Are We So Afraid?*

Are we so afraid of emptiness
that we pour our worries
in the dry well of our
hearts hoping that will
fill the void?

Will we disappear if our
electronic gadgets go
from red light to black,
from three little rings
to silence?

If we stand at the window
on a cloudless night,
will the moon come to
kiss us or will it, too,
disappear for three days

leaving us abandoned?

*Appreciation to “On Being,” Feb. 28, 2015

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Contrary to Time-Honored Religious Practice

Contrary to time-honored religious
practice, he looks west in the morning

to catch the early light on the east
side of mountains and hills west of

him in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.
By mid-day, the rocks will look gray,

but in the morning light, they shine
silvery bright. In the evening before

sunset he looks east to see the golden
tones and glassy flashes on the west

side of the mountains. It is his own
religious practice, but his personal

rebellion isn’t very costly. He turns a
little, this way and that, mostly.

Around Five-thirty P.M. Arizona Time

Around five-thirty p.m. Arizona
time in February as the sun begins

its descent and most everyone
else begins thinking about watching

the sun descend behind the White
Tank Mountains, the man, from his

lounge chair with his feet up on the
ottoman, looks out the sliding glass

doors to the east and the hill by his
condo, which from his vantage might

just as well be as high as Piestewa
Peak or Camelback Mountain. He

warms to golden tones which earlier
were just gray, unexceptional rock

and the glimmering flashes of light
off glassy quartz and wonders if coy-

otes, bobcats, javalinas and jack-
rabbits take time from their hunting

and hiding to pause and take it all
in or if that is just a human privilege.

Two Journalists Wrote Exposés

Two investigative journalists wrote exposés
of another journalist and exposed him for what
he is, a naked, lying, bald-faced bully, the
most popular bully that ever could be, adored
by the ever shrinking crowd of ever more con-
centrated fear, like a reduction of broth be-
comes thicker and thicker and more and more
dense, looking for a bully to bully some more.
The investigative journalists revealed the
pseudo-journalist for what he is and so the
bully, pseudo-journalist hinted at a hit on
the journalists, saying it was only a metaphor.
The scary thing is that some in the shrink-
ing, concentrated crowd of aficionados, who
wouldn’t know themselves as that or even
what that is, might not know a metaphor from
a pinafore, whatever they might think that is
or is not if they have ever thought of it at
all, and just think metaphor is code for making
a score, which is also a metaphor, thus confirm-
ing the reality that the bully, pseudo-journalist
is just that and no more. The journalists and
their families must hope that that simple revel-
ation stops there for sure and forevermore.

Me Thinketh Something Stinketh in Denmark, Maybe, But Here For Sure

It’s Black History Month here in America
and the half-black/half white All-American
president has to endure obscenities uttered
knowingly, ignorantly and everything in-
between from the mouths of those you
would think would know better, but
because these elected leaders say what
they do, they reveal their ignominious
hearts while uttering unimaginable
gutter things with their potty mouths.
And we are supposed to say, “Well, you
know, it was one hundred and fifty
thousand or two million years of American
slavery and only a minute and a half since
the Emancipation Proclamation, so we have
to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Wow, that’s nice advice for the blacks
coming, as it does, from whites. We still
are fighting the Civil War. How do we know?
For one thing and just for starters, there
are more blacks enslaved in prisons than
there were actual slaves before the Civil
War, not to mention the percentage of black
men killed by police in comparison to white
men, and a lot of other unbelievable stuff,
so I guess the war goes on. And another
reason is that February is not only Black
History Month, it is Abraham’s birthday
month and kids all across America wished
Abe a “Happy Birthday” along with George
Washington, but for sure the Revolutionary
War is over. Even England says so, but
if you put those two things together —
blacks and Lincoln, the logical conclus-
ion is that the Civil War still rages. See?
Lincoln needs to step aside so we can
move along here and make some real
progress in race relations. I mean things
undoubtedly, certainly, in fact, will be
a lot better say by the spring of 2015.
That should give us enough time. Surely,
there won’t be any racism by then. There
are those who say there isn’t any now,
but the Civil War rages on. Me thinketh
something stinketh and that they doth
protest too much, those potty mouth-ed
whites with ignominious hearts.

Is a Car a He or She?

Have you guys ever thought of a car
as being a male?
If you said yes, do not drive away,
do not pass Go;
go directly to jail.
Probably, you were thinking Ram
Tough, but tough luck.
That’s all about a truck.
A rental car company commercial
put the question to rest
by showing misogyny
at it’s “This car is my baby;
she’s really something” best.
The macho, arrogant renter
wonders aloud between
two cute girls with auto frills
and come hither grills.
He drives off in
one girl; the other rejected
and missing out on
the thrills
of being ridden
by the arrogant guy
with a wink and lust in his eye.
Have you ever called a car a “she”?
Hey, you guys, don’t tell a lie.
You can plead the fifth;
It’s okay with me.
I pled the fifth so my wife
wouldn’t take away the car key.

LOST AND NOT FOUND by Steve Haarman

I just read a poem in
one of my poetry books
while I was rearranging
my bookcase and eliminating
some of the excess.
I believe it had the title, “Picasso”,
and that is what caught my eye.
I read the poem and then put the book down.
When looking for it later it could not be found,
a cause of real frustration.
In the poetic story
Picasso comes over for dinner and
smacks his lips as they eat
roast beef, potatoes with gravy,
a fresh green salad and
some fine medium bodied red wine.
After dinner they sit on
the back porch and talk.
Then Picasso walks out to
the shed saying,
“I will make you some art”.
He finds a broken bike frame,
some stove-pipe, wire, old tools,
a few feathers and some paint.
Pablo fashions an artistic piece,
embellished, as only he could, with
the green feathers and paint.
He gives it to the hosts, gifting them
with a “Here you are.”
While mom and dad are in
their praise and thank you mode,
the teenage son walks by and
looking at the art object says,
“What in the hell is that?”
giving new meaning to
the phrase that one man’s junk is
another man’s art or something like that.
Day and night, night and day,
you are the one.
That is you Pablo, and sadly
I cannot find you.

Stanislaus Kuperski the Firski
February 22, 2015 ^

The Singer/Songwriter Wrote

The singer/songwriter wrote,
“You’re the last person I’ll
love/You’re the last person
I will recall/And best of all/
I’m not gonna miss you.”
I would have added, “at all,”
for rhythm and rhyme, but I’m
not the one with Alzheimer’s.
His wife tears as she thinks
about that song, which might
win the Oscar for the man who
now couldn’t care less. Right
now, I’m thinking about him
saying, “I’m gonna be O.K.
You’re the one who’s gonna
have a hard time.” I want to
say, “It’s not sublime,” for
rhythm and rhyme but I’m
not the one with Alzheimer’s.
He’s right. Twenty-two
years of having a hard time —
he’s right. While he knows
less and less, we suffer on
and on — damn loving
memory. But then, thank
God, in present time
for the past, for loving
moments, now and then
(and I get to add) “while they
last,” for rhythm and
rhyme.

I Think About One On One

I think about one on one, not meaning
pick-up basketball but one dog after a
coyote, one javalina sow after a pit

bull, one toy poodle after a horse, one
gang after another gang, one culture after
another culture, one race after another

race, one nation after another nation,
one world after another world, one cosmos
after another cosmos, one universe after

another universe, one fox in the hen-house,
one wolf in the pasture, one rattlesnake
in the grass, one fly on the wall privy to

the shouting of one man after one woman,
one woman after one man, one kid cowering
in a corner hugging one teddy bear.