Saturday, February 2, 2019

Bird in Hand

After weeks of being sick, I called my new doctor to make an appointment. As the nurse riffled through my file, I heard a rustling in the next room. I knew immediately what it was and told the nurse I had to go. I hung up and rushed into the kitchen. There I saw my lumbering galumph of a cat with his fat paw batting around an injured bird, a hummingbird, amongst the ruin of his feathers.


I pushed the cat off and found something warm to wrap the bird in. He fluttered his wings and looked me in the eye. He was still alive.

I made some sugar water. Each time I dipped his long beak in the sweet water he drank thirstily.

Despite being sick, I figured I had to get him to the animal shelter as quickly as possible if he was going to live. I jumped in the car and drove like a maniac, steering unsteadily with my right hand, while holding the bird with my left to make sure he was breathing. He was, but he was messed up. Feathers asunder. My cat had whacked him good.

At the shelter, I dropped him with an assistant, told her I didn’t want to know if he died and drove away. But I've been thinking about that little bird. I wish I'd given her my information to find out if he had lived...or even if he had died. I guess I didn't want to hear the bad news.

My father couldn’t bear bad news or upsetting headlines; he read the sports page, avoided politics, avoided trouble. Told me to do the same. Maybe my father was like that because of the War. I don't know, but I know I did the opposite of everything he told me. But now I'm just like him. I avoid reading the newspaper; I can't listen to the radio. I don't want to read about the depraved actions of this pendejo in chief, hear about the policies of his cruel cabinet. Even with this bird, I couldn't bear to hear what happened, couldn't bear to hear the bad news. 



Must be hard for McConnell to stand up against the Boss Man, because when he does it sounds like he’s juggling rocks inside his mouth. During his speech, he tried to get his words out while swishing around the impediments to his taking an opposing stand. He couldn't do it, or do it righteously, without some kind of regurgitation of fear that gripped his vocal cords, tongue and larynx. 

I wonder what's inside there, exactly?


Saturday, December 29, 2018

You wouldn't believe....

(Probably, I'm wrong about this, blogging is so yesterday, but since my website got hacked and I closed it down, I'm going to try blogging again. Maybe once a week, maybe once a month, but try I shall. Here goes!)

We'd just left seeing Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim, zigzagging down the street and across Park Ave., towards the subway at 86th and Lexington. I noticed some shiny black SUVS convening in front of a small red brick building, which turned out to be the Park Ave United Methodist Church. I peeked in and saw a gospel choir on stage, dressed in red, singing; at the same time, I heard Maya urgently whispering to turn around and look. 

Whipping around I saw a tall man surrounded by secret service agents, emerging from the scene of SUVs, in a sleek blue suit and flashy red tennis shoes. It was Bill Clinton, in all his 6ft. 2in. lean glory. He turned towards us— being the only people on the street for some inexplicable reason, like an episode from the Twilight Zone where we'd been dropped into place just to experience this emergence— and waved. I would say we 4 stood with our mouths gaped open as he said, "Hi there!" and smiled. 

Walking from the back of the SUV came a small woman, beige in appearance and unadorned. At first I thought it was Hillary, then I thought it can't be her, too plain, and then I thought, good God, it is Hillary, totally without color or animation. She looked diminished next to her dashing husband, who throughout her career has stolen her spotlight, and today certainly was stealing it again. She walked up to his side, without smiling, and together they climbed the stairs to the church, where, in a last minute spontaneous outburst, I shouted "I like your shoes, Bill," the sound dispersing in the cold winter air.

They disappeared inside the church, and we, wide eyed and stupified, disappeared down into the subway. 

Being Christmas the subway was packed. I found a seat next to a woman who was wearing a red beret, almost as bright as Bill's shoes. Immediately I turned to her and said, "You wouldn't believe who we just saw. Bill and Hillary, and Bill had shoes the exact color of your hat! He looked good, but Hillary looked pale as a ghost." The woman, who was on her way to family and church, came straight to the point, "The stress that woman was put under, it's a terrible shame. A shame. And they're still after her. I feel sorry for her."

This woman, whose name I never got, had more compassion than I ever had about Hillary, whose crimes where touted ad nauseam by even reasonable people. I don't think I ever thought of Hillary as a real person, but today, there she was, looking diminished, looking defeated, which seriously shook me. The irony, of course, is that she told us, point blank, what the truth was about Trump, the danger to our country, his unending lies, but did we listen? We only cared about her emails.

We stepped out of the subway in East Williamsburg, little Puerto Rico, and walked into a scene straight out of the Christmas Story, but a new version where Santa arrives on a three-wheeled motorcycle in the late afternoon (elf added). There he was hopping off his bike with a bag full of toys and knocking on a door, a mother standing guard, calling for her child, "It's Santa! Come quick."

Santa and his motorcycle were adorned in bright red, like the gospel choir, like Bill's shoes, like the woman's red beret. He climbed the stairs to deliver his gifts and stood talking to the mother who kept calling for her child. We walked on before the child appeared, but I could just imagine her delight upon seeing Santa, upon seeing that magic can happen and that it comes right up to your door.


Saturday, October 6, 2018






TEES, $15

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ADD $6.

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If you live in LA, you can pay by cash,  check, or PAYPAL. I will deliver and/or meet you for coffee!







Saturday, December 30, 2017


La-di-da, no one coming...I proceed on.

Air molecules dissolve, airbags explode, car spins 180 and shudders to a stop. I can't move, seconds pass, out of the corner of my eye I see someone driving in slow motion, staring into the window, making a call. A few beats later I hear, "Oh, I was wrong... she's a lot older than I told you!"

Thanks alot, bitch, just what I needed to hear! This is my first thought after I start thinking again. My brain is working. What a relief!

The only thing I can feel is pain shooting through my back, right where I fell 2 years ago, in Joshua Tree. It's deja vu all over again. Oh no! Not again!

The truck rammed me on the driver's side. For some reason this kind of accident is called a T-bone, as if it's somehow connected to a cow, but how? No cows here.

But I wouldn't mind if there were more cows and less cars. Life would be easier. Life would not be this urban nightmare. Yes, more cows, less cars and while we're at it, how about no cars! No cars, no cell phones, no computers, no cops, except the ones directing the cows. 

But back to my immediate situation. Someone's cutting away the airbags and reaching inside to pull me out of the car and into an ambulance.

On the way to the hospital, I experience a case of deja vu; wasn't I just here a second ago on my way to the ER in Palm Springs? Where am I? I should call someone, wait a second, I don't have my phone. Oh NO!

Once at the hospital, I'm wheeled into a room, nurses come and go, something's pumped into my veins. I wait. After more waiting, a young boy wheels me to another room, a room that looks strangely familiar.

Are we at the airport?

Inside the black hole, a warm flow of dye curses through my body and I panic!

The robot is right, 30 seconds later and it's over. I'm wheeled back to my room.

I call a friend, who brings food and, remarkably, my phone from the shop. The doctor reads me his report in a somber tone (perhaps he's falling asleep as he talks, an overextended resident) and I'm finally released. I'm anxious to get home. I insist my friend drive slowly, take all the side streets, avoid the freeway, go ten blocks out of her way, and before it's morning, I'm home!


Talking to a friend a few days later, I tell her everything's okay, but I'm damaged. A fracture in my lower lumbar and cotton balls floating in my brain. I'm back in bed, not able to walk further than the bathroom, and trying to put a sentence together what... searching searching....right word where, ah there...impossible. I'm not suppose to think, not suppose to read on a screen, not suppose to tax my brain. 

"Well, that's a good thing for the next few years, don't you think?" my friend says. 

I laugh. It's the first laugh since the accident. We both find hilarious the idea of being slightly brain damaged as a useful strategy for getting through the Trump years. Maybe there's a silver lining after all.


This accident happened 7 weeks ago. I complained a lot during my recovery, mostly about how long it was taking to get better; most days it felt like I was going backwards. I'd attempt some activity, like walking to the mailbox, and end up back in bed for two days. But today, recovery is almost in reach, walking, thinking, almost normal again. I still wonder why that jerk had to race through a light that had already turned red, but that's LA. Could I really live where there are no cars, no cell phones, no computers, no cops....I don't think so, but the thought is tempting, especially the idea of skipping through daisies in a field of cows. Throw in a few wild foxes and I think I'd be happy. But what is happiness in the age of Trump, an existential question I hope to explore in 2018.

Here's wishing you, dear reader, a Happy New Year and a very good year. Let's get out there in 2018, knock on some doors, make a few hundred calls, talk to strangers, and bring those mother fuckers in Congress down. That's all i can say from this end of the nightmare, but still alive to say it.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Donkey's Inferno

A Short Fable for Children

The thing about these Asses was, despite their swollen ankles, they galloped along so fast that before you could protest one of their antics—like opening up public lands to Uranium mining— they'd landed another doozy and pulled you by your hair to Hell.

They told so many lies, they couldn't keep track of them. They purposely caused your head to swivel (whiplash, not covered by insurance) and, like the Cuyahoga River, there was a chance of bursting into flames spontaneously. Soon it became the country's no. 1 danger!

Like what happened to me this morning. 

I showered for my allotted two minutes, but then couldn't leave—thinking about all the lies, so many of them, falling out of those smug Jackasses' asses.

But back to our fable.

Especially egregious was the bloated Jackass named Trump, (but let's not discount his tag along buddies). They lied so deliciously, young children began to believe them.

For instance, some of the lies: 

Nature is ugly

Losing your healthcare is Freedom

If liberals like it, than it's wrong, therefore.... Wrong is right!

So Children, a warning: You're being sold a bundle of lies by the whole fucking lot of them.

But Club Hell, where TrumpMcConnellRyanSessions are members, is restricted (like certain clubs of my childhood), so...

If you're brown black native indigenous yellow red blue gay transgendered binary Bahai Jewish Muslim Atheist Mongolian vegetarian student scientist citizen journalist
just a lover of books,

You won't be allowed in Hell. Turns out it's an all exclusive club for lyin' Jackasses. Good news, Children! And even though this is a long ago fable (from three days ago), that's the truth!

(Bigger donkey than the Devil)


Saturday, March 25, 2017


If there's one thing we can be certain of in this uncertain world it's that Trump will NEVER take responsibility for any of his actions. Thus far in his reign, "responsibility" has never fluttered forth from his lips (come to think of it, I can't think of any 6 syllable word he's uttered; tre-men-dous has only 3). I find this surprisingly reassuring: it will always be the Mexicans or the Muslims or the Democrats—of course the Dems are to blame for the demise of Ryan's disastrous health care remake, of course!—it will never be him or any of his white party. Which got me thinking....

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In love with love

Over the holidays I saw the new Jim Jarmusch film, Paterson; it was splendid, more than splendid, it was about poetry and the urge to write and the urge and the need to create. Critics panned it of course, too slow, they said. Too slight.
But for me it was a revelation.

So I thought I would try my hand at a poem. I wrote poetry when I was in my twenties, very bad, very slight. But I sat down the last day of this year, with the rain coming down, and mulled over the words that would go into my poem, like Adam Driver does in Paterson. Mulling is part of writing poetry, I believe, different than writing an essay or a work of fiction. Those take different skills, but I quite like mulling, and I quite liked how Adam Driver did it in the movie, so I'm giving myself permission to copy his method, at least for this first attempt.  

In love with love

Life is so precious
so fragile
so finite....
Yet love is infinite.
Or at least it seems when you’re walking in the rain and a small black towhee sits above you singing.
It gets you kicking up your heels and thinking that love will last forever, that you will always love, love will go on and on and on.
But then you grow disillusioned.
You grow out of love. You face the end of love alone.

But what of this: You’re young and full of life and infinitely in love with life. You’re in love with love. You touch everyone with your love. You are the wind and the salt sea. But then you face your death alone. You fly away singing. Where do you go? Where does that infinite love go? How does the universe contain that finite being full of infinite love that touched so many?

Maybe I’m thinking of all this because it’s raining, because it’s cold and gray, because my family is scattered. Because love is both infinite...and finite. Because the one who loved love and the multitudes who loved him back has died. And where did that love go?

I think I got his eyes