Part-Way Through

Part-way through a New Year’s Eve

New York Philharmonic concert

on PBS featuring Yo-Yo-Ma play-

ing a piece by a new composer Yo-

Yo is sponsoring, the T.V. viewer

audaciously, facetiously asked if

they could switch stations to the

Duck Dynasty Marathon on A and

E, which he knew was already over.

In that moment his wife wished she

had Yo-Yo’s gut bow in hand to slap

her husband upside the head. Instead,

she just said, “Better luck next year,

Bubba,” and continued watching mes-

merized by Yo-Yo’s playing, smile

and sweat and the young accordion

player next to him as they got it on

with the symphony playing discordant

chords and wild and crazy harmonics

on a New Year’s Eve with the Phil-

harmonic in the Big Apple before

the apple fell in Times Square

marking the new year.

Ecological Racism and Karma

Why do we always see

minorities suffering when we

view environmental

disasters on our

T.V.’s from our living

rooms?  Because the

minorities have always

been relegated to those

vulnerable and unwanted

areas like Indians

relegated to barren


Will it always be

that way or, perhaps,

through the egalitarianism

of global warming, the blacks

and browns and maybe even

the reds at the Four Corners

and Wounded Knee know

something about karma

and the future of places

like Naples, Florida when

you see them


When Was the Last Time

When was the last time,

you hugged your brother,

you American Capitalistic,

blue-collar or merchant class,

maybe middle-class

Christian you, your brother —

you know the one who

stands in line to get a job,

any job for that matter, or

his sister, your sister,

who stands in line next to

your brother in that same rain

for hours – the two of them

who when they come out

of the rain when their number

is up, and that number is called

with a certain disdain

have to face some faceless,

officious, condescending

bureaucrat who hopes eternally,

because he or she sits

in a dry place in a gray,

aluminum, glass, dry-walled,

soulless room and hasn’t

stood outside in the

cold, November rain that he or

she might, by the grace of the

good, white people’s God,

spend some federally

mandated Christmas break-time

with the senators, representatives,

lobbyists and the billionaires

behind them all at a $500 a

plate holiday fund-raiser

for people who despise people

like your brother, your sister,

the officious bureaucrat

and you, too, old man?


“Perhaps,” She Said.

“Perhaps,” she said, “you find it difficult

living in a morally bankrupt and hate

filled nation,” the author had written

and the reader lowered the book down

to his lap and mumbled, “That’s right,”

feeling depressed which even the early

winter Arizona sun couldn’t alleviate,

so he decided to focus on using words

he found interesting and had circled from

the novel  starting with chapter eleven

and use them in their order of appearance

in a sentence: So sangfroid, he persevered

in the face of the persiflage of human

nature which couldn’t stop him from

annealing those frivolous, youthful

traits and grow up as he sat under the

mansard roof inhaling the pungent

odors of the abattoir while the

patissiers stirred the pot for pastries

in the room next to him just before

he disported himself like a chicken

under an early winter Arizona sky

and then he lifted the book from

his lap and continued with chapter


Carpentry and Gardening

My wife’s mixed media sculptures are a lot like carpentry.

Once the fabric is cut and the wood is sawed and the clay

is molded and the rest is glued it is pretty well history.

My poetry is much like gardening — moving words, phrases,

line lengths, endings, beginnings, working the soil

of the poem’s bloom.

The pressure is on; she has to get it just right

and I just have to till the soil

sometimes at midnight

under a full moon.

He Didn’t Know

He didn’t know if his anecdotal experience would be

statistically verifiable, but, for example, he and his


wife and recently adopted Chocolate Lab spend four

winter months in Phoenix, Arizona, so the local rest-


aurant review T.V. show the two humans love, has

eight months of programming the couple doesn’t


see (and sure, granted the filming doesn’t last all

year but surely it’s more than four months), but there


it was upon their return – a re-run restaurant review

they not only had seen but, because of said review,


it was a restaurant they had visited the previous

spring before leaving for parts northeast – a visit


which only earned mixed reviews from the two.

Same for cable and network shows they hardly ever


watch. If they say, “Gee, we never watch this, but

there is nothing else on, so let’s do it,” and there you


go and wouldn’t you know? It’s the one show they

have seen. And so they ask an existential question,


“Has this, statistically unverifiable experience, happen-

ed to you?”  Sure, they thought so and the dog, to his


credit, slept through the frustration and loud voices

shouting at the T.V.

The Poet and Photographer

The poet and photographer are

two-in-one at this man’s site.

Apparently the branch broke and

fell from quite a significant height.

The poet with the camera ever present

clicked from a perspective just right

and promptly announced that for cocktails 

it’s just the right time of night,

or afternoon, or morning 

or whenever the ice is just right,

as it always is in the freezer

with the freezer door shut tight.


For the poet/photographer’s “Event,”


The History of Humanity

The history of humanity is war, pestilence, rape,

mayhem and horribly painful death at the end

of a rusty sword, and so while he genuinely be-

moans his father’s premature death when he,

the son, was just a teen and his wife’s premature

death when he, the husband, was in his late forties,

the man assumes that if things had been otherwise

(like his dad had taken better care of himself and

hadn’t had a heart attack and then could

continue to  work and didn’t get depressed

and then didn’t take his own life and his wife had-

n’t had a bad car accident nine months before

she died which sent the veins in her head scrambl-

ing just waiting to explode), they would have had

the opportunity to live reasonably long lives free of

war, pestilence, rape, mayhem and a horribly pain-

ful death at the end of a rusty sword. And so, the

man feels the same way about his life. He tries to

stay in shape, eats well, and jogs four days a week

to live as long as he can with the full expectation

that is the way it is without thought of war, pestilence,

rape, mayhem and a horribly painful death at the

end of a rusty sword, and so he gives thanks

while realizing that much of life at the end of

December 2013 and the beginning of January

2014 is still about war, pestilence, rape, may-

hem and a very painful death at the end of a

rusty sword, and to that ever-present reality,

he says, “Lord, have mercy.”