Monthly Archives: April 2017

This is one of my rare open-ended posts. If you were to write and direct a play…

… would it have a happy ending?
… would it be an entertainment, or would it make a point?
… if the latter, what point would it make, what lesson would it teach?

Your thoughts are valued and enlightening.

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I. (by Gregory)

the lava of my soul ignites
the path of my passions
i watch as the world erupts
in blameless incomprehsion
as i cast off the shackles
of my solitude


II. (by Amil)

Which shall it be?  Shall it be
breadcrusts today?
(The people say no.)
Oh no?  Then shall it be
muffins today?
(The people again say no.)
Oh no?  Then it must be
cake today.
That is your choice.
You have chosen cake.
(The people eat cake.)
Who decides which it shall be?
Is it you?  No, it is me.


III. (by Sophia)

I cast a longing glance
   at your figure, standing
      by the door
The grain of the oak
   matches the texture
      of your jacket
Will you leave the room
   or will you turn away
      from that wooden grave
         and walk to me


IV. (by Jayden)

O wretched snake! O slithery eel!
Be still and do not curl your tail!
Be kind and do not eat your meal!
Starve yourselves, we say, so that
we may enjoy the beauty of this day.


X. (by Rylee)

We went for a ride in your car
We didn’t go very far
It was just down the block
It was about four-o-clock
Your car seats were cold
And they were also very old
You know what happened next
I sent all my friends a text
You can see yourself on Facebook
And see just how you looked
When you got denied
On our little ride.
We can still be friends
but that shit got to end.


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•  It says something about our culture, how so many films involve a mild-mannered person who gets entangled with a insidious manipulator — initially taken in by him but ultimately ridding herself of him, usually by uncharacteristically violent means through which the victim taps into a heretofore hidden dimension of herself.  Or maybe it says something about film clichés.

•  You’ve been there.  You are with a friend or two, engaged in over-coffee conversation or dinner banter, during which one of them launches into the story about their healthy habits and how they make such a difference — and of course you don’t do any of these things.  Things like making sure you eat dinner before six-o-clock so you have time to walk off the calories before bedtime, or not drinking on weekdays, or only eating meat twice a month, or wearing a fitness watch to make sure you take 15,000 steps a day.  How is one supposed to respond to a friend’s heartfelt but unshared health dogma?  “I plan to die young” is one possibility but the response I really like is my sister-in-law’s saying: “That ship has sailed.”

•  Often in the 1960s, the playground battles among you and your mates were not fought on the ballfield but in your respective mouths.  Who could avoid cracking a molar on a jawbreaker?  How long could one tolerate the intensely tart Regal Crown Sour Cherry before the roof of your mouth started to peel?  Who had the ten cents to buy a pack of Topps bubble-gum baseball cards, and who had to settle for Bazooka Joe for a penny?  Finally, who would dare endure the mockery of one’s playground friends for buying and eating those tiny licorice pellets known as Sen Sen?

•  The last thing one wants to see is the last thing one might ever see.


•  You know that Jesus is looking out for you when the milk in your fridge still smells good five days after the expiration date.  Or your favorite team wins the championship game.  Nothing vindicates religion more than getting the earthly outcomes you hope for.

•  Returning to film clichés, what about the cold, unresponsive bureaucrats trying to screw an ordinary guy who has does something good but outside the norm — which means that he now has to vindicate himself, and to do so, he calls in a favor from a troubled friend on the inside that he knows from way back.  And just when you think the guy’s case is lost, a stray piece of evidence shows up, which the troubled friend uncovers while being engaged in debauchery.  The friend straightens himself out in time to present reliable testimony on behalf of the wrongly-accused.  The bureaucrats lose, the nice guy gets on with his life, and the friend is lucky enough to meet a nice woman to keep him on the straight-and-narrow.

•  Advertising on Facebook is one thing, but this is getting out of hand.  The other day when I signed on, I was confronted with the bizarre ads you see in the screenshot at right.  I can’t imagine what I would have said on Facebook that caused it to show me such ads.  Trump is a dick?  (Never said that, at least not there.) And just today, another Facebook ad suggested that Regis Philbin died.  What did I ever say about Regis?

•  Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein and Christopher Hitchens walked into a bar — I was already there.  We had a lively conversation.  Galileo was sitting at a table in the corner, and we would have asked him to join us, but he spoke Italian and none of us spoke anything but English.  (Einstein refused to speak German after World War II.)   I asked the bartender to send a glass of grappa over to Galileo, which he seemed to appreciate, tilting his glass toward me and then gesturing that he might drop it, as if from the Tower of Pisa.  But he held onto it and promptly downed it.  Hitchens and Twain laughed, and so did I.

•  At the end of the night, Abe got a little annoyed with me.  He thought I should tip the bartender a penny, and he did not understand how anyone could consider this an insult.

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