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Showing posts from 2008


Change Hurtful things Done over and again Make my sorry A quiet fuck you. If I could stand on stage with an audience of those I'd harmed Throwing bricks at me until their arms tired, The sight of my wounds would but allow for me, A time a quite pleasure. What depth of feeling is asked of me then? When this path has been worn to rock and stone, And all feeling twisted dry by repetition And pain the place I hang my hat. What new promise would allow flowers To bloom in a salted field? If the promise were the only seeds And the field lay edging a well worn path? No thing or man can change its self. The cycles soar around our will And the circle always comes around And the better has to be enough. Change is not a sonnets turn That meet itself to sum the lines. It's a loudness taken suddenly, Till the weight and force of habit's  born. And then lost as if a madness; As if a smell or a thoughtful crime Until the wheel revolves To rub again, On

Getting Old

As a nurse, part of the job was to get a history on our patients when they were admitted to the hospital. This consisted of pulling up a stool next to their bed and asking them a structured series of questions – previous hospitalizations, allergies and medications -- that sort of thing. Many of my older patients would bring all their medications with them – usually dragged along behind them by patient and broad backed significant others. Many times I got shopping bags full of pills to inventory as a part of the process. Shopping bags full of pills… I remember thinking – how did they get to this? Regimented dosage schedules with pill cutters and alarm clocks; Medications to counteract medications; Temporary single shot therapies cloudy with age, but kept for, I guess, superstition, or a possible unimagined relapse when every minute counted. I thought it was probably a slow process -- aggregation over time. It never occurred to me that it could begin on a single

Who in the voice talking to?

"There Is A Voice Inside Of You That Whispers All Day Long, "I Feel That This Is Right For Me, I Know That This Is Wrong." No Teacher, Preacher, Parent, Friend Or Wise Man Can Decide What's Right For You- Just Listen To The Voice That Speaks Inside." - Shel Silverstein Who is that voice talking to?

My visit to the Doctor

Back to the doctor again. The results, at least what I heard him say: “This is an obese man trapped in a fat guy’s body. His triglycerides are high enough to make random dogs lick him while he walks down streets. His liver is fatty in a goose pate sort of way, and he has Ricketts. He is diabetic and has hip spurs of arthritis that look like small Abe Lincolns. His cholesterol continues elevated, but this is the least of his problems. I recommend the following: ultrasound of his liver, medication for his triglycerides, a portable walker with tennis balls on the front feet, and a private duty nurse to turn him when he sleeps.

Who am I?

First we conceive the “I” and grasp onto it. Then we conceive the “mine” and cling to the material world. Like water trapped on a waterwheel, we spin in circles, powerless. I praise the compassion that embraces all beings. —Chandrakirti “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage.” Billy Corgan I used to have a red-eyed mouse that sat in a cage near my bed. At night he would get on the stainless steel wheel attached to the frame of the cage and run from dusk to dawn. The squeak of the wheel would keep me up and down, so I moved the cage to the far side of the room. He seemed to put even more effort into running and squeaking until I finally put drops of machine oil on the rubbing parts of the wheel. I never saw that mouse run again -- It was nothing without the noise and the commotion it caused. Countless forms of fear run us and distract us from seeing what is real and inside ourselves. We fear losing what we have or not getting what we want and think we need.

Somali Pirates

Breaking News - Somali Pirates in Talks To Acquire Citigroup ( I got this email from my lover and think it's very funny-- and I wish I had thought of it) Somali Pirates in Discussions to Acquire Citigroup By Andreas Hippin November 20 (Bloomberg) — The Somali pirates , renegade Somalis known for hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup. The pirates would buy Citigroup with new debt and their existing cash stockpiles, earned most recently from hijacking numerous ships, including most recently a $200 million Saudi Arabian oil tanker. The Somali pirates are offering up to $0.10 per share for Citigroup, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said earlier today. The negotiations have entered the final stage, Ali said. “You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to offer the shareholders anything,” said Ali. The pirates will finance part of the purchase by selling new Pir

The Bridge, The Cross and Prescott Az.

From the archives -- (This is one of the first things I wrote as an adult -- night shift at St. Louise Hospital) --> So, I was at the Bridge concert Sunday, and as the dark came over me I had a vision of what god wants me to do next. Not so much an eyeball kind of vision, but more a "just there" kind of thing. (Please note that I am NOT religious in any way, shape or form; and have really never spent time in a structured church.) What I saw in a blink of an eye are the following directions: Get a hair shirt,  and walk with a large cross to Prescott Az . I tend to over think things, so I started making bargains with god-what I like to think of as working the details. How much hair in a hair shirt? Barber shops and super glue? Can I get sponsors for the cross? A wheel at the base? Just how big does the cross have to be? Can I pick the route to Prescott ? Why Prescott ? Is it important that I know why? Can I use a harness? Can PBS attach a camera t


Everyone lies and everyone makes mistakes.  (I don’t actually believe this, but using it as a fixed rule on human behavior has never failed me.) In truth, I believe that there are adults running things, and everyone tells me the truth when asked. I don’t seem to be capable of growing out of this  -- I get fooled all the time, just wading through layers of trust until, astonished, I find myself knee deep on the shores of a gigantic land’o’ lies. I try not to lie – for important things, it always backfires and I end up getting much more than I got out of it. I practice the old fashioned methods – the classics – of minimize, distract, ignore and deny. Mostly, I just try not to say anything. I very rarely do a ‘big’ lie and expect to get away with it. I am amazed that other people lie on scales I can’t imagine. Banks saying they have enough money when they don’t, politicians saying they will fix things they know they won’t, people saying they will when they

Sri Lanka Update

Update 2017 -- a few years after I wrote this, the war was over. The Sri Lankan army marched the Tamil tigers into the sea and killed them all, men, woman and children.  From that day on, nothing more was heard about anything.  After three years of a cease-fire characterized by only “light” terrorism; After a Tsunami that lowered informal but fixed barriers that separated people; after a generation that for 22 years has known only hostility, Sri Lanka faces war, again.   With the August 12 assassination of the Sri Lanka foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgar, Prime Minister Chandrika Kumaratunga declared and indefinite state of emergency and many believe this is the start of a new round of violence.   Both sides blame the other for the killing, and so it goes.   Some of the factors in this conflict stem from ethnic and religious differences, but many of the problems stem from the perversion of nationalism, the after effects of colonialism , and the political bent of personalities

Who's Fault is This?

 Whose fucking fault is this? We are in a great financial crisis and the future is not certain. Cries of lack of individual responsibly echo through the night, as if crucify all the liars who took out loans they couldn’t pay  to telephone poles would protect  us against any further excess. Who to blame, and how much of this is caused by personal irresponsibility? I used to listen to talk radio back in the day before I could afford a tape player. I was always amazed by people who called up with an argument and got eviscerated by the host. I thought to myself, ‘how hard is it to have a single point, express it quickly, and then get off?’ What I didn’t see at the time is – talk show hosts are predators. They have trained and been educated in talking. They hone their skill with words over time. They have practiced in front of millions of listeners until the fear has left them. They also have self selected themselves to be where they are – good tones, confident post

Heimliching my Mother

"When you look back on your life, it looks as though it were a plot, but when you are into it, it's a mess: just one surprise after another. Then, later, you see it was perfect." Schopenhauer Visiting Mom I once heimliched my mom around a living room. My kids hid behind the couch, afraid to come out. A big chunk of burrito flew across the room. I still remember the arc it took. As a family we don’t talk about it much, though she did seem grateful about. Things just are in my family. Things just are the way they are, no cause, no effect. Things are presented to us and we choose to react or hide, depending on the circumstances. Our choices in life come after the fact- it’s what we do with stuff after it shows up that defines us. Thinking about stuff is what we do all day while waiting for life to show up and give us something to react to. It’s just all one big line we stand in, waiting for the show. My mom came down to visit and brought Mexican food for us. We sat

HMO"S don't Like You

"Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Insurers’ government-backed health plans for the elderly have increased taxpayer costs with no evidence of improved care, according to research backing President-elect Barack Obama ’s call to lower U.S. subsidies. Many of the Medicare Advantage plans, as they are called, don’t coordinate care to avoid duplication and ensure the best results, authors said in articles posted today on the Web site of Health Affairs . The plans were devised to offer more benefits than conventional Medicare paid directly by the U.S. government ." What this article talks about is medicare HMO's -- something that was started years ago to manage costs by adding another layer of administration on top of the medical cake -- sort of like a thick frosting of goo. They were supposed to eliminate waste, bring market forces to the irrational and unavoidable, and to use economies of scale to lower costs. What they have done -- and what anyone who has ever had a H

My Grandfather's Grave

My father’s fathers grave is easy to find now. I go in the back way and look for the white arch , then head towards the two story mausoleum. He’s on the right, next to the second tree. I don’t think he’s there though; I’ve had the talks, but they seem one sided. I don’t leave his grave feeling any connection or insight, so not sure what the net is for me, but do seem to think a bit when I leave. I’m getting to the age of being a grandfather myself and am aware of what my grandfathers’ could have added at an early age. I think about what I will leave to the children of my children, and what they would miss if I were not around to mess with their gentle, unformed minds. My father writes poetry, and has books and writings of his word in scattered places that can survive the fall. When I read his work, I know that I am different from him in fundamental ways, and that I make choices that he never would. I also know that I am from him, and a part of him, and no place I go will ever


Scattered on the high plains of Mongolia , peasants live with their way of life on a daily basis -- actually live with it, because it’s made of meat. They don’t keep the warm blooded meat with them in their yurts, because some separation is necessary to maintain their pride.  Barren, treeless, with only poop to stoke their nightly fires on fringed nights, these peasants depend on the humble horse to provide them all their needs for surviving and thriving in a land many outsiders consider stupid. They nick the horses veins to make tea from the blood; they milk the horse (mostly the female) for cheese and, well, milk. From the nappy hair that grows lush and oily, they make very pretty pull-over sweaters that are prized by collectors around the known world and East Texas . Their horses don’t run fast because they are anemic and have lots of pain in their legs – but they are slowed down anyway by the female horse’s heavy udders. Some compromise was found necessary to

Jesus and the Argonauts

Jesus and the Argonauts Been thinking about Jesus today – all good, not to worry, just thinking about him as a man and all that baggage the Council of Nicaea tacked on to him a long time ago. Did  Jesus get paid when he was a carpenter – and with what? Where did he put his money -- in long term CD’s or just cash? I’m thinking cash, but maybe that thing with the money changers had a little too much feeling behind it. It has the stink of payday cash advance all over it. Did Jesus have sex? I mean before he was part god and part goat. If a girl asked him to give her a dirty Sanchez, would he do it? I mean, when you are having sex, where do you draw the line between good clean fun, and something just a bit off the perversion edge? I bet they had a Dirty Sanchez back in the day – but they called it something else – maybe a smearing marry or something similar in a that punchy Aramaic, tick-tock way they liked to talk back then.. Would it take away from Jesus’ message if he li

The Prince's Panties, by Mason William

The Prince's Panties by Mason Williams There was once a prince who acted strangely in that He thought life was stupid and it was for him so He made up a world in which he liked the things we liked But he had different reasons why he liked them He liked butter for its color He would order toast and color Waitresses, confused would utter Sir, I've never heard of toast and color He'd get angry and begin to choke them The law would come, and they'd arrest and book him So his life was a mess of trouble Still he kept it up He had dogs, a hundred cocker spaniels and he Called them panties, 'cause they did that mostly, and he Did not care at all if they would bark and fetch sticks Run and jump, roll over, and play dead tricks No, he liked them only for their panting So he would run them ragged, but one day they got fed up And chased the prince right up against the fence And the prince was eaten by his panties (I used to sing this t

Mr. Hitchens and Fascism

"In the waning days of the campaign, John McCain took to accusing Obama of being a socialist. The epithet lacked traction. There were, I think, two main reasons for that. One was the fact that McCain was a poor messenger for his own ideas: he never really articulated his position in a compelling way. The second reason is that many people who have not had the misfortune of actually living under under a socialist regime regard it as a jolly good thing. Socialism , as Joshua Muravchik noted in his book Heaven on Earth: the Rise and Fall of Socialism , was “the most popular political idea ever invented.” It was also undoubtedly the bloodiest. Of course, many who profess socialism are decent and humane people. And it is worth noting that socialism comes in mild as well as tyrannical versions. Muravchik , who was once a socialist himself, pays frequent homage to the generous impulses that lie behind some allotropes of the socialist enterprise. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that “r

Hart Crane, reduced

Hart Crane, Reduced He rejected lifesavers As a blow against his father And his mothers colored vagina. He liked Melville But not for the words; He liked the bigness of the whale. His bridge erected His tomb of frosted coils His cold leap into forgetfulness All a written cry for unknown help. Mike Brady 2005

Easter Poem

Easter Poem I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great taproot; It is what you fear. I do not fear it: I have been there
(S. Plath) The first Easter, I put jellied beans on the tips of the barbwire fence For contrast and reflection on the newness of it all. By summer, The beans had fallen, and now razor wire bound me, All this new to me and never before. My neck was degloved behind closed doors In an elders ceremony of shame, But they let me keep the collar On a small shelf, With my other personal items. (Grateful without words At the tight enthusiasm Of a youth expressed, Without guile to confuse me Or humanness to prevent me, I dream of their unformed lust.) The second Easter, I cleaned the altar with paint thinner To make the silver have luster and gold gleam By summer, Old brass became the new color, And I was living with the others. We sat in groups, still aroused by the telling Of our over remembered sins

Honest, a Poem

Honest I imagine you alone in my house for a day, without binding you to a promise not to search through angles and nooks, or through concrete memories filed in haphazard places. I imagine coming home to you, a pile of my past on the kitchen table as you hold up each item without words asking for a more explained honesty. You ask of letters, old and grey, bound with a soft cord and gentle knot. You ask of pictures of me with her and others implied by time and space. You ask of official documents of a younger man, those things held for required years and more, in powered fear and presence-- those years that ground the wild from me. You stop and hold me tight in thanks, comforted that all I am is open to you. We read in quiet and look up at times to bind with sight that closeness we now feel. And as I fall asleep at night, With your head on my chest, and an arm around you, I think of t

Dark Energy

"Who needs truth if truth is dull"  Mason Williams "However, to this day no one actually knows what dark energy is, or where it comes from. Professor Jose Senovilla, and his colleagues at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, have proposed a mind-bending alternative. They propose that there is no such thing as dark energy at all, and we’re looking at things backwards. Senovilla proposes that we have been fooled into thinking the expansion of the universe is accelerating, when in reality, time itself is slowing down. At an everyday level, the change would not be perceptible. However, it would be obvious from cosmic scale measurements tracking the course of the universe over billions of years. The change would be infinitesimally slow from a human perspective, but in terms of the vast perspective of cosmology, the study of ancient light from suns that shone billions of years ago, it could easily be measured" Hum, that explains a lot.