The TV Reality Show Guy

The TV reality show guy
said something like
celebrities are huge
narcissists, wisely
exempting the talk-
show host on whose
program he was inter-
viewed. Then he said
something really in-
teresting. He said
celebrities who can’t
get their attention fix
suffer from “soul death.”
Strange. If that is true,
the president has the
most “alive” soul today,
but it seems that the
“soul death” preceded
the absence of attention
and that would make our
president the star of
a “zombie apocalypse”
in our country right now.
At least the apocalypse
is covered by American
Home Shield, according
to the commercial. I’m
happy to know something
is covering this unnatural

As I Listen To Romantic Jazz

I try to be alert
but I only had one
political science
course in college
and it was taught
by an old, addled
ambassador to
somewhere whose
chief accomplish-
ment was that he
could deliver the
scotch booze to
the generals. I
didn’t do well.
And so now, as I
sit and listen to
romantic jazz, I
try to stay alert
to the threats
to our republic from
the outside in comp-
liance with inside
and there is no
doubt that the
fragility of
our democracy
is in a clear and
present danger and
I don’t know what to
do but cry out,
VOTE to the beat of
the romantic jazz;
freedom depends on
our votes. It’s the
genius of represent-
ative democracy —
the vote!!! or all
is lost……..It
could be Germany
Redux, bebop,
bebop, it
really could,
as we are lulled
to the sweet beat
of romantic jazz
or Wagner’s thump,
thump, thump of
the hooves of
the flight of
the Valkyries
in Germany.

Humanizing Total in Total Depravity — Just a note on the T of the (simplistic but handy) acronym TULIP

Over the years, total depravity was erroneously
interpreted as something being totally bad or full
up to the brim with sin. At least, that’s how I
got it initially. However, total is in reference to
all things meaning a totality is tainted as in
there is no completely pure thought or action. We
live with mixed motives. It is a nice idea in advancing
humility not low self-esteem.

The only place I can see there would be an untainted
act would be an instantaneous action in response to
an emergency, e.g. jumping onto the tracks to save
a person who has fallen from the platform as a train
is arriving or from today’s news from London about
the man who scaled several floors of an apartment
building to save a child dangling from a balcony
or a soldier suddenly throwing him or herself
on a tripped grenade to save fellow soldiers.

TULIP — How Scholastic Calvinism Almost Did-In Calvin or How to Love Life and Abort the Canons of the Synod of Dort

Total Depravity —
     akin to total insanity.
Unconditional Surrender —
     a total wreck or just a fender bender.
Limited Atonement —
     makes for the sad state of alone-ment.
Irresistible Grace —
     a heavenly embrace. I wanted to say "gone without a trace."
Perseverance of the Saints —
     my heart faints. This one gets no complaints.

Where is Youngman When You Need Him?

If Henny were alive today
perhaps this is what he would say,
“You take the president; take
the president, please,” to paraphrase.
And while on that disturbing subject,
the more I think of the culprit,
the more I become misanthropic.
Once outgoing and gregarious,
I view life as more and more nefarious —
seeing the growing dark night
and only a little light —
(A night view of Edward Hopper’s
or a screaming scene of Edvard Munch?)
wary of Coney Island mobsters
and thoroughly corrupt coppers.
I insult Hopper’s paintings
but he captures my sad feelings
about the narcissistic, egotistical dealings
that have left our nation reeling.
And from Henny, a parting one-liner
for the McDonald’s diner,
“If you had to live your life over,
make it overseas,” Please!

I Cry

I hear a sad song and
I cry.
I hear nostalgic music and
I cry.
I hear heartfelt jazz and
I cry,
I hear classical music and
I cry
And wonder why.
I hear elevator music and
I cry
And know it is time
To figure out why
I cry
And then I think
About Donald Trump
And I know why
I cry.

while watching the indy 500

from fifty-seven
to eighty-seven
in a nano second —
a midwest temperature rise
in a couple of days
(or a instant acceleration
at the indy 500)
has nothing to do
with the climate’s fade.
it’s all just god’s will
for a carbon saturated
which actually we
while watching
the indy 500
because those race cars
are actually
cleaner than ours.

Inner Light

Theologians speak of
our true selves evident
at birth with an inner light
to guide us through
the soul’s dark night.
What they don’t mention
are the genes with which
we are stamped at conception
and don’t know until we
experience the body’s deception.
I may have an inner light
but looking in the mirror
has become quite a fright.
I am my grandfather —
bunions, bald and arthritic.
Thank goodness for
that reassuring inner light
or I just might
a grumpy old cynic.

one fell swoop*

one hundred nuclear bombs
black carbon rising
blackness blackout descending
frozen blackness
billions die
ozone gone
cancer eating through the soot
no food
ten years — a flashlight of light
twenty years, maybe some life
a hundred years
a thousand years
a human-made tribulation

*a scenario of what the detonation
of 100 nuclear bombs would do according
to a recent study