Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What a joke . . .

Yesterday, on the front page of the LA Times, I read a story about the Supreme Court's new rulings on the election laws concerning corporate contributions and specific advertising. I am sure you heard about it. The corporations won. What really struck me though was the comment by Chief Justice Roberts that "We give the benefit of the doubt to (free) speech, not censorship." Directly below the quote at the end of the column was a related story box pointing to a ruling by the same court rejecting the right of a student to post a sign "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" on a public street outside a school. Free speech? I guess not.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Heartland . . .

Years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school, my Dad performed his last feat of legerdermain for me when our family was moved to California for a three year tour of duty at Camp Pen. I say it was for me because I know he wanted to give me a chance to finish my high school years all at one school. And I know it was for me because he hated California, not so much for what it was, but for what it wasn't. It wasn't the South. He had grown up on a farm in Arkansas and we had just spent a three consecutive tours in Memphis close enough to drive down and drop me off every summer to work my Uncle's farm.

So imagine my surprise when I turned on the radio and heard the KBIG announcer welcome his listeners and me to the Southland. Even though we had driven across country and back by both the southern route and the northern route numerous times, I guess you could call this my first real geography lesson. I thought at first that through some miracle I had picked my favorites blues station up from the Treadway on Beale St. But then as the light dawned I realized I would have to let it go - the South, southern fried accents, the Irma Brown blues, the 100% humidity, and all the rest. Southern California was my new Southland. Well, at least, I still had the music.

I started thinking about this last night as I was listening to country singer Toby Keith being interviewed on some "balanced news" talk show. The host kept referring to the time he'd recently spent on the streets in the Heartland and how the people there really supported Keith's point of view. Frankly, as I listened it began to piss me off. It seems to me by claiming this title for the middle of the country the host, and the political crowd that he's a part of, have laid claim to an analogy that represents exactly what is wrong with the way this country has been divided up. By claiming that they are the "heartland" the middle of the country seems to think it gets extra credit in the debates about what our country is doing and how it should go about it. After all, they are the heart, aren't they? And everyone knows that if it comes from the heart it's sincere, and honest , and done for all the right reasons, don't they?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Two dogs . . .

Brisk paced
Passed my place.

I had to squint. The sun was in my face.

The dogs' heads held high
Scarcely slowed barely bowowed
As their tales swept by.

Two dogs out in the sun a daily run.

I began to scribble this to catch the sight
Just right.
They ran on were gone.

Quickly now black & tan and tan
Were they male&female I couldn't tell?
Uh oh, there they go ...

Two dogs . . .

In the back of two trucks
Out in front of the laundromat
Put there for safety
And to see that no one fucks
With their owner's stuff,
Bark like crazy, loud at ear height,
Reminding me of
Bar bouncers
Out for fun and
A good fight.

Bristling and jostling, they shiver the sky
Until closer inspection reveals that they are just barking goodbye. „

Two dogs . . .

Some Low level of rage runs through my thoughts like black&tan rotweilers barking and snapping and thirsting for blood.

I know I can’t let them loose. It won’t do me no good.

Still, they run,
They rage,
Seek solace on a page.

Act out, . . .No doubt, . . . I’ll end up in a cage.

But just once wouldn’t it be worth it
To let them all the way out.

Get blood up the snout.

I have to find a punching bag, a tackling dummy, a blocking machine;
A way to vent my spleen.

Just picture it: A meal on wheels made of corporate heads, millionaires’ homesteads, stars and starlets fresh from their magazine spreads.

The growl snarls up and through me
My chest vibrating . . .
My voice gone vibrato,

My jaws unclench, saliva flows.

God, just to be raving pack of two dogs
Finally let go. „


On the day outside my mind,
rides like wind flies and trains of inconsequence trade themselves for thoughts as I wish for more than I can have or hold or even use in this world gone mad as a hatter,

In a world where anything can un happen, can re happen, can happen more or less with consequences and all the trimmings,
While we (you and I) still stay in a quandary, at a loss,
Up in the air like a coin star-crossed, our minds flipping, tripping

at all the evil dripping from the last bomb tossed.