Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat, smell my feet


Sacks of candy from big box stores,
Grab bags jammed
With Jetblue
Drams of sweetness,
heavenly hosts of sameness
on the stoops of each
and every house
on my block,
Plenty Good
for the endless line of petitioning
Marvel and Disney
intangible assets
with vampires and the odd

I’ll admit to sleepwalking my way
through this pagan ritual
until a pint size Winston Churchill
presented himself and sent me
scurrying to the scullery
for Bombay gin
in a highball glass, the MP
no sooner having weaved  
off into the night
than appeared
a ragtag gaggle
of beggars.
Reagan and Leary
Armstrong, Hitchens and Grant
crying out for jellybeans
acid and EPO,
single malt and Cuban cigars,
threatening all manner of mayhem
and dirty tricks when low
and behold 
as if on cue
a late arriving Cheney
deftly shoving
Molly Ivins
into the shrubbery
while asking sweetly
for nitroglycerine
and a Dum-Dum for his little brother George. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

mechanics of speech


Onomatopoetic name graces
a childhood affliction, if affliction
it is.  Betrayed at the hands of the tongue,

longing to lash out, roll ball lightning vowels
around in my mouth and feel the stitching
abrade my lips, bite off die cast ingot

consonants, debride them, gnash their cunning
angles and curves into hot lead and spray
belts of bullets in staccato patterns,

laying down a field of fire where I’ll
stand and let the wind blow through rib and strut,
whistling through old gaps in the armature. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

If Turnips Were Swords


If wishes were horses
beggars would ride,
those not lost that is
in a good book,
the lowly spirited away
to another place,
another time  
only to find
upon their return
books had gone the way
of horses, wishes
only words
on bound
printed pages
in the hands
of beggars. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Concede

Concession Speech

This has been a long, tough race.  We gave it everything we had, but sadly, it just wasn’t enough.  With heart heavy and broken I concede defeat.  Before I leave the stage, however, I have some people to thank.  Without them, the outcome of this contest would have never been in doubt

The Independent Voter.  An otherwise sentient, intelligent fellow, the GOP managed to convince just enough of you that throwing in with wealthy, white, corporate America was in your best interest.  Tomorrow you’ll awaken to Christmas morning, anticipating presents.  A secure job with good pay and benefits could be wrapped with a bow, waiting just for you beneath the tree.  There may be a bit of a wait, however.  You’ll be in line behind lots of people with better connections than you who spent a great deal of money to buy a government custom tailored just for them.  Their desires and yours do not necessarily converge.  In the end you’ll take what they give you and be grateful for it. 

The Incumbent.  The publishing industry is poised to ride a prosperous wave of books well into the future, about your historic Presidency and the 2012 campaign.  Scholarly and not so scholarly books that will examine your motivations, psyche, decisions, personal demons, advisors, childhood, family, health, astrological chart, anything and everything that could help to explain the loss of such promise.  I think I’ll just wait for the movie, Mr. President. 

Grover Norquist.  Nork-man!  You just may pull it off after all, you sly, old fox.  Starving the beast, I mean.  Everyone will be walking around flush with all the cash they didn’t pay in taxes.  Good thing.  They’ll need every penny to pay market price to private companies for things like medical care, emergency and protective services, rainy day stuff like job loss, catastrophic injury due to accidents or medical malpractice, education, infrastructure, safe food, water and medicine and care in their old age.  Any remaining tax revenue, of course, will continue to funnel to military contractors, the fossil fuel industry and bankers in need of bailouts.  You, of all people, know the true meaning of an ownership society. 

God.  You may not be aware, but your name gets invoked regularly by your more rabid followers.  What they couldn’t achieve honestly in the open market of public opinion will be legislated and adjudicated by elected officials and their appointees in gratitude for their long-time support.   Already absolutely certain, a win will render them insufferable.  Didn’t this come up when you and the Founding Fathers met in Philly? 

Progressives and Women.  It was cold on election day.  It rained.  You were disillusioned. ‘08 was different, hopeful and pregnant with change.  He wasn’t a Bush or a Clinton.  The challenger moderated his stance on contraception.  Hey, look at it this way.  A generation or two from now, decades of right-wing rule may foster a nascent opposition with real conviction and a sense of moral authority. 

Ayn Rand.  The pin-up gal for the I-Got-Mine set, that speed-popping, atheistic, lunatic.   All those long, lonely  Wisconsin nights a young, impressionable future Vice President-elect spent reading your stirring tales beneath the blanket with a flashlight were not for naught.  We salute those at the top, each and every man a John Galt!  We’re sorry if we’ve offended you in any way, O' masters of the universe, O' lords of job creation, O' risk-taking rock stars. 

Post-Racial America.   You elected the first black president because, hey, black culture is pretty hip up to a point and the white guy before him was such a train wreck.  We can all sleep easier knowing race had absolutely nothing to do with the level of animosity fueling the revitalization of the GOP and the Tea Party in particular. 

Well, I think I’ve remembered to thank everyone except my wife, parents and the unsung guys protecting this great country from the scourge of voter fraud.

Puppy Orientation

There Will Be Stairs

A leash, a bowl, at least one walk a day
two squares and all the flotsam and jetsam
you can cadge short of larceny from the
plate.  The park is close, an open maw that

must be appeased, sere indifferent god with
this strange affinity for tennis balls  
offered up in prayerful overhand arcs.  
Let’s hope you’re no fetching unbeliever,  

the rational type thwarting every gift  
sent aloft, dropping Nietzsche and endless 
filthy Spauldings at my feet.  You can count
on rides in the car and walks in the woods

year round, red bandana in winter, a
dash of color on the canvas of a
painting we’ll never finish, returning
again and again to a stark landscape

vibrating with ranks of vertical tines
issuing from ribbons of blue shadow
unfurled toward dusk, a field of white festooned
with your bold smudges of heedless yellow.

There will be stairs to lever and convey
us up and down, in and out, a benign
case that will metastasize as we age
along parallel tracks, dwarfing us one

unexpected evening in spring, coffee
programmed, door closed on one final circuit
of the backyard, a series of slow drips
and drabs to remind you why you went out

in the first place, a familiar artless
dance among dogs and men of a certain
mien.  We’ll stand wordless, moon waning through
an upper pane, day spent, our long shared trail

behind us, a moment’s hesitation
at the bottom of the looming well then
up to bed where I’ll lay awake until
the sound of your breathing falls in step with

the warm night breeze that rustles the curtains
and seeds our dreams, here to beckon us out
for a walk off the leash through woods stirring  
green, last cones of snow bidding us farewell.