Sunday, October 31, 2010


I lost my cell phone today.
I think I left it in my gym locker.
The gym's a vortex that sucks down all my belongings.
I'm amazed that no-one returned it.
My cell phone is one of the old models.
It has a rotary dial, no camera, and no Apps,
whatever the hell they are.
It has big numbers and letters for elderly people.
I had to call my provider, to suspend my service.
I don't need any long distance charges,
to places like Beirut or Ceylon.
I guess I'm not a trusting individual.
But I've been burned before, too many times.
Now I have to buy a new phone.
I'm bringing my wife with me.
She insists, but it's OK 'cause I don't even trust myself.
I might come home with "super phone".
It will have all the bells and whistles.
I don't bother to look at costs or monthly service charges.
It seems like everyone in the world is getting smarter than me.
My life is getting more complicated by the new technologies.
I'm thankful I still can read and write.
I do better than the national average of most college students.
I can do mathmatical calculations in my head.
I never find the need to take off my shoes and socks.
I never count on my fingers and toes.
I never carry any credit card debt.
Maybe I'm not stupid, after all.
I think I might just buy that expensive cell phone.
I might even hire an electronics geek.
He can teach me how to use it.
Ain't life grand?

Friday, October 29, 2010


I remember running home as fast as my legs could carry me, from Saint Adrian's Catholic Grammar School. The cold October winds produced cascades of colorfull leaves. They looked like they were spinning in a huge, high-speed blender. My feet crushed the leaves on every strike. I listened to them crunch, and watched my frozen breath as I ran. It was Halloween! Mom was waiting for me in the kitchen, as I bounded up the stairs. "Slow down young man", she said. "You have plenty of time. Have some milk and cookies." "No mom", I said! "I need you to help me put on my Hobo outfit! I don't want to miss out on any of the candy!" I remember her smile, as she burnt the cork. The cork was used to dirty my face. She used a little rouge to make my cheeks pink, and pinned one of my dad's old Homburg hats, so it would fit my head. She had old trousers for me, with patches on the knees and an old short broomstick with a couple of bandanas sewn together, to make a hobo's small kitball of worldly belongings. She made me wear tons of insulated underwear under my flannel shirt and trousers. She made me wear mittens on my hands. She smiled at me and said, "Now you be safe! Don't ring the doorbells of any houses that don't have their lights on! Make sure your friends are with you! I don't want you being alone! I want you to be home by eight o'clock, or I will tell your father you disobeyed me, when he gets home from tending bar tonight!" I was "flying" down the front stairs before the last sentence came out of her mouth. She always made sure that I had a reinforced shopping bag. My mom was the greatest. I swore to myself that I would fill it to the brim with candy, before I came home. I met up with Mike Noonan, and Al Faustino, and a couple of my other friends. We lived on the south side of Chicago, and were happy that the houses in our neighborhood were so close together. We ran up and down the front porch stairs for three-or-four hours until we were so exhausted, we couldn't carry our candy anymore. I always brought home a great bounty. I loved the Hershey bars, Snickers, Milk Duds, Baby Ruths, Fire Sticks, and All Day Suckers. My mom always went through the candy to see what I could keep. She told me that there were some bad people out there, who put needles in some of the candy or fruit. I didn't believe her, but let her throw the junky stuff out anyway! I had enough stuff to last me at least a month, as long as I could hide it from my older brother and sister! Being 8 or 9 years old on Halloween sure was fun! Today, I love getting dressed up in Biker garb, with menacing sunglasses, my goatee and shaved head. I wear a leather vest and jeans, with a big skull belt buckle. I also have a set of handcuffs hanging from my vest. I love handing out candy to the children who come to my door. My wife says I look like I'm dressed for Halloween, 365 days a year! I don't care. She knows that I love her and the kids. I always buy the Snickers and Hershey bars to give away. I buy a lot of it! I throw a handful into each little goblin's bag. When they smile real large, and look up to me and say, "thank you mister", it brings Halloween joy to me once again! I am smiling when I close the door. I think how soundly the little ones will sleep this night, after they are through. I hug my wife and enjoy our little decorations. I swear, I never want to grow up.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I decide to go to the gym.
It's open 24/7.
Seven days a week.
365 days a year.
My refuge.
I enter the realm.
Industrial lights.
Rows of barbells and plates.
A few muscleheads in there.
Heavy metal music for intense workouts.
I strap on my wrist supports.
I put on my gloves.
I start the ritual.
I feel the blood coursing through my veins.
I like it like this.
No fighting for machines.
No senseless babble.
Just the iron and me.
I do an honest two hours.
I look in the mirror.
I see an old warrior.
I spit in the eye of death.
I shower and feel relaxed.
I leave and feel a blast of cold October wind.
There's a full moon out tonight.
I crawl into bed.
I fall asleep.
Mission accomplished.


There should be joy in one's industry.
Work should not be meaningless.
It doesn't matter how dirty or lowly the job.
Pleasure can be found in the task.
If you don't like what you do,
move on without hesitation.
I've had over a hundred jobs in my lifetime.
I don't regret any of them.
I learned something from each of them.
Sometimes the lousy jobs were the most fun.
Most of my life's work was mundane.
Little of it offered large sums of money or prestige.
That was alright by me.
Other jobs paid me well.
They offered me status and fame.
It was no big deal.
A lot of these jobs made me unhappy.
I loved making art.
Until galleries and clients begged for more.
They were breathing down my neck.
"Produce more, sell more, bullshit more, they said."
Painting was no longer a joy.
It became a chore.
So I quit painting.
Writing took over.
It was therapeutic.
It still is.
But it won't be for long.
Deadlines are starting to harass my mind.
Publishers are bothering me.
I feel compelled to produce.
My brain is being sucked out of me.
This is no way to live my life.
I might start delivering pizzas again.
That will give me joy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I never did well in crowded places.
I hate people jabbering.
Cars rushing by.
My heart always started racing.
I'd break out in a sweat.
Dizziness would overcome me.
I thought I was losing my mind.
Maybe I was going to die.
I'd feel like a non-entity.
No ego.
Just nothing.
I didn't exist.
Yet, I was an observer.
These feelings were horrifying.
I had them in my youth.
They'd occur in odd places.
Convertibles with their tops down.
Social gatherings.
I decided to stay in my room.
I guess I was agoraphobic.
I was too young to know the word.
My books became my friends.
I knew I was different than most others.
I thought I was damned.
Now, I know I was blessed.
I accepted my strangeness.
I pushed the envelope.
I decided to face my fears.
Fear is always there anyway.
It's easier to handle now.
I still like the dark.
I like my room.
I like to isolate.
But the crowds don't bother me anymore.
I don't feel like I'm losing my mind.
I realized that I never owned it.
I'm a minute part of the universal mind.
By negating my ego,
I found the essence of me.
It's not a bad place to be.

Monday, October 25, 2010


These grim nights disturb me.
Wayward youths have too much time.
They roam the streets.
There's a new meanness to it all.
What have we spawned?
We didn't teach them well enough.
We were selfish in our ways.
We blew it.
We were going to save the world.
We couldn't save ourselves.
We couldn't save our children.
Maybe I'm too cynical.
Was I like this in my youth?
It seems the new breed of youth,
have taken meanness to a new level.
It's harder.
It's more horrific.
It's faster.
It's sexier.
It's kinkier.
It's more brutal.
It's caused by the world we left them.
It's a cesspool of a place.
All the heroes are gone.
The monsters have come out.
No longer underneath the bed,
they rule supreme.
They haunt us.
They lie.
They cheat.
They steal.
They murder.
They are us.
Our families.
Our children.
Our country.
The world.
It's a meaner place.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


He made a cane with a horse's head.
He made it for me.
Lovingly, made in mahogany.
It had a sharpely defined mane.
It was a good stick for crushing skulls.
It was made for disrespectful youth.
There are many of them on my Chicago streets.
They prey on the weak and frail.
He made a cane with a clown's head.
This one is my favorite.
It is resplendent with all the colors of the rainbow.
A freaky clown he is.
He has a nose as red as Marilyn Monroe's lips.
This cane my brother did not want to give up.
He eventually softened due to age and illness.
My pleas probably helped my case.
He also made a a cane decorated with the American flag.
The flag is lovingly carved on the handle.
Hand carved and painted, Old Glory is beautiful.
The cane comes alive.
The flag looks like it is blowing in the wind.
I miss my brother.
We were two of a kind.
Two artists in perfect harmony.
He is gone.
I'll tag along, someday.
With one of his canes in my hand,
I'll travel this land.
Completing things for him.
My brother Jim.
The maker of fine canes.
And other wonderful things.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


The fall leaves are blown off the trees.
They are like little souls.
They try to hang onto life.
Their umbilical cords dry up.
The wind pummels them.
Finally, they fall to the ground.
This makes me think of my mortality.
The beauty of the fall leads to the bleakness of winter.
Winters here are cold and unmerciful.
So many souls are hanging on in hospitals.
Some of them live in retirement homes.
Most, are going to try to make it through the holidays.
The sick or elderly don't want to die now.
They might ruin everyone's festive fun.
They must hang on, 'til the New Year.
January is a boring month.
It is a cold one here in the midwest.
It's a good time for wakes.
People are paying off their holiday debt.
These winter times are sometimes morose times.
Sad times.
However, there is beauty in the winter nights.
Outside of my warm house, is fresh cold air.
There is the reflection of the moonlight on the snow.
There are glistening icicles.
I gaze in wonderment at big snowflakes.
There is the beauty of dead silence.
Even in death, there is beauty.
Little souls come to rest.
They aren't pummeled anymore.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I liked to drink in dives.
These were bad places.
Shithole bars with fruit flies in my shot glass.
I drank in such a place on Chicago Avenue.
Folks dealt rock in a decrepit empty lot right next to it.
I didn't care.
The addicts never noticed me.
They were playing out their own scenarios.
I sat at the bar, drunk.
I observed human dramas as they unfolded.
I was the only white face in this particular place.
I was not afraid.
I was always treated with respect.
Maybe they thought I was a narc.
The music on the box was good.
People were friendly.
They were happy it was Saturday.
They were poor, beat and down-and-out.
They were just like me.
We drank cheap bar whiskey.
We sat under florescent lights.
You know, just like the kind they hang in factories.
This is ironic ambience, Chicago style.
I danced with toothless hags twice my age.
I guess I made them happy.
I lost my front teeth in there.
Some dude blindsided me.
Actually I lost the caps.
The originals were lost in a car accident.
I fell asleep at the wheel.
I came to a sudden stop.
I had two black eyes and the missing teeth.
I had an instant Halloween face.
Cars were toughter on me, than any man I ever fought.
I met a lot of people in dives.
Believe me, the dives are more honest.
When I was flush, the nice clubs were filled with jerks.
They tried to play too many games on me.
You're your own best friend, when you are an alkie.
An alkie never has to meet anyone, unless he needs money.
People are despicable.
When you are at rock-bottom, hatred rules your life.
Sometimes, I saw the light from the bottom.
When I was straight, I got bored.
I longed for the bottom.
The longer I stayed sober, the more I forgot the pain.
Nothing ever works right in this world.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Some things are so rotten,
they get into my mind.
That's why I keep moving.
Inertia is the key.
Keep moving or die.
Don't stay in one place.
The evil is out there.
It's inside of me, as well.
I deny it.
I keep on running.
Maybe it won't catch up to me.
I lie to myself,
like all of humanity.
Sickness, madness, and death is omnipotent.
The big three, they are the Holy Trinity of reality.
They wait for me.
They wait for all of us.
I keep on moving.
I dodge, bob and weave.
I am a prize fighter.
When I'm on the move, I have good footwork.
There's no round heels for me in this travesty.
I go down for the count, anyway.
It's my fate.
There's inertia.
Then lights out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The insanity of the Democratic National Convention was the "happening".
The violence was filmed, recorded, and remembered by people like me.
I heard stuff like,
"We shall overcome, The whole world is watching, Move out, you are in violation of the law, and run!" It was the age of psychedelia, beads, incense, feathers, bells, dope, the smell of dope, revolution, Black Panthers, and Hell no, we won't go!
The Chicago Police Department was prepared.
The Illinois National Guard was prepared.
The news media was prepared.
The Yippie Party was prepared.
The SDS was prepared.
The freaks, poets, acid heads, feminists, communists, artists, Black Panthers, conservatives, democrats, and republicans were prepared.
Every damned body was prepared!
The times were ripe for violence and social change.
We attended universities, worked in factories, drove cabs, tended bar, served time in jails, Viet Nam or the National Guard.
We camped out in Lincoln Park.
We listened to Allen Ginsburg and Abbie Hoffman.
The violence came.
It was unavoidable.
We knew it would come.
Mayor Daley senior said, "The police aren't here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder." You had to know what we were up against, after reading this simple little statement from one of the nation's most powerful politicians.
I can't believe it was forty-two years ago.
The innocence was lost after the assasinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. Today, it's still an insane scene.
The whole world is watching.
Yet, nothing has changed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The executive vice-president of the National Football League, announced something that made me very sad today. He said something to the effect that, "Players who intentionally spear, mutilate, maim or dismember other players will be suspended. There has been a "bru-haha" over concussions suffered by NFL quarterbacks this season. Huh? I thought these were tough guys! After all, NFL stand for "not for long". We as men all realize this simple point. Men who have played the game, like me want it bloody and violent. Old time football players didn't wear helmets. They beat the crap out of each other for twenty-bucks a game. The bar fights they engaged in after the games were even more brutal! I like the old ways. I like how Dick Butkus, famous middle-linebacker for the Chicago Bears played the game. He scared the hell out of anybody who faced him! Dick once said, "I'd like to hit a guy so hard, his helmut and head would roll around on the field after contact". My kinda' guy! This is football. This is war. This is violence. This is America. This is male. This is bloody. Most importantly, this is sacred for all American males who have been watching it for 40 or 50 years. This game is ours. Now they want to take it away. Pencil-necked office workers and league representatives want to feminize my game. Pretty soon, the players will have to play two-hand touch football. If someone cries, everyone will apologize to him, and wipe away his tears. A "quiet time" will be enforced by the referee. The mean, bad man perpetrator will have to sit in his chair, with his back toward the playing field, in the corner of the stadium. The game will be played in sneakers. Spikes can cause "ouchies". Everyone knows that! Aw, it will be a "touchy-feelie" kinda' game! How sweet! Teams will have sensitivity sessions together at half-time. All the men will discover their "inner child". The game will be opened for women and children. We don't want to discriminate! Everything about the game will be politically correct! No feelings will ever be hurt, and no one will ever feel any pain. Extra points and gold stars on foreheads will be given for finess and balletic moves. Dexterity and aesthetic beauty will count! Football will be judged by the panel of Dancing with the Stars! What a great idea!

I wonder what John Madden, great coach of the guys in black, would think about all of this. He coached the nastiest men in football. They all had bad breath, alcohol on their breath, criminal records, and loved to administer punishment and pain. They were an incredible team. They were known as the Oakland Raiders. They wore the colors of death. They were a raggedy crew of talented, sadist men who couldn't fit in anywhere else because they all were so damned mean! I watched them in their great days. Jim Ott, from the late 60's, early 70's was one of the Oakland Raiders. He was told by the team doctor, "If you play for the rest of the season on your battered leg, Jim, I will have to amputate it". Jim chose to play. At the end of the season, they amputated his leg. I think Jim really loved the game of football. Jim Ott is a Hall of Famer. I like football players like Jim Ott, and Dick Butkus. Let men be men. Amen.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I realized something today.
My dad never took me swimming.
He never taught me how to swing a baseball bat.
He didn't teach me how to work with tools.
Instead, he taught me how to throw cards in a hat.
He taught me how to box.
He taught me how to drink.
My dad was emotionally distant most of the time.
I never knew when he would turn on me.
I didn't blame him for it.
I never wanted to cross him.
He could be a brutal man, sometimes.
Anyway, things were always alright if I obeyed him.
On my thirteenth birthday,
I hoped for an electric racecar kit.
I dropped hints to my dad for weeks.
On my special day, he came home late and drunk.
He happily handed me a crumpled, brown grocery bag.
It was filled with party hats, whistles, and other tavern crap.
It all was very fitting for a New Year's Eve party.
"Happy Birthday, son", he rasped to me with his whiskey voice.
I forced a smile.
I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
Then, I watched him as he staggered off to bed.
Children of alcoholics grow up fast.
We need quick wits to survive.
Most of us conceal our pain.
I hid my horrific family secrets.
I replaced my frowns with false smiles.
I viewed the world as an extension of my dysfunctional family.
There was no safe haven for me, except in my room.
My whole world was there.
My books.
My records.
My dreams.
I was king in my room.
I spun golden threads for the fabric of my future dreams.
I ached for them to become realities.
I threw cards in a hat.
I threw punches straight and with force.
I carried all the damages with me.
They lived in my gut.
Like a crumpled brown bag, I was filled with tavern filth.
It finally burst open.
All the lies fell on the floor.
Now I saw myself, and I saw the world.
I accepted my reality.
Finally, with relief,
I became me.


I usually got to the flower shop around eight a.m.
The packages were ready for me. I'd load the van.
I'd sip on my third cup of coffee and figure out my route.
A good delivery man always takes time to do this.
Economy of movement is the key to success.
After loading the van, I was sweating profusely.
Last night's whiskey was pouring out of me.
My head would be pounding.
Lighting and inhaling a smoke, only made it worse.
My stomach was usually sour.
I'd swing by the donut shop for a couple of glazed.
I'd drink a carton of milk, along with three aspirin.
This usually made me feel more human.
As I traveled the city streets, I saw the church goers.
Men wore suits, women wore pretty hats and gloves.
Their children were always well-scrubbed, in in their Sunday best.
I thought of my innocence as a child.
What had changed me so much?
I guess the passing of years, changed me into a bitter man.
I delivered the big floral pieces to funeral homes.
I carefully placed casket sprays, end baskets,
and little notes in green envelopes, around the deceased.
"What a charade", I thought.
The flowers were for the living, not the dead.
Some were sent honestly, to ease the pain of the family.
Others were sent in vanity, for ulterior motives.
I thought they all wasted their money.
I'd usually finish my "run" by two p.m.
I'd go to Joe's Lucky Stop bar on 63rd Street, to watch the last half of the Bears game. After two or three Scotches, I felt better again.
I'd smile and say goodbye to the bartender and other drunks on the stools.
I'd get in my truck and head home for Sunday dinner.
I gave my wife the cash I made, and hugged my little girl.
I'd start watching the second half of the late afternoon game.
I never saw the end, because I fell asleep in my chair.
This was my only day off. I was glad to get the extra sleep.
I'd usually manage to stay awake till nine-or-ten in the evening.
Then I headed upstairs for bed.
I'd set my clock for five a.m.
I never liked starting out on Monday with a hangover.
Most of the time, I started the week on my bulldozer feeling pretty good.
By the end of my week of moving dirt, I was beat up.
I lived like this for thirty-five years.
A man can do almost anything, if he sets his mind to it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


There are children who raise other children.
They drag drunken or drug addicted parents home.
The kids don't place any blame on them.
They make sure they are fed and then put them to bed.
They brush their teeth, and keep their houses clean.
These brave children have skills and chops.
They are warriors.
There are men and women who work two-or-three thankless jobs.
They work seven days a week.
They take their families to church every Sunday.
They make sure their kids are clean.
They put up with insults and denigration.
They are warriors.
There are those who never quit.
They face ridicule and laugher.
They never give up on their dreams.
They are told they will never amount to anything.
They press on.
They don't care about money or fame.
It is the work that counts.
They are the warriors.
Warriors become their own heroes.
They are heroes out of neccessity.
They have will to survive.
They have the will to strive.
They have will to live.
And live they do.
They live with honor and self-esteem.
These are the warriors.
This is their credo.

Friday, October 15, 2010


My first model was a young girl who loved my artwork.
She saw my paintings at the Northside Cafe, in Wicker Park.
This is an art-oriented neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago.
When I got to her apartment, I was more nervous than she.
My photographic equipment was less than adequate.
I had no idea how to do a photoshoot.
The end results were terrible, but she was pleased.
At least I didn't lose a friendship, over the whole fiasco.
My next shoot was with a lovely professional model.
She was camera savy and had posed for photographers from all over the world.
By this time I finally had some superior cameras and equipment.
I owned a spectacular Nikon EM, circa 1979.
I also had a cheap little Hewlitt Packard digital which took amazing pictures.
I was shocked by the integrity of my new shots. They were good.
I snapped both color and black-and-white.
My black-and-whites were, and always have been the most beautiful.
I advanced to using Sony digital equipment, with great Carl Zeiss lenses.
Now, many of my models were top-notch girls, who knew the business.
They were all beautiful women, who were camera friendly.
I owe it to them, that I looked like a professional.
I met many models in the twenty-years of art and fashion-photography.
All of my girls, remain good friends.
I am glad that I keep learning about photography.
The computer, photoshop, and digital manipulation methods allow me to produce some wonderful work. I love the female mystique. I always treat my models with the utmost respect. I maintain a professional relationship with them. I am good at getting them to open up, and show me the rainbow of their emotions. I talk to them, pose them, and make them laugh. I think the best work I do, is when I am at ease and confident. I never take a commission, if I don't fall in love with the essence of an individual. Beautiful women love to pose. In my heart, they are the true artists, not the photographer. I merely try to record these marvelous events, with my artist's eye. I still feel like a kid when I photograph my lovely ladies. Photography is more joy than work. It always has been this way for me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I do not have a man cave.
I am not a lumbering neanderthal who drags his hairy knuckles on the ground, as he ambulates idiotically toward beasts or women. My conception of "maleness" does not in any way try to obfuscate intellect. I have a well-designed studio, which is my place for comfort and isolation. I alone, drew up the blueprints, and supervised it's construction. I paint, write, study, and do business in this, my realm. I have a collection of three hundred paintings. Most are mine, but those I own, done by other artists are magnificent. I also have a collection of two-thousand books, some valuable, signed first editions, in my wonderful Shangrila. I refuse to carry a "man bag", or own a "man chair". I find no humor seeing males or females make light of an individual's right to well-earned peace and solitude. I do own a Human Touch massage chair. My wife and I both enjoy it's relaxing benefits. I don't care to sexualize inanimate objects or place personal affectations on living spaces or material things. I don't refer to prized muscle cars or Harley Davidson motorcycles, as "she", "She's sure a purty Harley, ain't she, Billy Bob?" Or, "She's sure gonna' be a hot one today, eh Goober?" Oh well, I guess I'll go downstairs now and sit in my man chair, in my man cave. The Chicago Blackhawks are playin' tonight! I can't wait to see the violence and gore. I'm gonna eat all kinds of crap that isn't good for me. I'll burp, fart, and scratch myself wherever I want! I'm gonna love every minute of it! Whoops! The real me just snuck out! Don't trust these artsy-fartsy guys, you girls who are reading this. They're all hypocrites ladies. Real men are all like dogs. The best ones are just like Pit Bulls. You might love to pet 'em girls, but watch out! They might snap at yah!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I've got to look this life square in the eye.
Sometimes, I double down.
It's in my nature.
I'm a gambling man.
I like spinning the wheel.
I know the house owns the odds.
I don't care.
Neither should you.
We're only out on bail.
We've got nothing to lose.
Our sentences must be served.
So roll 'em, baby!
We might just beat the odds.
We won't walk that straight line.
There's no living in that.
My life needs the adrenaline rush.
The reaper comes all too soon.
So roll on, big mama.
Let the cards fall where they may.
Get out of the station wagon.
Jump onto my Harley.
Throw your helmut away.
Roll my way.
Be free today.
I lay my soul down to bleed.
So jump on with me.
Be with my steel Sally and me.
We'll ride this ride together.
For all eternity.
Roll on big mama.
Roll the dice with me.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Mid-October is beautiful in Illinois. As I drove in my old truck today, I saw brilliant golds, regal reds, and bright orange colors in the majestic trees. My mind wandered back around twenty-years. My daughter was eight-years old, and longing for Halloween. About a week before this wonderful day, my wife and I bought oodles of candy for all the little goblins who would be ringing our doorbell. We also bought a beautiful pumpkin. I remember lumbering into my house one day, with my muddy boots and coveralls. My little girl jumped into my arms. She kissed my wind-burned face and declared: "It's time to carve the pumpkin, Daddy!" I got myself a whiskey, my buck knife, a ladle-type scooper, and a double garbage bag. I put the pumpkin on the kitchen table. Underneath it, I always placed some old newspapers. Then I went to detailing the pumpkin's nose, mouth, ears, and eyes, with a Sharpie magic marker. I remember my daughter's smiles, as our creation took shape. The glorious smells of my wife's wonderful dinner, filled our little kitchen. The warmth from the oven took the chill out of my bones. I was chilled from working outside, on my bulldozer all day long. When I finished drawing the face, I went to carving. I cut out a circle around the pumpkin's stem, and pryed it open to expose the seeds, and pulp. My little daugher exclaimed, "Eewwww!...Are you gonna' put your hands in there, Daddy?" I laughed and said, "Do you want to help me?" My kid Catherine always said, "No way"! I pulled as much of the slop as I could, out of the pumpkin with my hands, and then scraped the rest of it out with the ladle device. Then I washed up, and poured another whiskey for myself. After a few sips, I'd use my buck knife to do a little more artistic detailing. My daughter's smile was worth a million bucks to me, as she went, "ooh and ahh". We'd put Mr. Pumpkin on a table in our den, after I dripped a few drops of hot wax, to seat the candle in the middle or this extravagent creation. I remember burning my fingers every year, as I lit the candle with my BIC lighter. My daugher always chortled with glee, when I did this! She sat in my lap, as we watched the flickering light make the face come alive. We shared this Halloween magic, every year. Pretty soon, my wife Debbie called us, by saying, "Dinner's ready!" The three of us laughed, talked, and shared our day's experiences. After dinner, we shared the duty of doing the dishes. Then sometimes we took a walk around the neighborhood, admiring all the Halloween decorations. We looked up in the skies admiring the stars, and the big, orange moon. The fragrant smell of burning leaves, always filled the air at this time of the year. We walked hand-in-hand on these magical nights. Yep, It was pumpkin carvin' time.


Sometimes the meanness breaks into me.
It crawls inside of my brain.
I pull inside of myself.
I isolate.
There's no sense to all of this.
Everything comes at me too quickly.
I'm a supersonic speed freak.
I want to run away and hide.
I hate information overload.
Perceptions become blurry.
Things get less real.
Truth disappears.
Belief systems crash.
People seem evil.
Chemical alternatives are pointless.
There is no release from the "truth".
I suppose it's more honest this way.
I hear heavy metal, when I am like this.
Rotten thoughts consume me like a worm.
It's morbid.
Its been a bad night of:
Fast-food commercials.
Horror movies.
There are cold winds in my future.
It's freaky.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


This balmy Saturday afternoon, was made for romance.
You told me you loved my eyes.
I put my arm around you as you read your book.
You laughed, and read me sentences which amused you.
I brushed your hair, because you enjoy the pampering.
You made me sweet tea, with too much sugar.
You know me well, my love.
As the sun fell in the west, we held hands.
We waited for the stars.
Nothing has dimmed for us.
All our joys proclaim that we have just met.
We know this isn't true, but we choose not to believe it.
It is not the same, because it has grown better.
Our love is strong, my love.
I will hold you in my arms tonight.
I have done this a hundred-thousand times.
What a glorious number.
This night is the best of them.
I feel the cool breeze, coming from the west.
I see you smiling, as your breath grows heavy.
I close my eyes, then open them again.
You ask me if I am still looking at you.
You know me well, my love.

Friday, October 8, 2010


To write without having read any great literature, is pitiful.
To write without having lived a life full of varied experiences is worse than pitiful. Serious writers run the gamut from drunks, fairies, factory workers, old men, whores, old women, infinitum. I personally like writers who fought wars, spent time in jails or insane asylums, and worked lousy jobs in bars and factories. Never trust a writer who comes to a reading, or book signing, wearing a tweed blazer and bow tie. This type will be smoking a pipe, and probably will have funky suede patches on his elbows. Most probably this poser is an ivory- tower elitist, who has a wealthy daddy. Look at his hands. If they look soft, like a baby's behind, get up quickly and run from the room or auditorium. Good writing comes from life's pain, or joy. It is hard, and egotistical. It has to be delivered with surety and impact, just like a right cross to the jaw. Good writing is the stuff of life and dreams. Academics who write to impress or confuse their readers with unneccessary twaddle, are all too common. They should save it for the university community; the insulated tomb, where people with shallow lives choose to die. A good writer takes the reader to places with him, and creates unending moving pictures which delight a readers mind. The writer's words should evoke a rainbow of emotions, which leave the reader changed or moved in some way. Good art does the same thing. I write for myself. The act of writing is an aphrodisiac for my mind. I also read for the same intellectual orgasmic pleasures. Conversely, the act of writing can also be a spiritual experience. A true writer never writes for money, fame, or for mommy and daddy. I write because I want you to feel, what I think I know. I'm really not sure that I know anything, but I must put it all down on paper. That's enough for me. I hope it's enough for you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


We call, and write to each other.
Warm feeling shared in letters, or in phone conversations.
We send each other magazines, books, or poems.
We sign them, with love.
We are old writers.
Some never tasted success.
We accept our limitations, our humanity.
We are blessed.
We know the beast.
The obsession.
The typer.
We love the same great words.
We have our heroes, in an age where heroes are lacking.
The old writers.
We have each other.
We seek neither fame or fortune.
We spin a good tale.
We talk of our demons.
Our families.
Our loves.
Our regrets.
We share our pain and our dreams.
Old writers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


My daughter is a hardy flower.
She bends, but does not break in the wind.
She has endured long winters.
The skies have cried their tears on her.
She endured.
She carried on, because of her light.
She burns a heart light so strong.
Undiscovered in early youth.
It remained.
The flower grew.
The petals gained color.
the stalk of her, grew strong.
She raised her arms to God.
She celebrated her uniqueness.
She loved, and was loved.
She learned acceptance.
She forgave.
She still loves.
She is the flesh of my flesh.
My daughter.
My faith.
My hope.
My dream come true.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


My friend Mike, the T-shirt man from Skywriter T-Shirts in Glen Ellyn Illinois, told me today that, "Plaque is shit on the teeth". I replied to him that, "A plaque is something that an individual hangs on his or her wall." We argued about the spelling of the word. Mike insisted that "plack" is the proper spelling, for the junk on the teeth, and for the wall hanging. I told him that "plack" sounds like "pollak". This sounds horribly, politically incorrect to me. Of course we never consulted his Webster's Dictionary.

Mike and I are both insane. We write rambling bullshit every day. Rather than work at viable trades, we sit in his shop and ponder important things like jelly donuts, and the sizes of breasts on pretty girls, who pass by his shop window. We hope that if or when they smile at us, there is no plaque on their ivory teeth. This makes sense to me. As I was leaving Skywriter T-Shirts today, Mike screamed out the door at me, "Next time you use my bathroom, make sure you don't piss on my floor". He also yelled, "Quit using three paper towels to dry your hands, when one is sufficient." Hmmm. Overhead is a bitch, I guess. What an asshole. Why do I even visit this guy? Why? I guess because I love him, and he flosses every day.


Well, I didn't have a drink today.
So what?
What else did I do?
Not much.
Did I bother to help someone?
I should have picked up a broom or a mop.
I might have been of service.
Did I whine, cry, or procrastinate?
Did I shoot arrows poisoned with venom?
Did I assasinate people, because of my derision?
I don't have the right to call my day successful,
just because I didn't pick up a drink or a drug.
Sobriety is a gift, but I must do so much more.
I need to get my ass in gear.
I must do something for humanity, every day.
Then my spirit may rise.

Monday, October 4, 2010


My mind is getting dusty.
Self-confidence is at an all time low.
I feel my subservience to powers greater than myself.
There is a turbulence, and violence in all of this.
There is no reverence anymore.
Benevolence has been replaced by malevolence.
I make my descent into Dante's hell.
My devilment is caused by discouragement.
I have been disenfranchised.
I won't be disobedient.
I have too much to lose.
My rebel mind has left me.
So called, "self-enlightenment", takes its place.
I no longer am an innocent.
My youth has been misspent.
The old man left is illcontent.
I know you're sick of my lament.
I should be more intelligent.
I must be quiet in my predicament.
But the wonderment is gone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


He's up at 5 a.m.
To the gym, he goes.
It's his agenda.
He works his chest and arms today.
He is after the "pump".
He does countless repetitions.
Iron bars, dumbells, plates.
He sees the sweat saturating his raggedy sweatshirt.
Cut off sleeves reveal huge, venous arms.
He earned his "guns".
No fancy workout costumes for him.
This ain't Halloween.
This is serious business.
He works at it 3 hours a day, six days a week.
Even God rested on Sunday.
He grunts, and talks to no-one.
This ain't no social club.
He doesn't notice the women.
He doesn't want to talk to anyone.
He just does this thing for himself.
The ritual is his narcotic.
He mainlines it every day.
It's his way.
No one can buy an entry ticket.
A man has to earn this life.
He's earned it.
He's a mean dog.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Let's go out and take no prisoners.
Let's throw off the shackles of the past!
Let's make love, and drink some beers.
We gotta' make it last.
We'll dance to beautiful music.
Never-ending nights, we'll live.
Let's go out and take no prisoners.
Flowers and rubies we must give,
to dirty Gypsies, and Nihilists.
We'll laugh at them, as they wave their fists.
Let's just do, what we're doing now.
Let's celebrate and howl!
Come run with me in golden fields,
with reckless abandon.
We'll take no prisoners.
We'll watch the darkness come.
Home is anywhere we want it to be.
Anywhere our love is free.
No rogue waves, will capsize our love.
Look at the Northern Lights eat up the gray.
Make diamonds in the sky with me, my love.
We luxuriate in our wild ride.
We keep our hearts on the outside,
so they can see more light.
We take no prisoners.


Let's go out and take no prisoners.
Throw off the shackles.
Make love, and drink some beers.
We gotta' make it last.
Let's dance to the music.
Let's live never-ending nights.
Let's go out and take no prisoners.
We will give flowers and rubies,
to dirty gypsies and nihilists.
We'll laugh at them, as they wave their fists.
Let's live in the moment.
Let's celebrate and howl.
We must love with reckless abandon.
Take no prisoners.
Let's watch the darkness come.
Home is anywhere we want to be.
No rogue waves will capsize our love.
We'll look at the Northern Lights.
Joy will eat up the gray.
See the diamnonds in the sky, my love?
We keep our hearts on the outside.
So that they can see more light,
and take no prisoners.

Friday, October 1, 2010


After 9 months of staying in this lovely resort,
my life of leisure comes to an abrupt end.
No more steady food from the umbilical cord.
No more floating in amniotic fluid.
No more "universal mind", or the joys of cosmic consciousness.
For the first time, I feel pain.
I am being squeezed through a dark tunnel.
A big set of hands is squeezing my head.
I am forcibly yanked into an alien world.
The white coats cut my food tube, and slap me on my ass!
I frighten myself with shrieking sounds.
They are coming from me!
I didn't know I was possessed by this demon!
They snip my little weiner!
This is humiliating and painful.
I hope they don't kill me.
I am put on my mother's breast.
She puts this big pink thing in my mouth.
I start sucking.
Hey!...This ain't too bad!
It tastes yummy.
I'm more relaxed now.
Some warm stuff keeps coming out of me.
At least it doesn't hurt me.
I see other "things" walking around.
They have bumps on their chests.
I wonder if I can suck on their pink things, too?
They sure smell good!
It's getting better out here now.
I feel nice and warm.
I think I'll take a nap.
The human comedy perpetuates itself,
down through generations.