Added to the list

I’d written this a long time ago, obviously judging by the subject matter. I would’ve hoped we’d moved beyond genocide by now; clearly that’s not the case. I’d actually posted a video on YouTube back in 2012, and somehow, ten years later, some moderator decided to delete that video for ‘violent content’. I appealed that decision; however five minutes later they got back to me upholding their decision.

I’m very pissed off by this. None of the images chosen involved beatings, lynchings, rape or any else that might provoke violence. The images of people starving were meant to provoke a response; disgust, disbelief, awareness of what kind of crap is going on in this world. This piece is not meant to advocate violence; it’s a protest against state-sponsored violence.

Well, at the risk of being crude, fuck it. I’m putting it here. Render your own judgement.

darfur, Darfur

loll upon the tongue

join the dreaded list

ethiopia, bangladesh, somalia et al

the poor are always with us

the poor always die continuous

genocide, patricide

racial cleansing aside

how can it be

that there are so many ways to rephrase s singular sin

say it as it is

mass murderers

the armenians in 1915, a million and a half gone

the holocaust of the 1940s, six million to the ovens

the khmer rouge, two million done

the five hundred nations of the native American

why are we so silent in our regard

while the darfurians, one half million so far

are added to the list?

The Lonely Hearts Bar

I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote this. Maybe it’s like those spontaneous pieces John Lennon wrote in the 60s that never made any sense. This is a relic from 1992. Enjoy.

Welcome to the Lonely Hearts Bar

Welcome to the house of loons

It ain’t a place you find in the streets

You gotta crawl in-side your twisted mind

Dino just flew in from the tropics

With a frizzy beard and Spidey                                           

[That’s his eight-legged buddy]

Dino says he’s runnin’ for office

An’ Spidey is his runnin’ mate

Dino swings from the chandelier

While Spidey presses the campaign

There he is, hangin’ over the door

Snaggin’ voters in his loopy web

Step on in to the Lonely Hearts Bar

It’s no place like Santos or Martinez

These are the goons you’ll find

Runnin’ in-side your twisted mind

There’s Jumpin’ Jack Slim shooting pool

Thinks he’s a lumberjack in drag

Yes he’s got a heart that’s true

But he’s been D.D.T.’ed too long

Don’t forget the lady in furs

Wears a ragged sable on her neck

Sittin’ on a barstool on the rocks

Drinkin’ rum an’ coke on ice

She comes in day an’ night

To her little circle of friends

Buenos Dias to Alfredo and the maid

An’ the little poodle from her barrio

Welcome to the Lonely Hearts Bar

Come wallow in a Bud with us

We got nothin’ new to show

‘Cept our twisted little minds.

334 Farralone Avenue

I’ve been carrying this around since the late 80s. This was dedicated to the home I grew up in, at least the first home I had a great fondness for. With the excess time off I’ve had due to medical issues I came back to it, with a couple additions. I don’t know if they help or if its crap. I’m just going to throw it out there and let you decide.

Hello old friend, has it been so long

Since I went far away

Those days are still strong

I left very young, yes it’s been a few years

But for the days long past

I can’t shed any tears

Hey old friend, did the grass stain our pants?

It never spawned any weeds

Or a ‘puppy-doo’ dance

[Neighbors’ ladder sliding along side-boards

While my brothers laughed from the second floor window

And the neighbor raised a fist

GI Joes were not for adulation

But burying in the nearest storm drain]

We’d curl up at dawn on that vent in the floor

The grill marked me up

While the others got warm

[Shattered glass backed into unseen

‘cause I didn’t want to wear a shirt

Comic books in sickbed, Man of Steel with a golden key

Curled up on the couch

All four eyes glued to Spider-Man]

We always ran up the stairs, almost beat them to death

Mom never got her sleep

And she’d scream us all deaf

[Weekends on the radio, Casey Kasem counting down

Or EG Marshall with another mystery theater

In the dark we’d listen, my brothers and me

Did they enjoy those shows

Or tolerate them for my sake?]

[Drove past you one fully grown afternoon

To a stranger, remodeled, painted a dingy brown


So long old friend, I don’t think it’s the end

You were too good to me

I hope I come home again.

I Hope My Grandchildren Forgive You

I hope my grandchildren forgive you    

for what you brought on our land  

for the world we leave to them

Forgive the desert that was once California  

the parched land and tongues of ordinary souls  

rationed to a few drips a day  

or will that be a week, who knows?

Forgive the 30 years wasted in deceit and denial  

while simulations became fact

and facts piled on facts  

and opportunities to act became wasted in dithering politics

And to the passing of the Floridas  

while salt of sea infiltrated our children’s drinking supplies  

I fear not for New Orleans, she’ll adapt  

she always does

Forgive us the storms like no other   

coming to a landmark near you   

New York barraged by tides she’ll not soon forget   

Lady Liberty will stand as a beacon still   

even waist deep in the ocean

I certainly hope they can find it in their hearts   

to forgive your cowardice, your avarice,  

your blind blinkered stupidity   

‘Cos God knows I won’t


“We’re all in the same boat.”

You hear that a lot as a metaphor to explain away hard times, to buck up and press on, pull yourself up by your bootlaces, as another cliche goes, I must tacitly disagree.

We are NOT all in the same boat. We are all in our own leaking boats, trying desperately to plug the holes with snips off our bootlaces; except after the last 30 to 40 years, our bootlaces have been snipped away to nothing.

A lot of us, too many of us, don’t have ‘boats’ at all. They’re just clinging to a garbage bag that holds all they have in the world. We don’t see them for the most part, try to ignore their existence, and when that becomes too hard, we use our paddles to shove them as far out of our sight as possible.

Some of us are throwing rocks at people in other boats ‘cos they cain’t stand t’ look at their faces: “Mabel, get mah shotgun, that there colored boat is gettin’ too close to us!”

Let’s not forget the yachts blissfully plowing through us, not a care in the world, not even if a passing boat happens to get pulverized by their rudders.

That’s my metaphor, which I think is closer to the truth,