Monday, December 15, 2008

Threw Shoes?

[for George Perreault]

“So what if he threw shoes?”
says cheekily defiant Dubya,
missing the significance of
a Cairo TV-reporter's throwing
his shoes at him during
a Baghdad press-conference,

one shoe making him lame-duck,
the other, over his head, slamming
into the wall behind him. Throwing
shoes at someone is the worst
possible insult in the Arab world:

shoes cover the body's lowest part,
tread on animal dung, are removed
on entering a house or mosque.
What’s lower? Just the dung itself.

(15 DEC 08, Santa Clara CA)v5

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paper Tiger

In Silicon Valley's Cupertino,
a dutiful grandson eagerly awaits
an annual U.S. Savings Bond

from his indulgent grandfather,
a manufacturer in Shanghai
who shuffles yuans, reading
his falling quarterly orders
report on the United States.

This year his indulgence
will bear the 2-tongued-E
of a Eurobond instead.

Facing the Chinese in Beijing,
Paulson involuntarily shudders
at a hint of chill across the table.

Something’s morphing. Paper’s
no longer just promissory scrip.

(O5 DEC 08, Santa Clara CA)v3

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dark of the Moon

If I could doubt more,
I would have to know more.
If I knew more, I might doubt
I’ve found out in time,
because I'm writing this
in The Dark of the Moon.

During the recent campaign,
a simple poster of
Obama’s profile

hung in triplicate from a window
nr the corner of Cole & Carl
in San Francisco:


You, who are reading this,
do you doubt less now, or
do you have faith in Hope?

(Thanksgiving Day, 27 NOV 08, Santa Clara)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

High water

Whenever we drink,
we drink terrestrial w@ter
of celestial origin, w@ter
higher than we think.

(20 NOV 08, Santa Clara CA)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

re: Stuart Kauffman

[Bob Chute]: I'll read the 5 pages of hard copy [above], then, but at a glance: what emerges with consciousness is not purpose, but the capacity to imagine (consider the possibility) of purpose. The possibility to imagine Jesus converting the wine without trickery also emerges.

Re: Kauffman (notes jotted during reading the SALON interview)

Is a world in which anything is conceivable a world in which any conceivable things can exist?

Consciousness as a phenom emergent from language which in turn is emergent from thought? [my contribution to the inexplicable]

Newton was not a reductionist.

Laplace et al: The inability to predict doesn't prove acausality, only the failure of prediction. The sum of possible interactions may exceed the universe's capacity to compute an outcome.

"emergence" an old and standard concept — and useful

"Physics can not talk about values" because values are not the subject of physics, or biology, or statistics, or dog training.

How different is saying "agency is in the universe" from saying agency is an emergent consequence of the universe?

"We can not say how the biosphere will evolve"..big deal! Who thought we could?

"We didn't have the faintest idea what would happen with the invention of writing..." Well, K, we weren't there were we? But someone there might well have said or thought, This Will Lead To.. people do this all the time. Are usually wrong, but occasionally right.

"We are organisms with meaning in our lives..." that is, organisms who must behave as if there is meaning in their lives.

That the universe is chaotic need not mean it is meaningless, not lawless. A chaotic system is one so complex it appears random: the paths of causality are concealed by its complexity. Welcome to chaos.

[Bill Costley]: Tho raised & educated R.C., I've always dismissed Anselm's "Argument from 1st-[causeless] cause", imagining instead that existing things just accumulate from...wherever (Big Bang notwithstanding.) Impressed by what it imagines are revelations of 'perfect' design, mankind persistently projects 'perfection' by someThing Perfect. But many things are imperfect, subject to what we call evolutionary trial & error, etc. Towards what end - if any? Variation is not always improvement.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama on the Wall

(Scene: White House Gym)

Obama drops an NBA* basketball,
deciding to climb the wooden wall,
knob-by knob; he tires near the top,
calling out for "Rahm (Emmanuel),
"I need your help! I need your help!”

2 MIB**s rush in to protect Obama:
“I need Rahm’s help,” he says,
"not yours, guys; thanks anyway.”

Rahm suddenly appears in a gym suit,
smiling. “Good test, Obama; the MIBs
seem to have forgotten me.” Obama
smiles: “They're new; Rahm, it’s been
8 years since you were here with Bill.”

Obama shinnies down the knobby wall,
chuckling as he hits the hardwood floor,
popping up & dribbling the basketball
off across the shiny hardwood floor.

*National Basketball Assn.
** Men in Black = U.S. Secret Service

(06 NOV 08, Santa Clara CA) v7

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barak Obama Won

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there." (Acceptance speech, Chicago IL, 04 NOV 08)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Seeing stubby

In my vitiated mind,
instead of John McCain,
I see a stubby all-white fireplug's
2 stubby arms & sea-cap embossed:
M. Greenberg’s Sons San Francisco,
remembering my stubby uncle Tom
in the subs in WW2 & Korea.

(03 NOV 08, Santa Clara CA)v4

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Voted Yesterday

Yes, I voted yesterday, 30 OCT 08, using a vote-by mail-ballot. To be exact, I marked that ballot, but didn't actually mail it in; instead, I'll hand it in on Tues, 04 NOV 08, here where I live (Valley Village, 310 apts) which has 2 precinct polling places. If that sounds odd, it really isn't here in Northern CA; just about anywhere can be a polling place & so many are. On the actual voting day, I'll 1st go to the hospital (not a polling place as far as I know, but might be), then drop off my sealed mail-in ballot back here at Valley Village, then ride the Caltrain up to S.F. where a friend's house is a local polling place.

So, you can vote at so many places from 8am to 8pm (as well as by mail) that you really have no excuse for not voting unless you're too unwell to mark the ballot, but even then you can get someone to help you who must co-sign that they did: "Due to illness or disability, I am unable to return my ballot in person and hereby authorize the following (circle one) spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister or a person residing in my household." (also in Spanish).

Worku Negash, VP of Mission College,Santa Clara, an Ethiopian by birth, is greatly impressed by the efforts of the U.S.A. to make it possible to vote, compared to many African countries. Abuses, however, abound & the Democratic Party is busily documenting them: e.g., flyers telling Republicans to vote on 04 NOV, but Democrats to vote on 05 NOV, etc. are being circulated by Republican Party operatives who have previously stolen blank ballots, or dumped marked ballots in bodies of water in FL in 2004. Sheer desperation drove them then & still does now.

Last nite on Bill Moyers' Journal (PBS, Sat. eves.) he showed some of the flyers that GOPeratives are currently circulating against Obama: one showed Obama with a piebald (brown & white = bi-racial) pig's head, with a caption about lipstick on a pig (alleging he used that against Sarah Palin) thereby using any excuse to make Obama into an obscene animal, exceeding anything I've alleged in my poems, e.g. my imaginary flyer with a man-sized bunch of over-ripe brown bananas with a naked Obama next to them. I'm obviously too far removed from the target zones to really know what plays among crackuhs. (My reportorial poem "Bubba Redneck" is historically retro.) Apparently cross-breeding 'niggers with pigs' is leading-edge inter-species racial-biotechnology for today's crackuhs.

Appropriately enuf then, I'll be stealthily dressed all in black as a beret-wearing beatnik (with silvered sun-glasses) stalking malfeasing Republicans at a Halloween party here at Valley Village tonite. [PS] Norcal is 70/30 Democrat.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Less Lie

(a round for Maya)

One less lie,
& we move ahead,

One less lie,
& we move along,
one less lie,
& we move along,

one less lie,
& we grow strong,

One less lie,
& we move along,
one less lie,
& we move along,

one less lie,
& the wall falls down.

One less lie,
& we move along,
one less lie,
& we move along,

(ad lib.)

(26 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v1

Friday, October 24, 2008

Political Dolls

“Share the Wealth, Comrades!”
shouts the Obama political doll
in a red jump-suit;

“Country First!, Country First!”
shouts the McCain political doll,
in a white USN uniform,

“Much less tax, much less tax!”
shouts the Bob Barr political doll
in a shiny sharkskin suit,

sold by GOPolitical-hucksters
to gawking suckers on corners.
Now they’ve seen their colors,

who’ll buy which doll to carry
home to bemuse the family?
[Ans. is color-coded.]

(24 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)6

Thursday, October 23, 2008


“Make it worth, make it worth my, make
it worth my while,” stammers a Banker
suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome.
No one around the table reacts badly:
regulators, accustomed to his behavior,
know no Banker tips his best/worst hand
while drawing the next card when he
fears there’s no Luck of the Draw.
The Banker sits on his shrinking assets,
lubed w/Preparation H, his barking
regulated down to Tourette’s palilalia.
Regulators know how much to tolerate
the whine of a badly failed fiduciary.
“Ow, ow, hurts” he whines, “Go easy
easy easy!” (“We haven’t even begun.”)

(23 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v1

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Taped to a liner's Keel

“Where’s that OH Plumber I know so well?”
asks McCain, laughing as he mounts the steps
of the stage in Dayton, OH “Where are you, Joe?”
Joe cowers somewhere out of camera, fearing
the OH Dept. of Taxation will subpoena him.
“Jeez!” Joe whispers to his best friend, Jim
who works for the RNC in OH, who whispers:
“Chill out, Joe; this is during campaign-time,
they don’t dare serve you. You’re protected.”
Protected’s the word Joe was waiting to hear,
& now that he’s heard it, he can finally relax.
As long as he stays near McCain, he’s safe.
Nobody he knows is anywhere as connected;
or has taken such a beating & still keeps ticking,
like a TIMEX watch, taped to a liner's keel.

(22 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v2

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cheney's covered

Ivo worries about Cheney’s need
for medical coverage post-Nov. 4th.
“Who will carry him after that? Will
he be covered until Jan 20th? Or the
anniversary of his 1st-day of work?”
Ivo’s more worried for Cheney than he
is for Ivo's having Parkinson’s disease.
I don't even try to tell Ivo that Cheney
may COBRA coverage pre-covered by
his many pensions: Halliburton CEO;
congressman, SECDEF, VP. Ivo asks:
“Will he retire to Abu Dhabi where he
moved Halliburton's HQ?” "Hardly; its
back to WY (where he grew up.)"

(20 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v6

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Carousel" (class-analyzed)

For the 1st-time, at 66 (2008) I've seen Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "Carousel" (Broadway 1945; Cinemascope film, 1956, principals: Gordon Macrae, Shirley Jones.) on DVD here at Valley Village as a Fri nite free movie shown in the central Social Center.

I really only went for the story, adapted from a 'dark' 1909 Hungarian play by Ferenc Molnar (Neumann), "Liliom" (Hood/thug)" - that R & H reset in coastal ME sometime pre-automobile. Apart from its songs & dances, it's a study in social class & one outsider's failure.

Billy Baxter (Liliom) is a carousel-barker who tries to go ME-mainstream (girl, wife, child due), but desperate for money, is persuaded by local thug, Jigger (cited as having done time in prison in Bangor) to try to rob a member of the local upper-middle class (his wife's employer), fails, falls on his borrowed knife, dies. Post-death, he bargains with the heavenly station-master for one day to come back to see his daughter, now 14, does, finally whispers to her to go mainstream Mainiac. She listens, & presumably does. Ends with the nobly uplifting chorale sung by all at her h.s. graduation - "Walk On, Walk On" - & his over-the-shoulder glance of final redemption as he walks back uphill to heaven. (The only visible transportation is on foot or by boat.)

What struck me (coming from MA Bay's near North Shore) was the easily discernible class & caste differentiaton between characters - Billy, as just a seasonal circus carousel-barker, the carousel-owner as his middle-aged mistress & employer, the girl he falls for, a quasi-cloistered shopgirl whose aunt owns a fish-restaurant on the dock; a herring fisherman named Snow who owns his own boat & becomes prosperously middle-class (presumably as Snow's canned Clam Chowder), the father of 9, etc. - as well as its easily visible local class-hierarchy.

The film was re-sited as a variation on Mt. Monadnock-area NH-sited Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" (1938.) Barker Billy, laking any real commercial "trade or skill" (as his young wife explains to people) fails because he fears to seek a righteous path to substance as the small coastal-cove ME town defines it. Seduced by a crafty ex-con thug who illustrates his class-situation (if caught attempting this robbery, he will only go before a police-court, not the supreme-court), now unemployed, Billy does, fails, falls on his borrowed knife & dies (implausibly) quietly, unbloodily. Neither waked, eulogized, nor seen buried, his face is touched gently after he dies by his widow-wife, then his ex-mistress.

"Carousel"'s building pathos depends upon a constantly plucked thread of class & caste, which I'd certainly never expected. Fluff, it (actually) wasn't.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chaos Makes a Comeback

Market Insight From
from the floor of the NYSE
Wed 15 OCT 2008


Chaos Makes a Comeback on Floor
Brokers Throw Body Checks,
Traders Jostle for Position:
Action at the NYSE
Has Even Market Vets Amazed

by Rob Curran
Brokers charged around shoulder-first &
jostled one another in front of specialist posts.
About a dozen floor brokers
scrummed around the post for Wachovia,
refereed by one of the specialist managers.
This was nothing, however, compared with last wk.
Massive client losses, shocking volatility
& boisterous trading had a draining effect,
floor brokers at the NYSE said.

Even Art Cashin, the head of floor operations
for UBS Financial Services at NYSE & a market sage
who finds precedent for every event, said he saw
2 of the craziest market moves of his career last wk
-- the swings in the last 45min. of trade Fri.
& the plunge in the last hr.Thurs.

“prices & morale were sinking rapidly,
& it felt as if something was going to happen
with the [entire] financial system. Then, on Fri.,
the market spastically jumped one way & the other.”

"[On Black Mon.,
[In 1987],
you didn't wake up
& wonder,
is there going 2B
a Merrill Lynch,
is there going 2B
Lehman Brothers?
You didn't think,
who is next?

I’m a mountain climber;
I climbed (Mt.) Everest”
said Alan Valdes, a floor-
broker with Hilliard Lyons.
“Climbing the ice fields
of (Mt.) Everest, I felt
safer & slept better.”

Joe the Plumber

Joe the Plumber

“Joe the Plumber won!” gloats McCain
at a rally, promoting a straw-man
journeyman plumber who Obama’s
high fed. biz.-taxes would screw:
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, not really
a lic. plumber; deep into Ohio for
$1,182.98 in personal income tax,
w/an active lien on his property:
"I don't have a lot of pull. It's not like
I'm Matt Damon; I just hope I'm not
making too much of a fool of myself."
Well, Sam Joe, it really needn't be so:
you're just McCain's tax-scarecrow
while your straw’s burning slow.

(16 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v7

Thursday, October 16, 2008

D-bait 2 (2)

“I suffered 5 yrs in the Hanoi Hilton”
raves McCain, “Obama oughta do a
hard 5 in Camp Delta JTF Guantanamo
2make this, mano a mano, a fair fight.”
Obama rope-a-dopes, calmly & cooly,
in no hurry2vacate his wooden stool;
not a survivor of Hanoi, Chicago, not
a grad of USN, Columbia & Harvard.
McCain, in an expensive pair of shoes,
walksabout lost, doing himself no good,
struggling to fight this out his own way:
beat-up, knot-headed, raging, infuriated,
limping around the ring, lost in blue,
badly over-lit, ill-composed.

(16 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v5

Cash only, please!


(concept & practice proposed by Ivo Adam, 16 OCT 08)

Here we all are, passively awaiting the media-reported financial tsunami that will engulf the world, being told a recession is almost upon us, but definitely not a Great Depression. No, they say (so far) that it’s just a credit crunch; credit is hard to get: banks won’t lend to each other, so people & companies can’t get necessary credit from any bank. Credit is just drying-up.

What can we personally do about it? Get a little saner, quickly. Stop using such tight credit beginning with one day a week. The amount of credit available will increase that one day's worth, while the bank consortia that are behind American Express, MasterCard, and VISA, etc. will suffer the loss of that one day’s carrying charges. If you roll that one-day-per-week from Monday to Sunday & back, it will strike rolling terror into the consortias' fiscal hearts as their constant cash-flow income becomes less & less predictable.

What does this do for you? If you are living too much on credit, you now have taken one credit-day off a week to try to come to your fiscal senses & spend cash or spend nothing at all, one day when you say to the spending world “(I) Pay in Cash Only, Please!” (as some Chinese restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown say every day.) Just after WW2 cash (or a valid personal check) was really the only acceptable medium of exchange; credit cards did not yet exist. People were very selective, super-cautious about what they bought, continuing a wartime habit of making things last longer: they darned their sox, rather than discarded them, etc. Ask your mom or grandmom who will (no doubt) remember.

Celebrate this truly liberating Credit-Off, Cash-Only Day totally alone, or with your friends, or in small Cash-Only clubs. Your reward is saving everyone all carrying charges. Savings should gradually begin to increase. Our sense of being out of fiscal control should begin to end as we shed excess-debt weight. We will begin to feel we're in fiscal trim - again.

To respond to this idea, please e-mail:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GoldStd Dentistry

“Capitalism's an extraction process,”
explains Dr. Gold, GoldStd dentist,
solar-powered drill in his R-hand,
“It relentlessly removes all decay
crumbling into dust in a system. It
removes dross, replacing it w/gold
whose purity is self-protecting,
an agreed upon standard of purity
that fills the vaults of the world’s
banks until sufficiently golded-up,
(I like to say), or backed by gold.
Those that aren’t just get eaten by
countries that are; some countries’
treasuries stockpile pure platinum,
of absolutely no use, dentally.”

(15 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v6

Monday, October 13, 2008


Walking with Ivo,

I find a road-scuffed heart-shaped
stone with a shallow oval dent
like my heart’s fibrillating atrium*,

& as I hold it in my open palm,
my other hand grips my cane &
my breathing slowly slows down.

* a/k/a afib; 1st cardioversion 17 SEP.

(13 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v7

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Q: What really interests you?

A: The Obvious.

Q: Really?

A: Obviously.

Q: What do you mean?

A: Things that are so obvious that they come to mind immediately.

Example: Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) wondered why cord-wood was not sold by weight, rather than by the cubic volume. By thinking of the wood's weight as significantly contributing to its transportable labor-cost, he was simply making the labor-energy cost-chain obvious & continuous.

To extend that, the convertible value of the firewood resides in the potential heat that it can produce, measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) or joules, not in wood-feet. Pricing wood by the potential BTU/joule is beyond woodcutters, but thanks to computers, it’s not beyond major gardening chain-stores, who could easily sell varieties of wood specifically priced by their potential BTUs. So why don’t they – do the obvious? Because the traditional system works well enuf - for simple, undifferentiated firewood.

Examples: All user-interfaces.

McCain's eelnest Dream


McCain dreams he’s in an eelnest,
some albino, some red, some blue,
writhing all around him as he speaks:
“Obama's a decent family man, a
family man & a citizen, who I have
a political disagreement with.” But
by not saying Obamas “not an Arab”
he doesn't save Obama’s bacon,
& thinks: “Does Obama eat bacon?"
sliding in2the eels’slippery mind-set,
“Of course he eats bacon, but if he
doesn’t, maybe he’s a vegan, maybe
vegetarian! Worse than an Arab! No
red-meat Republican’s a vegetarian!”

(12 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v11

Friday, October 10, 2008


Lemme loanya a dollah. (No, don’t!)
Ya gadda be kiddin! S’only a dollah!
(What interest are you going 2 charge?)
No innerest! Nothin! U kno me, none.
(I can’t just afford this tippy transaction.)
I don unnerstan’ya! What’s so tippy heah?
(It tips my calculation about indebtedness.)
Ya can’t affordta pay me backa dollah?
(It really depends on when I pay it back.)
Take as longasya like. Take forevah.
(I just can’t carry this as a debt forever.)
I mean don’evah pay me back, OK?
(I wish I could do that, but I just can’t.)
I don' unnestan’ ya. Nevah is nevah.
(No, never is just far, far, far away.)
OK, then pay me fah, fah, fah away
(Loan me the dollar notso far away.)
[A lost dollar blows by in the wind.]

(10 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v2

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bubba Redneck

“O’bama, Hussein, Hussein O’bama” chants
a redneck cracker sheriff in black uniform*
working the stage at a Sarah Palin R-rally.

Keep your eye on him: the man of the hour
that’s gone midnite in the middle of the day.
His next move'll B2 get out the rope & ladder.

Nothing less can end the insult that Obama is,
& the degree of insult depends on how high,
just how high he can be strung up & hanged.

Now y'all jest try tell'n us this all B funnin’
Who’s a-havin’ all this fun, Bubba Crackuh?
Y, U Bubba Redneck, a-holdin’ that coil!

*Lee County FL Sheriff Mike Scott.

(08 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v5

October Surprise!

Osama bin Laden surrenders to John McCain in person on Oct. 31st (Hallowe'en), proving McCain exercises presidential magic. Palin says: "Obama's a would-be terrorist, so he should just surrender himself - to John; Osama & Obama will get along just fine in prison, don-tchya-think?!" Obama smartly surrenders to Biden.

The Polish Kerouac

I've just finished speed-reading the last pages of Stuart Dybek's book of Chicago-based short stories & sketches, "The Coast of Chicago" (Knopf, 1990) because I had my public library deliver it to me a month ago via their shut-in service & they'll be picking it up sometime today. I had a total L-knee replacement (in late July) & can't quite ride my bike to the library yet (by early Oct.), so they brought the book to me (in early Sept.)

My Polish-speaking psychotherapist (from Chicago) suggested I read it because I'm half-Polish (my Polish-speaking mother was even a postulant of the Polish-speaking order of nuns of St. Felix, the Felicians.)

Reading Dybek was frightening & disturbing for me because the obsessive Polish Roman Catholic experiences & images he writes about were once mine, too, & are still all too easily relived many decades later; Dybek & I are the same age (b.1942) I, however, grew up in a small GE factory city, Lynn MA, so Dybek's vast, gloomy Chicago neighborhoods just remind me of some of the grimmest neighborhoods of Boston (11 mi. south of Lynn.) His brilliant multi-part fantasia extrapolating from Edward Hopper's painting "Nighthawks" (1941; a scene of NYC, Greenwich Village, Greenwich Ave.) is not specifically Chicagoan.

In my late teens & early 20s, I'd thought Jack Kerouac wrote for all working-class Roman Catholics, but I now know Dybek writes for Polish Roman Catholics, & is thus the Polish Kerouac. I really do hope he continues to write a lot more stories & also tries writing novels.


“Trembellation, Battmann!” says Robbin, afraid,
“The world, as we know it, is getting very scary!
Those wonderful brokerages & banks are gone!”
Battmann listens wisely & counsels his charge:
“They did what they had2do2bring us2our senses:
they showed us the more you derive something,
the closer you get2nothing much more.That’s
a law of the diminishment in the Fiscal Universe.
Karl Mark put it very simply: “Capital is finite.”
Robbin listens. “But, I thought, Albert Einstein
said that, Batmann!” “Silly boy,” says Battmann,
“It was Marx; Einstein had no interest in capital.”
“Are you really quite sure of that? “ asks Robbin;
“I am, I’m infinitey rich & infinitely intelligent.
Things like this I never make a mistake about.”
“Well, where do you keep your infinite money?”
asks Robbin. “In The Wayne Bank, Robbin,
America’s strongest bank, of course, all deposits
backed by pure gold & I’m the only depositor.
I trust myself to cover myself & nobody else.”
"Where's the gold?" asks Robbin. "Silly boy,"
says Battmann: "You're sitting on it, Robbin."

(09 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v3

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

D-bait 2 (1)

Obama tries to approach McCain,
but as he does, McCain looks down
at his Ferragamo shoes & snarls:
“Shine? Don’t need no shine, boy!”
Obama answers: ”Yassuh, Mr. Boss,
Don’t mean no harm, Mr. Boss!”
They both break out into a cold sweat:
“We can do this ourselves,” they say,
as the stage director of Sat. Nite Live
moves off camera-left silently as
the band of the night breaks into
“Chattanooga Choo-Choo” as set-up.
“Mr. Boss, you be needin’ a shine?”
“Damn right I do, Boy, dark black.”
A tite brite spot hits McCain’s face.

(07OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v1

Kiss My Ass!

(A surfer’s sermon)

“Kiss my Ass!” is a commandment that Jesus
never gave us, so anyone writing that on a wall
had better get themselves behind Satan’s red ass
& kiss it, for I say Jesus was not interested in it.
Jesus was a stand-up guy, a carpenter all his life
in a hot, sunny, dry climate like Arizona, maybe,
where a steady sweat kept a man way-buffed-up.
That’s the, like total key to who Jesus really was,
if you look at him cleanly with both of your eyes,
you won’t miss what Jesus was then & is now:
a way-clean, buff, tanned-up dude, hard as rock..
He didn’t need any gym-time or gym-equipment!
He went to work every day, did his daily work.
If that isn’t a life to live by, I ask you, what is?

(07 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v1

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bratty is as

“Bratty is as bratty does, “ muses
the poet, writing a neoapothegm
applicable to AK Gov Sarah Palin’s
chatty-cathyism delighting some,
infuriating others, visibly depressing
Sen Joe Biden (D-Del.) who slowly
tells his sorrow as a single parent,
widower, & survivor. Sarah’s bubbly
bratitude brushes him aside as just
yesterday’s history, she’s tomorrow’s:
“There you go, looking baack at the paast.”
The only past worth remembering is hers,
because it’ yours, America!

(06 OCT 2008, Santa Clara CA)v5

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Where's Cheney?


All these scenarios seem to come out of a D-horror movie; even if these numbers are arithmetically correct, the reality brings us to a real-life scenario, (i.e.) the economy is in shambles, so the question is, "Who wants the Presidency?" or "Who is crazy enough to want the Presidency?" The answer is clear to anyone that cares to look: IT'S DICK CHENEY, STUPID!!! [P.S.] I bet you he has been working on it for quite a while; that is why he has been extremely silent...


My reply:

I don't believe Cheney's ever wanted it for himself, just for another puppet he can secretly pseudo-serve/manipulate like he has Dubya Bush. Under the present chaotic conditions, Cheney may get what he wants by crumble-down default. Possible puppets: 1) Joe Lieberman, who's obviously opportunistic enuf to do Cheney's bidding, but would have to have been McCain's VP to succeed to the self-sacrificial ram, 2) McCain, who's apparently not proven all that manipulable & might dump Cheney in a 'maverick' gesture, leaving us with a 'maverick' ex-military regime; McCain may have now finally made a deal with Cheney to 'save the Republic' by gladly playing its national-savior - if he somehow wins.

About @ Maverick

“The thing about a maverick,” McCain explains
to a last-month herd of GOP campaign operatives,
“Is what you call out to it depends on which way
it’s heading: towards you or away from you, &
whether it’s heading to the far-left or far-right.”

“For example, if a maverick’s heading away
to the far right, you call out: ‘Turn left!’
but if it’s heading to the far left: ‘Turn right’
but I s’pose you all already knew this, right?”
(The Goperatives shuffle their well-shod feet)

“But if it’s heading towards you, you call out:
‘You’re late for supper, you dumbass dogie!’
I learned that from President Bush himself.”
(The Goperatives begin to stomp their feet.)

“Now let’s see if you got what I told you:
Everybody stand up & head towards me.”
(The Goperatives all do just as he says.)

McCain goes red-in-the face & shouts-out:
“You dumbass dogies! 2-late for supper!”
(The Goperatives sit down again, afraid.)

(05 OCT 98,Santa Clara CA)v2

1-balled, wonder!

“What people don’t yet appreciate,"
whispers McCain's hot running mate,
Sarah, “is maybe you do have just-1
ball, but what a humongous ball it is,
as big as a ruby-red Texas grapefruit,
I can barely hold it in both my hands!”
McCain smiles widely in semi-dark,
his one big ball rumbling with delight.
“I lost the other in Vietnam, but once
back home, I vowed I’d resuscitate,
& I quickly became a 1-balled wonder!
Those who know me well know why.
You know me pretty well, maverika.
Just handle my ball again, willya?”

(05 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v4

Friday, October 3, 2008

BeWare, Aliens!

Jim Boulet, dir. of English First, fears
illegal aliens may be getting bailed-out
of bad mortgages by the government:
“Now we don’t know who’s legal
& who’s illegal...they won’t tell us!”
Easy. Ask them en Espagnol, amigo.

But what about those icky space-aliens
who offer us crazy-easy credit terms?
Do we care if they’re legal or illegal?
Do we worry if their money's bogus?
Do we know the penalty for default
in alien-outer-space? Alien-ation?
What’s alien-ation to space-aliens?
Exile to our failing Planet Earth?
Exile to our only, airless Moon?

(03 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v7

on their be-haves

Now the government's financial 'rescue' (re-regulatory) plan's process re-begins: The Newest (USD$700B) Deal has finaly been passed by the U.S. Congress (Senate: 74-25; House: 263-171); then Nancy Pelosi & Dubya Bush signed the ensuing bill into law.

Early on in this financial & political imbroglio, current Treasury Sect'y Paulson said: "Normally, I don't like to regulate things." (He did; I heard him.) Imagine, then, how 3 continuous decades of Republican freemarketers infesting the government & its appointed bureaucracy must feel doing this - why, it's almost like engaging in the bogus 'class-war' they always accuse anybody favoring regulation - of!

But now it's about to be their daily-duty (as a reasonably well-paid job); for decades they've let their own buddy-bankers run free while making them a bundle & wrecking the banking system; but now they get to slowly tie them up again in necessary regulatory knots. How tightly? How closely are you watching? Many slip-knots have been made on their be-haves.

Of course, they'll get to (temporarily) keep the result of all those miss-B-gotten, fantastic derivatives & cry on each other's Hong Kong (methode francaise ou italien) pin-stripe-suited shoulders, that they got taken for a dime on the dollar. They'll still get to keep their bespoke suits in which they will someday be all-too-decently buried.

(I won't, even tho I, too, have these same silk/wool Hong Kong-made pin-striped suits, bought at Building 19, a MA salvaged-lots store-chain back in the peak-'80s, when I worked in high-tech marketing communications.)

- Bill Costley (03 OCT 08 Santa Clara CA)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

VP Debate Day

“A woman with a skinning-knife…”
slowly muses AK Gov. Sarah Palin,
“can cut the heart out of any man
in a pin-striped suit & I will again;
I'll truss-up & skin that Sen.*"
Alaskans agree, half a million
hands on their skinning-knives.

(02 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v9

* Joe Biden (D-Del.), in a plain blue suit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In nowhere IA

“I don’t have to take this g.d. Shit!” snaps McCain
at each question the Iowa editorial board asks him.
“Who the fUk do you all think you are? Lawyers?
You’re just a highbrow board of liberal newspaper
editors & writers in practically nowhere Iowa. It’s
wrong for me to be here at all, my people tell me;
Obama’s got Iowa all wrapped up, a lock for him.
I tell you what, maybe I’ll send in my maverika
to chew your no-good wise-asses off. OK w/that?
OK, so I see your eyes popping-wide now, scared
she’ll bite your nuts (sorry, ladies) in your pants?
You’re goddamn right she will & you’ll deserve it!”
McCain takes a breather, pulls on a Cuban cigar.

(O1 OCT 08, Santa Clara CA)v3

Monday, September 29, 2008


"Who’s happier? happiest?”
Nobody's asking anybody;
it's just too much to ask,
there's no cause for joy.
I really said: happiness;
joy’s unthinkable, unless
you‘re so b.lissed-out*
joy’s overwhelming you.
It can, it might, maybe has;
if so, forget I asked you..
It’s your condition,
mine's a lot less joyous;
actually, it’s quite anxious.
Isn’t that obvious? No? No!?
You really are b.lissed-out*!

(a/k/a: *B-listed-out)

(29 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v5

Who'll take Credit?

“Don’t turn back/around,
don’t look back/down,”
don’t take No for an ans. ”
Injunctions frighten us. We
don’t know which end's uP,
or which's upperMost. No-
body can bear the prospect
of a 2nd Great Depression,
except economists, who say
depressions are relative:
we’re already in 2 wars, a 3rd
won’t pull us out of this 1.
What if: space-aliens arrive?
Maybe they'll take credit!
(Alan Greenspan won’t.)

(29 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v5

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Salvatore Ferragamo lasts

On a brightly sunny Norcal morning,
as we both limp thru an upscale mall,
Ivo says he tells his wealthy friends
“Don’t think about making money,
just think about…staying alive.” He’s
dead-serious, financial times are dire,
nobody knows if/when they will fail,
how far they’ll fall before hitting
bottom & where the bottom lies.
We 2 limp thru that mall each a.m.,
past Salvatore Ferragamo shoes; Ivo
got a pair for $20 at a thrift-store;
tho a bit tight, they’re dead cheap
& will last him the rest of his life,
& beyond, returned to a thrift-store.

.(26 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v5

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wall St. = Playground Games

Perhaps Wall St. only comes down to nothing much more than a late-development of eager childrens’ games, played on the schoolyard playground while the teachers eat lunch (while a designated teacher attends the players in the playground.)

“Buck, Buck, Buck” (originally “Bucca, Bucca, Bucca” in Latin, an ancient Roman boys’ game) in which one boy plays the donkey, while the others mount him, one after another, until he collapses under their accumulated weight. The first one to mount him then takes his place, ad repetitam, each then demonstrating sheer endurance for the sake of the boy-pack, with no special honor accruing therefrom to anyone. Think: novice/intern brokers.

“King/Queen of the Mountain” in which all the children struggle to mount the (what is perceived as) highest point in the schoolyard (snow/sand-pile, wall, fence) by running up it or climbing it. They are often broken up by the one attending teacher who mistakes the strenuous contest for a mere melee, when of course, it is actually an elimination-derby with the premise that some one child must gain the height & be (figuratively) crowned King/Queen of the 'mountain.'. For how long they remain on top is determined by the ferocity of the disgruntled contestants, who seek to (figuratively) dethrone the (temporary) King/Queen by any single-child stratagem possible.The height of the 'mountain' is largely aperceptual. Think: experienced brokers.

“I’ve got a Secret!” in which one child purports to have a secret, & others sidle up to them, one by one, to be told it, secretly. Whether the secret-teller tells the same secret to each child is unspecified. What's certain is that the secret becomes distorted by each child who hears it, who then tells it to the others, who then distort it even further, to the degree that a distant/distorted version of the original secret is the last version retold, at which point that becomes the new secret, & the game repeats. Think: analysts.

You may now adduce any other relevant schoolyard playground games - as you best remember them. – Bill Costley

Pars capitalista

The current Wall St. imbroglio ought to & does, indeed. gave everyone pause re: finance, but does it have any greater implications? What about the obsessive manipulation of arcane sources of derived value as an obsessive human intellectual trait?

My brilliant 2nd-wife (Carolin Combs, who died on 26 JAN 07) & I used to joke about the astrological derivate pars Arabica (taking a part of a part of a part), but derivates are merely an expression of the obsessive human mind going about its habit of dividing & revaluing, from which come categorical jesuitry & obvious fiscal tactical benefits.

Is that all about to dry up pronto? I rather doubt it, but it's now under a sudden spotlight with the promise of 'stricter' regulation.

The pars capitalista is being forced to justify itself to itself by itself. Of course, it can, with so much investment in it by financiers, who don't intend to voluntarily reduce their jobs to nil addendum.They must believe they are a value-adding profession to justify its spectacular salaries. Mere clerks they ain't; just ask'em! (e.g. Talk to Chuck - Schwab.)

But what happens when fractionated value implodes uncontrollably? What's left to reform/regulate? Will we ever get to reforming the micro-financial lobe of the greater human brain? Do think. I just have & so has everybody else, so why shouldn't you? You're on.

Meanwhile, your quasi-relaxing assignment is to read Mark Twain's shortish-fictions: "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1865), "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg" (1899) & "The Mysterious Stranger." (1890-posthumous) Report due: ASAP.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Engineered by Cheney

The Piscean Age gasps, weepily flooding
the world w/waves of growing fiscal fear.
Hothead Sen. John McCain = Cosmo Topper
& nobody’s convinced but other old POWs
raving that “socialism has come to America”
from under their scrambled-egged USN caps.
The Aquarian Age arises calmly, as a cooly
restrained audience listens to Sen. Barak
make today’s most credible case,
but if neither of them can win in November,
who the hell can? Ivo predicts they’ll either
join to form a unity government, or we’ll get
a 3rd Dubya term, engineered by Cheney.

(26 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v4

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A little tiny black cloud

A little tiny black cloud on the horizon
appears to be heading towards Obama,
who instantly triangulates its purpose.
“’Coon’ (to white-racists) Edison’s sent it
to spook (to white-racists) me here today.
But I’m not conned or cooned or spooked.”
He bursts-out laughing & the audience does.
“Or, it’s just one little, tiny black cloud.
That’s all, one little, tiny black cloud.”
The cloud suddenly dumps all its rain
directly over Obama, but nobody else.
“Now I get it, it’s a flummox! It can’t
drown a D-coon de-conned by Con-Ed.”
The audience explodes laughing; Obama
repeats the joke & they explode again.

(25 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v4

Solid in Gold

“Fiddle-Faddle, Skee-Daddle!"
Scrooge McDuck shplutters,
fondling gold in his gold bathtub
awash w/specie from every gold
vendor & minter in the world.

“Gold makes th' world go‘round',”
McDuck sing-songs, “Oh, gold,
gold, gold, oh, gold, gold, gold!”
Pluck him: he’s totally golden
under his cold silvery feathers.

You expected to find - sterling?
McDuck Bank was solid in gold
before Goldman Sachs wasn't.

(25 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v7

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wall St.{vs} Gold

(not for Goldman Sachs)

Wall St., Wallet St., up-against-the-Wall St.,
what’s it matter if you’ve been wiped-out?
What you call it, where it is, is insignificant
vs whether it’s safe against total wipeout.
Who do you know who thinks money’s safe?
Inside everyone’s head’s a cold vault of gold
hidden somewhere in Switzerland, safe,
sunk deep in lakes like stolen Nazi gold,
gold, gold, gold. Anyone surnamed Gold
(e.g., San Francisco novelist, Joe Gold)
must think night & day: “I’m solid Gold.”
W/silver-change you can surely call home,
tho, for now, you have a cell-phone, Gold.

(24 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v10

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Do It!

Do The Obvious


it’s the thing2do
the nexttime
you’re asked2do
whatever itis
you’re asked2do.

Y w@ste Time
or eNergy or
mOney or

(23 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)

Monday, September 22, 2008

McCain, razing

“Shit floats!" chirps McCain
shaving w/a straight-edge
in the campaign morning;
"Kick Black Ass!”
his dark-side grumbles.

He frets he can't trust
Sarah to gum him.
“Her teeth bit Obama’s
black-ass,” he says,
"but her gums?”

Gumming's for McCain;
sucking's for her baby,
fucking's for her husband.
McCain bites his inner jaw,
draws blood, cries in pain,

“Where’s Sarah? Sarah?!
Find me a styptic pencil."

(22 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v12


The dream dissolves when sub-dreams
can’t be factored to yield more dreams;
once a dream's lost, no new dream arises.

Disneyworld's our common dreamworld;
dress up as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, et al.,
& nobody bothers to think anything of it.
It’s all OK w/them - if the former USA

becomes OK; OK, our only state; OK City,
our OKapital; & everyone say: “I’m OK!”
(If it’s all @ dream, it's OK with them.)

(23 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v15

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Getchya boxa rahks!

(in Bahs'tin dialect; in re: OSH's radio-ads.)

Commoditizin' a wooden cu.yd. boxa rahks is
OK w/landscapahas, transhippahs, & buildahs,
but if you can finda missin' link in this chain
you’d liketa fill in, speak up! Speakin' PR,
I’d liketa add booze-talkin' radio commercials
that'll move all those rahks outta nurseries
& onta the serigraphic yards of homeownahs,
landscapahs of malls & humongous hotels.
Wheah all those rahks cum frum, nobody
really wantsta know. “From wheah rahks do”
is about all the disclosha you’re gonna get.
Wantchya heavy wooden boxa rahks/not?

(20 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v7

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sitting on Bibles

(defending marriage-for-all)

From earliest childhood,
literalists must sit on Bibles
at the table to be able to eat;
years later, they're still sitting
on Bibles, compressing them.
But what's in them? Not
what they heard as kids:

God loves them. Why? They
don't know, denying God's
all is all, their brains frozen..
All is all = everyone's included,
male/female, gay/straight.
Marriage joins everyone willing
to say they're married.

Brain-frozen literalists believe
Noah's Ark's on Mt. Ararat,
emptied of its passengers,
now endlessly bred-out,
& we're their progeny

Let's save our World
from Biblical nonsense
& literalist rigidities. Let's
shape up, or ship out to
our moon or reddy Mars,
deserted aeons ago.

(17 SEP 08, 4:41 PDT, Santa Clara CA)v11

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hickory Dickory’s dork

Dubya mangles a Mother Goose rhyme.

“Ol' Hickory Dickory’s dork ran the clock;
the dork struck one, struck another one,
struck another one, struck another one,
struck another one, struck...another one,

so maybe I’d better fire that dork, Cox!”

“Don’t this pome say it all!” says Dubya,
“I never uster like recitin’ pomes, butt
some pomes speak right to my brain."
(The clock strikes one & one & one.)

(17 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v2

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


“I don’t know economics? Like hell!
Holy hell!” explodes John McCain,
“I read Samuelson’s ECONOMICS;
played pinochle & canasta & beat
Alan Greenspan & Andrea Mitchell,
tho why the hell they wouldn't play
poker, I’ll never know! Alan’s face
is just about as stony a poker-face
as I saw anywhere in the Navy.
Why hell, Lt. Dick Nixon made
a bundle running a poker-game
in the Pacific during WW2, or so
my 4-star admiral dad told me.."

(16 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v3

"If I Water"

Here's a poem I've recently written & revised this last Sunday in a poetry workshop here in San Jose CA where it wasn't very much appreciated by the 2 convening young academics (one of whom went to the Iowa Wokshops) because it lacked suff. illustrative imagery (it only has 2 images, in the 1st-line: plant &: water), which I intended, because it's predominantly a thought-poem, not an image-poem, as you can see (below.)

I explained: "It's not image-predominant, it's almost all fully-explicit subtext, written as though 20th-cent.Imagism...just hadn't happened." This wasn't appreciated either, & I was quickly told that Shakespeare was an imagist. Well, despite his secretive sonnets, I doubt he'd quite be able to grasp what an image has finally come to mean post-Pound & Co. Shakespeare/Marlowe always had lots of dangerous things to say & truly dangerous political ideas to embody, despite/because of the Tudor-Stuart police-state & its ubiquitous spies, courts, & punishments (secret torture & public death.) Overly gay Marlowe was allegedly murdered (for being an R.C. spy), but it's also alleged that he instead fled to Italy where he wrote what we have come to think of as Shakespeare's 'Italian' comedies & tragedies, e.g., "Romeo & Juliet", etc.) which Italian escape, etc. Pound would obviously have surely wanted to have duplicated - but only if Il Duce ('The Boss' -E.P.) had lived & prevailed.

Anyway, I made up the compound-term: what-lives (stanza 1, line 4, end), in French "qui vive* which in British English carries other (hunting/joyous) connotations; 'on the qui vive' once meant 'going out for a good time on the town.' This poem is more Japanese than western-European, based on the mode the Japanese call 'mourning/regretting the passing-away of things' (mono no aware).which the French would translate as "la tristesse pour cela qui se passe" (sorrow over that which passes-away.)

“If I Water”

If every plant I water
depends upon me, even briefly,
how important am I to it?
Or am I just tending what-lives?
When I die, who’ll tend it?

Or am I temporarily necessary,
my effect, only sporadic, or
am I minimizing my effect?
Just how lasting is any of this?
Maybe I’m just better off writing.

(10 AUG 08 Santa Clara CA - 14 SEP 08, San Jose CA)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shoey Dookey

“Shit...on my shoes!?” snarls
John McCain,.looking down
in horror at his Ferragamos,
standing before a long mirror.
“This election’s getting nasty!
I’d better start wearing my old
Navy service-blacks. I wore'm
back then & I can wear'm
again, now, just to soft-soap
service-families who expect me
to still wear them, campaigning.
Yes, service-blacks as black as
Obama’s own black pair! (laughs)
That's an officers'-mess joke!”
He can’t help chuckling & he's
almost alone as he does. Sarah’s
lipsticking-up a mirror away.

(15 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v4

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Purest McCain

“Next, think of Obama naked!”continues
John McCain to a room of middle-aged
flyover women who are wondering why
in heaven he’s asking them to do it.

“This presumptious, naked young man
intends to profane the Oval Office,
by exposing his private-parts! What
a depraved mind he must have!”They
shudder at 'depraved', remembering
Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky
on her knees in the Oval Office.
“Our Nation’s House deserves a pure
President, a Republican, pure in mind,
intent, heart & soul; I am that pure
warrior & have always been. I’ve
suffered for My Country, purely"”

making them gasp once they realizie
just how extraordinarily pure he is.

(05 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA) v6



Category code: political direct (pol-dm)

(Chicago, IL; D-M daily news; C: pol-dm) 14 SEP 08

Republican propagandists are widely direct-mailing
sexually explicit photos of Sen. Barak Obama (D-IL)
sitting beside a man-sized bunch of overripe bananas

under a 64pt-bold B&W headline:
32-pt B&W body copy follows,

alleging Sen.Obama will import a man-sized
bunch of overripe bananas into the Oval Office
for a daily nude lunchtime bi-sexual orgy.

This mailing exposes Sen. Obama’s brown bananas
but not Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) white bananas,

politically strengthening, or
maybe even weakening McCain,

provoking young, black voters in urban areas,
repulsing older whites in rural areas,
deeply disgusting the American heartland
which, as ever, is a political battleground..

Obama’s banana's brand is not exposed.
Chiquita™ Brands International (NYSE: CQB) denies it is.

(14 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v6

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Determined to lubricate her appeal
while in her home state of Alaska,
Gov. Sarah Palin’s pumping hot
political oil by offshore-drilling

in a silver pipeliner uniform, doing
deep-squats & shouting “Drill, Baby!”
to audiences bellowing her deepest
grunts, not just repeating them.

"We’re going to drill (uh) down to make
this nation even more energy efficient,
(uh)” she said. to cheers of “Drill!, Baby!”
"You're right, drill, (uh) baby, (uh) drill!

I’m a mother of 5 & believe me, I know
what baby-drilling‘s all about, (uh) baby,
& you’d better believe I’ll drill, (uh) baby,
once I drill (uh) down in (uh) Washington!”

Chorus: “Drill, Baby, Drill!”

(13 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v3

Thursday, September 11, 2008

“Weather/weather not...”

[NWS Weather Advisory 080808-1]

Hurricane Ike, not named after
Gen.Dwight David 'Ike' Eisenhower,
34th U.S. [Republican] president,
is due to reach the TX coast Friday.

[NWS map insert]

“Weather/not Ike strikes TX, it's
a really big storm!" says the President,
speaking from Tulsa. "Up here in OK
really good people will take in Texans."

[NWS map insert]

The 43rd president stands by TX
“Weather/weather not Ike strikes,
& no matter where it strikes/not."
No further statement is expected.

(11 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v4

White on White

Kasimir Malevitch, Ukrainan
“Suprematist composition: White on White” (1918)

Whatever you may be thinking,
it’s not pure white on purer white,
actually, it looks a bit greenish,

but that may be my old CRT,
maybe you see it quite whitely
on your flat-screen. Malevitch

felt spiritually freed up by it, as
a result of the 1917 Revolution.
How do you feel knowing that?

Does it still look as white to you?
You don’t have to answer. You
just have to look at it & tilt right.

You can hardly do otherwise.
Go ahead, just try not to. Try.
No, I’m not putting you on,

nor was Malevitch in 1918.
That was then, this is now;
this is now, that was then.

Tilt your damnedest: Tilt!

(11 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v2

Manhattan, ReBuilding

A few months after 9/11
I visited the refilling site
of the World Trade Towers
with my son, who lived
nearby on Hudson St.,

slow-walking together
over temporary planks
on the viewing platform
to see the construction site
that looked like any other.

Days later, I jay-walked there
& an earnest Manhattanite
shouted at me:“Do you know
what you’re doing?” I shouted
back: “I’m frum Bahstin!”
(wheah jay-walking’s normal.).

That was then; this is now; I
live at the bottom of S.F. Bay
& think only of the Manhattan
where my son lives, way up
in Washington Heights at 169th.
miles from where it happened.

Why would I think differently?
Manhattan’s always rebuilding;
ask any true Manhattanite.

(11 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v1

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MSM media-grinder

“They’re all just bloodsuckers!” shrieks
Sarah Barracuda, on being told she’s
being interviewed by the national MSM,
snarling “What they’re doing is a crime!
They suck our blood & spit it out over
our innocent believing public who don’t
know us any better. Who can stop them?”
Attila McCain smiles & shakes his head;
“They did it to me when I ran before &
they’ve been waiting for me ever since.”
Now they’re both in the MSM-grinder,
but won't be fully media-roasted until
super-finely processed by the press.

(10 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v3

Moo-slim O’bama

“I know you’ll play it proud, “
says Attilla McCain,” as proud
as Mrs. Punch of being called
‘a pig in lipstick’ by moo-slim
O’bama, who can’t eat pig.
Who‘s he think he’s kidding?”

Hot Mrs.AAA-laska belittles him:
“O’bama can’t lay a hand on me;
eyes closed, I can out-slap him,
now he’s cornered himself,
you know I can lock him in,
'strategically speaking!' "

over a sweet mess of spare ribs.

(10 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v4

Monday, September 8, 2008

Attilla the Wonk

Feeling half his age (72), Attila McCain
threatens everyone w/ Sarah Barracuda:
“I’m the maverick; & with my maverika
on my right, I'll take on all of Washington;
her sizzling tongue'll lash Beltway ass.”
As he speaks, his short grey hair grows,
short sword juts, bolas dangle dangerously.
Frank Frazetta fantasias drive him nutso:
“Appoint Arnold to dress my cabinet in
raw buckskins, w/sweaty, bared chests.
Nobody will dare to resist us; vested
interests will fear our razorsharp axes…”

(08 SEP 08 Santa Clara CA)v6

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Carolin Combs, writer

I feel that I’m charged with the duty of explaining Carolin as a writer, at least after I met her at age 23 until her death at 50.

Altho we sat beside each other for over 25 years at our computers, I rarely ever got a peek at what she was writing. When I did – when she gave me a printed draft to comment on - my comments were almost never incorporated into the next draft.

The only exception was in her magnum opus, her historical novel “The Last Prince” (left fully edited at her death.) In it, I found two tiny traces of me, one my spoken suggestion of what a character would say, the other, an image lifted from one of my own poems (written in Scotland, and so used in a scene set in that same part of Scotland.)

What’s more important for you to know is that Carolin was constantly approached from the psychic realm by dead people asking her to tell their life-stories, or at least vivid incidents in them.. She told me that her only difficult decision was which one to tell first, not whether to tell them at all. .While working on that novel, she never had any trouble “coming up with material” because it constantly approached her directly, urgently asking to be written..(One scene, set in Berlin on Krsitallnacht [9-10 NOV 1938], was later verified by the nephew of the dead woman who told it to Carolin. He's Herschel Silverman, a longtime poet-friend of mine in Bayonne, New Jersey.)

So much for the common term “born writer.” In her maturity, she was a long-born writer - for the dead. I hope someone equally as capable as she was acts as her amenuensis. The best I’ve been able to do for her (so far) is to write short poems in which she speaks – usually in short, 3-word statements -to me.

(Sun. 07 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Our Belief

“They’re dumb! They believe everything
I tell them,“ McCain laffs; Palin speaks
right up::“No! They want to believe you,
John, & they must; because we stand
before our believing public; they need
to believe what we say, they hope
we will tell them what to believe. Our
belief makes America great, protects us
from Canada, Mexico, Russia, China,
& all other countries, because belief’s
the American Way: Believe America!”
(Believing applause; believing Amens.)

(06 SEP 08 Santa Clara CA )v3

Optimistic Toughness

For me, the most startling term I found in my recent reading of Sartre is "optimistic toughness" Here it is in its original context (Sartre: "Existentialism" op,cit., p.34)

"When all is said & done, what we are accused of, at bottom, is not our pessimism, but an optimistic toughness. If people throw up our works of fiction in which we write about people who are soft, weak, cowardly, and sometimes even downright bad, it's not because these people are soft, weak, cowardly, or bad: because if we were to say, as Zola did, that they are that way because of heredity, the workings of environment, society, because of biological or psychological determinism, people would be reassured.They would say 'Well, that's what we're like, no one can do anything about it' " But when the existentialist writes about a coward, he says that this coward is responsible for his cowardice. He's not like that because he has a cowardly heart or lung or brain; he's not like that on account of his physiological make-up; but he's like that because he has made himself a coward by his acts. There's no such thing as a cowardly constitution: there are nervous constitutions, there is poor blood, as the common people say, or strong constitutions But the man whose blood is poor is not a coward on that account, for what makes cowardice is the act of renunciation or yielding. A constitution is not an act; the coward is defined on the basis of the acts he performs. People feel, in a vague sort of way, that this coward we're talking about is guilty of being a coward, and the thought frightens them. What people would like is that a coward or a hero be born that way."

Cowardice? Isn't that the last thing people expect an Existentialist to analyze? They usually expect them to deny all human virtues & ideals, but not stringently analyze vices, declaring cowards responsible for their cowardice. Sartrian Existentialism, profoundly 'conditioned' by the fall of France [1940-], and occupation by Nazi Germany [-1945], is sterner & more judgemental than most Americans dare imagine: it lets nobody off! Still feeling optimistic? Tough?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Let's Change!

“I change my socks twice-a-day!”
smirks McCain, cool on Rodeo Drive.
“Change?”smirks Palin, out of her bra,
& then panties. “Just say when!”
stepping out-of-image as brassily
as ding-dong hell, a cock-teasing
pop & pickup show put on by cold
Karl Rove, offering a hint of skin,
not nudity, on the campaign trail,
(clothes make them who they are},
you may just find them half-wasted
in a posh resort on a pricey island.

(05 SEP 09 Santa Clara CA 95050)v6

Republicans, changin'

McCain pumps a rancher’s hand & drawls:
“Dagnabit, is them steel balls I hear a-janglin?”
Slowly licking her vampire-blood-red lipstick,
Palin grins, drawls: “Cowboy, pass me a handful.”

Whatever you really are, they are, plus some;
your trail is their trail, your smoke, their smoke:.
if you roll your own, theirs is just a-hangin’

Finally getting it? They’re all about change:;
Republicans are changing, like chameleons,
any color you like, they already are, & like..
What’s yr favorite color? Yellow? Sorry,

you must be some yellowdog Democrat.

(05 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v3

Unrestful Existentialist

I often tell people that I’m sure to read any book of less than 100 pages in one sitting, & so I ‘ve just read J-P Sartre’s EXISTENTIALISM and Human Emotions (Philosophical Library, 1957, 96pp) a collection comprised of the essay “Existentialism:” & 5 chapters from BEING & NOTHINGNESS: "Freedom & Responsibility", "The Desire to Be God", "Existentialist Psychoanalysis", "The Hole", and "Ethical Implications."

In "Existentialism", Sartre warns us of Existentialism that: “Actually, it is the least scandalous, the most austere of doctrines. It is intended strictly for specialists and philosophers. (p12) ” deftly demolishing the popular image of the black-clad & beretted Beatnik as an Existentialist (not that some didn't think they were.)

Actual Existentialism burdens any individual with total responsibility for themselves, their actions, and resulting effects on others: “The one who realizes in anguish his condition as being thrown into a responsibility which extends to his very abandonment has no longer either remorse or regret or excuse…” (p59)

At 66, I’ve consciously lived this for 50+ years. Recently, my Jungian therapist realized something dire about me: “You really hate yourself!” To which I thoughtfully replied: “No...I don’t like myself.” Existentially put: “I don’t absolve myself of any of my choices, deeds, or their effects on myself & others.”

Then how have I lived? Often impulsively, then as often regretfully, in an endlessly uneasy ‘condition’ (Sartre) of constant self-analysis & -criticism. I get no rest as an Existentialist.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cheney bakes Mrs. Alaska

Alaska’s armedest hockey mom,
programmed w/Zapruder's clip,
draws a cold bead on Obama,
& gets taken into custody by
MIBs for an attempt on the life
of a presidential candidate. Mc
Cain rages: "Getchya hands off
my own Alaskan Candidate!"
& jabs a VP-destruct button;
VP Cheney bakes Mrs.Alaska.

(02 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA)v16

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Hurry, if you can..."

A hurricane approaching landfall
quickly exploits political capital:

Pat Robertson recalls rebuking one.
Dubya’s heading to Austin & San Antonio,
TX, staging areas for Louisiana relief, where
only very heavy rain's currently expected.
John McCain’s rebuking politics-as-usual by
semi-suspending the Republican convention;
Obama’s offering 2mobilize 2 million volunteers.

Catastrophe provokes revelatory political action.

(01 SEP 08, Santa Clara CA) v10

Sunday, August 31, 2008

RePublican make-overs

Deconstruct the ongoing
RePublican make-overs:

They relentlessly make-over
your evident virtues
as your hidden vices:

If you’re inspiring, you’re a ‘media-star’
If you bend, you’re condescending,
If you’re young, you’re inexperienced.
If you’re black, you’re black.

They relentlessly make-over
your opponent’s weaknesses
into his evident strengths.

He’s dull & uninspiring,
so he's definitely deeply real.
He’s almost-admittedly rich.
He’s comfortably white.

He’s just-turned 72.
Get him a token 44-yr old
pro-life gov. of Alaska
w/5 children & a gun.
Make her a woman.

(31 AUG 08, Santa Clara CA)v12

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Dealing from the bottom of the deck,
NeoCapitalists con us into believing
they haven’t cut the deck enuf times
to make our old bottom their new top.

NeoLedgerdemain’s impoverishing us,
flushing their hand neo-royally. If
you don’t think it’s us VS them
you aren’t watching their hands

as they deal us their usual globalist
cards: All rising tides...float all boats;
like tsunamis: catastrophically.

(28AUG 08 Santa Clara CA)v8

Monday, August 25, 2008

Digging Labor's Grave

To Karl Kadie, for reading me Alice Winters’
poem “The Displaced of Capital”

Americans can't call a spade a spade;
they criticize the economic crisis now
upon us, without ever indicting vicious
neoCapitalism, still shielded by Cold War

ideological armor, no matter what it does
to whom or where: Red China’s relentless
neo-Capitalism’s sweat-shopping millions,
just like all the other Asian-Pacific 'tigers'

as once-American multi-nationals contract
with them for the world’s cheapest labor,
driving a vicious race to the bottom, digging
labor’s grave with neo-capped spades.

((24-25 AUG 08, Santa Clara CA) v11

Saturday, August 23, 2008

poverty quiz

Wherevever people are poor, some of them are starving;
some aren’t. What does this show us in the 1st-world?

Be careful what you answer, overnourished 1st-worlder:

If you answer that poverty & starvation aren’t the same,
you’re right; if you answer: poverty leads to starvation,
you’re wrong.; it leads to undernourishment. The truth:
if you can’t answer this, you’re nowhere near the truth.

What really matters: wherever you are, you must act.
What're you going to do about poverty? When? How?

(23 AUG 08, 8:49PDT, Santa Clara CA)v8

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

'voluntary' poverty

Wayback in the quick-rising ‘60s
‘voluntary poverty’ arose
within the disaffected 1st-world's
middle-class: suddenly its children
‘went back to the land’ to escape
parents’ plush suburban homes
for a ‘conscious’ anti-consumerist,
‘natural’ pre-'50s lifestyle.

A half-century later, some just
shop at Whole Foods, ignoring
poverty' & starvation, while
neo-consumerism’s waning &
a slow-food movement arises.
Re-awaken them to what's real:
declare ‘adequacy’ universal,
‘enough’ everyone's need.

(15 AUG 08, Santa Clara CA) v14

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Post-op recovery

Well, I'm finally back in my own apt.w/Reggie. Post-op, I spent 2 wks (w/PT & OT) in a nearby skilled-nursing home.

My left total-knee operation appears to be a success (its 25 staples are gone & 8" incision is healing nicely); the recovery, however, is proving to be another multi-phased process (incl. more PT.)

Obviously I'm writing again & can talk some (my only phone is 408-247-1943) but I seem to tire surprisingly easily, so pls.don't expect a lot out of me for some while.

Many people here in Santa Clara (& nearby) have helped me out during this extended process: here at Valley Village - Cherle Stephenson (my surrogate-mother), Lois Overman (master-gardener & dedicated animal protector, who 'airied' Reggie while I was unable to), Ken Contey (who willingly does everything for everyone), & Ivo Adam - about whom you're read a lot here; and St. Mark's parishoners - Barbara Rice (my very necessary patient-advocate), Pastor Rev. Kate Wilson, my close friends poet Karl Kadie & his wife Carol Korzow. Getting me thru all this has truly required a dedicated group's willing effort - for which I'm very grateful.

Competing {vs} Lifting

I don't bother to watch the Olympics because of the inherent nationalism it's still framed in; you may imagine that athletes playing for countries in which they live, but were not born in, demonstrate post-nationalistic free-agentry, but even when olympic athletes play on teams against their own nations of origin (e.g., an Afro-American living in China played on the Chinese basketball team against the USA), they're always still on nationally-sponsored & -identified teams. Nationalism still completely packages & defines the Olympics.

William James wrote an idealistic essay - in 1906, well before WW1 - that competitive sport was a moral equivalent of war, that is, a rational substitute; But the International Olympic Committee (founded in 1894) revival of the Olympics couldn't & didn't prevent WW1 from happening. Or WW2. Or any war. Suspending the Olympics during an international war only concedes it.

As you may expect, my interest in competitive sports is zero. I'm an habitually non-competitive thinker/personality, & prefer cooperation as a mode/model of progress: I've always been interested in what we can do together vs what can we do contra each other; only what we can lift together interests me.

Footnote: From age 13-17, I caddied at a 'restricted' country club in Marblehead MA, getting a fair sense of what golf is & isn't: in its 'inner'-game, you're your own 'opponent.' Putting, requiring serious self-discipline, defeats many golfers. I preferred practicing chip-shots from sand-traps up onto the green (a miniscule form of lifting.)

Ivo's new blog

Ivo Adam now has his own Blogspot blog: "Ivoslife"
Read it at:

Post-op Lament

A light breeze drifts
in thru the open window
rippling my mind,
filling it with images
of simple comforts
I craved in the hospital
& nursing home:

a warm facecloth,
a soapy shave w/a Mach3-blade,
a queen-sized bed;

I miss bending to buckle my sandals,
climbing onto my 10-speed Shogun
to cruise down the sidewalks
doing my daily errands;

anything immediate & spontaneous
is remote, now that I'm hosting
a knee built of titanium & rubber,
hidden in my stiff, swollen left leg.

What I'd assumed, I can't, again, yet:
what I'd done, I can do only some of.

(15 AUG 08, 12:41 PDT
Santa Clara CA) v9