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Daniel K May 2013
I think it's really kinda funny you know
the seats by the library window
all through the year they are empty
but just as the exams begin
they suddenly begin to fill up

Not that this is too much of a revelation in itself
you would imagine more people would be going to the library
in the days when exams loom large
like a creature hanging from your neck

No, what I think is funny is this:
there are thousands of seats in the library
and it is rare that they all are full up
so why do people always seem to flock
to the seats by the library window?

Now in my experience
there can be only few reasons for this
either they are really just looking for distraction
and can peer out the glass all day
at what every other week of the year
is quite frankly just **** and mundane

or maybe they just want to pretend that they are hard at work
in order to make themselves feel better
and have everyone see that their studying
they must love the idea of spotlight
to me they just look like a circus animal

All this is much to my amusement
but I must say my favourite thing
about the people who occupy
the seats by the library window is this:
the reaction you get when they emerge
from the cauldron they quite willingly let themselves stew
they always act like they have achieved so much
like their day has been splendidly spent
that they did so much study
that they know the worlds secrets

I just laugh and nod
I know the truth
if they really did know the worlds secrets
or were really quite serious about trying to find them
they would be away in the back in the quiet
with no distractions but their own brain
No, instead they choose
to let themselves rot
in the seats by the library window
Lily May 2018
We started in seventh grade,
When our ancient, grumpy teacher
That no one liked decided to give
Our second hour science class
Assigned seats.
By some great happening of fate,
I was placed next to you,
The loud, obnoxious prankster,
And I, the quiet, shy nerd.
The class at first was torture,
Yet soon became my haven.
A+ lab partners we were,
And soon A+ friends.
Though outside the classroom,
We were nothing.
We had our own friends, our own lives;
Until sophomore year, when you
Caught me coming out of the library,
John Milton in my hand.
Words were said, promises were made,
And the next day I had your hand in mine,
And we were something.
Two weeks later, under the light of trillions of stars,
On the top of the car you “borrowed”
From your strict father,
You kissed me, slowly, tenderly, lovingly,
And I felt true happiness for the first time.
On graduation day,
You caught my graduate cap,
The sun rays making beautiful patterns
On your tan face, and wavy hazel hair,
But you spun around and gave it right back to me,
To leave me for a college in California,
Thousands of miles away, away from everything
You’ve ever known.
And loved.
I tried to get over you, I really did,
But my mind circled the same tracks,
Went over the same ruts,
And I always came back to seventh grade,
When that cranky teacher gave us our
Assigned seats.
I blamed him, thinking that those
Assigned seats were the beginning of
My broken heart.
It wasn’t until four years later,
That I saw you in a library,
Hiding in the shelves, peeking through
The bookends you moved yourself,
That I realized that those feelings never left.
You had come back for me,
And those bean bags in the kids’ section
Of the library became our new assigned seats.
One day, about a year later, you didn’t take your seat;
You went down on your knee instead.
The wedding was casual, yet beautiful, as you said
I was in my light blue dress and beaming smile.
Our seventh grade science teacher sat in the front row;
The seat we assigned to him.
A week later, he went to the seat that
God assigned him, and we were back in that church,
And this time I was in a black dress and crying.
Years passed, and suddenly I found myself
In front of a classroom of my own,
Assigning seats to my own seventh graders.
The quiet, shy nerd shot me a desperate look
As I set her books down by the loud, obnoxious prankster.
I saw my own fear reflected in
Her eyes, and I simply smiled calmly at her.
Maybe some day she will be as
Happy as I was that I was given my
Assigned seat.
Tom Leveille Aug 2014
and here i am again
at the intersection
of pedestrian language
& old wives tales
swallowing gum
like 7 year memories
opening umbrellas inside
cause i can't seem get away
from all of this rain
i ******* with my left hand
cause i was told
back in highschool that
"it feels like someone else is doing it"
it gets me wondering
about the difference between
losing you and finding out
that some one else found you
or my sleep
or lack thereof
its starting to tear me apart
i keep having this dream
where you are in
an unfamiliar body of water
trying to wash my poetry
off of your hands
or the one where
something happens in my chest
every time you sit
on someone else's bed
i'm tired of feeling like something you've misplaced
but don't have the heart
to look for anymore
tired of you saying my name
like you're trying to bury it
i'm tired of wondering
if you can tell the difference
between the absence
of my voice & silence
the other day
i almost started sobbing
at work when a woman
asked me about
our equipment
i was explaining how
things come apart
and almost mentioned your name
it made me think
of how you used to say
things like "what would you do
if i showed up on your doorstep
one day?" now, i haunt
the windows in my house
i don't leave for weeks at a time
i sit on the porch like the dog
you didn't shoot behind the shed
the one that refuses to die
until you come home again
i told somebody once, that
you didn't even know
what my voicemail sounded like
i wonder if they thought
it was because you
are so important that i never
let it ring that many times
before picking up
or if you dont know
what it sounds like
because you've never called
you can't be the ****** weapon
and the search party
i'm tired of all the seats
to the ferris wheel in my chest
being empty
tired of your voice
being the one i look for
in abandoned places
that one sound i beg
to bounce back
down vacant hallways
i just seem to stand there
in all of that quiet
like someone looking for a mistake
on an eviction notice
so i guess the hardest part
isn't letting go
it's forgetting
you ever had a grip
in the first place
and since you've been gone
i wonder if when
you pushed yourself away from me
you used your left hand
so it felt like someone else did it
I'm on a train.

One of those red ones with black trimmed windows you can imagine rolling through the suburbs on the way to NYC. Not a subway car but a classier vintage with proper rows of cushioned seats and a lever to pull if there is an emergency. There are sparse shrubberies on one side of the tracks and the ocean on the other. Young trees and bushes stroll by.  A little wind is pushing off the ocean, massaging the car ever so gently back and forth as we move along. A gentle click-clack is on the tips of our ears.

We got on together. I hadn't known you for very long but the connection was stronger than anything I had ever felt or have since. You practically sat on top of me for the first few miles. Couldn't keep your hands off me,  staring in my eyes like you were searching for something lost but you couldn't remember what. The edges of your lips turned upwards permanently as if you were always at the verge of a laugh. You interlaced my fingers with yours and held on like you would be ripped away if your grip loosened for even a second. Slender fingers holding so tightly that they were becoming red.

You were excited to to be riding with me, about where we were going and all the things we would do when we got there. I would see you peer out of the corner of your eye, then lean over to brush your soft cheek against my budding stubble. Kissing and gently biting my lips insatiably. The suns rays coming in at an angle and lighting up your perfect smile and dimple.

I had to remind you we were in public.

I was lost in your blonde curls and the incense of your neck. I had fallen incredibly hard and so fast that my face hurt from smiling and my heart beat with vibrations I had never known. Not even a whiff of anxiety or neurosis. Some of the best memories of my life, as fleeting as they turned out to be.

I yawned and you put your finger in my mouth. I bent over to tie my shoe and you would poke my **** and laugh with your own reflection in the window, like this was the first and best joke of all time. Maybe it was and maybe it is.

The waiter came and informed us that a thing called "the bar car" existed. We both jumped at the idea. I didn't exactly notice at the time, during our excitement, but that's when the train started going faster and everything out the windows began to blur.

The bar car was a wild ride and we took advantage of our lo'cal. All kinds of fine wine, liquors and illicit substances were available. We tried them all. You were beautiful, your laugh infecting everyone around you, I was charming and held a captive audience.   It was a dark, loud and glorious blur. We were the life of the party and it chugged on till dawn.

We woke up in our seats, disheveled and discombobulated. It was dark out already. Did we sleep through the entire day? The train was slowing down, maybe approaching a station. The party was amazing but we were certainly paying the price for the black out. You moved over to the seat across from me to have some more space and lay down. I saw myself in the reflection. My hat, charm and smile from the night before had vanished. I must have left them in the bar car the night before.
      You had changed, beauty uninterrupted but different somehow. I couldn't put my finger on it. Irritated maybe? I invited you to cuddle and battle the hangover together but you ignored me. Like you couldn't hear me or didn't want to. I decided to let you be.

I got up to use the bathroom and thought I would go look for my scattered belongings. Maybe I could find a scrap of leftover dignity while you rested. I inquired to the conductor who directed me to the bartender in the bar car. He hadn't changed a bit, somehow untouched and unaffected by last nights antics that had effected me so dramatically.  Same black suspenders and white pressed shirt with impeccably slicked hair. I asked him what happened and if I had an open tab. While slowly polishing a rocks glass he looked up and made eye contact for a split second before looking away.
He said:  "Oh the bar car takes its toll. In the end we all end up paying one way or another". I still don't know what he meant by that or if he knew.
      I asked him if he found my hat and he said he would check the camera. We walked in to a small back room, while he was reviewing the tape, over his shoulder I noticed a tragedy.

We were drunk. I was going on to a group of new friends on one side of the bar, they were hanging on my words and I was eagerly explaining whatever nonsense they were drooling over. You were in the corner wearing that red dress I love, with your hair up in a tight bun. A few curls had escaped and brushed your high cheekbones, a thin line of pearls dancing delicately across your perfectly symmetrical collar. You were stunning and inebriated, swaying with each bump and motion of the train. A man wearing my hat put his hand on your side to keep you from swaying over and then he left it there.
I took a sharp breath.

It looked like you put your hand on his hand to move it but then it stayed and you both swayed together. As the air left my lungs and the blood drained out of my face I watched your lips touch the strangers. A small piece of my soul slipped away forever. I couldn't watch any further. When I asked the bartender how long it went on he fidgeted for a moment and uncomfortably muttered "quite some time". I never found my hat or the other part of me that left that day.  

The train slowed. I walked to the back, as far away from you as I could get, in utter disbelief. How could you? I thought to myself.
I mourned the loss of the you as I knew you yesterday, quietly and to myself. A tear  escaped my eye and rolled down my now fully formed stubble as I fell in to a random seat in mild shock. There were a few passengers back there so I had to pull together relatively quickly. After gaining some composure I knew it was time to get off. I knew we could never get back to yesterday morning though I would have said or done anything to do so.

The train had stopped. I went back to my seat and you were sleeping. I took my coat and gathered my things. The conductor looked at me confused as to why I would leave something so magnificent, I assume he had no idea what had transpired.   

I walked to the rear of the car and slid the door open slower than required. I stepped to the stairs and put one foot down on the step and the other on the ground. I stopped, rooted with my hand on the railing, lingering between two very different paths.
     I knew that it was time to get off, I knew this was the sensible thing to do, that I couldn't get past this offense regardless of how I had felt earlier the day before. The whistle screamed from the locomotive. The conductor looked at me and shook his head, I'm not sure if he was trying to tell me to stay or go but a decision had to be made.

The train lurched forward and I watched as the station slip away slowly. I sat in between the cars for a while and watched the ocean and birds. With a heavy heart and shoes I walked back to my seat. You were waiting. Crying. You knew. The bartender had told you. You didn't mean do do it, didn't realize what you were doing and thought it was me. He was wearing my hat and the whole world was blurry and dark.

I believed you. Self anguish mixed with alcohol was dripping from your pores. I knew you didn't mean it and were drunk, but could I ever forgive you or trust you again?

I loved you still.

I caught a glimpse of my reflection, a weaker version of myself looked back. As if an invisible chip in my teeth had developed and my shoulders lowered. The charming, confident man from the bar car the day before had been replaced. Something was off but not enough for anyone else to notice, just enough to know a change has happened.
       The train started to pick up speed again as we distanced ourselves from the station.  I second guessed my decision to stay but I didn't look back.

I found the man with my hat and punished him with a few blows in the dark. He knew he ****** up, apologized and took the beating like a man. I never got the hat back.

The engineer announced that we would be going through a tunnel soon and to turn on our lights and keep our hands in the windows.

It would be dark.  

We stayed away from the bar car for a while but the draw was irresistible. After a few hours we were there again but you never left my side.  Then you did. I was looking for you but you would disappear and not answer me when I called you name. The tunnel went deeper and darker and I didn't know where you were and I suspected you liked it that way. The train began to slow down again as we exited the tunnel.

I finally found you back at our seat, you had moved one row away from me. I asked you to come back, tried to hold your hands but you pulled away with vehemence. When I came back from the bathroom you had moved another row farther.
I knew I was losing you.
I begged you to return but you told me calmly that it was time for you to get off. At some point in the tunnel you had decided that you didn't want to go anymore . Your mind was made. You were going to catch another train at the next station.

When the train stopped I thought for sure you would reconsider but you didn't. Didn't even give it a thought. You just grabbed your coat and hat with one big bag under your arm. You kissed me on the cheek like a french stranger and were off. Going somewhere else on a different train. Just like that.

I rode the rails for quite some time by myself , many people getting on and getting off, passing me by. Every once in a while I would think I saw you at a station or in a **** though the window of another train. I often thought I could smell you but when I breathed deeper it was always gone. A ghost dancing on the edge of my senses.

A young girl in a headband got on the train. She was listening to headphones and dancing to herself as she bobbed along. She sat down in the seat next to me flashing a smile. She had a wedding ring on and I dismissed her immediately.  She didn't move from the seat or stop glancing my way. Eventually she confessed that she wanted to talk. I told her I wasn't interested but she persisted.  I hadn't talked to anyone on the train for quite some time and after some more mild persistence, I gave in.

We had a lot in common. We were both riding alone, desperately wanted attention and were thrilled to receive some.  After a few laughs she slid her hand in to mine and interlaced her fingers. I left it there. It was warm, comforting and wrong. She was married but I had been riding alone so long it felt good to have some company. She stayed and we talked. She was broken and I had a knack for fixing things. After a few hours of dramatic conversation I fell asleep with her head on my shoulder.

When I woke up  the train was flying up the track on the side of a mountain. Trees and rocks were a blur of green and grey. The engineer must be trying to make up for lost time I thought to myself.

The girl was asleep with her head on my lap. I looked down at her hand and the rings were gone. I woke her briefly to ask where they went. She said she didn't need them anymore and had thrown  them out the window.  She could of sold them, I said, but she said she just wanted them gone so she could be mine and fell back to sleep.  All of a sudden I couldn't breath. This train was roaring down the tracks, the once gentle click clack had become a loud hum. Suddenly too loud. This girl in my lap who had just gotten on the train wanted to stay. I considered her for a while as she looked up at me with big blue eyes, shining and wet, like a puppy in the shelter, terrified of rejection and desperate to be adopted.

At the peak of the mountain, just when the train began to even out, you waltzed back in to the car with a champagne flute in one hand and your bag in the other.

I don't know when or where you got back on, must have been a few stations ago when I stopped looking for you. Maybe you were wearing a disguise, who knows what you had been up to while you were gone. I'm not sure how long you were away but it was quite some time. That you had been through something was obvious, a new wrinkle had formed on your brow and you're once confident stride had changed to a cautious stroll. What actually happened out there I don't know.  I never asked and I don't want answers.

You looked at me and smiled. It was good to see that smile, like sun on my face on a brisk day.  You took a step toward me and then I looked down in my lap at the girl at the same time you did. I looked up. You and your smile were gone.

Everything I had begun to feel for this broken, head banded girl in my lap dried up like a puddle in  the dessert.  I quietly and gently nudged her awake and told her I had to use the bathroom. She put her head down on my coat and fell back into what ever trance she had been in, eyelids gently fluttering, eyes searching beneath them for what I would never give her.

I dashed up the isle and threw open the door, almost shattering the glass. The conductor glared at me and rolled his eyes as I barged past to the space between the cars.

There you were. Standing on the stairs with your head out the opening. The wind was blowing your perfectly formed curls around your head like a blonde explosion of familiarity. I yelled your name and you dove in to me. My senses erupted, my mind went numb as the train was nearing another station and I inhaled your essence greedily.

We moved to another car. I abandoned my coat with the married girl and never looked back. I hope she found what she was looking for. I  never could have been the answer she was so desperately seeking but I know I  helped steer her towards it.

You told me you had encountered some other people out there on the rails and they had reminded you of what we had when we first left the station. I never forgot.  

The train started to rock and get going again. We were back in the bar car and starting to brown out. We had to get off of this train right ******* now. In a desperate moment we looked at each other and put our hands, together, on the emergency brake cord. I looked in your eyes with your hand on top of mine. You kissed me while yanking down on the cord. Time slowed, the breaks squealed and everything exploded throwing luggage, people and the entire contents of the bar car in to a nondiscriminatory chaos . We got up off the ground, ran to the end of the car, dove off the side in to a soft patch of grass and rolled down a small incline. We watched as the conductor sifted through  the mess and interrogated the passengers, trying to ferret out the party responsible for pulling the brake. He spotted us off the side of the tracks and shook his fist while shouting every conceivable obscenity combination.

We laughed, held each other in the grass and kissed deeply.

We watched the train pick up speed and disappear in to the hills as relief spread over me.

You interlaced your fingers in to mine and we both looked out to where the tracks disappeared into the horizon, wondering how far of a walk it was to the next station.
amy douglas Jun 2014
there is a boy
who catches my bus
who has blue eyes
as clear
as the lake
the kids
go swimming in.

he sits
with his friends
and laughs a lot
at little
things.
and when his friends
are silent,
he looks out
the window.

i sit two seats behind him
and i think he is beautiful.

there is
a boy
who catches my bus
who acts happy
every morning
from 7am
he sits
with his friends
and gives them
empty smiles
and wears long sleeves
in the middle
of summer.

i sit two seats behind him
and i think he is beautiful.

there is
a boy
who catches my bus
who has grey eyes
as empty
as the lake
the kids
go swimming in,
in winter.

he sits
with his friends
and stares
at his lap
and when his friends
say something funny,
he doesn't laugh
anymore.

i sit two seats behind him
and i think he's beautiful.

there was
a boy
who caught my bus
who was found
by his parents
after he had
shot
himself.

he wrote
a letter
to his friends
and told them
that he

loved them.
he wrote
a letter
to his parents
saying he was
sorry.

and
he wrote
a letter to the
sad girl
who sat
two seats behind
him on
the bus,
and told her
that she
was beautiful.
not my poem but definitely my favourite i just really love it a lot.
Section 17 Row H seats 11 and 12
Almost every home game does he see
A grey haired man with a clip board sits
Two seats over and one down from me
He's a scout for the bigs, Comes most games to watch
Can't watch as a fan anymore
They know he made it, was up with the Bruins
Played defence with Old Number Four
He watches intently for five minutes or so
Just enough to watch each kid skate twice
Then he drinks down his coffee all in one gulp
and then he returns his eyes to the ice
The Scout, we will call him, for lack of a name
Has seen kids who've got game disappear
They find out he's watching, they get all uptight
And they can't play 'cause they're all tense with fear

I watched for four games, got his routine down pat
Watched him arrive and watch the kids skate
He'd go down in the corner and stand by the glass
Watching close through the plexiglass plate
He stayed away from the coaches, the players as well
And the parents, he'd avoid like the plague
If one ever stopped him, and asked "How's my boy"
He'd smile, and give an answer so vague
His career ended early with a stick to the head
Almost killed him, but, he was too mean
His left the game early, with Wayne Maki to blame
The Scout, is Edward "Ted" Green


Each season he'd sit, watching game after game
In arenas all over the land
Some kids he'd notice, he did not come to watch
They were just something that wasn't planned
He'd come into town to watch a kid who could score
And go home with two names on his list
One a defence man, and the goalie as well
But, the scorer, couldn't skate and got missed
Ted, would watch and make his reports on kids
Some were right, and the kid would go pro
He may be a star in the minors right now
But, the bigs...well, fate only knows

He'd listen to parents and coaches talk of the boys
Saying "My son's the next Bobby Orr"
Ted would chuckle a little and not say a word
He knew the kid would be heard from no more
Putting pressure like that on a young players back
Is like saying, "My boy will be God"
From then on it's never, the talented kid
I'ts the boy cursed with Orr's lightning rod
Many young players get compared to the best
But to say it out loud is a curse
You put a red dot on the young players back
He may as well leave in a hearse

Ted's seen them all, coaches, players and bums
Played when the game was real tough
They  had lighter equipment, not kevlar like now
and Ted, as we know liked it rough
His scratches and scribbles on the page tell a lot
But to the untrained they look like a mess
A pharmacy student couldn't read what he wrote
Nor a court stenographer I guess
He's a spotter of talent with stories to tell
More of them about kids who fell short
Most of them cursed with the "My kids the next..."
and the name of the best in the sport

Two Hundred and Ten games he watches each year
Most times he's gone early on
He's sees what he needs and then he packs up his stuff
And by the end of the first, Ted is gone
He's off on the road to another ice rink
To sit and watch on the hard seats, so cold
To listen as parents and coaches again
Talk of greatness, it's all gotten old
Terrible Ted has a warriors soul
And his grey hair is thinner but, curly
He has ice in his veins and a stick through his heart
Too bad his playing time ended too early.
Dedicated to "Terrible" Ted Green of The Big Bad Bruins and Edmonton Oilers of the NHL and former New England Whaler player of the WHA. One of the best hockey men around. I thought of this today after finding an old Ted Green hockey card from 1968 in my dresser drawer. I remember watching him play with Boston and Edmonton and saw him a number of times scouting at The London Gardens after his playing career was ended.
Susan Hunt Jun 2010
THE FERRIS WHEEL

I’ve always trusted machines, especially big ones. Like the ones at the annual county fair held at the Oklahoma City fairgrounds. After 2 weeks, the closing ceremony was always held in the main bull riding arena with a captivating routine performed by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Even their dead horse was on display throughout the whole time of the fair. His name was Trigger and he was stuffed. Roy Rogers was so in love with Trigger that he couldn’t go on without him. So he had him stuffed and carted him around whatever circuit they might be on. It was a sad but interesting display. But now he had a new Trigger and new tricks which were somewhat entertaining.

In the fall of 1971, upon this particular day Matt, a friend of mine and I convinced my little brother Wayne to go on the biggest ride at the fair, the double Ferris wheel.  It was a Ferris wheel shaped like an 8. The two wheels were loaded one after the other. As the seats were filled the ride would continue going up, up, and up then reaching the apex of two circles, sitting in a little grated seat, held in by a bar that locked you in at the at the beginning of the ride. When you reached the top it felt like you were riding a cloud. Going over the top of the Ferris wheel was an unimaginable thrill, it was built to guarantee a belief that you would in no way survive. Then you would swing back and forth, waiting for the other circle of seats to be filled before the real ride began.

As Matt and I got into our seat, Wayne hopped in next to me. We heard the clangs of the operator shutting the bars over the riders locking them into place. But when we got to the operator, the familiar clang was more like a clunk. The bar had not latched. We were not locked in. Now in the back of my head I took this in, but I chose to ignore it. We went up a little higher as other patrons were clanged tightly into their seats. Then as we went up, people started getting bold, swinging their legs, rocking their seats like a swing chair. After moving up about 80 feet, Matt began to swing ours. ”This is cool, huh” he said, trying to hide any little creep of fear. “Yeah, this is really great”, I agreed. But I didn’t do anything to cause the seat to rock anymore than it already was. Wayne was silent, his eyes clenched shut.

All of a sudden, the whole apparatus raised us up into the atmosphere. I swear we were at least as high as the tallest building in the Oklahoma City skyline. I could tell Matt was truly scared and he had quit rocking the chair. That didn’t matter. One last jolt threw us over the top and the “safety” bar swung wide open, out and away before coming back slowly to rest on our laps providing no safety whatsoever. After the bar swung out a couple of more times I was convinced we were going to fall to our deaths and become county fair legends. All three of us clung to the grated back of the seat, our fingers drained of blood by holding on so tight. We came down three times past the operator of the Ferris wheel before we got his attention. But Wayne was clutched so tightly to the back of the seat; you couldn’t have separated him with a paint scraper. He would have died there had we finally not gotten the attention of the operator and the operator’s boss.

It was becoming apparent that something was dreadfully wrong, so the ride slowly and painfully came to a stop. Passengers at the top were swinging their seats unaware of our impending death. Finally the double wheel cranked our seat to the exit platform. We couldn’t speak. The breath was out of us. Yelling at this time was impossible. Everyone remembered Wayne. He was white as a ghost and his lips were blue. He had clutched so hard to the back of the seat the whole side of his face was imprinted with the grate. I found this very curious. There was a pattern similar to a waffle imprinted from his forehead to his chin. He was still white but the lines in the imprint were deep red. His eyes remained closed until I was able to convince him that the ground was 2 feet below him. Finally he let go, and all three of us were pried from the seat. The ground never felt as good as it did that day.

We were still crying and shaking when the Manager of the fairgrounds arrived and removed us to the calming area which also doubled as the baby animal petting zoo.  We sat down in the petting area allowing the straw to dry our pants as all three of us had literally peed in them. As our pants became drier, we became a little calmer and we began petting baby lambs and chicks.   Then I looked across the way at the oddities booth. I had been in there that day. They had all sorts of gross weird things in there. I was fascinated. Some of the exhibits were pickled and some were still living.  I saw 2-headed babies in pickle jars and a calf with a leg sticking out of its forehead. I didn’t even want to think about that now. Too late. I bent over and puked so hard my eyes bulged.
(Written by sjhunt-bloodworth a long time ago)
CK Baker Jan 2017
Thank you ~
for a life not to trade
blessings, in spades
tight spaces
behind laundry doors
packed closets
and open drawers
gator tails, tarnished brass
cracks in kitchen sliding glass
wet towels, withering plants
foundation filled
with carpenter ants
buckets piled with
shoes and tags
village clothes
and saddlebags
peeling paint
and broken walls
****** seats
in bathroom stalls
clogged pantry
frigid rooms
table scribe
and carbon fumes
comfort capsules
empty tanks
broken limbs
from children’s pranks
**** finger
double tongue
long goodbyes
and sidewalk dung
cluster flies
chavie’ clique
accompanying
the hypocrite
cracked back
and hidden smiles
chalk on board
with mr miles
atomic wedgies
closing doors
wrotten eggs
and open sores
jaw jack
nasty folk
dinner calls
for pig in poke
penny pinchers
double dip
yellow mouth
and silver tip
brown nosers
thick red tape
paper cuts
and pimple nape
gallivants
so out of norm
the joy of life
in basic form
Open palms in passenger seats
Waiting for warmth,
the familiarity of the cracks--
calluses--that map routes
In your palms.
We go for Sunday drives,
Get lost in Daisyville.
It's romantic to say,
so you and I never could do.
Open palms in passenger seats
Waiting for relief.
Open palms in passenger seats:
close to fists
When Neon Signs are Lit,
(When my mind goes to ****).
Open palms on steering wheels,
Open eyes to Open Skies:
Still hopelessly lost in the dark.
Tatiana Jun 2015
The rustle of sheets
the pacing of feet
and the lights outside flicker
in the dark street
that is covered in sleet
the house is losing heat
shiver under blankets
to gain warmth is a feat
when the big hand meets
the little hand, there are seats
that are inanimate and cold
anxiety ain't sweet
anxiety ain't sweet
anxiety ain't sweet
© Tatiana
Paul Butters Jun 2017
The UK General Election has run its course.
A “win” for the Conservative Tories
With most votes and seats
Though they lost their parliamentary Majority,
And can only govern
By doing a deal with the Northern Irish DUP
Who oppose the rights of gays and women
And want to bring back hanging.

Yet Labour too are celebrating a win:
Halving the gap between the Tories and themselves
And winning loads of votes and seats.
OK they finished fifty odd seats behind,
But hey!

And then the Libdems “won” four more seats.
Plus The Greens held Brighton by a merry mile.
The Scottish Nationalists still got thirty five seats,
In spite of Nicola Sturgeon calling for
Another referendum on independence.
Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland got more seats too.
And the Welsh limited their damage by Labour.

“Winners” all, except for UKIP.
That’s politics.
Until the next election.
Which might be fairly soon.

Paul Butters
Reflecting on the recent UK Election, called by Prime Minister Theresa May to improve her majority.
CK Baker Jan 2017
I can’t wait
to be a hundred
turning over the thoughts
and plots
of Caledon
floating
on Zimmer inserts
and dusted Florsheims
three steps forward
in a dream woven
summer afternoon

Through the
barn doors
and bee keeper flats
assimilating voices
from Sachems
and Forbes
and Hope Healers
coming and going
as the countryman
comes
and goes

You can feel it
in a place like this
the 3 in the tree memories
from Allis Chalmers
to combine parts
of Sundrim poppers
to shallow carp fields
the patterned lawsons
and fading caulk
(on ripped and rolled
frontier seats)

it’s a wishing well
for the peddler
and bold hydrangea...
both peeking their way
through
the rusted
grinders wheel
RAJ NANDY Jul 2017
THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD IN VERSE
Dear Readers, I have tried to cover the salient features of this True Story in free flowing verse mainly with end rhymes. If you read it loud, you can hear the chimes! Due to the short attention span of my readers I had to cut short this long story, and conclude with the
Golden Era of Hollywood by stretching it up to the 1950's only. When TV began to challenge the Big Screen Cinema seriously! I have used only a part of my notes here. Kindly read the entire poem and don't hesitate to know many interesting facts - which I also did not know! I wish there was a provision for posting a few interesting photographs for you here. Best wishes, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.  

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

           A SHORT  HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
Since the earliest days, optical toys, shadow shows, and ‘magic
lanterns’, had created the illusion of motion.
This concept was first described by Mark Roget in 1824 as  
the 'persistent of vision'.
Giving impetus to the development of big screen cinema with its
close-ups, capturing all controlled and subtle expressions!
The actors were no longer required to shout out their parts with
exaggerated actions as on the Elizabethan Stage.
Now even a single tear drop could get noticed easily by the entire
movie audience!
With the best scene being included and edited after a few retakes.
To Thomas Edison and his able assistant William Rogers we owe the invention of Kinetoscope, the first movie camera.
On the grounds of his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory, Edison
built his first movie studio called the ‘Black Maria’.   (1893)
He also purchased a string of patents related to motion picture
Camera; forming the Edison Trust, - a cartel that took control of
the Film Industry entire!

Fort Lee, New Jersey:
On a small borough on the opposite bank of the Hudson River lay
the deserted Fort Lee.
Here scores of film production crews descended armed with picture Cameras, on this isolated part of New Jersey!
In 1907 Edison’s company came there to shoot a short silent film –
‘Rescue From an Eagle’s Nest’,
Which featured for the first time the actor and director DW Griffith.
The independent Chaplin Film Company built the first permanent
movie studio in 1910 in Fort Lee.
While some of the biggest Hollywood studios like the Universal,
MGM, and 20th Century Fox, had their roots in Fort Lee.
Some of the famous stars of the silent movie era included ‘Fatty’
Arbuckle, Will Rogers, Mary Pickford, Dorothy and Lillian Gish,
Lionel Barrymore, Rudolph Valentine and Pearl White.
In those days there were no reflectors and electric arch lights.
So movies were made on rooftops to capture the bright sunlight!
During unpredictable bad weather days, filming had to be stopped
despite the revolving stage which was made, -
To rotate and capture the sunlight before the lights atarted to fade!

Shift from New Jersey to West Coast California:
Now Edison who held the patents for the bulb, phonograph, and the Camera, had exhibited a near monopoly;
On the production, distribution, and exhibition of the movies which made this budding industry to shift to California from
New Jersey!
California with its natural scenery, its open range, mountains, desert, and snow country, had the basic ingredients for the movie industry.
But most importantly, California had bright Sunshine for almost
365 days of the year!
While eight miles away from Hollywood lay the port city of Los Angeles with its cheap labour.

                        THE RISE  OF  HOLLYWOOD
It was a real estate tycoon Harvey Wilcox and his wife Daeida from
Kansas, who during the 1880s founded ‘Hollywood’ as a community for like-minded temperate followers.
It is generally said that Daeida gave the name Hollywood perhaps
due to the areas abundant red-berried shrubs also known as
California Holly.
Spring blossoms around and above the Hollywood Hills with its rich variety,  gave it a touch of paradise for all to see !
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903, and during
1910 unified with the city of Los Angeles.
While a year later, the first film studio had moved in from New
Jersey, to escape Thomas Edison’s monopoly!    (1911)

In 1913 Cecil B. De Mille and Jesse Lasky, had leased a barn with
studio facilities.
And directed the first feature length film ‘Squaw Man’ in 1914.
Today this studio is home to Hollywood Heritage Museum as we get to see.
The timeless symbol of Hollywood film industry that famous sign on top of Mount Lee, was put up by a real estate developer in 1923.  
This sign had read as ‘’HOLLY WOOD LAND’’ initially.
Despite decades of run-ins with vandals and pranksters, it managed to hang on to its prime location near the summit of the Hollywood Hills.
The last restoration work was carried out in 1978 initiated by Hugh
Hefner of the ******* Magazine.
Those nine white letters 45 feet tall now read ‘HOLLYWOOD’, and has become a landmark and America’s cultural icon, and an evocative symbol for ambition, glamour, and dream.
Forever enticing aspiring actors to flock to Hollywood, hypnotised
by lure of the big screen!

                     GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
The Silent Movie Era which began in 1895, ended in 1935 with the
production of ‘Dance of Virgins’, filmed entirely in the island of Bali.
The first Sound film ‘The Jazz Singer’ by Warner Bros. was made with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology.  (October 1927)
Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, this decade along with the 1940s have been regarded by some as Hollywood’s Golden Age.
However, I think that this Golden Age includes the decades of the
1940s and the 1950s instead.
When the advent of Television began to challenge the Film Industry
itself !

First Academy Award:
On 16th May 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard,
the First Academy Award presentation was held.
Around 270 people were in attendance, and tickets were priced at
$5 per head.
When the best films of 1927 & 1928 were honored by the Academy
of Motion Production and Sciences, or the AMPS.
Emil Jennings became the best actor, and Janet Gaynor the best actress.
Special Award went to Charlie Chaplin for his contribution to the
silent movie era and for his silent film ‘The Circus’.
While Warren Brothers was commended for making the first talking picture ‘The Jazz Singer’, - also receiving a Special Award!
Now, the origin of the term ‘OSCAR’ has remained disputed.
The Academy adopted this name from 1939 onwards it is stated.
OSCAR award has now become “the stuff dreams are made of”!
It is a gold-plated statuette of a knight 13.5 inches in height, weighing 8.5 pounds, was designed by MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons.
Annually awarded for honouring and encouraging excellence in all
facets of motion picture production.

Movies During the Great Depression Era (1929-1941):
Musicals and dance movies starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers provided escapism and good entertainment during this age.
“Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it
backwards and in high heels,” - the Critics had said.
This compatible pair entertained the viewers for almost one and
a half decade.
During the ‘30s, gangster movies were popular starring James Cagey, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson.
While family movies had their popular child artist Shirley Temple.
Swashbuckler films of the Golden Age saw the sword fighting scenes of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn.
Flynn got idolized playing ‘Robin Hood’, this film got released in
1938 on the big screen!
Story of the American Civil War got presented in the epic ‘Gone With The Wind’ (1939) with Clarke Gable and Vivian Leigh.
This movie received 8 Oscars including the award for the Best Film, - creating a landmark in motion picture’s history!
More serious movies like John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and
John Ford’s  ‘How Green Was My Valley’, were released in 1940 and 1941 respectively.
While the viewers escaped that depressive age to the magical world
of  ‘Wizard of Oz’ with its actress Judy Garland most eagerly!
Let us not forget John Wayne the King of the Westerns, who began
his acting career in the 1930s with his movie ‘The Big Trail’;
He went on to complete 84 films before his career came to an end.
Beginning of the 40s also saw Bob Hope and the crooner Bing Crosby, who entertained the public and also the fighting troops.
For the Second World War (1939-45) had interrupted the Golden Age of Hollywood.
When actors like Henry Fonda, Clarke Gable, James Stewart and
Douglas Fairbanks joined the armed forces temporarily leaving
Hollywood.
Few propaganda movies supporting the war efforts were also made.
While landmark movies like ‘Philadelphia Story’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Citizen Kane’,
‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, were some of the most successful movies of that decade.  (The 1940s)
Now I come towards the end of my Hollywood Story with the decade  of the 1950s, thereby extending the period of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Since having past the Great Depression and the Second World War,  the Hollywood movie industry truly matured and came of age.

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

BACKGROU­ND:
The decade of the ‘50s was known for its post-war affluence and
choice of leisure time activities.
It was a decade of middle-class values, fast-food restaurants, and
drive-in- movies;
Of ‘baby-boom’, all-electric home, the first credit cards, and new fast moving cars like the Ford, Plymouth, Buick, Hudson, and Chevrolet.
But not forgetting the white racist terrorism in the Southern States!
This era saw the beginning of Cold War, with Eisenhower
succeeding Harry S. Truman as the American President.
But for the film industry, most importantly, what really mattered  
was the advent of the Domestic TV.
When the older viewers preferred to stay at home instead of going
out to the movies.
By 1950, 10.5 million US homes had a television set, and on the
30th December 1953, the first Color TV went on sale!
Film industries used techniques such as Cinemascope, Vista Vision,
and gimmicks like 3-D techniques,
To get back their former movie audience back on their seats!
However, the big scene spectacle films did retain its charm and
fantasy.
Since fantasy epics like ‘The Story of Robin Hood’, and Biblical epics like ‘The Robe’, ‘Quo Vadis’, ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Ben-Hur’, did retain its big screen visual appeal.
‘The Robe’ released on 16th September 1953, was the first film shot
and projected in Cinema Scope;
In which special lenses were used to compress a wide image into a
standard frame and then expanded it again during projection;
Resulting in an image almost two and a half times as high and also as wide, - captivating the viewers imagination!

DEMAND FOR NEW THEMES DURING THE 1950s :
The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
She provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob.
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang,
      Let's rock,.................... (Lyrics of the song.)

Rock and Roll music began to tear down color barriers, and Afro-
American musicians like Chuck Berry and Little Richard became
very popular!
Now I must caution my readers that thousands of feature films got  released during this eventful decade in Hollywood.
To cover them all within this limited space becomes an impossible
task, which may kindly be understood !
However, I shall try to do so in a summarized form as best as I could.

BOX OFFICE HITS YEAR-WISE FROM 1950 To 1959 :
Top Ten Year-Wise hit films chronologically are: Cinderella (1950),
Quo Vadis, The Greatest Show on Earth, Peter Pan, Rear Window,
Lady and the *****, Ten Commandments, Bridge on the River
Kwai, South Pacific, and Ben-Hur of 1959.

However Taking The Entire Decade Of 1950s Collectively,
The Top Films Get Rated As Follows Respectively:
The Ten Commandments, followed by Lady and the *****, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Bridge on the River Kwai, Around the World in Eighty Days, This is Cinerama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rear Window, South Pacific, The Robe, Giant, Seven Wonders of the World, White Christmas, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Sayonara, Demetrius and the Gladiator, Peyton Place, Some Like It Hot, Quo Vadis, and Auntie Mame.

Film Debuts By Rising Stars During The 1950s :
The decade of the ‘50s saw a number of famous film stars making
their first appearance.
There was Peter Sellers in ‘The Black Rose’, Marlon Brando in
‘The Men’, and actress Sophia Loren in ‘Toto Tarzan’.
Following year saw Charles Bronson in ‘You Are in the Navy Now’,
Audrey Hepburn in ‘Our Wild Oats’, and Grace Kelly, the future
Princess of Monaco, in her first film ‘Fourteen Hours’. (1951)
While **** Brigitte Bardot appeared in 1952 movie ‘Crazy for Love’; and 1953 saw Steve Mc Queen in ‘******* The Run’.
Jack Lemon, Paul Newman, and Omar Sharif featured in films
during 1954.
The following year saw Clint Eastwood, Shirley Mc Lean, Walter
Matthau, and Jane Mansfield, all of whom the audience adored.
The British actor Michael Cain appeared in 1956; also Elvis Presley
the youth icon in ‘Love Me Tender’ and as the future Rock and Roll
King!
In 1957 came Sean Connery, followed by Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave.
While the closing decade of the ‘50s saw James Coburn, along with
director, script writer, and producer Steven Spielberg, make their
debut appearance.

Deaths During The 1950s: This decade also saw the death of actors
like Humphrey Bogart, Tyron Power and Errol Flynn.
Including the death of producer and director of epic movies the
renowned Cecil B. De Mille!
Though I have conclude the Golden Age of Hollywood with the 50’s Decade,
The glitz and glamour of its Oscar Awards continue even to this day.
With its red carpet and lighted marquee appeal and fashion display!

CONTINUING THE HOLLYWOOD STORY WITH FEW TITBITS :
From Fort Lee of New Jersey we have travelled west to Hollywood,
California.
From the silent movie days to the first ‘talking picture’ with Warren
Bros’ film ‘The Jazz Singer’.  (06 Oct 1927)
On 31st July 1928 for the first time the audience heard the MGM’s
mascot Leo’s mighty roar!
While in July 1929 Warren Bros’ first all-talking and all- Technicolor
Film appeared titled - ‘On With The Show’.
Austrian born Hedy Lamarr shocked the audience appearing **** in a Czechoslovak film ‘Ecstasy’!  (1933)
She fled from her husband to join MGM, becoming a star of the
‘40s and the ‘50s.
The ‘Private Life of Henry VII’ became the first British film to win the  American Academy Award.  (1933)
On 11Dec 1934, FOX released ‘Bright Eyes’ with Shirley Temple,
who became the first Child artist to win this Award!
While in 1937 Walt Disney released the first full animated feature
film titled - ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ‘.
The British film director Alfred Hitchcock who came to
Hollywood later;
Between 1940 and 1947, made great thrillers like 'Rebecca', ‘Notorious’, ‘Rear Window’, and ‘Dial M for ******’.
But he never won an Oscar as a Director!

THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD:
This award began in 1944 by the Foreign Correspondence Association at
the 20th Century Fox Studio.
To award critically acclaimed films and television shows, by awarding a
Scroll initially.
Later a Golden Globe was made on a pedestal, with a film strip around it.
In 1955 the Cecil B. De Mille Award was created, with De Mille as its first
recipient.

THE GRAMMY AWARD:
In 1959 The National Academy of Recording and Sciences sponsored the
First Grammy Award for music recorded during 1958.
When Frank Sinatra won for his album cover ‘Only The Lonely’, but he
did not sing.
Among the 28 other categories there was Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie
for his musical Dance Band Performance.
There was Kingston Trio’s song ‘Tom Dooly’, and the ‘Chipmunk Song’,
which brings back nostalgic memories of my school days!

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

Challenge Faced by the Movie Industry:
Now the challenge before the Movie Industry was how to adjust to the
rapidly changing conditions created by the growing TV Industry.
Resulting in loss of revenue, with viewers getting addicted to
their Domestic TV screen most conveniently!

The late 1950s saw two studios REPUBLIC and the RKO go out of business!
REPUBLIC from 1935- ‘59 based in Los Angeles, developed the careers of
John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and specializing in the Westerns.
RKO was one of the Big Five Studios of Hollywood along with Paramount,
MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers in those days.

RKO Studio which begun with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the ‘30s,
included actress Katherine Hepburn who holds the record for four Oscars
even to this day;
And later had Robert Mitchum and Carry Grant under an agreement.
But in 1948, RKO Studio came under the control Howard Hughes the
temperamental Industrialist.
Soon the scandal drive and litigation prone RKO Studio closed, while
other Big Four Studios had managed to remain afloat!


PARAMOUNT STUDIO:
Paramount Studio split into two separate companies in 1950.
Its Theatre chain later merged with ABC Radio & Television Network;
And they created an independent Production/Distribution Network.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope had been Paramount’s two biggest stars.
Followed by actors like Alan Ladd, William Holden, Jerry Lewis, Dean
Martin, Charlton Heston, and Dorothy Lamour.
They also had the producer/director Cecil B. De Mille producing high-
grossing Epics like ‘Samson & Delilah’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’.
Also the movie maker Hal Wallis, who discovered Burt Lancaster and
Elvis Presley - two great talents!

20th CENTURY FOX:
Cinema Scope became FOX’s most successful technological innovation
with its hit film ‘The Robe’. (1953)
Its Darryl Zanuck had observed during the early ‘50s, that audience  
were more interested in escapist entertainments mainly.
So he turned to FOX to musicals, comedies, and adventure stories.
Biggest stars of FOX were Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward; also
stars like Victor Mature, Anne Baxter, and Richard Wind Mark.
Not forgetting Marilyn Monroe in her Cinema Scope Box Office hit
movie - ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, which was also shown on
prime time TV, as a romantic comedy film of 1953.

WARREN BROTHERS:
During 1950 the studio was mainly a family managed company with
three brothers Harry, Albert, and Jack Warren.
To meet the challenges of that period, Warren Bros. released most of
its actors like James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Oliver de Havilland, -
Along with few others from their long-term contractual commitments;
Retaining only Errol Flynn, and Ronald Regan who went on to become
the future President.
Like 20th Century Fox, Warren Bros switched to musicals, comedies,
and adventure movies, with Doris Day as its biggest musical star.
The studio also entered into short term agreements with Gary Copper,
John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, and Random Scott.
Warren Bros also became the first major studio to invest in 3-D
production of films, scoring a big hit with its 3-D  suspense thriller
‘House of Wax’ in 1953.

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared,
Telemachus bound on his sandals and took a strong spear that suited
his hands, for he wanted to go into the city. “Old friend,” said he to
the swineherd, “I will now go to the town and show myself to my
mother, for she will never leave off grieving till she has seen me. As
for this unfortunate stranger, take him to the town and let him beg
there of any one who will give him a drink and a piece of bread. I
have trouble enough of my own, and cannot be burdened with other
people. If this makes him angry so much the worse for him, but I
like to say what I mean.”
  Then Ulysses said, “Sir, I do not want to stay here; a beggar can
always do better in town than country, for any one who likes can
give him something. I am too old to care about remaining here at the
beck and call of a master. Therefore let this man do as you have
just told him, and take me to the town as soon as I have had a warm by
the fire, and the day has got a little heat in it. My clothes are
wretchedly thin, and this frosty morning I shall be perished with
cold, for you say the city is some way off.”
  On this Telemachus strode off through the yards, brooding his
revenge upon the When he reached home he stood his spear against a
bearing-post of the cloister, crossed the stone floor of the
cloister itself, and went inside.
  Nurse Euryclea saw him long before any one else did. She was putting
the fleeces on to the seats, and she burst out crying as she ran up to
him; all the other maids came up too, and covered his head and
shoulders with their kisses. Penelope came out of her room looking
like Diana or Venus, and wept as she flung her arms about her son. She
kissed his forehead and both his beautiful eyes, “Light of my eyes,”
she cried as she spoke fondly to him, “so you are come home again; I
made sure I was never going to see you any more. To think of your
having gone off to Pylos without saying anything about it or obtaining
my consent. But come, tell me what you saw.”
  “Do not scold me, mother,’ answered Telemachus, “nor vex me,
seeing what a narrow escape I have had, but wash your face, change
your dress, go upstairs with your maids, and promise full and
sufficient hecatombs to all the gods if Jove will only grant us our
revenge upon the suitors. I must now go to the place of assembly to
invite a stranger who has come back with me from Pylos. I sent him
on with my crew, and told Piraeus to take him home and look after
him till I could come for him myself.”
  She heeded her son’s words, washed her face, changed her dress,
and vowed full and sufficient hecatombs to all the gods if they
would only vouchsafe her revenge upon the suitors.
  Telemachus went through, and out of, the cloisters spear in hand-
not alone, for his two fleet dogs went with him. Minerva endowed him
with a presence of such divine comeliness that all marvelled at him as
he went by, and the suitors gathered round him with fair words in
their mouths and malice in their hearts; but he avoided them, and went
to sit with Mentor, Antiphus, and Halitherses, old friends of his
father’s house, and they made him tell them all that had happened to
him. Then Piraeus came up with Theoclymenus, whom he had escorted
through the town to the place of assembly, whereon Telemachus at
once joined them. Piraeus was first to speak: “Telemachus,” said he,
“I wish you would send some of your women to my house to take awa
the presents Menelaus gave you.”
  “We do not know, Piraeus,” answered Telemachus, “what may happen. If
the suitors **** me in my own house and divide my property among them,
I would rather you had the presents than that any of those people
should get hold of them. If on the other hand I manage to **** them, I
shall be much obliged if you will kindly bring me my presents.”
  With these words he took Theoclymenus to his own house. When they
got there they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats, went into
the baths, and washed themselves. When the maids had washed and
anointed them, and had given them cloaks and shirts, they took their
seats at table. A maid servant then brought them water in a
beautiful golden ewer, and poured it into a silver basin for them to
wash their hands; and she drew a clean table beside them. An upper
servant brought them bread and offered them many good things of what
there was in the house. Opposite them sat Penelope, reclining on a
couch by one of the bearing-posts of the cloister, and spinning.
Then they laid their hands on the good things that were before them,
and as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink Penelope said:
  “Telemachus, I shall go upstairs and lie down on that sad couch,
which I have not ceased to water with my tears, from the day Ulysses
set out for Troy with the sons of Atreus. You failed, however, to make
it clear to me before the suitors came back to the house, whether or
no you had been able to hear anything about the return of your
father.”
  “I will tell you then truth,” replied her son. “We went to Pylos and
saw Nestor, who took me to his house and treated me as hospitably as
though I were a son of his own who had just returned after a long
absence; so also did his sons; but he said he had not heard a word
from any human being about Ulysses, whether he was alive or dead. He
sent me, therefore, with a chariot and horses to Menelaus. There I saw
Helen, for whose sake so many, both Argives and Trojans, were in
heaven’s wisdom doomed to suffer. Menelaus asked me what it was that
had brought me to Lacedaemon, and I told him the whole truth,
whereon he said, ‘So, then, these cowards would usurp a brave man’s
bed? A hind might as well lay her new-born young in the lair of a
lion, and then go off to feed in the forest or in some grassy dell.
The lion, when he comes back to his lair, will make short work with
the pair of them, and so will Ulysses with these suitors. By father
Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, if Ulysses is still the man that he was
when he wrestled with Philomeleides in ******, and threw him so
heavily that all the Greeks cheered him—if he is still such, and were
to come near these suitors, they would have a short shrift and a sorry
wedding. As regards your question, however, I will not prevaricate nor
deceive you, but what the old man of the sea told me, so much will I
tell you in full. He said he could see Ulysses on an island
sorrowing bitterly in the house of the nymph Calypso, who was
keeping him prisoner, and he could not reach his home, for he had no
ships nor sailors to take him over the sea.’ This was what Menelaus
told me, and when I had heard his story I came away; the gods then
gave me a fair wind and soon brought me safe home again.”
  With these words he moved the heart of Penelope. Then Theoclymenus
said to her:
  “Madam, wife of Ulysses, Telemachus does not understand these
things; listen therefore to me, for I can divine them surely, and will
hide nothing from you. May Jove the king of heaven be my witness,
and the rites of hospitality, with that hearth of Ulysses to which I
now come, that Ulysses himself is even now in Ithaca, and, either
going about the country or staying in one place, is enquiring into all
these evil deeds and preparing a day of reckoning for the suitors. I
saw an omen when I was on the ship which meant this, and I told
Telemachus about it.”
  “May it be even so,” answered Penelope; “if your words come true,
you shall have such gifts and such good will from me that all who
see you shall congratulate you.”
  Thus did they converse. Meanwhile the suitors were throwing discs,
or aiming with spears at a mark on the levelled ground in front of the
house, and behaving with all their old insolence. But when it was
now time for dinner, and the flock of sheep and goats had come into
the town from all the country round, with their shepherds as usual,
then Medon, who was their favourite servant, and who waited upon
them at table, said, “Now then, my young masters, you have had
enough sport, so come inside that we may get dinner ready. Dinner is
not a bad thing, at dinner time.”
  They left their sports as he told them, and when they were within
the house, they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats inside, and
then sacrificed some sheep, goats, pigs, and a heifer, all of them fat
and well grown. Thus they made ready for their meal. In the meantime
Ulysses and the swineherd were about starting for the town, and the
swineherd said, “Stranger, I suppose you still want to go to town
to-day, as my master said you were to do; for my own part I should
have liked you to stay here as a station hand, but I must do as my
master tells me, or he will scold me later on, and a scolding from
one’s master is a very serious thing. Let us then be off, for it is
now broad day; it will be night again directly and then you will
find it colder.”
  “I know, and understand you,” replied Ulysses; “you need say no
more. Let us be going, but if you have a stick ready cut, let me
have it to walk with, for you say the road is a very rough one.”
  As he spoke he threw his shabby old tattered wallet over his
shoulders, by the cord from which it hung, and Eumaeus gave him a
stick to his liking. The two then started, leaving the station in
charge of the dogs and herdsmen who remained behind; the swineherd led
the way and his master followed after, looking like some broken-down
old ***** as he leaned upon his staff, and his clothes were all in
rags. When they had got over the rough steep ground and were nearing
the city, they reached the fountain from which the citizens drew their
water. This had been made by Ithacus, Neritus, and Polyctor. There was
a grove of water-loving poplars planted in a circle all round it,
and the clear cold water came down to it from a rock high up, while
above the fountain there was an altar to the nymphs, at which all
wayfarers used to sacrifice. Here Melanthius son of Dolius overtook
them as he was driving down some goats, the best in his flock, for the
suitors’ dinner, and there were two shepherds with him. When he saw
Eumaeus and Ulysses he reviled them with outrageous and unseemly
language, which made Ulysses very angry.
  “There you go,” cried he, “and a precious pair you are. See how
heaven brings birds of the same feather to one another. Where, pray,
master swineherd, are you taking this poor miserable object? It
would make any one sick to see such a creature at table. A fellow like
this never won a prize for anything in his life, but will go about
rubbing his shoulders against every man’s door post, and begging,
not for swords and cauldrons like a man, but only for a few scraps not
worth begging for. If you would give him to me for a hand on my
station, he might do to clean out the folds, or bring a bit of sweet
feed to the kids, and he could fatten his thighs as much as he pleased
on whey; but he has taken to bad ways and will not go about any kind
of work; he will do nothing but beg victuals all the town over, to
feed his insatiable belly. I say, therefore and it shall surely be—if
he goes near Ulysses’ house he will get his head broken by the
stools they will fling at him, till they turn him out.”
  On this, as he passed, he gave Ulysses a kick on the hip out of pure
wantonness, but Ulysses stood firm, and did not budge from the path.
For a moment he doubted whether or no to fly at Melanthius and ****
him with his staff, or fling him to the ground and beat his brains
out; he resolved, however, to endure it and keep himself in check, but
the swineherd looked straight at Melanthius and rebuked him, lifting
up his hands and praying to heaven as he did so.
  “Fountain nymphs,” he cried, “children of Jove, if ever Ulysses
burned you thigh bones covered with fat whether of lambs or kids,
grant my prayer that heaven may send him home. He would soon put an
end to the swaggering threats with which such men as you go about
insulting people-gadding all over the town while your flocks are going
to ruin through bad shepherding.”
  Then Melanthius the goatherd answered, “You ill-conditioned cur,
what are you talking about? Some day or other I will put you on
board ship and take you to a foreign country, where I can sell you and
pocket the money you will fetch. I wish I were as sure that Apollo
would strike Telemachus dead this very day, or that the suitors
would **** him, as I am that Ulysses will never come home again.”
  With this he left them to come on at their leisure, while he went
quickly forward and soon reached the house of his master. When he
got there he went in and took his seat among the suitors opposite
Eurymachus, who liked him better than any of the others. The
servants brought him a portion of meat, and an upper woman servant set
bread before him that he might eat. Presently Ulysses and the
swineherd came up to the house and stood by it, amid a sound of music,
for Phemius was just beginning to sing to the suitors. Then Ulysses
took hold of the swineherd’s hand, and said:
  “Eumaeus, this house of Ulysses is a very fine place. No matter
how far you go you will find few like it. One building keeps following
on after another. The outer court has a wall with battlements all
round it; the doors are double folding, and of good workmanship; it
would be a hard matter to take it by force of arms. I perceive, too,
that there are many people banqueting within it, for there is a
smell of roast meat, and I hear a sound of music, which the gods
have made to go along with feasting.”
  Then Eumaeus said, “You have perceived aright, as indeed you
generally do; but let us think what will be our best course. Will
you go inside first and join the suitors, leaving me here behind
you, or will you wait here and let me go in first? But do not wait
long, or some one may you loitering about outside, and throw something
at you. Consider this matter I pray you.”
  And Ulysses answered, “I understand and heed. Go in first and
leave me here where I am. I am quite used to being beaten and having
things thrown at me. I have been so much buffeted about in war and
by sea that I am case-hardened, and this too may go with the rest. But
a man cannot hide away the cravings of a hungry belly; this is an
enemy which gives much trouble to all men; it is because of this
that ships are fitted out to sail the seas, and to make war upon other
people.”
  As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised
his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Ulysses had
bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of
him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when
they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his
master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow
dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come
and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of
fleas. As soon as he saw Ulysses standing there, he dropped his ears
and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When
Ulysses saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear
from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said:
  “Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap:
his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he
only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept
merely for show?”
  “This hound,” answered Eumaeus, “belonged to him who has died in a
far country. If he were what he was when Ulysses left for Troy, he
would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in
the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its
tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead
and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their
work when their master’s hand is no longer over them, for Jove takes
half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.”
  As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the cloister where the
suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master.
  Telemachus saw
Victor D López Dec 2018
You were born five years before the Spanish Civil War that would see your father exiled.
Language came later to you than your little brother Manuel. And you stuttered for a time.
Unlike those who speak incessantly with nothing to say, you were quiet and reserved.
Your mother mistook shyness for dimness, a tragic mistake that scarred you for life.

When your brother Manuel died at the age of three from meningitis, you heard your mom
Exclaim: “God took my bright boy and left me the dull one.” You were four or five.
You never forgot those words. How could you? Yet you loved your mom with all your heart.
But you also withdrew further into a shell, solitude your companion and best friend.

You were, in fact, an exceptional child. Stuttering went away at five or so never to return,
And by the time you were in middle school, your teacher called your mom in for a rare
Conference and told her that yours was a gifted mind, and that you should be prepared
For university study in the sciences, particularly engineering.

She wrote your father exiled in Argentina to tell him the good news, that your teachers
Believed you would easily gain entrance to the (then and now) highly selective public university
Where seats were few, prized and very difficult to attain based on merit-based competitive
Exams. Your father’s response? “Buy him a couple of oxen and let him plow the fields.”

That reply from a highly respected man who was a big fish in a tiny pond in his native Oleiros
Of the time is beyond comprehension. He had apparently opted to preserve his own self-
Interest in having his son continue his family business and also work the family lands in his
Absence. That scar too was added to those that would never heal in your pure, huge heart.

Left with no support for living expenses for college (all it would have required), you moved on,
Disappointed and hurt, but not angry or bitter; you would simply find another way.
You took the competitive exams for the two local military training schools that would provide
An excellent vocational education and pay you a small salary in exchange for military service.

Of hundreds of applicants for the prized few seats in each of the two institutions, you
Scored first for the toughest of the two and thirteenth for the second. You had your pick.
You chose Fabrica de Armas, the lesser of the two, so that a classmate who had scored just
Below the cut-off at the better school could be admitted. That was you. Always and forever.

At the military school, you were finally in your element. You were to become a world-class
Machinist there—a profession that would have gotten you well paid work anywhere on earth
For as long as you wanted it. You were truly a mechanical genius who years later would add
Electronics, auto mechanics and specialized welding to his toolkit through formal training.

Given a well-stocked machine shop, you could reverse engineer every machine without
Blueprints and build a duplicate machine shop. You became a gifted master mechanic
And worked in line and supervisory positions at a handful of companies throughout your life in
Argentina and in the U.S., including Westinghouse, Warner-Lambert, and Pepsi Co.

You loved learning, especially in your fields (electronics, mechanics, welding) and expected
Perfection in everything you did. Every difficult job at work was given to you everywhere you
Worked. You would not sleep at night when a problem needed solving. You’d sketch
And calculate and re-sketch solutions and worked even in your dreams with singular passion.

You were more than a match for the academic and physical rigors of military school,
But life was difficult for you in the Franco era when some instructors would
Deprecatingly refer to you as “Roxo”—Galician for “red”-- reflecting your father’s
Support for the failed Republic. Eventually, the abuse was too much for you to bear.

Once while standing at attention in a corridor with the other cadets waiting for
Roll call, you were repeatedly poked in the back surreptitiously. Moving would cause
Demerits and demerits could cause loss of points on your final grade and arrest for
Successive weekends. You took it awhile, then lost your temper.

You turned to the cadet behind you and in a fluid motion grabbed him by his buttoned jacket
And one-handedly hung him up on a hook above a window where you were standing in line.
He thrashed about, hanging by the back of his jacket, until he was brought down by irate Military instructors.
You got weekend arrest for many weeks and a 10% final grade reduction.

A similar fate befell a co-worker a few years later in Buenos Aires who called you a
*******. You lifted him one handed by his throat and held him there until
Your co-workers intervened, forcibly persuading you to put him down.
That lesson was learned by all in no uncertain terms: Leave Felipe’s mom alone.

You were incredibly strong, especially in your youth—no doubt in part because of rigorous farm
Work, military school training and competitive sports. As a teenager, you once unwisely bent
Down to pick something up in view of a ram, presenting the animal an irresistible target.
It butted you and sent you flying into a haystack. It, too, quickly learned its lesson.

You dusted yourself off, charged the ram, grabbed it by the horns and twirled it around once,
Throwing it atop the same haystack as it had you. The animal was unhurt, but learned to
Give you a wide berth from that day forward. Overall, you were very slow to anger absent
Head-butting, repeated pokings, or disrespectful references to your mom by anyone.    

I seldom saw you angry and it was mom, not you, who was the disciplinarian, slipper in hand.
There were very few slaps from you for me. Mom would smack my behind with a slipper often
When I was little, mostly because I could be a real pain, wanting to know/try/do everything
Completely oblivious to the meaning of the word “no” or of my own limitations.

Mom would sometimes insist you give me a proper beating. On one such occasion for a
Forgotten transgression when I was nine, you  took me to your bedroom, took off your belt, sat
Me next to you and whipped your own arm and hand a few times, whispering to me “cry”,
Which I was happy to do unbidden. “Don’t tell mom.” I did not. No doubt she knew.

The prospect of serving in a military that considered you a traitor by blood became harder and
Harder to bear, and in the third year of school, one year prior to graduation, you left to join
Your exiled father in Argentina, to start a new life. You left behind a mother and two sisters you
Dearly loved to try your fortune in a new land. Your dog thereafter refused food, dying of grief.

You arrived in Buenos Aires to see a father you had not seen for ten years at the age of 17.
You were too young to work legally, but looked older than your years (a shared trait),
So you lied about your age and immediately found work as a Machinist/Mechanic first grade.
That was unheard of and brought you some jealousy and complaints in the union shop.

The union complained to the general manager about your top-salary and rank. He answered,
“I’ll give the same rank and salary to anyone in the company who can do what Felipe can do.”
No doubt the jealousy and grumblings continued by some for a time. But there were no takers.
And you soon won the group over, becoming their protected “baby-brother” mascot.

Your dad left for Spain within a year or so of your arrival when Franco issued a general pardon
To all dissidents who had not spilt blood (e.g., non combatants). He wanted you to return to
Help him reclaim the family business taken over by your mom in his absence with your help.
But you refused to give up the high salary, respect and independence denied you at home.

You were perhaps 18 and alone, living in a single room by a schoolhouse you had shared with Your dad.
But you had also found a new loving family in your uncle José, one of your father’s Brothers, and his family. José, and one of his daughters, Nieves and her
Husband, Emilio, and
Their children, Susana, Oscar (Ruben Gordé), and Osvaldo, became your new nuclear family.

You married mom in 1955 and had two failed business ventures in the quickly fading
Post-WW II Argentina of the late 1950s and early 1960s.The first, a machine shop, left
You with a small fortune in unpaid government contract work.  The second, a grocery store,
Also failed due to hyperinflation and credit extended too easily to needy customers.

Throughout this, you continued earning an exceptionally good salary. But in the mid 1960’s,
Nearly all of it went to pay back creditors of the failed grocery store. We had some really hard
Times. Someday I’ll write about that in some detail. Mom went to work as a maid, including for
Wealthy friends, and you left home at 4:00 a.m. to return long after dark to pay the bills.


The only luxury you and mom retained was my Catholic school tuition. There was no other
Extravagance. Not paying bills was never an option for you or mom. It never entered your
Minds. It was not a matter of law or pride, but a matter of honor. There were at least three very
Lean years where you and mom worked hard, earned well but we were truly poor.

You and mom took great pains to hide this from me—and suffered great privations to insulate
Me as best you could from the fallout of a shattered economy and your refusal to cut your loses
Had done to your life savings and to our once-comfortable middle-class life.
We came to the U.S. in the late 1960s after waiting for more than three years for visas—to a new land of hope.

Your sister and brother-in-law, Marisa and Manuel, made their own sacrifices to help bring us
Here. You had about $1,000 from the down payment on our tiny down-sized house, And
Mom’s pawned jewelry. (Hyperinflation and expenses ate up the remaining mortgage payments
Due). Other prized possessions were left in a trunk until you could reclaim them. You never did.

Even the airline tickets were paid for by Marisa and Manuel. You insisted upon arriving on
Written terms for repayment including interest. You were hired on the spot on your first
Interview as a mechanic, First Grade, despite not speaking a word of English. Two months later,
The debt was repaid, mom was working too and we moved into our first apartment.

You worked long hours, including Saturdays and daily overtime, to remake a nest egg.
Declining health forced you to retire at 63 and shortly thereafter you and mom moved out of
Queens into Orange County. You bought a townhouse two hours from my permanent residence
Upstate NY and for the next decade were happy, traveling with friends and visiting us often.

Then things started to change. Heart issues (two pacemakers), colon cancer, melanoma,
Liver and kidney disease caused by your many medications, high blood pressure, gout,
Gall bladder surgery, diabetes . . . . And still you moved forward, like the Energizer Bunny,
Patched up, battered, scarred, bruised but unstoppable and unflappable.

Then mom started to show signs of memory loss along with her other health issues. She was
Good at hiding her own ailments, and we noticed much later than we should have that there
Was a serious problem. Two years ago, her dementia worsening but still functional, she had
Gall bladder surgery with complications that required four separate surgeries in three months.

She never recovered and had to be placed in a nursing home. Several, in fact, as at first she
Refused food and you and I refused to simply let her waste away, which might have been
Kinder, but for the fact that “mientras hay vida, hay esperanza” as Spaniards say.
(While there is Life there is hope.) There is nothing beyond the power of God. Miracles do happen.

For two years you lived alone, refusing outside help, engendering numerous arguments about
Having someone go by a few times a week to help clean, cook, do chores. You were nothing if
Not stubborn (yet another shared trait). The last argument on the subject about two weeks ago
Ended in your crying. You’d accept no outside help until mom returned home. Period.

You were in great pain because of bulging discs in your spine and walked with one of those
Rolling seats with handlebars that mom and I picked out for you some years ago. You’d sit
As needed when the pain was too much, then continue with very little by way of complaints.
Ten days ago you finally agreed that you needed to get to the hospital to drain abdominal fluid.

Your failing liver produced it and it swelled your abdomen and lower extremities to the point
Where putting on shoes or clothing was very difficult, as was breathing. You called me from a
Local store crying that you could not find pants that would fit you. We talked, long distance,
And I calmed you down, as always, not allowing you to wallow in self pity but trying to help.

You went home and found a new pair of stretch pants Alice and I had bought you and you were
Happy. You had two changes of clothes that still fit to take to the hospital. No sweat, all was
Well. The procedure was not dangerous and you’d undergone it several times in recent years.
It would require a couple of days at the hospital and I’d see you again on the weekend.

I could not be with you on Monday, February 22 when you had to go to the hospital, as I nearly
Always had, because of work. You were supposed to be admitted the previous Friday, but
Doctors have days off too, and yours could not see you until Monday when I could not get off
Work. But you were not concerned; this was just routine. You’d be fine. I’d see you in just days.

We’d go see mom Friday, when you’d be much lighter and feel much better. Perhaps we’d go
Shopping for clothes if the procedure still left you too bloated for your usual clothes.
You drove to your doctor and then transported by ambulette. I was concerned, but not too Worried.
You called me sometime between five or six p.m. to tell me you were fine, resting.

“Don’t worry. I’m safe here and well cared for.” We talked for a little while about the usual
Things, with my assuring you I’d see you Friday or Saturday. You were tired and wanted to sleep
And I told you to call me if you woke up later that night or I’d speak to you the following day.
Around 10:00 p.m. I got a call from your cell and answered in the usual upbeat manner.

“Hey, Papi.” On the other side was a nurse telling me my dad had fallen. I assured her she was
Mistaken, as my dad was there for a routine procedure to drain abdominal fluid. “You don’t
Understand. He fell from his bed and struck his head on a nightstand or something
And his heart has stopped. We’re working on him for 20 minutes and it does not look good.”

“Can you get here?” I could not. I had had two or three glasses of wine shortly before the call
With dinner. I could not drive the three hours to Middletown. I cried. I prayed.
Fifteen minutes Later I got the call that you were gone. Lost in grief, not knowing what to do, I called my wife.
Shortly thereafter came a call from the coroner. An autopsy was required. I could not see you.

Four days later your body was finally released to the funeral director I had selected for his
Experience with the process of interment in Spain. I saw you for the last time to identify
Your body. I kissed my fingers and touched your mangled brow. I could not even have the
Comfort of an open casket viewing. You wanted cremation. You body awaits it as I write this.

You were alone, even in death alone. In the hospital as strangers worked on you. In the medical
Examiner’s office as you awaited the autopsy. In the autopsy table as they poked and prodded
And further rent your flesh looking for irrelevant clues that would change nothing and benefit
No one, least of all you. I could not be with you for days, and then only for a painful moment.

We will have a memorial service next Friday with your ashes and a mass on Saturday. I will
Never again see you in this life. Alice and I will take you home to your home town, to the
Cemetery in Oleiros, La Coruña, Spain this summer. There you will await the love of your life.
Who will join you in the fullness of time. She could not understand my tears or your passing.

There is one blessing to dementia. She asks for her mom, and says she is worried because she
Has not come to visit in some time. She is coming, she assures me whenever I see her.
You visited her every day except when health absolutely prevented it. You spent this February 10
Apart, your 61st wedding anniversary, too sick to visit her. Nor was I there. First time.

I hope you did not realize you were apart on the 10th but doubt it to be the case. I
Did not mention it, hoping you’d forgotten, and neither did you. You were my link to mom.
She cannot dial or answer a phone, so you would put your cell phone to her ear whenever I
Was not in class or meetings and could speak to her. She always recognized me by phone.

I am three hours from her. I could visit at most once or twice a month. Now even that phone
Lifeline is severed. Mom is completely alone, afraid, confused, and I cannot in the short term at
Least do much about that. You were not supposed to die first. It was my greatest fear, and
Yours, but as with so many things that we cannot change I put it in the back of my mind.

It kept me up many nights, but, like you, I still believed—and believe—in miracles.
I would speak every night with my you, often for an hour, on the way home from work late at
Night during my hour-long commute, or from home on days I worked from home as I cooked
Dinner. I mostly let you talk, trying to give you what comfort and social outlet I could.

You were lonely, sad, stuck in an endless cycle of emotional and physical pain.
Lately you were especially reticent to get off the phone. When mom was home and still
Relatively well, I’d call every day too but usually spoke to you only a few minutes and you’d
Transfer the phone to mom, with whom I usually chatted much longer.

For months, you’d had difficulty hanging up. I knew you did not want to go back to the couch,
To a meaningless TV program, or to writing more bills. You’d say good-bye, or “enough for
Today” and immediately begin a new thread, then repeat the cycle, sometimes five or six times.
You even told me, at least once crying recently, “Just hang up on me or I’ll just keep talking.”

I loved you, dad, with all my heart. We argued, and I’d often scream at you in frustration,
Knowing you would never take it to heart and would usually just ignore me and do as
You pleased. I knew how desperately you needed me, and I tried to be as patient as I could.
But there were days when I was just too tired, too frustrated, too full of other problems.

There were days when I got frustrated with you just staying on the phone for an hour when I
Needed to call Alice, to eat my cold dinner, or even to watch a favorite program. I felt guilty
And very seldom cut a conversation short, but I was frustrated nonetheless even knowing
How much you needed me and also how much I needed you, and how little you asked of me.  

How I would love to hear your voice again, even if you wanted to complain about the same old
Things or tell me in minutest detail some unimportant aspect of your day. I thought I would
Have you at least a little longer. A year? Two? God only knew, and I could hope. There would be
Time. I had so much more to share with you, so much more to learn when life eased up a bit.

You taught me to fish (it did not take) and to hunt (that took even less) and much of what I
Know about mechanics, and electronics. We worked on our cars together for years—from brake
Jobs, to mufflers, to real tune-ups in the days when points, condensers, and timing lights had Meaning, to rebuilding carburetors and fixing rust and dents, and power windows and more.

We were friends, good friends, who went on Sunday drives to favorite restaurants or shopping
For tools when I was single and lived at home. You taught me everything in life that I need to
Know about all the things that matter. The rest is meaningless paper and window dressing.
I knew all your few faults and your many colossal strengths and knew you to be the better man.

Not even close. I could never do what you did. I could never excel in my fields as you did in
Yours.  You were the real deal in every way, from every angle, throughout your life. I did not
Always treat you that way. But I loved you very deeply as anyone who knew us knows.
More importantly, you knew it. I told you often, unembarrassed in the telling. I love you, Dad.

The world was enriched by your journey. You do not leave behind wealth, or a body or work to
Outlive you. You never had your fifteen minutes in the sun. But you mattered. God knows your
Virtue, your absolute integrity, and the purity of your heart. I will never know a better man.
I will love you and miss you and carry you in my heart every day of my life. God bless you, dad.
Glenn McCrary Jun 2014
"A mended brain, and heart, and soul are all fine. But being stolen away in the night by new, soft, and clawing hands makes the stitching break. And when you wake up you find that you were never fixed in the first place.” ~ Jade Day


SCENE ONE

[All is black. Strobe lights of various colors flashed throughout the land. A mysterious woman casts an atrocious glare as she is passing by. She had dark brown shoulder length hair, hazel eyes and french vanilla colored skin. She was wearing a jet black dress. Her left hand was slightly moving around in a circular motion as a gesture of guided conversation. Her hand then gradually descended just below her waistline.]

DO: AAAHHH!!!!

[Do woke up doused within sweat and heavily panting. Spore and Gum came running into Do and Sweat’s room to check on Do.]

GUM: What’s going on, Do?

SPORE: Yeah, we heard you screaming from across the room.

DO: I’m fine… I-i… I just keep having nightmares and they won’t go away.

SPORE: What happened in this nightmare?

GUM: Yes, tell us Do.

DO: I do not wish to speak much of it at the moment, but all I will say is that a strange, mysterious woman keeps appearing in my dreams.

GUM: Who is she?

SPORE: Gum let’s not hassle him.

DO: I can’t remember her name at the moment. All I can remember is an incident happening that shouldn’t have.

SPORE: It’s okay, Do. You can tell us more about it as you start to fully remember what happened.

DO: Yeah, I suppose you are right.

GUM: What do you guys say we head down to the cafeteria? It’s 6:00 am and breakfast starts in half an hour.

DO: That actually sounds really good right now. I’m totally down.

SPORE: Yeah, I’m a bit hungry myself. What about Sweat? I mean he’s still sleeping.

GUM: Sweat has always been a deep sleeper.

SPORE: How would you know?

GUM: Because he’s my friend but thanks for implying that I’m a ****.

SPORE: I’m sorry but weren’t you the one who had an infamous reputation for random hookups?

GUM: That was a long time ago, Spore. I don’t do it as often as I used to.

SPORE: But you still do

GUM: Of course. Everyone needs some good, fun, casual *** every now and then.

DO: Guys can we talk about this later? It’s too early for this *******.

SPORE: We’re sorry, Do.

GUM: Yes, we don’t know what came over us.

DO: Look it’s okay. I’m over it. It happens to the best of us. Let’s just get going shall we.

SPORE: Great! I’m going to go take a shower and brush my teeth.

GUM: I call second.

DO: Actually, Gum you can use our shower. It will speed up things up a bit.

GUM: Oh yeah. You’re totally right.

[Do chuckles. Gum smiles back in response as she heads to the bathroom. Gum had bubblegum pink hair, bubblegum pink eyes and creamy white skin. Do leans over and gently shakes Sweat awake.]

DO: Sweat! Come on buddy wake up! Breakfast is starting soon and the gang wants to grab a bite to eat.

[Sweat slowly turns over yawning while rubbing the tiredness from his eyes.]

SWEAT: Ok, ok I’m up. What are they having for breakfast today?

DO: None of us know yet until we get down there.

SWEAT: Well what are we waiting for? Let’s get movin’!

DO: We will. Just waiting on the girls to get out of the showers so that we can do the same.



20 MINUTES LATER…

GUM: The guys should be dressed by now don’t you think?

SPORE: Let them take their time, Gum. Breakfast ends at 10:30. There is plenty to go around.

[Do and Sweat enter the room fully dressed and ready to go. Do was wearing a white long sleeve shirt, white jeans and white shoes. Sweat was wearing an outfit of an identical nature.]

SPORE: You guys both look very handsome and acceptable.

GUM: Yes! Yes! You guys look marvelous! Can we go now?

SPORE: I don’t know. Are you guys ready?

DO: Well, I know I’m ready. What about you Sweat?

SWEAT: Been ready.

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat make their way towards the door.]

DO: Oh, and Spore?

SPORE: Yes, Do.

DO: How far has life taken you by being acceptable?

[Spore looks at Do with a very confused ****** expression.]

DO: Exactly.

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat exit the room.]


SCENE TWO


[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat exit the elevator and make their way to the cafeteria. They enter the line and patiently wait to order their food.]

SPORE: By the way, Do all food is free at the asylum on Saturdays and Sundays for those who don’t have a registered meal plan.

DO: Thank you for the heads up Spore. Remind me to sign up for a meal plan later.

SPORE: I won’t forget.

[Spore and Do smile at each other. It is now Spore’s turn to order.]

BREAKFAST LADY: Welcome to Black Wick Asylum For The Mentally Insane. For breakfast we are serving Pancakes and waffles with your choice of 3 sides. Your choices are eggs, bacon and biscuits with brown and white gravy. We are also serving donuts, bagels and pastries. What can I get for you today?

SPORE: I think I’ll have three waffles and three biscuits covered in white gravy. Also, I’d like a donut.

BREAKFAST LADY: What kind of donut would you like?

SPORE: What kind of donuts do you have?

BREAKFAST LADY: Sprinkled, glazed, powdered, cake, jelly filling, red velvet, chocolate covered, etc…

SPORE: I think I’ll take the jelly-filled donut.

BREAKFAST LADY: What kind of jelly do you want?

SPORE: Blue raspberry.

BREAKFAST LADY: Anything to drink?

SPORE: Orange juice, please.

BREAKFAST LADY: And what can I get for you three?

[The breakfast lady began looking at Do, Sweat & Gum as she eagerly awaited their response. Gum decides to place her order first.]

GUM: I think I’ll have a short stack of red velvet pancakes, a couple of blackberry jelly-filled donuts and four scrambled eggs please.

BREAKFAST LADY: Ok and what would you like to drink?

GUM: A cup of tea would be nice.

[Gum lightly smiles at the breakfast lady as she says this then continues walking forward in the line. The lady points to Do and Sweat signaling them to come and place their orders.]

DO: I’ll take a full stack of buttermilk pancakes, two poached eggs, and a bagel with tea.

BREAKFAST LADY: Ok. What about you sir? What would you like?

SWEAT: Yeah, I’ll have two waffles, two biscuits, two fried eggs, two strips of bacon and a cup of coffee

BREAKFAST LADY: Will that be all?

SWEAT: Yes.

BREAKFAST LADY: Ok if you will please move to the end of the line your food and beverages will be placed through the delivery compartment next to the condiments.

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat move to the end of the line to get their food and finish preparing their beverages. The four of them then leave the condiment area and begin seeking a table to sit at. Eventually they find a table and comfortably take their seats.]

GUM: You know guys I was thinking. We have two weeks until the grand opening of Hyper.*** right? Maybe we should use some of that time to go and shop for some club appropriate attire.

SPORE: Maybe you’re right, Gum. I mean look at us. Do you really think anyone in the club is going to want to be seen with us if we walk in there wearing this?

DO: No.

SWEAT: Hell no.

SPORE: What did you have in mind Gum?

GUM: It’s not about what I have in mind. It’s about what you feel. Your outfit should project your emotions.

SPORE: Say now that’s pretty deep, Gum. Thank you.

DO: I think this is a good idea, Gum. We should do that. I mean what’s the worst that could happen? Besides I am tired of wearing these boring *** white clothes. Gotta love uniform policies.

SWEAT: Yeah, we are beyond the level of comprehension that these idiots cater to.

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat begin to chuckle together.]

SWEAT: So where are you thinking about shopping, Gum?

GUM: Well, actually, there is this clothing store a couple of blocks from here called UP. They are the premier shop for all things party wear. We should be able to get what we need from there.

DO: When do we leave?

GUM: As soon as possible.



SCENE THREE


TWO WEEKS LATER…

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat arrive UP in cab. The four of them get out of the cab and begin walking towards the store. It had a glowing neon blue sign with the word UP in big white letters. The sign also had white equalizers on both sides of its logo. The store had a clear exterior that allowed customers to see directly through the store.]

DO: This store looks fairly interesting, Gum. I like the look of it and what it seemingly appears to represent.

SWEAT: I definitely agree with you on that bro.

SPORE: I have an idea guys. How about we go inside?

SWEAT: Say that is a genius idea, Spore.

[Do and Gum begin laughing as the four of them walked into the store.]

SWEAT: What an exciting new discovery! Upon your death you shall never be forgotten!

SPORE: Ok, Sweat. That’s enough.

GUM: Yeah, Sweat. We get it.

SWEAT: Ok. I’m sorry.

[One of the male sales associates spots them and approaches them. He had jet, black hair, blue eyes, and five o’ clock shadow. He was wearing some black slacks along with a cerulean blue shirt with the company logo in the upper right corner of his chest.]

SALES ASSOCIATE: Hello, there and welcome to UP! My name is Zane. How may I help you today?

GUM: Yes, we have come to shop for and possibly purchase some night club and/or party attire.

[Spore pointed at Gum.]

SPORE: It was her idea.

GUM: To which you agreed.

SALES ASSOCIATE: Clearly. What type of night club and/or party are you going to?

[Do hands the sales associate his business card. He takes it and briefly looks at it.]

SALES ASSOCIATE: Hmm Hyper.*** eh? I’ve been hearing a lot about that new club. It seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun. I just hope the experience lives up to the hype.

DO, SPORE, GUM & SWEAT: We do too.

SALES ASSOCIATE: Do any of you know where it is going to be at? The card doesn’t seem to mention any sort of location.

GUM: What?

SPORE: What in the hell?

DO: Let me see.

[Zane hands the card back to Do. Do grabs it and starts frantically scanning the card.]

Do: Good eye, Zane.

SALES ASSOCIATE: Thanks man. Okay guys follow me. I think we may have what you are looking for.

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat follow Zane to the back of the store. There was a small blue sign hanging over the isle. The sign said “Casual/Blend’.

SALES ASSOCIATE: This area consists of our casual and blended clothing. The kind of clothing that we place in this area is specifically designed for party-goers who are new to the scene. Now since you all seem to be ill-informed of your club’s whereabouts, I thought this selection and style of clothing would be perfectly fitting for you.

GUM: Thank you, Zane

SALES ASSOCIATE: No problem. If you need anything else I will be at the front of the store.

DO, SPORE, GUM & SWEAT: Thank you!

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat continue to browse through the clothing for the next five minutes.]

GUM: Okay guys I think I have found what I like. This pink tank top and skirt along with these white high heels. I think they would look fabulous.

SPORE: That’s great, Gum.

GUM: Have any of you found anything you like?

DO: Well I saw some solid black t-shirts, jeans and sneakers that I like. I also saw a black fedora and some aviator shades that I really like.

SWEAT: I think I’ll just wear one of their generic company logo shirts with some blue denim jeans. I saw that they were selling some on clearance.

SPORE: I think I’ll go for that baby green dress and black sneakers that I saw.

GUM: That’s great. I guess we are all set then.

SWEAT: Yeah, I think so too

[Do takes out out his business card again and briefly glances at it.]

DO: You know I just can’t believe that those girls invited us to a club without informing us of its location. I mean how are we supposed to find it? How are we supposed to get there?

ALICE: By private jet

ANNA: To Switzerland

ALICE & ANNA: One way.

[Do turned around really fast appearing to be in a state of confusion. Alice and Anna were standing behind him with blue bags in their hands. Alice was wearing a plum purple dress, purple framed sunglasses with black lenses and purple sneakers. Anna was wearing an electric red dress red framed sunglasses and red sneakers to match the electric red highlights in her hair. ]

DO: Alice? Anna? What are you doing here?

ALICE: We’re here to shop silly.

ANNA: Yeah, we know the club scene like the back of our hand.

GUM: So do I.

ALICE: Excellent.

SPORE: What part of Switzerland?

ANNA: Zurich

ALICE: It is a neighboring country to France.

ANNA: Don’t worry we’ll have you back by tomorrow afternoon.

ALICE: Remember the grand opening of club Hyper.*** is in two days.

ANNA: Our plane leaves Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. sharp. We will be flying first class.

ALICE: You are to meet us there at approximately 9:00 a.m.

ANNA: And not a minute later.

ALICE: Be there or be square.

SALES ASSOCIATE: Bye ladies!

ALICE & ANNA: BYE ZANE!!!

[They wave at Zane as they are walking out of the door. Zane turns around and looks at Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat.]

SALES ASSOCIATE: You guys ready to pay?


SCENE FOUR


24 HOURS LATER…

[It is now 8:55 a.m. and Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat are only just arriving at the airport. The four of them walk into the airport where they are greeted by Alice and Anna.]

ALICE: Bonjour! Il est si agréable pour nous d'être à nouveau réunis!

ANNA: Oui, c'était très agréable d'avoir couru dans les quatre d'entre vous hier! Avez-vous les gars obtenez assez de repos?

DO: J'ai dormi comme un bébé.

ANNA: Bon, je suis content.

GUM: Will we be needing plane tickets?

ALICE: Not at all. You are flying via our private jet. A ticket is not needed.

ANNA: By the way how old are you all?

DO: 23

SPORE: 21

GUM: 25

SWEAT: 26

ALICE: Great. Then you all are old enough to drink then.

ANNA: We serve but only the finest liquor and wine aboard our jet. I think you’d enjoy our selection immensely.

SPORE: Do you guys also serve chocolate?

ALICE: Yes, we do.

GUM: What about meals?

ANNA: Of course.

DO: Good.

ALICE: Told you we’d take care of you.

ANNA: We weren’t kidding.

[Spore glances at her watch to check the time.]

SPORE:  Anyway, it is coming to 10:00 now. Shouldn’t we be leaving?

[Alice and Anna glance at their phones.]

ALICE: Oh my! You guys are right. It is now 9:55 a.m.

ANNA: Well I guess we had better get going if we want to make it to the event on time.

ALICE: Yes, so we should.

ANNA: Alright, kids follow us outside to the jet.

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat follow Alice and Anna outside the airport. A big, white jet was sitting just across from the airway.]

ALICE: Well, what are you waiting for? Come aboard!

ANNA: Yeah, don’t be such a loser. Come on! Come aboard all of you!

[Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat climb aboard the jet. A tall, muscular butler approaches them. He had a dark, brown afro, dark brown eyes, and golden brown skin.]

BUTLER: Hello, there young lads! My name is Owen.

[Owen gently grabs both Gum and Spore’s hands simultaneously as he planted a soft kiss on the backs of their palms.]

BUTLER: I was informed that the four of you would be flying first class today, correct?

GUM: Yes, that is correct, Owen.

BUTLER: May I escort you to your seats?

GUM: Yes, you may kind one.

SPORE: Please never hesitate to ask.

[Gum and Spore let out a few really **** giggles.]

BUTLER: Right this way.

[Owen escorts Do, Spore, Gum and Sweat to their seats. The four of them take their seats and begin to relax.]

BUTLER: What can I get you guys to drink?

GUM: Do you have strawberry wine?

BUTLER: Yes, ma’am. I believe we do have that.

GUM: Could you get me a glass of that please?

BUTLER: Yes, of course. Is there anything I can get for the rest of you lads?

SPORE: I’ll have a blue raspberry soda.

DO: I’d also like a blue raspberry soda.

[Spore looked at Do with a wide grin on her face as she began to blush. Do returned the expression.]

BUTLER: Ok I’ll have your drinks out straight away.

DO, SPORE, GUM & SWEAT: THANK YOU, OWEN!

BUTLER: You’re welcome!

[Owen turns around and walks straight to the cockpit, types in the security access code. The door to the cockpit opens. Owen walks right in and closes the door. He then puts his hands over his face and aggressively clenches and pulls the skin off of his face baring a the face of a beautiful female. This female then removed a hair net from her head revealing jet, black shoulder length hair. She also had winter blue eyes, and black lipstick.]

NURSE YUCKI: The kids totally bough
a (the) woman’s body (pretty pleasing)

is my reciprocal

her waist is my happy place

her neck is my doorway

the rest is
best when she is mirror accessorizing,
preening, **** upon first rising,
tallying the gains and the losses

unaware of my watching,
never satisfied she, tho she is 98% unadmitting contented,
as she shifts her weight,
from knee to knee extended alternating
with slow delicacy

for the pleasure is trebled
for her imagine image reverberates
throughout the house

for ever(y) mirror is pre-positioned,
accidentally angled just so, lol,
her image transported from living room to dining alcove
all the way to the kitchen’s bleacher seats

she doesn’t know and asks why I’m grinning,
answer is
no confessionary, no telling I’m swelling and
sinning

eyes scheming-dreaming of her reciprocity

she smiles and says  
“good morning bad boy”

maybe she does know
but you won’t tell her,
we, you and me,
are pretty pleasing

she is 1/me
she is won over me
Kacie Michel Dec 2013
there is a boy who catches my bus
who has bluey-grey eyes as clear
as the lake
the kids go swimming in.

he sits with his friends
and laughs a lot at little
things.
and when his friends are silent,
he looks out the window.

i sit two seats behind him
and i think he is beautiful.

there is a boy who catches my bus
who acts happy every morning
at seven a.m.

he sits with his friends
and gives them empty smiles
and wears long sleeves
in the middle of summer.

i sit two seats behind him
and i think he is beautiful.

there is a boy who catches my bus
who has bluey-grey eyes as empty
as the
lake the kids go swimming in,
in the winter.

he sits with his friends
and stares at his lap
and when his friends say something funny,
he doesn't laugh anymore.

i sit two seats behind him
and i think he's beautiful

there was a boy who caught my bus
who was found by his parents
after he shot himself.

he wrote a letter to his friends
and told them  that he loved them.
he wrote a letter to his parents
saying sorry.

and he wrote a letter to the sad
girl
who sat two seats behind him on
the bus,
who told her that she was
beautiful.

-k.m.
Time for an adventure,
3 a.m. and raining
Sitting in my FUBU hoodie
My brain was really straining
To keep awake until the bus
Pulled into Detroit Station
So I could start my trip across
This once great and mighty nation
I wasn't there alone this night
Others dozed and slept
Some just sat there silently
While some just sat and wept
I looked at those around me
Who had assembled for this ride
I hoped we would get along
When in walked a young bride
She was dressed in white from head to feet
Her veil was ripped and torn
Behind the ruined makeup
You could see her face was worn
No groom came in, she was alone
She changed, sat, made no fuss
It was almost one more hour
Before we finally saw our bus
A Greyhound, drab and dreary
Pulled up at our loading door
They announced "210 to Vegas"
And they didn't say no more
Most people fly when heading there
They want to get there and get home
Our band of silent travellers
Wanted to just get out and roam
They loaded up our cases
I just had a backpack, that
I was gonna take on board and
Just load it where I sat
They said fifteen more minutes
They would have to fill with fuel
At this point I made contact
With a man....to have a duel
He was sitting right across from me
He had a ball out, on his knees
He was tossing it into the air
So...I brought out my keys
He tossed it up and caught it
So, with my keys I did the same
He smiled and flipped it to his left
and with my keys I played his game
He moved it round from hand to hand
Made it hover in mid air
He did it all so gracefully
I did the same with out a care
His ball, my keys...time slipping by
Just then he gave a smile
He bounced the ball upon the floor
He had beat my by a mile
I nodded, slipped my keys away
I'd been outdone through and through
By a man with a red rubber ball
What else was there to do?
We lodaded up and took our seats
The crowd was pretty thin
With the lights low on inside the bus
It was looking rather dim
The married folks and partners
paired up in seats as pairs
The singles spread out randomly
As they collected up our fares
Vegas, was our hallowed ground
The final destination for us all
Then on the station P.A
they made the final loading call
Thirty three hours was the time
We'd take to drive
Give or take some time for food stops
We'd all get there safe, alive
We hit the road directly
My adventure had begun
It was still dark in the distance
We were driving towards the sun
Across the aisle all alone
An old lady sat and wrote
She was trying to get comfortable
She was wrapped up in her coat
The seat behind me, vacant
I was grateful for this fact
It afforded me the space so I
Could put my seat right back
With the blind pulled down,
I tried to sleep, at last I drifted off
There was the sound of the bus motor
And of the occasional, dry, hoarse cough
I heard music in my head at first
So I thought it was a dream
It turned out to be a radio
Owned by our runaway, bridal queen
she sat two rows down and to my left
She had changed into some jeans, and shirt
She had one ear plug in, one out
You could see how she did hurt
I got up, stretched, went to the back
I'd freshen up and have a ***
As I walked I felt so ill at ease
As all eyes followed me
The back two seats were occupied
by  two nuns, one old, one not
The smiled as I came near them
I smiled back, and then I thought
This cast of wayward characters
Was not at all like those
That were portrayed in "Homeward Bound"
The song most folkies all shoud know
On my way back I noticed a man
Reading, or at least that's how it looked
I saw no print upon his page
No letters in his book
I stood and watched, his fingers flew
Like they were moving on a rail
Then I realized that he was blind
And his book was all in braile
I stood there in amazement
At this sight that I'd just seen
Then I chuckled at the cover
From an old ******* Magazine
We pulled into a diner
We'd been out for nine hours now
We had an hour to ourselves
Time to change and get some chow
Most folks sat as they had come
In pairs or all alone
Some went out for a ciggy
One old man went to the phone
We all made sure to void ourselves
Before we got  on board
For the smell from eighteen greasy meals
would test the nuns faith in our lord
The background noise was louder
Than it had been at the start
We were eighteen lonely travellers
Travelling together, but apart
A father and his daughter
Played "eye spy" and sang some songs
They played "license plate bingo"
Most lyrics they got wrong
The old lady across the aisle
was watching, intently like a hawk
She was scratching things inside her book
You'd expect her just to squak
The man who had the ball sat
Alone, said not a word
I walked by and said "good morning"
But I don't think he heard
He sat there, still not moving
staring out the window at the world
He was taking in the movie
Of our trip as it unfurled
The trip was uneventful
It went on mostly the same
People reading, people watching
Father, daughter and their games
The driver pointed out some stuff
As we passed by on the way
"To the left you'll find the largest
ball of string made to this day"
He pointed out old houses,
Fields of battle, lost and won
Just a couple took real notice
Most wished the trip was done
A repeat after five more hours
A new driver came on board
She was blond, blue eyed and beautiful
Inside, my heart just soared
In my imagination
She would pick me from the crowd
When we made it to Las Vegas
I would go with her, I'd be proud
But, she sat there pointing out the sights
Like her predecessor had
My fantasy went up in smoke
It was really kind of sad
We ventured on till Vegas
getting off to eat and then
We would all repeat our actions
And get back and sleep again
It was quiet for the most part
Most folks waiting for the end
When we came out of the mountains
We could see the strip around the bend
"Ten minutes till Las Vegas"
our blond driver told us all
Make sure you've your belongings
I looked at the man who had the ball
He smiled tossed it in the air
I tossed my keys just one more time
In a way, we had a friendship
In a way , it was a crime
We had one thing in common
It would stick with me for good
It would always make me smile
And a smile's always good
We pulled up into the station
We were all tired from the ride
Most grabbed their extra luggage
I grabbed mine and went inside
There, I went up to the window
Bought another ticket, heading east
Turned and bumped into a fellow
He was a slight, buy friendly priest
"I'm heading to Detroit, my son"
"Where is it you're off to"
"I'm just off on an adventure"
"I think I'll go back there with you"
He smiled, opened his bible
We had three hours still to wait
Before our bus was ready to go back
Across the United States
You might ask yourself, why do this?
Why go back and not take time
To see the city that I'd come to
It just seems so sublime
to me the whole adventure
Isn't in the place I go
The adventure is the people
Each trips a brand new show
The cities that I visit
Really never, ever change
But the people....oh the people
Man, some are really strange
If you now would please excuse me
I must go and change my clothes
For I'm off on adventure
How it turns out...no one knows.
this one is a long one, so sit down, grab a beer....and come away on a bus trip from Detroit to Las Vegas.
RAJ NANDY Sep 2018
Dear Poet Friends, Torin Galleshaw from Charlotte NC, a Member of this Site, had requested me to compose about the Rise of Third *****. Therefore, I have commenced with the causes for its Rise in my Part One posted below. Planning to compose Part Two with ******’s Blitzkrieg campaign of Poland later. It is unfortunate that I am unable to post related Maps & Photos for better appreciation of my Readers! Such options are not available for us here! However, I have managed to post a copy with maps & photos in the E-mail ID of my friend Torin!  Kindly give comments only after reading this researched work of mine, during your spare time.  Thanking you, - Raj, New Delhi.

            STORY OF SECOND WORLD WAR – PART ONE
                            RISE OF THE THIRD *****
                                       By Raj Nandy

                                  INTRODUCTION
In this part I shall mainly deal with the causes leading to the Second World War,
Which had also created favourable conditions for the rise of Third ***** under ******.
The word ‘*****’ derives from old German word ‘rihhi’ meaning ‘realm’;  
But is also used to designate a kingdom or an empire in a broader sense.
Historically, the First ***** was the Medieval Holy Roman Empire which lasted till the end of the 19th Century.
While the Second ***** was the First German Empire from 1871 to 1918, when dynamic Otto Von Bismark had united all of Germany,
Which ended with its defeat in World War One and birth of the Weimar Republic.
The Third ***** refers to the **** German Empire under ******, Which lasted from 1933 till 1945, for twelve traumatic eventful years!
Historians opine that the ending of a war is equally important as
its beginning;
Since the causes for the start of a war is often to be found embedded in its ending!
The First World War came to an end on 28th of June 1919 as we all know.
With the signing of the Treaty at Versailles by the German Foreign Minister Hermann Muller and the ‘Big Four’.  (Britain, France, America, & Italy)
Yet it is rather ironical, that this Peace Treaty of Versailles, considered as President Woodrow Wilson’s ‘brain child’,
Had sowed the seeds of discontent resulting in the outbreak of the Second World War, and Adolf ******’s dramatic rise!

Though several causes are attributed for the outbreak of the Second World War by our Military Historians.
Let me try to summarise those causes which are considered to be more relevant.
Commencing with the harsh Treaty of Versailles, the British and French Policy of Appeasement, followed by Hyperinflation and the Great Depression of 1929, and failure of The League of Nations to maintain peace;  
Are relevant factors which collectively combined resulting in the outbreak of the devastating Second World War, scarring human memories for all time!
But not forgetting ******’s forceful and persuasive eloquence which mesmerised the Germans to rise up as a powerful Nation once again.
Since ****** promised to avenge the humiliation faced by Germany following the Treaty of Versailles,
Which was drawn up with vengeance, and dictated by the victorious Allies!

THE  ARMISTICE  AND TREATY OF VERSAILLES:    
Armistice means a truce for cessation of hostilities, which provides a breathing space for negotiating a lasting peace.
Now the Armistice ceasing the First World War was signed inside the railway carriage of the Allied Supreme Commander Marshal Foch, in the Forest of Compiegne,
On the 11th of November 1919, sixty km north of Paris, between the victorious Allies and vanquished Germany.
But in the meantime naval blockade of Germany had continued, and the German Rhineland was evacuated and partly occupied by the combined Allied troops!
Release of Allied POWs interned civilians followed subsequently; And the Reparations Clause of monetary compensation was strictly imposed on Germany!
Now, following a wide spread German Sailor’s Revolt towards the end of October 1918, Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II had abdicated;
And on the 9th of November Friedrich Ebert, as the new Social Democrat President of Germany, authorised his representative to sign the Compiegne Armistice.
We should remember here that this Armistice seeking cessation of hostilities did not stipulate any unconditional surrender;
And the signing of the Armistice by the German Social Democrats, was considered as ‘a stab in the back of the German army’ by majority of the Germans!
These issues get repeatedly mentioned by Adolf ****** in his eloquent speeches subsequently,
To arouse the spirit of German Nationalism, and resurgence of the ‘Master Aryan Race’ of the Germans, - in Germany!

The Versailles Treaty was signed on 28th of June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand which had sparked World War One.
Let me mention few aspects of this Treaty which was detested by the Germans!
Germany lost 13% of its land, 12% of its people, 48% of its iron resources, 15% of its agricultural production, and 10% of its coal, following its implementation!
German army was reduced to 100,000 men, its Navy reduced to 36 ships with no submarines, its Air Force banned, and its union with Austria forbidden.
Now to use a Shakespearean phrase the ‘unkindest cut of all’ came in the shape of Article 231,  the ‘War Guilt Clause’ of the Versailles Treaty,
Which provided the legal basis for the payment of war reparations by Germany.
The reparation amount of 132 billion gold marks (US $33 billion) to cover the civilian damage caused during the war, now had to be paid by Germany!
Thus the humiliation, resentment, and the virtual economic strangulation following the Versailles Treaty,
Was exploited by extremist groups such as ******’s **** Party.
And in the decades to follow, ******’s Nazis would take full control of Germany!

NOTES: Following Versailles Treaty, Alsace-Lorraine captured by Germany in 1870 was returned to France. The SAAR German coalfield region was give to France for 15 yrs. Poland became independent with a corridor to the sea dividing Germany into two. Danzing, a major port in East Prussia, became a free city under the League of Nation. Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, & Czechoslovakia became independent. Industrial area of German Rhineland, forming a buffer zone between Belgium &France,was
demilitarised.

WOODROW WILSON’S  14 - POINT PEACE INITIATIVE  & THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS:
American President Wilson was an idealist and a visionary, who in a speech to the US Congress on 8th Jan 1918,
Introduced a 14 Point Charter as a platform for building global peace, based on the principles of transparency, self-determination, and Democracy.
But for the first time in US history, the Republican-led US Senate rejected this Peace Treaty, and prevented America from joining the newly created League!
The US Senate wanted to retain its sovereignty without external entanglements;
Free from the League of Nation’s political dictates in its foreign commitments!
The Irish immigrants refused to support Wilson's Fourteen Points because Wilson was concerned about stopping WWI, rather than forcing the British to set Ireland free.
Many Jews also refused to back Wilson, since he was paying too much attention to the War, and not enough to the Balfour Declaration of 02 Nov 1917, -
Which promised an Independent Jewish State with a distinct Jewish identity.

The League of Nations had emerged from Wilson’s 14 Points on the 10th Jan 1920, with its HQs at Geneva, Switzerland, but it had no peacekeeping forces those days!
The League had failed to prevent invasion of Chinese Manchuria in 1932 by Japan;
Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935; annexation of Sudetenland and Austria by Germany!
The Axis countries Germany, Italy, and Japan, withdrew from the League subsequently.
Thus the League of Nations was disbanded in 1946 officially!
But President Wilson’s ceaseless efforts for global peace did not go unrecognised,
Since on the 10th of December 1920, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!
While his disbanded League of Nations, as the first global humanitarian organisation,
Continued to survive in spirit with the establishment of United Nations Organisation on the 24th October, 1945.

ECONOMIC CAUSES - FOLLOWED BY THE GREAT DEPRESSION OF 1929 :
Germany emerged from the First World War with loss of 25,000 square miles of territory;
Loss of seven million inhabitants, and a staggering debt imposed by the Versailles Treaty!
The Wiemar Republic, after abdication of Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II  to Holland,
For the first time in German history, established a Democratic Constitution with Friedrich Ebert as its first President.
But The Republic first had to consolidate itself by squashing the Spartacist Revolt of January 1919 led by the extreme Leftists, and inspired by the Russian Bolshevik Communists!
The Freikorps, in March 1920, an Ex-Soldiers Rightist Group, tried to overthrow the Wiemar Republic with support of their Rightist allies and their own veteran troops!
This was soon followed by a Communist attempt to takeover of the Industrial Rhur;
But fortunately, all these uprisings against the Republic were effectively subdued!
But the 33 Billion Dollars of Reparations hung over the Wiemar Republic like the legendary ‘Sword of Damocles’, followed by the Great Depression of 1929;
Coupled with the ‘Policy of Appeasement’ practised by the British and the French;
Became the most important causes for ******’s expansionist ambition and his short- lived meteoric rise to fame!

GERMAN PAPER CURRENCY & HYPERINFLATION:
Gold Mark was the currency used by the German Empire from 1873 to 1914 only.
But to pay for the costs of the ongoing First World War, Germany suspended the gold standard, and decided to fund the war by Borrowings entirely,
Hoping to pay back the loans after Germany achieves Victory.
But having lost the war, and faced with a massive debt imposed by the Allies,
Exchange rate of the Mark against the US Dollar steadily devalued and declined!
Papiermark became the German currency from 04th August 1914 onward, when link between the Mark and gold reserve was abandoned,
In order to pay for the ongoing expenses of the First World War with paper marks, which was constantly being printed!
But later after the war, when the London Ultimatum of May 1921 demanded payment of war reparations in gold or in foreign currency only,
Even more paper marks got printed by the Republic to buy those foreign currency !
By December 1922 hyper-inflationary trends emerged, when the US Dollar became equivalent to 7,400 German Marks, with a 15-fold increase in the cost of living !
By the fall of 1922 when it became impossible for Germany to make further payments,
The French and Belgium armies occupied Germany’s Ruhr Valley area, its prime industrial region!
French and the Belgians hoped to extract payment in kind, but a strike by the workers of the Ruhr area their hopes belied!
The Wiemar Republic printed more paper notes to pay and support the workers of the Ruhr area,
When hyperinflation had peaked at 4,210,500,000,000 German Marks, to a US Dollar!
Paper currency having become worthless, some form of ancient barter system began to be used instead!

STABILISATION OF GERMAN ECONOMY WITH ONSET OF  THE GREAT DEPRESSION:
Following the hyperinflation Chancellor Josef Cuno’s cabinet resigned in August 1923,
When Gustav Stresemann became the new Chancellor of Germany.
Stresemann’s Government had introduced the Rentenmark as a new stable currency,
To end the hyperinflation which had plagued Wiemar Germany.  
Rentenmark was backed by real goods, agricultural land and business,
Since gold was not available in a beleaguered German economy those days!
When One Rentenmark was equivalent to One million, million, old German Mark;
While One US Dollar was equivalent to only 4.2 Rentenmarks.
Though Stresemann’s Government lasted for 100 days only, Stresemann continued to serve as the Foreign Minister in successive Coalition Governments of the Republic,
Till his death in the month of October 1929, but working for the betterment of Germany all the while!
His ‘Policy of Fulfilment’ stabilised German economy with a 200 Million Dollars loan from America under the Dawes Plan in 1924,
Which had also ensured the evacuation of France from the occupied Ruhr area, with their future reparations payments ensured.
Stresemann’s signing of the Locarno Pact in London on 1st Dec 1925 with France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy, was considered as his achievement and a feat!
Since it made Germany to enter the League of Nations ensuring stability and peace;
While the Noble Peace Prize was awarded to Stresemann for his efforts in 1926!
Later, the Young Plan of 1929 further reduced German reparations payment by 20%, while extending the time frame for the payments to 59 years!
But following a sudden Wall Street Stock Market Crash in late October of 1929,
The American Banks were forced to recall money from Europe and the Young Plan;.
Which created acute financial distress when unemployment soared to 33.7%  in Germany in 1931, and quickly rose to 40% during the following year!
Lausanne Conference was held in Switzerland in 1932 by Great Britain, Germany, and France, to further reduce the War Debts imposed by the Versailles Treaty.
But in Dec 1932, the US Congress had rejected this Allied War Debt Reduction Plan completely.
However, no further payments were made by Germany due to the Great Depression;
And by 1932, Germany had paid only 1/8 of the total sum required to be paid as per their pending wartime reparations!

NOTES: Rentenmark was issued on 15 October 1923 to stop the hyperinflation in Wiemeer Germany. Reichmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 to 20 June 1948 in West Germany , when it was replaced by the Deutsche Mark; but had continued in East Germany until 23 June when it was replaced by East German Mark.
During the Stresemann Years of Stability from 1924 to 1929, (prior to the onset of the Great Depression), with help of American financial aid, created more housing & production in Germany. Dada & Expressionist Art forms flourished, followed by modern architecture; also the Philosophy of Existentialism of Thomas Mann – influenced the Western culture. Paul Whiteman's Band for the first time brought in American Jazz to Germany, and Jazz signified the liberation of German youth and women folks of the younger generation generally. But the US Stock Market Crash had unfortunately ended this short lived euphoria, and as it soon became a global phenomena!                                


FAILURE OF THE WIEMAR REPUBLIC & THE GREAT DEPRESSION WHICH BENEFITED THE NAZIS:
Last Days of Wiemar Republic:
Ever since Otto Von Bismarck that ‘Man of iron and steel’, united Germany into a single Empire in the year Eighteen Hundred & Seventy One,
For the first time a Constitution for a Parliamentary Democracy was drawn up in August 1919, in the eastern German city of Wiemar.
Wiemar was the intellectual centre of Germany associated with musicians like Franz List, and writers like Goethe and Schiller.
The Wiemar Republic of Germany which had lasted from 1919 till 1933 had seen,
20 different Coalition Governments, with frequent elections and changing loyalties!
Due to a system of proportional representations, and the presence of very many political parties those days,  
No single party could obtain absolute sole majority in the Reichstag Parliament!
The longest Coalition Govt. was under Chancellor Bruning, which had lasted for only 2 years and 61 days!     (From 30 March 1930 to 30 May 1932)
Now, to understand the reasons for the failure to maintain a Democratic form of Government by the Wiemar Republic,
It becomes necessary to monitor its ‘dying gasps’ during its closing years so to speak!
Since faced with the economic depression Chancellor Bruning had worsened the unemployment situation by adopting stringent and unpopular measures!
Thereby having lost popular political support, Bruning with the approval of President Hindenburg, invoked emergency powers under Article 48, to survive his last few months and years!
During the years 1931 and 1932  it is seen, Bruning had used this Emergency Clause 44 and 66 times respectively!
Thus his so-called ‘Presidential form of Govt.’ had undermined Wiemar Democracy!
If Burning was the ‘Republic’s Undertaker’, now remains a debatable issue of History!
But Burning’s vigorous campaign made Hindenburg to get re-elected as the President;
Thereby he had removed the defeated Adolf ****** out of the Presidential race!
Therefore, later when ****** became the Chancellor on 30 Jan 1933, Bruning had very wisely fled from Germany!

Following Bruning’s resignation in May 1932 came Chancellor Papen’s ‘Cabinet of Barons’ consisting of individuals who were not members of the German Reichstag!
While in the election of July 1932 ******’s **** Party won 230 seats, making it the largest party in the Reichstag.
But ****** refused to form a coalition with Papen, because he wanted to become the Chancellor himself !
Now General von Schleicher advised President Hindenburg that the German Army,
Would not accept Papen’s use of Article 48 to remain as the Chancellor of Germany!
Therefore following Papen’s resignation, Schleicher took over on the 04th of December 1932 as the new German Chancellor.
Schleicher tried to restore a democratic form of government to get the Wiemar Republic back on its feet.
But in the ensuing political power struggle Papen wanted to take revenge on Schleicher for his removal from power and defeat.
So Papen persuaded Adolf ****** to become the Chancellor, and retain for himself the post of Vice-Chancellor.
In doing so, Papen mistakenly thought that he would be able to reign in the self-assertive Adolf ******!
Papen finally made President Hindenburg agree to his proposal, and on 30th of Jan 1933,
****** became the New Chancellor, with approval of the President!
A month later a sudden fire in the Reichstag made ****** invoke Article 48, in order to squash the suspected Left Wing Communists;
But while doing so, the Press was muzzled, and many Civil Rights of the German people were abolished, inclusive of their right of assembly and free speech!
****** acted swiftly, and by passing the Enabling Act on 23 March, 1933, armed himself  with dictatorial powers for enacting laws without the approval of the Reichstag whenever necessary!
Thereby ****** threw Democracy to History’s wasteland most unfortunately!
Following the death of Hindenburg on 29 June 1934, ****** combined the powers of the President and the Chancellor, and became known as the FUHRER!
Historians generally agree the Enabling Act of 1933, as the date for establishment of The German Third *****.

THE POLICY OF APPEASEMENT AND GERMAN AGGRESSION:
The horrors of trench warfare with the rattling of machine guns and bursting of poisonous nerve gas shells,
Even after 20 years remained fresh, in the minds of all World War One participants!
Therefore, it was natural for British and French Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier initially,
To grant political and material concessions to an aggressive Germany, for the sake of peace and stability.
Thus the diplomatic stance of Appeasement between 1935 and 1939 followed by the French and the British, was mainly to avoid another dangerous armed conflict!
But the trusting Mr. Chamberlain had underestimated ******, who had served in the German Army as a Corporal, winning the Iron Cross during the last Great War!
****** was not afraid of war, but wanted to avenge the Treaty of Versailles and its punitive dictated peace;
And also establish for the superior German Aryan race a lasting Third *****!
Therefore, having consolidated his power as the Fuhrer along with his trusted **** Party cronies, he withdrew from the League of Nations in October 1933.
Introduced conscription in March 1935 in Germany, and embarked on a mission to rebuild a new modernised German Army for combat on land, air, and sea!
In March 1936, in another open violation of the Versailles Treaty, ****** re-occupied the demilitarised Rhineland, followed by a Treaty of Alliance with Japan and Italy.
The much desired Anschluss (or merger) with Austria, the country of birth of ******,
Saw the German Army in March 1938, triumphantly and peacefully marching into Vienna!
Now with the Munich Conference of 19 September 1938, this Policy of Appeasement is said to have reached its climatic peak!
The Sudetenland area, consisted of 3 million Germans were made
to join Czechoslovakia when the frontiers were drawn in 1918-19,
Much against the wishes of the Germans!
When ****** wanted to annex this Sudetenland area, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, met at Munich to diffuse an explosive situation peacefully.
It was agreed at Munich that once Sudetenland joins Germany, ****** will not invade Czechoslovakia and honour the terms of peace.
But on 15th March 1939, in violation of the Munich Agreement, ******’s army invade and occupied Czechoslovakia, thereby openly flouting the Policy of Appeasement!

NOTES: ******’s desire for ‘LEBENSRAUM’ or ‘increase of living space’ for the Germans, commenced with his ‘Border Wars’, which soon turned into a Global War because of the ‘appeasement policy’ of the Allies. ****** had secured his Eastern Front with a treaty with the Stalin, since fighting on two fronts would have been very difficult for the Germans.

Now when ******’s army invaded Poland on 1st of September 1939, it became ‘the last straw on the camel’s back’ for the Western Allies!
Committed to the Anglo-Polish Defence Pact of 25 August, 1939, both Britain and France declared war on Germany,
Which I propose to narrate in Part Two of my Second World War Story.  
The Policy of Appeasement no doubt gave some time for Britain, to regain its depleted military strength,  but Adolf ****** had viewed it as a sign of weakness!
With Russia and America initially as non-participants, ****** became more confident and arrogant!
Thereby turning his border wars into a global conflagration lasting six long years.
When the use of advanced technology, resulted in greater loss and casualties;  
Which was followed by the holocaust and unprecedented human suffering!
I would like to conclude my present narration with a poem by English soldier-poet Seigfried Sassoon, who participated in the First World War on the Western Front.

DREAMERS  -  by Siegfried Sassoon
Soldiers are citizens of death's gray land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal ****** with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with ***** and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
…………………………………………………………………………
Thanks for reading patiently, from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
  *ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR ONLY
Tom Leveille Sep 2014
she was leaving
and got the gumption
to see me before she did
so we went to dinner
she sat, crumpled
at the edge of the booth
playing with her silverware
hands sweating
our knees barely touching
underneath the table
they shook like the day we met
they shook like floodgates
when the clouds get upset
her hair was drawn back
into an apology
and she didn't answer
when the waiter asked for drinks
she pans, tilts
looking for the restroom
but doesn't get up
covers her mouth
to hide her furled chin
i cut her a piece of bread
not sparingly
i didn't want to ruin the symbolism
of cutting a gangrenous thing
from ones self
she half wept out "tell me a joke"
i thought to say "look at us."
that's it. that's the joke.
the premise & the punch line
sharing some silence
here in this ominous moment
so thick with goodbye
you could touch it
i said "when they asked what the name was for the wait, i should've said "awkward, party of 2"
but that's not the joke
"knock knock"
she whispered "who's there?"
i sat for a moment and said
"so we've come full circle.. we're even in the same seats, from all those months ago"
her lips quivered
and she hid her mouth
"i just wanted to hear a joke"
she said
i came back with
*"if i fell for you in a quiet restaurant & no one was around to hear it, does the laughter of children i drempt we'd have make a sound?"
Snehith Kumbla Jul 2017
we take the corner seats,  
we wild animals in heat
wait for the lights to die,  
and then in one soft sigh,
run a hand over your thigh
AnnaMarie Jenema May 2014
Mom should’ve been here by now. I sat on my frilly blue and purple polka-dotted bed waiting for the knock on the door telling me mom found my dress. Finally, it raps on my door. “Mom! Did you find it?” My eyes widen as the silky blue sways in her arms, it’s beauty sings as a caged bird let free. I gasp in admiration. “I-It’s wonderful!” I pick it up and it glides down into a perfect fit.  “I’m glad you love it. Come down after you finish getting ready.” The door thuds after her. Looking across the room I note my honey brown hair that curls into pigtails. Restraining the squeal that is caught in my throat, I travel the length of my room to the mirror.

     The mirror sits on an antique dresser that my mom found at a garage sale. At first I didn’t care much for the ancient wooden junk that is at least half a century old. Now the gold-tinted metal gleams with pride once again. Rusty gems were in carved into an arc surrounding the mystic glass. “Lydia! Can you go upstairs and get that box down for me?” Mom’s request interfered with my thoughts. … Go in that dusty attic? “Sure mom!”

       Out the door and into the hallway stood a door like any other in our house. It squeaked open as eerily as what you’d expect in a haunted house. ‘A box, a box’ than out of the side of my vision I thought I saw motion. I shook it off as just being a spider or mouse. Soon my footsteps lead me to come across a dresser and mirror identical to the one in my room. It was cluttered with cobwebs and spiders. “Not very well taken care of, are you?” I muttered the joke. I looked into the mirror expecting to see a light blue dress covered in dust and sparkly silk material, but there was no reflection at all. I looked even closer at the mirror, before realizing, there was no mirror at all.

     I looked around until I found it behind the dresser, sitting on the ground. I touched one of the gems that surprisingly glowed despite the rust. Something shone until I was blinded. A tingle ran through the hand that brushed the mirror’s gem and flew through my arm until it encompassed me, racing into my every feeling until I couldn’t feel anything. My eyes shut and refused to open themselves.


     A gentle breeze grasped my hair, as music descended from the air. I could smell what seemed to be a banquet of some kind, mixed with perfume. Slowly my eyes lifted their veil to lock with waves pounding against a brick wall. I was looking down from a balcony into the erupting sea. The white brick-made balcony was large and lonely even with the brush of people walking by. I hid behind the rose-red curtains to look around. People danced and talked. Some ate. The music paved the trail for their feet to follow, all very gracefully. The men wore suits that tails drip to their knees. Their white shirts buried under sashes of gold, red, or blue. Sometimes holding medallions, some only dressed in ties. The woman wore Victorian dresses of every color and shade. Frilled hats with flowers were arranged on their heads.

     Wait, I’m not supposed to be here. I was in the attic, going to the café with mom. What was I doing? My head ached from the effort to recall my actions. Why can’t I remember? I stumble backward only to reach the balcony’s edge. Where is this anyway?

      I dive back into the curtain to search for my answer. The softness of the curtain was a rose pushed to my nose. I peeked through the small gap to find a page carting some clothes past my hiding spot. I sneaked next to the cart being wheeled into a doorway, planning to find a way out. I lost the page and walked around until I went through an archway door. The cool air spiraled against my silk-trapped skin. The scent of flowers bloomed around me. I found the garden labyrinth.

     Walking through the maze’s hedges I arrive at a beautiful fountain displaying crystal clear pouring waters. Everywhere I gazed, flowers embraced the greenery. My breath deprived my lungs of air as I took in the sight. It was so magnificent under the light of the full moon. A few lamps lighted a sidewalk path maneuvering along the hedges. I circled the fountain, taking in the surroundings. My silk dress was shining in the dim glow. The sceneries beauty entranced me.






     I didn’t see a shadow before me, and almost fell to the ground. In a graceful swoop an arm latched around my waist to pull me to my feet. “Be careful to look where you’re going, please my lady.” He bowed his head while his slim rimmed glasses started to fall off of his face, suddenly he looked up at me; sliding them back on with a slight wave of a finger. “That garb isn’t from around here.” He noted my sky blue dress with interest. I’m not even sure where I am. “I seem a bit lost. Will you help me?” he stares at me closer, a deeper curiosity shines in his green eyes, daintily brushed by his dark hair. “My dear, if it brings you comfort to know, we are in London at the Buckingham palace.”

      I gasped; London was so far away from New York. It’s across seas. I gulped at my next question as sweat pricked the nape of my neck, “What’s todays date?” His eyes sparkled at the question. “Why, it is June 28, of 1838. The entire castle is bustling at these very words. It’s a day to remember. Now my dear, I must take my leave and see to the ballroom. Farewell.” He bowed, than turned to leave. His slow stride seemed like a dance all on it’s own. My gaze was caught on his figure following the foot trail until he had disappeared. I sighed at my first encounter with someone in this grand place. The Buckingham Palace, in 1838. …1838!! That can’t be right, it’s 2014. Then the shock hit me as if bricks fell from the castle onto my forehead; the clothes, the language, the pages, and royalty. This couldn’t be London in present Great Britain.

    I circle the garden once more before I decide to go back inside. The young noble had realized my clothes didn’t belong here, probably anyone who sees me would recognize this too. I start off towards the footpath. The melodic rhythm still swirled in the breeze. Than for a second I thought I heard a footstep. My head twists back only to see a shadow move. The cool air now seems icy. Multiple possible things to say to the night air gallop through my mind. “ Such a lovely night,” is the one I decide on. From behind me a few feet back I imagine a sigh. No, not imagined, but actually there. It’s too real. I turn on my heels just to catch a glimpse of a black cape caught in the wind, as it’s master floats into the open. “My, It is lovely. However, I didn’t realize such a strangely dressed commoner as you could enter this palace.” His smirk shows sarcasm as easily as his eyes. “I never intended to visit a palace, even less in London.” My honest answer only has him conceal his laugh.




     “I’m sure you didn’t. Yet, your dressed for a fine occasion.” His hand reaches for mine. I pull away from the willowy figured glove. “Why not allow me this dance in the garden?” I back away, aware that his voice is too prescient and I should be careful. “Are you going to be wary of me?” his gaze turned pained, his blue eyes that were once full of playfulness now melted into hurt. I unintentionally reach out for his gloved hand. His laugh echoes past the foliage. “Such a naïve girl.” Dread decided that this nobleman should be avoided at all costs. I ran towards the palace. “And so the chase begins.” He snickers and rushes after me.


     I pass through the archways, glancing back now and again to find the caped captor flying along my tracks. If only there was some way to lose him. I ducked into the nearest doorway. At the far end of the hall I could see a door with a sign saying, “Dressing room”. I flung myself under a table and tablecloth to hide myself as my pursuer rounded the corner into the hall. I tucked my head between my knees and waited for his footsteps to fade. The warm place that held me trapped was close and too easily discoverable. I held my breath and tried to sink into the darkness. I’m not here. No one can find me.

     After enough time flew by to ensure my safety, I crawled out from under the table. The cloth draped over my head. I looked back and forth, half expecting to see a smirking smile, and haughty eyes. A girl stares down at me. She’s at least ten years old. “Shhh.” I press my finger to my lips and gently smile at her as if we’re keeping a secret between us. She giggles, copies the motion to her own mouth, than delightfully skips away. I let out a sigh and stand up. I follow the hall to the dressing room. The door creaks open and I look around once more, startled by the sudden noise.

     I sneak inside hoping find that the room is abandoned. In the darkly lit room, only my footsteps sound. As far as I can tell, no one has entered lately. I walk over to the carts of clothes and run my hand over the first one on the stack. It’s a ruby-red dress with fine material and some gems similar to those in the mirror. … The mirror. Not in my room, but the attic. My head hurts again, but I know I touched its gem before winding up here. How? I look through the dresses until I find a light blue and white one. The bowed sleeves come down to my elbow with frills encasing the bottom. The neckline forms a squared area of similar white frills. A small white sash acts as a belt that drops into the skirt of the dress. Two similar white ones come down each side. I pick up the light material and set it near my feet.
      My old silk dress easily slips overhead, making way for the new clothing. After tugging tight sleeves and bodices into place the light dress swoops over my feet. I spin through the dark room only to stop at catching someone’s eye. I immediately turn towards the frozen face. It is my own reflection in a mirror. I face myself as my sight settles on the dress I wear. My honey brown hair curled over the dress from my pigtails. My eyes sparkled it’s matching blue to the dress. In the corner of the room, next to the mirror, sat a large wooden box. I looked through it to find that it was full of jewelry and accessories. I prodded its contents until I found sky blue bows to wrap in my pigtails.

     I walked into the open hallway, now littered with people going to and fro. Anyone from passerby’s, young nobility, servants, and pages. Once the hall emptied I fled the room, hurrying through the corridors until I met with the room that created the harmonious trance. At the ends of the great ballroom sat crowds eating and laughing. Clusters of on-goers danced and chatted. In the middle of the farthest side of the room sat a throne that was embroidered with metal marks from centuries of legends. On the throne sat a woman at least eighteen of age. Her regal crown shone despite other attractions surrounding the dance room. A page strode over to her as she flourished her hand for his service. He stood and listened intently to her whispers. Finally, he stood and roared for the room’s attention. From his mouth spilled cheer and wistfulness, as he demanded the crowd’s ear. “Our young Queen Victoria’s coronation has completed. Now starts a new era! Let the celebration proceed.” The room reverberated with hope, love, and admiration for their new ruler.

     ‘Queen Victoria has been crowned’ having no clue how to find a way home, I disconsolately decide to join in the festivities. The crowd moves into a larger room. I stagger after them; the mass pushing everyone forward. We pass the kitchens. The aroma of cakes and deserts of every kind rises into the cool night air. The only smell more perceptible than delicate delights is the perfume penetrating the entire castle. We enter a by far more spacious ballroom. Empty amphitheater seats loom overhead, tied into the walls for onlookers to watch the ball unravel. Once again I glance at these to notice black material hangs over the edge. A head moves as people fill the seats. A nobleman with a black cape and familiar blue eyes takes their seat next to men and woman of high status. I walk into the mop to hide myself, while watching him. He laughs and chats with them as if he’s known them all his life.


      Unable to watch where I’m going, I trip. The harsh, solid ground hits my knee as if I’ve met a tornado. I wince at the pain as I strain myself to stand. A firm, but careful hand grabs mine. I look up into green eyes shaded by recognizable glasses. “My dear, you are very clumsy.” He smiles at me as I pat my dress back into place. “I see we’ve met again.” My response comes weakly as the sore from my knee makes me flinch. “I don’t think you’ve told me your name.” I inquire. “You have not requested my name, so I haven’t told it. However, if you do me the honor of a dance, my secret may be leaked.”  He bowed and offered me his arm, as I timidly accept it.

     A new song disrupts the last, as new pairs take the stage. He walks me onto the floor, and diligently starts to dance. I watch my feet, not wanting to mistake my pace. “Lift your chin, my dear. You don’t seem to but much of a church-bell.” I looked up at him puzzled. “Church-bell?” As he tried to conceal a grin, his glasses couldn’t suppress the laughter in his eyes. “Your rather quiet. And most likely not from around London, are you?” I looked to the ground once more. Should I tell him or not? Will it start problems, or will I be okay? “It’s fine, I shall not expect you to answer a question you wish not to.” I looked up at him, solemnly. “I promised to introduce myself, correct?” I nodded, as the music that echoed around us faded into the next song.

      His movements were so fluid; he was a wave at the end of the day, flowing into the sunset. “Miss, I am known by most as William Anderson. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He procured my sweaty palm into his, tenderly swiping his mouth to my fingers. I let my hand be brought back into the dance as I searched for words to speak. Once the dance ended a few moments later, I curtsey and murmur, “It’s nice to meet you. I am Lydia Olsen.” At my gesture he bows, and requests once more, “Am I trustworthy enough to understand why you are in a mysterious place you don’t understand?” My answer had been decided and started to splatter from my mouth. “Y…”









     The next sound bounces along the room, it’s symphony starting. My words mix into the noise. In my vision of the seats above, snowy dots shoot arrows in my direction. Blue eyes gaze down at me, their iciness piercing me as icicles prickle my skin. I exchange a glance with William, nod and answer, “You are. I’ll explain.” My discomfort is surely recognizable. I often peek over my shoulder above as we dance. The shadow with a glare starts his voyage through the seats to reach the stairs that pillar into the wall. He descends from the tower, only adding to my panic. My hand seizes Williams, as I give him an apologetic smile. We hurry from the room, stumbling over each other’s feet. His graceful prance, now a faltering wreak.

     Once we are outside the ballroom, I turn towards him. “I trust you, so please understand, I live In the USA in 2014. Not London, not Even in the 1800’s.” His expression is masked, but I’m sure that I’ve confused him. “I went back into time, from the future.” The simple words struck a chord with him, his glasses tilted off his nose as he listens intently. “The future? How?” even I don’t know how to answer such questions. “I’m not sure. I was in the attic with a mirror, than … ****! I’m here.” Confusion once again wonders onto his face. “I went into a storage room with old things, and found a mirror, touched a gem, now I was here.”

     “I see, but why did we run away from the celebration? I was looking forward to another dance with you.” His casual smile does nothing to conceal unasked questions. I’m not sure how to answer them ei
Pyrrha Aug 2018
There is a bus stop I stand by everyday
Around me is every person who has ever hurt me or let me down
They stand here with me day by day
When the bus comes I'm the last to get on every single time
I stand awkwardly as all of the seats fill
As usual there are no empty seats left for me
I must pick the lesser of my evil's and choose one each day
The heaviness of the fear and panic sink into my core
As I place myself beside one of them once more

Today however as I stood with the others as I stand everyday
I felt their hollow eyes burn into my back
As the bus arrived I saw it load with all these people that detest me
With all the memories that they carry
All the memories that weigh like dumbbells on my being
And for once I just stand there
I do not get on
And I watch as the bus full of all these things I hate
Drives away as another appears

It stops before me and the door opens as the driver beckons me to get in
It isn't my bus, but I still drag my feet forward
As if pulled by an invisible force like a magnet I can't pull myself away
When I enter I see other passengers
Not all of the seats are full, in fact many are empty
But it still feels full, yet not stuffy
I feel welcome as I stand in the aisle of the bus
I'm dragged down by a brown eyed beauty
And I feel like for once I've found my place
Within this bus filling with the things I love, with people I trust
I got this Idea from a dream I had
Amanda Fern was twenty years old, long blond hair with brown eyes and many called her beautiful.

She was desired by many men, a six foot beauty, of slim build with curves that drove them wild.

She always dressed to please, like tonight she wore a dress that left nothing to the imagination, it was pink and by the way it clung to her body it was obvious she wore nothing underneath.

She wore leather knee high boots and she was waiting for a client to pick her up for her job was an escort.

At eighteen a rich boyfriend had paid for her to have implants, 34DD, he had been sixty seven and she had dumped him after she got what she wanted.

She found richer and older men paid more to have her, and they never lasted long, if they had the money she would use them and she never lost her heart to any of them.

She had received three hundred dollars from someone by the name of Sam Haine, she had never met him and she was to wait for transport to pick her up to take her to the rural countryside.

She was hoping this Samuel Haine, whoever he was, would be her next sugar daddy.

Suddenly  a coach of horses arrived, with a coachman dressed in black, his face hidden by a black scarf who beckoned for her to get into the coach.

"Whatever" she said and entered and sat in the coach, it had leather seats and must have cost a fortune.

The journey was long, leaving the city and heading for the country, past fields which seemed dark and eerie in the night.

They arrived at a mansion, ivy covered the walls and  Amanda could see the large oak doors were open as inviting her to enter them.

The coachman opened the door of the coach, and never spoke but she got the message, she was to enter the mansion alone.

As she entered those oak doors, beautiful crystal chandeliers bathed her in candlelight, but there was no one to greet her, it was then she heard his voice for the first time.

"Come to the master bedroom, third floor at the top of the stairs, the door is open" he said from up above those stairs with dark green carpets.

It was a voice of someone younger than she expected, a voice that seemed so ancient but sounded so gentle.

Amanda walked up the stairs then came to her destination, through she could see a four poster bed with white silk sheets, covered with red rose petals and as she entered the room she saw him for the first time.

He looked to be thirtyish, he had long flowing brown hair, it flowed past his shoulders and he was the most handsome man she had ever seen in her life.

His eyes seemed coal black, but they shined and he seemed so pale skinned, standing there in an old fashioned looking frilled white shirt and black trousers.

He must had been six foot four, she wasn't used to men taller than herself and that voice was like music to her when he spoke.

"You are a beauty indeed, come to me" he said, and she approached him for this was the first time she had ever wanted a man, had felt this way.

He lifted her dress and she felt it glide off over her head and his eyes seemed to glow as he studied her naked body and she knew she had to have him.

He lay her on the bed and she felt him kiss down her body and then his mouth and tongue found her thighs and he tasted her, and she shuddered with delight.

He probed her masterfully with his tongue, tasting her deep inside and she exploded with an ****** that rocked her from within, for the first time she was in love.

He undressed, then joined her on the bed, his body was well formed with muscles and she needed him.

He kissed and gently nibbled her ******* making her wet again, then he was inside her moving with a slow and gentle rhythm, she wrapped her legs around him and screamed as he brought her to ****** time and time again.

He never made a sound and when he came inside her, she felt him flow deep into her and she felt alive, she never knew *** could ever feel like this.

She stayed there on the bed, and she watched him dress and she felt her heart sink, hoping he would ask her to stay and not send her back to the city.

"Please stand my sweet" he said and she obeyed, he came to her and she felt his right hand touch her left breast as her heart beat fast.

She never felt the pain, all she knew was he had something in his hand as he took it away from her chest and she looked down and saw her blood gushing from a hole below her left breast.

She saw the evil in his eyes as he watched her dying, as darkness came to her all she could think was "He stole my heart".
copyright Chris Smith 2010
Sara Kellie Jun 2018
The head fuckery of societies rules.
The indoctrination in our schools
has led to the homeless on our streets while politicians count their seats.
The privileged few, too rich to mention
fail to reveal their true intention.

The NHS setup to break by psychopaths all on the take.
Big business stripped of all its gold,
no pension funds left for the old.
Big pharma, they don't miss a trick,
they're making you & I feel sick.
They push the pills that ring the tills
even though they know it kills.

With the best advice and greatest will
our kids are on **** & fentanyl.
While drinking water turns a son
into a daughter,
it's Atrazine that makes
a King a Queen.

While we're divided black & white,
we'd never stand up to their might
So take your neighbour, hold their hand and together we'll reclaim our land.

Poetry by Kaydee.
Utopia is a planet with no borders & free movement of a free people.
a symphony orchestra.
there is a thunderstorm,
they are playing a Wagner overture
and the people leave their seats under the trees
and run inside to the pavilion
the women giggling, the men pretending calm,
wet cigarettes being thrown away,
Wagner plays on, and then they are all under the
pavilion. the birds even come in from the trees
and enter the pavilion and then it is the Hungarian
Rhapsody #2 by Lizst, and it still rains, but look,
one man sits alone in the rain
listening. the audience notices him. they turn
and look. the orchestra goes about its
business. the man sits in the night in the rain,
listening. there is something wrong with him,
isn't there?
he came to hear the
music.
skyraftwanderer May 2012
I

Under a hollow sky
grey worn concrete listens
scream of a solitary car.

“Just want to write something. anything. been too long. Mind, liquid pencil. You know.”

Jazz tickets on the dash.
(solo performer – no net over absurdity)

“Write about that..”

Street lamps recede infinitely
fathomless ether’s lost
slipstream of rust swallows all.

“See what he’s like first.”…”Your call.”

There’s a tug, a pull towards
the light and motion
the swirling abstraction
luminescent dance in glass and shadow
seeping out of brocades of steel and concrete

the city at night
night tides thick with colour.

“Empty road, inviting city. Very Kerouacian.”

Car screams a little louder.

The outskirts come into view.

II

Empty streets repeat in circle
asphalt constant self devouring.

Neon hums, street lamps chatter
sidewalk smoke ripples
reflections upon reflections.

Jazz tickets slide across the dash.

Chicken broth of ancient forever
rides night airs
long ago memories
fast filing seats, flavours upon flavours.

Logic abandoned
signs abandoned
knowing abandoned
we just follow the way.

Neon roar echoes in hollow factory caves
colourless flames abstract burn.

There, under the
Ashen Dragons gaze
empty seats, luck that can’t be passed up.

We eat noodles under starlight.

Ashen Dragon, indomitable
keeps flickering,
and flickering.

III

Stage lights roll.

Red light
hangs in dust.

In the hall, over the seats, over the stage.

Jazz tickets now stubs now becoming cranes.

Silence, bass ambles forth.
First steps turn into
stumbles, tumbles,
scrapes, hacks,
accumulation of mistakes
collective hang in red dust.

He tries everything. Arco, pizzicato,
bass as percussion – devoid thumps.

He’s patient though. Amidst the inferno,
there’s the sense, the knowing, he’ll find the way.

He stops. Stops seeking. Turns to sought.

IV (Musical Interlude)

A thread only he can see
faint, and fainter still gossamer.
bow swish arc, tentatively ensnared
dark enigma thread entwined among bow strings
a weave drawn into a screen
across the stage wall.

Abstractions start to turn into form.

Pizzicato dance
chips away,
immortal peaks of gleaming jade.

Arco slide
carves away,
innumerable valleys of shining emerald.

Tips and taps
river flows, duckweed and herons
hermit huts in forest and moss
troops of gibbons with melodious howls.

Tunings align with heavens changes
cherry blossoms bounce on singing winds
oriole songs drift through five willow forests
recluse paths swept clean of tumbled pine cones
pines rest under blankets of silent white.

Across the stage
crafted in pregnant emptiness
the ancient forever
in a down town dive.

Two cranes rest on a table.

V

Re-emergence under the
hollow sky.

“…there’s truth in abstraction.”

Ashen Dragon
still flickers.

Chicken broth
still lingers.

Empty seats,
still luck runs.

Noodles under starlight,
and sky grey caravans.

“Nice title…hanging around?”
“Catch the train back, gotta write this.”
“See you soon. Stay safe kid.”

Ashen eyes flicker
words clatter by under a neon gaze.
Salty rancher spackle is to Earthy diva smackers as Swinging hotel number is to?
Rippling cling bread is to Three lizard chariots as Indigo lime tangent is to?
Nighttime reunion planet is to Nettle lane scuffle as Soaking spider *** is to?
Fancy trance logs are to Sticky fudge lather as Vivacious gator college is to?
Cheerful blossom face is to Secret tractor rocket as Canned gremlin emblems are to?
Jealous pitchfork generals are to Heartbreaking patchwork veranda as Folding robot noise is to?
Pretty rhino rash is to Lost locket vengeance as Back pocket weather is to?
Frosted candy sidewalk is to Sneaky kook code as Shiny waffle smoke is to?
Sapphire cloud romance is to Magnetic comet lava as Blue triangle envy is to?
Vanishing honey melody is to Thermal elf pajamas as Whistling iceboat shampoo is to?
Peach mint politics is to Frozen doll pennies as Rusty anchor catapult is to?
Swollen pony fever Throbbing sword kazoo as Silent turbine science is to?
Obese germ thunder is to Stacked lemon towers as Corrupt moon jockey is to?
Demented insect whistle is to Glass trophy cleanup as Purple geode bubble is to?
Nighttime razor slime is to Lacquered dragon maps as Tint paper mittens are to?
**** camel drops are to Velvet ****** shoes as Slippery red muffins are to?
Flying hot drool is to Pale chocolate telescope as Tin trumpet ballet is to?
Expensive puppy speed is to Flowered duck mirror as Cosmic needle factory is to?
Fractured laser doodles are to Cracked butter gravel as Rubber holster straps are to?
Majestic panther fortress is to Jeweled cork target as Iron swan taxi is to?
Poisonous pepper bouillon is to ****** goat soap as Chrome feather pirates are to?
Digital gorilla scriptures are to Timid hunter stench as Frozen domino video is to?
Eccentric troll opera is to Transparent wax village as Spoiled coral agony is to?
Bizarre green metal is to Pillow eating hamster as Leather cavern ***** are to?
Eternal hurricane evidence is to Powdered rainbow perfume as Smoking yellow prune is to?
Liquid wish cleanser is to Exploding meadow ladders as Brittle rose hammer is to?
Caged foam filter is to Cherry balloon string as Ivory cactus spider is to?
Carbon puppet watch is to Sad kings compass as Elastic lace whiskers are to?
Nitrogen trolley dust is to Lazy elephant toffee as Orange toad choir is to?
Dark pole zodiac is to Blue finger blanket as Illegal bug nozzle is to?
Stinky towel cookies are to White jade caskets as Sticky snail tea is to?
Converting stellated caramels is to Mythic aerosol socks as Rubber raspberry jokes are to?
Flying clock carousel is to Whisky nut worms as Plastic fish platforms are to?
Queasy Vaseline queens are to Moody pigeon pills as Aqua mice fur is to?
Spotted bowl shadow is to Idiotic radiance lotion as Bungalow toad hearse is to?
Gushing chimney fungus is to Funky lamb acrobat as Utopian **** sprinkler is to?
Twinkling bungalow tablet is to Botanical duck rope as Bug hat ram is to?
Broken clock fossil is to Black ginger confetti as Parisian cobra meatloaf is to?
Silly Xerox ribbon is to Obedient raccoon carny as Traditional cat linguini is to?
Last astral advisor is to Elastic badger riddles as Broken circle rifles are to?
Bagged squire channel is to Temporary mosaic cake as Ancient bacon thread is to?
Wireless math army is to Moronic neon money as Pearl razor radar is to?
Rubber buzzard blizzard is to Troubled bubble wizard as Crushed hash ******* is to?
Purple birdy cure is to Tangled frost blossoms as Silken bridal saddle is to?
Unisex owl accordion is to Sugar bottomed boat as Optical nougat treasure is to?
Flavored saline rain is to Black arrow clan as Transistorized clam guitar is to?
Sharpened twig scar is to Mutant beet sonar as Baked troll mask is to?
Boxed noodle secrets are to Traditional guru buttons as Glossy marshmallow strategy is to?
Vibrating melted jelly is to Silver furniture dream as Spewing collated seats is to?
Burnt mountain pickles are to Baby preacher shoes as Sympathetic pilot pain is to?
Narrow portal treaty is to Monkey warehouse vacancy as Painted tornado trap is to?
Porch penny sulfur is to Glowing pony fat as Patched mattress bait is to?
Frigid waitress fallacy is to Graphic shrimp salute as Misted sneezing window is to?
Moist apple moss is to Daddy’s zoom seed as Downtown Pope cart is to?
Tired felon trickle is to Holographic squirrel candle as Wild ray hay is to?
Deadly zero chalk is to Folding wilderness chart as Curved ******* vacuum is to?
Hollow porcelain pellets are to Strawberry rain stencils as Microwave taxi nomads are to?
Wasted machete balcony is to Crumpled creature confessions as Fridge fuzzed fruit is to?
Sloppy demon damage is to Squeaky puppet chuckle as Mental arcade combat is to?
Monster trout stories are to Lewd pirate cocktail as Locked mammal grommet is to?
Rotting rope network is to Tragic toy goat as Cotton submarine shoes are to?
Complex pepper dance is to ****** cloud cushion as Marching taxi holiday is to?
Mental petal collectors are to Spooned barn putty as Dork factory fiction is to?
Hot spotted tops are to Timed stepping pests as Yogurt notching tartar is to?
Crazy dog comics are to Ambitious cartoon sphinx as Pavlov’s zinc ballet is to?
Soiled spinster wedding is to Padded razor wound as Floating fish map is to?
Slippery leopard pants are to Perfumed nut button as Dart wizard party is to?
Needy alien elephants are to Barking garden gnats as Quasar focused paper is to?
Slanted heart **** is to Bronzed cliff sandals are to Cunning jockey jokes are to?
***** thumbprint massage is to Holistic princess memory as Sliding dental sword is to?
Drifting wood whistle is to Fluorescent carpet powder as Foam dragon whistle is to?
Chopped web shadow is to Immortal vermin soup as Collapsing porch conspiracy is to?
Stolen thunder chant is to Haunted comet heart as Swollen throat portrait is to?
Fragrant frost parfait is to Grumpy caveman *** as Random stingray solo is to?
Squeaky polar turbine is to Silent lava fever as Oversized lunar fulcrum is to?
Synthetic dew droppers are to Pocket poster paste as Hypnotic screen dog is to?
Symbolic whirlpool nausea is to Dreaming tree phantom as Log badge bracket is to?
Camp hippo map is to Horseradish seizure insurance as Distant insect mirror is to?
German lady sherbet is to Stuntman laundry wax as Hungry butterfly ghost is to?
Fly smudged foil is to Amped maze coil as Shifting optic terror is to?
Automatic sheep floss is to Panoramic tanker anchor as Throbbing bone pillow is to?
Mutant clown village is to Nightmare translation treasure as Spotted spectral chakra is to?
Blind roach tweat is to Hermit worm tiara as Divine logo ritual is to?
Glueless gun stamp is to Malicious spam pump as Floral toffee pods are to?
Dudgeon mist removal is to Menacing bolt smacker as Boating duke shadow is to?
Costly metal plungers are to Creaky buzzing gushers as Glowing star cushions are to?
Raked barge sludge is to Crusted cream glitter as Zircon gutter babble is to?
Fake gold scholar is to Amish ******* mogul as Faithful ***** choir is to?
Sacred limo prayers are to Fried mice café as Splintered ****** thimble is to?
Dealing rabbit decals is to Pelican bongo festival as Patched equator rot is to?
Freedom gourd gasoline is to Cobblers studying acorns as Desecrated dice crater is to?
Tattered tapestry rod is to Busted particle scanner as Bogus piffle catalogue is to?
Trifle truffle raffle is to Last lamb laminate as Segmented cake goggles are to?
Domestic tackle tactic is to Ticking tic talk as Cordial corps coordinates is to?
Tucked duck caftan is to Sunken ramp ruckus as Wretched ranch rhetoric is to?
Clearly incomprehensible directions are to Useful archaic nonsense as Antiquated skeletal outline is to?
Bewildered beasts feasting are to Lazy busybodies resting as Vaccinating brave volunteers are to?
Lucky wagon dragons are to Famous gargoyle gargle as Formal postman funding is to?
Furrowed shroud chowder is to Borrowed tartan pajamas as Martini mixed algebra is to?
Cowgirl balloon helium is to Chewy glucose habitat as Stationary monument movement is to?
Diamond powered powder is to Diagonal diameter diagram as Purposely condensed expansion is to?
Organic iodine capsule is to Gleaming beach probe as Dominant dome static is to?
Shaving wrinkled targets is to Petting sensible monsters as Selling invisible whiskey is to?
Frozen piano architecture is to Note dotted clouds as Screaming Korean worms are to?
Sonic plant website is to Telepathic climbing clam as Bored protein exercise is to?
Gourmet mollusk cone is to Numb poodle caravan as Asian raven radar is to?
Jerry Jul 2018
“Strange place as if, a university campus. Last week of August, bit chilly though dark afternoon. Some random corridor seats. Surrounded by her loud chirps wrapped with unbidden happiness... and me still in some sort of shock... what am I doing here?
Conversation took toll about random university matters, she felt hungry and suggested to have lunch together. So we came out and took a bus towards town to allow ourselves luxury of 'A La Carte'. As we get off the bus cold wind struck us, “Lady shivered and grabbed my wrist with her right hand and same arm with her left, letting herself rest her right cheek on the edge of my left shoulder. My whole existence felt her magnetic presence”.
I uttered if she’s feeling cold she mumbled, I took it as a yes so wrapped my blue jacket around her. She responded to the gratitude with a smile and I allowed her grip on my arm to become more firm... so both of us kept on walking towards an undefined destination... and then my 7:00 am alarm interrupted the most beautiful dream i ever had since HER...”
Rough draft, suppose to be transformed into a poem but i decided to let it be...
Cali Nov 2013
I looked at the boy
Who sits 2 seats behind me
He didn't realize how
Beautiful
He was

I winked at the boy
Who sits 2 seats behind me
He didn't realize how
Perfect
He was

I kissed the boy
Who sits 2 seats behind me
He didn't realize how
Wonderful
He was

I loved the boy
Who sits 2 seats behind me
He didn't realize how
Lovely
He was

I think about the boy
Who used to sit 2 seats behind me
I hope he finally realizes how
Beautiful
He was
Suicide is not the answer
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//
www.youtube.com/
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--

Humanoid.
CK Baker Feb 2017
There’s an assembly in the making
and the suits are all shuffling in for the big event
making their way to the front row seats
****** in nose  
hanky in hand  
and all colorfully draped  
in those cuffed pin stripes
and Jerry Garcia ties

now what would the Grateful Dead
or any of their fine entourage
have to say about this foul routine?


Apropos of that
they’re talking in the 3rd person
with tight syllables
and wavy hands
and all taking a run
at the state of the union
there’s Valentino
and Freddie
and good old Sal
"look....their fiddling with their nuts!"
cries a layman from the balcony seats
the Yin and the Yang
have got even the most liberal minded
scratching their heads
as questions fly in from the field:

don’t you know the way it used to be?
have you no morals?
which way to the exit!?


These front row fanatics
have surely been scrimmaging
in the corn fields
all down in that classic 3 point
watching their weight
with sample selections from the
Spicy House and Yaas Bazaar
members of the congregation look on with (concerned) envy

pass the aperitif...the big ***** lady is on deck!

Union heads are running rogue
loading up on grievances
and lines
passing files at a make shift pew
jumping the bunkers
and stepping on clams
while the orderlies move in  
for governance

It’s a bewildered state  
and only for the mind of the rigorous
Jimmy D would say:
“it’s nothing you *****...to the victor goes the spoils!
everyone has a bit of good you know...
you just have to find it!"

Unrest is growing in the ranks
and the masses are unstable
Time to hammer down
with a formidable brace
and two tick play
Abbigail Feb 2014
Mom makes you smile for a picture in front of the bus
on your very first day of school,
"You only have one first day of kindergarten!" she says.
But every time you hear the scratching of leather seats,
You are back to that day
When tears rolled off your tiny pink cheeks,
onto the front of your Lion King tee shirt
The first time you ever had to be afraid that you
would never see her again.

Brother tells you not to worry about the boy that bothered you,
the impact of a fist on his right eye is a warning
that guarantees he'll never disrespect a girl again.
But every time you step in the pebbles on a playground,
You're still struggling to run just slow enough not to slip
yet fast enough to keep from being caught and held captive
by the first boy to ever kiss you without permission.

Grandma tells you to "appreciate today" every day
because you'll never get it back.
But every time you hear the crash of waves against a shoreline,
You're there with her in your favorite place in the world.
And the sun is overhead with looks of never coming down,
But you'd be okay if it did because you swear these colors of
the sunset don't exist when you see it from anywhere else
And you never feel so close to God as you feel right here.

Dad is sad when you're growing up
because you'll only be little once.
But every time you get the surprising scent of metal and grease,
You're five years old again and dad is getting home from work
and he lifts you up in a hug and you bury your face in his shirt and breathe in,
And you're confident that he will carry you to bed later that night
on that same shoulder when you fall asleep on the couch.

You're told over and over to forgive
and your mother keeps trying, too.
But every time a green van passes by,
you're a vulnerable twelve-year-old with a record that says easy prey
and you're back at that police station and you're both still crying
and forgiveness still seems so far away.

Everyone tells you that "first love"
is something you only feel once.
But every time September rolls around,
You're still staring back into the first eyes to look at you in awe,
His palms feel sweaty in yours but you don't mind.
And you can still taste his lips and smell the sweet mint Stride on his breath
and you feel everything.

It’s strange how they promise that you can't turn back time,

yesterday is gone,

today will only happen once.

Because I go back all the time;
And I still feel everything.
Aarzoo siwach Feb 2016
God create human with a heart
Which have unlimited seats,
whenever new one come and old leaves
Heart increases its beats...

Some really deserve that place
While others just cheat...

I love my heart
Don't want a wrong one to take
special seat,
so i gave my heart a prisoner treat,
never let it feel trust's warm heat.....

head lead me away where
heart want me to rush,
I succeed and never had any crush....

BUT
In loneliness my heart seat began to rust,
I start loosing my seats in others heart
And all's trust....

NOW
Open the passage
And welcoming to fill vacant seats,
Ready for loving the love
And facing the cheats,
I can feel the lively beats
My heart beats-´\  /_  /__  /
                          \/   \/    \/      \/
I want to have an empty funeral.
Praises of God,
Voices filled by the scripture,
No tears, but celebration over my now dead fears.
Can you hear the silent weeps
Placed over my dead body dressed in a great white suit ?
I'm ready to be at peace with my roots.

Hear the lullaby of the soft paino taps
As the preacher, that is God
Gives a sermon about my life,
Which is now blessed in righteous.
Mourn over the healing,
The ones alive can't cope with this feeling.
My spirit is released to the sky
I am one with christ's embrace,
Can't you see the huge smile on my face ?

The final chapter is written
Speak all my pain and struggle to all the empty seats at my funeral.
Hoping that one voice
Echos into hearts of millions
That will,
Hear it.
Come, fill in the seats
And watch my casket close
Finally at peace
As I share a new life with my mother.
She's the only one that came to my empty funeral.
God bless all of you.



©MH
Martin Narrod Jun 2014
Most peculiarly of most things was that I thought all of this very fishy, daudry, drab, and boresome. This is where I turn on the second table lamp...

In a muster I arrived to the home of my aunt, where at once she drew me into the back of the house, down a flight of stairs made of tusk and bone into a catacomb where she kept a alive collection of wooly mammoths. She said the upkeep wasn't awfully horrendous as she had an invisible backdrop which led to a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe sort of thing. I stood in the gangway behind 10 foot high thigh bones waiting for one of the monstrous red beasts to come greet me, but what arrived was a very large elephant with longer tusks than usual. None of the red sillyness which I had dreamt of seeing in my previous years.

She could see I was not that impressed, and so I was led to another part of her home. Around the corner walked in my uncle in is superb and luxurious dress, reminiscent of 18th century British military fatigues. He said, "I bought the E.T. ride from Universal Studios, but as bringing the whole ride to my home I had them adapt a more suitable version to fit the property. A hangar opened and inside there were four chariots of orange and blue, diamond shaped school buses with their undersides aimed at withholding a V-shaped street. Then in two and two single file order all the classmates of my K-12 years arrived and took seat into the strappings of this 'ride' we were to take. Music played, John Williams even was produced by hologram, and after the ups and downs for several minutes we arrived to what I thought would inevitably be the forest, but rather was what I perceived was a Finnish town. The chariot I was in was stuck in the street, mud, rain, and soot entrenched us. I unbuckled the polyester straps and when I stood I realized that though the seats had built in urinals and toilets they were utterly noiseome to the senses. I followed a local girl to a food mart where I asked how I could find where I was but no one spoke a drop of English.

I corraled the group and told them to wait for me. I followed this girl who seemed quite younger than I to a small apartment in the uppermost floor of a very unsturdy chapel-like home several suburban blocks from our ride. She immediately removed her pants and I saw with my very own eyes that she was hairless and nubile. She insisted that we have a ****, and after I caressed her and complained too that she was far too young, she insisted that the age of consent in Germany was actually 13 yet she was 16. I remember it clearly. The most gigantuous feelings of pleasure as I mended a studio closet for my dining room furniture inside her ripening channel. Eventually after an hour we finished, she offered me a towel and some biscuits, which I consumed joyously.

Upon leaving her home I remembered that she had said we were in Germany, and so I produced a measure of Deutsch that I had been saving in my repetoir for the right moment. As Finnish is not my strongest language I was pleased of this and became instantly popular among the other candidates of our journey. This  E.T. ride is far different than  I remember it having been. Moments later I awoke quickly, a tuft of her black hair on my eiderdown comforter and a veil of tears from the merriment of glee shrouded over my face. After I rolled and balled into the soft feathers of my bedding, I twisted myself again into a knot, and allowed myself to rejoin the soporific treatice I was aiming for.

This is now where I turn off both lamps and go on watching films of a similar style.

Wishing You The Very Best,

Sir Martin Narrod

I keep my family of conscience
I shred my folly of heir
In case of torment or fondness
I never wear underwear.
Madisen Kuhn Aug 2014
I think the scent of bug spray on my palms will now forever remind me of you and the late night (early morning) we spent sitting in your car, drawing awfully unskillful portraits on the back of each other’s hands in 
dim light and 3 a.m. stillness. (I wonder if you could tell that doodling on your skin was just an excuse to touch you.) I wanted so badly to let my fingers find yours 
as we laid back in our seats 
and peeked out the rolled down 
windows at the infinite stars scattered above us in the 
early August night sky. I told you I wouldn’t kiss you, 
because I know my heart and 
how relentlessly it would 
replay how your lips felt on mine, and how it would ache knowing
 you couldn’t be mine,
 so I let you kiss my cheek instead,
 and the half a moment that I felt 
your unshaven face brush mine in the middle of the street at five in the morning feels like a fake memory. When you looked at me, I wanted to hide, because I was too afraid to read what words might’ve been written in your eyes, but I felt so content listening to the 
deep tone of your voice 
mix with the obnoxiously loud crickets singing in the trees 
surrounding us. I could’ve sat there with you till the stars disappeared and the sun took their place, but you walked me back home, and you left in the dark, and now I’m sitting in my bed thinking about how the hours between 2 and 5 a.m. have never felt so full.
Chrissy Ade Aug 2018
On Monday we met, our eyes fixated on one another, eager to know more
On Tuesday we talked, twiddling our thumbs, fidgeting in our seats, pondering on the right things to say
On Wednesday we hugged, your arms held me close, heartbeats in sync, I felt myself floating
On Thursday we kissed, our lips gravitated towards each other, like the moon and the sea, the connection was natural
On Friday we confessed, three little words wrapped around our ears,
forever tattooed in our minds
On Saturday you disappeared, no note, no call, no text
not a trace of you left that I could still hold on to
On Sunday I cried, my heart still beats, but never the same way,
would you ever give me a reason if I ever asked "Why?"
Just a cheeky poem about first love... :P
Constructive  Criticism and feedback is welcomed and appreciated :)
Meka Boyle Apr 2013
can you hear me
underneath all the
mud caked up
against your
ears? strings hang
limply from your
mask as it
pushes out
casting a shadow
over your hollow
eyes. something
died here
i think. i can
smell it in your silence
does it hurt
to sit there and feel
nothing? decadence
decays faster
than modesty
when all your sentiment
is pasted and glued
between postcards
and pastures
on the heavy pages
of photo albums
empty
other than pictures.
how long has it
been now?
how many minutes
hours
forced responses
and isle seats
has it taken
for you to
realize that nothing
grows here?

— The End —