The more you know

Prometheus couldn’t rebound
and was cut from the team
even though he went 15 for 22
in his last game

St. George won the Drag Nationals
in 1967 but blew a tire in his next race
and sat out the entire season
with prickly heat

Willa Cather never spent a day in Phoenix
as far as we know, but her pictographs
are the major attraction in

Jeremy Irons owned a hand laundry
on Carnaby Street in London
but sold it to enroll in
the Actors Studio

The chemical formula for table salt
contains a secret code the Masons use
to indicate how they want their
steaks cooked

The Aegean Sea
was once filled with chocolate pudding

Lasagna makes me sneeze

Lady Gaga will play Ilsa
in the remake of Casablanca
the part of Rick
hasn’t been cast

Are you where you are right now?

Quantum mechanics, in coveralls smelling of grease,
say it is possible to be in two places at once.

They would know; no one ever answers the phone
when I call about my car.  Later: “Hey, man, I’ve been here
all day.”  Of course, the questions is:  where is here?

The secret to being in two places at once
is being poorly coupled to the environment,
which Roy certainly is.  How many times have I heard him say
“Man, I just don’t feel coupled today.”

Each of us must choose where he wants to be;
that’s the key.  Two places at once?  No problem, but choose wisely
so you are there to answer the phone when I call.

Checking out and checking up

The cover of the monthly magazine
displayed at the counter
along with gum and candy
breath mints and tape
has a photo of someone of whom I’ve never heard
but I’m now privy to intimate details
of her marriage, divorce, children and
most important
the secrets of her diet and health

Each month brings a new celebrity
who had been just an ordinary person
the month before
well, ordinary is a word
that may not apply exactly to these
fungible beings

Upon what does fame these days rest?
not intellect, of course,
though there are those
who show a blaze in unexpected ways;
not good deeds done out of sight
of camera crews, discovered reluctantly
and owned the same;
not gentle souls that teach
our hidden thoughts to sing

Fame’s the same as yesterday
in Wilde(r) days when
truth was only told in merriment
and gossip was the currency of choice


the line of vans advances
to surrender contents:
boxes, cartons, hope
it moves 
and stops
and moves
and stops
all smiles:  “hello, nice day”
“you’re here again”
“good luck”
“please hold the door”
“now which way?”

some draped and ready
most just anchored by the sign
proclaiming future tenants;
find the space
and sigh

I think that table’s mine…
you’ve built your pyramid
I’ll just find another site;
no ray in this dark quarter
I’ll move to section three
if that one fails to show

all planned ahead
each item has it’s space,
the diagram left at home
holds the key;
now improvise
and hope it brings the crowd;
the cords won’t reach
so strike the slides,
too much for this event
no doubt

A Customer
an early sale
an omen for the day?

a short parade
balloons held tight aloft
move swiftly past
and disappear;
we are spectators
with our creations
fixed, unmoving

did someone raise a gate?
the flood approaches;
a steady stream
of change,
desire, analysis,
bartered terms,
declined reluctantly;
lyrics waxed
returns to look;
the purchase wrung and wrapped

the crest is past
now time to think
a nap may nudge the clock

“her kids have flu”
“we sold the truck
and bought another bike”
“the house was new
but needed work;
tore it down and got
the mobile home”
“my daughter thinks
this job is dumb”
“just two more hours now”
“the market isn’t good this year”

The Close
the last transaction
melts away
a memory;
time slows
and slows
and slows

the sudden rush to pack
spreads through the hall,
as if a silent bell had rung;
the entry weight has lessened
not as much as hoped,
the change is tallied
and like perfect shots in sports
suggests a future win

the line of vans advances
to collect spare elements,
residuum of hope,
it moves 
and stops
and moves
and stops
wan smiles:  “next time?”

The bicycle club

they flash by like
many-colored fish
creating the currents
they seek

leaves rustle
as the gam*
finds its pace

we stand and marvel
at the force
but know
it’s not for us
they ride

*Gam has a variety of meanings, including “a leg” which certainly has relevance here;  as part of the marine metaphor, it can mean a school of whales, dolphins or porpoises; and, gam can refer to a social meeting, which is part of the experience of cycling in a group.

We’re on after the cheese

Andy told us confidently
we’d all have our fifteen minutes of fame
but that was 1968
when the population of the world
was only 3.556 billion
it’s 6.793 today
so each of us only gets 7 minutes and 51 seconds now
to make our mark on “American Idol”
or “So You Think You Can Dance”
or “The Biggest Loser”
and when we do
it’s Oprah and Tyra and Ellen
if we are lucky
Chad will sell us a house in Malibu
next to someone who has already had
their 7 minutes and 58 seconds
because the world population was only 6.789 billion
a week ago

Self-awareness and communication of personal identity through tattoos, piercings and the photo you choose for your credit card: a latitudinal investigation

forty-seven times (or was it 48?
I lost count after 23)
the Police sing “ee yo o”
but never bother to explain.
we all know what they mean, though
we’ve all been there
walking down the street ready
to break into song

just yesterday crisp and clear
like every other cliched autumn day
if you listened very carefully
you could hear six or seven different
people singing, humming, whistling
or was it just a car’s stereo passing by?
that thump thump thump isn’t a sound
that normal people make on their own

Pilots who missed Minneapolis by 150 miles were hiding in the Balloon Boy’s attic

we knew it was a hoax —
(how could we not?)
after George and Dick and Karl

the governor of Idaho has WMDs
and plans to use them
Montana’s unprepared
but Wyoming may fight back

Sarkozy’s wife will replace
Lynette on Desparate Housewives

Bo’s not really a dog
just a really big cat

H1N1 started out
as a floor wax, but it still won’t work on tile

eating organic vegetables causes
loss of hearing in mice

texting while driving is not as dangerous
as dancing the Tango or waltz

If you can’t trust a blogger…