activism Americana analysis art astronomy beauty behavior belief childhood civility comfort communication divinity ecology education family feminism girl stuff happiness health human behavior humanity kindness life literature love mindfulness muse poetry politics pop culture psychology self-love sexism shooting stars sociology womens studies words writing

How Isabella Conquers Her World

you have descended

from indigenous medicine women

and girl scout goddesses

you came into this life

with power that takes growing


head held high

with strong female role models

confidence you will cultivate

by surviving pain

rising to challenges

you’re finding out

you’re stronger than you know


creating your own peace

owning your joy

making happiness your choice

remembering you have endured

their belittling words


they need to feel better than you

because they have nothing to be proud

how sad is that

pity them

waste no time on bitterness

take comfort

people like this are their own reward

you will rise above their words

you will outlive their petty hearts

the world fears all shades of women and girls

who believe in themselves

do not ever give a bad person

the power

to make you feel like

you are less

to make you ashamed of the way you are woven into the fabric of our universe

or that it is anything but

perfectly divine

to be you

art literature love poetry


angry seething

stab you in the face with sentiment love poems

were my


my thing

boy howdy

did i ever generate

enough bloody material

a canon of cannon fire

yet i find

myself undone

fucking happy

sniffing daisies in a pinafore

my battle drum silent

as he gives me no reason

to write them

or go off to war

humanity love Uncategorized writing

The World is Ours

were i given a room

in an art gallery

i would hang giant pull-down

Rand McNally maps along the walls

the sort your fourth grade teacher pulled down

from a metal box

in front of the blackboard

depicting colorful nebulous countries

we were to learn the name and population density of


when you enter my exhibit

the docent would instruct you to pull down

each bob hanging from the strings

to see the works contained


after the maps are in place

a projection  of photographs will begin

over the man-made borders

giving faces to the humanity

contained within


images of people

feeding the hungry

tending to the sick

cleaning oily beaches and garbage choked rivers

opening doors

rescuing unwanted animals and humans




making music

good deeds

kindness of all sorts

ending wars


the name of the exhibit

would simply be

The World is Ours


activism art biology books childhood cinema comedy crime ecology education film happiness history journalism literature Music nature non-fiction physics poetry publishing punk religion rituals science Short Stories sociology the arts traditions Uncategorized Urban Legends war writing

cement truck philosophy

a wise and loyal friend
who is a monk
once explained to me
the cement truck philosophy
to approaching life

“find a need, then fill it…”

and it never made more sense to me
than as i was sitting
dead still in traffic
on I-71 southbound this morning
for two hours

an eighty year old man
walked onto the expressway
and jumped out in front
of a giant green cement truck
with the enthusiasm
of a little brooklyn girl
playing double dutch

people are saying
it wasn’t a suicide
he was addled
suffering from dementia

to which i respond
all the more reason

dying in the united states dictates
you buck up and suffer through it
our views on euthanasia are archaic

no, folks

i believe
he was having what they call
a moment of clarity

and i’d like to think
right before the truck hit him
he smiled and closed his eyes

he had a need for peace
he filled it

activism film journalism poetry sociology writing

where have you gone, joe dimaggio?


is the purest

form of journalism

in an age stripped
of its innocence


where the huddled masses

are reeling from the latest

upgraded Halliburton version

of the vietnam war


as children of the eighties

we wore throwback peace signs

waxed romantic for woodstock

and tie dyed everything

because we wanted in on the optimism

the blatant irreverence

we wanted a hit off their cause


now we have our own vietnam

and our children are craving

the eighties


a time we considered

a decade of decadence

coining the phrase greed is good

yet they view it as a simpler time


i suppose

that is the natural order of things

in an unnatural world



in the eighties

we still had food

that would biodegrade

because it wasn’t

made from polymers


pete rose

didn’t break my town’s heart

’til 89

after having made it swell to heaven

in 84


don’t make direct contact with another human

don’t believe anything the government tells you is the truth

and don’t drink the water

as mr. murrow would say

ladies and gentlemen…


good night, and good luck 




cinema comedy happiness poetry publishing religion rituals the arts traditions writing

high tea

atop a Tibetan mountain

peaking through

a perfect cloud


i will take high tea

with the dalai lama


the platters


and cups

brought to us

upon the backs

of meticulously trained

boston terriers

billy goats

and bull frogs


when  given honey

wag away happily


his holiness will tell me a bad joke

as he pours

“Why is the Christian heaven paved with gold, but covered in newspaper?

Angel poop.”


to which i counter


“How do you make the universe laugh?

Tell it your plans…”


we giggle into our tea cups


art books childhood ecology education Jazz Music nature

the way wars make windows

you were standing there
enjoying a cigarette
the orchestral way you do
as i came around the corner

i stood still to watch
the uprising

it’s a part of your machine
and i accept that
the consensus view is
if you quit now
you’d die of not smoking

never having expected
to see you again
it was all the more overwhelming
to find you looking so beautiful

succumbing to the desire
of examining every inch of your skin
to verify
it is
as i left it

i thought i loved you
but i realize now i didn’t
i wanted you to fuck me
every moment of the rest of our lives
the final glorious act
in the perpetual stage show
you are
we were

but don’t blame singing sirens
or my absent daddy
they can’t help being dead myths

on the contrary

it was how deep our tongues
were buried
in conversation

the way we instinctively knew
how to kiss
mouth to mind

bend me over and teach me
yes, all of that

but i didn’t love you
or our silver-trimmed matching sets
of unrealistic expectations

in fact i came to hate you

i’ve forgiven you
i’ve forgiven me
and the death
i chose to take up with
but i’ll never forgive your mother

i now find myself
clear of mind
and intentions

if these things happen
they happen
you said

that being the case
and the blue of your eyes

i promise to be a better me
and not to love you
the way wars make windows

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

three thousand years

a conspiracy theorist
once told me
the only reason
we look after israel
and it’s every interest
so fiercely
is that if the united states
is not aligned with israel
the religious right believes
the biblical end times prophecies
cannot come true

perhaps not

the state of the world is absurd
and deserving of an inevitable ice age

our monstrous nature
will become
hard as dinosaurs

long after the water is gone
and middle class mothers
have only soot and fire for perfume

motives are everything
aren’t they?

i know this

we send a stone faced ketchup tycoon
to “diligently work for peace”
as we approve a bill to
send more bombs and bullets to israel

while detroit and toledo are
somewhere dying tonight

there has never been a child
born unto this earth
who deserved the
back of his head blown off
regardless of his father’s politics

the problem is

no one looks into the eyes
of the dead anymore

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

middle class mom scene

hiding in the corner of the basement
behind respectable stacks
of storage bins and books

(blown away by the fact
i managed to keep two children
alive and happy
to the age of adulthood
because i’m so shitty at completion
i love them more than anything
that doesn’t leave you much choice)

i crouch and go about my business quietly
instruments of destruction in hand
lungs full
when the basement door swings open

light crawls down the steps
like a cat chasing a mouse

“Mom, are you down there in the dark?”

“Mmnkmmmmkmmmmk. No…”

(the young man laughs)

“Then why did you answer?’

“I didn’t want you to think
I’d hopped a train
or gotten lost.”

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

rage jar

spring is having its way
with me
and the trees
blooms buds
throw rugs
everything clean

fresh thoughts and ideas

i’m keeping nothing ugly in the house
chipped dishes
anything that reminds me of you

not even angry thoughts

so i’ve placed a rage jar
on the old roll top
ringing my own pavlovian bells

each time you cross my mind
serial killer of happiness
stealing a moment of my peace
i put a five in

at the end of every month
i will donate the contents of
the redemptive vessel
to a battered women’s shelter

my anger transforming into compassion

making something good come
to a woman in need

from the evils that you do