Monday, January 31, 2011

My New Bucket List

It has been almost three years since I wrote a post about the things I want to do before I die.  Looking back, a lot of them seemed quite childish.  One was going to the moon, another leaving the world a better place than I found it.  Which are not bad things just very unspecific.

Some of things from the old list I have managed to accomplish in some form or another.  I wrote a novel, I traveled overseas.  Never started on a musical, but it is something on which to work.

Anyway, I thought I would start on a brand new Bucket List.  Perhaps I will even update this one in a few years.

Get a novel published
Get a piece of fiction published
Get poetry featured in a nationally or internationally recognized journal
Travel to Turkey, particularly Istanbul
Travel to Iran, visit the beautiful mosques
Travel to Russia, see St. Petersburg
Do something to help the victims in Bhopal long term
Kiss the person I love in Time Square on New Year's Eve
Kiss the person I love in Red Square on New Year's Eve
And, what the hell, still leave the world a better place than I found it. But more specifically volunteering time and not just money.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Moon Poem Based on an Exercise I Once Did in English 266

Waning, waxing, something or another
But surely made of rock and not green cheese.

Responsible for tides I’ve heard,
The iconic romance of a Jimmy Stewart film.

Solar, lunar eclipses will stop by from time to time –
Which is which I can’t be sure.

It tends to make the nighttime beautiful
While also changing man to wolf.

Perhaps, there might be water in the center,
As if a cosmic Tootsie Pop.

And that is all I know about the moon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Writing Current?

Yes, friends, it's still there.  The modern literary journal I recently began.  So swim on over and submit some prose and/or poetry.  Floating, I realize was to slow a transport.  What's the website you ask just click the word after this.... BANANA!

The word choice is largely unimportant.  But what is, is submitting writing that's modern in pretty much anyway.  Do you write about toasters? Why, that's interesting!  Do you have a thing for hang nails? Why, that's interesting too!  Or if you have a take on the news that might be even better than the hang nail.

Also, don't be a stranger to the Nice Old Spice.  Have chosen some tantalizing Suzanne Vega tracks for your ear-hole's pleasure.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wayne's World?

Wayne found Phil partied out again,
Lying in the gutter drunk and bloodied.
He and Garth rushed him to the ER
In the Mirth Mobile but –
He didn’t make it.

Blunt-force trauma listed
As the cause of death,
With hemorrhaging,
Internal bleeding.

Things could never be the same again,
Wayne realized going through the funeral.

He quit his cable show
And got a job reporting news
On scene for channel 10 Aurora.

Scwing gave way to touching story
Asphinctersayswhat became and back to you, Tom.

Garth hardly saw him while he toured,
And squandered money on his drugs and alcohol,
Eventually going bankrupt, being forced to
Sell guitar picks at a local record shop.

He wasn’t made best man
When Cassandra married Wayne,
Nor was Garth the Godfather
Of any of their kids.

It seemed the two had parted ways
Saying they would hang out on the phone
But never really doing so.

Wayne’s family didn’t get his jokes
Or references to Star Trek.
His kids pleaded when their friends arrived
That he'd refrain from using NOT.

But  Wayne wanted back his younger days
When he had dreams of things
Copious, capacious, cajunga
Instead of merely good.

Cassandra frequently chastised him
For old jokes at which she used to laugh.
Wayne called marriage punishment for shoplifting
And she didn’t talk to him for weeks.

Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder?
Got old like pull my finger.

Rating young women on
The stroke-ability scale
Had landed Wayne
Restraining orders.

It didn’t take that long
For Cassandra to divorce him,
After giving him his hundredth try.

But Wayne couldn’t quite grow up, and
Sitting all alone inside his studio apartment.
He repeated to himself:
She will be mine.
Oh, yes - she will be mine.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Drunk Haiku

My brown-skinned beauty
So tall, intoxicated
Brings me sweet relief.

Monday, January 24, 2011


the window pane.

Leaves CLASH
against the roof.

as lightening STRIKES.

The power FLICKERS,
lights GO OUT!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Scout

I was watching television
When the doorbell rang.

A boy was at the door
Asking if I wanted popcorn.

I told him I had high blood pressure
From years of salty food.

He blankly stared with
His pencil to the clipboard.

In that brief moment, however
My own youth started coming back to me.

I remembered asking neighbors
If they needed shoveling –

If the grass could use a mow
Or their dog needed walking.

I saw myself struggling,
Barely making money

For dates, college,
And everything between.

The boy asked
If I was still okay.

Blinking my eyes once or twice
I said yes and bought 200 tins.

And Now Some January Words from Santa...

Don't cry, Karen, Boehner’s promises aren’t gone for good. You see, they were made out of Election snow and Election snow can never disappear completely. It sometimes goes away for almost a year at a time and takes the form of spring and summer trips to Jamaica in lieu of meeting with constituents. But you can bet your boots that when an angry, bitter Election wind shows up to choke the life from everyone, America will have Election snow all over again.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I must apologize and let you know I am deeply sorry before I say what it is I am about to say.  I have had to take some posts down.  It's not because I've changed my mind, don't like them or anything else.  I am just attempting to get some things accepted in journals and many of their policies prohibit previously published material, even if the previous publishing is merely a blog.  But I will promise you that on the occasion they do not accept the submission it will be reposted in its proper time and place.  I've merely drafted them for the moment.  So, if any one has a post they would like to see but cannot email and I will gladly send you a copy.


Ben Ditty.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

REAL Health Care Repeal

Credo action has made an interesting form of petition.  They explain it: Republicans just passed a bill to repeal affordable health care for 32 million Americans -- but most are still receiving heavily subsidized federal care. Call out health care hypocrisy by sending Representatives who voted for repeal the actual form to cancel their own federal insurance benefits.

So, if you tire of hypocrisy click here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Writing Current

Hello, all my old spicers and spicettes.  I have started a new blog, that is the beginning of a literary journal. It is called Writing Current and it needs submissions from you, the glorious people. The topic, you may ask? It features poetry and prose on contemporary world events and culture.  So, come on and take the lazy river over to Writing Current.


I look outside to see a patchwork quilt
Of melting snow and reborn grass
Coinciding as if thread.

Reddish barns appear again
Stenciled in with black-gray road
And hibernating plows.

The liberated roots of trees
Tie layers through terrain.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Paradox in Cyberspace

In computer years,
I’m older than my mother.

As she taught me to walk and talk
I taught her to text and post.

In this realm she was like a child
And I fulfilled the role of parent.

But harsh dualities remained intact:
Me consoling mom after she deleted friends,

The changes that she went through
As technology hit adolescence;

Growing dissatisfaction and distrust
With Facebook going through her things.

It hit me like a brick one day
When mom shut down her profile.

Somehow it seemed as if she moved away
As young adults go off to college.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Edward Hopper: A Day in His Life

Sun rays make the orange look red
Above the Sunday morning Barbershop,
Where Hopper gets his haircut every week.

A chair car, later, takes him through a road in Maine
Where mountains rise like hills with green
To jut out, crumble on the curves.

He arrives in town and walks past darkened yellow stoplights,
Norton’s Ice Cream, Candy, Drug and Soda shops,
Finally approaching the marquis of Circle Theatre.

Inside Hopper sees a New York Movie,
Fighting with his wife, who leaves to cry
On flowered carpet near red curtains.

They never see the ending as they leave,
With Edward passing Silber’s Pharmacy
And sighing to himself.

Angry, jaded, feeling famished
The Hoppers go inside a diner,
And sit across another Nighthawk.

Slouched with rolling eyes
His wife concludes the romance dead
Despite having rented a hotel room.

She reads there later on the bed in lingerie,
Bought for a special evening,
Not meant to be.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Wearing their best,
A couple dines
On liquor and monotony.

The loner
In the corner
Envies their dissatisfaction.

And the barkeep
Would most gladly
Trade with all of them.

You aren’t romantic anymore
The redhead says despondently,
While looking at her nails.

We ain’t no spring chickens,
He replies slouched down
By his bourbon.

The other man considers
How he’d keep the redhead
Laughing, smiling all the time.

But the barkeep
Only wants to rest
His tired feet.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Never Ending Status Update

I started writing a status update for Facebook and it got long. So, I thought I'd share it here with my lovely fanbase i.e. Mali and possibly Whitney.

:gave Cro-Magnon Man RARE CANDY. What? Cro-Magnon Man is evolving!  Congratulations, Cro-Magnon Man became Homo sapien! Homo sapien would like to battle. Homo sapien used POINTY STICK.  It isn't very effective. What will Earth do? Earth used FAMINE, CROP FAILURE and RISING TIDES.  Homo sapien didn't get message. Homo sapien blacked out.  What will newly empowered cockroaches do? Cockroaches would like to battle Cher. Cher used BELIEVE.  Cockroaches feel sad. Cockroaches used TISSUE.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I spread out my wax wings
And flew away.

As foolhardy as it sounds
I headed for the sun.

There was only one place
Where it shone so bright;

Where darkness could not
Drag me down.

I took the chance
Of melted wings.

I risked the certainty
Of deadly sea.

Others might have flown
Down low for twenty years.

But I chose to live out my existence
In one grand climax of euphoria.

And as I fell, I had a memory
Worth dying for.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

RP: Heaven of Oz

You've heard of retweeting, right?  Well my new trend is reposting.  This is from and old post where I put up some end of the year projects.  But I think this deserves it's own post.

Heaven of Oz
Ray Bolger is walking up a yellow brick road to a cloud where Judy Garland, Bert Lahr, and Jack Haley are standing

Bert: You sure were a long time coming.

Ray: You try walking down a yellow brick road past the river Styx and around the Eternal Gorge.

Jack: Shucks, we all have.

All share a lighthearted laugh except Judy, who’s in the corner crying
Jack: Judy, what’s the matter? You’ve been mopin’ since ya got here.

Ray: Let her be. Not all of us go as easily back to those days in the Wizard of Oz. Sometimes I like to go back to my theatre days. Those were very fulfilling times, they were. I really came across as an actor.

Bert pats Judy on the back
Bert: Does anyone want to sing ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard?’

Judy: I can’t…it reminds me of the better times that can’t come back.

Jack: At least you were a success for a while after Judy. I never found my niche. But I’m happy here! There’s no pressure on us to be creative!

Judy remains silent
Ray: Sometimes Earth’s pain just goes too deep guys.

Jack: Tell me about it fellas. Let’s reenact the scene where we break into the witch’s castle.

Ray: Sounds good to me.

Bert: I’m in. Are you coming Judy?

Judy: No, I think I’ll stay here and watch my daughter down on earth for a while. She’s the most beautiful woman anywhere no matter what anyone might say.

Bert: All right Judy.

Bert gives her his heart clock necklace and kisses her head before walking off

Judy: What’s heaven without pills?

Judy sighs and looks out from cloud

Can’t wait to see you again my darling Liza. But for God sakes, take more time than I did.

Bloody Arizona

Rainless blues,
Red mourning sun
Of 13 rays.

A copper star
Above  dead dreams,
And shattered liberty.

Saguaro blooms
From pointed barbs
In powdered haze.

The cactus wren
Flies east to break the news.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christina Green: The Face of Hope

The following in a fictionalized account of the last day of the life of Christina Green.  May her memory and spirit live on.

It was a Saturday.  Children in the neighborhood were playing catch in what was chilly weather for an Arizona morning.  Christina had woken up early but not to join them.  She was going with a neighbor to see her legislator Gabrielle Giffords.  Christina had been obsessed with politics since her election to student president at Mesa Verda Elementary School.

She saw it as a calling.  Christina Taylor Green had been born on September 11, 2001.  Rising from the ashes of that tragedy had inspired her to lead and make a difference in the world.  That her face was featured in the book Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11 only furthered her resolve.  She was what was in essence a new generation, removed from the era of the comparatively peaceful and much more prosperous 1990s.
The campaign of Barack Obama made her realize that even at a young age she could not sit idly by and wait for others to take charge.  She had a duty to peers and those around her.  Christina decided she would speak to and learn from everyone she could.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, commonly known as Gabby, was emblematic of the kind of person Christina aspired to be one day.  She, a liberal, had won reelection in remarkably conservative district.  Even more remarkably she had done so without compromising her integrity.  She believed everyone should access to affordable healthcare and she stood by it.  The politics were against her and a great deal of the public.  A brick had even been thrown through her window at one point.  But she remained undeterred by violence.  The right thing was most important and she would do whatever it took for the people of her district and in a larger sense the nation to not live in fear of illness bringing them down into financial ruin.
Going through that legacy of Giffords in her head Christina packed notepads into a backpack, along with pens and pencils.  She was confident she would be taking notes at some point and it was better to be safe than sorry.  Did she need a book?  The car ride would only be a few minutes.  Christina looked at her large stack.  Which one, if any?  There was a large manuscript on healthcare data.  She grabbed it.  Representative Giffords might give her some useful insights when they met.
The car ride took longer than she thought it would.  Maybe it was the anticipation.  Things had moved so fast for her.  Months before she had just started the third grade.  Now she was a leader; the only girl on an otherwise all-boys little league team.  Her father had been especially proud of the latter.  His father had been a manager for the Phillies and baseball seemed to run inside the Green bloodline.
“Auntie” she said to her neighbor, whom she about as close to as any relative.  “How much longer?”
“Any minute now,” she replied, getting ready to merge.
The wait was agonizing as much as she loved spending time with her aunt.  They got closer, however, even if Christina did not quite feel that way.  She had been shopping at the Safeway they were going to a hundred times.  They had bought groceries, medicine and countless other everyday items.  But Christina felt she was going there for the very first time.  She gasped when it came into view, as if the location had just sprung up.
Her aunt parked the car.  It was not terribly crowded.  There could not have been more than twenty people or so, with a lot of them being Giffords staff.
Christina practically bolted out of the car.  Her neighbor had a laugh, telling her to wait up.  Christina realized her error and went back to walk with her.  They had a long discussion about solar power that stretched into the topic of immigration.  Christina favored amnesty but her aunt just wasn’t sure if that was the right way to go about it.
“We’re here” her aunt finally said as they approached the front of the Safeway store.
Aides were busy setting up a table and connecting the microphone.  It looked like it would be a while.  Christina got out her book on healthcare data.  More than 50 million Americans and more than 7 million children were living without health insurance.  37% of low-wage workers in 2008 had no insurance, private or public.
Gabrielle approached the crowd and started speaking.  In a fury Christina raced to get out her notepad, lest she miss something important.  She looked up to see a man she recognized greeting the congresswoman.  He was a federal judge and Christina recalled seeing him on television once.  There had been a death threat against him for his stance on a particular case.  The details escaped Christina at the moment, however.
Something strange was happening.  Christina could no longer see Congresswoman Giffords.  An incredible noise echoed through the crowd.  She pushed her way through much larger adults to see her favorite legislature hit the ground.  Another ear piercing sound.  Christina’s ear drums rang.  Someone else was down.  Was it the judge, or an aide?  She was in shock, she could not move.  A man turned to face her.
Christina felt her chest.  It was a strange sensation.  Pain seemed only momentary.  Drowsiness took hold of her.  The world around became a blur.  The shape of a man stepped in front of a woman.  He was likely a husband, possibly her sibling.  Another blast, followed by what might have been ten or twenty more.  A group of two or three aides at long last tackled the gunman as he tried to flee.  Christina closed her eyes and when she opened them the scene was gone.
She was in her grandma’s arms again.  An aide was there, the judge and what looked like eight others.  One of them she recognized immediately as Representative Giffords.  She had had so much to ask her before and now it all seemed unimportant.
“Mrs. Giffords,” she began, still being held by her grandmother.  She could only think of one thing to say, however.  “Where are we?”
“I can’t be sure…” She replied.
Different people began to disappear.  Ten people soon became seven.  And it seemed as if Representative Giffords was becoming less pale.  She came over and she held Christina’s hand.  It was warm compared to hers which was getting colder by the second.
“What had you come to ask me today?” She inquired with a smile.
“I was just elected president of the Mesa Verda student council last year.  I felt so inspired by Obama and your stance on healthcare.”
“That’s a wonderful accomplishment.  I was never president.”
They shared a laugh.  Gabby grabbed Christina’s shoulder and got down to eye level with her.
“But that’s hardly a question.  What did you really want to say today?”
“So much… it really seems impossible to recall everything anymore.  I really wanted the country to come together again like they did the day I was born.”
“I think it will” said Gabby.  She began fading like the others.  But her grasp was just as strong as ever, comforting Christina.
“Wait,” said Christina, before she left completely, “what did you think of Michael Moore’s documentary Sick-o?”
“Enlightening,” said Gabby before returning back to Earth.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Today's Events

Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday by a gunman who opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with voters, killing a federal judge and five others, including a nine year old girl, MSNBC reported.

My prayers go out to the families of the victims and the victims themselves.  May we learn from this that violence is and never will be the answer.

Friday, January 07, 2011

A Perfect End

I dreamed it ended.  God held up his hand and put a stop to all the fighting.  Those who disagreed so violently embraced.  The sun and moon, at once shone side by side.  And everyone saw beauty, in the rainbows shining out through thunderstorms and fog.

The poor had bread, no need of medicine.  Money was instantly forgotten, the product of a bygone age.  Gold was cast back into the ground with diamonds, silver, platinum and other jewels.  We didn’t need possessions and we never would again.

Old relatives came back to us.  We embraced and laughed as if their funerals had never been.  The only tears remaining were of happiness.

The weight of failures and the past had slowly lifted.  We saw brightness, where once the darkest shadows lingered.  A road was paved for everyone, but not of stone, or anything material.  It was of song and joy that we had pushed into the realm of fairy tales.  And finally before us in our glassy slippers, stood the pumpkin carriage that would carry us away.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Tragedy of Mick Lussa

I was married to a lovely woman,
And we lived together in a temple
That was not a temple, but it felt as one
When we made love together.

Her father employed me at his firm
Where all was perfect for so long
Until one night when I was tempted
By a temptress in the copy room.

It didn’t end just then for me
Or her, as we had sex inside
The Temple where my wife and I
Had lied in passion days before.

She caught us on the night
That I forgot our anniversary
And cast me out, with the roses,
French champagne that she had bought.

Suffice to say, her father fired me
The next day as she had called him
And the woman I had cheated with
Scorned me for embarrassment.

I took to the streets in misery
Feeling unworthy of hotels,
Too scared to face my family
Or any of my friends.

People looked away in passing
Even those I worked with or had known
As my hair was matted, curled, snake-like
From the trash of which I’d made a pillow.

I longed for the safety, serenity
The temple used to offer, but
It was gone.  Long gone.
Unreachable in shame.

A younger man approached a few months later
His pants baggy, face concealed by rag;
I noticed my reflection on his gun
And then was shot.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Romeo and Rosaline?

Romeo received the message
And he’s still alive.
But Juliet, poor Juliet
Never woke back up.

He married Rosaline
And they get along,
Though she’s still celibate
And Romeo hardly writes for her.

Their counselor says Rosaline’s
Absence is symbolic of his mother's
And that same lack of affection,
As Romeo concurs:

This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

And on they go, with Romeo a child,
Rosaline the dead-beat mom.
They seldom talk, less rarely listen
Scorning that they’re stuck together.

The Hoarder

She was not angry at the world. She was not abusive or mean spirited. Beth was an average woman with a problem. We all have our tics. Some people bite their nails, others grind their teeth and Beth hoarded.

It started innocently enough. Her husband had died a year before and her last child was finally leaving her for college. Beth threw a wrapper on the floor that day, cursing her loneliness. She looked at it for a minute in consideration before thinking what’s the point. And that’s how it began. Much as the first drop of snow causes an avalanche, or the first gale of wind begins a storm. Beth started to acquire things.

A broken table here, a smashed lamp there. Tissues; empty milk jugs; medicine containers; toilet paper rolls and picture frames. The list was endless.

She still collected on her husband’s pension therefore she never worked, and hardly left the house. The only time that anyone saw her was at the Supermarket. Beth’s cart was always full; full of cheap toys, kids clothes and other things she had no reason to buy. The cashiers just laughed, however, finding her quirky and senile. They never sensed a serious problem.

Winter came and with it snow that year. Her daughter Millie wasn’t coming home for Christmas. She had scheduled a ski trip somewhere off in Colorado. Beth remembered hearing Aspen but she wasn’t sure. It certainly felt like a slope inside her house as she huddled in her blanket to keep warm. A myriad of paper plates, bottles and other trash blocked her way to the thermostat.

She got up, pulling the blanket around her body. Beth stumbled over a rocking horse she had compulsively bought one afternoon. It hurt the arthritis in her hip as most things did.

Beth sat on the floor aching. Pushing the wooden horse out of the way revealed a heater. It seemed a godsend. If only there was a plug to reach, she thought. But it seemed an impossible task getting to one.

Gathering all her strength Beth began to move objects. It had been long since she found any motivation to do so. It felt liberating. A jacket was cleared, some pants, eggshells, moldy bread, etc. until she saw the dusty once-white outline of an electrical socket. She wiped it off with her blanket and then went to get the power cord for the heater.

It still worked. The heat warmed her in a way the blanket never could. Beth began to take off layers of unwashed, dingy clothes. Perhaps, she thought, it was possible to get things cleaned up again.

Papers and fabrics up against the heater began to smolder. Small flames flickered to life. Beth panicked in her head, wondering where on earth she had put even one of the fire extinguishers she bought.

The temperature rose, the oxygen began to disappear. Beth took one consolation as she gasped, falling to her knees. Her daughter Millie was alive and making the most of all the time she had remaining. That was something she held onto through the agonizing pain that ate at her before blacking out.