Thursday, April 29, 2010


the more i think,
i must construe...
how much damn more,
i have to do!

i list one duty,
above all the rest...
to remove the angst,
from my pounding chest.

i feel relief, in a workman's way...
as i dispatch important priorities,
right away!
it is done...
i feel some relief...
until more of my dharma thoughts...
add to my grief.

i prioritize and act on these thoughts,
on all of my days...
i'm overtaxed, from my spartan ways.
i should "kick-back"...take a deep breath...
let things pile up.
i'd be lazy, happy, like a mindless schmuck!

but there's always something i have to do.
i'm a slave to my thoughts,
my needs, my "to-do's".

i guess this stress never goes away.
i must be duty-bound, from birth to the grave.
one thought gives me respite,
in spite of this rage.
i will leave something on earth,
to mark all of my days.
it may not be great,
it may not ring true,
but i did it for me.
i did it for you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


she left me here...
walked out the door...
she said few words...
nothing more.
i sat and peered...
at the clock.
i went about my business...
i was not in shock.
i told myself she would come back...
her company, i would not lack.
she had nowhere to go...
there was no denyin'...
i sat and waited...
i started cryin'...
the time went on,
i did not swoon.
i hoped that soon,
she'd enter my room.
i woke next morning...
no note was left.
her clothes were gone...
i had regrets.
she left me here,
and now i know...
she'd never come back...
i'd accept the blow.
for life goes on...
this is my fate.
she left me here...
i was too late.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It's cold in this room.
I am afraid.
I've had nothing to eat for days.
There is no work.
No one will have me, looking this way.
My teeth are wiggling in their sockets.
My heart is breaking.
I long for a family...but they are all dead now.
I remember warmth and beauty.
Wealth and good meals.
Wine and laughter.
These thoughts somehow sustain me.
I leave this room to beg.
I need to walk briskly, to keep from freezing.
There are terrible people out there.
They do awful things to me.
I wish them no harm.
They look through me.
I am a ghost.
I once read the Great Books.
I knew of Shakespeare and Kant.
I long for my healthy days.
Age comes too quickly.
I won't have to suffer much longer.
I am in much pain.
Something is broken inside of me.
My strength to fight has left me.
Sometimes, I think it is best to wait for the sub-zero.
I will go outside in the dark, after midnight.
The freeze will only hurt for a little while.
Then I will feel nothing...
I will be numb.
No more pain, will I endure.
As I gaze at the stars, I will think of God.
I will watch little puffs of breath.
I will remember my dear family,
and others who have loved me.
A smile will come to my face.
I will be at peace.
I look at the paintings of my life.
They weren't masterpieces.
My life is worthy to hang on most walls, I guess.
I must accept this.
My breath is more shallow now.
I imagine my sister as she was as a teenager.
She had such beautiful, golden hair.
Now, I see a mustard moon.
All is so beautiful, in this moment...
before I fall asleep.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


i'm in love with debbie.
my wife, my love.
30 years we have shared.
half of our lives.
through good and bad,
we have survived.
we were so young...
skin supple,
the passions raged.
so much in love...
we celebrated our youth together.
now there is sagging skin,
stiff legged walks,
where we hold hands,
and smile at each other.
now is the best.
now all is clear.
we gave life to a child.
she is a miracle.
we are so proud.
i want to suck in all the life,
that is out there.
i want to celebrate that life,
with my sweet wife.
for all the years to come.
happy anniversary,
my love,
my life,
my wife,
my friend,
my debbie.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Professional Hockey is violent and fun to watch. The intensity level comes up, when teams are fighting for the treasured Stanley Cup. I only watch the playoffs. I really don't understand all the rules of the game, but it doesn't matter. I love watching guys getting plastered by walloping checks. It's gotta' hurt...I mean HURT bad man! There's high-sticking, eye-gouging, fighting, teeth are knocked out, blood is all over the ice, jerseys are pulled over players heads, as guys pummel the shit out of one another! It's all-out war!

There's also a penalty box. This is the place where bad-boy, hockey players go for a quiet time. It's just like grammar school. I can hear Sister Carmella right now saying: "Sit down and cool off for a while, you bad boy!"

I also like the humor-and-sex in the beer commercials, between periods. Our Chicago Blackhawks are in the playoffs this year. I remember watching the old timers like Gordie Howe, Stan Mikita, and other guys who played the game in the old Chicago Stadium. We all would get drunk and stomp our feet. It felt like that old house would tumble down sometimes, it got so loud! In the old days, there were as many fights in the stands, as there were on the ice. We always went to Greek Town on Halsted Street, to Diana's or The Parthenon restaurants. We ate flaming Saganaki, and Braised Lamb Shanks, and drank Ouzo and beers. We always were pretty lit up, by the time we got into our seats at the stadium. The fella's would stop for a few more on the way home. Sometimes the guy driving the car would get pulled over, by one of Chicago's finest. Our driver always handed the cop a C-note, along with his drivers license. Usually the worst case scenario would consist of the cop taking the keys, and driving us to a 24-hour coffee shop, so we could eat breakfast and sober up. He'd come back an hour later, toss us the keys, and ask us if we felt better. We would thank him, and he would say, "Have a good night fellas', make sure you drive home safely, now." There was no such thing as alcoholism back in the 60's in Chicago. If you held a steady job, and supported your family, and didn't kill anyone, you weren't considered a drunk. Drunks were the guys who lived in flop houses on Madison Street, or begged from the gutters. We didn't have homeless people back then. We referred to them as "bums".

Damn! The Predators just tied the Hawks in the 3rd period. We really need to beat these bums! Let's kick some ass, Blackhawks! I wonder if the Nashville Predators have drawling Southern, French Canadian accents? Times sure have changed. Oh shit! The Predators just went up 4 to 3. One cool thing NBC showed after the 2nd period, was a Blackhawk player pulling a bloody front tooth out of his mouth! I've never seen a close up of this on tv before! The extraction of a bloody "chicklet" is worth all the time I invested in watching this game. It's under 4 minutes to go now, and the game is going at a fever pitch. The Hawks have to score, and are really feeling the pressure! They have to score for an overtime. They go to the empty net...geez! All seems to be lost. There's only 1:30 playing time left. Shit! Hossa gets a five-minute penalty! My God!...This is unbelievable...With 13 seconds left, the Hawks score! This is fucking unbelievable! Patrick KANE!!!!!! We go into overtime! Next goal wins the game.

As I mentioned before the Hawks have a 5 minute penalty. The Predators have the power play going strong, and they are really intent! The Predators are taking shot-after-shot, and I feel like covering my face...They are going to score...I feel it in my gut! We survive the penalty time, and get the puck. Marion Hossa immediately gets the puck and slaps in the goal!!! Hawks win! Hawks win! Hawks win! There's gonna' be a lotta' DUI's tonight, on the good old South Side of Chicago! The madhouse of Madison Street was rockin' this afternoon!

Friday, April 23, 2010


do you dig the bop, on the re-bop, pop?
yah gotta'!
be cool!
be a "scat-man", like Scatman Carruthers.
lay your lines down.
so dig!
you need a rig.
you need dat turntable shit.
get that equalizer and that panel with all the slides.
you won't know what the fuck ya'll be doin'...
but you'll look bad as hell, dawg!
and the chicks!
fella, do yah feel me?
start lookin' for a name, for yourself.
you can't be no DJ or rapper,
without a name.
how 'bout "Chillaxo"?
naw, that ain't fly.
I know!
yeah, dig it!
now start callin' the Clubs.
tell 'em you'll pack the house!
dem club jocks get "chops" for fillin' the House!
we'll print some flyers and put one on every post,
in the hood.
you'll be famous, dadio!
let's get things humpin' wit dis right now!
what you say?
you ain't got no money for flyers?
you ain't got no soundboard, no amplifiers, no turntable?
you been dissin' me with bullshit?
aw, man...why you been wastin' my precious time?
you a fool, man!
so, what do you want to do now?
i hear there's some smokin' bitches givin' a fashion show,
at Leroy's tap room this evenin'!
oh yeah, i hear yah.
i'm broke, too!
maybe we can shoot some hoops.
say what?
how'd yah lose your basketball?
sheet man!
you be a fuckin' looser!
i'm outta here!
i need to cruise to mah man, eddie's house.
now dat man has it goin' on!
plus, he has one fine lookin' sister!
dig yah on the re-bop, pop!
later, man!


I want to thank my union...
my brothers and sisters...
who continue the good fight.
these are desperate times in our country.
we need to stand up.
we need to be vigilante and be our own advocates.
we need to spread the word,
that we don't want scab companies in our state.
go back to texas, mississippi and wisconsin.
you made your own beds, now lie in it.
don't come here like vultures, looking for our work.
we will fight you, and win.
just like we have done in the past.
i want to thank Jim Sweeney, Dan Schrader, Kevin Flynn,
Brett Edwards, and all the other business agents, and
people I met at the Union Hall last night!
You are our future!
You made this old guy proud!
I am still proud to be a Local #150 man!
I am retired now, but...
I still keep up my card.
The money is well spent.
Spread the word...Stand up!
Wear your hats, jackets, and buttons.
We will prevail.
Truth and fairness always prevails in the end!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I'm taxed, I'm regulated, I'm counted by the census, I'm tired. I worked 33 years as a union man...My "Cadillac" health insurance is in danger...So is my pension. We have a 28% unemployment rate, for the unions in the state of Illinois...We get energy credits, cash for clunkers, and all kinds of deals, but my union brothers don't even have the money to feed their families anymore...I know, because I am going to donate to a food bank today, at the Local Operating Engineers Union Hall, in Countryside Illinois this afternoon.

I am told that I need to stay within the realm of "political correctness", with my verbiage. Othewise I might be considered a raving, fringe type, lunatic. Extreme conservatives and liberals proliferate in the vast flotsam-and-jetsam of the American unknown. The FDA, which is one of the government's spidery fingers is threatening to reduce the salt and sugar in all of my foods. For me, this is the last straw! We already have low or no sodium products to choose from on the food counters. What will this new edict cost the food industry? I personally have the right to choose what I want to eat, don't you think?

I suppose the next step will be "SOYLENT GREEN", or the nationalization of the toilet paper industry. How far is this thing going to go, "for our own good"???
I don't want to bail out wallstreet, bankers and insurance companies any more. I surely don't want to add to the coffers of spurious politicians who appear regularly on Entertainment Tonight, and so called, "Reality" tv shows!

I don't want Spanish as a second language, and I have no use for illegal immigrants...THEY ARE ILLEGAL!!!...They come from all over the world! Legal immigrants wait in line a long time to become United States citizens...I welcome them with open arms...These are the people who want to learn about the U.S. Constitution, and serve this country, not rape it for its wealth.

It seems to me, that the "powers that be", have no trouble re-writing our Great Constitution on the National and State levels. These new laws, pander to partisan interests.

What's the matter with God, Country, and Apple Pie???
Here's what's the matter:

1. You can't mention God anymore in America!
2. America belongs to the world economic community now, not to the generations of Americans who built it!
3. There's too much sugar in apple pie!

There, I've said it!
I'm politically incorrect!
And you know what?...I feel a helluva lot better! Buy American, save the Unions, and lets take care of OUR OWN!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


which I is I?...
I need the truth.
am I the guy who want's to fly?
or am I wanting to die?
my mind soars to many places...
tenacious, I am.
sometimes outrageous.
which I is I?

Am I the I who reaches for the sky?
Or am I the I who tries to deny his humanity?
my struggle persists.
I try to desist.
the question remains.
the conundrum exists...
with no new twists.
just the monotony of this question,
which wears my soul down.

I am the clown,
the fool,
who drools on his pillow cases at night.
I awake and it begins again.
which I is I?
before I die, I must know...
for this paradox delivers a blow,
to the very core of my being.

the answer will come at last.
i'll try not to be aghast.
when i find the truth...
of which I is I?...
my fevered mind, will find peace.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


it was all about flying kites,
playing marbles,
we had "pick up" games.
we didn't wear uniforms,
or have coaches.
there were no parents to please,
or yell at us.
we were on our own.
the kids decided the rules.
we did chin-ups and pull-ups in the park.
we ran on the old cinder track.
we built soap box race cars.
we garbaged picked Chicago alleys for neat stuff.
we cashed in bottles for bubble gum.
we rewarded ourselves for our work,
with bottles of old dutch root beer,
and chocolate-covered, frozen bananas.
there also were chores to do:
cutting grass, washing windows,
weeding gardens, and painting fences.
we never talked back to our parents.
we always listened to their rules.
i remember my mom giving me 12 cents,
for the good humor ice cream truck.
it rang its bell in our neighborhood at night.
I ran blocks to catch it sometimes.
i liked the raspberry-lime popsicles.
we ate as a family at dinner.
everyone had to be there.
we said grace before every meal.
we went to bed when our parents told us it was time.
we never argued because we were tired from exercise,
but we were happy.
in my day, most kids weren't out of shape.
we ate all the junk food we wanted.
we didn't have Ipods, video games, cell phones, or computers.
we didn't need them.
few of us need shrinks, or drug rehabilitation programs.
our parents would'a killed us!

Monday, April 19, 2010


she was a rich girl.
born into old money.
she barely graduated from high school.
she thought it "funny" to go to college,
but daddy fixed things.
she failed miserably..."who cares?", she thought.
she had too many flings.
but she tried.

next, she entered the world of volunteer work.
she gave it her proxy.
she denied all the work.
she didn't take action.
she lacked the moxie.
but she claimed: "I tried".

she married and divorced.
over and over again.
she never had children.
no family or friends.
she schemed and lied.
the wife and the mom thing...
just up and died.
but she tried.

she knew all the movers and shakers,
the actors, the phonys, the famous film makers.
she failed as an artist, an actress, a muse.
half-heartedly, she tried everything.
she had nothing to lose.
she got the blues.
but she tried.

the years slowly passed.
she traveled and partied.
not with much effort,
she was always regarded,
as somwhat retarded.
but she claimed: "I tried."

Age creeping up,
she tried botox injections.
famous salons, the latest inceptions,
of the healing arts, to no avail.
she grew lonely tired, old, and unwanted,
but she tried.

while on her death bed...
she pondered her life...
she had much of everything...
no real pain or strife.
but something was missing!
something not right.
she dispelled these unpleasant thoughts,
with all of her might.
after all, she tried.

she passed away...
in the finest conditions.
No one was there to deny her suspicions,
her feelings of ennui, loss, and regret,
were planted in her consciousness,
'til her last gasping breath.
her funeral was sparse.
few people showed up.
she never committed.
she never stood up,
but she tried.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


i try seeking the best in us.
the well turned phrase.
the athlete who plays,
at the top of his game.
a wife who loves her husband,
in spite of his flaws.
the artist who continues to paint,
with no regard to criticism,
or monetary gain.

the best in us comes from insight.
it comes from hardship and disappointment.
the best can't be inherited.
it must be earned.
sometimes the least is the best.
wealth often tends to blur vision.

when a child gives a dandelion to his mother,
she experiences profound joy.
when a man can accept the "bluebird in his heart",
he frees himself from worldly restraints.
when all things in ones life, both good and bad,
can be accepted as they are...
then the best emerges.

for the best in us is humility.
the best in us is compassion.
the best in us is forgiveness.
the best in us is acceptance.
and last but not least,
the best in us is love for one another.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


i press on...
because i am loved.
i won't sink into the abyss.
darkness is not for me.
i want to search for the light.

i press on...
when it all seems hopeless.
i search for meaning.
work hard.
never give up.
i must endure this pain.

for what do i have,
if i give in?
loss of self,
and ultimately, death.

i press on...
for myself.
to endure, i must be selfish.
to truly love,
i must love myself, first.
this is the honest way.

for no man has complete joy.
no man achieves perfection.
in pain, there is always hope.
the journey is what counts.
so, i'll live with the pain.
it can always be worse.
i'll press on.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


i like those smoky mountains...
those dive southern bars.
tattered confederate flags...
pinned against the wall, along with redneck hopes.
bloody history
i was in mauldin south carolina
a stranger in a strange land
i stole that...
no matter.
i was a damn yankee
a union man
that'll get you killed down there...
if you brag about it in the wrong places.
i ran a dozer
in easley...a lazy town.
the owner of the dirt outfit was my friend bob.
he paid me union scale.
the rednecks were jealous.
but i had skills.
they couldnt deny it.
but, there's a work ethic down south.
the men are leather faced.
their hands are calloused.
there aint no quit in them.
they love the flag...God, apple pie,
and they have red necks, white socks,
and pabst blue ribbon beer...
(i stole that)
they love nascar, hunting, fishing, and baseball.
most of the working men i talked to down there...
hate the unions as much as their fundamentalist preachers,
they think the union is the downfall of America.
i guess they don't know much about the peabody mining co.
or harlan county in west virginia.
they never read "the jungle", by upton sinclair.
they don't know the history of the chicago stockyards.
or the haymarket riots.
to some of them, we union men are pinko commies.
some of them, south of the mason dixon line,
came up here for work in the late 40's.
they found a better life through the union.
today, we union men aint too popular up north.
you see today, the powers that be, want to control everything.
union is about middle class.
our fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers,
fought and died for good working conditions.
we got a fair wage, for an honest days work.
when the unions go down the drain...
aint gonna be too many people to buy goods and services.
the whole damned capitalistic system is going to implode.
then we will exist in a slavery known as socialism.
the "haves" will have more...and we will have less.
this is why our forefathers left england.
they headed for america and australia.
they wanted: "TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION"!!!
we union men will stick together.
maybe we'll separate from socialist amerika.
maybe we'll start up a new democracy...
in montana, idaho, and wyoming...
we will be self sufficient...and protect ourselves...
because we are union men, and women.
don't laugh.
a storms a' brewin'.
it could happen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

GORDON WISCONSIN...from: "A Spider in the Corner of my MInd"...available on

It's way up there man! Somewhere around Hayward. Fifty-miles from Telemark, where they hold the famous cross-country ski race known as the Birkenbeiner. My friend Jake sold his tool rental business, and bought a big house with a tavern in the basement. He had twelve cabins for campers, and rented snowmobiles, bass boats, and fishing gear. He also sold worms, and beers. He owned a pontoon boat, a Piper Cub single engine plane, equiped with struts, and pontoon landing devices which allowed him to fly clients to all the lakes in the area, on up into Canada. He lived on the Chain-of-Lakes, and the view from his living room in the main house was breathtaking, and spectacular.

In the morning, we drank 100-proof Wild Turkey bourbon, chased by Leinenkugel beers in the bottle. We'd go outside on the porch, and shoot red squirrels with our .22's. Jake said the squirrels were nasty little creatures, and that they needed eradication. I don't remember why, but I was happy to help him with the task. We probably made squirrel stew, who knows?...We were drunk all the time. We chopped firewood in our t-shirts, listening to the jack pines crackling from expansion-and-contraction. It was a dry ten-degrees, and I was sweating from the effort! It was sure nice to be 25 years old, by God! We went to the local tavern and ate bacon and eggs, with our coffees. Then we bought a loaf of bread and some hotdogs, before heading out to God only knows where, to hunt snow-shoe rabbit. Around noon, we'd start a fire, roast the hotdogs, and have a couple beers. We'd come back home and watch an eagle fish in the lake. Its talons extended, and with a "whoosh" in the water, the glorious bird accelerated into the sky with its wiggling prize.

The fire in the main house was warm, and me and Jake reclined in two, big, lazy-boy chairs, wiggling our toes next to the fire. Our woolen socks were still on our feet. We looked like a couple of drunken, Wisconsin hillbillies. We laughed and told jokes. Jake was a man's, man. He was built like an ox. He knew how to operate and fix machines. He could drive just about anything. He was 35 years old, ten years older than me. We played a lot of poker together, raced motorcycles, and went fishing and hunting. We were always in trouble with our wives. The town of Gordon had a three-lane bowling alley, way back in the mid-seventies. An Indian lad was the pin setter. I liked Gordon, Wisconsin. I'd hate to think that it has changed, but my logic tells me otherwise. Jake couldn't make a go of the resort. I tried to find him for a long time after his sister and I got a divorce. He was a helluva guy. Maybe someday, our paths will cross again...(Since this writing, I found Jake on Facebook!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


1. Always let the customer know that YOU and only YOU are in control.
2. Legal Tender-money for drinks-must be presented to the bartender before any drink is poured. The owner must authorize all bar tabs. New bar tabs for any customers are not within the realm of my authority!...So don't ask!
3. Bouncers are instructed by management to take all fights outside! Police and Ambulances are never to be called, unless there is a chance that a "combatant" may lose his life or limb!
4. Never threaten me verbally or physically! If a customer reaches for me or touches me behind the bar, I am allowed to hit him on his head with my little hickory baseball bat!
5. I maintain the right to quit serving you at any time! I don't care whether you are sober or not, this is MY RIGHT as the bartender! If I over-serve you and you are stopped for a DUI or other malfeasance, I am going to jail! This is not going to happen in my bar for any reason!
6. Any patron caught snorting cocaine or any other substance off the top of the bar, or shooting heroin or any other substance in the bathroom, or having illicit sexual contact that is unlawful anywhere in "my house", will immediately be ejected from the premises! This law also applies to smoking controlled substances. All offenders are to be listed on the "banned-from-bar" plaque, which hangs behind me on the wall next to the cash register.
7. Bottles are to be weighed by the bar manager after each shift. Over-pouring always shows up after cash register tapes are cross-referenced with liquid weights that have been recorded prior to said shift. Bartenders who over pour will be terminated after their 2nd offense. (The owner loved this little trick I had learned in Las Vegas!)
8. Bartenders and bar boys are responsible for stocking ice and bottled beer in the coolers under the bar. Re-stocking speed racks and kegs, cleaning glasses, cutting fruit, and general cleaning and maintenance is an ongoing process to be conducted continually as needed, every day and night!
9. Ventilation fans are to be kept running until closing time. At the end of each shift, all lights are to be turned off, except burgler lights. Inspect the whole building inside and out before leaving and locking up the bar. The liquor room is to be inspected and padlocked before leaving the bar!
10. All garbage must be bagged and neatly placed into the parking lot dumpsters. All floors are to be swept and mopped. Bar stools are to be placed upside-down on the top of the bar at closing time. The bar must be wiped down with clean detergent and disinfectants. All ashtrays must be washed and dried. All glassware and cooking items are to be cleaned and sanitized, and stored properly!
11. Toilets and bathrooms are to be sanitized and cleaned every evening at closing time. Toilets in disrepair are to be fixed immediately! Any fecal matter, urine, or vomit in the bathrooms, is to be cleaned thoroughly be the bar boy.
12. The bar boy will assist the bartender in ALL jobs. A bar boy's refusal to do any job deemed necessary by the bartender will result in his immediate dismissal!
13. Any weapons confiscated by the bouncer or the bartender becomes their property, unless claimed by the local police department.
14. At the beginning of every shift, a "smart" bartender places a couple of large beer pitchers on either end of the bar for tips. A couple of dollar bills are placed in each pitcher. It is my experience that the bigger the receptacle, the more tip money the bartenders will make for themselves! Never use a dinky, Tom Collins glass for tips! (The girl bartenders fell in love with me, after I taught them this trick!)
15. SCAMS! Watch out for the $20 to $10 switch. A bar patron sometimes keeps a $20 in front of him on the bar for a long time. He then tries to palm you a $10 when you are extremely busy! Always look at what you have in your hand and show it to the customer before you give him his change! This simple procedure keeps your bank from being short at the end of the night!
16. For all whiners, scam artists, and cheapskates, always float the whiskey you pour on top of their drinks. Don't mix it! They will think they are getting strong drinks, when in reality, they are getting a half-shot. A bartender smart enough to get away with this is a good "houseman". He saves money for his bar and solidifies his position as an appreciated employee.
17. Finally, always watch your back! Remember to protect yourself at all times!

from: "The Journey...Memoirs of a South Side Chicago kind of guy"...available on or through me!...Richard Cronborg

Monday, April 12, 2010


There comes a point in time, when everything that's left,
isn't enough.
Everything becomes meaningless.
Dark clouds proliferate.
Mind games become more and more trying.
Things are pointless.
Everything that needed saying has been said.
All the rest is superfluos bullshit.
A man gets to the point where he tells the world to:
"Take a bite of a leave me the fuck alone sandwich."
Shut up!...Go away!...Piss off!
Turn off the goddamned radio, the tv, stop the noise!
It's meaningless prattle from these machines.
I don't care anymore.
Let's sell the fucking house.
Let's buy a goddamned trailer and be trashy.
Gotta be in a warm climate.
Fuck the money.
Fuck the status.
All I need is a lawn chair and a beer.
I can watch the dirty tumbleweeds roll.
I can roll blunts, and welcome myself back home to:
drunkeness and psychedelia.
Throw in a little psychosis there, just for good measure.
I can sit in a non-air-conditioned, sweat-box of a tavern,
at ten-in-the-morning with a guy named Billy-Bob...
and a Navajo Indian who sniffs glue and goes by the name of:
The tavern will be aptly called: "Bottles and Cans".
I like it. Direct and to the point!
No bullshit!
All of this seems more honest.
Leave the city shit in the past.
I want to watch turtles doing it in the road.
I want to take bets on whether a sun-baked armadillo makes it across the road.

I want to hear about how many cowboys took on Sally-Ann after her shift at the Daisy Diner.
Who cares?
Not me.
Nobody cares...
except maybe Daisy and the cowboys.
Ennui, Anomie, Isolation, Fragmentation, Alienation, Existentialism, Fatalism.
They are all just words for the same thing.
They mean: "Life's a bitch".
Get used to it.
Make the best of it.
Race cockroaches in your dingy motel room.
Shoot nerf balls into the toy hoop in your office.
Tell your wife and mistress that you love them.
Give a hug to a "newbie" at an AA meeting.
Sooner or later he'll rip you off for a couple of hundred bucks, and disappear.
There's only one rule:
Don't put the gun in your mouth, today.
The lottery ticket you bought at the Convenience store may pay off.
It may be your big day tomorrow!
Yes, there's always tomorrow...
If you make it through the night.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I like the sunrise.
As I back my boat into the water...
I admire God's great creation, the forest.
The lake is pristine.
No one is here, but me.
My breath comes quickly,
as I tug and pull at things.
It's Monday morning. 6 a.m.
Most people are going to work.
Not me. This makes me smile.
I park my truck.
I quietly motor my bass boat to a secret hidden spot.
I try not to make any noise to spook the fish.
I just use a trolling motor.
No gas motor for me.
I beach the small bass boat on an island.
I light up a smoke, and pour a cup of sweet, black coffee.
I fish a sand bar, with a steep drop off.
The largemouth bass live here.
I use ultra-light gear.
Four-pound test line.
I want the battle to be an honest one.
I use night crawlers, no bobber.
I put a couple of split-shot sinker weights,
on my fishing line.
The fish strike at the worm sometimes on the fall.
I catch and release the fish.
I always average from ten-to-twenty largemouth,
in a morning.
They are beautiful.
The largemouth weigh between two and three pounds.
I talk to them kindly, when I let them go.
Around noon, I pick up my gear and head home.
It's only a twenty-minute drive.
I back the boat into my garage.
I go in the house to shower,
and wash the sweat, grime, and fish smell off my body.
I'm in the tavern by 2 p.m.
All the other construction guys are there too.
Tradesmen all...Machine Operators, Laborers, Concrete Finishers,
Laborers, Iron Workers, et all.
We didn't work today, 'cause it rained all weekend.
I order a shot of Blackberry Brandy, and an Old Style,
in the bottle.
I light a Marlboro red.
We watch a baseball game on TV, and flirt with Dawn,
the bartendress.
I loved these rainy days.
It was twenty years ago...but it seems like yesterday.
I never heard of anyone on his death bed saying that:
"I wish I had worked more hours in my life."
Every sunrise is worth its weight in gold.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I love bill caps.
I must have 30 of them.
I started wearing them when I was a kid.
I always curl the bills.
They look cooler that way.
It' ok to wear them backwards,
If your drivin' a Harley.
Never wear a bill cap sideways,
with a straight, flat bill.
You look like a "punk-ass",
if you wear 'em that way.
I always adopt 2 or 3 hats...
as my favorites.
The bills get worn out.
The caps get faded.
That's when I love 'em the best.
My favorite bill cap right now...
is the one I bought in Sturgis, South Dakota.
It advertises bike week.
It has motorcycle logos on it.
And a 'neato' pin I bought.
I also treasure my brother's U.S. Army bill cap.
A buddy of mine, gave me an airborne ranger pin,
to put on this cap.
I really treasure both the cap and the pin.
They signify pride and love for the men who served...
and for my brother Jim.
I wore bill caps for years when I ran heavy equipment.
They made me feel like a modern day cowboy.
I was ridin' an iron horse.
Caterpillar bulldozers, and endloaders.
They were my easy chairs for many years.
My wife wonders why I keep all my old bill caps.
I keep 'em in plastic bags.
She thinks I ought to give 'em
to the American Veterans.
Maybe I should, but I just can't part with 'em yet.
They are a part of my history.
When I look at each and every one of them...
I remember what I was doing when I wore 'em.
Throwing away these caps, would disrespect
what I have done in my life.
They remind me of the roads I built,
The buildings I erected with cranes,
The men I worked with,
The History of all our lives.
So, this silly man keeps on pretending,
like an 8 year old boy,
who pulls down the bill of his cap,
before he throws his first pitch.

Friday, April 9, 2010

TYRONE...from: "A Spider in the Corner of my my Mind"...available on

I first saw the man last year in my gym. He had a striking presence. He was a huge black man, wearing combat boots, and gym shorts. He had big arms hanging out of a sleeveless, cut-off sweatshirt. He also had a black nylon "do-rag" on his head, to keep the sweat out of his eyes. It was the crack of dawn, and we pretty much shared the huge weight room together. We made limited eye contact, and pretty much ignored each other. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him doing dumbbell bench-presses with 100 lbs., in each of his huge hands. He had to be 6' 2" tall, and weigh in the neighborhood of about 265 lbs. I guessed his age at somewhere in his mid 50's, maybe a little younger. He was SCARY! He was a mean looking man. I felt uncomfortable around him.

Our paths crossed every morning for three or four days. I respected how hard he worked those weights. Finally, I summoned up the courage to smile at him, and say hello. I figured the worst he could do, would be to ignore me. To my surprise, he smiled wide and put out one of those big mitts, with the leather weight-lifting glove on it, for me to shake. My hand disappeared in his, and a friendship began which I value to this very day.

He told me he was a retired Navy man. He used to box at Chicago's Windy City Gym, in the days of Muhammad Ali. Tyrone was a personal-fitness trainer now. He made a few bucks doing this, to go along with his pension money from the military. Tyrone taught me how to train, and what to take to ease my sore, old muscles. He gave me an analgesic, which he picked up from Hines Hospital, which really helped ease my sore, arthritic shoulders. He taught me to do a good soak in the hot tub, before I started lifting. This warmed everything up, before I started my routine. Tyrone and I worked between 4 and 5 hours in the gym, together every day. We cheered each other on to heavier weights and more repetitions. We trained together for a long time...almost a year.

One day I took him to lunch, then back to my house to show him my art studio. I introduced him to my wife, Debbie, and she loved him as much as I did right from the start. She called him a big "Teddy Bear", and that's what he was. He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life. He is always there for me when I need him. Tyrone, is one of God's miracles in my life. He is my brother. I didn't see him for a couple of months, because I had some surgeries done. He was out in Las Vegas, helping his elderly mom, settle into a retirement home.

He came up to me in the gym about a month ago, while I was doing my aerobic workout on a treadmill. We both smiled, and hugged. We filled each other up with information about what we had been up to during the interim where we hadn't seen each other. All was good once again. I told Tyrone, "Go sneak up and put your arms around Debbie, she's sitting at the computer table!" "I want to see her reaction when she sees your smiling face."

So, Tyrone giggles as he goes off to freak out my wife. He puts his big, black arms around her little shoulders, and she grabs him and kisses him on the cheek. I walk over toweling off, and the three of us talk about everything under the sun. We parted, all of us joyful, feeling a lot of good will. The rest of my day was wonderful, because I was glad my good friend was back in town. Tyrone still laughs when I tell him about my fear, when I first saw him in the gym. Tyrone said, "Rich, we are all God's creatures." "He put you and me together, because of His infinite wisdom." "There is no reason to be afraid of me, my brother." AMEN

Thursday, April 8, 2010


i see my dry skin now.
where soft skin used to be.
i see pockets of flesh...
under hooded eyes.
the twinkling orbs of blue,
have faded to a shade of blue/gray.
my skin hangs,
barnacles appear daily,
on my old hull of self.
hair grows out of my ears,
and on my shoulders.
my head is bald,
i have scars from accidents and surgeries.
yet, i am still a man.
my penis hasn't denied me.
i lust.
i fantasize about an assembly line,
of supple young women.
they blow their life into me.
with ruby/red lips.
they fill my lungs, with their youthful vigor.
i am an aged blow-up doll.
i emerge from my elderly crysalis.
if only for one night.
i am a virile young man, once again.
i keep my male myth alive.
i am fooled into thinking that,
i become what i once was.
my mid-life crisis has lasted 20 years.
she is thirty...
looks great in high heels.
but most importantly,
she has filled my lungs with youth.
she breathes her life into me.


Sometimes I wish I was a star, so I could explode into a million pieces of joy.
I would hurtle through the Universe.
There would be smiles on every one of these pieces of me.
They would go into the souls of all of you!
You are my brothers and sisters.
You are my companions on this worldly trip.
We share this spaceship earth.
We can also share all its bounty...together.
There's enough for all of us,...if and only if,... we share.

I wish I could explode into a million pieces and share myself with you.
We can spread the love around.
A million pieces of joy...
like little rays of light...or little atoms of love.
They would come from an orb of wisdom...
the "Light Of The Eternal Mind".
The true light which shines within each and every one of us.
Universal Truth.
Universal Joy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I passed a dirty old man with his dog, sitting on the street, a million times on my way home from work. I never dropped spare change in his cup, but he always smiled at me. He pet his old dog, and never said anything.

I passed a dirty old man a million times, but never REALLY noticed him. I was too busy picking up my dry cleaning, or going to my loft to shower for a theatre engagement. I lived the high life. I had one of "those" jobs a man dreams about. I had it all.

I passed a dirty old man a million times, but I never REALLY saw him. He knew me. He watched my every moods, my ensemble, my shoes, my gait, my jewelry, he knew everything about me.

I passed this dirty old man a million times. I passed him after I lost my job, after I had fallen on hard times. I passed him after my divorce, my psychosis, my endless stream of bad luck and heart break...
Yet, still I never noticed him.

I passed a dirty old man petting his dog, as I ran from the police. I stole a pair of shoes from a local department store, to keep my dirty feet warm. They booked me, and put me in a cell with desperate men. These men derided me, they threatened me, but a dirty old man sitting next to me grabbed my hand and glared at them. He protected me. He looked at me and said, "I'll be right by your side, until you get out." I looked at him and asked, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" He said to me, "Of course you do, you pass me on the street every day."

I said to him, "I never gave you anything." The dirty old man then said to me, "Yes you did sir...You just gave me your hand." I never forgot him for that. He talked to me all night. He stayed with me. He didn't let me down. I never saw him again, even though I combed the streets for him.

I eventually cleaned up. I got a better job. I gained all the money back that I had lost, and more. I never passed a street person ever again, without stopping for conversation, and putting a few bucks in their tin cup or a hat.

I passed a dirty old man on the street today. He was petting his old dog. He recognized me. We smiled at each other.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The average life expectancy of the American male is 73 years. I am 61. I only have twelve fucking years left! This makes me nervous. How much time did I waste:

Cleaning toilets?...Worrying about shit that never happens?...Squeezing zits?
Talking to dis-interested females in bars?
Making confessions to sleeping, hungover priests?
Saying ten Our Father's, ten Hail Mary's, and ten Glory Be's?
Shoveling snow?...Raking leaves?...Watching mindless TV shows?
Sunbathing?...Shitting?...Urinating?...Washing cars?...Taking the garbage out?
Reading maintenance and instruction manuals?...Dusting?...
Waiting for water to boil?...Waiting in lines?...Surfing the Web?

Worrying about illness, death, bills, children, grandchildren, pets, insurance salesmen, impotence, sex, psychosis, alcoholism, drugs, women, psychiatrists, venereal diseases, politics, politicians, policemen, strange sounds, ringing in my ears, headaches, vertigo, depersonalization, castration, emascualtion, masturbation, socialization, constipation, exacerbation, lactation, variation, facial twitching, sleeping, not sleeping, eating, dreaming, ad infinitum?

Fuck it!...I'm sick of being negative. Maybe I'll live to be 83.

Monday, April 5, 2010


For me, running was always the purest way to accomplish the goals of physical and mental well-being. I started running, my Sophomore year in college, as a means to deal with anxiety and depression. The first week was the worst. I was a pack-a-day cigarette smoker, and ten pounds overweight. At first, I'd walk-run the distance of a mile. I was gasping and gagging for air. After about a month of running every day, I kicked the smoking habit and was running about four-miles a night. I took a winding path through the woods, in back of my dormitory. I was running in the great Shawnee National Forest, at Southern Illinois University. It was beautiful. I saw wild deer, prairie flowers, and fish jumping out of the lake. The sunsets were remarkable. I started getting in touch with nature and myself. The running relaxed my mind and put me in a meditative state.

Soon, I realized that long distance running had a spiritual side to it. I was a student of Eastern Philosophies, and went to an Indian educator at the university to learn about Mahayana Buddhism, and after a while, he gave me a mantra to recite while I ran. His name was Douglas Allen. He was a marvelous man, who had lived in India for 5 or 6 years, and taught Indian Philosophy. I learned how to breathe from my diaphragm. This technique, we runners lovingly refer to as "belly-breathing". The stomach comes out, as the lungs take in air, and as the air is forced out, the stomach is pulled in. This is the proper way to breathe. All my life, I thought the opposite to be true, but after practicing this technique, it becomes second nature to the runner. I repeated my mantra in cadence with my foot strikes.

In one years time I went from an out-of-shape, 180 lbs., to a lean racing weight of 158 lbs. I was running 60 miles a week. I would take my long runs on Sundays...anywhere from 16 to 22 miles. I threw all my medication away. The Thorazine, the mood elevators, everything...I felt reborn. I wasn't a zombie anymore. My mind was clear. I had a calm inside my soul, which I never experienced before. I quit drinking, doing drugs, and started eating properly.

I experienced "the runners high", something we long distance runners all have in common. The high is caused by endorphins produced by the body of runners who choose to run for an hour or two. I ran five marathons in my life. The last was at the age of forty. The marathon is the true endurance test, for the long distance runner. If the 26.2 mile race can be completed in under four hours, a runner is considered to be a "true distance runner" by the running community. He or she, can claim to be a marathoner. My best time was 3:28 at the Milwaukee Marathon, way back in 1978. I was 28 years old.

Running was a great joy in my life. I can't run anymore, but due to advanced sports technology, I still get to experience the "runner's high" by doing extreme aerobic workouts on an elliptical machine. I still meditate while I burn off the calories. The body needs to sweat, and purge out the poisons. I am grateful to my higher power that I have no need of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.

My name is Rich Cronborg...I am 61 years old...I am a Marathoner. Once i paid my dues, and ran an honest race, I got to join this select club of athletes. It is one of the purest, most beautiful things, I have done in my life. All it costs is the price of a good pair of running shoes...and determination to fullfill a dream.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Today, I sat down after all my chores were done to write a "blog" about remodeling. My wife, Debbie is in a quandry in regard to choosing contractors, cabinets, appliances, floors, backsplashes, fixtures, lighting, countertops, and all the other items needed for a spectacular, new kitchen. Debbie is a big fan of of the home channel...the HGTV network, and I have sat through a plethora of shows showing whiney first time home buyers, gristled old people, remodelers, unscrupulous and scrupulous realtors, old homes, new homes, and homes all over the world...I hope you get the idea. I stare zombielike, at these nebulous presentations. After a while, all of it has a tendency to boggle ones' mind. I am more confused now, about what I like, and want then I was before I started watching these inane TV shows.

As I put pen to paper, Debbie looked at what I was writing and grabbed my notebook! She promptly ripped out my entry, rolled it up into a tight little ball, and shouted at me, saying: "You don't think you're going to share our private lives with all your Facebook friends, do you?!!!" She continued..."This is the last straw!...Are you insane?"

Me, being the sadistic bastard that I am, began chortling and ended up with some huge, belly laughs. I was into her game now! I called her a Nazi, and shouted that she was interfering with my First Amendment Right, to Free Speech! Man!...Was she pissed off at me now! I told her, I would change my blog from "Remodeling" to "Censorship".

This didn't impress her one iota. At about this time, the doorbell rang, and the contractor and his assistant entered the door. Saved by the bell!, I quickly grabbed my pen and paper...I knew I had the chance to write this thing now. I vowed to be FREE and UNCENSORED!

Deb is too busy listening to the contractor's spiel. Please, don't think I'm insensitive. I'm not going to let my dear wife get burned by any of these nefarious characters. I will dutifully shop with her. I will keep my "big trap" shut whene she changes her mind a million times! I will try to be pleasant, through the entire process. I owe this to my sweet lovely soulmate, who I have lived with for 30 years.

In spite of all of this, I will not be censored! I am an American male writer! I am a rough-and-tumble kind of guy! I am a Union man! Posting all my "malarkey" is a God-given right. Still, somehow I am fearful. I will hide these words in my office. My wife never enters the miasma of filth in my studio. She thinks it's a spooky place, where I work! I just hope she doesn't read this Blog! Maybe she'll forget. Otherwise, there will be hell to pay!

Oh well, I can't think about that now. I must watch Federico Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria". It's on my Bucket List to view every Fellini film, before I die. They tried to censor him too! He rose above them all, like a Phoenix.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

HEARING AIDS AND WATER PICS...from: "A Spider In The Corner Of My Mind"...available on

I hate wearing hearing aids. I have these state-of-the-art, digital hearing aids. I never wear them anymore. You can't wear a hat with them, because the feedback noises are intolerable. The hearing aids can't be worn in the rain, or at the gym. The batteries are always deciding to die, when I need them the most. I always forget to carry the spares. I have to fiddle around with them constantly to adjust the volume for each situation I encounter. At night they have to be dismantled and cleaned, or else they plug up with ear wax. Who the hell wants to do this much work?...Not me, baby!

It's a lot easier for me, staying deaf! I just nod my head and smile all the time. This works for me. Nobody cares what I think anyway, and they are happy that I agree with them, because I am smiling. This simple gesture always works! I bring my wife with me to important events to whisper, or rather, SCREAM, important information into my ears, to let me know what another individual wants me to understand. I just pretend I am in Japan, and that she is my interpreter. I need her sometimes to help me sell my books or paintings, at book signings and art openings.

Another benefit of being deaf, is not being able to hear the terrible things people say about me. I just keep smiling, nodding my head in affirmation. What a joy! This must really piss-off my enemies! It's fun to pretend you don't hear certain instructions, when you'd rather be doing other things. My wife will say: "Didn't you hear that I wanted you to pick up my dry cleaning, today?" I say, "No dear, I must not have heard you." It's as simple as that. I am off the hook! As you can see, deafness certainly has its advantages. These salient qualities I have elucidated about deafness, might come in handy for you someday!

Another thing I hate to do, is to brush my teeth, and floss after each-and-every meal. I have to floss, and water-pic the hell out of myself, because I am a geezer and have advanced periodontal disease. I must attend to this grave matter! I want to keep most of my teeth, until they put my ashes in a fancy, psychedelic urn. Plastic "choppers" have to be a bummer. You don't taste your food as well with these devices, and you have to clean the yucky, day-old food out of them!

Another problem I have, is with the blood thinners I take for my cell coagulation levels. They make my gums bleed if I get to over-aggresive with my water-pic. I can visualize the headlines right now: "Man bleeds to death in bed." "Wife sues Barr Pharmacueticals, Walgreens, and the manufacturing company that makes the Water-Pic." My sweet wife is going to make out like a bandit! God bless America! If I need any dental work done, I have to nix the blood thinners for a couple of days and take penicillin so my oral bacteria won't compromise the Gortex bypasses I have in my femoral arteries. Being off the blood thinners for a couple of days, freaks me out! What if I die from a pulmonary embolism? At least my teeth wil be clean and shiny, and debbie will make sure I am wearing clean underwear before the ambulance comes to take me to intensive care! It's sure hard work, getting older!

Friday, April 2, 2010


At 61 years of age, I'm still an athletic guy. My main physical problem is my arthritic right knee. I have been in pain for three years, but my Sports-Orthopaedic Surgeon, tells me I still have plenty of cartilage between "the old ball and socket", ergo, I don't need surgery. So I had him write me a prescription for physical therapy, instead of Vicodin. Sometimes I regret this decision!

My therapist is a beautifully-striking female,...a tall blonde around the age of 28 years. She is my daughter's age. My therapist has a Phd. in her field so she knows her stuff! She has a winning smile, and pleasant manner...BUT DON'T LET THAT FOOL YOU!

She is a NAZI!...A dominatrix who insists on inflicting pain on me, twice a week. Every session is a diabolical plan, designed by this cunning female, to contort my elderly body in a variety of positions which brings tears rolling down my cheeks! She justifies this torture with little quips like: "Come on, You can do it Rich!...You're a former athlete!...Push yourself harder!...C'mon, just five more reps!" Then she adds insult to injury by saying, "There now, that wasn't so bad, was it?" Bad???....Bad???...It was fucking horrible! (I am thinking this to myself, as I am smiling at her.) I press on stoically and proceed to the next exercise, gasping for air, like some old plow horse. Next, she has me in some kind of harness device, straining against elastic, doing lunges...then on to balancing boards, balls, machines...Christ!...I feel like a trained seal on the old Ed Sullivan show!

She ties my ankles together with a heavy duty elastic strap, and has me lumbering laterally across the room! The harness device is the worst...I have visions of me pulling it too far, and having the elastic !!!....I am frightened by the imagery of seeing it whacking me "upside the head"!

When all the exercise is done, she puts these "neato" rubber-suction-cup thingees, on my poor, swollen knee for a 15-minute ultrasound. Ahhhh...Heaven! She also throws an ice bag on my throbbing knee. Then she disappears for fifteen minutes...She leaves a bell next to me, in case I go into cardiac arrest. You know, the kind they have in hotels for bellhops. I often wonder where the hell she goes for that time period? She probably goes out for a smoke!..Who knows?

Naw, probably not...She is too much of a fitness Nazi. I hope next week, she doesn't bring whips and chains, or handcuff me to some strange torture device. The worst would be the red rubber ball, and strap device, to silence my elderly babble. To think fetish freaks pay for this stuff! Life gets more interesting every year.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

VIET NAM, PSYCHEDELIA, AND OTHER THINGS...from "The Journey"...available on

"Hell no, We won't go!" I was safe for four years. I received a nice 2-S deferment from my "dear friends" at the Selective Service System. As long as I maintained a gentleman's "C" average at the educational combine, they couldn't ship me halfway around the world to shoot at innocent little yellow men. All these guys wanted to do was squat in their fields, and grow rice. In essence, they just wanted to be freakin' left alone! That was OK with me!

After a few months at Southern Illinois University, I threw away the "Lou Reed" look for long hair and "John Lennon" glasses. I started inculcating new values, and developed a new world view. S.I.U. was very much a Republican "good old boy" University. It fostered all the ideals of the military-industrial complex, and wasn't ready at all for the "radicalization" of its student body.

I found the atmosphere of the university was "charged with an electric excitement" in the good old 60's. It was a great time to be alive. Everything was moving really fast, and social change and counter culture were becoming more mainstream every day. The "old guard" was paranoid beyond belief! They over-reacted to everything they conceived as being radical. We knew we had 'em by the short hairs! My generation played a lot of "mind games" with authority figures. Since I had a working class mindset, I really didn't want to change the freaking world; I just wanted to learn. After all, I was paying for this education!

I didn't have the luxury of having a rich mommy, and daddy! This dichotomy proved to be problematic for me sometimes. To some extent, I thought mass insanity was taking over our society and mainstream rationality was being left by the wayside. Sides were being drawn. I encountered two diametrically opposed ideologies. Both sides of the culture war had those "glazed eyes" and a "true believer" mentality to match.

My answer was to get into my books during the week and smoke dope and drink on the weekends. I got more and more into social isolation. I stayed by myself a lot now. I studied way too much. I felt I was falling through the cracks of society and that nobody cared. I was an eccentric and I relished my eccentricity. I came home that summer, but it didn't feel like home to me anymore. My identity was changing.

I felt as if I was living in some sort of strange dream. What I thought were solid roots and stable values, evaporated in my mind. A cosmic practical joke was being played on me! I cognized, that all my adolescent realities were really just smoke and mirrors. Huxley was right: This was a "Brave New World!"