Saturday, May 25, 2024

Poem: Unslept




unable to focus

on the who-what-why-wheres

which ride in miniature railroad cars

clownlike in busy forebrains;

unable to write

except like a worm wet in beach sand,

erased and rolled

by the chew of the surf,


i decided i was nothing.

nothing but iterative muscle

clung to frail pillars

soon to collapse into a grave hole.


why had i imagined ethical wings?

or any sort of limbs

other than those which flail and hit

and cry and kill and break under rage?

why had i truly, foolishly,

imagined such creatures as we are,

the idiocy that is human,

shedding our hate to become flowers

with petals as quills as flight as letters as language

in a poem of caring touch?


5/25 ... fixed typo

It's only about a third of a population of a country that embraces a fascist leader.  The Nazi Party was around 32% at its height.  But that's all it takes to menace everyone enough so they all cow and bow down--or suffer the very real consequences.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Poem: In a Second


In a Second


seconds dissolve

in universes dying.

they whisper through my mind,

as fugitive as rain.

so many births of flight,

restless and relentless,

consigned yet joyful,

narcotic and aphrodisiac;

each struggling not to tire,

to generate, such explosions!

so inevitable, passions gone,

sacrificed on a palimpsest of planet.

do they beckon, hand of fate?

are they signposts?  hearthstones?  deathbeds?

does god lurk in these meek miracles?


who listens? who dares what they say?


5/20 changed formatting at end 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

"Loneliness is very loud"


The average American spends 7 to 8 hours a day with the television on and another 5 to 6 hours a day in front of a computer screen. There is constant noise. Loneliness is very loud. -- Samantha Rose Hill, Politico interview

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Poem: Sheet of Paper


Sheet Of  Paper


my thoughts

smash into a rectangle mouth,

sacrifice of candor;

and yet the more i break,

the more gluttony it shows,

gobbling agony spent.


this infinite albumen.

why does it mock

the babble of my scratches

while i rave to escape;

to break out out out out out

into a confettied ease of sun?


calm as glue, it watches

when i lay yet another pain-offering

on its frozen altar,

my anguish sure to resurrect,

clean under the cold morgue linen

again and again, over and over,

the quiet a foil to my berserk,

the placid a lock on my gate.


it is womb or death?

the little swarms of letters want to know,

these insects which convulse to evolve

as they generate linear nebulas--gone, all gone--

gone, gone, gone--

sucked into the square blank bland white hole.




5/19 ... "heart" replaces "candor"

5/21 switched "heart" back to "candor"

Monday, May 13, 2024

Poem: A Bat


A Bat


purple in dusk,

a bat practices its hand,

loopy of cursive and dangling vowel,

twenty feet from my stride.


a comma somersaults to festoon,

before the bat squiggles around,

plunging through a nebula of gnats

only it can see with its fake eyes.


the manic infant terrible

hardly furnishes

the ornaments of a rococo sentence,

before rushing back, grand as Camus,

to start anew.


i wonder maybe it’s written

the first line of every book ever read,

yet still has far to go

before it forks to a final grandstand

and retires.


surely the bat’s sound beams of sight

appraise with expertise the fine-print drama

vivid in the parchments of elderberry,

rowan and spruce. 


perhaps even the sideshows of late mushrooms

as they trumpet to exult and exclaim,

“write about me next, write about me!”




5/18 ... "vowel" replaces "vowels"

References to Camus' character Joseph Grand and Frost's well-known poem,

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Poem: Maples In Autumn

 Maples In Autumn

fluent limbs,

they arch to flicker little wicks of twig

which flame in wind.


imagine the effervesce,

spritely leaves merry in a canopy,

high on the ravages of wine.


it’s the sprawl of a lively port,

arteries of vendors and actors on streetcorners,

distilled and corked into a grove.


this foliage, it teases the very world,

whispery of thrill and whirled dance,

flutters of bells dulcet in kiss.


like the poems of sensual lips, they come and go,

none of the fair promises

brave enough to hold onto.



5/11... changed third from last line from singular to plural

grading papers, physical therapy... world on political edge of war... exhausted

Monday, May 6, 2024

Poem: Tarantula



clothed in ridge and limb and shadow,

the great brown tarantula with the patience of a cave

poises above a cramped valley,

where hectic people swarm in heat and greed,

never seeing the giant eyes up above,

layered in granite, or the teardrops of sandstone,

fallen beneath the serenity of sage.

before the people,

sabretooths latched onto mammoths.

and before that, the muscular wrestle of dragons

twined to rise mutilated from a burning cosmic womb.

so the tarantula was born,

hungry for the breastmilk of long lost stars,

a savor never to be revisited

when it preyed on seas and deserts

and banquets of fur, fin and reptile.

above its cordillera pulse,

blushing in fire and fervent of flood,

the tarantula watches

the spear of thousands of streetlamps,

while dreaming of the stars and their return,

as lost to hope as the hordes of fretful people

impaled in the darkness.



The gods granted my wish.  Then said, "But you will languish in obscurity, crippled of consequence."

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Jonathan Capehart, MSNBC, loses all my respect


I’ve respected and watched Jonathan Capehart for a long while.  Many spotlights shine on him, such as his show on MSNBC.  But he lost all my respect during his May 3rd PBS “Brookes and Capehart” segment. 


What Capehart Said


The segment starts at around 33:30 on the following youtube link:


Capehart was asked for his thoughts on the student protests going on across America.  He gave a shallow, feckless answer.  Starting with a brief nod to what’s going on in Gaza, he said, “We’re seeing the passion of the students  ...  over the humanitarian crisis.”   Then he immediately pivoted to his main concern, his "big question”:  Will the students keep protesting “once they go back home?”   

What a succinct and less-than-subtle way to insinuate that the protestors are naïve children.

When asked about the GOP argument that the protestors are antisemitic, Capehart didn’t even acknowledge that the large majority of protestors are not antisemitic.  He also failed to mention that they are conscience- and grief-stricken by the atrocities happening in Gaza.  

Instead, as tersely and euphemistically as he had mentioned the “humanitarian crisis,” he referred to concerns about Prime Minster Netanyahu as “legitimate.”  Then, moving right along, he ended with a rhetorical flourish:  he pondered why it is so hard for the students to state their objections “without being bigoted about it.” 

Why I’m Vastly Disappointed

Mr. Capehart, most of the students are not antisemitic bigots.  They are in anguish because a great horror is taking place in front of the whole world, the murder and torture of millions of people.  Part of that anguish comes from the gaslighting tactics of people like you, who should know better.  Do you care about the genocide taking place, Mr. Capehart?  It seems to me, it sounds to me, from your PBS segment, that you do not.  You come across as being as callous as the most rightwing extremist.

Just today, an article in the New York Times indicates one of the evils being inflicted in Gaza.  Famine:

Gaza has been gripped by what experts have called a severe human-made hunger crisis. Israel’s bombardment and restrictions in the territory have made delivering aid very difficult. The amount of aid entering Gaza has increased recently, but aid groups say it is far from adequate.

 For the first three weeks of the war, Israel maintained what it called a “complete siege” of Gaza, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant saying that “no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel” would be allowed into the territory. The Israeli military also destroyed Gaza’s port, restricted fishing and bombed many of its farms.


If you access that article, you will see heart-rending pictures of children begging for food.  But wise Mr. Capehart is far more concerned if the student protestors here in the USA will persist when they go home from school.

I don’t have time or energy to get comprehensive about the wickedness Israel is inflicting.  There’s so much.  Two-thirds of the Gazan people have lost their homes.  They’ve been herded into small corners of Gaza, and these so-called refuges are now being bombed by Israel.  Already, 5% of the Gazan people are dead or maimed, most of them women and children.  Think about that.  That's 1 in 20 of the whole population.  

The number climbs daily.  Hourly. 

Here is another article from just today, this one from the Washington Post.  There is serious evidence that Israel is conducting gunfire executions, a war crime reminiscent of the Nazi SS.

 WaPo has backed up its article with outstanding research:

This article is based on more than a dozen interviews over two days inside Nur Shams and by phone, as well as on photos and videos provided by eyewitnesses and reviewed by Washington Post reporters.


There are other cases of executions, covered by other sources, such as Al Jazeera and the BBC.  These include mass graves outside of a hospital (all Gaza's hospitals have been bombed, by the way).


I used to respect Jonathan Capehart.  But he has used his mircophone on PBS to sugarcoat the horrors in Gaza with the quick phrase, “humanitarian crisis,” before going on to wonder when the students will go home.  He also, in good radical rightwing fashion, scolds them for being bigots.

Shame on you, Capehart.  There’s a genocide taking place.

President Biden, you are the main culprit, continuing to supply weapons for the genocide.  Biden, you had the repulsive gall, a few days ago, to admonish the student protestors for being too violent.

Too violent, sir?  Really?  The protestors form encampments.  Sometimes they occupy buildings.  They chant loudly.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu bombs, starves, and in many ways tortures and terrifies millions of human beings.  And the bombs he uses, Mr. Biden, are yours, paid for with my tax money. 

 And yet, Mr. Biden, you claim that the so-called ‘violent’ students are the problem?  

More and more, it seems to me that the USA is fine with  genocide, both Democrats and Republicans, as long as it serves our country’s power interests.  

Only the younger generation seems to want to stand up for what this country used to believe in.  What happened to ‘Never Again’?  What happened to Anne Frank?  Elie Wiesel?  Viktor Frankl?  I guess all that means nothing now, as Biden, leader of the 'free world' gives bombs for a genocide to a fascist dictator.  

And that fact, more than anything else, should terrify Jews and all other traditionally oppressed groups.  It should, indeed, terrify us all.



Thursday, May 2, 2024

Poem: Glade




perched near moss,

spruce in the round,

lazy the play,

airs of storm-moistened leaves,

glisteny to the touch. 


floating, it feels,

as if aloft in a drape

of vines on a cloud,

fronded tones of fern

and cobweb-drizzle.


so sparse, the glimpses

of bright peekaboo azure.

no clock save a coin cap’s breath.

beetles under brims

fiddle in siesta.


no slate of road, no marketplace

to consume.


lords of lichen instead,

those laurelled heralds,

whorled of beard

on their knothole thrones,



toward supple boughs,

smooth as a bassoon, which hum

faint of pianissimo their breeze-fed fugues,

the whole forest

whispery with music.




5/3 ... changed a preposition

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Poem: False Wing


False Wing


wind kicks, hurts, to box my head, taunts,

impossible to tame;

breaks out of the jail of my will,

ever since the genesis of this fear.

such a sorrowful skull’s failure

to imprison what eroded the loft of delight.

dents of sun scatter, diffusive to ingress.

my entreaties swing stale,

feckless among the heretical howls,

such is the Prospero of my pride,

hunkered as a gargoyle, pitted and pilloried

by the lash of whirled glares, this wind

that bucked the saddle soon after i laughed to decree

how far and high my ingenuity could matter.

it worries me everywhere,

gnawsome of solar canines--

such an indescribable lack-of-shadow.

goosebumps shudder my muscles,

remind me i assumed false wing,

when young brash mastery

succumbed to feathery ride.


5/1 ... removed a word

5/1 (later) ... changed the last few lines for impact and flow

5/1 ... changed a few words...