Emails from parents are crack me ups,
Not so much because of the annoyance they present,
“Do you know how ridiculous all of this is?…” kind of comments.
No, what’s so funny is how many parents forget,
Forget what it was like for their parents
Who had to decipher what was real,
The truth of a kid’s story
The reality of the fake brief the little lawyer delivered..

“My teacher doesn’t like me,
Won’t help me,
Want’s to see me fail.”

“The technology doesn’t work,
I need a new device,
Somebody changed my password.”

The dog and the homework joke has a new life,
It’s more grand, more plausible, just as much a lie,
And I think many of today’s parents are not parenting at all.
They want cozy, comfortable, easy,
No stress, no failure, no difficulty.
So, maybe the technology is a pain in the ass,
But teachers want success for their students,
What’s to gain by students failing?
None of us want that for kids or those sorts of emails.

How about it moms and dads, can you remember your shenanigans?
Think before you email about the kid tricks you tried on your parents,
Then look in the organic mirror that your kids are and shut them down.

More often than not, your child is failing themselves.
You fail them as a parent by bailing them out all the time.
Although I do appreciate the hilarity of an ill advised email.

Party people of a certain age,
Were you ever hanging at a gathering,
No masks required, right?
Everyone milling around,
Faithfully giving way to Stairway to Heaven,
How about it?

Grading some papers today,
Taking a break away from the fitness,
Muscles tired, nerves tired, motivation low.

Reading emails,
I wish I didn’t have to,
They rarely amount to much.

The first is a long tomb about social activism,
I don’t really measure up.
I just try to be as good as I can to all who I meet.

The next is intriguing,
An invitation to try out a Bod Pod.
Do I want to know how fat I actually am?

The third is about bus schedules,
Those are those big yellow things that carry a few kids.
Hopefully, we’ll have enough for our spring sports.

Those are the ones I read,
I just deleted the rest.
If they were important, they’ll send another.

The other day I listened as titans spoke,
Obama and Springsteen,
Two people I love to listen to.
They told stories of fun,
Shared experiences on race relations,
Offered hope for solving the problem,
Doing something,
Not just talking,


What struck me was their candor,
Ownership of their flaws,
A willingness to look in,
Not to simply complain about how things are.
They are leaders, not pity seekers,
Not the types to just whine about the past,
But dudes of action,
Willing to use their words for action,
For more than attention.

Today, I swam in the morass of inaction,
Sitting in a meeting where the social barometer
Fluctuated between comic book and sensationalism.
Social media became the gospel,
Compasses became metaphors, and
Fear ruled the day.
Not a good scared either,
The kind that is afraid to take a stand,
The kind lacking courage,
The kind that does nothing.


Look, there are no easy answers to solving race problems.
I think people need to simplify,
All people have issues,
All people have goodness,
All people have bad qualities,
No one has dominion over all,
In fact the only things we can truly control,
Are how we choose to see the world and
How we choose to treat others.
When racism rears its ugliness,
It’s the badness in people being brought to fruition.

In the end, even a former President and the Boss,
Couldn’t really offer much to solve the problem beyond,
People learning to accept others,
No matter their culture,
No matter their bank account,
No matter their religion,
No matter their gender,
No matter,
No matter,
No matter.


Grams, ounces,
Those two add up quickly to pounds.
March is bringing a change,
Hopefully a bit of discipline,
An agreement between desire and satisfaction,
Mostly just better choices
Around the kitchen.
The problem is so much what,
It’s how much.
Serving sizes are such ambiguous amounts.
The goal is not great,
Only a few pounds, grams, and ounces.

Arriving back in reality
After celebrating my grandmother’s birthday
Brings the Sixers to the forefront,
Battling a shooting slump
Bricks galore.
Could this be a lasting reality
Cold nights
Cobbling thoughts
Dropped after enjoying
Drinks at the
Dining room table?

Enough of that.

Maybe I’ll just lift tomorrow.

I’m sitting on a Saturday,
It’s two o’clock, the sky is gray.
Tomorrow, my grandmother turns 99.

Since the shutdown, I wasn’t sure what to do,
Can’t see her, phone calls are tough, like her,
So I figured I’d better do it up right.

I consulted my friend, a vodka man,
We decided it was time I broke my streak,
One dating back to an October Mexican food outing.

My grandmother, being a connoisseur of blanca beverages,
And additionally, being my initiator into Puerto Rico’s clear spirit,
Made it appropriate to break from the long dry winter in her honor

Many years ago, in the stuffy confines of the Williamsburg Inn
I sat nervously in a mandatory dinner jacket
As my grandmother ordered me a rum and coke.

I worried about being carded, it did not happen,
The little bottle is probably a collectible by now,
Many years later, I rarely partake in either, alcohol or sodas.

Ninety-nine, that’s more than just a toast,
My friend and I talked more and it turns out, my granny made kick ass potatoes,
Double baked, creamy and crispy, so I baked two of my own. Single-baked…

And that’s where I am as I write,
Two fingers into a little bottle of rum…with Diet Coke…
Halfway through two baked potatoes, Second Street style with bacon and cheese.

My dog is resting his head on my leg. My sweats soaking up the drool,
Two sips down and my lack of consumption experience is already hitting, and
This baked potato is going down oh so smoothly.

I wish I could head to the Old Dominion to check in on her,
Maybe we could tip a glass together
While reading our writing to each other.

I’d tell her about how she got me to love ice cream, big heaping bowls,
How her bike riding on that yellow Schwin set an exercise example, and
Just maybe, that I’ve got more than a little of her hair vanity in me.

So, Grand Mom, Happy Birthday, hope you have a bottle handy.
Thanks for being who you’ve been for me, important is all I can say,
Including tomorrow when the headache hits…

Part 1

Do you ever grow tired of talking to people?
Making conversation?
Defending what you say?
Making a statement with absolutely no intention and
Having others twist, turn, or jack it up
So that it becomes something more?

I do.

I am.



Part 2

Do you ever sit in a room with others giving safe answers?
“I don’t know.”
“That’s crazy.”
Then after lounging in the conversation safe room
Getting accused of being grumpy, distant, or a terrible communicator.

I have.