The Argument

Friday, January 15, 2021

I came at you like an off-duty sanitation worker.

“Where the hell is that stack of prescriptions I left on the counter?”

You replied not unlike a colloquium of professors

hedging their bets. “It’s in the hedge, I bet.”

I said, “You threw it out the window?” like a monk

staring at a half glass of warm water. “Not really,”

you effused, suffusing the room with aromatic post-lunch

exhalations. “They blew out when I ope’d the winder.”

I said, “You speak like that now?”  You twisted up your face

like a tailor clutching the hem of a skirt while

holding back a fart. “I am just busy,” you explained,

the way my mom used to explain things. I replied,

“I’ll go look in the garden,” and began to trudge toward

the door, the way people trudge toward doors

when they’re on a mission to find their prescriptions.

“Good luck” you called after me, but I had already left,

was out of earshot, was out of patience, out of lists

of things to be out of, even. “Best wishes,” you shouted.

“Arrivederci,” I whispered, but I didn’t mean it.

Wise Sayings

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Don’t step on a burning rat when you’re wearing gasoline sneakers.

Most forms of folly can be boiled down to one common principle.

If you try—and I mean really try hard—you’ll find you are good at something.

Steer clear of stress whenever possible.

Old friends newly annoying? There could be a solution.

A home has two entrances but three—mark my words—three exits.

Sometimes God closes a door to reduce the draft. Of sinful thoughts.

Pay a nickel for a popsicle, but be ready to pay a dime. Yeah. Life works that way.

Experts will tell you to save money. I essentially agree with that advice.

Sugar is sweet. Friendship is sweeter. Circulating hateful lies might be the sweetest of all.

Don’t dwell on the past. Dwell on the floors of your home.

Ph.D. stands for “doctor of philosophy,” and pH d stands for “acid dick,” but what in the world is HUD?

Don’t put all your chickens in the same hat, friend-o.

Just remember. What you’re going through now is super hard.

Certain wise sayings are less helpful than others, my son.

Yes, “timely” means punctual. When we say “timeless,” though, we mean just that.

Stop hyperfocusing on KPIs. Are you a good person?

“Get with the program” is only as valuable as what you mean by “program.”

Words only mean so much. Beyond them lie other sorts of things.

A man once asked me “How, sir, should I enter heaven?” I shrugged, “Frankly, friend, buy a different pair of shoes.” I was speaking metaphorically.


Friday, November 6, 2020

Not surprised you won’t quit.

Only socks admit the feet. 

Well, shoes do, too. 

Heels don’t—and that means you.

• • •


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I will admit that I’m being sensitive. 

Thankfully, I’m being not

emotionally sensitive but time sensitive. 

Meaning I am only valid during a certain window.

But at least, as they say, I am valid

sometimes. I have that capacity.

That being said, I have a number of capacities.

It’s just that you used to be one of them

and you no longer are. You can

 stay here if you can be quiet or just

go wait in the car.

To a Pig

Thursday, September 24, 2020

To a dog, a pig ear can be a long-lasting treat.

To a pig, however, a pig ear is something to hear with

OR a long-lasting treat. Pigs don’t discriminate. 

They don’t “see color” so to speak, and they chew

what they’re given. But they’re also foul-smelling. 

Their escapades land them in mud, among maggots,

snouts buried deep under rain-rotten logs

and sometimes even human remains. This final

consideration should give us pause. Humans often

think of themselves as better than pigs, but are we? 

To a dog, a human is a good friend, or can be.

A human can also be a dog’s compassionate killer

if that dog has cancer, say, or spontaneous 

degenerative polioencephalomyelopathy

spongy degeneration of the brain’s gray matter.

NOT something you want afflicting your litter. 

• • •

My LinkedIn

Friday, September 11, 2020

If people ask who I am, say
I’m an experienced omnichannel
marketing content designer
specializing in AI gamification
for enhanced industry visibility
within the micro-influencer space
who can monetize basically
anything not only by implementing
ecomm solutions directly in your
interactive engagers but by
strategizing larger media buys
across all social platforms
until your own face appears
utterly breathtaking when you
look at it in the mirror in the morning
and the people in your life
love you for who you actually are
instead of merely an opportunity
for professional advancement.

• • •

I’m So Poor

Monday, August 31, 2020

I’m so poor my credit card has a credit card.

It’s over the limit, and the limit is about a million bucks.

I’m so poor my mom is now blind.

I’m so poor that when I try to eat a kidney bean i break my teeth. My tooth.

I’m so poor I named my dog “tatters.”  My mom can’t even see my dog now. She just whispers “come here, tatters.”

I’m so poor my girlfriend left me for a coat stand. And then she left the coat stand.

I’m so poor my shoes have to walk themselves to the library. In the rain. They’re currently halfway through The Tipping Point.

I’m so poor my feet shriveled up. “Great, now I have no feet,” I keep muttering. Poor mom, she can’t even tell what time it is.

I’m so poor I’m the subject of a new Broadway musical— called “Poor.”

I’m so poor I don’t even have a college education anymore. It left me for a coat stand. And it turns out the coat stand is gay.

I’m so poor I spend most of my time trying to build a pyramid out of kidney beans. But I only have the one bean.

I’m so poor I can’t afford to floss, so I have no gums, and I have no mouth. And I hate my face.

I’m so poor Santa Claus sent me an IOU. He sent me two IOUs, and the second one was forged.

I’m so poor my knees look like ants. Giant pink ants. At least that’s how I picture them when I’m taking a bath.

I’m so poor my coat stand left me for another woman, and even SHE was totally broke. She pawned my pea coat. I heard she got five dollars. She would have pawned my hat too, but by then my hat didn’t exist.

I’m so poor they’re using me, verbatim, as the script for a new sitcom. They’re not even giving it a title. And there’s only one actor, Brad Dourif.

I’m so poor I can’t afford to shut my eyes anymore. They sit there like walnuts. Giant pink walnuts.

I’m so poor it ought to be illegal how poor I am. They ought to lock it up and throw away the key. Or return the key to lost and found.

I’m so poor that when I got up the nerve to kill myself I had to cut off my fingers to use as bullets. But by then I couldn’t afford to pull the trigger. And I’d sold all my gunpowder for floss. And I had no face.

I’m so poor I can no longer remember what I didn’t like about Johnny Carson OR Johnny Cash.

I’m so poor there’s a disease named after me. It’s not even a disease yet, officially. It’s a hang up.  They named a tendency after me. They called it— “Poor.”

I’m so poor my wallet is lying drunk in a gutter somewhere wishing it could talk. It memorized some Robert Lowell poems. It’s just my wallet, though. It knows that.

I’m so poor now the devil doesn’t want my soul anymore. He gave it back and said I could keep whatever he’d traded for it. He even forgot what he’d traded for it. And when I wouldn’t take it back he said he didn’t care.

• • •


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Kids say sick. They mean “cool” or “right on.”
When Ancient Romans say sic, they mean “yes”—
or “no,” non. Unlike kids, ancient Romans
are super binary in the way they respond.
Kids are more like a tree or a shrub—or a pond.

• • •

The Cossacks

Friday, May 1, 2020

Do you think the Cossacks made a conscious
Choice to circumscribe their culture’s consumption
Of couscous, or was it just that couscous originated
as a Maghrebi dish of small steamed balls
of crushed durum wheat semolina traditionally served
with stew spooned on top, and Maghreb
Was-slash-is two seas away—3100 kilometers
As the crow claws its way through clouds.
Or was it that proto-Ukranians couldn’t stand
Stew per se? Hint: they could but liked it cold.
Was it some secret chefs-only coup that overthrew
Couscous’s coulda-been conspicuous future
In the southern motherland peopled only by the pale,
Those who tear their black bread in twain
And slosh it down with room temperature водка
Bite by black bite, in some back room of a bad
Seaside bar in Ochakiv or Zaliznyi, giving nary
A thought to the peasant mash then popular
In Algiers or Jijel, in fact all across the top
Of hotly contested Africa, beautiful Africa, blacker
Than medieval Cossacks could possible conceive.
Oh they’d heard tales; of that we have no doubt.
But had they tried the couscous? We do not know.

• • •

Heroic Couplets for Milkthistle

Thursday, April 2, 2020


is also known as
cardus marianus,

milk thistle,
blessed milkthistle,

Marian thistle,
Mary thistle,

Saint Mary’s thistle,
Mediterranean milk thistle,

variegated thistle
and Scotch thistle.

• • •