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Jul 2019 · 567
Fu a Pietrelcina che i miei occhi si trasformarono in ragni e tessevano una rete per catturare la gentilezza sulle ali.

It was at Pietrelcina that my eyes turned into spiders and wove a web to catch kindness on the wing.
Mar 2019 · 652
"The Nam Obbligato"
“Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room.   Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America—not on the battlefields of Vietnam.”                              Marshall McLuhan

You understand where I'm coming from,
Reader Rabbit, you twisted ****? Maybe not;
While you and your boy/girlfriend, later your wife/husband,
Were ******* backpacks around Europe,
I was of a less fortunate, less frivolous cohort,
Like the poor, who always miss the fun stuff.
So I stayed home and waited, dreading time,
Treading water in Queens,
Doing the graveyard shift at the Wonder Bread Bakery in Jamaica,
(No, not that Jamaica, mun.)
Building bodies 12 ways, and sweating out the inevitable,
Praying to my lesser god not to hear from my local draft board.
And who was I to disturb the universe?
“It ain’t me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son;
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, lawd naw.”
(Send  "Fortunate Son" Ringtone to your Cell)  
I was just another cynical working-class hero,
Unlike you, numb nuts, and the rest of your silver surfer friends.
I knew I’d wind up without my teddy bear,
Convinced I’d end up sans security blanket,
With no ****-vacant musical chair,
To plop my sorry non-exempt, 1A **** cheeks
Down into when the music stopped,
When the music’s over, turn out the light--Jim Morrison,
Lizard King--turn out the light.
My horse, my horse . . . no wait . . . **** the horse . . .
My kingdom, my kingdom for a 2-S college deferment!
What kingdom?  
What was it Jesus said?
Not of this earth, anyway.
Colonial Indochina: rich man's war, poor man's fight;
It was such an efficient way to rid trash from poor neighborhoods.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a little trouble adjusting ever since,
Since I got back from that Kafkaesque Disneyland Jungle Cruise,
My personal Cold War thriller,
My Tecumseh Sherman “War is All Hell” war,
My war: 45 years ago next week.
These things take time:
So says the recorded message on the VA’s PTSD Hotline.
45 years ago I packed up my duffle,
Packed for what I thought was going to be my last time in uniform,
Grabbed my Army discharge papers, and
Limp-dicked out the side door of,
The Veterans Hospital in St. Albans, County of Queens.
I’d like to say I never looked back. But I’d be lying.

(cue PSA: VA Reaches Out to Veterans:
The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin,
Contacting nearly 570,000 recent combat veterans May 1,
To ensure they know about VA's medical services and other benefits.)

Today and every day is 11-11, Veterans Day—
What gets me now is that all my time since The Nam,
Is on average two lifetimes,
For all those sent home, bagged and tagged.
Is it survivor’s guilt? I doubt it.

You may not understand this, but I miss that freaky jungle.
I felt safe there.
How quickly I learned to expect the unexpected,
And that meant to expect the worse,
Finding my comfort zone the more uncomfortable, the worse it got.
I miss the wet weight of the air,
The cloying heat and humidity.
Humidity: a plain and simple meteorological miracle,
When you have plenty of time to really think about it,
Which I did: 365 days and a wake-up.
You know that whole gorgeous hydrologic cycle thing?
I miss the rain, the sound of falling rain.
I miss the other sounds, every buzz and click,
All the arcane and dismal things that go screech in the night.
And that relentless insect hum,
The jungle vibrating and intense,
The colors vibrating too, especially that electric green,
A green so vivid, every leaf and vine,
"The world's richest repository of terrestrial biodiversity,” I read in some nature magazine,
Lying naked in bed while my therapist ****** me off the other day.
All those freaky creatures great and small,
Every miraculous living thing that’s really alive and thriving.
And this is why--I think,
Getting obnoxiously philosophical for the moment,
This explains why it got to be so easy to waste what was alive and thriving over there, including and especially our selves.

Death never seemed that permanent, that final over there.
And besides, you couldn’t **** anything for that long,
The critters all looking their wet and slimy same.  
Two minutes in The **** and you were
Killing every ******* gnat and bug,
Every leech and snake, anything &
Anyone that just looked at you sideways.

And the flora? Did I mention the flora?
Soupy Sales: (Smack! Bam!)  “I told you not to mention that.”
The flora:  the plants grew back and they grew back quick.
You chop a path on recon and the next day it’s not there anymore,
So you chop the whole way back to the L-Z.  
Chop, chop, Hop Sing!
You were one smart ****, Hop Sing,
Safe and sound in Lake Tahoe, Nevada-side,
Cooking up Ponderosa pork bellies for,
The Cartwright Clan: Ben, Adam, Hoss & Little Joe.
Meanwhile, I’m not earning any frequent flyer miles,
Aboard a chartered TWA, coffee-tea-or-me,
Royal **** airplane to Saigon,
A place called ** Chi Minh City today.
I remember looking around at the faces on that airplane,
As we landed at Tan Son Nhut,
Those forlorn godforsaken faces,
Black and Chicano and poor white trash boys.
Scared shitless, of course,
But we really were jolly green giants over there,
American conquistadors, Cortez and the Boys,
Seeking gold and glory and, of course,
*******, (
That sweet wet hole we all crave,
Can't go for too long without,
Center of our life's desire,
What gives women the upper hand in almost every situation,
Except when you pay in South Vietnamese piastres,
Your basic exchange rate $3.00 *******.

Yes, we were American conquistadors,
But traveling light this trip,
Our black-robed Jesuit fathers having missed the flight.
That’s right, for us no Ad majorem Dei gloriam this time,
Our mission so simple and so clear:
But mostly, Destroy.

And pretty soon you worked your way up the evolutionary ladder,
From bugs, to fish, to frogs and snakes,
Small varmints and reptiles, birds and rodents;
And by the time you taxonomy out to the runway,
You’re pretty much whacking anything that moves,
Anything you feel like, pretty much any time,
All the time, sometimes just to pass the time,
Just to break up the ******* monotony of it all.
So making the anti-personnel leap got sort of easy:
They all looked the same, didn’t they?
They all wore the same pajamas,
And it was never conducive to grunt longevity,
To nitpick the civilians from the soldiers,
Never a good idea to waste time distinguishing friend from foe.

Good Morning, Vietnam:
We really were nerve-gassed-Adrian Cronauers over there,
G-2 Army oxymoronic intelligence stiffs,
Having a little difficulty finding the enemy,
Having one hell of a time finding a Vietnamese man named "Charlie."
They're all named Nguyen, or Tran, or Thanh or Trong or Bao or Phuc . . .
Oh, ****, I get it now.
I grok the how and why,
Of all the names we’ve used for centuries to dehumanize the enemy:
***** and Nips, Chinks and Slopes,
Huns and Krauts, Redskins and Ivans,
Redcoats and Rebs, Zulus and Mau Maus, *****, Ragheads and Sand ******* . . .
To dehumanize is to be dehumanized.
Nominal dehumanization; linguistic trickery.
It made it easy . . .
Well, easier . . .
To **** you.

What was it Pope Innocent III’s legate advised?
“**** Them All.  Let God sort ‘em out.”

Is it smell of burning flesh that makes me so digress?

Yes, I miss that freaky jungle, my friend.
I miss knowing what to expect and what was to be expected.
And most of all I miss that absolute confidence,
My self-liberating soporific certainty,
That I did not give a **** whether I lived or died,
And no one else did either.
I miss the peaceful place to go,
Coping with fear by letting go,
By writing off my life,
My future "in-country,"
My 12-month tour of duty,
My 365 T.S. Eliot Ash Wednesdays,
Learning to care and not to care,
Cultivating indifference as to,
Whether or not I ever made it Wee, Wee, Wee,
All the way home again.
The answers were right there,
Always there, all the time,
In nursery rhymes, and counting songs,
In psalms and arias, and every blues and rock lyric,
Right there, so right ******* there,
In Kris Kristofferson/Janice Joplin parlance of the times:
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

And life for me since then--

What was that Walter Sobjak in The Big Lebowski said?

“This is not 'Nam.
This is bowling.
There are rules.”
Like a psychotic docent in the wilderness,
I will not speak in perfect Ciceronian cadences.
I draw my voice from a much deeper cistern,
Preferring the jittery synaptic archive,
So sublimely unfiltered, random and profane.
And though I am sequestered now,
Confined within the walls of a gated, golf-coursed,
Over-55 lunatic asylum (for Active Seniors I am told),
I remain oddly puerile,
Remarkably refreshed and unfettered.  
My institutionalization self-imposed,
Purposed for my own serenity, and also the safety of others.
Yet I abide, surprisingly emancipated and frisky.
I may not have found the peace I seek,
But the quiet has mercifully come at last.

The nexus of inner and outer space is context for my story.
I was born either in Brooklyn, New York or Shungopavi, Arizona,
More of intervention divine than census data.
Shungopavi: a designated place for tribal statistical purposes.
Shungopavi: an ovine abbatoir and shaman’s cloister.
The Hopi: my mother’s people, a state of mind and grace,
Deftly landlocked, so cunningly circumscribed,
By both interior and outer Navajo boundaries.
The Navajo: a coyote trickster people; a nation of sheep thieves,
Hornswoggled and landlocked themselves,
Subsumed within three of the so-called Four Corners:
A 3/4ths compromise and covenant,
Pickled in firewater, swaddled in fine print,
A veritable swindle concocted back when the USA
Had Manifest Destiny & mayhem on its mind.

The United States: once a pubescent synthesis of blood and thunder,
A bold caboodle of trooper spit and polish, unwashed brawlers, Scouts and      
Pathfinders, mountain men, numb-nut ne'er-do-wells,
Buffalo Bills & big-balled individualists, infected, insane with greed.
According to the Gospel of His Holiness Saint Zinn,
A People’s’ History of the United States: essentially state-sponsored terrorism,
A LAND RUSH grabocracy, orchestrated, blessed and anointed,
By a succession of Potomac sharks, Great White Fascist Fathers,
Far-Away-on-the Bay, the Bay we call The Chesapeake.
All demented national patriarchs craving lebensraum for God and country.
The USA: a 50-state Leviathan today, a nation jury-rigged,
Out of railroad ties, steel rails and baling wire,
Forged by a litany of lies, rapaciousness and ******,
And jaw-torn chunks of terra firma,
Bites both large and small out of our well-****** Native American ***.

Or culo, as in va’a fare in culo (literally "go do it in the ***")
Which Italian Americans pronounce as fongool.
The language center of my brain,
My sub-cortical Broca’s region,
So fraught with such semantic misfires,
And autonomic linguistic seizures,
Compel acknowledgement of a father’s contribution,
To both the gene pool and the genocide.
Columbus Day:  a conspicuously absent holiday out here in Indian Country.
No festivals or Fifth Avenue parades.
No excuse for ethnic hoopla. No guinea feast. No cannoli. No tarantella.
No excuse to not get drunk and not **** your sister-in-law.
Emphatically a day for prayer and contemplation,
A day of infamy like Pearl Harbor and 9/11,
October 12, 1492: not a discovery; an invasion.

Growing up in Brooklyn, things were always different for me,
Different in some sort of redskin/****/****--
Choose Your Favorite Ethnic Slur-sort of way.
The American Way: dehumanization for fun and profit.
Melting *** anonymity and denial of complicity with evil.
But this is no time to bring up America’s sordid past,
Or, a personal pet peeve: Indian Sovereignty.
For Uncle Sam and his minions, an ever-widening, conveniently flexible concept,
Not a commandment or law,
Not really a treaty or a compact,
Or even a business deal.  Let’s get real:
It was not even much in the way of a guideline.
Just some kind of an advisory, a bulletin or newsletter,
Could it merely have been a free-floating suggestion?
Yes, that’s it exactly: a suggestion.

Over and under halcyon American skies,
Over and around those majestic purple mountain peaks,
Those trapped in poetic amber waves of wheat and oats,
Corn and barley, wheat shredded and puffed,
Corn flaked and milled, Wheat Chex and Wheaties, oats that are little Os;
Kix and Trix, Fiber One, and Kashi-Go-Lean, Lucky Charms and matso *****,
Kreplach and kishka,
Polenta and risotto.
Our cantaloupe and squash patch,
Our fruited prairie plain, our delicate ecological Eden,
In balance and harmony with nature, as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce instructs:
“These white devils are not going to,
Stop ****** and killing, cheating and eating us,
Until they have the whole ******* enchilada.
I’m talking about ‘from sea to shining sea.’”

“I fight no more forever,” Babaloo.
So I must steer this clunky keelboat of discovery,
Back to the main channel of my sad and starry demented river.
My warpath is personal but not historical.
It is my brain’s own convoluted cognitive process I cannot saavy.
Whatever biochemical or—as I suspect more each day—
Whatever bio-mechanical protocols govern my identity,
My weltanschauung: my world-view, as sprechen by proto-Nazis;
Putz philosophers of the 17th, 18th & 19th century.
The German intelligentsia: what a cavalcade of maniacal *******!
Why is this Jew unsurprised these Zarathustra-fueled Übermenschen . . .
Be it the Kaiser--Caesar in Deutsch--Bismarck, ******, or,
Even that Euro-*****,  Angela Merkel . . . Why am I not surprised these Huns,
Get global grab-*** on the sauerbraten cabeza every few generations?
To be, or not to be the ***** bullgoose loony: GOTT.

Biomechanical protocols govern my identity and are implanted while I sleep.
My brain--my weak and weary CPU--is replenished, my discs defragmented.
A suite of magnetic and optical white rooms, cleansed free of contaminants,
Gun mounts & lifeboat stations manned and ready,
Standing at attention and saluting British snap-style,
Snap-to and heel click, ramrod straight and cheerful: “Ready for duty, Sir.”
My mind is ravenous, lusting for something, anything to process.
Any memory or image, lyric or construct,
Be they short-term dailies or deeply imprinted.
Fixations archived one and all in deep storage time and space.
Memories, some subconscious, most vaporous;
Others--the scary ones—eidetic: frighteningly detailed and extraordinarily vivid.
Precise cognitive transcripts; recollected so richly rife and fresh.
Visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory reloads:
Queued up and increasingly re-experienced.

The bio-data of six decades: it’s all there.
People, countless, places and things cataloged.
Every event, joy and trauma enveloped from within or,
Accessed externally from biomechanical storage devices.
The random access memory of a lifetime,
Read and recollected from cerebral repositories and vaults,
All the while the entire greedy process overseen,
Over-driven by that all-subservient British bat-man,
Rummaging through the data in batches small and large,
Internal and external drives working in seamless syncopation,
Self-referential, at times paradoxical or infinitely looped.
“Cogito ergo sum."
Descartes stripped it down to the basics but there’s more to the story:
Thinking about thinking.
A curse and minefield for the cerebral:  metacognition.

No, it is not the fact that thought exists,
Or even the thoughts themselves.
But the information technology of thought that baffles me,
As adaptive and profound as any evolution posited by Darwin,
Beyond the wetware in my skull, an entirely new operating system.
My mental and cultural landscape are becoming one.
Machines are connecting the two.
It’s what I am and what I am becoming.
Once more for emphasis:
It is the information technology of who I am.
It is the operating system of my mental and cultural landscape.
It is the machinery connecting the two.
This is the central point of this narrative:
Metacognition--your superego’s yenta Cassandra,
Screaming, screaming in your psychic ear, your good ear:

“LISTEN:  The machines are taking over, taking you over.
Your identity and train of thought are repeatedly hijacked,
Switched off the main line onto spurs and tangents,
Only marginally connected or not at all.
(Incoming TEXT from my editor: “Lighten Up, Giuseppi!”)
Reminding me again that most in my audience,
Rarely get past the comic page. All righty then: think Calvin & Hobbes.
John Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year old boy,
Subject to flights of 16th Century French theological fancy.
Thomas Hobbes, a sardonic anthropomorphic tiger from 17th Century England,
Mumbling about life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Taken together--their antics and shenanigans--their relationship to each other,
Remind us of our dual nature; explore for us broad issues like public education;
The economy, environmentalism & the Global ****** Thermometer;
Not to mention the numerous flaws of opinion polls.

And again my editor TEXTS me, reminds me again: “LIGHTEN UP!”
Consoling me:  “Even Shakespeare had to play to the groundlings.”
The groundlings, AKA: The Rabble.
Yes. Even the ******* Bard, even Willie the Shake,
Had to contend with a decidedly lowbrow copse of carrion.
Oh yes, the groundlings, a carrion herd, a flying flock of carrion seagulls,
Carrion crow, carrion-feeders one and all,
And let’s throw Sheryl Crow into the mix while we’re at it:
“Hit it! This ain't no disco. And it ain't no country club either, this is L.A.”  

                  Send "All I Wanna Do" Ringtone to your Cell              

Once more, I digress.
The Rabble:  an amorphous, gelatinous Jabba the Hutt of commonality.
The Rabble: drunk, debauched & lawless.
Too *****-delicious to stop Bill & Hilary from thinking about tomorrow;
Too Paul McCartney My Love Does it Good to think twice.

The Roman Saturnalia: a weeklong **** fest.
The Saturnalia: originally a pagan kink-fest in honor of the deity Saturn.
Dovetailing nicely with the advent of the Christian era,
With a project started by Il Capo di Tutti Capi,
One of the early popes, co-opting the Roman calendar between 17 and 25 December,
Putting the finishing touches on the Jesus myth.
For Brooklyn Hopi-***-Jew baby boomers like me,
Saturnalia manifested itself as Disco Fever,
Unpleasant years of electrolysis, scrunched ***** in tight polyester
For Roman plebeians, for the great unwashed citizenry of Rome,
Saturnalia was just a great big Italian wedding:
A true family blowout and once-in-a-lifetime ego-trip for Dad,
The father of the bride, Vito Corleone, Don for A Day:
“Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I! Funicula, Funiculi!”

America: love it or leave it; my country right or wrong.
Sure, we were citizens of Rome,
But any Joe Josephus spending the night under a Tiber bridge,
Or sleeping off a three day drunk some afternoon,
Up in the Coliseum bleachers, the cheap seats, out beyond the monuments,
The original three monuments in the old stadium,
Standing out in fair territory out in center field,
Those three stone slabs honoring Gehrig, Huggins, and Babe.
Yes, in the house that Ruth built--Home of the Bronx Bombers--***?
Any Joe Josephus knows:  Roman citizenship doesn’t do too much for you,
Except get you paxed, taxed & drafted into the Legion.
For us the Roman lifestyle was HIND-*** humble.
We plebeians drew our grandeur by association with Empire.
Very few Romans and certainly only those of the patrician class lived high,
High on the hog, enjoying a worldly extravaganza, like—whom do we both know?

Okay, let’s say Laurence Olivier as Crassus in Spartacus.
Come on, you saw Spartacus fifteen ******* times.
Remember Crassus?
Crassus: that ***** twisted **** trying to get his freak on with,
Tony Curtis in a sunken marble tub?
We plebes led lives of quiet *****-scratching desperation,
A bunch of would-be legionnaires, diseased half the time,
Paid in salt tablets or baccala, salted codfish soaked yellow in olive oil.
Stiffs we used to call them on New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn.
Let’s face it: we were hyenas eating someone else’s ****,
Stage-door jackals, Juvenal-come-late-lies, a mob of moronic mook boneheads
Bought off with bread & circuses and Reality TV.
Each night, dished up a wide variety of lowbrow Elizabethan-era entertainments.  
We contemplate an evening on the town, downtown—
(cue Petula Clark/Send "Downtown" Ringtone to your Cell)

On any given London night, to wit:  mummers, jugglers, bear & bull baiters.
How about dog & **** fighters, quoits & skittles, alehouses & brothels?
In short, somewhere, anywhere else,
Anywhere other than down along the Thames,
At Bankside in Southwark, down in the Globe Theater mosh pit,
Slugging it out with the groundlings whose only interest,
In the performance is the choreography of swordplay and stale ****** puns.
Meanwhile, Hugh Fennyman--probably a fellow Jew,
An English Renaissance Bugsy Siegel or Mickey Cohen—
Meanwhile Fennyman, the local mob boss is getting his ya-yas,
Roasting the feet of my text-messaging editor, Philip Henslowe.
Poor and pathetic Henslowe, works on commission, always scrounging,
But a true patron of my craft, a gentleman of infinite jest and patience,
Spiritual subsistence, and every now and then a good meal at some,
Sawdust joint with oyster shells, and a Prufrockian silk purse of T.S. Eliot gold.

Poor, pathetic Henslowe, trussed up by Fennyman,
His editorial feet in what looks like a Japanese hibachi.
Henslowe’s feet to the fire--feet to the fire—get it?
A catchy phrase whose derivation conjures up,
A grotesque yet vivid image of torture,
An exquisite insight into how such phrases ingress the idiom,
Not to mention a scene once witnessed at a secret Romanian CIA prison,
I’d been ordered to Bucharest not long after 9/11,
Handling the rendition and torture of Habib Ghazzawy,

An entirely innocent falafel maker from Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens.
Shock the Monkey: it’s what we do. GOTO:
Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey/
(HQ music video) - YouTube//
Poor, pathetic, ******-on Henslowe.

Fennyman :  (his avarice is whet by something Philly screams out about a new script)  "A play takes time. Find actors; Rehearsals. Let's say open in three weeks. That's--what--five hundred groundlings at tuppence each, in addition four hundred groundlings tuppence each, in addition four hundred backsides at three pence--a penny extra for a cushion, call it two hundred cushions, say two performances for safety how much is that Mr. Frees?"
Jacobean Tweet, John (1580-1684) Webster:  “I saw him kissing her bubbies.”

It’s Geoffrey Rush, channeling Henslowe again,
My editor, a singed smoking madman now,
Feet in an ice bucket, instructing me once more:
“Lighten things up, you know . . .
Comedy, love and a bit with a dog.”
I digress again and return to Hopi Land, back to my shaman-monastic abattoir,
That Zen Center in downtown Shungopavi.
At the Tribal Enrolment Office I make my case for a Certificate of Indian Blood,
Called a CIB by the Natives and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The BIA:  representing gold & uranium miners, cattle and sheep ranchers,
Sodbusters & homesteaders; railroaders and dam builders since 1824.
Just in time for Andrew Jackson, another false friend of Native America,
Just before Old Hickory, one of many Democratic Party hypocrites and scoundrels,
Gives the FONGOOL, up the CULO go ahead.
Hey Andy, I’ve got your Jacksonian democracy: Hanging!
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) mission is to:   "… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. What’s that in the fine print?  Uncle Sammy holds “the trust assets of American Indians.”

Here’s a ******* tip, Geronimo: if he trusted you,
It would ALL belong to you.
To you and The People.
But it’s all fork-tongued white *******.
If true, Indian sovereignty would cease to be a sick one-liner,
Cease to be a blunt force punch line, more of,
King Leopold’s 19th Century stand-up comedy schtick,
Leo Presents: The **** of the Congo.
La Belgique mission civilisatrice—
That’s what French speakers called Uncle Leo’s imperial public policy,
Bringing the gift of civilization to central Africa.
Like Manifest Destiny in America, it had a nice colonial ring to it.
“Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent,
Allotted by Providence for the free development,
Of our yearly multiplying millions.”  John L. O'Sullivan, 1845

Our civilizing mission or manifest destiny:
Either/or, a catchy turn of phrase;
Not unlike another ironic euphemism and semantic subterfuge:
The Pacification of the West; Pacification?
Hardly: decidedly not too peaceful for Cochise & Tonto.
Meanwhile, Madonna is cash rich but disrespected Evita poor,
To wit: A ****** on the Rocks (throwing in a byte or 2 of Da Vinci Code).
Meanwhile, Miss Ciccone denied her golden totem *****.
They snubbed that little guinea ****, didn’t they?
Snubbed her, robbed her rotten.
Evita, her magnum opus, right up there with . . .
Her SNL Wayne’s World skit:
“Get a load of the unit on that guy.”
Or, that infamous MTV Music Video Awards stunt,
That classic ***** Lip-Lock with Britney Spears.

How could I not see that Oscar snubola as prime evidence?
It was just another stunning case of American anti-Italian racial animus.
Anyone familiar with Noam Chomsky would see it,
Must view it in the same context as the Sacco & Vanzetti case,
Or, that arbitrary lynching of 9 Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891,
To cite just two instances of anti-Italian judicial reach & mob violence,
Much like what happened to my cousin Dominic,
Gang-***** by the Harlem Globetrotters, in their locker room during halftime,
While he working for Abe Saperstein back in 1952.
Dom was doing advance for Abe, supporting creation of The Washington Generals:
A permanent stable of hoop dream patsies and foils,
Named for the ever freewheeling, glad-handing, backslapping,
Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF), himself,
Namely General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man they liked,
And called IKE: quite possibly a crypto Jew from Abilene.

Of course, Harry Truman was my first Great White Fascist Father,
Back in 1946, when I first opened my eyes, hung up there,
High above, looking down from the adobe wall.
Surveying the entire circular kiva,
I had the best seat in the house.
Don’t let it be said my Spider Grandmother or Hopi Corn Mother,
Did not want me looking around at things,
Discovering what made me special.
Didn’t divine intervention play a significant part of my creation?
Knowing Mamma Mia and Nonna were Deities,
Gave me an edge later on the streets of Brooklyn.
The Cradleboard: was there ever a more divinely inspired gift to human curiosity? The Cradleboard: a perfect vantage point, an infant’s early grasp,
Of life harmonious, suspended between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Simply put: the Hopi should be running our ******* public schools.

But it was IKE with whom I first associated,
Associated with the concept 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I liked IKE. Who didn’t?
What was not to like?
He won the ******* war, didn’t he?
And he wasn’t one of those crazy **** John Birchers,
Way out there, on the far right lunatic Republican fringe,
Was he? (It seems odd and nearly impossible to believe in 2013,
That there was once a time in our Boomer lives,
When the extreme right wing of the Republican Party
Was viewed by the FBI as an actual threat to American democracy.)
Understand: it was at a time when The FBI,
Had little ideological baggage,
But a great appetite for secrets,
The insuppressible Jay Edgar doing his thang.

IKE: of whom we grew so, oh-so Fifties fond.
Good old reliable, Nathan Shaking IKE:
He’d been fixed, hadn’t he? Had had the psychic snip.
Snipped as a West Point cadet & parade ground martinet.
Which made IKE a good man to have in a pinch,
Especially when crucial policy direction was way above his pay grade.
Cousin Dom was Saperstein’s bagman, bribing out the opposition,
Which came mainly from religious and patriotic organizations,
Viewing the bogus white sports franchise as obscene.
The Washington Generals, Saperstein’s new team would have but one opponent,
And one sole mission: to serve as the **** of endless jokes and sight gags for—
Negroes.  To play the chronic fools of--
Negroes.  To be chronically humiliated and insulted by—
Negroes.  To run up and down the boards all night, being outran by—
Negroes.  Not to mention having to wear baggy silk shorts.

Meadowlark Lemon:  “Yeah, Charlie, we ***** that grease-ball Dominic; we shagged his guinea mouth and culo rotten.”  

(interviewed in his Scottsdale, AZ winter residence in 2003 by former ESPN commentator Charlie Steiner, Malverne High School, Class of ’67.)
  ­                                                                 ­                 
IKE, briefed on the issue by higher-ups, quickly got behind the idea.
The Harlem Globetrotters were to exist, and continue to exist,
Are sustained financially by Illuminati sponsors,
For one reason and one reason only:
To serve elite interests that the ***** be kept down and subservient,
That the minstrel show be perpetuated,
A policy surviving the elaborate window dressing of the civil rights movement, Affirmative action, and our first Uncle Tom president.
Case in point:  Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman & Metta World Peace Artest.
Cha-cha-cha changing again:  I am Robert Allen Zimmermann,
A whiny, skinny Jew, ****** and rolling in from Minnesota,
Arrested, obviously a vagrant, caught strolling around his tony Jersey enclave,
Having moved on up the list, the A-list, a special invitation-only,
Yom Kippur Passover Seder:  Next Year in Jerusalem, Babaloo!

I take ownership of all my autonomic and conditioned reflexes;
Each personal neural arc and pathway,
All shenanigans & shellackings,
Or blunt force cognitive traumas.
It’s all percolating nicely now, thank you,
In kitchen counter earthen crockery:
Random access memory: a slow-cook crockpot,
Bubbling through my psychic sieve.
My memories seem only remotely familiar,
Distant and vague, at times unreal:
An alien hybrid databank accessed accidently on purpose;
Flaky science sustains and monitors my nervous system.
And leads us to an overwhelming question:
Is it true that John Dillinger’s ******* is in the Smithsonian Museum?
Enquiring minds want to know, Kemosabe!

“Any last words, *******?” TWEETS Adam Smith.
Postmortem cyber-graffiti, an epitaph carved in space;
Last words, so singular and simple,
Across the universal great divide,
Frisbee-d, like a Pleistocene Kubrick bone,
Tossed randomly into space,
Morphing into a gyroscopic space station.
Mr. Smith, a calypso capitalist, and me,
Me, the Poet Laureate of the United States and Adam;
Who, I didn’t know from Adam.
But we tripped the light fantastic,
We boogied the Protestant Work Ethic,
To the tune of that old Scotch-Presbyterian favorite,
Variations of a 5-point Calvinist theme: Total Depravity; Election; Particular Redemption; Irresistible Grace; & Perseverance of the Saints.

Mr. Smith, the author of An Inquiry into the Nature
& Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776),
One of the best-known, intellectual rationales for:
Free trade, capitalism, and libertarianism,
The latter term a euphemism for Social Darwinism.
Prior to 1764, Calvinists in France were called Huguenots,
A persecuted religious majority . . . is that possible?
A persecuted majority of Edict of Nantes repute.
Adam Smith, likely of French Huguenot Jewish ancestry himself,
Reminds me that it is my principal plus interest giving me my daily gluten.
And don’t think the irony escapes me now,
A realization that it has taken me nearly all my life to see again,
What I once saw so vividly as a child, way back when.
Before I put away childish things, including the following sentiment:
“All I need is the air that I breathe.”

  Send "The Air That I Breathe" Ringtone to your Cell  

The Hippies were right, of course.
The Hollies had it all figured out.
With the answer, as usual, right there in the lyrics.
But you were lucky if you were listening.
There was a time before I embraced,
The other “legendary” economists:
The inexorable Marx,
The savage society of Veblen,
The heresies we know so well of Keynes.
I was a child.
And when I was a child, I spake as a child—
Grazie mille, King James—
I understood as a child; I thought as a child.
But when I became a man I jumped on the bus with the band,
Hopped on the irresistible bandwagon of Adam Smith.

Smith:  “Any last words, *******?”
Okay, you were right: man is rationally self-interested.
Grazie tanto, Scotch Enlightenment,
An intellectual movement driven by,
An alliance of Calvinists and Illuminati,
Freemasons and Johnny Walker Black.
Talk about an irresistible bandwagon:
Smith, the gloomy Malthus, and David Ricardo,
Another Jew boy born in London, England,
Third of 17 children of a Sephardic family of Portuguese origin,
Who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic.
******* Jews!
Like everything shrewd, sane and practical in this world,
WE also invented the concept:  FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The lyrics: if you were really listening, you’d get it:
Respiration keeps one sufficiently busy,
Just breathing free can be a full-time job,
Especially when--borrowing a phrase from British cricketers—,
One contemplates the sorry state of the wicket.
Now that I am gainfully superannuated,
Pensioned off the employment radar screen.
Oft I go there into the wild ebon yonder,
Wandering the brain cloud at will.
My journey indulges curiosity, creativity and deceit.
I free range the sticky wicket,
I have no particular place to go.
Snagging some random fact or factoid,
A stop & go rural postal route,
Jumping on and off the brain cloud.

Just sampling really,
But every now and then, gorging myself,
At some information super smorgasbord,
At a Good Samaritan Rest Stop,
I ponder my own frazzled neurology,
When I was a child—
Before I learned the grim economic facts of life and Judaism,
Before I learned Hebrew,
Before my laissez-faire Bar Mitzvah lessons,
Under the rabbinical tutelage of Rebbe Kahane--
I knew what every clever child knows about life:
The surfing itself is the destination.
Accessing RAM--random access memory—
On a strictly need to know basis.
RAM:  a pretty good name for consciousness these days.

If I were an Asimov or Sir Arthur (Sri Lankabhimanya) Clarke,
I’d get freaky now, riffing on Terminators, Time Travel and Cyborgs.
But this is truth not science fiction.
Nevertheless, someone had better,
Come up with another name for cyborg.
Some other name for a critter,
Composed of both biological and artificial parts?
Parts-is-parts--be they electronic, mechanical or robotic.
But after a lifetime of science fiction media,
After a steady media diet, rife with dystopian technology nightmares,
Is anyone likely to admit to being a cyborg?
Since I always give credit where credit is due,
I acknowledge that cyborg was a term coined in 1960,
By Manfred Clynes & Nathan S. Kline and,
Used to identify a self-regulating human-machine system in outer space.

Five years later D. S. Halacy's: Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman,
Featured an introduction, which spoke of:  “… a new frontier, that was not,
Merely space, but more profoundly, the relationship between inner space,
And outer space; a bridge, i.e., between mind and matter.”
So, by definition, a cyborg defined is an organism with,
Technology-enhanced abilities: an antenna array,
Replacing what was once sentient and human.
My glands, once in control of metabolism and emotions,
Have been replaced by several servomechanisms.
I am biomechanical and gluttonous.
Soaking up and breathing out the atmosphere,
My Baby Boom experience of six decades,
Homogenized and homespun, feedback looped,
Endlessly networked through predigested mass media,
Culture as demographically targeted content.

This must have something to do with my own metamorphosis.
I think of Gregor Samsa, a Kafkaesque character if there ever was one.
And though we share common traits,
My evolutionary progress surpasses and transcends his.
Samsa--Phylum and Class--was, after all, an insect.
Nonetheless, I remain a changeling.
Have I not seen many stages of growth?
Each a painful metamorphic cycle,
From exquisite first egg,
Through caterpillar’s appetite & squirm.
To phlegmatic bliss and pupa quietude,
I unfold my wings in a rush of Van Gogh palette,
Color, texture, movement and grace, lift off, flapping in flight.
My eyes have witnessed wondrous transformations,
My experience, nouveau riche and distinctly self-referential;
For the most part unspecific & longitudinally pedestrian.

Yes, something has happened to me along the way.
I am no longer certain of my identity as a human being.
Time and technology has altered my basic wiring diagram.
I suspect the sophisticated gadgets and tools,
I’ve been using to shape & make sense of my environment,
Have reared up and turned around on me.
My tools have reshaped my brain & central nervous system.
Remaking me as something simultaneously more and less human.
The electronic toys and tools I once so lovingly embraced,
Have turned unpredictable and rabid,
Their bite penetrating my skin and septic now, a cluster of implanted sensors,
Content: currency made increasingly more valuable as time passes,
Served up by and serving the interests of a pervasively predatory 1%.
And the rest of us: the so-called 99%?
No longer human; simply put by both Howards--Beale & Zinn--

Nov 2017 · 744
"Mountain Dance"
Listening to Dave Grusin,
"Mountain Dance," vintage 1979.
The thought strikes:
"Why is it that only the
Early Jazz Giants are deified?
Of course, we need Chet Baker and
Miles Davis in our pantheon, &
Gerry Mulligan & Charlie Parker
Not to mention (cue Soupy Sales:
"Smack. I told you not to mention that!")
Coltrane or Stan Getz.
And yet, we're all getting long teeth and
there's a lot more Smooth Jazz to come,
Post-1950s, take Grusin, for example, or
George Benson or Herbie Hancock, and
What about Earl Klugh & Larry Carlton?
Let's not forget Spyro Gira &
The Daves: Benoit and Koz.
And we would be remiss
To miss Chris, young Chris,
Chris - "The Whippersnapper" - Botti.
But I digress.
Sep 2017 · 3.3k
"Testicle Testimony"
"There's a bit of ******* at the bottom of our most sublime feelings and our purest tenderness."                          Denis Diderot

"I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind."
                                                          ­                           Eric Hoffer
"A writer who presents men and women as creatures truncated below the waist is exposed as one who goes about without his trousers saying, 'see, I have had my testicles removed."        Norman Lindsay

"If it has tires or testicles, you're going to have trouble with it."
                                                                ­                         Linda J. Furney

"I saw some amazing, beautiful, invigorating parts of America, but I saw some dark parts of America, an ugly side of America, a side of America that rarely sees the light of day. I refer, of course, to the **** and testicles of my co-star, Ken Davitian."     Sacha Baron Cohen

"One hundred women are not worth a single *******."     Confucius

"You’re such a crybaby. (Tee) Let me almost shoot off one of your testicles and see how you cope. (Joe) You shouldn’t have moved, Joe. It was your fault. (Tee) Yeah, everything’s my fault. (Joe) Good, then we agree. (Tee)"                                                    Sherril­yn Kenyon

"Women don't have ***** and they don't want *****. That amateur psychology crap that women want penises. And they certainly don't want testicles. Because you know no women in her right mind is going to carry around a bag that she can't put stuff in."  Bobby Slayton

"I had an ASU student looking for it in my shop last week, and he defined the Bacchants for me as 'those drunk chicks who killed that one dude because he wouldn't have *** with them.' His professors must be so proud. I asked him if he knew what maenads were, and instead of correctly answering that it was just another name for Bacchants, he bizarrely thought I was referring to my own testicles - as in, "'Ere now, mate, don't swing that bat around me nads.'" The conversation deteriorated quickly after that."             Kevin Hearne

"I am not a fan of Sigmund Freud because his theories are not *******."                                                       ­           Richard Wiseman

"I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same fifty percent rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don't...Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe...same as the voodoo lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat's testicles. It's all the just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself."                        George Carlin

"My voice is the only material thing in which I can still reveal myself. Go ahead and cut off the hand or the testicles of a voice. Try to find the head of a voice, the orifice through which it passes, or even the ******* to which you can attach the clips of your electrodes. Nothing. Resonant tooth."                                                         Abdellatif Laabi

"Beware of averages. The average person has one breast and one *******."                                                       ­ Dixie Lee Ray

"I would rather eat my own testicles than reform The Smiths, and that's saying something for a vegetarian."           Steven Morrissey

"We all know what feminists are. They are shrill, overly aggressive, man-hating, ball-busting, selfish, hairy, extremist, deliberately unattractive women with absolutely no sense of humor who see sexism at every turn. They make men's testicles shrivel up to the size of peas, they detest the family and think all children should be deported or drowned."                                 Susan J. Douglas

"Touch her, and I'll freeze your testicles off and put them in a jar. Understand?"                                                     ­ Julie Kagawa

"My writing routine is everyday I put a record on, the same one since 20 years. Then I burn a stick of incense, I put perfume here on the insides of my soles, I paint my left ******* red, and I write."
                                                         ­       Alejandro Jodorowsky

"The ******, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off it's own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees."                                         June Callwood
Sep 2017 · 672
"Literary Allusions"
Literary allusions: the curse of
Those who overdo—or, as some say--
Overdid the reading thing.
I speak of close associates,
Imaginary friends you’ve not met,
Let alone read (pronounced "RED") about.
Like this guy down at Moe’s Tavern,
An 8th Avenue writer’s bar I frequent.
Let's call him Paulie Muldoon,
A fat Irish slob who claims to be
Poetry Editor, "The New Yorker."
Paulie likes to give me tips on
Like me, he’s never
Been in print anywhere,
Other than his ***-encrusted laptop, &
A letter he once wrote to the editors of
"The National Kreplach Review,"
A radical Zionist quarterly
Funded by The Mel Brooks Foundation,
Harvey Weinstein & Condé Nast.
Nevertheless, Paulie seems to know
A lot about the publishing business,
Particularly after six stiff Jack & Cokes.
He says the thing is this:  
The best of the Ivy-League’s
English majors wind up in Manhattan,
Slaving away in cubicles,
Working for peanuts—literally,
The publishing industry has some sort of
Barter agreement with Planters.
(                                       ­            
They sit around on their ***** all day,
Getting their kishkes in a twist,
Eating peanuts, perusing manuscripts,
Like chimp Zoo valedictorians.
The manuscripts submitted by the hopeful
And--for the most part--delusional.
According to Paulie, these Yalie, Princeton,
Harvard, Columbiana WORDMEISTERS
Are more likely. . .
(Urban Dictionary: word-meister ( 1. Something yelled in place of a cuss word. 2. a rare species of humpback whales. 3. small children whose mother's name is Debbie.)
. . . More apt to be impressed with your scree
If you lay siege their psychic CPUs,
Pushing a few obscure,
Mnemonic function keys, remembrances
Of past Proustian peregrinations.
That's right, you get a much
Better shot at sidestepping that
First smug obstacle of arrogance,
If you slather them; go right
Ahead & flatter them with
Lotions, potions & emoluments,
Arcane passwords,
Vain secret satisfactions,
Tidbits of titillation,
Things that only some mook
That actually had read "The Crucible."
Or "The Scarlet Letter,"
Could possibly know,
Let alone, remember.
For a publisher’s water-boy,
A synaptic switch is keyed,
Tripping off an avalanche of
Marginally relevant,
Yet ultra-literate,
Cognitive highlights.
And, while we're on the subject,
Has anyone actually read Melville's "OMOO?"
Jun 2017 · 1.4k
"Lactose Intolerance"
I have this neighbor.
Her name is Michelle.
All I want is for her
To come over some night &
Lick Cool Whip off my *****.
Is that so bad?
Is that so wrong?
Jun 2017 · 578
"Certified Fool"
Just in case you haven’t
Figured it out by now:
I hate women.
If they don’t die on you,
They stop loving you and/or
Abort your babies.
They stop ******* you.
They abandon you and
Leave you lonely.
They make you drink and do drugs.
They **** your trust.
They crush your confidence and
Destroy your faith.
They take from you
Your wealth & your health, and
Hijack that most precious resource of all:
They steal your time by wasting it.
I learned very young in life,
That only a fool gives a woman everything,
Only a certified fool surrenders
His sacred heart of Jesus to a woman—
Which is probably why I like
Country western music,
Why I like it so much.
How could you dislike a musical genre
That distinguishes the fool,
From the fool with certification?
Jun 2017 · 717
My father: all he wanted was a little,
Just a little, peace & quiet.
The War, that so-called "Good War,"
Had given him neither. And afterwards,
The peace & quiet he sought
Was mainly for his own turbulent, disquiet mind.
He spent his post-war years in the building trades,
Employed by The Brothers Levitt—
Shrewd, Semitic Kings of Suburbia--
Leading the single-family housing boom.
He earned our daily bread
Hammering nails & sawing two-by-fours,
No longer blowing up bridges, or killing Nazis,
The Construction Site: far from quiet dawn to dusk,
Creating daily new acoustic trauma,
Canceling out all hope of either peace or quiet.
Given the cutthroat competition for jobs,
He learned a new kind of stress, as more &
More vets--soldiers & survivors like him--
Coming home, anxious to get on with the
Business of life, scrambled for paychecks.
He also learned sarcasm, his cynicism
Masking a failure to cope with Cold War hysteria.
And then out of nowhere came labor saving,
Electric tools, like the Skill saw, LORD OF CACOPHONY.
Decibels: whining, screeching & shrill.
No Quiet. No Peace.
Jun 2017 · 1.4k
"Bio-Mechanical Protocols"
Bio-mechanical protocols govern my identity
And are implanted while I sleep.
My brain--my weak and weary CPU--
Is replenished, my discs defragmented.
A suite of magnetic & optical white rooms,
Cleansed free of contaminants,
Gun mounts & lifeboat stations
Manned and ready,
Standing at attention, saluting
British snap-style,
Snap-to and heel click,
Ramrod straight and cheerful:
“Ready for duty, Sir.”
My mind is ravenous,
Lusting for something,
Anything to process.
Any memory or image,
Lyric or construct, be they short-term
Dailies or deeply imprinted.
Fixations archived one and all
In deep storage time and space.
Memories, some subconscious,
Most vaporous; others--the scary ones—
Eidetic: frighteningly detailed,
Extraordinarily vivid.
Precise cognitive transcripts;
Recollected so richly, rife and fresh.
Visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, & olfactory reloads:
Queued up and increasingly re-experienced.
The bio-data of six decades: it’s all there.
People, countless places & things cataloged.
Every event, joy and trauma
Enveloped from within or,
Accessed externally from cloudy storage devices.
The random access memory of a lifetime,
Read and recollected from cerebral
Repositories and vaults, all the while,
The entire greedy process overseen,
Over-driven by that servile British bat-man,
Rummaging through the data,
In batches small and large,
Internal and external drives working
In seamless syncopation, self-referential,
At times paradoxical and infinitely looped.
“Cogito ergo sum."
Descartes stripped it down to the basics but
There’s more to the story:
Thinking about thinking.
The curse & minefield for the cerebral:

No, it is not the fact that thought exists,
Or even the thoughts themselves.
It is the information technology of thought
That baffles me, adaptive & profound
As any evolution posited by Darwin.
Beyond the wetware in my skull
Dwells an entirely new operating system.
My mental & cultural landscape are now one,
Machines connecting the two.
It’s what I am and what I am becoming.
Once more for emphasis:

"It is the information technology of who I am. It is the operating system of my mental and cultural landscape. It is the machinery connecting the two."

This is the central point of this narrative:
Metacognition—your superego’s yenta Cassandra,
Screaming, screaming in your psychic ear, your good ear.
LISTEN: the machines are taking over, taking you over.
Your identity and train of thought are repeatedly hijacked,
Switched off the main line onto spurs and tangents,
Only marginally connected or
Not connected at all.
Yes, something has happened to me along the way.
I am no longer certain of my identity as a human being.
Time and technology has altered my basic wiring diagram.
I suspect the sophisticated gadgets and tools
I’ve been using to shape & make
Sense of my environment, have reared up,
Turned around on me.
My tools have reshaped my brain,
Remaking my central nervous system.
Turning me into something simultaneously
More and less human.
The electronic toys and tools I once so lovingly embraced,
Have turned unpredictable and rabid,
Their bite penetrating my skin, septic now,
A cluster of implanted sensors.
Content: currency made increasingly
More valuable as time passes,
Served up by & serving the interests of
A pervasively predatory 1%.
And the rest of us: the so-called 99%?
No longer human;
Simply put by both Howards--Beale & Zinn:

(Excerpt from "Confessions of a Hopi *** Israelite")
Jun 2017 · 1.4k
"I've Seen That Movie Too"
I get off the Belt Parkway at Rockaway Boulevard and
Jet aloft from Idyllwild.
(I know, now called J.F. ******* K!)
Aboard a TWA 747 to what was then British East Africa,
Then overland by train to Baroness Blixen’s Nairobi farm . . .
You know the one at the foot of the Ngong Hills.
I lease space in Karen’s African dreams,
Caressing her long white giraffe nape,
That exquisite Streep jugular.
I am a ghost in Meryl’s evil petting zoo:
I haunt the hand that feeds me.

Safely back in Denmark, I receive treatment
For my third bout with syphilis at Copenhagen General.
Cured at last, I return to Kenya and Karen.
In my solitude or sleep, I go with her,
One hundred miles north of the Equator,
Arriving at Julia Child’s marijuana herb garden–
Originally Kikuyu Land, of course—
But mine now by imperial design &
California voter referendum.
(Voiceover) "I had a farm in Africa
At the foot of the Ngong Hills."
My farm lies high above the sea at 6,000 feet.
By daybreak I feel oh, oh so high up,
Near to the sun on early mornings.
Evenings so limpid and restful;
Nights oh, so cold.
Mille Grazie a lei, Signore *******!
Andiamo, Sydney, amico mio.
Let it flow like the water that lives in Mombasa.
Let it flow like Kurt Luedtke’s liquid crystal script.
We zoom in. We go close in. Going close up,
On the face of Isak Dinesen’s household
Servant and general factotum. (Full camera ******)
Karen Blixen’s devoted Muslim manservant,
Farah: “God is happy, msabu. He plays with us…”
He plays with me.  And who shall I be today?
How about Tony Manero for starters?
Good choice. Nicely done!
Geezer Manero:  old and bitter now,
Still working at the hardware store,
Twice-divorced, a chain-smoker,
Severely diabetic, a drunk on dialysis 3 times a week.
Bite me, Pop:  I never thought I was John Travolta.
But, hey, I had my shot:  “I coulda been a contenda.”
Once more, by association only,
I am a great artist again, quickly made
Near great by a simple second look.
Why, oh God? I am kvetching again.
I celebrate myself and sing the
L-on-forehead loser’s lament:
Why implant the desire and then
Withhold from me the talent?
“I wrote 30 ******* operas,”
I hear Salieri’s demented cackle.
“I will speak for you, Wolfie Babaloo;
I speak for all mediocrities.
I am their champion, their patron saint.”

Must I wind up in the same
Viennese loony bin with Antonio?
Note to self:  GTF out of Austria post-haste!
I’ve been called on the Emperor’s carpet again,
My head, my decapitated Prufrock noodle,
Grown slightly bald, brought in upon a platter.
Are peaches in season?
Do I dare eat one?
I am Amadeus, ******, infantile,
An irresistible iconoclast and clown.
Wolfie:   “I am called on the imperial carpet again.
The Emperor may have no clothes but he’s got a
Shitload of ******* carpets."
Hello Girls: ‘Disco Tampons!
Staying inside, staying inside!
Wolfie: "Why have I chosen a ****** farce for my libretto?
Surely there are more elevated themes . . . NO!
I am fed to the teeth with elevated themes,
People so lofty they **** marble!"
Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis acribus addictis.

So, I mix paint in the hardware store by day.
I dance all night, near-great again by locomotion.
Join me in at least one of my verifiable nine lives.
Go with me across the Narrows,
Back to Lenape with the wild red men of Canarsee,
To Vlacke Bos, Boswijk & Nieuw Utrecht,
To Dutch treat Breuckelen, Red Hook & Bensonhurst,
To Bay Ridge and the Sheepshead.
Come with me to Coney Island’s Steeplechase & Luna Park, &
Dreamland (aka Brownsville) East New York, County of Kings.
If I’m lying, I’m dying.
And while we’re on the subject now,
Bwana Finch Hatton (pronounced FINCH HATTON),
Why not turn your focus to the rival for Karen’s heart,
To the guy who nursed her through the syphilis,
That old taciturn ******, Guru Farah?
Righto and Cheerio, Mr. Finch Hatton,
Denys George of that surname—
Why not visualize Imam Farah?
Farah: a Twisted Sister Mary Ignatius,
Explaining it all to your likes-the-dark-meat
Friend and ivory-trading business partner,
Berkeley (pronounced BARK-LEE) Cole.
Can you dig it, Travolta?
I knew that you could!

Oh yeah, Tony Manero, the Bee Gees & me,
A marriage made in Brooklyn.
The Gibbs providing the sound track while
I took care of the local action.
I got more *** than a toilet seat, a Don Juan rep &
THE CLAP on more than one occasion.
Probably from a toilet seat.
Even my big brother–the failed priest,
Celibate too long and desperate now–
Even my defrocked, blue-balled brother,
Frankie, cashing in his chips at the Archdiocese,
Taking soave lessons from yours truly,
Taking notes, copying my slick moves with chicks.
It was the usual story with the usual suspects &
The usual character tests. All of which I flunk.
I choose Fitzgerald's “vast, ****** meretricious beauty,”
My jumpstart to the middle class.
I spurn the neighborhood puttana,
Mary Catherine Delvecchio: the community ****
With the proverbial heart of gold &
A backpack full of self-esteem deficits.
I opt out.  I’m hungry and leaping.
I morph again, grab *** the golden girl.
Now I’m Gatsby in a white suit,
Stalking Daisy Buchanan in East Egg,
Daisy: her voice full of money;
My green light flashing on the disco dance floor.
I, a fool for love; she, my faithless uptown girl,
Golden and delicious like the apple,
Capricious like a blue Persian cat.
My “orgiastic future” eluded me then.
It eludes me still. Time to go home again to the place
****-ant Prufrocks ponder their pathetic dying embers.
Time to assume the position:
Gazing out from some trapezoidal patch of green
At the foot of Roebling’s bridge,
Contemplating an alternative reality for myself,
A new life across the East River,
In the city that never sleeps.
I crave. I lust. I am a guinzo Eva Duarte.
I too must be a part of B.A., Buenos Aires:
But I am ashamed of my luggage,
Not to mention my baggage.
It’s like that last thing Holden Caulfield said to me,
Just before he crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge,
Crossed over to Manhattan without me,
Leaving me alone again, searching for our kid sister,
Phoebe, the only one on earth we can relate to:
“It’s really hard to be roommates with people
If your suitcases are much better than theirs.”
Ow! That stung; that was a stinger.
I am smithereened by a self-guided drone,
A smart bomb full of snide antigravity,
Transformational and caustic.
My meager allotment of self-esteem
Metastasizes into something base,
Something heavy and vile.
I drop to earth like lead mozzarella.

I am unworthy, unworthy in the maximum mendicant,
Roman Catholic mea culpa sense of the word.
I am now Umberto Eco’s penitenziagite.
I am Salvatore, a demented hunchback
(Played flawlessly as a demented hunchback by Ron Perlman),
Spewing linguistic gibberish in a variety of vernaculars:
“Lord, I am not worthy to live anywhere west of the Gowanus Canal.”
By East River waters I weep bitter tears,
The promise of a promised land denied.
I am a garlic-eating Chuck Yeager,
Auguring in, burnt beyond recognition,
An ethnic trope, a defiant Private Maggio
From here and for eternity,
Forever a swarthy ethnic stereotype
Trying to escape thru a small but significant
Hole in the ozone layer above South Ozone Park,
New York, zip code 11420.
That’s right, Ozone Park.
If you don’t believe me, look it up.
GO ******* GOOGLE IT!

And I just don’t know when to quit.
So why quit there?
Work with me, fratello mio, mon lecteur.
Like you, I took the LSAT so long ago.
Why am I not a distinguished American jurist
Asking the one question that seems to be on
Everyone’s eugenic lips today:
“Aren’t three generations of imbeciles enough?”
I am Charly from Flowers for Algernon,
A slow learner with a push broom, swept up in
Some dust from Leonard Cohen’s cuff.
Lenny: a grey-beard loon himself now, singing
“Hallelujah” for fish & chips in London’s O2 Arena.
“Suzanne takes you down, Babaloo!”
At last, I am Jesus Quintana—
John Turturro stealing the movie as usual--
This time in a hair net and a jumpsuit,
"Made of a comfortable 65% polyester/35%
Cotton poplin, you can even add your own
Ribbon leg trim and monogramming
For just the right look to be one of
The Big Lebowski’s favorite characters.
Mouse-over the thumbnail below to see our actual style
(Color must be purple). Style #: 98P, Price: $55.95. On sale: $"
Fortunately, I am a savvy marketeer:
I understand the artistic potential, the venal
Possibilities of product placement. Go with me
To that undiscovered country.
The humanities uncorrupted till now by
Crass gimcrack television ads. That’s right:
******* commercials smack dab in the
Middle of a ******* poem. Why not?
Great literature has always been about
Selling something, even if only an idea.
Hey, **** me, Herman Melville!
We both know the publication costs of
Moby **** were underwritten by the tattoo artists &
Harpoon manufacturers of New Bedford,
Matched by a small research grant from some
Proto-Greenpeace, Poseidon adventure in some
Great white whale-watching swinging soiree.
Murray the ******* K, pendejo!
At last, I am The Jesus, a pervert & pederast,
According to Walter Sobjak—another post-traumatic
Post Toasty, like me, still out there in the jungle,
Still in love with the smell of ****** in the morning.
My bowling buddy, Walter, comfortably far to the right of
The Dude, and Attila the *** for that matter,
But who gives a **** if Lenin was The Walrus?
(“Shut the **** up, Buscemi!”)
“Once you hang a right at Hubert Humphrey,”
Said the streets of 1968 Chicago,
"It’s all ******* fascism anyway.”
That creep could roll, though, and as we know so well:
“Nobody ***** with The Jesus.”
Can you dig it, Travolta?
I knew that you could!

I just heard from an old girlfriend who is miles away,
Teaching school in Navajo Land.
The Big Rez:  a long day’s interstate katzenjammer,
A Route 66 nightmare by car, but by email,
Just down the block and round the corner.
I had previously closed an email to her with a frivolous
“Say hello to my stinky friend.”
It was a total non-sequitur, an iconic-moronic,
Ace Ventura-mutant line from Scarface,
Which may have meant–in my herbal lunch delirium—
That she should say hi to some mutual acquaintance
We mutually loathe, Or, perhaps an acknowledgement that she–
My surrogate Cameron Diaz–has a new **** buddy,
Of whom I am insanely jealous.
Or maybe it was a simple Seinfeld “about nothing.”
Who knows what goes on in that twisted *****’s head?
She spends the next two hours in a flood of funk,
A deluge of insecurity.
A veritable Katrina ****** of self-consciousness,
Interpreting my inane nonsense in terms of vaginal health.

Hey, you want to ruin a woman’s day?
Tell her, her **** smells.
May 2017 · 1.9k
“The Big Picture”
Just think how perfect it all seems.
Examine, if you will, Plants.
If you won’t, “****-You.”
I am not your Cabaret floorshow.
Shall we begin again?
Examine the Plant Kingdom.
And let’s focus on Water—H2O for
You of the Walking/Talking Chemistry Set—
Water: a precise, covalent compound.
And what does it take?
A ***** molecule of hydrogen,
Pulling a 3-way with some pathetic,
Starved for affection,
Me-so-***** atom of
The rest—as they say--is History.
(CUE my readers—
My sweet, effervescent readers—
They come chiming in,
Avenging my Line 3 *******:
“No, Joe, the rest is actually Chemistry.”)
Although I may lack respect for my readers,
I am certainly not dealing with idiots.
This is Interactive Poetry, Kemosabe:
Life lyrics for the Chorus,
Of thee I sing.
Of thee I am one.
But I digress.

The subject was Water.
Water gets ****** up—&
That has got to feel really good—
Into a vast & elaborate network,
Dispensing itself, climbing to
Leaf-height by mid-morning,
Given that big, white-hot bocce ball in the sky
First warming, then igniting a thousand-million
Stoma/Stomata: Choose One.

Difference Between Stoma & Stomata: Stoma and stomata are similar words, so it's easy to get the two confused. The difference between them is easy to remember, however, as stomata is  just the plural for stoma. A plant uses its stomata to take in and release gases, according to More »

Verdant Stomata?
Sounds like an Italian Pizza Queen,
As defined by Rhode Islanders,
According to Ronnie Conheim,
A crony of my early 20s,
Who has dis-appeared off the
****-cheeks of our planet.
Again, I digress.

LEAVES: the passion pit of our
Randy **** atmosphere.
Manufacturing oxygen for those
On the CO2 side of the equation,
Whatever that means.
Leaves: a reciprocal source & target.
For those of us in these parts who
Exhale carbon dioxide.
And just so we get this straight:
We are the Plant Kingdom’s archenemy,
Their bête noire, their Lex Luther incarnate,
Anathema, slugging & wheezing its way,
Through an eternally ebonic Worm Hole.

Plants & Animals:
These two would **** us both off.
So an ecological truce gets hammered out,
“The Paris Agreement on Climate Change,”
They are calling it, perhaps the most profound
Meeting of the Earth’s collected minds.
EV-VAH, in History or Chemistry . . .
(CUE BRANDO, Sky Masterson,
Guys & Dolls: “YEAH, CHEMISTRY!”
A shrewdly negotiated fairy tale,
With fine print out the yin-yang,
Explaining why only 144 of the 197
Parties to the convention have
Ratified (what rats do when organized?)
Ratified a document fatter than Manhattan’s
White page telephone book:
Behold BTW a species of literature,
Beginning to resemble a dead carcass,
Nearly an anachronism for a once
Vast & potent paper publishing industry.

Plant & Animals: these two
Will **** each other.
The Peace: a fragile trip wire.
The Accord?
A case of hyped ecological stagecraft,
The threshold celebration
Staged in--of all places—
Marrakech, Morocco:
The Hashish Capital of the Eastern Hemisphere.

Marrakesh Express - Wikipedia“Marrakesh Express” is a song written by Graham Nash and Performed by the band Crosby, Stills and Nash (CSN). It was first released in May of 1969 on the...

C.S.N Marrakech Express-YouTube/
v=0AkYLtegF1MDec 14, 2009 ... Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Marrakesh Express (Live at Farm Aid 2000) - Duration: 3:56. Farm Aid 36,976 views · 3:56. CSN - Crosby, Stills...

That’s right! The poet finally figuring out
What it takes to avoid dying diseased &
Psychotic in the gutter.)

The Big Picture?
Plants & Animals:
These two will **** us all off.
And we'll watch the whole thing on Reality TV.
(The Greater Prairie Chicken: a grouse of open grassland, is known for its mating dance. Males display together in a communal lek, where they raise ear-like feathers above their heads, inflate orange sacs on the sides of their throats, and stutter-step around while making a deep hooting moan.)

So how you gonna keep ‘em
Down on the farm after they’d seen Paree?
After “displaying together” in
Their own private lek--
Communal though it was.
It’s May in Hemetucky.
I just got back from my
Twilight constitutional,
As Truman called it.
Harry—since I was born in 1949—
Tribute for my first Commander-in-Chief.
The moon was misted,
More than half full,
Myself half in the bag,
As they say.

As you know by know,
I live in one of those gated,
Golf-coursed, over-55
Lunatic Asylums,
A communal lek, as they say.
I’m stutter schlepping around the block
In my pajamas remembering that big sign,
So full of promise--ACTIVE SENIORS—
A veritable sexually promiscuous
Welcome Mat.
I made an assumption, you see,
That children of the 60s grown old
Would relish a life of legal **** in a
Gated sanctuary with hours upon hours of
“Let’s Hide the Pepperoni.”

I knew I missed those years,
That era of bra-burning &
Birth Control.
Wonton ******* & *******,
A bowl of Won-Ton carnality:
Wild abandon, mature ladies,
Their ******* in a ***,
At the bottom of their purse,
(Thank you, Joan Osborne)

Joan Osborne - Right Hand Man Lyrics | MetroLyrics to 'Right Hand Man' by Joan Osborne. Let me use your toothbrush / Have you got a clean shirt? / My ******* in a *** /at the bottom of my purse / I walk. (www.advertise/right-in-the-middle-of-*******

Yet, I languish here
Here in the now,
Having shown my cards too often.
After 10 years here no woman
Takes me seriously,
Given my unserious reputation,
Not to be taken seriously.
Which explains why I spend
So much of my time in Italy
May 2017 · 878
"The Coast of Malabar"
Listening to “The Chieftains” again,
Their Long Black Veil CD: a gift to
Marijuana smokers. N'est-ce pas?
**** Jagger singing the title track,
A sweet, lugubrious ode to black widows.
Could there be such creatures?
Women you would **** for,
Offing your best friend for?
She had better be as good as it gets.
Could such women exist?
Beautiful & toxic;
Duplicitous, cunning,

******* | *** Risk and Prevention | ***/AIDS | CDC***/risk/oralsex.html has a low *** risk, but it is not zero. Learn ... Involves using the mouth to stimulate the ****** (*******). (*******/ $$Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching$$

**** would have licked her **** as
They led him up the scaffold steps,
She was a woman worth dying for, to be sure.

And Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor?
Isn’t it time we forgave her?
So she shaved her head.
So she shredded the Pope’s photo on SNL.
He was, after all, the Polish Pope,
The one that kissed the ground
Whenever he got off an airplane.
How could you not love the guy?
Shot while riding in his Pope Mobile,
He later visited Mehmet Ali Ağca in prison,
Forgiving his would-be assassin face-to-face,
Exonerating the Bulgarian kreplach, for all
Special Victims Unit “especially heinous offenses” &
Proto-Islamic terror.
Surely, he could forgive the little Irish ****?

Can’t we? Leading by example?
I don’t know what you’d call it.
In any language: powerful.
Oh, Sinead, my sweet Sinead,
We miss your sweet sad dulcet tones.
Consider yourself exonerated.
Consider yourself free to be loved again.

And let’s not forget Tom Jones,
Come on ladies: you threw your sopping
Wet ******* to the stage for him.
His “Tennessee Waltz” breaking my heart,
Losing my wife to my best friend.
No wonder I shot the Sheriff.
Surprised I did not also shoot the Deputy.
And “The Chieftains” themselves,
Transporting us to the Coast of Malabar.
We are all Irish sailors
Infatuated, hopelessly enchanted by a
Swarthy Dravidian shiksa.
Paid one hundred francs
Sweet luscious, bargain kisses
Ill-gotten rapture.
Mar 2017 · 3.1k
"The Price of Information"
So let us now place monetary value on information.
Let us return to the source,
Mining & prospecting that fertile intel seam.
To wit: WWII and G-2 shenanigans.
Wild Bill and OSS-capades,
Artificial disseminations.
Partial recriminations.
A literary nightmare--
THE CYCLOPS from The Odyssey,
For example,
If you lack your own,
Your own personal Bogey Man.
Or men. For me:
Allen Dulles or Richard Helms.

The Intelligence Community:
It was a small tightly knit crew,
Less than battalion strength in 1942;
A few myopic soldiers,
Who, although could barely type,
Were still too cerebral to
Waste as infantry fodder.
It was a huge converted Army-green warehouse,
Space strategically partitioned,
Sectioned off into cubicle-like spaces,
By giant 4-drawer file cabinets
Standing tall like MPs,
Sentinels & Guardians,
Monuments to pre-electronic storage,
Data relatively comprehensive, and an
Archive secretive & intimidating.

Within the Army-green incunabula,
Scattered throughout the intel landscape,
Here and there a few commissioned officers,
A smattering of college psychology majors,
Personalities with predilections,
And penchants for mind games.
These self same WWII vets,
Would morph into Cold War Mad Men.
Stalwart, stouthearted men of Eisenhower,
And J. Walter Thompson,
De-mobbed, as they say in the UK.
Particularly when it came to the kids;
Children of the peace,
Called Baby-Boomers,
An entire generation enabled & destroyed.
Who would produce little of value
Except medical marijuana and
Coupons, clipped by that sober ruling class—
Fat interest-bearing college-loan portfolios
Held by that neo-Calvinist Elect: The 1%.
Fat cats one and all,
Loaded dice & canasta cronies--
In concert a stacked deck,
“Una mano lava l'altra.”
The words of my namesake--
My grandfather Giuseppe--
His vowels reverberating,
Rattling in my dreams.
Not friends, but
Fiends in high places, like
The Fed and dark liquid pools.
Thank you, Barack, for
Fooling us again.
For giving us
“Belief we can believe in.”

But I digress.
It was when the Government Secrecy Act,
In all its transnational incarnations,
Embraced capitalism in a big way,
Elevating the ideology to whole-Earth saturation,
Systemizing the ethos of Darwin,
Into one global Moby ****,
One solitary leviathan,
A multi-level marketing labyrinth,
Where wealth is the end game--
Greed: pure, unbridled & unrestrained.
Bond--James Bond—
Did his bit, supplying catchy
Slogans & tag-lines:
“For Your Eyes Only.”
“On a need to know basis.”
“Confidential Information.”
“Top & Ultra-Top Secret.”
“Hush, Hush & a Bag of Chips.”

The sealed letter sits in a locked drawer,
In that stout desk,
In the Oval Office
In The White House,
“To be opened by my VP in the event of my death.”
Another staggering work,
Of achy-achy-heart breaking genius,
The culture commoditized,
A disease containing its own cure,
Assayed, graded,
Portioned & packaged.
Priced accordingly,
To a logic that goes something like:
“Anything this tightly controlled,
Anything the government deems to be
This illegitimate and/or & secret
Must be really, really God-awesome,
Must really be Da ******* Bomb.”

Brother Coolidge was right:
“The Business of America is Business.”
“The Most Valuable Commodity on Earth.”
So said Stanford Stuyvesant Whitehead III,
19th Century robber baron, and
Consummate Fat Cat.
Get the picture:
We were smoking cigars and sipping cognac,
Mighty comfortable in leather armchairs,
Muted billiard clicks,
Punctuating the atmosphere
In this spacious lounge,
His East Side
Downtown & private
Manhattan club.
I, his guest, had not the slightest idea
Why I was there.
"By God, man," he went on,
My eyes speared by his laser gaze,
His bushy eyebrows,
His monocle.
His bulbous nose;
His thick wet mustache.
And those EYES:  
Those crazy,
Insane eyes.

"I am talking about a profound change,” he continued.
“Back when the steamship
Gave way to electronic wireless radio."
He puffed smoke,
Removing the cigar from his mouth,
Holding it,
Examining it critically for a moment.
"I'm talking about communication,
Instant communication
With business associates, &
Cronies far away,
Way out there,
Far beyond the places we know well.
Picture it:
You're running a fleet of
Ramshackle Filipino banana boats,
Out of some nameless cove,
Indenting the south coast of Mindanao.
A cyclone comes out of nowhere.
Good God--there’s sixteen banana-packed
Coal burners lying on the bottom of the Celebes Sea.
Think about it:
You've got telegraph radio.
Everyone else has the post office.
Now, I ask you:
‘Who's going long,
Who’s getting rich on the
Caracas Banana Exchange?’
Good Lord, man, it would be
Like being omniscient!"
“This very conversation,” he went on,
“Could well be a verbatim transcription
Of a conversation right here in this very room,
Between people like: J. Pierpont Morgan
And some lesser Gilded Age nabob;
Some Astor, some Rockefeller,
A Gould or Vanderbilt,
Whitney or Duke,
Some Frick or Warburg--
To name just a few, old sport.”
He stopped suddenly.
He looked down at his hands,
As we both realized he had counted these names
Out on his fat curled fingers.
He looked at me and smiled.
I was afraid.
Why had I been invited to this meeting?
I smiled back at him,
Doing my best to mirror his
Carnivorous menace.

I knew it.
He knew it.
He knew I knew it.
Mr. Whitehead’s growling rabid jowls,
His slobbering canine smile held me steady.
“Okay. Touché. ‘Ya got me.”
He shook off the phony smile,
An absence, accentuating
His stare: lethal, carnal & rare.
“I never had much formal schooling.
I’ve been hungry.
Hungry enough to know for sure
That the correct fork,
Don’t mean ***** from shinola.
When I’m dining out, fancy-like,
Me manners is the least of me problems,
Far less important than
The dinner chit they
Hand me after I slake
My thirst & appetite.”
Again, he stopped suddenly,
Recognizing that, perhaps,
He’d revealed too much of his
Bedford-Stuyvesant pedigree.
He turned again and stared at me.
“None of that,” he said.
“None of that means squat to me, Boyo.
What matters now is I’m rich.
I’ve got mine, By God,
And ******* It!
Tough ***** on the rest of you losers;
The rest of you fecking whiners can go
**** yourselves over at Zuccotti Park.”
He pounded the armrest,
The padded armrest of the rich Corinthian leather—
( . . . ***, Ricardo?
Get your Montalbán
Mexicano ***, back in
Random Access Memory Land,
Where you belong.
**** ya’ Fantasy Island
Hospitality, Mr. Roarke,
Go be wrathful Khan Noon Singh,
Somewhere else.
Now is not the time, or,
Let me rephrase that:
This narrative will not allow your meme here . . .)    

Whitehead pounds the armrest again.
“My point is this:  
None of JP Morgan’s decidedly,
un-nattering lesser nabobs of negativity . . .”
BAM!  Again, he pounded the leather . . .

(Back in your ******* hole, Spiro!
Do you realize just how far back,
Just how far back
Maryland’s reputation
Has been set back by your venality?
Not to mention any shot at ethnic assimilation,
The rest of us grease ball non-Wasps
Have in this country?
You ******* Greek!)

I stopped thinking
When I realized Stanford Stuyvesant Whitehead III
Was reading my mind.
“So that’s what it’s really all about,” he said,
Rank smugness in his voice.
“So, I’m just a nouveau riche upstart,
A socially inept parvenu,
Yet they still let me
Join their tony clubs.
It chaps your ***, Boyo, don’t it?
I’m still Scotch-Irish, and
A WASP, Laddie.
Something your skinny
Greaser-Guinea-****-Spaghetti-*** ***,
Ain’t ever gonna be.”
But I digress, again.

So I joined one of Uncle Sam’s
Lesser-known clandestine services,
An assignment appropriate to my ethnic identity,
Namely GLADIO in Italy,
A NATO stay-behind operation &
Cold-War comedy.
I infiltrated the Brigate Rosse.
I drove the Aldo Moro kidnap vehicle.
I cooked minestrone for General Dozier.
I sliced off J. Paul Getty’s ear in Calabria.
Ironically, I lost my hearing during
The Stazione Bologna bombing.
I am consequently pensioned off,
Off both the radar and the payroll.
Years later now,
I live in one of those gated, golf-coursed,
Over-55, sunny southern California
Lunatic asylums.

Most days I am drunk at 9 AM.
I fill Bukowski mornings,
Conjuring up Jane Fonda,
Jazzercised in camo spandex.
She is high atop a Vietcong tank in Hanoi.
Or Daniel Ellsberg
Enjoying a second act in American politics,
Praising Snowden & Assange,
& Bradley Manning,
I summon up the ghosts of
Julius & Ethel,
Benedict Arnold,
Rose of Tokyo & Mata Hari—
And Ezra exiled at Rapallo,
And John Walker Lindh,
A Yankee Doodle Dandy,
Born in Washington,
District of Columbia,
By way of Afghanistan,
Taliban Americano,
Presently residing at the
Federal Correctional Institution
At Terre Haute, Indiana.
And Poets?
No longer capable of keeping secrets.
Desperate now to tell
The truth.
Mar 2017 · 650
"Sacrificial Lambs"
Love always has two angles
Whenever two people are involved.
From one perspective,
He/she is here out of kindness,
One of many old lovers & confidants
Who know how far down the other can go,
Whenever in-between relationships.
Each knows, has learned
Through many silent ghosted months,
That the other will always,
Will eventually need them again.
He loves me, she loves me not,
Either one, just freaking terrified.
Never giving one's self completely,
Just one more lobster for the steamer,
"Scuttling across the floors of silent seas,"
One more sacrificial lamb,
First to the shearing house,
Ultimately, the abattoir.
One more cavalier mariner,
Crossing oceans of time,
Carefree swashbucklers are we,
Boffing whomever, at times
Dismal enough to fall in love.
And vice versa, of course,
Thinking about putting down
Shallow roots again.

(Ghosted: A term used to describe when a man (or woman) you've been seeing for a while stops taking your calls and answering your texts. These actions are usually preceded by many a broken promise to "hang out" "have a drink or two" or "catch up" on the part of the Ghoster. The Ghostee is left wondering whether the person just beside them two weeks ago is now alive or dead. Neither can be definitively proven.  "I had been sleeping with Vicky/Jack for about a year and a half before he Ghosted me. Even a "*******" would have been better.")
Mar 2017 · 1.5k
"Women With Glocks"
This tough front,
This altogether unlikeable first impression,
This mean, crude obnoxious scumbag,
This despicable misogynist,
This cynical misanthropic madman,
“Wassup wit dat?”
Enquiring fans of poetry want to know.
Simply stated, 'tis my oldest modus operandi,
Self-protective, learned street behavior;
My don’t-****-with–me first line of defense.
Surely some form of survival mechanism;
Meant in the narrow psychological sense.
Evidence of mental health or illness,
My cloaking device and shield,
Gift from Jove, my goombah father.
Dad: a powerful force in any child’s universe—
Be the patriarch dead, absent, retired on the job,
Out of the picture, just plain missing--or insane,
The latter, something you may not
Want to know about your gene pool.

So I’m really just a *****.
Forgive the expression, Germaine Greer.
A pussycat and big old teddy bear,
Mr. Sensitivity:
Wiping a warm washcloth between your legs.
Across puffed & pouted lips, gently.
After shooting a load of *** into you.
Or on your face: Spumante!

No, strike that last part.
Let’s start again.
I am a kind soul, a precious man.
The sort who likes animals;
Puppies, especially, and kittens too.
Savoring sunsets and flowers,
I serve you sweet gelato & Asti.
Sometimes I’ll spumante you with original love poetry.
My Muse: your gorgeous body delights me,
Your brilliant mind & noble spirit inspires.
Each night of the week I surprise you,
Prepare for you an exquisite home-cooked gourmet meal.
Served with your favorite Pinot Noir,
Brought to your elegant, candlelit dining room table,
By yours truly, wearing only a scarlet bow tie
And black silk jockstrap.
(Starting to get into this, Maureen Dowd?)
Later I’ll run you a relaxing bath,
So you’ll have something to do,
While I wash the dishes, scrub the pots,
Do a load of whites, clean your bidet,
And Swiffer®  ( the entire house.

By then, you are ready for your nightly spa treatment,
A 15-minute, deep tissue massage,
Followed by a hot oil treatment.
Next up is 30 nonstop delirious minutes,
Me, going down on you, without
Seeking any ****** gratification for myself.
In the morning I’ll make macadamia nut pancakes,
Your favorite, and brew you a fabulous cup of coffee,
From freshly ground beans, very rare beans
Salvaged from Karen Blixen’s last crop, before the fire
Completely destroyed her plantation in Kenya.
"I had a farm in Africa, Babaloo!

You can go shopping from dawn to dusk
With Ruth Madoff, while I go out & lose my soul,
Selling Dominican Republic timeshares all day and all night . . .  
(Cue West Indies Calypso: “All Day, All Night, Mary Ann!”)
Calypso-Harry Belafonte Songs, Reviews, Credits,
Awards 1956.)
I’ll still find the time to open up for you
A line of credit at your favorite nail salon.
I’ll pay for weekly bikini waxes, hair and Botox treatments,
And the odd cosmetic surgery you may require.
I’ll pay your cell phone bill; I’ll pay off your college loans.
I’ll send money to your extended family in the Ukraine.
Yeah, that’s the kind of guy I am.
Your life with me will be every woman’s dream.

And, if you believe that,
You soulless Ukrainian ****,
Then monkeys will fly out of my Wayne’s World ****,
You stupid capital C for ****-*******,
Capital B for *****.
“Arms and the Woman,”
An article in Time Magazine, conveys a statistic:
Some 20 million women in the U.S. own guns.
As the NRA instructs:
Guns don’t **** people.
Women with Glocks **** people.
Mar 2017 · 8.5k
“Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons.”
                                                    ­ George Orwell, 1984* (published in 1949)

Which brings us, of course, to the subject of torture since 1949.
Come with me to the Casbah, Babaloo.
We begin in the 1950s with the French in North Africa,
****** baguettes in Algeria,
Couilles frits, anyone?
Electrodes wired to Mustapha’s *****.
And "Bigeard's Shrimps,” as the bodies were called,
Dumped over the Mediterranean from aircraft,
All things considered a je ne sais quoi,
Though Camus and Sartre gave it a whack.

Then the 1960s: the CIA dabbling in mind-control and LSD.
Later, a Phoenix Program,
Very secretive, sympathies with the Cong required,
Various elders selected,
The village disinfected,
**, **, ** and a bowl of Pho.

Apartheid anyone?
Thirty years of South African terror & torture.
Torment in the townships,
Shaka Zulu gold and diamonds,
De Beers in Swaziland swing.

1971: riots at Attica,
Prisoners abused and tortured,
Rockefeller’s overcrowded slammer,
An upstate New York katzenjammer,
Nelson’s finger on the trigger,
39 dead and counting,
But who’s counting?

The CIA, back in the news in 1973,
Torture chambers under Chilean soccer stadiums,
And the Khmer Rouge:
Those Wacky Cambodians with skull racks.  
And let us not forget the British,
With centuries of colonial experience behind them,
Occupy six counties in Northern Ireland.
Finally codify the imperial process,
The Five Techniques:
Sounds like a Motown group,
Satin smooth colored boys,
But more method than music:
(1) Wall-standing,
(2) Hooding,
(3) Subjection to noise,
(4) Sleep deprivation,
(5) No food and drink.

And there’s a bunch of horrible ****,
We still don’t know about the Argentine ***** War,
And other Mai Lai-like,
****-fest massacres in Vietnam.

How about torture since 1984?
Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo,
Come quickly,
To mind,
As do US-sponsored rendition facilities,
Spread throughout the NATO alliance.
And closer to home, it’s never a dull moment in the 5 Boroughs:
Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx and Manhattan.
Take your pick from Giuliani’s Greatest Hits,
Rudy Kazootie’s campaign of law and order,
Not necessarily in that order.
More awful than lawful,
A bathroom plunger rammed up,
The Haitian voodoo ****** of Abner Louima,
While he be handcuffed at a Brooklyn station house.
Or, the NYPD partying like it was 1999.
When in fact, it was1999,
And a curious death it was for Amadou Diallo,
Would-be American citizen from The Republic of Guinea,
(No connection to Italy or Italians),
Abner & Amadou: a pair of cautionary tales,
Either/or reflecting standard procedure for the Po-Po,
Time and time again from coast to coast.
Either/or: poor Abner, no Haitian Papa Doc.
Poor Amadou, on his way home from night school,
When police squeeze off 41 rounds,
Most of them in his direction,
Hitting him 19 times.
Just the facts, ma’am:
Diallo had reached into his jacket.
A trigger-happy police officer yells “Gun.”
A jungle warfare quartet springs into action:
Shenzi, Banzai, Ed & Zazu,
Four equally trigger-happy colleagues,
Empty their weapons.
No gun was found on Diallo,
Only the wallet he tried to pull out,
Containing his Green Card,
4 U.S. dollar bills;
And a laminated,
Credit card-sized copy of the U.S. Bill of Rights.
(I just didn’t know when to quit, did I?
The wallet was there with Green Card and the bucks,
But I made up the part about the Bill of Rights,
Trying to add poetry to tragedy, as usual.)

I don’t have to say much about Rodney King (RIP).
You watched it on TV a hundred times,
And a picture’s worth a thousand words.
Or ten thousand or a million, I suppose.
“Can’t we all just get along?” asked Rodney Glen King.

Last but not least there’s Kelly Thomas (RIP),
Another incidence of police insanity,
It was July of 2011 in Fullerton, California.
Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man,
Schizophrenic, but unarmed,
Beaten to death at a bus depot,
During an altercation with six Fullerton police officers.
Read more:­­ce-beat-taser-gentle-mentally-ill-homeless-man­-death.html#ixzz1e­3­4QnHtr

Mervyn Lazarus | Attorney | ( Police Brutality, Excessive Force and Jail Injury cases | California . . . Albuquerque

Jackie Chiles perfect attorney -YouTube, ( Nov 17, 2010 - 13 min - Uploaded by Kroeger22 All the scenes with Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld."Chiles is a parody of famed attorney Johnnie Cochran; both ...

Perhaps the greatest torture of all,
Is that which artists subject us to.
Let us examine the case of Roberto Bolaño:
Roberto Bolaño, the great Chilean writer,
Tells a fabulous World War II story,
About a Spaniard--an Andalusian--
Fighting for the Germans against the Russians.
Captured by the Russians,
He is tortured for information.
The Spaniard speaks no Russian,
He knows only four words of German.
The Russian interrogators strap him into a chair,
Attach electrodes to his *****,
Attach pincers to his tongue.
The pain makes his eyes water.
He said--or rather shouts--the word coño.
It is Spanish for ****.
The pincers in his mouth,
Distort the expletive,
Which in his howling voice comes out as KUNST.
The Russian who knows German looks at him in puzzlement.
The Andalusian was yelling KUNST,
Yelling KUNST and crying in pain.
KUNST in German means art,
And that was what the bilingual Russian heard, KUNST.
“This ******* must be an artist or something.”
The torturers remove the pincers,
Along with a little piece of tongue,
And wait, momentarily hypnotized by the revelation:
The word ART had soothed the savage beasts.
So soothed, the savage beasts take a breather,
Waiting for some kind of signal.
Meanwhile, the Andalusian bleeds from the mouth,
Swallows his blood liberally mixed with saliva, and chokes.
The word coño,
Transformed into the word *KUNST,

Had saved his life.
It was dusk when he came out of the building.
Light stabbed at his eyes like midday sun.

So, it’s a fact that I love,
Truly love the simple blunt Anglo-Saxon expletive ****,
****: I pray that while I am being tortured some day,
I have the dignity to scream the word out loud.
And if I am screaming **** at the very end,
When my nervous system finally fails,
When I **** my pants,
When my pulmonic heart and lungs collapse,
Is that so bad?
Is that so wrong?

Do you realize that 1984 came--
Came and went, without any significant cultural hoopla?
The networks ignored it.
As did the cable pundits.
No significant comparative analysis between,
Orwell’s book 1984 and the year 1984,
Was broadcast electronically or publicized in print.
Steve Jobs got it, but as usual no one else did.
Mr. Jobs (RIP) did his best,
To mainstream its profound cultural relevance,
But ultimately failed,
Despite the $1.5 million he paid one of the networks,
To air a one minute nation-wide commercial,
During the 3rd Quarter,
Of Super Bowl XVIII,
January 22, 1984.
Despite Ridley Scott’s astonishing spell-binder,
His 60-second spot for The Macintosh 128K--
Still considered a watershed event,
And an advertising industry masterpiece,
…YouTube it and watch it.  (
See the hammer throwing athlete chick,
See her fling the sledge,
That huge sledgehammer,
Smash into Big Brother’s flat screen face.
Despite Jobs’ global presence,
Despite Steverino’s unfettered microphone access,
Whenever he felt an oraculation coming on,
Despite everything,
He was unable to move the powers that be,
To either hype the book or the prophecy come true.

So, what’s my point? I have two.
First, in April 1984 the estate of George Orwell,
And the television rights holder to the novel 1984,
Considered the edgy Jobs/Scott commercial to be,
A flagrant copyright infringement,
Sending a cease-and-desist letter to Apple Inc.
And the advertising agency that produced the spot: Chiat/Day Inc.
The commercial was never televised as a commercial after that.  
Score: Lawyers 1, Artists 0.

My second point is that in November 2011,
The U.S. government argued before the U. S. Supreme Court,
That it wants to continue utilizing GPS tracking of individuals,
Without first seeking a warrant.
In response, Justice Stephen Breyer (one of the sane ones),
Questioned what this means for a democratic society.
Referencing Nineteen Eighty-Four, Justice Breyer asked:
"If you win this case, then there is nothing,
To prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24/7,
The public movement of every citizen of the United States.
So if you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like 1984 . . .”*

My third point,
(Yeah, I know I said two, but *******.)
My third point is that I’m just so ******* angry,
All the time, late and soon like Wordsworth,
(Was anyone more aptly named?)
I am angry about so many different things,
And every day that goes by I relate more and more,
To the thousands of Americans that occupied,
Zuccotti Park and Oakland,
And countless other venues,
Out into the streets.
Across the country.
Around the world.  
I am humbled by their courage and perseverance.
Yet, I am afraid for them.
I am made paranoid by the scope and power,
Of the government,
Of the ruling class that controls it,
And the technology they allow us to embrace,
Technology’s sinister potential,
Now that more and more knowledge and information,
Has been digitized,
Existing only in cyberspace.                                                      ­                                                 
What frightens most is the realization,
That anyone with a word processor,
And access to the database could rewrite,
Any historical or legal document,
To fit the needs of a current agenda.
The scary part is—
Repeating myself for emphasis—
That anyone with a word processor
And access to the database could rewrite,
Any historical or legal document,
To fit the needs of a current agenda.

Does anyone out there give a ****?
Does anyone out there share my nightmare?
Do it to Julia.
Do it to Julia.
(Her name was Geraldine Cohen.
She lived in Miami Beach.
I was 21. She was 35.
I will always love her.)*

Yellow fizzies in the lime cabana,
Bronze banana at five-fifteen,
Downing dizzies in a timely manner,
Getting foxy with you, Geraldine.
Mar 2017 · 1.3k
"Schroeder Plays Hiroshima"
A smooth jazz blast from the musical past:
The confused ethnomusicology,
The pleasantly discordant riffs and
Jingles of "Hiroshima"
The band not the bomb site—
Whose fusion sound
Evokes an insane sextet
Granting membership, inexplicably to
Schroeder-- the Peanuts loony tune—
Hitting only the black keys of his piano,
His miniature keyboard
Sour, melodious & pure.
Feb 2017 · 1.8k
"Mexican Arboreal"
That Mexican hunger of memory,
That 7- 10 evening shift,
Campesinos de Chihuahua,
Sinaloans de Durango,
Day laborers:
Organized Labor’s stubborn cohort,
Largely ungovernable,
With Union Label conspicuous in absence.
Labor Unions:
Largely dead in America,
Except for SIEU, of course,
Making astonishing strides in unskilled circles.
SIEU: The Future of the American Labor Movement,
Eugene Debs rolling over in his grave again.
But I digress.
Mexican gardeners:
Doing most of southern California’s
Weekly landscaping these days.
Tree-trimming in evening twilight,
Certainly an extracurricular
Earning activity these days.
“Hustlers Only” need apply.
Adding five or ten or twenty,
Cash on Tio Sammy's barrelhead,
Mexican tree trimmers, already exhausted from
A workday that began at 6 AM.
And isn't it a pity?
A moment’s lack of concentration,
Distracted, perhaps, by *****-spirit former selves,
Sipping that last shot of afternoon tequila.
Cue Jay & the Americans:
“In a little café on the other side of the border.
She was giving me looks that made my mouth water.”
Distracted, a chainsaw arcs carnelian.
ReCue Jay et al: The chainsaw
“That belonged to JOSE!
Yes I knew. Yes I knew. Yes I knew.”
Severing his right shoulder deltoid,
A butchering to say the least,
Requiring, at least, three weeks “en casa.”
Tres semanas
Without Labor,
Without Capital,
No wage-slave salt lick.
“No dinero” for bread and butter.
Bread and butter?
A consummation devoutly wished for.
And dead certainly,
Better than Guns or Butter?
That Hobson’s choice.
No Padron LBJ are you,
Down along the Pedernales
Texas Hill Country, west of Austin.
Conjuring up both Guns and Butter?
You can’t have both.
Which is why we laboring folk
Always opt for the former,
Knowing instinctively that
A full-flush, spurting military-industrial complex
Means full employment and good times,
Except, of course, for the soldier boys.

“Y los sueños.”
Bourgeoisie entrechats.
I hear America still singing, faintly now.
A shrinking middle-class siren song--
Just a little something--
Some small baited hook--
Some chum bucket for Les Miserables;
Swarthy aspirants.
“Y los sueños.”
Our hunger of memory,
That once booming American 20th Century;
Horatio Alger:
Alive & kicking in the new millennium.
For those among us who lived by the rules,
Lived frugal lives of *****-scratching desperation;
For those who sustained a zombie-like state for 30 or 40 years,
For these few, our lucky few—
We bequeath an interactive Life-Alert emergency dog tag,
Or better still a dog, a colossal pet beast,
A humongous Harlequin Dane to feed,
For that matter, why not buy a few new cars before you die?
Your home mortgage is, after all, dead and buried.
We gave you senior-citizen rates for water, gas & electricity—
“The Big 3,” as they are known in certain Gasoline Alley-retro
Neighborhoods among us,
Our parishes and boroughs.
All this and more, had you lived small,
Had you played by the rules for Smurfs & Serfs.

We leave you the chance to treat your grandkids
Like Santa’s A-List clientele,
“Good ‘ol Grampa,” they’ll recollect fondly,
“Sweet Grammy Strunzo, they will sigh.
What more could you want in retirement?

You’ve enabled another generation of deadbeat grandparents,
And now you’re next in line for the ice floe,
To be taken away while still alive,
Still hunched over and wheezing,
On a midnight sleigh ride,
Your son, pulling the proverbial Eskimo sled,
Down to some random Arctic shore,
Placing you gently on the ice floe.
Your son; your boy--
A true chip off the igloo, so to speak.
He leaves you on the ice floe,
Remembering not to leave the sled,
The proverbial Sled of Abbandono,
The one never left behind,
As it would be needed again,
Why not a home in storage while we wait?
The family will surely need it sometime down the line.

A dignified death?
Who can afford one these days?
The question answers itself:
You are John Goodman in “The Big Lebowski.”
You opt for an empty 2-lb can of Folgers.
You know: "The best part of waking up, is Folger's in your cup!"
That useless mnemonic taught us by “Mad Men.”
Slogans and theme songs imbibe us.

Zombie accouterments,
Provided by America’s Ruling Class.
Thank you Lewis H. Lapham for giving it to us straight.
Why not go with the aluminum Folgers can?
Rather than spend the $300.00 that mook funeral director
Tries to shame you into coughing up,
For the economy-class “Legacy Urn.”
An old seduction:  Madison Avenue’s Gift of Shame.
Does your **** smell?” asks a sultry voice,
Igniting a carpet bomb across the 20-45 female cohort,
2 billion pathetically insecure women,
Spending collectively $10 billion each year—
Still a lot of money, unless it’s a 2013
Variation on an early 1930s Germany theme;
The future we’ve created;
The future we deserve.

Now a wheelbarrow load of paper currency,
Scarcely buy a loaf of bread.
Even if you’re lucky enough to make it,
Back to your cave alive,
After shopping to survive.
Women spend $10 billion a year for worry-free *****.
I don’t read The Wall Street Journal either,
But I’m pretty **** sure,
That “The Feminine Hygiene Division”
Continues to hold a corner office, at
Fear of Shame Corporate Headquarters.
Eventually, FDS will go the way of the weekly ******.
Meanwhile, in God & vaginal deodorant we trust,
Something you buy just to make sure,
Just in case the *** Gods send you a gift.
Some 30-year old **** buddy,
Some linguistically gifted man or woman,
Some he or she who actually enjoys eating your junk:
“Oh Woman, thy name is frailty.”
“Oh Man, thou art a Woman.”
“Oh Art is for Carney in “Harry & Tonto,”
Popping the question: “Dignity in Old Age?”
Will it too, go the way of the weekly ******?
It is pointless to speculate.
Mouthwash--Roll-on antiperspirants--Depends.
Things our primitive ancestors did without,
Playing it safe on the dry savannah,
Where the last 3 drops evaporate in an instant,
Rather than go down your pants,
No matter how much you wiggle & dance.
Think about it!

Think cemeteries, my Geezer friends.
Of course, your first thought is
How nice it would be, laid to rest
In the Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey.
Born a ******. Died a ******. Laid in the grave?
Or Père Lachaise,
Within a stone’s throw of Jim Morrison--
Lying impudently,
Embraced, held close by loving soil,
Caressed, held close by a Jack Daniels-laced mud pie.
Or, with Ulysses S. Grant, giving new life to the quandary:
Who else is buried in the freaking tomb?
Bury my heart with Abraham in Springfield.
Enshrine my body in the Taj Mahal,
Build for me a pyramid, says Busta Cheops.

Something simple, perhaps, like yourself.
Or, like our old partner in crime:
Lee Harvey, in death, achieving the soul of brevity,
Like Cher and Madonna a one-name celebrity,
A simple yet obscure grave stone carving:  OSWALD.
Perhaps a burial at sea? All the old salts like to go there.
Your corpse wrapped in white duct/duck tape,
Still frozen after months of West Pac naval maneuvers,
The CO complying with the Department of the Navy Operations Manual,
Offering this service on « An operations-permitting basis, »
About as much latitude given any would-be Ahab,
Shortlisted for Command-at-sea.
So your body is literally frozen stiff,
Frozen solid for six months packed,
Spooned between 50-lb sacks of green beans & carrots.
Deep down in the deep freeze,
Within the Deep Freeze :
The ship’s storekeeper has a cryogenic *******
Deep down in his private sanctuary,
Privacy in the bowels of the ship.
While up on deck you slide smoothly down the pine plank,
Old Glory billowing in the sea breeze,
Emptying you out into the great abyss of
Some random forlorn ocean.

Perhaps you are a ******* lunatic?
Maybe you likee—Shut the **** up, Queequeg !
Perhaps you want a variation on the burial-at-sea option ?
Here’s mine, as presently set down in print,
Lawyer-prepared, notarized and filed at the Court of the Grand Vizier,
Copies of same in safe deposit boxes,
One of many benefits Chase offers free to disabled Vets,
Demonstrating, again, my zombie-like allegiance to the rules.
But I digress.
« The true measure of one’s life »
Said most often by those we leave behind,
Is the wealth—if any—we leave behind.
The fact that we cling to bank accounts,
Bank safe deposit boxes,
Legal aide & real estate,
Insurance, and/or cash . . .
Just emphasizes the foregone conclusion,
For those who followed the rules.
Those of us living frugally,
Sustaining the zombie trance all these years.
You can jazz it up—go ahead, call it your « Work Ethic. »
But you might want to hesitate before you celebrate
Your unimpeachable character & patriotism.

What is the root of Max Weber’s WORK ETHIC concept?
‘Tis one’s grossly misplaced, misguided, & misspent neurosis.
Unmasked, shown vulnerably pink & naked, at last.
Truth is: The harder we work, the more we lay bare
The Third World Hunger in our souls.
But again, I digress.  Variation on a Theme :
At death my body is quick-frozen.
Then dismembered, then ground down
To the consistency of water-injected hamburger,
Meat further frozen and Fedex-ed to San Diego,
Home of our beloved Pacific Fleet.
Stowed in a floating Deep Freeze where glazed storekeepers
Sate the lecherous Commissary Officer,
Aboard some soon-to-be underway—
Underway: The Only Way
Echo the Old Salts, a moribund Greek Chorus
Goofing still on the burial-at-sea concept.

Underway to that sacred specific spot,
Let's call it The Golden Shellback,
Where the Equator intersects,
Crosses perpendicular,
The International Dateline,
Where my defrosted corpse nuggets,
Are now sprinkled over the sea,
While Ray Charles sings his snarky
Child Support & Alimony
His voice blasting out the 1MC,
She’s eating steak.  I’m eating baloney.
Ray is the voice of disgruntlement,
Palpable and snide in the trade winds,
Perhaps the lost chord everyone has been looking for:
Laughing till we cry at ourselves,
Our small corpse kernels, chum for sharks.

In a nutshell—being the crazy *******’ve come to love-
Chop me up and feed me to the Orcas,
Just do it ! NIKE!
That’s right, a $commercial right in the middle of a ******* poem!
Do it where the Equator crosses the Dateline :
A sailors’ sacred vortex: isn’t it ?
Wouldn’t you say, Shipmates, one and all?
I’m talking Conrad’s Marlow, here, man!
Call me Ishmael or Queequeg.
Thor Heyerdahl or Tristan Jones,
Bogart’s Queeq & Ensign Pulver,
Wayward sailors, one and all.
And me, of course, aboard the one ride I could not miss,
Even if it means my Amusement Park pass expires.
Ceremony at sea ?
Absolutely vital, I suppose,
Given the monotony and routine,
Of the ship’s relentlessly vacant seascape.
« There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea,
And I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates. «
So said James Russell Lowell,
One of the so-called Fireside Poets,
With Longfellow and Bryant,
Whittier, the Quaker and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
19th Century American hipsters, one and all.

Then there’s CREMATION,
A low-cost option unavailable to practicing Jews.
« Ashes to ashes »  remains its simplest definition.
LOW-COST remains its operant phrase & universal appeal.
No Deed to a 2by6by6 foot plot of real estate,
Paid for in advance for perpetuity—
Although I suggest reading the fine print—
Our grass--once maintained by Japanese gardeners--
Now a lost art in Southern California,
Now that little Tokyo's finest no longer
Cut, edge & manicure, transform our lawns
Into a Bonsai ornamental wonderland.
Today illegal/legal Mexicans employing
More of a subtropical slash & burn technique.

Cremation : no chunk of marble,
No sandstone, wood or cardboard marker,
Plus the cost of engraving and site installation.
Quoth the children: "****, you’re talking $30K to
Put the old ****** in the ground? Cheap **** never
Gave me $30K for college, let alone a house down payment.
What’s my low-cost, legitimate disposal going to run me?"

CREMATION : they burn your corpse in Auschwitz ovens.
You are reduced to a few pounds of cigar ash.
Now the funeral industry catches you with your **** out.
You must (1) pay to have your ashes stored,
Or (2) take them away in a gilded crate that,
Again, you must pay for.
So you slide into Walter Sobjak,
The Dude’s principal amigo,
And bowling partner in the
Brothers Coen masterpiece: The Big Lebowski.
You head to the nearest Safeway for a 2-lb can of Folgers.
And while we’re on the subject of cremation & the Jews,
Think for a moment on the horror of The Holocaust:
Dispossessed & utterly destroyed, one last indignity:
Corpses disposed of by cremation,
For Jews, an utterly unacceptable burial rite.
Now before we leave Mr. Sobjak,
Who is, as you know, a deeply disturbed Vietnam vet,
Who settles bowling alley protocol disputations,
By brandishing, by threatening the weak-minded,
With a loaded piece, the same piece John Turturro—
Stealing the movie as usual, this time as Jesus Quintana—
Bragging how he will stick it up Walter’s culo,
Pulling the trigger until it goes: Click-Click-Click!
Terrestrial burial or cremation?
For me:  Burial at Sea:
Slice me, dice me into shark food.

Or maybe something a la Werner von Braun:
Your dead meat shot out into space;
A personal space probe & voyager,
A trajectory of one’s own choosing?

Oh hell, why not skip right down to the nitty gritty bottom line?
Current technology: to wit, your entire life record,
Your body and history digitized & downloaded
To a Zip Drive the size of the average *******,
A data disc then Fedex-ed anywhere in the galaxy,
Including exotic burial alternatives,
Like some Martian Kilimanjaro,
Where the tiger stalks above the clouds,
Nary a one with a freaking clue that can explain
Just what the cat was doing up so high in the first place.
Or, better still, inside a Sherpa’s ***** pack,
A pocket imbued with the same Yak dung,
Tenzing Norgay massages daily into his *******,
Defending the Free World against Communism & crotch rot.
(Forgive me: I am a child of the Cold War.)
Why not? Your life & death moments
Zapped into a Zip Drive, bytes and bits,
Submicroscopic and sublime.
So easy to delete, should your genetic subgroup
Be targeted for elimination.
About now you begin to realize that
A two-pound aluminum Folgers can
Is not such a bad idea.
No matter; the future is unpersons,
The Ministry of Information will in charge.
The People of Fort Meade--those wacky surveillance folks--
Cloistered in the rolling hills of Anne Arundel County.
That’s who will be calling the shots,
Picking the spots from now on.
Welcome to Cyber Command.
Say hello to Big Brother.

Meanwhile, you’re spending most of your time
Fretting ‘bout your last rites--if any—
Burial plots on land and sea, & other options,
Such as whether or not to go with the
Concrete outer casket,
Whether or not you prefer a Joe Cocker,
Leon Russell or Ray Charles 3-D hologram
Singing at your memorial service.
While I am fish food for the Golden Shellbacks,
I am a fine young son of Neptune,
We are Old Salts, one and all,
Buried or burned or shot into space odysseys,
Or digitized on a data disc the size of
An average human *******.
Snap outta it, Einstein!
Like everyone else,
You’ve been fooled again.
Dec 2016 · 543
"Bukowski Mornings"
Getting loaded at 9 AM,
Is getting to be a habit with me.
Free & easy on a barstool,
Just like a Lost Generation loser.
Should be smoking ****, I suppose,
Everybody knows what a drag ***** is.
But I guess mind expansion is the last thing on my mind.
Just want to get stupid for a while,
With a smile smeared ‘cross my face,
Like a Salv’dor Dali clock.
And for every maharishi ,
Telling me how sweet it’s gonna be,
There’s ten thousand-thousand Nelson Algrens,
******* up my mind.
Getting loaded at 9 AM,
Is getting to be a habit with me.
Dec 2016 · 562
"Ed Arlington Regrets"
Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Too skeevy for prime time.
Dec 2016 · 751
Jack: as so many of us yearned to know him,
Still knocking down 90% approval ratings,
50+ years dead: we still approve.
Dallas recognizing the event . . .
Cue Etta James: At laaaaaaaaaaaaast . . .
The City of Big D,
Dallas in the Sixties,
Still wide open,
Still Wild-Wild West Wild,
Still string ties & Stetsons.
Hizzoner/Da Mayer–Now,
Recognizing the venue, at last.
Finally, it was time
To take ownership of the crime scene.
Non-stop memorial coverage,
On CNN and MSN, of course.
Fox, meanwhile,
Doing agribusiness updates;
This year’s Carolina turkey crop &
Wuzzup in the cranberry bogs?
Up on a tight rope, tonight,
Are we, Leon?”
I am out there with you, Brother.
I am in the weeds with you, Babaloo.
So, where did you find them?
Those Shaka Zulu
Warrior Women?
“Nola sue tanga,
Soo galla galla bee.
Nala secala
Na saka saka secala,”
It’s real trance music, Old Timer!
You really straddled the generations,
Didn’t you?
From “Alley Oop” to
“Stranger in a Strange Land.”
Leon, you are one cool dude.
Oct 2016 · 956
"Cold Spaghetti"
When I was young & poor,
I ate a lot of cold spaghetti.
I don't think I learned
Anything from such a diet,
Such as it was.
Hey, it’s ten o’clock,
Time for another snort,
The Elixir: Clan MacGregor
“Blended Scotch Whisky,”
Spelled without the e,
“Imported from Scotland,
Distilled, aged, blended &
Shipped, by Alexander MacGregor & CO.,”
Our boys in Glasgow
“Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government.”
(Read more:  us/songs/subterranean-homesick-blues#ixzz3aKTl­eIUb  us/songs/subterranean-homesick-blues#ix­zz3aKTleIUb)
To quote my pal, Rabbi Zimm,
Which is what we called Dylan
Back home in Minnesota.
No wonder he left town.
He’s been heard to blame the winters,
But I know it was the rabid,
Anti-Semitism, driving
Robert Allen Zimmerman
(Hebrew name שבתאי זיסל בן אברהם
[Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham]),
Driving his escape outta town.
It was virulent Jew hatred
Driving him away,
Exiling him from Duluth.
But, I digress.

I have written this morning’s poem
Many times before, giving it the title
I get my Clan MacGregor at
Wal-Mart, $16.97, 1.75 liter,
40% ALC./VOL. (80 PROOF).
Another astonishing value &
Habit I can afford.
One more shining example of
Walton Family benevolence,
Give us our daily bread,
Give to us,
Us the many,
The many shamed 99%.
The Walton crystal ball,
Anticipating the future way back when.
Going even so far as to
Sponsor a beloved family TV show,
1972 – 2010?
Is a run like that, fecking possible?
Still broadcast today,
Hallmark Channel.
The Waltons:  John Boy, Olivia
Grandma Esther &
Grandpa Zebulon,
Played by, his Reverence,
The cherished Will Geer.
How could you not esteem The Waltons?
The Walton Family: shrewd grocers of
Bentonville, Arkansas?
Lovable Sam—the one with the Club—
The association, not the clubfoot
Nor, the giant troglodyte club,
Wielded by Old Sam--
Mr. Walton, truly a swinging-****
In his day, intergalactic, a Mega-chain
Retailer of “a vast selection of Food, Apparel,
Home Goods & Electronics, not to mention
Garden shrubs & Patio Furniture.”
Again, I digress.

Clan MacGregor: no single malt liquor;
No Glenfiddich “Robert the Bruce Flagon,” $300 bottle;
No Balvenie “21 Year Old Port Wood Finish,” $200.00.  
No Laphroaig, no Glenlivet.
No Highland, no Lowland,
No Islay, nor Speyside . . . for me.
Not one drop of single-malted
Mist of the moors shall pass my lips.
Maybe I don’t know any better?
More likely, I can’t afford to,
Scotch snorting snobs be-******,
Clan MacGregor does the job nicely,
Nicely, thank you very much.
He's started collecting
Empty, green, plastic
Clan MacGregor
Blended whiskey bottles,
Lining them up on the rear patio,
Where he smokes his dope.
He drinks in the house &
Smokes outside.
A house that does not
Smell of ****:
His one concession to the neighbors;
Meanwhile, wafting, waffling wisps of
Medical marijuana smoke,
Burning, drifting over block walls,
Optional Gaza Strips in this
Del Webb, Over-55, Gated
Community of active seniors,
Which meant for him, in his mind,
When he bought there,
A communal desire to get laid.

The real question is?
Is it time to intervene?
Where out of his ***
Did he pull “Why not drink my
Self to death, like my father?”
Especially after years
Playing it strait,
For so many years,
Doing un-neighborly
Things to his nation’s
International neighbors.
You start out carefully
Pouring into a shot glass,
Then the shot glass is
Sloshing over into the
Coffee mug: it's an
Irish Coffee Mug, "Top of the
Clan McGregor Morning, to you."
By 10 AM you're pouring
Right from the bottle,
Into an assortment of
Jelly-juice glasses:
Mimosas Are Us.
You skip brunch & lunch &
By 1:30 PM you're swigging
Directly from the liter bottle,
Wielded like a meat cleaver
In more ways than one.
Oct 2016 · 410
“Trump Neg. Bump”
I wouldn’t say he had a
Low opinion of women;
Let’s just say he once
Left for work the day
After the wedding, saying to
His wife: *“Hey Doll,
The money’s on the dresser.“
Oct 2016 · 521
“Sting Got Stung”
Listening to Sting’s best:
Ten Summoner’s Tales.
Sting: there’s a lesson in arrogance.
Leaves his band, The Police,
Throws the blokes—
The blokes who carried him,
Put him on the map,
Made him rich--
Throws those same blokes
Off the back of the boat,
Jetsam & flotsam in his wake.
Then starts hallucinating that he's
Geoffrey Chaucer reborn, &
Self-finances a Broadway musical,
Itself a saccharine homage to
Newcastle upon Tyne, land of the
Genetic zygote he once was.
Needless to say: “The Last Ship”
Sank shortly after leaving dry dock.
Hey, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner:
Who was your financial advisor?
*Bernie Madoff?
Oct 2016 · 960
"Am I Sponge-Worthy?”
Am I worth using one?
Your diminishing stock of
Off-the market means of
Birth control?
How shall I love thee?
Let me digitize the ways.
Let me linguistically persuade.
A sport I came late to.
Or early, such as it was so often.
Early, not late & soon, if you
Want your Wordsworth.
Why weren’t there courses?
Why didn’t we learn?
Why weren’t we taught?
Those junior high school
Curriculum directors sure
Missed the boat.
Sep 2016 · 465
"Scripture & Giant Peach"
"Call me James," he said.
Neither Jim, nor Jimmy; &
Certainly not:  Jimbo.
Simply James, like King James,
The English Bible James,
James who authorized the translation,
James the First, himself;
Not that other James--
The James of Raoul Dahl--,
The James who got involved with a
Gigantic peach.
Sep 2016 · 399
"A target of interest."
"A person of interest."
These are scary words,
Given the current state of
Surveillance & Security.
The means is there to conduct
War on a retail basis, focusing down to
Individual thought criminals
This is the greatest threat to our
Democracy today, God help us.
Orwellian, to be sure.
What's next? Philip K. ****'s
Minority Report?
Sep 2016 · 699
"Heinlein's Advice"
"Women & cats
Will do as they please;
Men & dogs should relax &
Get used to the idea."
She was the type of girl who
Knew how to demand a man’s attention.
The smart ones gave her the best
They had, a full-service menu,
If you catch my drift?
They knew she’d reciprocate later,
Alligator, with the sweetest B.J.
This Side of Paradise,
(Forgive me, F. Scott)
Can you dig it, Mister?
We’re talking Mohammedan
Fantasy & Paradise here, Babaloo.
That’s the kind of girl she was, always
Screaming: “Attention Must Be Paid,”
Co-opting Mr. Loman, of course,
But unlike Willie, Ms. Hynde has a
Trevi Fountain full of Self-Esteem.
Going into the home stretch now,
Determined her last Act will be
Focused solely on Self-Actualization.
That’s the type she is.
Sep 2016 · 694
Tracy Chapman Revisited
“Won't do no good
To call the police.
Always come late,
If they come at all.”*

Thank you, Tracy.
Thank you for shining a light,
Drawing the world’s attention to the gulf
The gross variance in policing,
As it is practiced as we move from
One area of the city to another,
From one part of town,
Across the tracks to the
Wrong side of town,
Not the neighborhood where
Cops get out of the squad car after dark,
Ring your doorbell & politely remind you
Your garage door is open.
I refer, of course, to the same
Neighborhood with the best schools,
Libraries, public parks, and other
Fine & dandy amenities
Enjoyed by some its municipal citizens.

I send greetings from reality &
Say “Thank you, Tracy”again.
Now I’m hip to an area of town where
People have to shoot it out for themselves,
Where people contend with a
Quotidian Death Camp or Gulag,
A daily killing-field of extreme
Predatory desperation.
We’re taking a quintessential peek
Through a Social Psychologist’s lens,
Namely Abraham Maslow’s
“Hierarchy of Human Needs;”
Categorically speaking:
The ladder’s bottom-rung.
We’re talking basic human survival, here.
BTW I actually learned a lot in college, & besides:
*******! I’m a Harvard graduate.

One last time I say
“Thank you, Tracy.”
I actually learned & continue to learn a lot,
From getting high & listening to music.
Life at the bottom of the barrel?
Sloshing it up with the
So-called *“Dregs of Society,”

Which, by the way,
Would be a great name for a band.
Cue omniscient narrator:
Google "I want to Be a Pornstar.”
But I digress.
We were talking about a frightening alien planet,
A no-where place to be for
An intelligent young black girl,
Hoping for a fast car out of there.
Sep 2016 · 382
"Hofstra Mass Debate"
And Trump--like Queeg--
On the stand, juggling steel ball bearings,
Rambling on, defending himself,
Trickling out, pinching off minutiae,
The Court Martial panel stunned,
The Naval Board of Inquiry
Had to just look away.
Sep 2016 · 384
“If I’d Known”
If I’d known you were coming,
I would have straightened up the place,
Stashed the empty wine bottles,
Trashed the roaches,
Baked a cake,
Gotten rid of the girl.
Sep 2016 · 1.1k
Donald J. Trump:
Say what you will, but
He’s the only guy out there
Asking the obvious questions,
Common sense questions like
“Why don’t Japan, South Korea &
The House of Saud, pay the USA for
Defending them militarily?”

We sustain their political status quo,
We put boots on their ground, &
We provide them gold-plated munitions of
Mass Devastation
(like Mass Destruction only worse.)
What do we get? Bupkis, as in
“Bupkis Mit Kaduchas"
באָבקעס מיט קדחת
Translating roughly to
“Shivering **** *****.”

The 2016 election truly highlights
A profound social shift taking shape,
A demographic division, similar to what
The 1960s called the Generation Gap.
Trump is anathema to most of our
Over-indulged, Millennial offspring;
Our privileged kids, a cohort of Americans children
Reared by blue-collar but college-educated parents,
Those of us who busted *** for our
Bourgeois lifestyle & discrete charm.
We were the Flower Children of the 60s.
We left Yasgur’s farm on a
Hallucinogenic carpet high but rudely
Crash-landed, a consequence of
Altamont Speedway,
Gasoline queues & shortages, &
Years of bipolar economics,
Replete with spinning gerbil wheel of
Double-digit inflation.
We went to work.
We got our **** together.
We settled down.
We gentrified.

Our kids?
They tell their friends they are house sitting,
But the place is the house they grew up in &
Their parents still live there.
Sep 2016 · 889
Care to elaborate?
There are so many.
Colin Kaepernick, e.g.,
Trying so hard to work the
African-American community--
A useful constituency--to wit:
Barack Obama, no stranger to *******.
Then there's Donald Trump:
Like Andy Dufresne who "crawled
Through a river of ****," he expects to
Come out "Clean on the other side."
And lest we forget: Hilary.
Mrs. Clinton uses ******* like magic.
She's Cruella Deville disguised as
Glinda the Good Witch in Oz.
Just ask Bill.
Sep 2016 · 1.1k
"Hearts Are Trump"
She was that kind of girl,
You know the type:
Stunningly beautiful,
With a very naughty mind.
Take the Trump women, e.g.
You just know they're thinking--
At least Ivanka & Melania, anyway--
You know'll they're thinking about
Jumping up on the table,
Sitting right down, spreading their legs,
Exposing a *****-less ******,
Going commando as usual.
Let's face it: they're East European foxes.
Their Bond chicks shaken and stirred,
Sultry, exotic, dangerous, divine.
Ivanka speaks: "Lick it. I know you wanna."
That's the kind of girl she was.
Sep 2016 · 1.9k
"The actual pressure must be made more pressing by adding to it consciousness of pressure, the shame must be made more shameful by publicizing it."*                                 Karl Marx

Edward, Julian & freaky Chelsea:
Why didn't they hack Time Warner &
Give people things they truly need,
Like a good 5-cent Fattie,
Free high-speed internet & cable TV,
Canadian hockey & **** channels included?
What could be more natural?
Chinese Jews playing mah-jongg
In Kaifeng, a now faded imperial city
Near the banks of the Yellow River.
Sep 2016 · 324
"Aid & Comfort"
For the record:
The aid & comfort you gave me,
Your relief & solace during wartime
Was love, just love;
Neither treason nor adherence,
Mere grace rendered.
Sep 2016 · 604
"Gray Poet Hullabaloo"
As Thomas Wolfe said to Walt Whitman,
Crossing Brooklyn Bridge one early autumn
Sunday afternoon: "I greet thee on the
Brink of a brilliant literary career."
But I may have mixed up my facts.
Sep 2016 · 965
And leave it to Turturro
To steal the movie again,
A tour-de-force in a single character,
Repeatedly, consistently . . .
Except maybe one time.
"Raging Bull" 1980:
Turturro was "Man at Table,"
Uncredited, of course,
A man of no words,
A role difficult, constraining for any
Would-be Richard Burton,
Some shrew-taming Petruchio,
Over the top & out of a job,
Ask any director who
Directed in the 1950s and 60s?
"Difficult to handle," says Unanimous,
Auteurs & Schlock Filmmakers,
Turturro too, needs special handling,
Or Jesus Quintana will chew up the scenery,
Emilio Lopez will be sneaky-sneaky-sneaky,
Materializing without warning over & over
Turturro: veteran of 60+ films,
Barton Fink, Miller's Crossing,
Fading ******, The Color of Money,
Do the Right Thing,
O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Turturro TV: Frazier, Monk & Miami Vice.
And others.

Turturro: a Brooklyn boy, Italian,
Roman-Catholic, the son of Katherine,
An amateur jazz singer who worked in a
Navy yard during World War II, &
Nicholas Turturro, a carpenter &
Construction worker who fought as a
Navy sailor on D-Day.
Turturro: attended the State University of
New York at New Paltz, completed his
MFA at the Yale School of Drama.
A life most worthy, capped off with
Amedeo & Diego, his two sons.

So, I'd like to thank The Academy,
In advance yet decades overdue:
A Lifetime Achievement Award, Johnny.
Recognition over the long haul.
Sep 2016 · 364
"Fractured Denial"
Day breaks.
Night falls.
But no one gets hurt.
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