Really, It’s the DNA, Stupid

All of his life he thought he was Mexican-American.
All of his life his brother-in-law thought he was

fifty percent Dutch and fifty Swedish. The Dutch
Swede really wanted to be Jewish thinking it would

raise his IQ a few points and thought there might
be a chance on the Dutch side. And then he found

out that the DNA knows the truth and has now told.
He isn’t all that much Dutch and certainly not Jew-

ish, most of his blood originating above the fort-
ieth parallel latitude, but his Mexican-American

brother-in-law isn’t Mexican at all and really is
of Spanish Jewish descent. The mostly Scan-

dinavian/Great Britain/not Jewish guy asked the
now, non-Mexican-American mostly Jewish guy,

“Why couldn’t you be I?” The former Mexican,
mostly Spanish Jew, in all of his newly found wis-

dom perhaps attributable to a few, new points
of IQ he claimed, simply stated, “Not to worry,

brother. We all come out of Africa.”


Who Knows?

She used to tell him that
he really didn’t know her.
Perhaps she was right.
Who really knows
anyone else let alone oneself?
Some say that God
omnisciently knows;
an announcer in a deep bass
voice used to say
that the Shadow knows,
but one thing we do know:
only the garbage collector
really knows.

Unwelcome Thoughts

He read a poem about the death of
a father when the poet was young
and the consequent sale of the
family farm and it gave him an
idea for a poem of his own about
early death and lost love but
unwelcome thoughts kept invading
like arrows piercing his brain,
like the arrows he saw in a store
the day before in Cave Creek, beaut-
iful arrows, handmade by Indians
in central Mexico. Unwelcome thoughts
often appear as something beautiful,
desirable, something to hold onto,
stroke, nurture, like running an
index finger along the arrow’s
feathers; that’s how they get
in but then the sharp tip tears
deep into the spirit leaving no-
thing but a bloody psyche, and so,
he just quit the poem.

Dancing With the Issues

He read two poems by an angry
poet, a young woman with a real
beef apparently about several
things given the content of the

two poems. Someone might glibly
and dismissively toss off that
“She has issues,” but that same
thing has been said of him —

“He has issues,” and that would
be true — he does as does every-
one, but that response doesn’t
help; he found himself recoiling

at what he read, not because it
was a mirror into his “issues,”
although it might be (There’s
always that possibility.) but

because the poet seemed “so”
angry, so over the top angry.
It scared him for her. One
line stood out: “I hate myself.”

He didn’t want her to hate her-
self. He just sat there for
awhile wondering what kind of
“issues” were dancing around

in her family of origin and he
wasn’t real sure he wanted to
go to that dance now that he
is retired from years and years

and years of dancing the jitter-
bug, the rumba, the waltz, the
line dance, the square dance,
the wah-watusi, the limbo, the

hokey-pokey, the twist, the bird
and so many other family of origin
“dances” that he danced over the

The Vicar’s Wife’s Persuasive Ways

Back in the 60’s, the young
Episcopalian vicar in the
local ministerial association
decided it was time to
identify with the wretched
of the earth, take Jesus
seriously, throw off
bourgeois values and
identify with the
proletariat, which actually
sounded more Marxist
than Christian but the
priest’s senior thesis had
been on the relationship
between Marxism and
Christianity for which he
received an A, so, of
course, he considered
himself an expert on the
subject. At the following
month’s meeting, he
arrived unshaven,
unwashed and with a ring
around his clerical collar
arguing that the aluminum
in deodorant causes cancer
and that women needn’t
shave their armpits or
legs, such expectations
being indication of male
misogynistic rule. We all
sat a little farther
away from him than we
previously had. The next
month he showed up shaven,
washed and with a clean
clerical collar. Turns out
his wife had banished him
from the bedroom. We all
sighed in relief and said
a silent prayer of thanks
for the young vicar’s
wife’s persuasive if
bourgeois ways.

He Read the Inimitable Maya Angelou

He read the inimitable Maya
and competitive gender thoughts
through his head just flew.
Her Phenomenal Woman had
him in a groove,
so he started thinking about
Phenomenal Man as if he
had something masculine
to prove,
but Phenomenal Man kept
coming out Neanderthal
with way too much hair
in his ears and out his
nose and running up and
down his back
and way too little
on his head,
so he gave up thinking
about men altogether
because it’s so scary
while thinking
about Phenomenal
is simply
a whole lot better
and a lot less hairy.

The Heat of the Desert

It’s the middle of March and hotter
than hell here in the Valley; he

knows because he’s been to hell
a time or two and it’s enough to

endure such things in the head but
it’s as if his toe nails are begin-

ning to curl from the heat and all
he can think about is global warm-

ing, the end of human life, which,
on occasion, does not seem like

such a terrible thing, especially
now in campaign season, but if he

is going to die, he doesn’t want
to do it wandering in the desert

until every drop of water in his
body has fled for the snow capp-

ed peaks of Flagstaff and he turns
into six-month-old, Navajo fry

bread, which is not exactly the
same thing as manna from heaven.

He would rather his wife tie him
into his touring kayak and launch

him onto the cool, blue waters of
Lake Michigan, a thing to which,

occasionally, she has consented

Haiku — Post # 1500

One thousand five hun-
dred posts about all kinds of
things on this blog site.

Now, a non-haiku, non-tanka,
un-poetic exclamation: hurray!!!
One thousand five hundredth
posted this day.
Oh, shoot, I can’t stop
the meter and rhyme;
I’m just full of
gratitude ever so
Thank you for caring
enough to visit my
blog site once in
awhile and you’re
welcome any ol’

Well, I Woke Up This Mornin’

Well, I woke up this mornin’
with the We Five on my
mind, actually mostly the
incredibly sexy, lead singer
who stood out on the stage
at the Civic Center in Holland,
Michigan in 1966 when I was
a senior in college and sat
in the front row and saw the
really cool, brown, leather,
buckle boots on the drummer
and I decided to buy myself
a pair in the hope that I
could attract the unbelievably
sexy singer who belted out,
“You were on my mind,” and I
wanted to be the only guy
on her mind but knew that
would never happen without
the really cool, brown,
leather, buckle boots and
with them we could walk
away all our blues, but
by the time I would have
bought them, she already
would have caught a plane
back to San Francisco.