Thursday, August 17, 2017

He’s dumb as a doorknob.

He’s dumb as a box of rusty utensils, she quipped.
He’s dumb as a pale blue umbrella.

He’s dumb
as old medallions to the thumb,
dumb as a kite. Dumb as a spatula.

He’s dumb as a box of rocks, a box of phlox,
dumb as an ox,
dumb as a box of jocks’ cocks,
dumb as chicken pox.

He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.
He’s not the world’s smartest.
He’s not the brightest bulb on the tree.
He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

He’s about as smart as a stick.
Sharp as a marble, she noted.
Dumber than paint.

He’s just a few cards short of a deck.
He’s a few peas short of a casserole.
A few bricks short of a load!

Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot.
Somewhere, a village has been deprived of its idiot.
It takes a village to raise an idiot.

The idiot store called. They want their idiot back.
The idiot store is located in the village.
It’s called The Village Idiot.

• • •

Robert J. Marzano

Monday, August 14, 2017

Marzano’s first exposure
To checkboxes was at Iona
College in New Rochelle.
“How easily,” thought he,
“Do ideas become quantity

and lose their subtlety!”
Soon thereafter, Marzano
got an advanced degree
at a prestigious university
and revolutionized pedagogy.

• • •


Thursday, August 10, 2017

I grew up white. At the time
I didn’t know any better.
White was just white,
and I was just a kid.

Looking back, I think
well what was I thinking?
I had so many options
for what I could have been.

• • •

The Black Prince

Monday, July 31, 2017

I no longer remember how
I earned this sobriquet.
Could’ve been the volatile
mix of my temperament

and brutal wartime conduct;
could’ve been my armor,
as displayed upon my tomb.
Could have been my gloom.

• • •



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You say tomato, I say tomato,
but few people still say Juan Acevedo.

People don’t mention him anymore—
nor do they talk about John Frascatore.

You blame Rosenthal and Oh,
and I say, well, Jeff Fassero

and Heathcliff Slocumb blew up for losses
as did oldsters like Tony Fossas,

late-career Dennis Eckersley
and anger-management Scott Radinsky.

You blame Broxton and maybe Cecil
but let me remind you of a little weasel

from Great Britain—no twirler quainter
than the dandy lefty Lance T. Painter.

He’d strike a guy out, comb his hair,
then rear back and walk a pair

only to give way to a righty schmuck,
the on-again-off-again Mark Petkovsek.

It was never over till the fat lady sang
or Duncan summoned Curtis King

or raised his right hand asking for
the fireballing walk-smith Rich Croushore.

What high hopes we had for Kiko Calero,
and how we depended on Ricky Botallico,

but try to recall their propensity to blow
the largest of leads. We may never know

the secrets shared between Jason Christiansen
and our longtime closer Jason Isringhausen,

but they both got worse as seasons passed
all but guaranteeing we’d come in last.

You blame Socolovich, and why would you not,
but think back a few years to Jason Motte.

You cry and holler over Tuivailala. Okay,
but what about Russ Springer back in the day?

Or our rent-a-retirees, Rhodes and Choate?
Fellas, there’s always been holes in the boat.

You hate on Kiekhefer, or you did for years,
but not every stopper can be Dave Veres.

Not every lefty can tow the line
as beautifully as Steven Kline.

Just—thankfully, they aren’t all Pat Neshek.
Thankfully, they aren’t all Steve Cishek.

Just thank goodness they don’t all start fires
like blackballed phenom Mike Mayers.

Most of them are just a one-inning filler
like the slightly misspelled Trever Miller,

and most of them will indeed be forgotten—
but that doesn’t mean they all are rotten.

• • •


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

He was born in Manchester
just west of here.

As a boy, he wrote poems
in the woods near his home,

sometimes mailing them
to his cousin in Framingham—

sometimes to a woman
he admired in Durham.

They weren’t very good,
so he went into banking.

• • •

Can’t Right Now

Monday, July 17, 2017

I can’t right now, I’m having the piping
on my party blazer primped.

I’m making lunch for my ex’s mom.
I’m making mayonnaise treats on the yacht.

I can’t, I’m going shopping with Lyle Mays.
I meant to say, Lyle Lovett. Tate & Lyle.

Hey, it’s none of your agribusiness
why I’m too busy right now, I just can’t.

I’m serving tea at the tennis date.
Serving it on doilies. In the nude.

I have to get my jet skis waxed in time
for Canada Day. I can’t, and I’m

not trying to be extremely rude,
but I have to pack for Mozambique.

I’m meeting Seth there later this week.
I can’t, I have to study for finals

because finals are coming up. Finals
are later this week. Hey, honey,

it’s none of your beeswax why I can’t
right now, I just can’t, and this isn’t mere

cant, or snivellery, or bombast,
I really am not able to at this moment.

• • •

[Order the book:]

Estate Planning

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Even though Mother
has herpes
I’m going to distribute
per stirpes.

• • •

The Past

Monday, July 10, 2017

Have you ever met a woman who’s as hard as a boulder?
I have. And I loved her, though she was quite a bit older
than I. Only after she died (of natural causes, thank God)
did I see that our love might’ve struck others as odd.
Had it? I’ll never know. No one speaks to me anymore.
I don’t even hear footsteps when I knock at the door—
much less many good people scrambling to answer.
If only my old lady hadn’t died of lung cancer. :(

• • •

The Beautiful Primrose

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The beautiful primrose 
reinforces this notion
that we’re alone in the world—

maybe more so for me,
since I’m a poet, but you
should know that I’m also

a failed florist. I’ve thrown
pots out of windows,
pulled up half-decomposed

vegetation with those
cottony gloves we all know
so well, picked flimsy petals

from damp bouquets,
and for what? For whom?
The solo rose says, hey,

there’s only you,
multifoliate yet singular—
and imperially alone.

• • •