Jerk Off

Talking
to no one particular
for no discernible reason
other than to hear one’s self
is masturbation

A Composition of My Own

I hate the lyrics to this song

But the melody
stirs emotions
recalls memories

and makes a song of my own

Feels Like Monday

God
Jesus
Yahweh
Buddha
Mother Nature
Father Time
and Old Mother Hubbard
Hate me

That’s the only way I can explain yesterday

I would have stayed in bed this morning
if not for the Sandman

13 Flights

Thirteen thousand Five Hundred Five
consecutive days and counting
I have been waking up

Getting out of bed’s the hard part
The rest is like falling down stairs

How Low Can I Go?

Limbo
without music
or a stick
is hell

What’s Your Sign?

I’m trying to get my plans laid

But life’s not putting out

Take Me Out

It was 1974 or 5. When my dad and I went to the first of what would be our only baseball game together.  I was 4 or 5.

My parents were separated in anticipation of their upcoming divorce. Not his idea. Though she was doing him a favor. 

Dad picked me up in his 1954 Buick, I stood next to him while he drove. We (though I was just a passenger and not a navigator) got lost. He stopped at this scary looking gas station to get his directions pointed. Something today’s man is afraid to do.

We made it to the ballpark with time and seating to spare. I don’t remember how good the team was, but I remember the old wooden bleachers were mostly empty.

Our Double A team was the Diablos. Mom didn’t like the name. Said it gave credit to the devil. Mom always gave the devil too much credit. I was allowed to go with the promise I would root for the visiting team with the non-Satanic name. 

Once we found a spot on the bleachers we ordered a couple of hot dogs. One Coke, one beer.  Dad began explaining the game to me, the strategies, positions. Til’ this day I still don’t get the strategy. To me baseball is a simple, but wonderful game about hitting the ball and moving around the bases. Despite my earlier promise, I cheered along when Beelzebub rounded third, headed for home.

At the seventh inning stretch the announcer had the crowd yell, “Hi Mona!” The zoo, was next to the ballpark. The elephant habitat just over the right field wall. Sometimes Mona would make whatever sound elephants make in response to their name. Even if you didn’t always hear her, you knew she was there. It was worse when the breeze blew East.  I don’t know many ballparks that can claim to smell of elephant shit. Certainly none would brag. In the midst of the stench we all sat watching and eating our hot dogs. Dad and I had a couple more with drinks to match.

We left before the bottom of the ninth. It was a school night and late enough. I don’t remember who won. I’m not sure I ever knew.

When I got home mom’s first question was did my father have any beer. Had I known it was going to be a big deal, I would have lied.  Everything was a big deal, so I lied often. She was so mad, she forgot to ask me anything else about my night.

Years later, my dad and I sat at the kitchen table chasing whiskey with beer. Mom clutched her chest in dramatic Redd Foxx fashion. The combined look of hurt and anger on her face made up for my slip of the tongue. A metaphorical flip of the finger. Later, I would give her a real one.

I’ve said much about my mother, which was not my intent. I wanted to share a story about my father. But day needs night. Love needs hate. How do you know what’s good without bad?

Since that night, I’ve been to more games. Professional ones, in giant stadiums. Even had a few beers of my own. But none have been better, or meant more than that one years ago that I have only vague memories of.

The night my dad took me to a ballgame.

Dog Days

The endless Summer
or the idea of
is a wonderful thing.

And it was
when Summer meant roaming the neighborhood
riding bikes everywhere
spending your day at and in the pool
A blessed three months of nothing to do
before the bell rang again

Now its one hot day
then another
With no relief from the heat
or anything else in sight

You sweat another day
sweat from the heat
the small stuff
the big stuff
and all the in between stuff

It’s all supposed to be small stuff
but some don’t know how to measure
One mans molehill
is another mans mountain
Some conquer
plant their flag
Some don’t make the climb
Afraid of the stop at the end of the Fall

There was a time when we feared neither
the Fall
or the stop
No thought of consequence
We couldn’t fall

After you pick yourself up enough times
you not only think about it
you make decisions based on
how best to avoid it

You hesitate
You sweat
That’s when Summer really ends

Understanding

I understand
what drives people

The hurt
anger
frustration
that gnawing in your gut that won’t go away
These aren’t just words to me
they’re very real emotions
Feelings

Not sympathy
not empathy
Understanding
All to well

Not justification
there is none
and a debt to pay in hell

But I understand
the hurt
anger
frustration
that gnawing in your gut that won’t go away

But for the grace of God
and prescription refills go I

Squint

It’s a fine line
Squint

Love and Hate
Genius and Insanity (maybe the same)
Control and the loss of

It’s a fine line
Cross
Or put a saddle on the fence and ride

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