As Some Books Electrify

As some books

electrify to the marrow

of the bones,

others, recommended

strongly by timid

souls hiding for

months if not years

in their hideaway

habitats while


ego release and

spiritual awakening

and inner strength,

leave the flesh flaccid

— every last paragraph

of every chapter (a

suggestion for scanning

by a former English

prof.) from first to

last was just all the




with all the banal

self-help sentiments and

jargon wrapped in

superficial Judeo/Christ-

ian, Hindu, Buddhist

and, of course, humanist


thrown in to appeal

to those slipping

away from forty-three

years of traditional

interpretation of the

doctrines to

enlightened table-talk

with the supposedly

well-educated, academ-

ically credentialed

professionals hiding

in their own hideaway

habitats out of which

they venture on

occasion, particularly

if there is an

audience or, perhaps

even more fashionably, a

soiree of retirees.

Sometimes You Read a Book

Sometimes you read

a book that leaves

you — face flushing,

heart pounding,

pulse surging,

throat tightening,

eyes tearing,

scared as a

Jack Rabbit hopping

into the path

of a coiled

Western Rattler

lurking under the

dead branch of

a Cholla just waiting

to strike and the last

few pages struck

hard and fast and

the venom rushes

through literary veins

causing the paralysis

of addiction, the rare

antidote known as

the highly touted




I Read a Post Recently

I read a post recently where it was written:

“Wendell Berry called the hidden wound—

that raw, throbbing one that never grows

skin thick enough to keep it from puncturing

and bleeding at the slightest touch.” Barack

Obama has exposed the previously hidden,

denied, buried after hangings became unpopular

reality – the wound that no longer is hidden if you

have eyes to see and ears to hear what is under all

the obstructionist behavior.  This isn’t political; this

isn’t ideological; this is carotid artery, skin popping,

blood spurting hemorrhaging and sometimes it is

really good to sit back and look at the carnage,

wipe the blood of the saints from our brows,

breathe deeply and say a prayer for the America

that thinks by vote of the Supreme Court we have

arrived at the post-racial, enlightened, bias-less

utopia, Nirvana, heaven-on-earth kingdom of the

God who is still White.


In Any Language

He worked with Cesar Chavez. He

walked with Martin Luther King, Jr. He

sits with Jesus and listens and moves

naturally to praxis.


He says he owes his work on behalf of the

poor to his devout and pious mother

who taught him well when he

was a little boy.


Now he is sixty-six and has no pension

and has refused the grand gift of one.

He asked, “How can I stand with the

poor, oppressed


workers if I have that which they don’t?”

He had to stand his ground with them

and not capitulate to what he called the

diabolical system that keeps


so many impoverished. He was asked,

“Aren’t you concerned for yourself?”

He smiled innocently, kindly and quoted

book, chapter and verse


about being fed and clothed and

about trusting. He spoke in English

about what he learned in Spanish.

Jesus spoke in Aramaic


and the word was written in koine

Greek and transliterated as en arche

en ho logos; kai ho logos en pros

ton theon; kai theos


en ho logos: “In the beginning was the

Word and the Word was with God

and the Word was God,” and that

word in any language is love.  







Economics Over People

thousands of former city

workers like retired worker

bees or colonies of ants,

not the unemployed victims

of  stereotypical prejudice

characterized as welfare slugs

and even worse on the economy,

will get a few pennies on the

dollar in their pensions because

da gov. and da emergency man-

ager decided the time was short

and progress had to be made

and enough was enough. In

light of the news that so many

would lose so much, they both

sounded empathic, no emphatic

when they said something like,

“that’s too bad, but the city will have

a great opportunity now economic-

ally to move forward.”  what

about moving forward morally

and ethically toward all those

who worked all those years?

what is enough is to pay those

workers 100 cents on every dollar.

it was the agreement, guaranteed

or not. if da gov thinks that starting

anew on the backs of those bees and

ants who paid their due, maybe da

gov should consider forking over

a part of his personal accumulated

wealth and co-opting the west

michigan billionaires to pony up

so the hapless retirees can continue

to contribute to the economy and the

city can still rise like a michigan

phoenix from the ashes of complex

factors such as the pollutants of

bias, prejudice, incompetence,

greed, stupidity, hubris and a

dozen other factors and a whole

lot of sinful social behavior

which have nothing to do with

people who have worked all

those years and should be the

darlings of the gop’s call

to fiscal responsibility but

apparently are not. did I

just hear the nerdy guy say,

“let dem eat cake”?


Why Do So Many Women Advocate

Why do so many women advocate

for choice?

Why do so many men advocate

for no-choice?

Are the men more moral

or are the men

afraid of women who advocate

for choice and

who would have control of their


Cross your legs, boys, protect

the jewels

that will populate the world

with your children –

you up-to-today’s-date macho,

Neanderthal man

who doesn’t give a rip about

women or their

plight or their maternal instinct

to care for what

they want or don’t want.

Vote it into law

in a party that doesn’t give

a rip about

women’s reproductive rights

because, according

to the tee-shirts, Old Guys


the forty-fourth president

the forty-fourth president of the

united states of america, first

half black, half white man to

occupy the office, if he doesn’t

do anything else for the country

in his eight years in office, will

have exposed the persistent

underbelly of hateful, disgusting

racism and bigotry dirty like the

belly of an opossum that tries to

find legitimacy through outrageous,

contemptible behavior by duly elected

officials not to mention the jowly southern

opossum, who migrated from some-

where farther south; the president

responding to criticism that he doesn’t

reach across the aisle often enough

asked who would  want to socialize

with what might be considered a bottom

feeding, tree-limb hanging by his big,

fat tail and what looks like a western

roof rat that sucks the life out of nutritious

oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit

and other nutritious things gentle-


The Quarterback

Lanky, innocent, naïve, well-intentioned, really likable

Jock with a voice and a heart and some neat dance moves

For a really tall kid.  No demons beyond the normal high school

Schizophrenia of being a macho quarterback and a crooner

Of musicals with kids who couldn’t toss a rubber football

From right to exit stage left.   A man In his thirties dropped

Dead for real in a Vancouver hotel room, but we couldn’t

Believe that the boyfriend of the cute, really short, super-

Talented brunette with the really big voice died.  We didn’t

Know the guy in the hotel room in Canada, but our hearts

Broke for the quarterback who was never really real.

I Went to Visit Dr. Redy

I went to visit Dr. Redy

today because my annual

visit was just ready.

I entered the office late

but they weren’t ready

for me to see Dr. Redy.

So I sat and watched a

waiting room that was

completely empty.

The staff worked away

on computers to handle

the patients when ready,

but no one seemed this day

to be ready, so I sat and

tried to stay steady,

to keep my blood pressure

low and my breathing really

calm and very steady,

to be really, really ready

to be examined thoroughly

by Dr. Redy.

Finally a nurse in full

pregnant bloom asked

if I were ready.

I said no I was the patient

and not to be confused

with the esteemed Dr. Redy.

Not amused, she stood her ground

and said, “Stand down and remain

very steady.”

I asked if she were Redy and she said

she was but she didn’t look

much like Dr. Redy,

except she looked ready to drop

the baby but hopefully

not on its heady.

She said for that she had two

more months but that she

was really ready.

Finally, the Dr. named Redy

really was ready. I asked him

if he were really ready

or if I should wait for someone

named Fast Eddie Redy.  He said

his name was Freddie not Eddie.

Then steady Freddie Redy moved through

the exam with form ready

and steady.

I told him I had been hoping

for Fast Eddie but was glad

to have now-ready steady

Freddie Redy.

I asked him if he had children

and he looked at me and

said, “Nadayettee.”

I said, “Well, Doc, you

ain’t get’n younger so you

better getta ready.

He said he had a girl

who was Nadayettee.

“Not a yettee what?” I asked

Dr. Freddie Redy.



“Not a yettee ready for what?”

“Nadayettee Redy is who she is.”

“What isn’t she ready for?”

“Well, she’s only thirteen,

my Nadayettee Redy.”

Who’s on first and What’s

on second? I sure wasn’t steady.

I thought of Abbott and Costello,

and Laurel and Hardy.

Oh, I was feeling really

not ready for

steady Dr. Freddie Redy.

He told me I passed

the physical and to stop

being so very petty

and to turn on my heels and

quick step to the desk

of the secretary,

who, to take my money

for the exam, was

surely ready.

I told him I once dated

a really cute girl

named Shirley Redy

and that she surely was

ready unlike his little


He  just collapsed in

the chair to stay steady.

I gave him a wave and said,

“See you next year, Steady


and when I arrive, I hope

you really will be really fast

and ready, steady Dr. Freddie


What’s a Life Worth These Days?

The international authority stated that it

would cost a mere ninety cents per blue-

jean to keep a Bangladesh garment factory

safe. Buyers, those in the layers of profits,

negotiate for just that – 87,85,80,75?  How

low will the shop owner go and still make

a profit?  Can you blame them?  Hey, a per-

son, and corporations are now persons, has

to make a living. From the discount stores

with the discount jeans for twenty-two

bucks to the elite names for beaucoup

bucks all starting at 90 cents for safety.

Only all those female factory workers don’t

make a profit. They just don’t want to burn

to a crisp. Five-hundred did.  Let’s see.  At

just one cent less than safe, 89, that is, per

five hundred garment workers, that’s one

cent divided by 500 human beings equating

to .00002 dollars per burned to a crisp

Bangladeshi female garment worker.

Hey, a guy and a corporation have to

make a profit.