Sunday, January 31, 2010


i love them because:
they laugh and cry
they believe in fantasy
they say the most important things...
i miss children

children have runny noses
dirty hands
hearts as big as texas
and dreams i can't imagine
i miss children

they have boundless amounts of energy
they respond greatly to the smallest amounts of love
they like animals and ice cream
clouds and sunshine
i miss children

my child is all grown up
she is very busy
i call her less
i cannot bother her
i don't want to intrude
i miss children

maybe someday
she will give me
a baby boy or girl
i wont be too busy
like i used to be with her
because, I miss children


it's gone baby
yeah, it is
no more free lunch
see it end at your local theatre
see dollars being spent for all the wrong reasons

"you owe me...i want...i need"!
this is the lament
it comes from the rich
it comes from the poor
no more American dream
it is broken
like a raw egg dropped on the sidewalk

you can't put the pieces back together
America...a humpty dumpty
done in by:
and the lack of a work ethic

see the masses sucking at the teat
the dead cow was once known as the land of the free
home of the brave
it was only good when it was corn fed
my America
rest in peace

Saturday, January 30, 2010


it stinks in here
another midnight shift
endless.......heavy cartons
stacked, dropped, out of cadence...
as the red-haired, red-eyed boss yells at me

it happens all the time
my cigarette smoke doesn't have the nerve to move...
in this dank, humid, stale, trailer
i've had it with this
stinking sweat

calloused hands of a worker
mind of a poet
guts of a sparrow
a madman at twenty-one
too young to know the angles
too old to keep on going

my soul is warehoused
with all the others
the machine hums
it grinds us up
like hamburger meat
each tomorrow is the same

the weekends are desparate
booze, broads, searching
for what?
i don't know
the urinal smell
come celebrate!

this is the dance of a warehouseman
a song for the bent of back
the muscle of the city
while the rich sleep and bitch about taxes
we weep
we are the warehousemen

Friday, January 29, 2010


She was a summer lover.
We shared a short romance.
I met her in a hallway as keys entered separate doors.
Shared cocktails, eventually led to more.
There was an easiness of manner about her.
She was almost ethereal.
Fine red hair, alabaster skin, a lithe, thin body...
and full lips which smiled broadly at me, when I amused her.
She was slightly older than I, and had a sister...
who no longer loved her husband.
We visited them, and blessed our good fortune.
One day, while driving to work, Joanne suffered a brain aneurysm.
She survived the crash, but died in the hospital the next day.
I never attended the wake or funeral.
At the very least, I owed her a few minutes of my time.
To celebrate her memory.
That fine red hair, that alabaster skin, and especially those full red lips...
which smiled at me, when I amused her.
I carry my sin of omission for all these years.
I pray to thee dear Joanne.
Forgive me.

from "The Journey, Memoirs from a South Side Chicago kind of Guy"
available on Cronborg

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Icicles hang in the drop shaft, like dead man's fingers.
My rubber boots are slipping as I negotiate each rung of the iron ladder.
My fingers freeze to the rungs, making my hands useless.
Down...down...down...I go, into the pit of dampness.
I think to myself, "This winter work ain't worth it".
"I could be in the tavern".
Unemplyment compensation is looking better and better.
Maybe I can figure a way to get laid off.
I get on the frozen dinky, and lay down next to the battery box.
My rain suit freezes to the damp cold metal.
I advance to the heading where it's warm.
This is where we mine clay.
I smell 90 weight oil, bentonite and cigarette smoke.
Robin, the mining machine operator greats me with a smile.
He hands me a joint, and says, "Mornin' ya'll". "Yah ready to start mining"?
Yeah, I'm ready, as I draw in the hallucinagen which will make my morning,
and my hangover managable.
When they are full, I take the boxcars out to the shaft.
The cold fucking hooks from the crane freeze my hands.
I throw lumps of clay at the pipe-jack man.
We laugh, talk, and look at girlie magazines, until the cars come back down.
We will be seeing our busty bartendress in eight or ten hours.
We all eat on the fly, with dirty hands.
We work through lunch.
No-one wants to stay an extra half-hour in this cold, dank, misery.
I'm soaking wet and cold in my rainsuit by noon.
In tunnel life, you're freezing cold one minute, and sweating like a dog, the next.
Shoveling spoils makes you sweat.
Now, there's only two hours left.
My body aches.
I long for a shot-and-a-beer.
I want to sit in a warm, dark place with music.
I want to look at a healthy set of knockers with my half-closed eyes,
as she bends over the speed rack of bottles.
I always say I'm only going to stay an hour.
Then I stay 2 or 3, or more...and end up driving home drunk, with one eye open.
I need to focus now.
I kiss my family. They've already eaten their dinners. Mine is cold.
I microwave it. It's dried out, but it tastes good to me.
I shower the freezing cold out of my bones, and set the clock for 4 a.m.,
to work another winter's day.
This wretched life comes to own you, in the winter tunnel.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


i practiced on a ukelele
till my fingers were bleeding
it was in the late 50's
i was 10 years old
i graduated to a cheap guitar
with a buzz box

by the time i was 17 i had my fender
with the marshall amps
i was gigging in chicago clubs
the vibration is the thing i remember most
going through my body
primitive ritual

i love being on stage
smokes and drinks
i listened and learned the chicago blues
i listened a lot to the paul butterfield blues band
mike bloomfield, muddy waters, johnny winter,
it was raw, mississippi, delta driving blues
i had it in my soul

i added the driving riffs
we played lincoln avenue and old town
i played portland oregon when disco was king
we played to disco crowds with the chicago sound
and brought the houses down... goddammit!
the smoke, the glory, the adulation, the drinks
we had it all

it never leaves your soul
the art, the love, the being,
the music, the poetry, the togetherness
in this whole damn lovely world
we, the creative ones, are all live on stage
till the day we die


i was a drunk
i was a coward...sometimes.
i was irreligious
a rake
a fake
Yet, they depended on me.

i gambled
i womanized
i snored
i hated
i spewed
i laughed
i knew
Yet, they depended on me.

i struggled
i worked
i lied
i smirked
i haggled
i professed
my life was sometimes
a mess
But, they depended on me.

i made it so very far
over many roads
it was bizarre
i hung in
it is true
i did it
for you
Because, you depended on me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Across the Nation...
It's a new sensation...
no procrastination,
It's our salvation!
a reincarnation...
It's called damnation.

Souls flutter here.
Minds flutter there.
There is no logic.
Nobody cares.

Mannequin faces...
push the broom.
Future progeny infect the womb.
They're all damned.

Silly girls purchase expensive shoes.
They sing the blues.
They damn infected fast-food meat,
then kill themselves with ten-dollar Martinis.
They drink in fancy nightclubs.
They think they are saving the world.
They are damned.

Only the foul-mouthed, degenerate wino...
of tattered form, has any cognition of "the norm".
It's neither here-nor-there.
It's fleeting at best.
The beaten don't care.
They are the best of us...
for they are honest in their damnation...
In this damn nation.

Monday, January 25, 2010


It should have read:
"Born to Raise Hell", or "Born to Ride",
or born to do anything for Chrissakes!
But born to dye????
What was this guy?
a faggot hairdresser in biker garb?
He sat next to me in a dusty biker bar.
We were somewhere near Cody, Wyoming.
I had been on the road for a long time.
I was dusty and feeling mean.
He was a big-assed dude.
He had long greasy hair and tattoos all over his arms.
He wore colors on his vest, and I put him at about 50 years of age.
He stood at least six-foot-four, and was a burrito away from 300 lbs.
Ironically, the guy owned a boys face for a mug!
He had missing teeth when he smiled at me.
It was hilarious...I liked him right away.
We got to talkin', and bought each other a few shots and beers.
The jukebox was playin' that gawd awful country western twang.
Surprisingly, the bar started hoppin' in mid-afternoon.
I was tired from riding my Harley.
I rolled up a thousand miles the day before...
and bedded down in the cheap motel, next to the bar.
Back to the story.
The guy's name was Felix.
Not only did he have a dumb ass tattoo, but the name of a cartoon character!
When I asked him about "Born to Dye", and why it was mis-spelled,
he went into a rage.
I thought he was going to kill me!
Instead he looked me straight in the eye, and said:
"You sure it ain't spelt right?"
I said: "I'd bet my life on it, pard!"
He got up like real fast with a rage in his eyes!
I asked him where he was goin'.
He says: "Back to the damn tattoo parlor!"
"Im gonna' kill the guy who did this to me!"
After he left, I had one more shot and beer.
I thought and I thought, and decided to check out of my motel room.
I wanted to put some miles between me and Felix.
There was another adventure down the road,
I hoped it had big tits.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


We're all waiting for something.
Maybe it's a phantom that's gaining on us.
A late unemployment check.
A shot and a beer.
Or for that special someone to get sober.
We wait for "that big break".
A good meal.
A warm place to sleep.
We wait, while we smoke our cigarettes.
We wait for our lovers to clean their crotches.
We wait for good sex.
We wait for the darkness to come...
and we rant and rave.
We wait for madness.
We expect it to come.
But it never does.
We wait to be redeemed by a deity.
We wait for a messiah.
A politician.
They never come.
We are not saved in time.
We wait...and wait...and wait...
So we are bored to death.
To tears.
To distraction.
We take no action.
We wait.
We wait for meals to come in restaurants.
We wait for Holidays.
Then we wait some more.
Finally we wait no more.
The die is cast.
We kiss our ass...


Sometimes I just want to give up.
The pain becomes too great for me to bear.
More bad news comes every day.
I find I have to force myself to pray.
I know I have to carry on.
I must be a man, accept my fate.
Im just tired, I have to wait, for better news.
Deny the blues.
People depend on me.
Do not fear your destiny.
Be an example of acceptance.
No victim or whiner will I be.
Do it for your family.
But can't they see?...
I'm just tired.
Maybe with these printed words...
My luck will change...
It sounds absurd.
For my luck was good...
And now it's time,
To figure out new paradigms.
What makes me think I am immune...
To loss of health, the doom and gloom?
It comes and goes...
These madman's thoughts.
I shouldn't think.
I haven't lost.
I'm just tired.
*** from: "A spider in the corner of my mind"...available on

Friday, January 22, 2010


the desert
dry winds
something is mystical about this place
sitting on the outskirts of town
with a bottle of cuervo and a switch-blade knife
found in a landfill here
in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

i am gringo
a white man
an outsider
i don't belong here
yet strangely i find inner peace
this is where the great spirit
wants me to be
talking to pueblo, navajo, and mexicans
their ancestors dance in the light of their eyes

they do not forget
the horrors perpetrated
by the white man
i am respected
but not accepted
they know i know the mystical realm
but they are on a higher plane
through stories shared
passed down through generations
from father to son

i yearn for this knowledge
to be a part of it
strange mythologies
in this great land of peace.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


i look at them now. a woman's hands.
once they were calloused, strong, manly.
the scars are still there.
also age spots...i notice more every year.
once my hands stroked fair ladie's cheeks...
my hands have wounds from pulling cable...
on cranes and earth moving machines.
burns from oxy-acetylene torches...
it all reminds me of my workers life.
my skin isn't supple now.
it's made out of crepe paper.
a star tattoo remains.
an icon of manhood.
silly now...
i look at my hands.
i see them folded on my chest.
in a coffin.
no rosary, only a pen in a death grip.
i look at my hands...
dry in the winter.
they crack...and the wounds heal slowly.
my hands are cold.
bad circulation, i guess.
still, they are useful...
for petting cats and dogs.
holding babies and flowers...
for stroking my wife's cheek...
or my daughter's fine, golden hair.
I look at my hands...
and wonder:
how will they look next year?
my hands.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I want a totem of our love.
I am a serial-killer Romeo.
I don't need to shrink your head...
and put it on my belt with the others...
I just want a totem of our love.
Don't be afraid of me.
Our romance is over.
It lasted as long as a prom dance.
You were my Cinderella, you know.
Maybe you can give me the little glass bird...
I gave to you, to put on your windowsill...
To catch the rays of the sun, in the morning.
This made you smile.
It made you smile more than the expensive diamond necklace...
I gave you to adorn your lovely neck.
You can keep the necklace.
I don't want your money.
I don't want your valuables.
I want to remember you.
I want to smell you.
I want to feel you.
In some way I want to own you.
I don't want your panties.
I think a handerchief with the smell of your perfume...
Will suffice.
I need a totem.
I am a collector of souls.
Souls which I have no right to claim.
This is my abberation...
My ultimate undoing in the game of love.
Give me the discarded prophylactic package...
Or the empty bottle of cheap wine we drank...
Before the words were said...
The words I said that broke your heart...
And made mine even blacker.
I want a totem to remember what once was.
Like a dead rose...
Pressed between the pages of a book.
Never opened.
Never read.
Never seen again.
I want a totem.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


yeah, gimme' some lovin' baby...
Spencer Davis Group...
rocked my mind and made me run...
wild in the streets of Chi-town,
with horseshoe cleats...
in 1965...falling on my ass on icy sidewalks.
Splitting those expensive shark skin pants...
bought from Smokey Joe's on Maxwell St.,
where you could still buy an honest hotdog,
or hear the blues.
Gone forever to mediocrity and big business,
and the University campus.
I remember burying bottles filled with my dad's Seagrams 7...
next to factory fences...for dance nights at "In-Motion" on 57th
and Kedzie Avenue.
Black leather jacket, ripped and torn...
pockets hanging off of it, like mail pouches.
Switch blades, and cars.
McDonald's for 15 cents.
Girls with beehive hair do's and black nylons.
440 Dodge Charger, Hemi.
All was good.
Yeah, gimme some lovin' baby.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The Gold Star Bar is located on Divison Street, East of Damen Avenue on the North side of Chicago. Rumor has it that the joint is haunted. Above the bar are apartments. Residents have told me that they have seen 'ghostly apparitions'...female ghosts in negligess...Yum! That would freak me out! Real women are frightening enough! Way back in the 30's, the Gold Star Bar was home to a number of nefarious ganster types. It's a fact that Al Capone occasionally had a drink in there. There were prostitutes who worked the bar, and the guys in the bar would buy a bottle, and bring them upstairs to the apartments, to do what healthy men do with working girls. The old wooden placard with the cup-hooks, that held the room keys, is still predominantly displayed next to the front door of the establishment.
The modern Gold Star Bar is owned by my friend, Mary Ann Reid. She is a sweet litle lady with eclectic interests in art and travel. She is my sweet Irish friend and benefactor....for you see, she owns a couple of my paintings and has had a couple of solo art shows for me in her bar. She enjoys a whiskey once in a while, which doesn't make her all bad! When I first met her, I was a raging alcoholic...and enjoyed the ambience of her bar many a night. While I was having one of my art shows, the day bartender told me that all my paintings were tipped and askew when she came in to start her shift in the morning. This freaked both of us out! She'd have to straighten them out every morning. The bar is vintage-deco and very beautiful. Dark hardwood surrounds the mirrors behind the bar and decorative motifs give it a special old world flavor. These bars are few and far between. The craftsmanship that went into their construction is absolutely priceless. When I am sitting at the bar, I feel as if I am being transported back to the days of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Gold Star Bar has a neighborhood feel to it. It is a true representation of what a Chicago bar should look and feel like, to an urban customer. I mean URBAN...not! Most young up-and-comers probably wouldn't notice its' beauty, because most young people have no sense of history these days.
I really believe that the Gold Star Bar is haunted. Sometimes, when I sat on my stool in there, the hair on my neck and arms stood up. The 'ghost-chasers' call this a cold spot, or maybe the ghosts were trying to communicate with me. I didn't like it one bit! Maybe the dead girls liked me, or their jealous 'johns' were trying to tell me to get the hell 'outta' there! The bathroom in the bar gave me the creeps a few times too! Sometimes when I was using the urinal, I felt like there was something standing in back of me. The doorway to the bathroom is really short by today's standards. People at the turn of the century weren't as tall as we are today. The outside of the building is as architecturally interesting as the inside of the bar. The ornamental design is beautiful in the exterior brick and concrete work.
I'm glad that Mary Ann Reid still runs the place. She just bought my Memoir, and tells me that she is enjoying it. She wants me to hang artwork at the Gold Star again this year. I think I'll take her up on it. Maybe I felt the presence of the 'ghosts', because I was drinking alcoholically at the times I sat at the bar. Maybe now that I'm sober, I won't be as susceptible to the power of suggestion. At least I didn't see any pink elephants! Hookers make better apparitions than elephants, any day of the week, in my book! Maybe now that I'm sober, all the ghosts have gone away.
*** from Chicago Stories and Other Thoughts from a Working Class Guy...available on

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The locker rooms were dark and musky.
They smelled of crotch-sweat and mold.
The benches had a hundred years of paint on them.
I suited up early for every game.
I pulled on my jock-strap, and inserted the tin cup...
which hopefully would protect...
my manhood.
I pulled on sweatshirts or jerseys.
I laced up my high-top spikes.
I then found my way to a stall.
I stuck my fingers down my throat...
and puked my guts out.
I thought, "Better here, than out on the field".
Never play a game with puke on your facemask or jersey.
Experience is a great teacher.
We taped our hands, ankles, and wrists.
We went through personal rituals and prayers.
We pounded on each others shoulder pads, and re-tightened them.
It was getting close to kick-off time.
The whole scene was getting more surreal.
Some of us withdrew into a Zen-like state.
These guys sat alone...It was wierd.
Some of these quiet-type guys were the meanest on the field.
These men metholdically visualized the beatings they hoped to inflict,
on opposing players.
Soon our nervousness whipped us into a frenzy.
Our team was chanting. Together, we jumped up an down.
Our minds were in a primitive place.
We were ready to uncoil and strike like venemous snakes.
The doors banged open and we ran onto the field.
The stadium was pulsating with cheers.
We felt like warriors.
It was awesome!
We were gladiators in ancient Rome!
This is universal.
This is fact.
Or is it myth?...No matter.
This is my duty...
For I was chosen.
*** from "Chicago Stories and Other Thoughts from a Working Class Guy"...available on

Saturday, January 16, 2010


They call me at all hours.
Moronic teenagers who mis-dial.
"Associations" for the Fraternal Orders of Police Departments.
Insurance Companies,
Doctors Receptionists,
and People from you past who you dont give a gawl danged hoot about!
The list goes on...and on....and infinitum.
They drive me freakin' crazy.
They always call when I am starting to sit on the porcelain throne,
or when I am jamming Cheetos in my pie-hole, with the clicker in my pudgy little hand, tuning in my favorite tv show.
Thank God I can see the call waiting # and name of the miscreants!
This is my power!
This is technology that is useful!
My acting/modeling agent insists on leaving me important messages about various auditions on my cell phone.
He is always getting pissed off at me.
I never make the auditions, because I rarely remember to turn on my cell phone and check my inbox.
I don't know how many times I have to tell him to call me on my land line.
I am at home facebooking, painting, or staring mindlessly out the window at bunnies or squirrels.
He's gonna' fire me, and then I'll have to find a bondfide talent agency for serious actors/and or models. I might have to buy me an official Screen Actors Guild union card.
I guess the telephone aint too bad after all!

Friday, January 15, 2010


The sun goes down. We 'pack' and hit our turf.
Our dramas unfold every night in Englewood, Marquette, or Humboldt Parks.
In Chicago.
The blue, flashing spy cameras are on us, like flies on shit.
We're hip to them though...a waste of taxpayer dollars...Don't they know?
A bottle of 'hootch', a joint passed around...
Somebody always playin' the clown.
This is street life.
There are bucks to be made.
Ho's to be played like a fine violin.
This is my life.
Newspaper vendors and various folk, huddle around a fire blazing...
In a wire mesh trash receptacle...
Songs are sung...violence is done.
Pop!...Pop!...Pop!...This is street life.
Storefront churches, laundromats, nail emporiums, chicken-'n-fish restaurants, taverns and social clubs, funeral homes...this is the 'hood'.
That I know.
Ain't no Walmart here...just people like me.
You don't want to come here after dark.
We sit on bar stools, listening to the same stories told a million times.
They go around and around like a broken record...
Talk of deaths, illnesses, assassinations, jail incarcerations, hot women, babies, welfare checks...
Unemployment compensation, jobs...but mostly the lack of them.
Desperate laughs-or-tears for desperate times...
This is the street life that I know.
Three double-cheese, an order of fries, a bottle of cheap bourbon and some 'blow'...Makes every night a Saturday, you know.
Someday I'll get out of here...
Get that big job...I won't have to hustle with the hustling mob.
I'll be righteous with a fine lookin' bitch.
Get wheels under me.
Won't be no glitch.
But, I'll never give up the street life.
This is my life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I felt the warmth of my mother's cheek.
I felt the warmth of the sun, as i lay in the prickly grass,
gazing in the sky at shapes of clouds, not a worry in the world.
I felt the grip of the Louisville slugger on endless days of baseball fields.
I felt denigration of youths laughing at my tattered jeans.
I felt rejection and isolation due to poverty and my father's alcoholism.
I felt talent rise within my breast, as I played music and read in my room.
I felt the hot breath of teen queens on my neck, at the drive-in movie show.
I felt the awe of being enveloped by the University machine.
I felt the rejection of the American mainstream business community.
I felt sweat, hate, fear, and hopelessness in a myriad of construction jobs.
I felt 'Big Man' heave his last breath of life in my arms...
as they pulled the boxcar off his battered body...
down in the crypt, known as Deep Tunnel.
I felt the deaths of my father, mother, sister, brother, and so many friends.
I felt my body deny me from too many bulldozers and too many cocktails.
I felt my innocence taken away by a John Wayne mystique, invented by the construction business.
I felt the last gasp on a Caterpillar tractor, knowing my lungs couldn't sustain my livelihood anymore.
I felt strangely liberated by my early retirement.
I felt reconnected with the essence of what is me.
I observed and felt more deeply the liars games.
I felt all the hurts of the world and let them go.
I felt my heart again.
I felt love for the right reasons.
I felt.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


My wife and I take the Metra train into the 'jaws of the beast' known as Chicago. We exit track #1 at the Ogelsby station. People are moving way too fast for my liking. Don't they know it's Sunday? It's supposed to be a day of rest! I fear they are going to knock me down. I should have brought my damn cane, for support. An added plus is that it makes a good weapon. There are cold, sixty-mile-an-hour winds today. They cut through my wife and I like a knife. What we planned as a fun trip, turns into a day of strife and pain. Chicago smells like shit. The sanitary sewers are leaking badly. Potholes are all over the streets. Bridges are falling apart. Instead of attending to infrastructure repairs, transportation needs, and overtaxed residents, the mayor is entertaining the International Olympic Committee. So much for government that works for the people. Real estate is high. Spirits are low. People are angry. Let's go to the show!
The senior citizen's reduced rate ticket is $9.50 at the AMC movie-megaplex. This isn't a reduced rate for me and my wife. Who do they think they're foolin'? I remember the prices of the so-called 'good old days', but then I decide to forget. The city of Chicago never smelled like shit when I was in my prime, many moons ago. I remember riding the street cars for a dime. When I was young, I liked to move fast. I ran down the city streets...looking for 'ass'. I smelled hotdogs and caramel corn, back in the day. The dead meat from the stockyards, was only a wind gust away.
The slaughter houses are gone...factories too...We make no products...flip a burger or two. No steel is produced...few industries left...The stock market is plummeting, I think I smell death...and the shit from the broken sanitary sewers of Chicago. Don't they know it's Sunday?
Back to track #1, for it's time to go home. What once way a joy, I do with a groan. Finally home, I fall in my chair...a Vicodin...a snack...a narcotic prayer...Ahhhh! After all, it's Sunday.

*** from "Chicago Stories And Other Thoughts From a Working Class Guy", available on

Monday, January 11, 2010


It's gone baby.
Yeah, it is.
Too many free lunches.
See you at the local theatre.
Scenes of tax dollars spent, for all the wrong reasons.
"You owe me...I want...I need".
The lament from the highest of the high, to the lowest of the low.
The American dream is broken like a raw egg.
Humpty-Dumpty is splattered on the concrete.
All the pieces are never going to be put together again.
Done in by corruption, laziness, perniciousness, perdition, and the lack of a work ethic.
The masses suck at the teat of the dead cow, once known as the land of the free.
It was the home of the brave.
It was so good, when it was corn fed.
My America.
Rest in peace.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Good Time Charlie's is a great watering hole. From four-to-seven p.m., every evening Monday through Friday they advertised a "happy hour". Happy hour in this Las Vegas establishment, allowed a guy to buy two-for-one Chivas Regal scotches for a mere pittance of a buck-and-a-half. This is top-shelf scotch, man! The buffet they set up was plentiful and free! This buffet included all kinds of lunchmeats, hot Swedish Meatballs, and prime cuts of hot beef. The smiling chef carved hefty portions for me from a huge hunk of cow. Breads, potatoes, desserts, and all kinds of other delicacies were displayed on the serving table with artistic flair.
I thought that maybe, the great artist Picasso was slinging hash in their kitchen! What a gorgeous canvas of food! I remember crashing weddings that didn't have a spread like this one! I was starving. I hadn't eaten anything since the plastic sandwich at O'Hare airport, and only ate peanuts and junk food at Frank's place the night before. I ate huge platefuls of everything that evening.
"Charlie's" had comfortable sofas and chairs scattered throughout the place to rest my weary bones. The lounge had a beautiful bar with two, huge, saltwater fish tanks. A clylindrical tube connected the tanks. The tube was about four feet long, and eight inches in diameter. A patron could sip his drink at the bar and languidly watch the brightly colored salt-water fish swim ffrom one tank to the other. The booze and beautiful fish helped created this wonderful, relaxed, hypnotic solitude in me. My mind drifted to some non-existent ethereal beach in the Carribean. I feared that if I relaxed too much, I might end up with my head on the bar. I guarded against this possibility, by reminding myself of what shame I would feel, being ejected hastily by some large, ruddy-faced, bartender.
The hookers in the bar were plentiful, and friendly as hell! This bar was way off the strip, and these girls weren't "Triple-A", but as the night progressed they all started looking pretty damned good to me! The old adage, "The girls always look prettier at closing time", holds true! If a guy played his cards right, he could bargain them down for sexual favors. Played-out hookers always welcome bargain basement prices late in the evening. That first evening, Frank and I were really tired after stuffing ourselves with the buffet. We both went home early, and hit the sack. I vowed to go back and party at this good, old bar named: "Good Time Charlie's".
A man can't beat a place where he can get drunk on top-shelf booze for pennies; eat a variegated, tasty buffet for free, and get laid, all for under a hundred bucks. I loved Las Vegas with all my heart. What wasn't there to love, about a place like this? I was in my element.

*** from "The Journey" Memoirs of a south side Chicago kind of Guy...available on

Saturday, January 9, 2010


She was a summer lover.
We shared a short-lived romance.
I met her in a hallway as keys entered separate doors.
Shared cocktails, eventually led to more.
There was an easiness of manner about her.
She seemed ethereal to me.
Fine red hair, alabaster skin, a lithe, thin, body...
and full lips which smiled broadly at me, when I amused her.
She was slightly older than I, and had a sister who no longer loved her husband.
We visited them and blessed our good fortune.
One day, while driving to work, Joanne suffered a brain aneurysm.
She survived the crash, but died in the hospital the next day.
I never attended the wake or funeral.
At the very least, I owed her a few short minutes of my time...
to celebrate her memory.
That fine red hair, that alabaster skin, and especially those full red lips,
which smiled at me, when I amused her.
I carry my sin of omission, for all these years.
I pray to thee, dear Joanne...forgive me.

*** from "A Spider In The Corner Of My Mind"
available on

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Death of Elvis

Elvis is still alive...I saw him at the gym this morning eating a jelly donut...He looks pretty fit for 75...He had that "Elvis snarl" as he pumped iron...It amazed me that he didn't break out in perspiration, and that he worked out in a tight body suit with gold chains and flared pants.
People who amaze us are still alive...Charles Bukowski is still alive for me...I laugh and weep when I read his words. I am on a mission now to read everything he has ever written...Quite a job!...I have 16 of his tomes, and need to purchase some 30 more, to have a complete collection. My dear friend, Mike James lost a dear friend to heart disease yesterday...My heart goes out to him...but his friend will live on in his memory.
Death is but a transition. Energy is released, and evolves into other forms...When I breathe my last breath, and evolve into something else, I am hoping to be reborn as Pamela Anderson's bicycle seat!...hmmmm...not bad huh!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sitting on the Edge of Darkness

Do not fear the dark
Make the dark your friend
What is unknown
is not always harmful

become yourself
the past is illusion
teach and learn
hell is an abstraction

fix the light bulb
in your mind
look at your children
and love them

take each dark day
and turn it into
a painting of light

make your dreams
someones light
take the dark of their lives
and transform them
into glowing angels

do not sit on the edge of darkness
rather, jump off
take a chance
for courage
and enlightenment

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The smell of popcorn and perspiration...Sweet smells of cotton candy...Customers pass the booths, and smell onions, hotdogs, barbeque, and cheap perfume. This is the carnival. Alcoholic, roadie-hillbillies smell of booze. They stand at their posts with jailhouse tattoos, red-eyed and dirty. They take tickets for the tilt-a-whirl with greasy hands, showing the dirt under their finger nails. They ogle all the giggling, baby, teenaged girls, who are just starting to pop some breasts. This is the carnival, abundant with wild-assed teenagers walking arm-in-arm. He wears a leather jacket, and sports a greasy ducktail hair-do that went out of style in the 50's. It's 90 degrees tonight. She proudly wears tight, hip-hugger shorts. She has pounds of cheap pancake makeup on her acne scarred face. Her white belly and pierced navel hang over the top of her jeans, straining to blow the button clear a bullet. Run for cover! She has heavy eye makeup, and too much lipstick on her mug. Her hair is sprayed stiff, just like the cotton candy.
This is the carnival.
People with no money to spare, play confidence games. "One more try, and you're gonna' win, I can feel it", the carnie says. "This is your lucky day"! The proud father walks off with a garish looking plush animal worth less than five bucks. No mind that it cost him a twenty to win. It's for the kid, by God! "Nothing is too good for my kid"!...This is the carnival.
People drinking cheap beer and wine, smoking joints in the parking lots...They go on the rides, they puke behind the generator trailer...They never make it to the blue, plastic, Johnny-on-the-Spot. No one saw them anyway. "Screw em' if they did"! The inane line up for another draft beer...This is the carnival.
Rock and roll is on the center stage...Electric guitars and huge sound systems are screeching and blaring, like wounded animals. Strobe, colored lights, and fog machines, add to the strangeness of the night. Sulfur burns everyone's lungs...(the leftovers from the 'awesome' fireworks display)...People are camped and cramped on the lawn, with moldy old blankets. They are beds for teenagers, dry humping each other. People are in cheap chairs bought from Walmart, or just plain sitting or laying in the grass or dirt, like farm animals. The music is much too loud. Feedback comes from the guitars, as young men cum in their pants. "Check one...check two...check...check..."...This is the carnival.
They all go back home, really late. They go to the factory job with a hangover, in the morning. The gas, electric, and cable tv bills are still lying on the breakfast table, unopened for three weeks...amidst other clutter.
This is the carnival.


from my 2nd book: "A Spider in the Corner of my Mind"...available on

You want to be a celebrity?

Just get some paint...
Some cheap brushes...
slobber it all around.

Hang it in some
Mom and Pop galleries.
Tell everyone you meet...
that "you are a genius".

They will believe you!
It's a Barnum and Bailey world, you know.
They'll buy the crap, if you talk the talk.

You won't make enough money to support yourself.
They'll buy you drinks, give you drugs, spread their legs.

Then you decide to write.
Life and times.
Egotistical mounds of monumental bullshit.

You learn that fame comes like piss in a urinal...
a trickle on a miniscule level.
The young girls listen to you...
starry eyed. You play them like a fine fiddle.
You put the twenty in your pocket.
Drinking money, for your next debauche.

Hangover tommorow, today, everyday.
Pleghm is brown...dry mouth...dank sweat coming
from every pore.
family saddened.
escape them.
close them out.
you hate yourself...
ah fame!

Surrounded by my "friends".
I've made it!
I am a celebrity!
I made the deal with the devil!

Daedelus told his boy Icarus:
"Be careful not to fly, too close to the sun".

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Comic

He travels a lot for gigs.
Marriage, for him, is out of the question.
His art is a fine obsession...
It's all to make the people laugh.
He practices facial expressions for front of
bathroom mirrors,
In seedy motel rooms...he writes monologues with verve,
no gloom...
He likes to light up a room with his material...
For you see...he is a comic.
He answers the hecklers, without showing fear.
He counters their barbs with put downs so clear...
He brings the house down.
The house doesn't see his angst, and sweat...
Pre-show jitters are always a threat...
He forges ahead without a regret...
For he knows he is a comic
Sometimes he enters silent clubs.
No one is there, that is the rub...
He gives his all...
He pretends he is playing Carnagie Hall.
He knows, there will be nights like this...
Getting drunk on stage, with nowhere to piss...
The nights he bombs are the worst...
His jokes are dead, his mind in a hearse...
Clawing and scratching, to get out of his grave...
Joke after joke, will not save the comic.
Year after year, success is more fleeting...
Age creeping up, he's taking a beating.
No money saved, no 401K, he sees only darkness,
a potters field grave.
Alone in his room, after the show...
There's always the whiskey, the whores, and the blow...
He'll ride the wave till it crashes down...
Leaving him a sad, old, clown.
He did it for the people, you know.
Night after night, he brought them his show...
Making them laugh, while on a roll...
He was a comic.
Now he eats hamburger, rather than steak...
The crowds aren't there now, it must be his fate...
He never gave up, he always stayed true...
He did it for me, he did it for you.

The Three Most Beautiful Words

i used to think
that the three most beautiful words
i love you

now i am gnarly and grey
hobbling along
in an elderly way

i have much to do
a sweet wife
to say many i love you's

but i must declare
the three most beautiful words
come from a scare

the mind won't comprehend
without being cancer free

so i say
the three most beautiful words
for me

is when i hear from my doc:
"You're cancer free".

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It Quit Working

The machine quit working
the machine of my body and my mind
they went on strike
organic rebellion

will is no use
entropic rebellion, I say!
universally predetermined decay
is the fate of us all

so raise your glass high
scream your diatribe
fight your wars
it doesn't matter anymore
it all quits working
in the end

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Hardness of It All

it should get easier
the madness and pain should desist
yet it snaps at my ankles
like a rabid dog

old age creeping up
new year isn't happy
it's just more of the same

it's all been done before
we just recapitulate worn out

i need to sing new songs
feel those juices of youth
keep on keeping on

maybe a spring sun will shine
for me and my contemporaries
blue skies and sensual warmth

new spirit to my identity
supple skin
a hard dick in the morning