Monthly Archives: February 2016



The four deadly words are, obviously, Iced Lemon Shortbread Cookies. Those words form a perfect storm of irresistible temptation. And when I saw them at the Family Dollar for less than $2.00 the package, I quickly became a lost soul.

For one of the Seven Deadly Sins is Gluttony. Gluttony is my personal subdemon under the umbrella demon Addictive Personality. Don’t bet me I can’t eat just one; A), I can’t; B) I shouldn’t be gambling, since my fearsomest subdemon is Gamblin’ Fool.

There’s this great guy I met on the Internet when his username was VTOL (Vertical TakeOff & Landing). Now he’s Coop to me. We’ve been cracking each other up–his fake movie posters and album covers, my photo captions–for over seven years. But sometimes we get more thoughtful, and Coop recently averred that as we evolve, so too do our demons. Mine are tamer, now, thank Goodness–but I still ate all damnably delicious 1200 calories of those cookies in two goes in one day.




the real me 02232016.jpg

the real me

when searching for the real me
a thousand falsehoods i did see
and then a chiding voice said “you!
look elsewhere or you’ll lose the true.
you need more sisters and more brothers.
the real you resides in others.”

carborundum on withered flesh: a long day,
and the latest surprise guest is in the lumbar region,
driving pitons into vertebrae to climb the lower spine.

the wrongnesses have been like the plagues of egypt.
monday was spike-headache day, tuesday the closure of left nostril lane,
wednesday the night of the thousand urinations,
thursday noise sensitivity, friday eyeleak, and now
tiny adventurers are scaling the coccyx and points north.

ah, but it is good to be alive.
ah, but it seems to be less good each day.
ah, but there is always a kiss or a good meal just around the corner . . .

childhood saw its maddening chickenpox, its horrible stomachaches,
its flesh-abrading spills and sprains.
in retrospect, it was old age prep:
this hurts. enjoy that the hurt will fade, since you are young.

the old man enjoys
oases of good and painless feeling,
and he hates whining, especially his own,
but sometimes the carborundum wins a fall.



Most of my life I’ve been proud of my stubby,yet muscular, legs. I will always cherish being objectified, sometime in the 80s, by a girl in a car, who saw me walking next to the road and yelled “I LIKE YOUR LEGS!!” Long before that, when I was about 8 years old, I noticed that the bulge of my calf helped create a harp-shape in the negative space formed by lying down and resting my right ankle on my left knee.

Kindly Dr. Ash diagnosed me with short/tight ligaments early on. I will always be inflexible due to this. And I was often walking on my toes (we call it that, but it’s really the platform of toes and foot-ball) and I am sure that is why I ended up with heroically-proportioned calves.

Now I note, at first with dismay, and an exclamation of “Holy Crap!” that when I flex my calf muscle, it reveals the crepiness of my 61-year-old flesh. Forever in the rear view are my firm, un-lumpy limbs of yesteryear. The odds of anyone yelling their like for my legs are vanishingly small.

But dismay fades. My legs, bless ’em, have walked and run me tens of thousands of miles. In 1991 alone they ran 1,891 miles. In their prime, June of 1984, they ran 186 miles–more than 6 miles a day, 7 days a week, and this in a hot, hot Phoenix spring/summer.

So my poor skin has been inexorably stretched and strained; and the aging process thins and devitalizes the flesh. There is also sun damage, which is rife among citizens of Phoenix.

Georgia O’Keeffe grew more and more beautiful with each passing year. Her old face, which I saw in person in 1975, was a network of lines of power, a direct connection to cosmic revelation. Her eyes saw into and through all that drew her attention.  Wisdom glowed in them, not to mention asperity.

The flesh reflects a life well lived–or not so well lived. Got Laugh Lines? Got Sourmouth? Time, and the process, will tell.

As for me, my “Holy Crap!” of initial dismay is now the “Holy Crepe!” of earned pride.

these words come through an addled head
whose attention is fractured by coughs and snuffs and muscle cramps

there’s relief on the horizon
for it was worse yesterday and worse yet the day before and much worse before that

but the illness bids me write
telling me there is something important i cannot say when well

telling me “in vino veritas” (in wine there is truth)
may take a back seat to “in malum veritas” (substitute ‘illness’)

telling me to tell you that illness is not all microorganistic in nature
that the body’s ills are more easily conquerable than the spirit’s

and that there is an epidemic
symptoms: hatred, blame, impulse to destruct, ungenerosity

and that each spirit must find its own cure
and in doing so will encounter a new symptom: despair


well, i’m going back to bed, for bedrest has been helpful
and i am going to love you all, unjudgmentally


A couple of days ago I was at the Hideaway West bar & grille, and while there wrote a poem called “hearts are not flowers.” There was a fellow there who often asks me to look up various country & western stars to see if they are still alive. Diplomatically as possible I told him I couldn’t: busy on a poem.

Long story short–I recited the poem, to some applause. The bartender, Allisyn, expressed praise. Long story longer–I made a commitment to write a poem for and/about her. That is when I learned the exotic spelling of her name.

I know next to nothing about Allisyn, except that she does her job with intelligent competence, but I’ve bellied up to a slueful of bars in my adult life, and have seen some of what bar folk go through . . .

allisyn’s rule

“we tend to win,” says allisyn,
“when we dispel the gloom.
all is not lost, nor chaos-tossed,
when woof unwarps the loom.

“when tending bar, a superstar
must be both soft and hard.
the job has perks, but there are jerks
who’ll put you on your guard.

“but then a mellow femme or fellow
stops by frequently,
becomes a friend, and then you tend
with glad alacrity.

“and that is why the job that i
took on can make me smile.
nobody’s fool–sometimes i rule,
and then i rule with style.”

In earlier posts there were prototype/preliminary sketches of Daniel. They were unsatisfactory. I showed them to Daniel and said so, and he was kind enough and interested enough to provide a couple of photographs for me to work from. The above index-card portrait is the result, which did seem to capture both likeness and personality to some extent. Daniel seemed pleased, and also authorized its use in this blog post.

The next in the series will be Erika, whose credo is “Live each day as if it were your last.” Please stay tuned!