17 December, 2008

what a 1st draft looks like

freewriting the hunt

in hand
unhanded &

got away

all of them
journals or
films recalled

long gone, yet
real enough, at least
until waking

cheap 12-pack
& politics
to kiss them off

revenge enough
& construct
decoys, my outer selves. I’m sick

of love
, Bob sings
but in
the thick of it
. Yes.

You will lose. We are born
into it, the losing
to learn

to paraphrase
overquoted Nietsche
like some college kid in black

when I was 22 & thought
I was hot shit
w/my band & all my other

quasi bile
I digress. I don’t have time to parenthesize
this aside. I’m getting tired.

I feel better.
There will be others.

11 December, 2008

lyrics/ yeah?

(I normally don't do this, but wtf? here are some 1st-drafts for a new tune)

breakup song '8

I has Johnson's "Love in Vain"
I meets ladies on the train
I is me here, I is sane
I's an artist, I feels pain

& I's alright; you won't hear I complain, luv
& I gets tight & even the best wine leaves a stain


o, yeah, go there, take I's home
I is orphans, rolling stones
back on the pavement, tumbleweed jones
god-sent parliament spike into the to the bone


find I quietly on the fringe
dirt on I's fingers, mouthfulla minge
binge I singe I sleeps alone & whinge
heartbreak, housebreak, jailbreak hinge

of a thigh & I's alright ...


01 December, 2008

pre-dawn birthday haiku

snow stuck to cars, hard
sugar to frost my waking.
embedded footprints/tire-tracks.

16 October, 2008

really, John McCain? Really?

These bully rightists playing the 'voter fraud' card ... I mean, didn't we pass the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 to get rid of that sort of profiling? How are these new hoops & balance beams at all different from the poll taxes & citizenship tests of the Jim Crow South, aside from said tactics being aimed at a broader group of citizens? It's already disheartening to hear these folks say things like, "my opponent is fixated on the past (see: Sarah Palin in the VP debate)," but when you take into account their willingness to embrace the unamerican, (albeit unpatriotic) practices of the past, such statements become increasingly frightening.


15 October, 2008


freewrite at a shrink’s

career? I burned that bridge
& ret’d to Chicago
a few bags of my stuff
a g/f’s bed

& found work
taking surveys
about movies & smoked

Gitanes on our rotted-wood landing
read the books she brought me & drank
pints of Jim Beam
fought & made love & got

a new job
& got canned

is thrown-away chapters
prequela never sent
recalled now
on rented couch

the 50-min. hrs.
copaid, shortchange

to relearn incomplete

I’d also like to say

05 October, 2008

is *any* press *good* press?

(pt. 1)

... &, if so, for whom? the subject? the press? Does the pan backfire on the critic &, in turn, transform itself into an unintentional rave for said critic's target(s)?

I participated in a really cool poetry reading the other night at St. Paul's in Wicker Park. Got to read pomes & riff around w/ Kurt Heintz, Kristy Bowen & Todd Heldt, &, later in the night, Charlie Newman (who curates the whole "first friday" series) ...

The series is a bit of a stalwart. Charlie had been doing it for years at Lincoln Park's DvA gallery. When DvA closed its doors, St. Paul's opened theirs. It's a cozy venue in a residential area, and has long been a benevolent patron of things cultural and artistic. Some things change & some things stay the same, I guess.

Anyhow, there was more than enough reason for me to be stoked for the night. Todd, Kristy, Kurt & Charlie are among my favorite local writers. Charlie MCs two excellent-yet-completely-different-from-one-another spoken-word series here in town, has been the host of a fabulous poetry radio show and is one of the more prolific poet-types out there. Todd and Kristy, still in their 30s (like me), have a list of reputable publications, awards, kudos etc. a mile or so long (unlike me, yet (cross wood/knock on fingers)) and may well be the next two big names in what the more pretentious may refer to as 'american letters.' Kurt has been a juggernaut in pomes performed, paged, staged etc. for decades. If these folks weren't my friends, it might be quite intimidating for an uncomely literary slacker like myself to share such a Friday night bill. As it stands, we are friends, so I suppose I just decided to put my nose to the stone & do my best to bring the old A-game ...

The First Friday crowd tends to be heavily littered with serious fans of poetry and serious writers of it, as well. The sage Tom Roby was there with copies of his latest collection (and a damned good one, at that), Shapeshifter. Lots of other local heavyweights & open-mike regulars & poetry enthusiasts were there: Michael C. Watson, Shelley Nation, The 'Waiting for the Bus' guys, Nina Corwin, Bob Lawrence, Al DeGenova, Bob Rashkow, Dina Stengel, Joe Roarty, Chris Gallinari, just to name a few. Gallinari, por ejemplo, is a relative newcomer to this whole writing poetry thing, but the guy's work improves significantly every time I read or hear it. The guy has two really good things going for him: 1. an innate desire to learn/improve & 2. a pretty good grasp on Language.

SooooooooowhatIthinkImeantosayis ... while these First Fridays may be intimate, cozy happenings, they're definitely not readings to phone into. There were also a couple other much talked-about events this night (i.e. the Chicago Calling Festival, a virtual Lollapalooza of multi-city collaboratives), so it was wonderful to see so many folks tirelessly on fire for culture in attendance. If you were there, and I didn't personally get over to you to thank you for being there, please allow this here bit o' typin' to suffice for my humble gratitudes ...

So, it was a pretty fun reading. We did it round-robin style, with Kurt kicking off a round, then Todd, then Kristy & then myself. Halfway through we took a break & invited Charlie up for round two. Those guys (& gal) definitely brought *it* and (at least from my vantage point) also brought down the proverbial house. I'm still getting emails from folks who were there, telling me what a great time they had, how much they enjoyed everybody's reading & how they thought our round-robin format kept things fresh and fluid ... alas, I may digress, and since I already mentioned all the kind, wonderful & completely positive correspondence I've received about Friday ...

sound. fury. signifying?


is this where it gets interesting, Scotty?

At some point that evening/morning, after post-event tacos & margaritas & repartee, I returned to my place to some rather interesting stuff taking place on the ol' info superhighway. You can click on the title of this post to see some of this stuff (all 4,000 words of it -- a feat in itself considering the events described therein took place roughly an hour before the piece went live). You can scroll to the end of this post to see the other stuff. From what sidewalk crack did this gnarly bile bellycrawl, I asked myself. I mean, it had been a great evening. A splendid time, as they say, was had by all ...

So, it was here I remembered. I must be blessed with that cliche 'writer's photographic attention to detail' they told me about in school, but, yes, this one dribble of minutiae from St. Paul's I'd so nearly forgotten, but, aha, now it returned plain as the moment -- the literal moment -- it happened ...

Around 8:10 or 8:15-ish, I'd just given Tom money for my copy of his book (yep, I'm always buying lots of self & independently published works) & taken my seat beside Kristy, yes, when this manic-eyeballed guy in a backwards baseball cap all but falls into the room. Everything happened so quickly, you see, and I wasn't really sure who this man was, but I looked over at the 20 or so folks in the audience and there they were, shaking their heads, rolling their eyes and chuckling. It was fairly obvious most of them knew this guy with his crazy, all-over-the-place eyes and his fingers flapping.

"Who is that?" I asked. The man looked familiar, but everything happened so quickly and, of course, my mind was focused on having a good time & a good reading.

"I think he's somebody's uncle," one of the nearby attendees said. "Only not really their uncle. I read something about it on some website."

"I'm fairly certain he's not my uncle," I said. I looked around. I quickly asked each person in the room if the man was their uncle. Most of them, the ones who heard me, anyway, shook their heads and laughed. I was certain I'd seen this man before, but where and when? Surely, my 1960s excesses had gotten the best of my selective recall.

I decided to confront the man, to inquire how, when and why we may have crossed paths. I left my seat, but he was already on his way out. He wasn't happy about being on his way out, and he attempted to make some sort of scene. I figured he must have done something somewhere sometime to have initiated the chain of events I was now remembering, but I suppose at some point in every story each of us will be or has been on his/her way out ...

Alas, nothing. My mind = cheesecloth. Who is this person? Why does he keep turning up at these events, claiming the world is out to get him? Is this your uncle?

Then again, I s'pose we ought'n't pay it any mind. Every family has one.

(the following appeared, ever so briefly, in either an email sent to a listserve, or on a website ... I'm not sure. I don't really care, but I just got a bit off my chest in which I mention it, so go on and read ahead & be sure to check out the link in the post title, too)


**Fri Oct 3: St. Paul's, 2215 W. North Ave, Todd
Heldt, Kristy Bowen, Scott DeKatch and Kurt Heintz
will fart chanel number five in what promises to
be the snob fest of the year, 8 - 9:30 PM. Given
Charlie Newman's dislike of Christians, it's odd
that he chose a church as an alternative venue
after the DvA closed, but what is even odder is
how he has completely abandoned the notion of
"mixing it up" to present this celebration of
sameness. He once joked that he wanted to throw
together a show of poets who hate CJ Laity, and
sure enough his vision has come to fruition with
this pearly white event, which will feature four
of the most stuck up individuals to stink up the
poetry scene. I'm not sure if the joke is on the
poets or on himself, but he could not have chosen
a clearer example of Chicago's poetry borg. Todd
Heldt was taught that there is only one style of
poetry that is acceptable and that style just so
happens to be his own. The last time I saw that
do-nothing Kurt Heintz was years ago when he
bombed with a piece about being a "gay man in a
burka". Huh? Kristy Bowen recently savored her
little malicious bout of CJ bashing at her blog
and no doubt earned some brownie points from the
hate club for doing it. And Scott DeKatch doesn't
think poets should pool their money to publish a
book or to put on a fest, but he has no problem
paying Kinkos to publish his own work. Donations
will be solicited for the church

04 September, 2008


off-topic freewrite on a bus

that fat, old sun, She’s
a blood orange peeks out from
behind chalky clouds
traces their purple
as if they were islands &
She core of the earth
lightbulb in a globe
bought @ a novelty shop
$10 or less
& dies in the W.
to become the catalyst
for all religion
the childhood rhymes my
granddad sang, “sailor’s delight”
that old world voodoo
the herbs collected
for mojos by my granny
roots, essential oils
that 3rd eye, she sd.,
back of her head. She was born
her parents’ kitchen
Ambridge, PA, in
1911, same yr.
as the last rivets
into the iron
of that great unsinkable
the crown’s Titanic
Gigantic Empire
& the boat was long – the songs
from Tin Pan Alley
to celebrate her
this ironclad Jesus or
a 2nd coming
of old Viking Studs
blue-eyed Injuns forced loveborne
before Columbus
I went to the store
& bought a pint of Gordon’s
went home to the news
on the internet
& outside the impending
southerly storm clouds
The president hid
I met the new same old boss
hurricanes formed &
fell into the land
the candidates huddled &
made nice on TV
there was a vacuum.
it swallowed us all, taking
less time than The Bomb.

-2 Sept., 2008

16 August, 2008


The war machine looms & thunders overhead. It's a nice weekend to get out of town, but I have to work. This air and sea show, and this Lollapalooza, you see, are great marketing tools for realtors selling timeshares just up the road in Lake Geneva or over across the way on Michigan's W. shore. Your own private beach, folks, to escape straggling mouthbreathers in town to see some ho-hum spectacle for the first time ...

The Lollapalooza thing, yeah, uh ... I keep thinking what a *great* lineup this year's (which also seems to be pretty close to last year's) would have been 15 years ago. You'd get Uncle Tupelo instead of Wilco. You'd get Radiohead when they were just some really good rock band with two really good albums. Then again, when we were kids we weren't really of the $5-for-a-bottle-of-water-to-see-washed-up-acts from-the-mid-90s demographic, were we? I suppose some of us are now, but it's like this account I once read where a guy goes to see Elvis in '77 and opines, "if you half-close your eyes and let your imagination roll, you just might catch a hint of his 1958 self ..." I think I see the devolution of this festival into what it now is as one of the great failures of my generation, or something like that, home in Chicago, the world capital of silver-colored hucksterism.

18 June, 2008

this is the week, it was ...

wednesday …
hit on by a man at a 4am bar who’s apparently impressed by my rugged good looks & the way I wear a ringer tee. I normally don’t patronize after-hours establishments so late, perhaps because of the crazies, and I usually don’t mind being hit on by anyone as long as they’re not outwardly aggressive about it. However, when you start telling me, in graphic detail, all the things you would like to do with/to me upon getting me home, well, that’s just creepy, and that’s where this’n’ is going. I gather from his demeanor he is what some would call a “top.”
“I gather from your demeanor you’re what some would call a top,” I say.
“Why yes,” he says. “I am a top.”
“You see,” I say, “it’ll never happen. I’m also a top.”
This prompts a good chortle from the friend I'm with, who reminds me I’m really not into men & why didn’t I just tell him that -- I suppose sometimes it’s just better to let ‘em down easy …

near the end of my work day a client breaks the news to me Tim Russert has just collapsed & died. I’m still pretty miffed about Bo Diddley’s passing a couple weeks prior, but at least I suppose we saw that one coming. Russert was just so vibrant and still relatively young.

ordinarily, I take the passing of public figures I’ve never met with the proverbial grains of salt, if even that. These were a touch more personal. I’m a guitar-slinging rock musician who also did quite a bit of politicking and somewhere in between dabbled in journalism. In other words, I suppose I was a pretty big fan of both guys.

On Bo’s passing, I felt a lot like I felt when Carl Perkins died. Similar stories, I guess – good old boys who basically invented this art form, rock and roll, and who never really got the credit (or compensation) they deserved. Bo was playing to the masses & helping the homeless until a recent stroke had sidelined him. I was sad for a good while. He walked 47 miles of barbed wire, wore a cobra snake for a necktie.

On Russert, well, what can I say? Meet the Press is one of the only shows I have never really missed. I don’t even have a TV these days & I don’t miss it (gotta love those streaming rebroadcasts). The guy’s humility & enthuisiasm made him a member of everybody’s family. I mean, my friends & I can be pretty damned jaded & pretty much the minute that news broke the texts started to come in. It was sad as hell watching an entire network news team struggle through thursday night and even worse watching Brokaw & co. attempt to hold it together on Sunday. He loved his rock & roll & his hometown sports teams & would rather shoot the shit over beers than guss it up at some white-tie event …

My mum’s visiting from Ohio, so the plan is to do tacky tourist things, like get deep dish pizza. There’s a great place around the corner where you can get a large pie and a pitcher of beer for $20, but she insists upon Uno, even though she could drive the 50 minutes or so to Pittsburgh for the same thing whenever she desires. Sigh. It’s, OK, though, because it’s Mum and I haven’t had a good pizza in a while. I’m wearing a t-shirt with one of my old bands on it & the hostess asks me about it & I’m temporarily struck w/this weird nostalgic sense of failure until I realize I’m still keeping on musically.

saturday …
I’m playing a U. Utah Phillips memorial/benefit at the Heartland. I have mixed feelings about the venue. It spins itself as some hotbed of leftist populism, but it’s, like, $15 for a freakin’ hamburger. Apparently, the part of leftism about sharing the wealth lost its way somewhere s. of Lunt St. It’s a noble enough cause, though, and turns out being a good time. One of the other performers has engineered for Dylan & the Band. There’s a good us v. them feel to the night. I didn’t realize other performers would play their own songs, too, so I just play songs Utah used to. It’s still pretty cool to get any audience singing along to “Dump the bosses off your back.” Anyway, I’ll get to play several of my own on Fri., 20/6 at the Horseshoe (insert shameless self-plug here). Somehow, Larry Dean is part of both gigs …

sunday …
as mentioned already, I come pretty close to tears watching today’s Meet the Press. Maybe it’s my hangover. Maybe it would be better if it were football season already. Mum gets to the airport & back home intact. I take a long walk.

monday …
I give a guitar lesson on mondays. This student’s more of a friend, so we usually wind up having drinks, shooting the shit, making a night of it. We’ve both had out-of-town guests for the weekend & are both pretty tired, but it’s a good time nonetheless. She relates the story of how this morning at 5 she was awakened by the noise of two men beating up some woman in the deserted lakeview dawn. Another Pleasant Valley Monday.

tuesday …
On the s. edge of the abandoned cemetery now called Lincoln’s Park, I notice some dork on a Ducati gunning his engine so as to prompt his female passenger to grab him tightly. This inspires a song I write in about 5 minutes & call “Hesitation St.” It’s a Petty-meets-Elvis Costello thing in my own head & more than enough to shake the funk of a hundred lousy weeks.

01 June, 2008

ok, addressing the real politick

I had a pretty good Saturday. Spent the beginning of the day watching the DNC Florida/Michigan hearings and the evening at the Gallery Cabaret rocking out to my friends, We Make Thunder. But back to the earlier part of my day:

I tend to agree with the notion that changing the rules in the middle of game is cheating. I'm also beginning to see the Clintons as sneaky, ruthless cheaters and sore losers, if I didn't already sort of see them in that light. Your goal is to oust the party in power, one who you believe stole an election -- committed voter fraud, essentially, to install itself, and you belittle your best efforts by stooping to essentially the same level.

I posted the remainder of this entry to Lynn Sweet's Sun-Times blog on Sen. Obama divorcing his church. We'll see if she greenlights it ...

I don't understand the assignation of the word "hate" to this church, Rev. Wright, Fr. Pfleger, Michelle Obama, et al. I don't grasp the American right & those Clinton-backers who call out anything uttered by any of these folks as "unamerican." We are a nation founded in dissent -- armed revolt, to be more specific. We are also a culturally/economically/ethnoracially divided people, a nation of opressors and the opressed. Nothing said by Rev. Wright was 'unamerican' so much as it reflected the way a good number of Americans feel about certain issues. Nothing said by Fr. Pfleger was untrue. I suppose if one has lived a sheltered life, and/or a more privileged life than a good number of us, they may not understand or be able to look at a bigger picture, through the eyes of the oppressed.

It's a sad commentary on our nature -- our system, too -- when public servants are strongarmed into renouncing any person or institution whose opinions may or may not offend a few people. As far as any of us who cannot speak for him can tell, Sen. Obama disowned Rev. Wright and his longtime church out of perceived political necessity. Rack up one for the flag-wrapped reactionaries and a loss for free speech.

well, that's it. I had to go and get all sociopolitical on j'ass (j'ass, btw, being a derivative of "your arse," is the basis for the word "jazz," as in the boppin' music would likely find you, "shakin' j'ass..." THAT is an entirely different story).

31 May, 2008

I think I lost it -- lemme know if you come across it

I'm always losing things. Normally, said things are books or CDs. Predictably, if I replace these things, they will disappear again. Now, I have possessed some items nearly my whole life, but it's as if some jack-ass external and possibly supernatural force doesn't want me to have certain items. It's usually an ex who winds up with these things, either via thievery or dumb luck, but they are always the same items go missing. These include, but are not limited to, copies of The Sun Also Rises, The Book of Nightmares, Being There, A Hard Days Night and a People's History of the United States. To cope, I replace the books with used paperbacks (they, too, will disappear) and have replaced the music with burned and borrowed tracks from friends.

Reading over the above paragraph reminds me I should have coffee before anything else any morning, and await my home-raid from the RIAA brownshirts. Those are other stories.

26 May, 2008

that long train west

I am currently without TV or home internet access. It's been a long holiday weekend and I've been a bit removed for the past few days from current events. Accordingly, it was in an email received this morning I was informed of the passing of Utah Phillips. He was a giant in american folk/protest music, though apparently not giant enough to get an obit into the likes of The New York Times or any of those mainstream presses.

I suppose Utah's a guy most of us who work in words & music should know of, though it can take a good, knee-skinned climbing of that old family tree to get to his work. He's been covered by Tom Waits and Waylon Jennings, and nominated for a grammy for a spoken-word and guitar album he recorded with Ani DiFranco in 1995.

I'm pretty sure that Ani collaboration was my first introduction. Mid '90s, some carloaded road-trip with my ex and three friends to some concert in Cincinnati and one of them brought a 'utah and ani' cassette along. I have since become familiar with the man's music, but the one thing still ringing in my ears goes back to that August day. It was a rough and sticky trip -- my girlfriend's car had overheated and we were literally on the verge of pissing into the radiator on the side of I-75 to limp the remaining 20 miles or so to our destination. At some point before or after we were listening to that tape & Utah was rhapsodizing on the bankrobbers of the great depression, on how so many americans back then looked to them as heroes. After all, they stuck it to the very banks who had foreclosed on so many homes, farms, dreams ...

All of this is going through my head about an hour after walking up N. Lincoln Ave., where H-wood folks have redone its 2400 block to look something like it may have in 1934, when G-men chased a man they believed to be John Dillinger down an alley outside the Biograph Theater and shot him in the back. This hulabaloo for a new blockbuster movie with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. I've not read the screenplay, but have skimmed the book, which comes off as at least mildly pro-G-men ...

All of this on a day when politicians spout talking points on remembering fallen soldiers. That's all well and good, but somehow I'm stuck thinking also of folks who died fighting for other things we take for granted -- an eight-hour work day, job security, a livable wage ...

25 May, 2008

gallery cabaret freewrite

for s.m.

always a ghost
on the piano
& the departed I knew
too many already
the smoke eater
cracks over a low point
of Thursday’s open-mic, Waiting on a Friend
played badly though
apropos & now a piece
about the ‘muse,’ a notion
I fail to grasp
apart from old myths. We’ve broken up
w/our others
this week &
why else to meet
for beer &
whiskey &
comiserate. The bar closes.
I walk her to the Blue Line.
I want to kiss her
& she tries. I hail a cab
home to Edgewater.

under the loyola el pkg. goods freewrite #

you were telling me
about yr. dream, the one
begins you wake

@ his place
preoccupied w/leaving
to feed yr. dog

& put off cleaning
write something
go shopping

but he’s not there
when the guests
begin to arrive

uninvited, the couple
fucking in his pantry &
univ. colleagues

their theses
sounds like

… yr. overwhelmed, I offer
by the lot of it
it’s late

we’ve nursed liters of wine
watching Jeunet in yr.
living room in un-

folded camping chairs
Wed. night rocking
back in them, taking turns

our mutual, amateur
shrink game you sd.
there were eels

in yr. suitcase
I noticed
yr. boots

on the dumpster
& the snow
hits yr. window

I remember Kinnell’s Book
of Nightmares, his
2ndhand shoes

(each star, ev’ry
1, see
is a magnet.

& the gravity
of these chairs
finds us

in our 30s, here
to sort thru
timing &

years &
just what) I’m

singing Dylan
to myself
at the bar -- I wouldn’t

worry about it none, though
those dreams are only in yr. head.

fake Campbell McGrath pome

I slept in
S made coffee & eggs
I checked the weather online
it was warm
for Jan.
I ate my breakfast
I packed lunch
(an apple, 2 peanut butters on wheat)
I went outside &
it felt like spring
I was late for work
the el smelled like human piss
there was a shakedown
at the bughouse
across from the library, 2 homeless guys on a bench
fingered by bike cops for booze
in a soda can & forced
to dump it. One walked away.
The other slept on a bench.
The rich took their dogs inside.


mister moustaches ...

Went friday night to a friend's "moustache party." As can be surmised, this event asked each attendee to arrive wearing a moustache/moustaches (whether real or fake). It was a good time. I opted for a small soul patch, as actual moustaches make me look like some sort of cop or football coach or hapless third-world dictator ... not enough for the party's organizer, however, and within minutes I was bestowed with a dollar-store paste-on moustache of the handlebar/Snidely Whiplash variety. I enjoyed wrinkling my upper lip to make it appear alive, like any good silent film villain. Soon, though, I had to remove it, as it was causing quite a nasty allergic reaction. Apparently these things are made of asbestos ...


Saturday, some good friends from the poetry thing had a cookout. I rode the 76 bus west to the 9 south to the 72 then a-way, way west to their cute house in Humboldt Pk. Something about the aroma of real charcoal smoke and meat ... It was a good crowd, fairly eclectic, and the food was out of this world. I was pleasantly surprised with my friend's concocted 'rattlesnake shot.' OK, well, she didn't invent it so much as she introduced it to me, but it was quite good & quite potent. German cherry brandy, canadian whiskey & sweet & sour mix, so a sort of play on a whiskey sour or something like that ....


I was going to write a longer, thought-out treatise on the state of american politics, the so-called vice-presidential shortlists that have found their way into the mainstream media. What really could I say or do, other than to quite boringly & boorishly inject my own two cents into an already overloaded fountain? Next time, next time.

23 January, 2008

Fox Elegy

for Jim Phillips


the curving valley
of the turgid, septic Fox
where once the mallard

water'd w/the deer
& the
dwelt before the Fox

Indian arrived
displaced by the division
of the Beaver Wars

the intervention
of the French an early glimpse
the staid strategy

of the white man, the
capitalists, to divide
then to make extinct

like the Indians
the winding river nearly
flooded completely

w/blood of small game
hunted for sport, those natives
killed for manifest

trappers' blood the bad
deal arguments gone down in
a right bloody mess.


was in a classroom
some town on the river in
the 1960s

called out by students
adopted its moniker
& became The Fox

to catch the dumpers
unawares -- all Errol Flynn.
You were not John Wayne

tho' even some cops
enamored w/the river
& yr.

tipped you off to stings
got away like those ill fish
nobody could eat

carried, dumped gallons
their own acrid sludge back to
their meeting room floors

& rode off, untouched
The community gives back
the next day's headline.


in the summertime
over lunch in Geneva
at a beer garden

on now-cleaner shores
daytrippers get drunk &
ducks in the water

in their devoted
familial processions to
follow its current

lunchers get drunker
return to boats,
spinning for

here, in yr. back yard
nary a glass raised you in
yr. back yard.

05 January, 2008

Thoughts on Iowa's raucous caucus

I watched it on MSNBC, because you can't beat Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann getting all giddy over an election. Today's NY Times actually ran a good review of Matthews' coverage. The man is part wonk, part shaman, part belligerent barfly & I love it.

Earlier in the day, my mom (who is quite the anti-Bush, old-school, union-card-carrying democrat) asked who I thought would win, and I called it exactly as it turned out on both sides. I'm sometimes that good with NFL picks, but have never been with politics. Usually because my heart's on my sleeve.

Mike Huckabee reminds me of Kevin Spacey portraying a xanex-mellowed Richard Nixon.

I'd resigned myself to not really liking any of the candidates. Hillary plays dirty & is too conservative. Edwards talks a good game but something about him is so-o-o-o-o-o-o plastic. Obama doesn't say much (though he says it well). Biden's a loose cannon,. Dodd's smart (albeit too conservative). Richardson seems clueless half the time and Kucinich and Gravel are just plain silly ...

But, I must admit, I was a bit overcome by some sort of very good feeling when Obama won it and did that so handily. I don't think I'd have felt that way were it any of the others, and I don't remember feeling that way about *any* election's outcome -- let alone one small caucus. For a brief moment, maybe I felt good about the U.S. Who knows?

BTW, if you know & love Mark "Mark" Antonelli, it's his birthday today. Spank his arse.