Text Listening or 12%er

With fingers like cigar butts

Smart phone settings can be a problem.

Better to see a text

Than have everyone in the room listening.

That would be accidental collection

In American political fiasco parlance,

If you know what I’m saying.

So my friend, the goat herder,

Before I take leave of this day,

Hit the right friggen button

So we can text freely next time,

Lest I blame you

For bugging our communications

As I head to the first tee…


Who we are
Is who we be
Until we get lost
And are unable to see.
Today, I sat at a table
With strangers all around
One, a poet, ready to read
Hiding behind heavy hair
And those bohemian looking sweaters
While his friends
Latched on to his sort of celebrity
In a cool kind of way,
At least the ladies were into the reading,
The dude seemed more interested
In the lumberjack competition on the tele.

A lady to my left asked me if I wrote poetry
And in my slow to warm voice I said, “Yes.”
She asked what I did for a living
And I wanted to say, “Eat, drink, and breathe,”
But I settled for, “Teach Health and PE,”
To which she offered, “Oh, god bless you,” and turned away.
I thought her response strange
Since I had not sneezed, but I let it go
In honor of the fine beer and tasty cheese before me and
Out of respect for the poet
Lamenting about lust for a Russian teacher.

I sat there thinking
Why should my poet cred be challenged by my vocation
After all, classroom teachers hate trying to teach gym
And every now and then, I have a pleasing poet’s groove.
A deep breath and a bite of Seven Sisters Smoked Provolone
Sent me beyond the crowded room,
A mental flossing removing the plaque and
Involving a time earlier in the day
When I took my son’s lead,
Allowing YouTube to stoke a fire
With my old friend Eric Clapton
Who I lost in the Springsteen storm of autumn.
I got home from the reading,
Warmed up some cheese pizza, and
Cranked up the Tube
While I burned up my lap top’s battery
Processing photos and thinking poetic thoughts.

Then it hit me,
Live is where it’s at.
The Boss blew me away
Under the hot summer night
With all the energy Bruce and the band bring.
YouTube was a synthetic version
Of being there.
Since my basement is so cold,
I could claim this was live and not Memorex,
The stiffness in my fingers akin to September’s sweat
Rolling down my crack.
My typing would stop
As I felt compelled to watch Eric sway like a cobra
When the musical spirits took his body over.
I danced as much as my cranky back
Would allow,
The cry of Mr. Clapton’s guitar
Bringing tears to my eyes
As Badge tore at my doubt.
Seriously, Key To the Highway,
Had me thinking of my son,
A guitar player in his own right, but also,
It made me realize how much I missed Clapton,
How much I missed being sure of myself,
How much I need to not care
That people can’t understand
How a PE teacher can write poetry
Even at the expense of watching
That basketball tournament that probably
Can’t be mentioned without permission
From the NCAA.

So thanks Google
For streaming some EC.
The day has been great,
A needed rediscovery.


After day of listening
To weasels explain
Executive rantings and ravings,
And after getting poked
In the chest nine times
By a Jets fan
During a conversation
About Tony Romo,
I needed a moment to think about
The true essence of happiness…


Some might suggest that I’m humorless
Quite untrue for I love a smart laugh
And an insightful look into the absurd,
So today, my first day back,
After a working vacation, I…



A juicy, seal like laugh…

One dripping with inuendo…


So inspired was I by the jocularity
That my face turned red and
Tears ran from my eyes
As if I had been punctured by a ceramic juicer
On a cold winter’s day…


Maybe the best part
Was the evolution of the punch line,
Set up through a dicussion of killer whales
Digressing into a coded, NC-17 monologue
About culinary hydration and the
Pleasue of eating food dripping with flavor.

As the time changed
Forcing us to our next class,
There had been no joke recognition,
Then the immaturity and ridiculousness
Of our knights at the trapezoidal table talk
Reached a point of satiation
I could not handle any longer.

Dare I say…org…I dare not.

Cue the fireworks,
Bring in the clowns,
“Is that Mel Brooks?,”
Because my laughter nearly
Broke a rib.

It all started again
As I stood over my grill
Debating whether the salmon
Would be flaky or under cooked,
Only a smile and a chuckle this time.
For the record,
The fish was just right.


I’m pulling the pin tonight
Blowing up the vegetarian lunches
That have been the staple
For the last six weeks.
I’m housing sausage
Dipped in spicy A1 sauce
And washing it down with oatmeal stout
All the way from New Holland.
The Poet will be the brand.
There will be M&Ms by the handful,
A candle to steer the foul smells clear, and
Two or three trips to the slider
To see if any snow is falling yet.
After Feherty, I might just go another round
Teeing up a cold one,
Grounding my club in the loose pile of candy, and
Working my way to clarity in the blizzard outside.

Sunday Night

Critique night is coming,
All I’ve gotCritique night is coming,
All I’ve got is a blinking cursor.
I can’t stop with YouTube,
Brilliant Ideas suppressing my own.
Somehow I’m thinking in sculpture
Instead of prose.
The words are escaping me,
But the ideas of shapes,
Installations, and the power of things made
Are taking up the valuable time
I have for writing.

Perhaps Stella will stir my writing.
I’ll have the whole day to post something,
Given the snow prevents going to school,
Of course, I’ll have to turn off
The distraction that is the internet
And all these great examples
Of what art can be,
How far I’ve got to go, and
How little time is left
For this Sunday night
Before the storm.

Saturday Morning

This week I’ve been teaching,
Really more like learning,
About the role of bonding
In the prevention of drug abuse…
Which by the way is not a problem for me,
I’m not interested in those risks.
Finally, on Saturday,
The takeaways from the school grind
Came crashing down,
Lifting me up
From the winter doldrums
So persistent this time of year.
I’m not sure if it was my wife
Brushing our dog,
Both so beautifully content
In the sun
Streaming through the slider,
Or maybe my reading of Buddhist lessons
To appreciate now
As deeply as possible,
Or maybe Springsteen from Philly
Back when summer was exerting its influence
On a hot Friday night,
Or maybe it was all three
That had me wanting to do push-ups,
Cry, and
Smile all at the same time.
For awhile, no politics,
No self-pity, no self-imposed pressure to be perfect,
Just the appreciation
For what is around me,
The readings coming to life
As I was more mindful of the beauty of today.
Then, as I rode through Darlington County
With my arms and chest
A little wobbly from the small amount of exercise,
I couldn’t help but be thankful
For this Saturday morning,
The tears, the smiles, the push-ups,
The journey.

House Sitting

Why not?
When alone
Why not act like I did
Back when I was single.
All the tools are before me.
A rough draft to edit,
A concept map to guide new ideas,
The Farm and Business Directory of Ches Co 1914,
My journal,
A spiral graph paper notebook with notes,
The television remote, a variety of pens,
And a healthy supply of Hooker’s House
That supplies all the effort
Guaranteed on the label.

The only difference is now I’m married
And my dog is part of the scene.
We are hanging on the bed,
Obviously, I’m writing, and
The ALO channel on Pandora
Is cranking “Could You Be Loved”
By the reggae master, Bob.
It’s like a time capsule up in here,
Only this time my family will come home,
But tonight I get to
Do as I did and
I’m thinking I’ll do it
Until I’m done.

Day 2

So yesterday was about beef,

Today about beers and a birthday.

My grandmother turned 95

And I made the trip down the way

Finding her in Dreamcoat threads

And that southern charm

I grew up with.

Seeing her refuse help down a hill

Made me realize old need not be weak.

From there, a few of us braved

Turbulent parking

And the strongest of winds

To find shelter

Under a roof of protection

And a trickle of beer.

We joked,

We ribbed,

We shared our stories

Of the same family events.

How different our versions were…

And it was great.

Laughing about the hardness,

Commiserating about the pain,

Yet able to know

We were one just because.

Microbrews brought it all home

‘Cuz there’s money in that alcohol.
I say let’s do it again

At 100!