed dreams of the sixties and Phil Ochs

hung himself on a tree and so many dropped

drugs down their throats.


I held up Jesus or shall I say I sat on Jesus’

lap through it all, but still, still, still, I really,

really wish upon a star that we could

have made a difference.


And now I’m in my late sixties and while

I am appalled at the discourtesy, incivility,

damnable, downright me, me, meanness of

it all I’m sitting here, gotten up out of Jesus


lap watching a slimmed down Andrew

Zimmern really impressed how the affable, once

pudgy Jewish guy from New York made it

through drugs, homelessness only to pull it


all together, become a class act chef, move

to the upper Midwest, and then lose that weight

on a show where he eats everything in sight.

(Obviously, he’s not kosher,


but he is a stand-up kind of Jewish guy.)

He’s not explaining, bragging, hyping,

documenting the accomplishment, at least not

on-line, because I looked last night.


So now he’s a slimmed down version of the kid

every Jewish mother could and would love and brag

about: “That’s my son Andy slurping the pig’s balls

someplace in America for this season.”


Every Jewish boy is the Messiah in his mother’s eyes.

And I guess that means the Mormons are right; Jesus

did make it to America. He had a hard time in New York

but he’s happy in the upper Midwest.

A Young Guy Hiked Up the Trail

A Young Guy Hiked Up the Trail

A young guy hiked up the trail

with two dogs on a leash –

a four-year-old, lame lab/something or other

mutt with a sadly, gimpy paw from


when he encountered a car two years ago

and a six-year-old pit bull/chow/few more

breeds who was roll over sweet. The lame lab

would stare a dog down not to mention me.


I wondered if it was anger for the gimpy paw.

After all, labs are mostly sweet. We were trying to

get our old lab to move off trail to do his business after

consuming, in grand fashion, a scientifically


approved dry dog food adorned with a saucy,

beefy broth and cubed tomatoes

au naturel-al with a cut up “Beggin Strip” just to catch

his attention.  He didn’t cooperate.


Proudly, I told the young guy with the gimpy

dog and roll over, mean looking mutt that

our ancient lab, the fussy one about food

and when and where he takes a shit,


which I didn’t mention, ran, well really jogged

really, really slowly I thought to myself, twenty-one today.

We put him in the condo and finished thirty-five. “Thirty-five miles!”

he exclaimed. I looked at my wife and uttered quietly,


“No, thirty-five minutes. Come here, Boomer.  We have to go.”

I looked back up the hill to where the young guy was still

standing still with his dogs tugging at the leashes.

He had a bedazzled look in his eyes.


“The dog can take a poop later.”


A Life of Dependency

A Life of Dependency

For twenty minutes and forty-eight seconds the

ninety-nine year old jogged steadily in the

mid-morning, mid-winter Phoenix sun.


Done, he stopped at the bottom of the flight

home. He just stared up the stairs.

He didn’t want to climb.


But he did.  What was the alternative?

After ice water, pain pill and a cold

pack on his head, he made one more


grand effort, plopped himself on the couch

and slept away the noon and afternoon until

his bladder was full.  When he awoke,


he looked around hoping his jogging

partners were home to help him relieve

himself.  It’s a life of dependency for


an old chocolate lab.

Does the Sterling Silver Cross Burn?

Does the Sterling Silver Cross Burn?

A big, butterfly tattoo on her left shoulder-blade,

a cute curly cue on her right buttocks,

a bare bones something or other engraved on her left triceps,


and surrounded by a spider web tattoo, a

sterling silver cross piercing her belly button,


she coos sweetly and lovingly lowers her little boy

into the hot tub with her while the cross dangles.

They sit and she asks questions in two-year old talk.


Does the cross burn her tummy?


The little boy plays on deck while mommy

bathes in the sun.


Does the cross burn a mark on her tummy?


Does the mark then heal, peel and fade?

For A Dead Folk Singer’s Daughter

For A Dead Folk Singer’s Daughter

Folk songs committed suicide

after being on the

brink of Orchestra Hall


fame and glory and all.

After being with the

birthing protest, dad aside,


he gave his girl a ride,

then felt guilty for the

singer’s journey to the fall.


Who knows what writing’s on the wall,

as she looked into the

camera then off to the side –


flinch and twinge she tried to hide.

The Otherwise Picayune Baby Boomer

The Otherwise Picayune Baby Boomer

Boomer is one picayune, fussy, selective, snobby Chocolate Lab when it comes to treats, dog food and all other

dogs toward which he is not particularly picayune, fussy, selective or snobby.  He just avoids them like I avoid

my really obnoxious relative whose really bad acid reflux breath kind of sums it up, especially when

he gets really close with one of his really bad jokes and then guffaws in my face. Then we stopped at the Wednesday

Farmers’ Market in Phoenix where they love dogs as well as every other place in Phoenix as versus every place in our home state

Michigan according to health laws. The uppity Boomer always struts right by the “Doggy Stands” touting their treats

not to mention the doggies themselves except this time when he just flat-out stopped dead in his tracks like he was

sniffing the doggie equivalent of a really, really classy girly butt or catnip, which he was, the catnip that is. The vendor

told us while I tried to control the otherwise totally controllable dog all about the organic, totally natural,

unbelievably wholesome treats while the baby Boomer sniffed, smelled and then slurped embarrassingly at the strands at the end

of the rope and then just grabbed it and pulled it  right off the table without even paying for it.  “He’s normally as

quiet as himself except right now,” I quipped.  He whined, growled, pleaded and cajoled the rope whose

ends hung over the table just taunting and tickling his nose.  He attacked and grabbed the rope and pulled it

off the table about as fast as Kenny Rodgers knew when to hold ‘em, knew when to fold ‘em, knew when to walk away

and knew when to run. He grabbed it and ran, dare I say it, like the wi…that will never be accepted…fast.  Thank God for the leash or maybe not. “Boomer, stop!”

It was then I knew we had a hippy, dippy baby Boomer.  I bought the rope and he wouldn’t let go.  “Drop it, Boomer.

Drop it, Boomer.  DROP IT, BOOMER.”  All to no avail. My sophisticated, uppity, snobby dog made a spectacle

of himself, not to mention embarrassing me when he went bonkers over the rope. “What is it?” I asked.  “Hemp,” he said.

As my dog tugged and all around roared, I, too, an old, hippy, dippy, baby boomer asked,

“Is it smoke-able?”

As She Strolled

As She Strolled

As she strolled through the store, all looked up

to see her push the cart.

She wore that which caught the eyes, not just men’s,

but what could stop a heart —

calf high boots, leopard tights and D cup.

Some might blush; some said smart.

Down the aisle in a sway that commends,

Through and through a Phoenix tart,

She had that AZ style, that’s for sure.

A tiny, boy’s butt –

a work of art

and just a great, big, cowgirl heart.


Existential Impotence

People who drive fast on streets but mostly through parking lots,

lots in strip malls or big indoor malls or any kind of mall, bug me,

but what really bugs me are people who drive fast through my condo

association’s parking lot.  My goodness, there are speed bumps

and association stop signs (which I understand are not legally binding

stop signs as I was told by a young woman who I yelled at who flew

through one of them on her way to fifty feet ahead only to stop on the

road potentially blocking anyone else from getting through in

order to get to the condo mailboxes), but for some of the folk, particularly

young folk, apparently the bumps are just fun to fly over and stop signs

are just fun to fly through.  By the way, the young woman I yelled at for

flying through the stop sign stood there for a moment after she got

out of her car in incredulity and indignation with one hand on her cocked

hip and yelled back at me, “No one has ever criticized my driving

in here before.”  Well, hell, they should have I wanted to yell back but,

after all I had already yelled at her, I thought. But what really got

me was the other night around eight-thirty as I was walking my

Chocolate Lab back toward the condo at exactly the same

place I saw the young woman fly through the non-binding stop sign, I

saw a Mazda 3 just about jump the speed bumps and ignore the

non-binding stop sign, fly up the hill and turn on a dime into a parking

space.  That was it!  After dark, speeding like it was the Indian-

apolis 500.  I charged up the hill screaming bloody murder, dog in tow.

A preppy looking, thirty something kid who emerged from the

car wanted to know why I was yelling.  I kept yelling and he played

mister cool to my raving banshee and then it was a battle of

wits and because I had had three glasses of wine I barely held my own.

Well, in reality, I made an ass of myself and had to put a note

on his windshield the next morning: “I apologize for my behavior.

Please drive more slowly.”  It had been sometime during

the night I realized what was going on.  I have been retired for two

years and in the morning in the bathroom wrap around mirror

(“Damn that mirror,” I said echoing the nasty queen.) I see sagging stuff,

white hair on my head and less of it. People who drive fast bug

me, people who drive fast through my condo parking lot really bug me

but what really, really bugs me is that I feel existentially impotent.