Honoring the NRA on Memorial Day

It wasn’t the Southwest
but it was the wild west
on the southwest side
of the city. On Memorial
Day we remember those
who made the ultimate
sacrifice on behalf of
the nation. Those who
died on the southwest
side on Memorial Day
died to honor the NRA.
They just should
have walked away.

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broken lines, bad punctuation and lots of talk of sex

she must be
a___________real_____ly
good .poet
her poetry has bro-
ken lines, periods
out of pl.ace,
sometimes significant space
between_________________________words
and sex, lots and
lots of talk .of sex
she’s pretty popular
and get.s good
re views
but makes a living
as a lawyer, which
makes sense be
cause lawyers
ob fu scate? too
cryptically, really
but don”t write about sex
much on the job
or if they do,
nobody understands it
and would have to hire another lawyer to ……..decifer
so lawyers make good poets…
……..seeming .ly and make a lotlotlotlot?
more .mon.ey

Invasive Species

A beach cottage, a hike up and
down the dune to the Big Lake,
with dune grass, red and white
pines, a pond, a water fall and a
silent pump in the pond to keep
the water moving and the gold
fish flipping fins and every day,
including today, Memorial Day
and every other holiday, engines
running, gas fumes rising, alien
grass growing and being cut so
that suburbia can reign here
where we have our own brand
of invasive species — neighbors.

Our Chocolate Lab Must Have Had A Rough Former Life

Our chocolate lab must
have had a rough
life in his former life —

not abused because he
is so gentle, but neglected
for sure — broken foot,

torn ACLs, elbow dysplasia
turned so arthritic two out
of three vets thought he

had cancer. He’s on
heavy-duty drugs for the
pain and yet he tells me

that he thinks he has
died and gone to heaven
just in the way he sits,

stares at me and, period-
ically, ever so slowly
and sweetly lowers his

eyelids. The vet says
it’s love; it isn’t be-
cause of the drug.

Memorial Day Morning: It’s Not the South Side, Because If It Were, At Least One Person Would Be Dead

The preacher, dressed in red, white and blue
against his brown skin and bald pate,
shouts the way of salvation from his
balcony just down the street from

the man’s house. The house next door to his
house has cardboard covered windows
and the patches of grass front and back
haven’t seen a lawn mower in forever.

It’s three a.m. and a round of six shots
is heard on the street in front of the
man’s house. Next day someone said it was
the Preacher who, apparently, was

just out for target practice without any
particular target in sight in light of the
street light. The observer said the
Preacher stood his ground, this time

with a red, white and blue cowboy hat
on, spread his legs, bent his knees and
supported the gun with his other hand.
The man wonders, Who is the observer,

how does he know all this about the
Preacher, why was he on his front porch
at three a.m. anyhow? Maybe he made
it up and he was the shooter out for

target practice without any particular
target in mind under the light post
that did shine. If others saw anything,
they ain’t sayin’.

A Man Who Lived In an Iron Lung

He saw a photo of a man in an iron
lung and got claustrophobic.
He felt his asthmatic lungs gasping
for air like a swimmer going
down for the third time, so he looked
away from the photo,
thought about that man’s literary
accomplishments all from
that tight space and asked himself,
“About what do I have
to complain? My asthma has been
completely under control
for four years and I am going for
an afternoon jog with my
chocolate lab?” He began deep breath-
ing with “Breathe in
God; breathe out gratitude; breathe
in God; breathe out grace;
breathe in God; breathe out awe
for the strength of the man
who lived in the iron lung.” He was
grateful that he had the air
to breathe that prayer in and out.

No Friendship At All

“Tis better to have had
‘friendship’ and lost
than never to have had
‘friendship’ at all” to
paraphrase a phrase —
except when it happens
that the condition of
friendship is no apolog-
ies for misbehavior, at
which point he realized
there had been no friend-
ship at all — just two
guys yucking it up for
fifty years about this,
that and essentially no-
thing. “Why,” he now asks
himself, “did it take me
so very, very long to catch
on?”

Befriending One’s Self, Saying Goodbye to the Dark Side

You say I am coming
from a dark place;
could you be projecting
into that space?
I saw that anger
fueled dark side —
that which you had sought
so desperately to hide;
we saw your anger fueled
dark side;
and she, intimately, knows
that anger fueled
dark side;
it just erupted,
and look what you did,
you ran into a room and hid
until you were called out
and you acted as if nothing
had been found out —
oh, deep denial.
At our advanced age,
friend, can we still learn
the self-freedom we yearn?
It is my hope that we can
but we may never speak again,
and that is my deep, deep grief,
but I stand by my belief,
so here is a tip from
one seeking not to offend:
Yes, we all have a dark side
which we need to disarm
and befriend
and for which we need
to make amends,
so “Know thyself,”
befriend
your demons and mend
and maybe, just maybe, we
will play together again,
if not before, then after
this life’s end.

His Eyes Burned Blood-Red

He stood and I saw
anger I had never seen before —
rage really.

People tell me I have no idea
how strong I come across,
but I had no idea I could
provoke — venomous vitriol.

He stood, eyes burning
blood-red,
and he spewed forth four-
letter invectives,

and for a moment,

I thought I was watching
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
in 3D with the chainsaw
headed my way,

It was over in a flash
as if nothing had happened —
but fifty years of a blood
brother’s blood
gushed
all over
the floor until nothing
was left —

nothing — fifty years
of blood

all over the floor —
all over.