Tuesday, May 31, 2016

silver scream ...

silver scream ...

i saw you on the silver screen
your perfect body
dripping with shimmering pixels
your eyes furtive
and your lips
pouting and twisting
moving just a half-second
out of synch with
the audio of
your voice
a voice so sweet and sultry
so seductive
i almost believed
that flickering image of you
was real
until suddenly
you stepped from the screen
right out of the feature film
stumbled onto the apron
at the front of the stage
then moved like a ghost
down some side stairway
to join me
in the third row
where you tipped over
my popcorn
and the entire audience
watching your strange exit
began to scream
with laughter



Monday, May 30, 2016

The Confidant

The Confidant

I think everyone needs a confidant in life.

We all need someone we can confide in, someone with whom we can share our deepest secrets, someone who will understand our dreams and our sorrows.

Most of us had confidants as kids. Remember that special friend to whom you seemed to be able to tell all your deepest and darkest secrets? Important things, like how much you liked so-and-so, and how much you hated that other so-and-so, or how much you wanted to kiss a third so-and-so in the grade level one year above yours? Oh yes, important things and secret things that eventually didn't seem all that important or secret at all.

As we got older, some of us may have turned to a parent, usually our mothers, as our confidant. Others might have selected a special teacher at school. Even later in life, our husbands or our wives often became our confidants.

The point is that we need someone to talk to. I'm convinced that some of our problems have to be articulated in spoken language. It's not enough to simply have a talk with yourself, to keep everything inside your own little world. Some issues need an external, often more objective, point of view. As human beings, we tend to couple, and we couple because we need support from others — emotional support, financial support, spiritual support, a support bra, well, I'm sure you get my drift. Not many people are able to confront life all alone. Life is far too much like a roller-coaster with all its plummeting dips and crazy turns. It's always better to have someone to scream with you.

I'm not sure why, but I have never been a good confidant. Maybe it's because I can't keep a secret. Maybe I chuckle or make that "Pffffttt ..." sound at the wrong moments. Maybe I'm just not such a good listener.

To be honest, I've often thought of writing a blog as a form of revealing my life to a whole bunch of confidants. I probably write about stuff here that would never be a part of my daily conversations with people in my real world. Sometimes, I guess I provide a little too much information. Sometimes, I just let my opinions about things fly through the computer screen without so much as a second thought. Sometimes, I have to watch what I write, because feelings can be hurt. What's that old saying? "Nasty is as nasty does."

OK, that's not an old saying, but I like it.

I suppose that there are some people, most often seniors, who don't have a confidant. That seems a little sad to me. If you are one of those people, you can write me a note and tell me all your problems. I promise that I'll be a great confidant from this day forward. All your deepest secrets will be safe with me. Consider them in the vault and locked up for life.

Just don't tell anyone else that I am doing this for you.



Friday, May 27, 2016

Leaving Vermont

Leaving Vermont

the trees surround the road
like thick
black fingers reaching
into a paper sky
then trail off
into thin shadows
of inky desperation
that slice through huge
combinations of rock
dripping with rust
down to a smudge in the corner
where someone
has left a blot of blue
... a signature that says ...
"i was here before you"

around every corner
the toppled down shanties
disappear in the rear view mirror
while the road snakes ahead
then buckles and bumps to a stop
at another gritty grey clapboard diner
where the taste of poverty
is always the same ...
bleached coffee in a paper cup
doled out by a thin waitress
wearing red eyes ...

a stocky black man smoking rollies says
that she's the sister of someone famous
not a Kennedy by any means
but someone who spends the summer
at Martha's Vineyard and so ... famous
all the same ...
another who calls himself Even
says she's the American whore
says she cries late into the night
as she listens to country swags sing
the hurting songs that ripple
out of a small clock radio
with huge LED numbers repeatedly blinking
better than most clocks he spits out vehemently
because it snags
the right time
two seconds out of every day
and then he says the same thing a second time
there's a third with a hunting knife
strapped to his calf
more dangerous than the others
because he says nothing at all

back on the road
i listen to the radio
some talk jock
mesmerizing housewives
with politics and religion
hyperbole that reeks of foreplay
something like the clumsy groping
of two teenagers
at a drive-in movie
a scenario
never ending with anything more than a squeal of frustration
and i dunno
i dunno
why i listen so intently
for five-and-twenty minutes or so
it's the expectation
the crazy longing
to hear someone smash cymbals together
and bring
the blabber to
some resounding conclusion
but that never comes

at least not before i reach
upper NY and land with a thump in
the geographical leftovers where
the once mighty Mohawks live
and now sell cigarettes
for nickels
and it's there that
i stop for gas and one of those plastic wrapped sandwiches
that i knock down
with a diet Pepsi
followed by a sticky sweet honey bun
not Little Debbie's brand
but something generic
something mysteriously tribal
like Little Hawk's Sugar Roll

and just as i'm gassed up and ready to go
Lucy Too-Tall-Charleyboy
approaches me from behind and
says she'll blow me for a hundred miles or so
and i think to myself
"hell, i won't last that long"
but then i catch her drift
and tell her to throw her pack in the back
i tell her i'll take her as far as the border
for nothing at all
but when she sits shotgun
i guess she didn't understand
and goes to work
before i can object
and then the last thing i remember
is letting go
just before we drove off the highway
soaring higher and higher
over the tips
of a hundred
of those black-fingered trees
and we sail around
the low-hanging moon
dressed in a pink nightie
and i think to myself
"God Bless America"
but i won't be back
anytime soon



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Dirty Diapers

Dirty Diapers

I'm not sure when this little phenomenon started, but it is now rampant.

Mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers have given up on being real people. The lives of parents and grandparents seem to be of little consequence anymore. They define themselves based on the everyday comings and goings of their children or grandchildren.

I am a grandfather. At last count, I had six grandchildren. They are all great kids, but my daily life is not spent in some kind of weird adoration of the clan. They do kids things. I do adult things.

I'm not so sure the same is true for other people. On Facebook, for example, every day is a homage to the kids for hundreds and hundreds of people. Some folks even include the children in their profile photos, and this little nuance sends me into a sort of delirium. Are kids like a third or fourth arm? Is there nothing special and unique about you, separate from those gooey eyes, runny noses, and dirty diapers?

Don't think me as hater of children. I'm not. I just find it hard to accept that some people base their identities on something other than themselves. The rugrats have taken over the asylum.

Flaunting your children on the Internet is, quite frankly, boring as hell, if not downright dangerous.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the folks who think their cats or dogs hold some special meaning or importance to anyone but themselves.

Where did all the interesting people go?



Wednesday, May 25, 2016


i'm your smokestack baby
              slogging my way through a break in the bush
        huffing and puffing and slugging and chugging
              spouting a fog of dappled white shrouds
                                   jitterbugging up to the frostbitten clouds
                  oh hold on tight baby hold on tight
         cause this sudden locomotion
                 and all this heavy-breathing commotion
                      has us itching for hitching
                            and feverishly coupling link to pin
                    and yes it's one serious-cum-delirious situation
                                          so i'm just gonna drive and drive and drive
                                                        until this train done finally stall or arrive
                                                                             at the platform of yer pouty li'l station

so strap your hands baby
       'round my hard-ass engines
                  just throttle on past that switchman's red light
                     my hot piston's ready to pump and to bump
                          oh you'll feel it in time baby
                                    by thump and by thump
                            and we'll race right on past the
                                                                    ding ding ding ding
                             of every small town's railway crossing
                                   where the traffic waits for the eventual passing
                                          of that rusty excuse of an old red caboose
              while Suzy and Arnold make out in delight
                     while Mrs Maggie Tibeau calms her cocker's sheer fright
                                and Big Bob Farley turns the monkey loose

take the hard turn baby
       send the conductor sprawling
                     engineer every perilous slope and slide
                                   let these steel tracks take us far and away
                                            over and beyond to the other side
                                   gonna turn you loose baby
                                        gonna go for broke
                                             gonna stoke that firebox stroke by stroke
                                                     'til it fills the air with all kinds o' smoke
                            and when we're floating on curly ribbons of steam
                                                 when all that lonesome whistle's wails
                                                        are hushed beneath the soft hiss of bliss
                         we'll slip away into an endless dream
                                    of how romance is sweeter when you're ridin' the rails




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