Monday, March 12, 2018


It is mid morning
and some salesmonkey in Mississippi
is ringing my number
ignoring the grave warnings 
in my voice greeting

someone on the telly
implores me repeatedly
to ask my doctor about
and the shopping aisles
are lined with friendly reminders
to get my flu shot

they're trying to kill me at every turn

so I'm off to do my power walk
and as the plague spreads across Sweden
I believe only in garlic
and apple cider vinegar
and beets
and in the end
like James Coburn
I believe only in dynamite

and you're still hot and heavy
for a man from your past who was
arrogant and insensitive to your feelings
a quasi musician with no real ambition
(I've read the private thoughts of so many 
so please don't feel singled out)
and I remember the night she said:
how DARE you invade my mind like that!


my ancestors were Vikings

we live in constant dread

like quail scurrying across open spaces 

time runs down

till time runs out
and in the end
we're all just looking for something
that's more enduring than we are 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Stop looking for the
pretty word
and start looking for the
relevant one
there are so many pretty words
blocking the sun
and the cold light of day
I'm 'bout to choke on the perfume

get over the sweet sickness
of wanting to make pretty words
and come to your senses
there are five of them
(six if you ask Bruce Willis)
and you can use them all
do ya hear me?
do ya see what I'm sayin?
are ya sniffin' out my meaning?
you can almost taste it now, right?

(has this touched you in any way?)

cuz nobody writes like you
when you sayin' things that have a meaning
and not just a sound
nobody else can do it
egg-zachly like you
and that's the beauty of it, pardner
right there

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


The rain swept through here this morning
cleaning everything but the film 
clouding your eyes

she was all smoke and mirrors

from the beginning
and on some level you knew that
but sometimes you have to do
the wrong thing
just to know you're still alive

so once again you've gone far afield

just to learn your lesson
traipsing through a meadow
dotted with toadstools
beside that Houston police station

Don Knotts' twin brother gloms onto you

at the hotel in New Orleans
breaking into an old barbershop song
and muttering inappropriate comments about
the young girl behind the front desk
as you stand there
trying to check out of your life
he was a tennis champion long ago
before the personality disorder set in

and you feel you need to wake up

from something
but you don't know what it is
and you know that nothing will ever be
the same again
but it will be the same again
after it's been different
for a long enough time

hey just try to find one

who isn't a little wacko
in some way
as crazy serves as the new norm
all fueled by drugs and booze and war
tumult and upheaval
the daily pressures of survival
as the TV screams
be afraid
be very afraid
and high school kids
serve as daily target practice
for the irreversibly deranged

our one slim hope to turn it around 

being to make "Jackie Blue" 
the new national anthem
sung at the start of every ballgame
the fans mouthing the words
with their hands over their hearts
so deadpan serious

and you 

console yourself 
with the epiphany that you see things
too clearly
with a grasp on the nuts 
of the problem
not commonly held
but once again you've squeezed them 
too tightly
as slippery sluts
slide through your fingers 
and you vow that next time
by freaking god
you will raise your standards
and use a little less olive oil 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Saturday night
and everybody gotta be somewhere
or thinks that they do

I'm okay bein' nowhere

but if I was gonna be somewhere

I'd be rollin' down that Jimmy Reed Highway
take out some insurance
an' let 'er rip

the spirit moves

when you've nothing to lose
barreling full throttle ahead
ignoring all the warning signs
til you crash and burn
that's a tough way to go out
but a helluva ride

when the last person who remembers you dies

so do you
some romantic bullshit maybe
as Brando would say
I'm committing slow suicide
but it's better than the alternative

and the world is screaming

we can't be lost 

And Hitler is still waiting

outside the gates of Hell
twiddling his thumbs
they've tightened up their immigration policy
as in some other places

I've played host to The Devil incarnate
masquerading in female form
his favorite disguise
according to Elvis
and my own observation

but love was easy when it was

like a jackhammer penetrating your indifference
like a lumberjack chipping away at your resistance
like a finger on your trigger
like a ditch digging its digger
like Humpty Dumpty humping all the king's horses
like the Queen Mum humping all the king's men
like a congressman with a coke bottle up his ass
like it's so damn funny I forgot to laugh

ah, but those good times

they don't last
and you're just a momentary blip
on the radar screen of existence
headed for that crash landing

no survivors

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Always hated fukken Valentine's Day
cuz you had to git all dressed up 
and show up wit a box of chocolates
under youse arm and 
take her out to dinner
and da whole bit
when what you really wanted to do 
was stay home and watch da basketball game 
in your skivvies
and to make matters worse
a couple weeks later
she ain't even wit you no mo!!!
what kinda deal is dat?

think I got out just in time man
what wit dis war between da sexes
dat's raging today
I ain't gonna study war no more
so why would I need 
some old battle-axe around???

now I be watchin' da game
and poppin' dem yummy chocolates
into my own face
finally catchin' on
finally wakin' up
to da realization 
at long long last
just how sweet life can be... 

when I'm in love wit me

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


He was a big deal
in his chosen field
passed away suddenly
is all the obit would reveal

below was a place for comments

and condolences 
you could leave online
most from peeps I didn't recognize
they knew him professionally
all business ya know
I knew him pre-professionally
I knew him from the front steps
of the schoolhouse 
a bunch of us 8 year-olds
gathered round 
listening to him chant:
am I I silly...
will I eat a pic-a-dilly
he was on a roll
improvising his own nonsensical rhymes
that still make me grin today

in our little movie theater
kids shouting witticisms at the screen
his voice leading the charge
we were forerunners of the Rocky Horror 
audience participation phenomenon 
(no matter that it was 
Singin' In The Rain playing)

so amongst all the somber comments
and long-winded condolences
I wrote simply: 
John will always be remembered,
to those of us who knew him from childhood, 
as the funniest kid in our class

not so good a thing
of course
to remember the dearly departed
from that far back
it means you're close on the heels
most likely

I still don't know
what this life is for
but maybe the best we can do is to
fire off a few clever lines
then get off the stage
(always leave 'em wantin' more)
to make room 
for that next joker in line 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


In honor of the Blood Moon, I'm sharing a freebie with you from my book: Last Tango In Timbuktu.

Shelter along the cove
palm fronds fretting in the wind
sun beats down
eyes flutter behind darkened lenses
no secrets revealed

Dancing in the courtyard
summer smoke and gin blossoms
arms akimbo for kabuki
no tangos
or wild gang-bangos
for the faint of heart

Along the beach lovers entwine
like snakes that strangle their prey
love me a little
love me a little more
I'm not a lollipop
I'm an all day sucker

We take no prisoners
nor photographs of these encounters
for pride is like a ride
on a lizard's eyelid
the shutter clicks
when you forget to smile

Beyond the fire coyote waits
eyes burning like binary stars
in the morning he will escape
with a piece of your soul

Fair wind and a calypso beat
requiem for the summer's heat
magic spells and voodoo dolls
and dead men smell no tails

Crumpled napkins with lipstick traces
pedal to the metal
heading for open spaces

The parade never waits

Waves pounding the shore
echo the emptiness
phone abandoned in its cradle
like a waif on your doorstep

Staring into your breakfast bowl of Wheat Chex
you are reminded that you are back to square one
standing pat while the river of dreams drifts along in your eyes

Mata Hari
Harry Caray
Howdy Doody

Peewee Herman
Ethel Merman
Punch and Judy

It takes a village
to conduct a really good orgy

Will you stand vigil here
or will you run with the pack
into the black heart of the night?

Already you see the men are restless
and the horses nervous with laughter

The time is ripe
and you are no civilian
in this war

Assemble your brigade
we strike at dawn

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


old couples
meandering through the park
make me smile
though I'll never be fifty percent
of that kinda awesome twosome

peeps with pooches
the more the better
make me smile
'specially when they choose me
to spontaneously lick
(the pooches not the peeps)
when I happen along
though all the lickers
I've known up close and personal
have slurped their last of me

 speakin of which...

young couples 
with strollers
movin along the path
always conversing
about somethin
cuz they've got a lot goin on
in their world
make me smile
though no one's ever called me "daddy"
'cept a couple of floozies
back in the day
along the way
along the path 
I choose to walk alone 
but in my solitude
there's still some gratitude
still some reasons
every day
to smile

cuz it finally hit me ya know
that when I pop outta dat bed
each mornin
and still be hangin
still upright
and not uptight
that it's only by The Grace
it's only by The Grace
it's only by The Grace
say it again
it's only by The Grace
so come what may
I'll always find a reason
don't even need 
a freakin reason
to smile 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


The story has been told before...
our intrepid host stops the film
described as a dream of dark 
and troubled things
for lively discussion with experts.

Essential questions we ask about life

while confronting truths
that didn't fit in with our holiday schedules.

When all hell breaks loose

as the Reptilians in the balcony
begin to shout: Bring on the crazy cat clips!

A hush falls over the assemblage

as the Lizard King's voice 
reverberates through the hall: 

Life, as you know it, is a dirty fairy tale...bittersweet at best...when our time comes, we'll drive electric cars, support compassionate causes, abolish pay toilets, and live in elaborate 
communal herpetariums! 

You grieve for irretrievable things

your whole lives long
then wax philosophical
in a joint like this 
when that's really the long 
and the short of it

Then slowly, one by one,

as the realization sinks in,
the peeps begin to rise
and file out of the theater
in a sad and dejected looking way
as a series of crazy cat videos
seemingly endless
careen across the screen
for those still insisting upon
their full money's worth.