Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014


The Caramel Delite is a cookie made by Girl Scouts.
Some people think that Girl Scouts live in lush forests
and on mountain tops and near babbling brooks and
in the warm glades of summer but that’s not true. 

The Caramel Delite cookie is 60 calories. That is an
approximate caloric value and will not hold up in a 
court of law or may not be printed in an encyclopedia
or in a weekly newspaper or reputable periodical 
without fear of rebuttal or dissent, because it is an 
approximate value, e.g.: “Your uniform is forest 
green.” Well, what is forest green, anyway? I have 
seen many forests, in my day, oh, so many forests,
and I cannot answer this question. Let’s just say 
green and let’s just say some calories or other.
Oh so many forests. William Wordsworth.

The Caramel Delite contains coconut and whey. 
This is extremely important information if you
like food from Thailand or stringy things in your
throat insofar as we are discussing coconut presently. 
With regard to whey, no one truly knows what ‘whey’ is–
some people think it is pronounced like this: why, as in: 
Why, God? Why? My God, why? She was so young!


The Caramel Delite is made by the Little Brownie
Bakers. I find that offensive. Other things I find
offensive: things that are little and things that are
brown and babbling brooks and knapsacks and 
canteens and pocket knives and people who sashay 
into rooms that you bake.

The Caramel Delite was once called The Samoa, 
a mantle plume of monsoonal temperament,

The Caramel Delite was named after Samoa 
because of their large automotive wire harness 
factories, as well as the indigenous Samoan ‘Siva 
Dance’, with its uniquely gentle pulsating movements 
of the body pressed in time to music and which tells 
a story, one that often includes coconuts and the sensation 
of slapping a mosquito on the body as the rain fills the sky.

The Samoa was made by the ABC Bakery. 
That is a fact that always makes me weep
profusely as one might were one to have
a wild dog beneath one’s skirt. Here, have 
a cookie. Mmm. That’s good. That’s fine.


Call Northside 777 has two things going for it: Jimmy Stewart and the letter 7 three times. It will remind you of the days when telephone numbers had names in them like JUniper 1-7726 and MAdison 3-1147 and HIlltop 3-2711 and GRidley 4-4426 and my favorite: MYrtle 1-1221. Other than that the movie is dreadful and there is absolutely nothing you will want to see in it although Jimmy Stewart does calls NOrthside 777 and someone does answer but it's a depressing old lady janitor answers and her son is in jail for murder and she cries and cries and Jimmy Stewart gets all excited. That part was actually kind of cool.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


On my way to TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, I have been reading the John Steinbeck library. Right now I am diving into (and loving into) OF MICE AND MEN. It is partially enhanced–or troubled–by the fact that I have seen the 1939 Lewis Milestone film version with Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. Can't decide which. This much I know: it's nearly impossible to read the book without hearing the distinctive voices of Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney in your brain-noggin. And this, too: Lon Chaney is one underrated actor. Forget the Wolf Man: this is where this man shines in the moonlight.


Oh man in front of a wall of comic books,
why must you grow old? If only they could
draw you, too, within, young and with the 
bareness of furniture, dip penned in potent 
bright ink smashing loved ones the word 
balloons and pows.


I think the RH sound has a special sound, 
but you wouldn’t know it from perhaps.
There is a part of me that feels perhaps
is part latin, part schnapps, and that it is
contracted, from the original per schnapps. 
Perhaps does not need this added value, 
for it is the lightest and airiest of the words 
we use as travel guides. You know how 
the road ends and there is a perilous drop? 
If you put your foot out, even if your foot 
is big, you will perhaps see a bridge beneath it. 
It is made of wood and a bit creaky, if it is here 
it will get you there, and hey, after all, Rome wasn’t 
built in a day, was it? At least most of it was not. 
So as long as you keep your big feet steady you will 
walk forward, bold and creaky, and the possible of
the sky will be above you and also, ever so truthfully, 
beneath you, too, as long as you don’t look down, 
which I might recommend that you do, or don’t.


I reach out at night and touch a blue velvet bag 
with my right hand. In order to do this, I must 
twist my body in bed but I want to. I am right 
handed, and I want to touch the blue velvet bag 
with my right hand. If I were only to touch it 
with my left hand, my weaker hand, I would cry 
more than I already do because I wouldn’t be able
to do as much now, even though it’s too late, really, 
to do anything at all. But if I can barely touch it 
with my weak hand, I will think about what 
I couldn’t do even with my strong hand, 
my heart, and my soul, for everything that 
I once knew, that now I can only touch lightly, 
impossibly, barely–inside my blue velvet bag.
Nothing ever moved in this house until 
I bought a turntable and it broke and 
I had a fellow come in, he was a nice fellow, 
and he repaired it and dusted it off and said 
“Now it’s squeaky clean!” and it started 
moving again and he put on his hat and 
left and nothing moved.

You could say the fan moves in the house 
it’s true but I never see it because I turn it 
on after I turn off the lights and go to 
bed and wonder where you might be now 
if you are happy now as I lie here and 
listen to Ravel andante which really just 
means 'a lonely man in France, walking' 
and he is also not in the house.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN is playing way too loud because I am in the shower and it is on the radio. Not everyone wants to hear of a stairway to heaven at seven o’clock in the morning, and I imagine cranky Edna down the hall don’t want to hear a story about a lady who is told all that glitters is gold. But none of this worries me as much as what import this little piece of paper in my hands will have should it survive five hundred years and be read by someone who doesn’t know know the sassy frill tight jeans of Robert Plant and the double-neck Merlot-red guitars of Jimmy Page. How can I possibly explain that in an age beyond radios? Worse yet, what if ‘heaven’ is no longer a word in our sure-to-be post-apocalyptic utopia? Perhaps heaven exists beyond the words we assign to designate it as such. Perhaps in a generation far away, words will merge their meanings, and there will be only one word left, and it will play constantly on the radio. Yes, there will be those. And they will play the word, and also, be the word. And the word will be heaven. With only one word left, there won’t any choice in the matter. Who do you thank? You have no choice. You thank heaven for that.


I saw a long ago photograph of the face
of the Statue of Liberty. In front of it 
was a man with his hands on his hips
wearing a black suit. The sky was overcast. 

I am the only man in the world who will stand 
in front of an angry woman’s cast iron and copper 
face today. I wonder if I should wear my black suit, 
and my grey hat? 

These are the words he never said, although 
he might have said It looks like it might rain.

The hibiscus I brought from Florida.
The apple from Maine.
I write you from a desk.
The desk could be from Ohio,
many desks are. 

Perhaps we should ask it
before I write any more
but before I do the hibiscus 
will interrupt the apple, saying 

I’m from Brazil, and the apple will say
No you’re not, you’re from nowhere, and 
the apple will say I have seen adventures 
on the river, bold-faced and grand, and

the hibiscus will say I am the most gesture of love
offered in longing to the last of the Chiki girls,
beware of what is possible with me, and what
without me, is not

the desk, filled with papers and pens, listens, and remains 
silent, because of course desks don’t talk about themselves,
which is not uncommon in Ohio, for anyone, and even less so

for those whose mouths are works of fiction, and can only speak,
if they do, the mostly deliciously wrong things, which I cannot
even begin to write–as I eat this delicious apple–to you.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Light a candle near a glass 
filled with ice.

And in the morning
there will be no candle
and no ice

And no glass. A bear
came in last night

and threw the glass 
at the mirror and

He missed his wife
terribly, what more
could he do? 

And you were
a sound sleeper
and your wife
was a bear who

loved you so.


I made the transition from marshmallow 
to tofu. And then I made the transition back 
to marshmallow. Allow me to direct your 
attention to a trip I am taking to Provence. 
The fields are crazy with lavender, yet I am
in New York, walking by a shop selling 
marshmallows made of lavender. Which 
makes no sense. I am in Provence, munching 
a petite tofu. But I am very good at transitions. 
Even now, I am staring at a wall filled with tofu 
in Shanghai, with the spirit of marshmallow 
permeating the air, when really what I am doing 
is considering the potato chip, in San José.

Monday, January 13, 2014


I use my meat tenderizer to hammer things, like nails and bags of ice. I have never used it to tenderize meat. If someone were to look at my belongings, they would find a meat tenderizer with small silver marks on its head, the kind that you might find if you are using your meat tenderizer for something other than tenderizing meat. That's really what is happening here, because there is no reason to tenderize meat. Here is something I learned: rather than tenderize meat, simply slice the meat in half, saving yourself the fuss and the muss of tenderizing meat. It’s as though you tenderized meat, but you didn’t. And with the time you save, you can hammer many nails into the wall or hammer many bags of ice and look at pictures on the wall and drink cocktails that are cold and delicious. With the time and money that you save, you can look at even more pictures and drink more cold and delicious cocktails. Tenderized meat can be delicious, you think sometimes, especially when you are meditating, or when the room is especially quiet.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sometimes it's just a world filled with camels.


I drew a cartoon in which a poodle leapt into the air and became a flower. When it did, a spaceship came out of the sky and captured it with a beam of light. I didn’t have time to draw that part, it happened too fast.

Friday, January 10, 2014


I try to look at the bright side. He had time to shave today, she is able to take a well-deserved nap, one turtle is able to give him a little smoochy kiss on the back of the neck, and it is still warm enough to go swimming.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


All my books are available here these days ... HEY is the most recent, and the cover has both Faye and Parrot. But this is only for a little while.

100% of the proceeds (including cost of production) go to the Elephant Sanctuary, Howenwald, Tennessee.


I might be fond of writing a story about a man
whose hair is like honey and then there is a dog
calling his name: HONEY! HONEY! Amazing
and worth writing about: a dog that says HONEY!
and a man with honey hair, but just the color honey,
when the dog calls, he is only calling the color, 
not the sticky feeling. He just loves the color 
honey, that’s all. The man must has no feelings 
whatsoever. This must not be complicated.

Monday, January 06, 2014


Here is a photograph of a parrot flirting with Faye in Mexico. 

I wish I had the soundtrack.


A world famous conductor
left his wife who sang beautifully
for a young woman with short red hair

Who was it, you ask? I will tell you this
much: she sang in Carnegie Hall
and wore large sunglasses
and was quite angry

How angry, 
you ask?

Not so angry as to change 
the color of her hair to red

or to sing more than once
about iguanas or empresses
of China

or to die in any way
that one might call


Sometimes he wears amazing clothes.
Sometimes he wears super unamazing clothes.
Did we ever use the word ‘super’ before Superman?

Yes. Now. Superman wore a super suit, which was super.
But when he didn’t, his clothes were unsuper.

Some people want it that way. Pay no attention to me,
Superman says, and they say, and yet, in the same sentence, 
it is said, beneath the riddle, beneath the unsuper, Love me.

At this point in the conversation there is an intense need
for something super, but something super, at this point,
does not come. The surprise is what is super. Always. 
Here it comes. Ta-dah! And nothing. It’s hidden in what 
is not there. Which doesn’t mean, don’t look for it. No. 
Look for it. I always say, I enjoy a good microscope 
and a good view of looking for a surprise 
on a moonless night.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Watching old interviews with Iggy Pop 
soothes me late at night.

Once I understand what his face looks like, 
I stop watching and

I just listen. I pick up menus on the table 
and start to read them.

Florida Shrimp à la Newburg on Toast, 
I read, and with the sound 

of Iggy Pop saying “She looked at me 
penetratingly” everything 

is right, and I could almost fall asleep 
in her arms whatever they

might be, in a picnic by the sea.

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