Category Archives: antidepressants

Second Amendment Sonnet

A firearm in hand boosts the weak psyche

•Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun• explains psychology

A pistol needn’t compromise with me

2nd Amendment’s a tautology

White Supremacy’s 2nd Amendment

Guns to bully & slaughter Brown People

First Indians then Negroes targeted

Racism’s the American steeple

I’d always suspected this about guns

They’re part of the American ego

They were somewhat less necessary once

Back when White Supremacy was legal

Guns’re inextricably linked to death

Taking over when compromise has left


Subway Slashing Sonnet

train victim diptych

There are two unfortunate souls right here
The pregnant woman whose young face was slashed
Thinking about being a new mother dear
(& how to keep herself together lashed)

The other’s ridden life’s roller coaster
Hoping the bottom of the descent’s near
When younger, perhaps she was a “toaster”
Angel Dust, Dope: starting with pot & beer

So onto train ventures the mother new
Avoiding she that’s fighting her demons
(Beelzebub says: “don’t let her dis you!”
Sitting elsewhere was what that was seemin’)

Into her bags she reached for the bright shiv
Payback for dis was what she did give

Abyss Sonnet

Into these temporary abysses

Merrily we fling our bodies & souls

As if this misery would dismiss us

From human’s* self-imposed soul sucking holes

The deeper we venture exploration 

The more absence and nothingness we find

The harder it is to play our station

And dream of some mortal human justice

We find within existence’s vortex

Only artifacts of our endurance:

Despair’s abysses will stun the cortex

& synthesize spiritual assurance

Don’t seek the abyss of nothingness yet

Life, humbly-well-lived, will better get

Priceless (how advertising makes our lives better)

March 29, 5:43 am


Wow it has been a while since I wrote here. I’ve been surfing the ‘net too much and I wanted to include more writing in my life (even though I am teaching and I have the four preps, three of which are new). We were cruising along and I handed back the first batch of papers too my 101/103 when into my class walks L___. Odd, thought I, why is my wife in my class? I had no idea what was going on, or what sort of looking glass I was falling through.

M___n, she announced, was in an ambulance and on his way th NY Hospital. His teacher from PS150Q called en route saying that he had “fallen and hurt his ankle.” [This is getting too elaborate and wordy so I’m going to cut detail ruthlessly!] We ponied up and cleared out our offices for the day, taking home grading, electronics and other necessities of the post-modern life.

The drive into Manhattan was painless enough but it took a while to find parking. I got out as Linda continued to search for parking Like Diogenes for an honest man on the Upper East Side. I went and found Mason and Mrs F. and he was watching an episode of Star Wars (III?) with a strangely twisted ankle:

Lots of other things happened, not the lest of which was being treated like a nitwit by the hospital staff because I do not speak their version of “medical insurance bureaucratese.” Mercifully L. was there to translate, and they finally took the xrays (negative), gave mason some crutches, and released us (on our own recognizance). It was 4:30 when we were released and the parking rules had changed where we had parked. Our car had been stolen by the city for our lack of attention to detail and the need to make York Ave more passable for rush hour. We took a minivan cab back to Queens picked up C and LX at Grandmother’s house (“over the river and through the woods” [god I love minivans]) contacting the city about our car on our crackberries on the way home. No sign of our car.

We ordered out, zonked by the experience, too hungry to be nice to one another for the our it would take to cook the pasta or rice or whatever. Linda was on the phone and internet for a few hours trying to track down “big sticky” (our car). Finally she found it hiding under an alias (the Z had been written as a 2).

At 8 I left the house with my mp3player and a book to read for school (Jihad vs. McWorld).

At 8:15 I was on a 7 train heading out of 61st street towards Manhattoes.

At 8:45 I was at the Hudson river and 42nd street having enjoyed my walk through times sq immensely (I rarely get into Manhattan during the semester).

At 8:55 I was in line at the pound with the other towees, trying to maintain my cool in light of the histrionics of a particular middle aged BMW owner. I read for a while but the show was too good so I wrote a poem about my fellow (non-)travelers on my crackberry.


The pound is like the post office on hormones.
It combines the impatient lines and hopeless tasks
With the bullet proof decor and public service hygene.
The despair of an all-night McDonalds clings to the vending machines
And usurious cash machine beckon the broke to try
The cash cards of vasectimized bank accounts.

Many are here in the course of regular car driving lives
Here with dates and husbands, work kits and tools
There’s a nice kid with a yarmulke a marketing t-shirt
A shot glass and booze breath wearing $200 shoes
All of our cars have been taken to this pound
Only to be released after excruciating bureaucracy.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


Just before 11 (not bad really) I was called to a window and made to jump through another six flaming hoops of bureaucracy by a woman with Queens accent and a Costco wardrobe and body. The Z formerly known as 2 on our license plate made it so that we had to negotiate for another 15 minutes over some Oswaldo Guzman who lived back in California and was supposed to be retrieving the car (I’ll bet that’s the closest he’ll ever come to visiting NYC [if he comes I hope he leaves his car in Cali, we have enough]). There was something wrong with the printer at her station and it took 10 more minutes for me to be given the Charlie Bucket golden ticket.

The cavernous pier was a site to behold filled with late model cars of every stripe with layers of grime that made them look cadaverous, though they were the latest, hippest and coolest cars to a one.
My last message, before I was able to leave the waiting-room-purgatory was:

Mason hurt skating: ambulance ride to New York Hospital: $500
Car towed while in Emergency Room: $300
3 hours at the New York City Impound Yard: Priceless
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

August: Osage County (why I’ll try theatre again)

2/26/2008 4:07 AM


I got an email from Sunil Vyas while I was at work yesterday and he just responded again. It seems I’ll see him on Monday the 3rd for dinner. How exciting. I am up on time and ready to go, but I want to write a little here first.
I keep thinking of the play that I went to see with Chandler. “August: Osage County” was a great play and in spite of the fact that I usually do not enjoy big c culture events I loved this one. I think I’d like to write a brief post about it for the Blog. I should start with the fact that I often, peremptorily, prejudicially and without cause, don’t like going to plays and being around the theatre crowd. This goes double for opera, classical music and experimental theatre. The last play I went to was the one about Buckminster Fuller with my dad (which has its own special load of fraught freight). I remember that it was in a warehouse-type theatre with lots of really engaged people, not a few of whom were old hippies like my dad. As I went into the big space with bleachers built to face the stage I enjoyed the “archive of Buckminster Fuller” and the “world games” that filled the space like some experimental museum. But I was not comfortable.
In spite of the fact that is was like a trip to my childhood, with buckyball globes (tetrahedrons cut out of postcards) made of cardboard and other oddities of the subject of the play, I felt disease. It is the same feeling I get when I go to the opera in SF, or Philly or (strangely to a lesser extent) in New York. I got crabby and judgmental, spending as much time assessing the clothes, styles, class and culture of my fellow theatre goers as I did watching the play, theatre, opera or anything else.
When I go to big-C-cultural events I inevitably start to compare instead of identifying. I begin to reach a point where I note every difference between myself and the other people attending the same production. I’ve noted before that I don’t get this way when I’m in an art museum, so this alienation and judgment is particular to the theatre-arts big-C-cultural events. I just don’t know why. I suppose I could go to a few years of therapy and figure it out, but I like sitting in my grouch-can complaining too much.
“August: Osage County” was a great play and a big-C-cultural event that I truly enjoyed. This leads me to believe that the real issue is the quality or my engagement with the productions I’ve seen. I know that I did actually enjoy the St. Petersburg production of Pushkin’s “The Fiery Angel,” but it had massive full frontal nudity and catholic bashing (fifty nuns stripped down and climbed all over the set nude: it was spectacular). But, I also enjoyed “August: Osage County” and it had no nudity. It was a human drama full of real people and actual emotions covered in very funny humor, which is how I try to avoid my feelings.
From the moment the play began I stopped taking inventory of my fellow theatre-goers and did not notice a thing besides Chandler’s tired head on my shoulders until it was over. I wasn’t even bothered by the people pushing passed my seat to get oiled at intermission. The guy behind me who was so drunk that his breath was making me tipsy barely bothered me as I watched the drama unfold.
It was like watching the most dysfunctional family reunion or chistmas dinner ever, in the tawdriest trailer park in the south. Yet I had no judgment of the people on stage at all (in spite of the bashing that the description I just gave suggests). I was immediately struck by the humanity of the characters, the reality of the actors’ performances and the use of humor to deflect the horror of a domestic tragedy.
I loved the experience of this play and look forward to going to more drama, if it is this good. This one play rescued three genres of big-C-culture for me in one felled swoop.

Stockhom Syndrome and the ACT Prep Intensive


My class takes the ACT today and I feel like the Stockholm Syndrome is reaching critical; I’ll miss them, but I’m glad the cops are coming to free us all from each other. I have one student who has been handing in incomplete practice exams all through the class. If she would a) stop writing the perfect seven sentence intro and b) start with and stick to an outline she’d be through much more quickly and efficiently. There are another couple of students who have such amazing words and language problems that correcting them all puts more of my writing on the page than theirs. I want to use the fact that they originally spoke languages other than English as an excuse, but they are actually caught at a more profound level since they both speak English better than they write it. I’m not sure what it is about writing that makes them “write” (scrawl, scribble, or “tag”) convoluted words that they would never utter. There are, of course, the students whom I can’t imagine why they didn’t pass the damn test. I feel a special twinge of sadness for them because had they learned the tricks of the ACT they’d have passed easily, but they probably thought about the question outside of the (training wheel) ACT paradigm and were punished for writing a thoughtful and balanced essay. There we are, all locked in the vault together. But just for today. Just for one more day.

Feeling Whistful @ 48 (Whittier Poem)

Read ’til the end, where you get the payoff: For of all sad words of tongue or pen,/The saddest are these: “It might have been!


Maud Muller
John Greenleaf Whittier
Maud Muller, on a summer’s day,
Raked the meadows sweet with hay.
Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.
So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.
But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love-tune
He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.
Yet oft, in his marble hearth’s bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go:
And sweet Maud Muller’s hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.
A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.
Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, “It might have been.”
Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!
God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall;
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!