Monday, September 30, 2013


Taking One For Old Glory

The Patriotic Pill

The endless wars produced a crop of lustful
young persons, their given being they'll be
likely killed in the next one.

The Conservative government insisted we had
peace, then just half-engaging in only three, and 

that they would deal with this too-sexual hangover.

Thus came The Patriotic Pill, which curbed
or eliminated lust. Marrieds were exempt.

(Naturally, sham marriages were tried, but
that dodge was just about ended by requiring
monthly education courses taught by sour clergy.)

Unmarrieds had to report once weekly to large
venues such as stadiums and shopping centers,
where the pill was ingested in front of watchful
robots and human officials.

A side-benefit lauded by Chambers of Commerce
and manufacturers was a certain frenzy which
propelled many to work faster.

Of course, Liberals railed against the pill, and
Moderates asked for it to be cut in half, but
President Dankhorse informed them that
elections have consequences: “The American
People have chosen the whole Patriotic Pill!”

Black Markets of Placebos have arisen and
been as quickly crushed–-the system that
Conservatives have set in motion being not
as surpassingly incompetent as in the past.

“We finally got it right!” bragged Dankhorse.

And Senator Helbore claimed,  “We wuz turning
into ancient Rome under the anything-goes
Lib-ruls. When something must be done, we-uns
Conservatives bite our lips and freakin does it!”

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Sunday, September 29, 2013


Existentialist Interchange

Tinpan Allez

“Are you starry eyed and vaguely discontented?”
inquires Roger.

“YOU’RE an old song!” snaps Simone.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013


Go Figure


-When did that pat little model come down?
Problem-solving? Marshaling your little
evidences and, Voila, an answer asserting!

-Aristotle, through Sherlock Holmes.

-Whatever. It's sheer bullshit! You get nowhere
with some messes. Some are better ignored.
Some of the few allegedly solved come back
to bite your ass repeatedly.

-Are you coming out against Western Rational Man?

-He’s an utter asshole!

-Should you have no method then?


-Then, what should you do if...?

-Flip a coin. That doesn't piss the gods off.
They get a kick outa it.

-And us?

-Especially us.

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Friday, September 27, 2013


Family Deficits in Having Tradesmen

Busy as a Profession

Mad Hatter had none of his own, including one
he wore. He owed it, presumably.

A/C guy has the new unit on a skid, shop floor, as
his kids broil. His crews too busy till the end of
week. Children flee to Dollar General to hang out.

Mechanic has a few classics at home, but none
for errands. Wife's Focus in his shop with only
the kid to work on it. He has broken the new part,
so another ordered.

She wants her husband to do the job, but he's
wrapped up with the accountant to reconcile
mutually contradictory forms they submitted to
IRS last year.

An audit looms!

He phones his buddy at the Ford Dealer,
and a new F-150 pickup delivered to quiet her.

It's a hit at her hairdresser’s, a somewhat macho
gang. Except Mr Perry: “Too self-consciously butch,
like the slight cowboys in gross commercials.”

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Thursday, September 26, 2013


Where there’s will...


He set up a meeting in his hotel room with his first love, 

so so long after. But she proved too fat to enter.

“No prob-lemo! We’ll go to the bar!”

“No use,” came her old, sweet voice. “I collapse chairs.”

“There must be some place!”

There was, a just-abandoned foundry. He winched her up
and sped her along the overhead rail. Running back and forth
underneath with the joystick.

“This is like the fun we had years ago!” she blurted.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013


The Essential Where

Three Poor Old Things Orient

1 knows she's in Cocoa Beach, Florida,
but can't convey same.

The words bump and jam. When she can finally get
something out, it snaps in frustrated anger.

2, old traveler, prefers London, Paris, Rome.
The nurse taking her history can get her here, but
spottily. She codes TDD, for Tends to Daydream.

3 is everywhere and nowhere. She CIAs it.
Deepest secrecy required since you’re eyeing
her dollar store jewelry.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013


On and Off the Chart

Enchilada and PhD Assistant

-Any news of our competitor?

-The Little Jew is stepping down and The Big Jew
taking over...sort of counter-sequential, methinks.

-Thank you for skipping the tortured charts this
time, and putting it in terms I understand.

-I don't necessarily mean they’re Jewish. It could
be metaphorical.

-Any which way but loose.

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Monday, September 23, 2013


Driving For the Darwin Team

Elegant Competition

Almost a cliche
to say legislators
should wear uniforms

a la NASCAR, with many
patches of purchasers.

Coy Republicans can truly
come out more tastefully:
just a beautifully-worked

embroidery or two from
reactionary billionaires.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013




Did Sinatra want to buy
all the prints? Hopeless

in our digital world,
where hauls persist

from Rye to Nome,
& clouds above,

of our own
Kissing Bandits
& randy loves, wild

messes & raw

Send funny cards
to forget.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013


The Both of You

Meeting Oneself

Anyway, there I am! I mean, if you count the
gray hairs he has exactly the same number.

Uncanny resemblance everywhere! And an office
manager too. Well, small wonder since a convention
of us.

We introduce, like looking into mirrors, though he's
not as shocked for some reason.

Exchange cards. He works for a small hardware
outfit twenty miles away.

When I tell Melody, she wants to see him. So, where's
the harm?

I call him up on his cell and we drive there the
following Saturday.

The girls get along okay, both caustic about the men.
Par for the course even when we’re not identical.

A few Sundays later, we go again. Well, we're invited.

Some major differences arise. I'm dying to get the Eagles'
score, and a beer, and his usual Sunday is listening to
old radio tapes and drinking tea.

Honest to God! So I witness something called
I Love a Mystery. Reggie is the one character I retain.

The ladies adjourn to her secret room where she shows
off quilts she has made.

“Well that's quite enough of that!” Melody erupts going home.

And it was. Except that my boss asks me to write an
article for the company newsletter about a famed
reorganization even then driving most of us nuts.

I figure I can get a quote from my strange twin: his firm
listed as one which a short while ago undertook this regimen
of identical marvels.

Uh uh. Nobody ever heard of him there.

I call the house, and real estate lady answers.
Been vacant a few months and they’re about
to rent it furnished!  She, too, has never heard
of my double and his wife.

Well, who's crazy here?

No...really. I don't think...that. What'd be the point
of a practical joke? Makes no sense.

I think that whatever entity that couple's from,
they've been drawn back by their authorities.
So, “creepy experiment” is the closest I can come.

Yeah it freaks me out! But, since Melody wants never
to hear about them again, I'm at least on safe
ground there.

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Friday, September 20, 2013


What’s Good For You

After a Wearing Slog,

Reformers truly deserve
the domestic champagne
post the President's signature.

Short-lived satisfaction
to say the least, since
the reactionary thieves have

been meeting with their
brightest lawyers in
The Greaseworks, and

concerned legislators soon
will pitch John Q as to

the phantom rights he'll
actually be losing with
this new, wild legislation!

Presumably the overriding one
they’ll fight to the death for: his
privilege of being perpetually screwed.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013


-The Republican Recognition

“There are some serious problems in this country!”

“So let’s do what we’ve always done.

Except this time, triply reward our wondrous thieves. 

Who know what to do in return.”

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


All the Pretty Names

Entering the Political Process

When they change my name, I expect some
bureaucratic monstrosity such as Operant 19E,
but am pleasantly surprised.

I start using the multitudinous forms of ID they
send, and everyone remarks on the pretty name.

My girlfriend, Lilly of the Valley, says, "And I
thought I had a lovely name. This one beats it."

Feels good until the election. I'm not really
registered under the new name, so they give me
a provisional ballot.

I later learn I'm a ‘File 13.’ Those  votes are trashed,
in short.

I go to my political friend, who shrugs. "You'll be
okay next time. Your name changed for the specific
purpose of knocking it out for this one election.”

“So your party would win!”

“It's no use playing if not to win.”

I join a class action suit and it actually
goes to trial. There the jury spends all its
time admiring our names. The judge finally
throws them out, and the suit.

Only I press for retrial, but my political friend says
his party will promise not to do it again, and give
me a new car.

Only a small electric, but does the trick.

So I have a pretty name and a pretty car. Lilly of the
Valley loves both immensely.

All’s well that ends etc. But, of course, you must
fight for your rights. For the good of the nation.
That never changes. Ever vigilant!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Regulation and Rhetoric

Missive to Money

Elbow room? Yes.
Carte Blanche? Don't be absurd.
Policing yourself? Tragedy for the rest of us.

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Monday, September 16, 2013


On the Distaff

GOP Freedom

With Congressionals nearly impinging,
will we be exposed to New Gynecological

Republican Women countenance these vile idiots
as Oh that's just______! Or just Dad or Grandpa!

Otherwise, though, they’re allowed to think.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013


Anger for Art

Architecture as Frozen Music*

Uh huh? Leading me to feel
there's more bullshit there
than in the other arts, even.

Okay, I own a bar supply business, say,
& am looking for a standalone building
in Philly's Manayunk? Retail store-

front, plus warehouse in back
for the wholesale hunk.

What can an architect do? Well, some glassy
thing over the Schuylkill River, reflecting

the boats rowing by
sunsets etc. That's nice.

But a Moorish courtyard between
shop & warehouse? Sound ridiculous,
but I must keep on listening.

So, an architect should pay attention
to function, yes, but when a curve-

ball chance arises, fercrisakes
throw it! Don't just emit
some stale&phony shit about it.

Bike through Philadelphia University
one midnight & lights blaze
from Architecture Building.

That’s a start. No gentleman
or aesthetic lady desires
to be working that late.

*blamed on Goethe

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Saturday, September 14, 2013


Asking a Machine

Two Friends and a Computer

“The mistake people make is not using the model
for personal matters. You can feed into it for
business stuff and it's infallible. I'd like to think
it's the same for...”

“Well, let me try it. I just really met Jeanne, and her
birthday’s at the end of the week. Should I get
her anything?”

The program asks for more information about
both of them. He, of course, can’t supply
much about her. ‘Funny’ and ‘Wry’ seem to
set up cautions.

“Get her nothing,” concludes the machine.

But he forgot to say what he had been
considering, and does so now.

“Been looking at  this ceramic thing, coffee mug
with a mermaid for handle?”


“But this program rules out anything that's
wifty and funny and light and spontaneous!”
he complains.

“For the very good reason that those things
can turn into pain!” friend reminds.

“Well, I'll take my chances.”

“1 in 7!” stresses the computer.

“Glad to know that. Better than most.”

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Friday, September 13, 2013


Six of one, half dozen...?

The Faux Moderate

's visit to CSPAN
is most gracious.

He's balancing it
all off and listens
to everybody, in-

sisting he’s no one’s tool!
Hustles back to the office where

the floor is thick with drool,
and he thus brandishes

the core weapons
adored there.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013


Non-definitive Non-guide To Punctuation

Comma Creature

-When he expired, did he take his dead commas
with him?

-One would hope.

-He really sprinkled 'em around!

-Not sprinkled. Each one with a rule,
however picayune.

-A cloud of Victorian dust just vacated
this office.

-Thank God for that!

-Isaac Babel says a well-placed comma can stab
the heart.

-We're not into stabbing hearts here. Or any other
creative pursuits, really.

-All of it's defunct now, anyway. Ninety percent of
everything is email.

-The literary equivalent of not giving a shit.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Two Friends Go Into a Bar:

 Hearing the Pronouncement

“All around Obama are Communists!”

-Didn’t he once say “All around Bush are Fascists!” ?

-That was his brother.

-Equal Opportunity Drunks.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Taste and Social Structure

Suburban Forms

-I detest all kinds of show!

-Unless you’ve a drop or two taken.

-No, then I’m the PT Barnum of Apple Tree Acres.

-Winesap Extension included?

-No way! I’ve nothing to do with those Johnny-Come-Latelies.

-Nouveau riches?

-Don’t they WISH? About eighth of one each.

-That little?

-Trash in our attics worth more.

-You always boost my spirit!

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Monday, September 09, 2013


Ending in the Same Place


The plane from Malaga being an hour late,
Cliff even more belligerent than usual picking
up Sissy. Jilly tells them not to wait, since the
children's texts encourage on locating Ben.

She smokes a cigarette, seated on her luggage
mid a mass of taxis.

Now another text arrives. gotim@boat&anchor!
c u 1/2

She 'conducts' with her cigarette, pronouncing
quietly, “Olé?”

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Sunday, September 08, 2013


The Help


Mrs Van Iderstine seldom exhibited anger,
but Gwen-Anne really provoked.

“She's not here two weeks and already pregnant!”

“Well, I'm not expert in Gynecology, but I'll continue
to believe there’s a chance she was that way before
she arrived.”

“Oh of Course. I know that! But I'm so upset!
In my mind I was even blaming that happy fellow
putting in the new windows.”

“He still remains a  threat. Tell him to hang his
windows and nothing else.”

“I will. You see if I don't!”

“Uh, alter the phrasing a bit, of course.”

“I’ll do it in a soft way, not your coarseness.”

“Everyone should.”

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Saturday, September 07, 2013


Game of Hearts

Life in Music

-We drifted apart. You walked off with my heart.*

-Yeah. Couldn't use two, though. Like lead in my
chest. Went to UCLA Medical Center and they cut
yours out.

-Worked for me. I was there on life-support with a
temporary artificial. They popped my old one back.

-Well, everybody's happy.

-Not usually the outcome of a defunct romance.

-Indeed not!

-Be careful it doesn’t happen to you.

-That’s another song.

*There Goes that Song Again

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Friday, September 06, 2013


Crony Capitalism

Lower corporate tax rates!

And end the loopholes.

-That's your double-header, is it? But typographically:
the first a headline, the latter in tiny agate type
all but unreadable.

-Both printed!

-Your bitty type is the next step up from wink-wink

-But a step!

-Both “steps” to favor your rich buddies. Again! Like the sun
in the morning.

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Thursday, September 05, 2013


The Wonders of Political Change

The man who was utterly no good 

by any measure

underwent several administrations. The Conservatives
lectured him on responsibility, on demanding power, and
on bowing down.

Their policies cut his puny wages in half, giving the
difference to their contributors.

He did try their little personal bag of tricks, but
asserted his power at the wrong time and was
beaten up by bored delinquents.

The Liberals gave him cards for food and rent.
Told him it was temporary--until he got on his feet.

Since he had never been there, he hadn't a clue to
the route.

Moderates finally swept in because of the seething
disgust with both ruling parties.

They sent a man and woman. He held money,
she a baseball bat.

When they both delivered at once, he found the
experience sexual.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013


Taking Care of the Girls

Repeal For Love

Senator Yance Rancey fell back on the folksy
when pressed by reporters.

"Alls I can say was married three times, the lady
more hysterical than the last one."

They dug at him for more quotes, but he turned grave.
"The science says women shouldn't vote! End of story!"

His political guy, who had been with him since the
scratch-ass beginning, laughed, "Well we couldn't
gerrymander the girls, but you're gonna repeal them."

"Just the voting part."

The senator held up a sign: Repeal for Love.

“And where did that ‘science’ come from?"

“I ordered it up.”

“Let me know when you do that! We’ll supply some
meat and potatoes.”

“Will do. Anyhow, what's bottom line?”

“We'll win. But how can it be anything but temporary?
They'll mobilize and get the male pussies behind
them again. We'll have three years.”

“That's enough to get rid of a whole lot of other shit
in the Constee-whatchacallit-stution!”

“Some ride!”

“Wez both enjoyin’ the shit outa it!"

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Surveys With Odd Conclusions


Hobart Grimshaw of Omaha was named
The Typical Republican by Political Metrics

A month later Precision In Futuristics
labeled him The Typical Democrat.

"You could call him anything. There is no there there,"
remarked Monsignor to the new priest.

"Unlike us, who always have the Ace to play."

"But that doesn't make us superior. This rectory
is of the world."

"Speaking of which...?"

"Speaking of which, to unwind from each day’s
travails, I always have a thimble of cognac at ten
in the study. Please join me any night you wish."

"Will we cover the waterfront? Heartbreak to
minute theology?"

"The former emphatically! My Chicago Bears!"

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Monday, September 02, 2013


Dream and Reality in Scale

Bit Actor, and Star Friend

-Everything I do is small-timey.

-The Big Time is Small Time.

-So when you get there, where have you gotten?


-Well, that’s an unsatisfactory answer!

-Sorry. What I have.

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Sunday, September 01, 2013


The Third Way

Velvet Frog

Frenchy always found defective governor arms.

Down for two hours in which we smoked and
bullshitted while he worked and sang.

Laurette went out with him a few times.

“Its all flirty charm and manners, but no payoff.
You wait for the physical and it doesn’t, like, arrive.”

“Does the spiritual?”

“The physical IS the spiritual!”

“My ass!” responds Boss Harvey when Hairy Mac
relays their conversation. “Speaking of which, why...
not parade yours next time Frenchy replaces a
governor arm? Test him out.”

“You’re suspicioning he goes that way?”

“No...on second thought, not really. Hafta conclude
he doesn’t go any way.”

“Is that why he’s always so chirpy and happy?”


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