Is it routine?
Work ethic?

Or plain old crazy?

Why are we working so hard?
Why is everything so expensive?
Is there even a point to us?

Or is it plain old crazy?

These realities,
Created, manufactured, forced upon us,
What are they for?

Survival, wealth, success,
Only the first one means anything
The other two are relative.

It’s just that the toil doesn’t much matter,
Nothing is ever good enough,
Never right.

It’s crazy.

Grades, diplomas, achievement
Salaries, benefits, pensions,
Likes, followers, “fund me” accounts.

I suppose that last one is begging legitimatized…


The only people rising earlier than our running group
Are the first time moms
Who are unimpressed by the idea of a
Quick lube and mattress shop, but totally excited by the idea of child care at the Y and
Concert goers looking for organically inspired dreams or premium seating.

These groups get brought up because of their insistence, their persistence, and their downright bulls eye attraction for ridicule and shaming.

Which means, of course, that I am feeling mean about the folks
So caught up in the rat race or
So detached from dealing with reality
That they hovel for someone to take care of the children
While completely unaware that they could afford to do it themselves
If only they sought a little less of the material,
If they just put down the phones,
Walked instead of Facebooked, or

Reassessed what is important.

As for the others, the ones looking to distance themselves from the present,
To find those Alice moments where cheshire could mean feline or pox.
(Too deep?)
I’m thinking all of that augmented reality searching
Makes for distraction,
But how does it help?
Fun, relaxing, enlightening,
Yep, been there,
But right now, these already made up, yoga pants with down coat wearing,
Gotta get my kid everything kind of moms,
Are making the stereotypes about them come to life.

So it is a five in the morning.

In the background
Motherless Children played
The guitars whining,
An expression of hardship after death
Electrified in a way that
Makes the stress of loss
Come alive; more so
After the news sent my way yesterday.

In the background
My heart is beating,
A dull kind of sound,
A melancholy expression of sadness
Tamped down by the thoughts
Of a family
Who lost their patriarch way too soon.

My thoughts are distracted
By my minor maladies,
Physical, existential, shallowness
For I’m locked in on the music
While banging out reps
To undo the knots of endurance
Tying up my calves.

It’s a kind of half awareness
Of my pain
Being pushed aside as insignificant
By a death,
The real kind of pain
The one affecting everyone
Who is left behind.

Suddenly the foreground exploded in sound,
Rantings and ravings about Democrats,
The supposed ruination of America
By one party.
Then there were justifications about Republicans
Having never held up government just because of Obama.
(Who was the Supreme Court justice that was blocked???)

My foreground radar scanned for a way out,
Because I’m not one for how things are,
Especially, today, when the weight of life
Makes government insignificant,
Makes the salaries of pro athletes insignificant,
Makes the new year’s resolutions of late arriving exercise devotees,
Well, insignificant.

I just wanted to work out,
Think the thoughts I was thinking,
Not bothered with the pettiness of politics,
Income envy, or outright inconsideration of the sanctity
Of working out.
I just wanted to stretch,
Which I suppose I was doing.

I hid behind a yoga strap tugging my taught hamstring,
Gradually falling out of the conversation
And into visions of a home by the sea, courtesy of Genesis.
I again felt for my former students and their mother
Who are dealing with real issues,
Greater than political dissonance or muscular insolence.
God bless.

Are changing priorities signs,
Signs that suggest apathy,
For all of the stuff left behind?

If so, is that all bad?

Today, with the resolutions starting,
I doubt all those weight loss armies
Are thinking it’s bad to be apathetic about gluttony.

And what’s wrong if they do?

The rub is that apathy is for real,
Not a word to be tossed around without caution,
Kind of like depressed and addicted.

See what I mean?

The words we choose have meaning,
Express yourself well and rest assured that
Priorities can change without apathy being the cause.

The traffic on the street
Should have your focus, little lady.
Put your damn phone down and
Hold your daughter’s hand.
She can barely walk,
She doesn’t understand waiting,
She knows nothing of cars darting towards the curb.
She needs you, now.

You seem to know nothing of priorities
Your social media can wait,
Your checking for news can wait,
Your high score on Candy Crush can wait,
You’ve got a toddler,
She needs you now,
But you’re lost in a digital dream,
Somewhere between unconscious and neglectful.

Were you thinking about this when you took that chance?
Was he thinking about this?
You know, that guy who promised you everything
For those few minutes of pleasure…
Probably not on both cases,
Now the truth is alive,
So long as she doesn’t get hit by a car
While you are scrolling on your phone.

1. Hey girl, I applied to the university.

2. Me too, the honors program.

1. Really… Isn’t that a bunch of nerds?

2. Yeah.

1. We should room together!!!

2. Yeah, I’m requesting the honors dorm!!!

1. With the nerds? Why would you do that?

2. So I can get my homework done.

1. Uh, no, eff that.

Jack Dean (Finance, Eight Bars Parent)

My kids are caught up in this mess,
We, adults, started it,
It’s like people talking
When you putt,


I never thought my daughter would do this.
I guess I could see my son doing this.
I don’t think I’m going to bother with it all.
I’ve got new wedges to break it.


Mr. Bozo, not of clown fame,
Climbed behind the wheel of his auto
And mashed the accelerator to the floor
As his friend was sick
Without much time left on Earth.

Mr. Bozo drove with gusto
Weaving through traffic
So single minded on seeing his friend
That speed limits meant nothing
Except to Constable Ewart.

The good officer pulled Bozo over
Who explained his reason for speeding
And the impending death of his sick friend
Which had little impact on the emotionally jaded
Man of the law.

Several months later, the citation was argued in court
With the Constable calling Bozo,
“Dangerous, a menace, suicidal, and homicidal.”
Mr. Bozo, simply pleaded guilty and affirmed that
He sped to see his sick friend.

A fine was levied and his license was suspended,
Which did not bother the defendant at all,
When asked by the judge if he understood,
Bozo said, “I do your honor. Thankfully,
I made it in time to see my friend off.”


Photo Credit: via Pexels