Just Bring On the Cans

Bring on the cans —

Cans of beans, black beans,

Pinto beans, refried beans,

Green beans, lima beans, any

Old beans, just bring on the


Bring on the cans –

Cans of apple sauce, salsa,

Hot, medium and mild,

Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes,

Stewed tomatoes, tomato paste

Any kind of tomatoes, just bring on the


Bring on the cans – cans of

Oysters, cans of salmon, cans

Of shrimp, cans of sardines, cans

Of herring in wine sauce or mustard,

Cans of caviar, just bring on the


They’re gathering cans and

Lots of cans at the political

Rally turned canned

Privatized, emergency,

First-aid station photo-op,

so just bring on the


The candidate rolled up his

Sleeves and went to work

In his own inimitably

Entrepreneurial free

Enterprise, capitalistic style

(Just bring on the


Showing the feds that his

Solution to any disaster of

Any size is the right size, so

just bring on the


And if they figure out a way to

Tie all the cans together before

The Red Cross kicks all the cans

Back to Ohio, they can build a boat of


To carry the

New Yorkers, New Jerseyans,

And Marylanders to Ohio

To vote for the guy who gets a

Kick out of the


And likes to kick others in the

Can and knows how to can jobs

Here, there and everywhere, so just

Bring on the


His wife says there is still time to

Save the US of A, so forget FEMA,

The National Guard, Coast Guard,

Merchant Marine, fire-fighters, police,

And EMT’s;  just bring on the


Call for the Church Lady and

Just bring on the


One Degree, Two Degrees

One degree, two degrees, three degrees,


Five degrees, six degrees, seven degrees


And there goes the


And there go the farms to

Drought, flooding and


Those who keep


The cities have switched places

Minneapolis is now Miami

And Detroit is on the eastern


Boulder is at sea level

Phoenix is the lost city of Atlantis

And Atlanta is no


And for those who keep


One degree, two degrees, three degrees


It’s still 50/50 not one percent


On whether or not global warming is

Knocking on the


A Boy, Zander Dahl Gootee, Was Born 10/26/2012

A new human baby came into

The world via a tub of hot water

Just like his sister two years earlier.


Momma dropped brother in forty-five

Minutes from the time she swung her

Second leg over the rim and climbed in.


Sister took three hours which isn’t anything To

Sneeze at preferably in the inside corner of the elbow

At but at five-pound twelve ounces brother just popped out.


The mid-wife suggested contacting the Guinness

People for a question about a water birth record

And three beers, one for the midwife and two for dad.

Fewer Than Two Weeks Before the Election

Fatigue hangs around like the next door

Cat ready to pounce, in the act of pouncing.

Fatigue hangs in the air like millions of

Tiny dumb bells falling on ones back.

Fatigue surrounds muscles and

Joints, seeping like bone chilling

Dampness into and through the muscles,

Into the nervous system to cause the

Muscles attached to the bones to shiver.

It all weakens the body politic till it can

think only about bed, sleep and the dream

of a day off, way off, so far off, it might never

get here.  The neighbor’s cat’s perpetual, midair

pounce is always here.

We Live in the Sand

We live in the sand with a big old Chocolate Lab along

The shores of Lake Michigan and we’re glad because

When it rains a lot the house stays dry.


We visit the mountains of Colorado

And we’re glad because we visit family and

Jog trails along the Flat Irons.


We live part of the year near Piestewa Peak for family

And we’re glad cause we climb there in

The day and visit the ballet at night.


We visit Chicago because we have family there, too

And we’re glad to see them and eat in

Neighborhood, ethnic restaurants.


We like going home along the Blue Star/Red Arrow

And we’re glad to brush the Indiana Dunes, have a

Micro beer and think about the seaside towns.


Big lake, big city, big mountains, big desert

And we’re glad to live in two and visit the others

Before the earth changes too much


But we’re not glad to live one day in an institution,

Get calls for meals, calls for baths twice a week

And sit by a window  looking out


At what once was but will never be the same again

For a number of reasons having to do with what’s

Going on both inside and out.

The Banner Read Welcome Class of ’62

Worn out, worn down

Beat up

Thrown out

Hunched over – with a

Who the hell are you?

Look in

Their eyes.

But stood up

And showed up –

At least

For the evening.

Some still bothered

To  put

On suits, sport

Coats, a few even

Wore ties. They

Moved around

Looking at photo

Name tags then up

To the real deal,

Back and forth

Back and forth,

Up and down,

Up and down and

Then moved on.

Vietnam vets,

Small animal vets

And those who

Made a lot of

Bets. They all

Laughed loudly.

Women had become

Their grandmothers

Hanging laundry

In their house

Dresses on

The back porch

Of their

South-side walk-ups –

Except the cheer-


Who all married

And divorced

Well and could

Afford stylish evening


Plastic surgery

And lots and lots

Of makeup and

Jewelry —

South suburban

Kids, white flight

Babies back to

No hair

But not baby

Skin. Deep

Crevasses tears

Wore down and

Eroded to the

Soul. Did they tell

Their stories

around the

The dinner tables

Or did

They just settle

For passing out

Business cards

Still looking

To make

The big sale

While laughing

And staring —



Of baked

Chicken, Mustacholi,

Mounds of Italian


Next to

Bigger mounds

Of mashed potatoes

Were passed

Around along


Rolls, lots and lots

And lots of hard

Crusted rolls?

But not much

Booze –

Many had already

Floated battleships

In Popov and


And jumped

On the wagon.

Others just jumped

Ship, submerged in

The sauce and had

Their high school


On display

Among the dearly


Who got a moment’s

Silence while

Attendees stared

At their last

Spoonsful of Spumoni,

Fifteen minutes

Before the tables

Were shoved back

And the DJ blared

Into the mike,

“Good evening,

Ladies and



Leaving the


a man was


by a classmate

with whom

he reconnected

after about forty-

eight years. They

had shared over

a drink in the bar

away from the

other classmates.

The classmate

embraced the

man, held him

tightly and when

it seemed


to the man to let

go, the classmate

whispered in his

ear, “Don’t let

go yet. Please.”

In that moment,

all the






them faded in-

to the distance.

Two needy

guys held

each other

up like a

piling in

a storm


the pier

in place.

There was a Time-Lapse

There was a time-lapse,

Fifty years, actually.

All that had happened,

All that was experienced,

All the joy and sorrow,

All the trial and tribulation,

All the unnecessary frustration,

All the really, real, actual

Tragedy that so many

Have experienced by that age,

And then, for all that, denied

Or ignored, they sat and

Swallowed as they watched

Cheerleaders get up out of their

Seats, raise their sixty-eight

Year-old derrieres into the

Air along with their noses

And cheer. It was as if they

Had a rod up their butts to the top

Of their quaffed locks past their

Pinched pusses. Their dinner table

Had a “Do Not Dare to Touch”

In the averting, condescending

“You’ll never catch me even

Bothering to look at you” eyes

Of every single one. They only

Had laughing, smirking eyes for

Each other.  Which ones had

Had the obligatory facelift? Perhaps

All for all seemed equally pinched.

After all the years, unfortunately,

Almost tragically, if such banality

Can even come close to tragedy.

Actually, upon reflection, tragedy

Is way too lofty of a consideration

For this. Perhaps just unfortunat-

Ely. Unfortunately, it was still all

About looks, posturing and

Pom-poms. And that was the

Essence of the fiftieth reunion,

Almost like those fifty years

Hadn’t happened, all that

Significant stuff got lost for a little

While, and it was simply sad for

Those who swallowed and watched

And got sucked back into their pimply

Past and unnecessarily felt a bit

Diminished except for where a couple

Of really good, old, lost buddies

Reconnected at the bar over a long

Pour martini, one gin and the other

Vodka and maybe that made the

Whole damn weekend worth-

While, maybe, just maybe, but just


A Man Went to His Reunion

A man went to his  reunion celebrating

                  fifty years since graduating

from high school.  It was his first time

                  back.  Nobody recognized

him, even though he had stayed in shape,

                  in fact, had jogged twenty-five

thousand miles (the equivalent of around

                  the world at the equator) in

forty-two years and still had some hair,

                  albeit, white. The two buddies

he had stayed in touch with along with their

                  spouses knew him. An old

acquaintance said she never would have

                  recognized him. He wanted to ask

if that were good or bad, but fearing the answer,

                 he bit his tongue. He didn’t tell her

how she looked to him. He asked people

                   about  themselves. A few asked him.

The host told a joke about his prostate and

       bemoaned the fact that there

were no class officers at the reunion, even

            though the man was one and no

one at his table stopped the host and called

                   attention to that fact. He would have

if another class officer had been sitting at his table.

                     The cheerleaders hung by themselves


                    even after fifty years?), and wore their

old cheerleader capes. He wondered if they were

                  going to lead a cheer later when the

floor was cleared for dancing to songs like “Little

                  Darlin’” and “That’ll Be the Day.” He

thought to himself, perhaps he could encourage

             them with a cheer of his own, one

his buddies and he used to whisper to each

      other in the stands: Two bits,

four bits, six bits, a buck, come on cheerleaders

           we want a……cheer.  He laughed,

 again to himself.It was nice to see a couple of

    guys he had thought about on

occasion over the years. The food was pretty

   good but the drinks were just

        so, so.

At a Coffee Shop


                     At a Coffee Shop


At a coffee shop, a man and his wife met with

their financial advisor and the advisor, before crunch-

ing the numbers, kept making comments about out-of-

body, post-mortem experiences he had read about

recently in a book by a woman of science, of course

lending more credibility to the testimony, who had

been there, saw and heard Jesus calling to her but

had come back to life to write a book about it.


As the advisor spoke, the man remained in his

seat but his body rose above the coffee table, floated

near the ceiling, saw himself greatly expanded in the

reflections off bald heads like those mirrors at carn-

ivals, eyed many bald spots, black roots and white

roots beneath bushy, festive fall foliage.


It was three-fifteen and the students from a local

college checked their IPads, IPods, IPhones and Mac

Book Pros while the seniors checked each other’s turkey

throats. He thought about the late Nora Ephron’s cute

comments about how at a certain point in her life she

took to wearing turtlenecks full-time.


The man floated out of the shop, winced in the

bright, fall light, inhaled the fresh, crisp air and wondered

at the glorious colors of the maples, poplars, willows

swaying in the wind, sumac but not the dominating oaks.

Some were rich brown but most were dull and reminded

him of death.


The man thought he should get back to the

conversation so he floated in and down to his seat just

in time to hear the advisor say that he thought their

financial house was in order. The advisor smiled, the

wife smiled and the man smiled and was comforted in

knowing that when he died, his wife would be reasonably

well off.



The advisor went back to talking about the beyond

death experiences and the man hovered near the ceiling of

what had been their bedroom and watch his wife and

her third husband make love.  The man thought he

recognized the bald spot.  In his new celestial situation, the man

simply smiled beautifically, genuflected before skyrocketing

through the roof, got up from the table, looked at his

smiling wife and shook the outstretched hand of the

smiling financial advisor.