Monday, February 28, 2011

In Memory of Frank Buckles

"The First World War is not well understood or remembered in the United States," Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said. "There is no big memorial on the National Mall. Hollywood has not turned its gaze in this direction for decades. Yet few events have so markedly shaped the world we live in."

Frank Buckles, the last man standing among U.S. troops of the Great War who were called "The Doughboys" "died peacefully in his home of natural causes" early Sunday morning.  He was 110.

The following is a poem of his collected sayings paralleled with quotes from the novel All Quiet on the Western Front in italics.


Longevity has never bothered me at all,
I have studied longevity for years.

The wisest were just the poor and simple people
I don’t know anyone my age.

We are none of us more than twenty years old.
But young? That is long ago. We are old folk.

My job driving the ambulance was not very severe,
you did what you were supposed to do. That was my main job.

Our thoughts are clay,
they are moulded with the changes of the days.

I didn’t lie; nobody calls me a liar,
I may have increased my age.

Let the months and years come,
they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing more.

I was just 16 and didn’t look a day older
I’d left my birth certificate back home in the family Bible.

There is a distance, a veil between us.

I feel the whirl of the vortex sucking me slowly,
irresistibly, inescapably into itself.

His face had an expression of calm,
as though almost glad the end had come.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Slush Fund?

During budget debate last week in the House, one freshman GOP lawmaker said he would rather spend taxpayer dollars just about anywhere else than the "slush fund" at NASA.

He was then swiftly abducted and submitted to hours of tortuous anal probing at the hands of his new alien overlords.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Border Town pt.3

Mr. Tanner shot at the ground.  The girl wasted no time in running away once more.

Why had he done it?  He had already ended one life that night with a simple phone call.  Now, with the pistol in his own hands he froze.  He was a hypocrite.  How could he command respect when he had none for himself?

Maybe there’s a way to remedy this, he thought.  Holstering his gun Mr. Tanner called Amador.  He arrived with the usual punctuality.

“I need a ride to the warehouse,” he said.  “And spare the sigh this time.”

Amador drove off, silent through his voice and body language.  If there was anger inside, it was impossible to tell.

Yellow lines blended together as Mr. Tanner closed his eyes.  The rest was wonderful.  He felt like he could dream.  But nothing came; just blank, emptiness, as much as he craved the escape of an esoteric adventure.

He awoke a few minutes or an hour later.  Amador hung up his cell phone suspiciously fast.  But Mr. Tanner did not fret.

“Who were you talking to just now?” He asked casually.

“I was just calling ahead.”

“Oh, ok.  That is probably for the best.  A surprise might keep them on their toes and be good from a management standpoint.  But the men are hardened criminals trained to fire on suspicious figures.  I think you made a good move.”

“Thank you, sir.”

They took a couple more rights, a left and what could have either one.  The rain had lifted and the moon was out, Mr. Tanner noticed through the window.  It was good weather for a walk.
“Why don’t I walk the rest of the way?  You can go catch some sleep.”


Somehow, Mr. Tanner felt a drastic change in his disposition.  Seeing the girl live, the moonlight, a look of relief on his driver’s face all clashed to make the night…redeemable.  He was indeed still a hypocrite, but a happy one.

He knocked on the door to the warehouse after walking a few hundred more feet.  It opened to reveal several guards with AK-47s.  They balked at the large smile across their boss’s face.  It seemed he had begun to lose it as he greeted each one of them individually by name.  That was not how a gun-smuggling crime lord conducted himself.

“This guy is loco,” a worker packing M16s said to another.

“Amador was right to call.”

Mr. Tanner continued inspecting the line.  He did not ask about the missing equipment Gonzalez was responsible for, arousing further suspicion.

“Hombres, gather around!  I have an announcement to make,” said Mr. Tanner as they gathered.  “This will come as a bit of a shock, but, it needs saying.  I think it’s time… we get out of the gun trade.  We’re only hurting the good people of Mexico by fueling the cartels with weapons.”

“Is this joke?” A guard asked.

“Of course not.  I propose we take the money we’ve made and start investing in health services for people affected by the violence.”

Shots rang out.  It was not clear who fired first.  But by the time Mr. Tanner hit the floor it appeared nearly everyone in the building had taken their shot.  He had changed, gone loco.  It was clear an investment in his brutal leadership was no longer profitable.  They had all lost friends and families but losing their jobs had appeared to be the final straw.

They weren’t in it for a higher purpose.  They simply wanted to support themselves and what family of theirs Mr. Tanner had deemed loyal enough to live.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Like Sisyphus I bear a burden
But rather than a boulder
I must roll my heart up hill
And cry as it escapes my grasp,
Reverting and regressing
Lessons learned in tumbling,
Cascading back to adolescence,
Reabsorbing impacts in my childhood.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Wind Waker Reimagined

This is but one of the legends of which the Republicans speak...

 Long ago, there existed a democracy where the golden power of Capitalism lay hidden.
It was a prosperous land blessed with low-inflation, factories, and lax environmental regulation.
But one day a Democrat of great evil found the golden power and took it for himself...
With its strength at his command, Jimmy Carter spread darkness across the democracy.
But then, when gas prices rose, and the hour of doom seemed at hand... old Ronald Reagan clothed in green appeared as if from nowhere.
Wielding the Iranian Hostage Crisis of evil's bane, he sealed the dark Jimmy Carter away and gave America light.
This politician, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Reagan of Time.
The man's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend...
But then...a day came when a fell wind began to blow across the democracy.
The democrat that all thought had been forever sealed away by the hero...
... crept forth from the depths of Chicago, eager to resume its dark socialist designs.
The Republicans believed that the Reagan of Time would again come to save them.
...But the hero did not appear.
Faced by an onslaught of free healthcare, the Republicans could do nothing but appeal to the Founding Fathers.
In their last hour, as doom drew nigh, they left their future in the hands of fate.
What became of that democracy...? None remain who know.
The memory of America vanished, but its legend survived on the wind's breath.
On a certain island, it became customary to garb boys in green when they came of age.
Clothed in the green of cash, they aspired to find heroic blades and cast down liberals.
The elders wished only for the youths to know courage like the Reagan of legend...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jackie, the MGM Lion

Jackie the MGM Lion
stepped up to the microphone
Seizing his one chance
To be more than just a sideshow
Or a circus pet.

He sang with all the passion
Of a Satchmo or a Bessie Smith
Hoping that his roar might echo
Through film history.

Growling soft, then loud
He paused and growled again
Before turning to one side
A nervous wreck.

The motto Ars gratia artis,
flashed inside his mind and made
Jackie think over his integrity.

Did art not need moral justification?
Was he doing this for more than just himself?
And if he was, was that okay?
After all, it was just art.

Jackie felt the trainer’s whip.
He had dared to hunch and paid the price.
Suddenly, a lot more seemed at stake
                                                         Than his integrity.

Fox News Weather Report (With Implications Italicized)

MINNEAPOLIS -- A winter storm that blew through the upper Midwest over the Presidents Day job killingly long weekend coated roads with socialist ice and snow and led airlines to cancel hundreds of flights.

Residents of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin who didn't get the Monday holiday off faced what was expected to be a commute worse than Obamacare. Officials were urging people to stay off the roads if possible, rather than risk driving on icy roads or through wind-driven snow that is surely a metaphor for where progressivism had led this country.

Early Monday, the National Weather Service, as opposed better state-run weather services, said up to 10 inches of snow had fallen on parts of southern Michigan since the storm began Sunday afternoon. A winter storm warning remained in effect in southwest Michigan, with forecasters predicting up to 3 inches more of snow and warning that high winds could cause blowing snow and drifts.  Also causing drifts, NOT global warming.

In Madison, Wis., where tens of thousands of protesters but really, terrorists have rallied outside the Capitol for nearly a week to protest Gov. Scott Walker's great-American proposal to cut public employees' collective bargaining rights, snow, rain and sleet kept many away on Sunday where they likely gay married and worshipped Satan, although protesters, or again terrorists continued to cram into the rotunda.

The weather service said Sunday's storm blanketed much of central Wisconsin with 10 to 12 inches of snow. A further 2 inches of snow with some freezing drizzle was expected in Madison on Monday.  That oughtta freeze those God-forsaken commies back to hell!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Prayer

“God,” I prayed “why don’t you show yourself to the tyrants and hateful persons of the world and tell them they’re wrong?”

And, lo, light shone down upon me and a voice spoke; neither male nor female.

“I do every day.  I put the voices into those that cry.  I send men and women that stand against the most horrible oppressions and injustices.  Did you not see me inside Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. or Mother Teresa?  I was there, believe me.”

“But wouldn’t it be quicker, if you stepped in personally, through no one else?”

“And what would I do?  One will never change a heart by force.  It is only in my power to show the despots and destructive people they are wrong.  Sometimes they will see my signs.  Sometimes they will not.”

“Does that mean, you wouldn’t grant world peace, even if I prayed for it?”

“I have.  I put the power and potential inside all my creations.  All you must do is realize it exists and act.”

“Amen,” I said.

“Amen,” replied God.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Gerard was sick.  As sick as he had ever remembered being.  But he had to hide it.  His boss couldn’t know.  And even more importantly, they couldn’t.

Who were they?  They enforced the law.  It was illegal to be sick and Gerard was damn near guilty.

Once word got out it was over for him.  The black insurance truck would come and take him away before he became a risk to the system.  People couldn’t be expected to pay more for his failure to stay healthy.  Gerard was a leech, a parasite, an impending virus to good companies that simply wanted to make jobs.  And nothing else.

He felt shame for allowing his body to become such a socialist utopia but he wanted to live.  It is all my fault, he thought.  But Gerard knew if he survived he could start a business and make the world more capitalist.  He would do anything, deny workers the most basic rights to appease the lords in Washington.  If they just let him live.  They would not, though.

The news told of a protestor the other night, pleading for his life in front of the Speaker.  The Great Speaker would not be bothered, however, and simply struck him down with the large staff he carried everywhere.  It was pure gold with a large, ornate ruby on the top.  The news later praised his courage in facing down the progressive menace.

That was Gerard’s fate; being taken by them, or dying at the hands of the speaker himself.  His complexion had already become so pale you’d think him deathly if you saw him.  He coughed and sneezed and wheezed and hacked….

Maybe it was just the flu.  It didn’t matter.  People were taken by them for far less.  If lazy, freeloading Gerard showed weakness, they would lock him up and start the gas.  It was for the greater good, the greatest good. 

Low profits were the worst plague imaginable.  Locusts, falling skies, did not compare.  It stopped the flow of capital, endangered jobs, and hurt the economic outlook.  One man’s life was not worth the damage that would cause.  Gerard knew it himself, as the companies and the Great Speaker did.

Loudspeakers in the town square encouraged the sick and potential burdens to society to take their own lives.  Gerard had thought it over.  He knew he wanted to live.  If he compromised his conservative credentials, however, there was no turning back.  He might say he’d start a business and deny workers time-off and bathroom breaks, but it was a slippery slope.  If he lived and became a burden on the system for even one minute, he’d end up giving workers healthcare and God forbid, allow a union.  It had to end.

Gerard opened up a velvet case, containing his gun.  It was mandatory for every citizen to have.

He pointed it inside his mouth.  Sensors inside the barrel began ticking to determine he was not killing a CEO or public leader.

“Suicide approved,” it said before firing the bullet into his brain.  “Scum neutralized.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Border Town pt.2

“I know there’s a cover up to engineer, Juan, that’s why I called.”

“I don’t think I’m getting dinero I should, for work I do.”

“You tell people what to do and sign a few letters.”

“If I was in your position, jefe, I wouldn’t… minimize jobs those you count on.”

“I can easily find someone else. Or, get rid of you completely.”

“You couldn’t. I run police.”

“The police are nada. I have more hombres in the burros.”

“You have gringos!

Mr. Tanner heard Juan spitting on the other end.

“Have you seen Gonzalez, lately?”

“Nada, why, what you do with him?”

“Check the pier near West Salvador, ese.”

“If you touched one hair, you regret it!”

“I think I touched several hairs by the sound of it.”

Juan slammed the phone on the receiver. He still hasn’t managed to get himself a cell, thought Mr. Tanner. There wasn’t time to think that over, though. Two associates had been lost in the span of an hour.

The phone rang again.

“Hola, it Juan. I just call to tell you that I uh… satisfied with our proposal.”

“Gracias. I’ll let my people know we worked it out.”

He caved, thought, Mr. Tanner. He knew he would. Juan didn’t have the strength to stand against him. Neither had Gonzalez.

Juan would help in the cover up, even if it was his own man. He just didn’t know it yet.

It was nearly Ten O’clock. The girl should be finished by now, thought Mr. Tanner. He needed dirt on the customs officials and she would give it to him. An official’s daughter was too great a cover.

“Amador,” said Mr. Tanner, dialing his driver. “I need a ride to the embassy.”

“Am on my way,” he replied still tiredly.

Mr. Tanner got in and they took off. It was back to see the girl again. She was told to meet him a couple blocks away and would remember the detail if her life and family meant the slightest to her.

“What have you learned?”

“The customs man said…” she was searching for the right English.

“Said, what?”

“mucho reglamento.”



“Through what agency?”

“Agen… cy?”


“A… T… F,” she spoke out slowly.

“That bodes very ill. How am I supposed to run guns with the ATF up my ass? They can’t know I ever talked with you.”

Mr. Tanner pointed the gun at her temple once more. She quivered. He heard her urinating inside her pants. It was sickening and awful. But he had to squeeze the trigger. Mr. Tanner tensed his index finger. A loud blast rang through the streets.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

Open Mic

She goes to open mic nights
In her best, blue dress
Hoping that the men see her
And not her breasts.

She strums Pink Floyd
‘Cause it reminds her
How there’s others
Out there seeking more.

Some reach up at her
And others holler
But it reminds her how
She’s earnin’ dollars.

The owner stiffs her on the cut
While tears run down her cheek...
She wonders how she’ll pay the rent
Or eat that week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blog Series

So, I've been going over the idea in my mind and I want to do a weekly blog series based off of the short story I shared last week about the crime lord.  So, tune in Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m Pacific, 3:30 a.m New Delhi time (on Fridays) for the next edition.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Job Loss

When asked on the possibility of federal job losses today, Speaker Boehner said "So be it." He then packed up his hobo bindle and hopped a train headed toward the D.C. sunset. They never saw him again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ron Paul

"We will go back to the gold standard," Ron Paul, chairman House Financial Services Committee's subcommittee on monetary policy said, "even if it takes the near-destruction of the dollar (and America) to get there."

Saturday, February 12, 2011


A butterfly can’t change its wings
And toads will never fly.

The bird may try to burrow but
The gopher laughs ahead of it.

Cows might call milk honey
In vain determination.

But that won’t make it so.

To be less than your true self
Is to ultimately, have nothing.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Momma said that the Forrest plate was to remind me that sometimes we all do things that, well, just don't make no sense....

Car Tag Shouldn't Honor KKK Leader, Critics Say

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Some Freewriting

“You will submit” a man said, cocking his pistol. A small child laid in front him. She was drenched to the bone in pouring rain.

“Bu-but why?”

“Because, I am holding the pistol… and that is all that matters.”

She stared up at her assailant in his soaked Armani suit. Breath floated over him mist-like in the frigid air.

“Run along, now and remember everything I told you.”

The man saw the young girl hesitate. He put a barrel on her temple.

“Remember. Everything,” he emphasized slowly.

She nodded, causing him to smile.

“Now… run!”

The man fired his pistol wildly into the air while the young girl sprinted away as fast as she was able. He watched once or twice as she fell down, laughing to himself.

“She will pay for this ruined suit in the end,” he thought.

Dusk had fallen. The man checked his watch. It was late. Too late. He had wasted far more time on the girl than he had planned.

A black limousine pulled up beside him. Its door opened.

“I assume” an accented voice began, “everything is going accordingly, Mr. Tanner?”

“Not quite as I would like. But sufficient. For now.”

Mr. Tanner crawled into the back seat. The warmth was pleasant.

“Back home, I presume?”

“No, to the office. There are things needing checked up on.”

A look of displeasure took the driver’s face as they drove toward downtown. He knew he would not be sleeping for another night.

The office was, as expected, empty for the time of night (nearing seven o’clock to be exact). Mr. Tanner did not take notice walking past an array of empty cubicles. His eyes were instead glued to the screen of his cell phone.

The game had changed in recent years. People in his line of work hardly if ever saw each another. The world was ones and zeroes in more ways than one. Money changed hands as quick as loyalties and information. It was Phillip Tanner’s job to keep on top of everything. An impossible task for most but certainly not him.

He dialed a number on his phone. It rang five or six times before an answer on the other end. Mr. Tanner was livid.

“When I call you, fucking pick up!” He shouted.

“Calm down, man,” a voice of similar accent to his driver replied, “we were busy here. It gets a little loud in the shop.”

“I don’t care how loud it gets. When I call, you pick up! Comprende!?”

“Comprende,” he replied through what must have been gritted teeth.

“Now, did you get the shipment in?”

“Yes, it’s here. But you won’t be happy.”


“It’s less than we expected.”

“How much less?”

“A couple hundred.”

“When I ask you how much you do not give me a fucking ballpark answer. You tell me exactly how much less we fucking have!”

“Two-hundred-and-ten, all right!? Chill!”

“It’s hard to chill when I paid for a certain amount and it seems you’re duckin' me!”

“Come on, do you really think I’d duck you of all people?”

“Yes, I do,” Tanner said before hanging up. He held the phone up in the air as if to throw it down, before restraining himself. There was someone else to call first.

“Hello, is this Martinez?”


“I need you to waste Gonzalez.”

“Consider it done.”

Phillip Tanner felt relieved. That was the obedience he needed. No questions. Just action. Gonzalez had caused him nothing but problems from day one.

He put his feet on top of his desk and reclined. He needed a nap but was sure he could not afford one. Either way Tanner let his eyes close for a few minutes before his cell phone beeped with a text message notification.

“Gonzalez wasted,” was all it said. Quick. Easy.

Martinez knew to not waste his time with petty details. But even that short response entailed more work on Mr. Tanner’s part. He had to call his liaison with the police, talk to different parties and prevent a power struggle.

Gonzalez had gotten too high up in rank, Tanner realized, thought he was damn near irreplaceable. But he was not. And he could not let others think they were.

It was easier to work with kids. They knew where they stood. Tanner had always had a knack for scaring them as well. The little girl would tell him everything and most importantly, tell them what he wanted them to know. Who would suspect her of lying? Why would she have recourse?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I saw a werewolf getting off on silver,
Masochistic vampires becoming tanned
And yet, still it could not add up or equal to
The pain I caused myself because of you.

Imagine unicorns that drink their blood,
Frankenstein, a pyromaniac;
Perhaps then you’ll see just what I am,
Why I ever gave a damn.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Wrote this a few days ago but felt unsure over posting it.  Thinking, what the hell though.  I'll let you decide.


Mario took a job at a construction site
Climbing up the ladders, crooked girders
With a hammer.

They called him Jumpman,
As he bolted rivets, hoping that the steady job
Might convince his wife, Pauline, to take him back.

But his boss was always throwing obstacles in
Unpaid overtimes, late paychecks if they came at all
That felt as flames and barrels tripping Mario.

Eventually the carpenter was fired,
Being forced to wait on elevators,
Drifting further from his goal.

Three weeks to the day
Mario heard Pauline was with another man
And it broke him.

He packed up the entirety of the
Belongings she had left behind –
An abundance of hats, parasols and purses.

Tearful, Mario then distraughtly drove
And drove until he no longer paid attention
Or cared as he went off the bridge.

Monday, February 07, 2011


"The Times They Are A-Changin'"
By: Bob Dylan

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Trip

I was boating down a local river when I saw her, or maybe possibly an it.  The water parted near a chin, revealing lips bigger than the largest part of me.  Eyes shone down green moons reflecting on the surface of the water.  It seemed that it might breathe me in, or swallow my form whole without the slightest notice that it had.

I screamed loudly, though I could decipher any ears.  Plants covered a great deal, as weeds and other matter wrapped itself around.

The current pulled me outside the boat and closer.  I prayed that she, I was rather sure it was a she now, would notice and take pity.  But her expression simply stayed as blank as ever.  It seemed she was asleep, or even frozen.

Hand grasped lip.  I splayed myself against the top edge of her chin.  Waves splashed against the surface into my mouth.  Oxygen diminished.  I knew I was drowning, losing strength and soon would fall.  The only path toward safety was itself, perilous.  But if it was indeed the only way, I had to take it.

With all remaining strength I scaled my way into the mouth.  The teeth did not clamp down but rather stayed as steady as they always had.

Inside, I relaxed against a tongue that was soft as it was wet.  The warmth renewed me from the bitter cold the river gave.  An endless whisper permeated thoughts.  Tissue gently squeezed, embraced.

Our first kiss.

Friday, February 04, 2011


Here’s to half-assed dreams
that inspire but can never tell us
how or when to seize our destinies.

Here’s to empty words
we fill with air yet
otherwise leave empty.

Here’s to dark recesses in our minds
where truths lay dormant like a virus
waiting to lash out and terrorize.


In this segment, SOB or status on Blogger, I share a Facebook status on Blogger. Pretty straight forward I thought.

An uninsured person who is unexpectedly rushed to the emergency room could benefit from millions of dollars worth of medical care, and those costs are passed along to others in the system. Woo, don't force me to have insurance when it can all be free... I mean, don't tread on me?

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Twitter is temporarily disabled on Nice Old Spice over privacy concerns.  Will be up and running again likely in a week or so.  In the mean time, just send a request.

Thank you.


It all seems temporary,
even brief.

Sometimes I wonder why
I live at all.

Friends blow by like
crumpled leaves.

I might chase them but
they’re gone too fast.

Perhaps I’ll hold one
in my grasp.

What’s that?
I gripped too hard.

My palm's returned
to emptiness.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Submissions: The New Yorker

Different publications have different requirements for submissions.  These are the New Yorker's.

STEP 1: Put your submission in an envelope complete with vintage stamps from early America.

STEP 2: Mail directly to our dumpster if you went to Brown.

STEP 3: If you went to a real college such as Harvard, you may continue to step three. Please wrap your envelope in mink and don’t forget the wax seal with your family’s crest. If your family does not have a crest, take your elementary school writing to a greeting card company and never call us again.

STEP 4: Once those steps are complete you have the privilege of placing your submission inside a cooler with Almas Beluga Caviar. We shall eat it as we mock your work.