Vanport City, Oregon (1943-1948)

The government is looking out for you.
We couldn’t say it if it weren’t true.
Invention’s mother’s gonna let you know.
Sit tight; we’ll tell you when it’s time to go.
Vanport City won’t get washed away!
Relax, and have a happy holiday.



Oh, dear. It’s late.
It’s 10:04…
…now 10:05!
Just like before
(Like, every day–
Er, night–this week),
Another late-night
Verse I seek.
Why can’t seem
To find the time
While it’s still light
To write a rhyme?
How come it’s dark
And time to sleep
Before I take
The time to keep
This streak unbroken?
All this year
I’ve fended off
The fate I fear
Will overtake me
If I blink
And don’t leave time
Enough to think
Of something I
Can type with thumbs
And post before
Twelve midnight comes.
Today, again,
I’ve held it off.
And how? ‘Cause I’m
That good! (Cough-cough!)

Grisly Bare

Some scalps shine when shorn of hair
Others (mine) look grisly bare
A wider part was just the start
Until the fuzzy wasn’t there

I’d say, No fair! but I don’t care
‘Cause I can’t see it anyway
And when it rains the water drains
From fuzz-free flesh and flows away

A whole headful of follicle
Would suit me fine, I won’t deny
But ragged stubs and transplant nubs
Aren’t worth it, so, Good hair, goodbye!

Only Tuesday Already

This week’s dragged on for days and days–
Well, days. (Plus half a day.)
The weekend’s out there in the haze;
It’s, like, a week away!
Okay, that’s dumb. Friday will come,
And when it does I’m sure I’ll smile
But Tuesday — now — my face is numb.
This week, a smile might take a while.

A Dark, Dark Place

Deep inside a man’s soul is a dark, dark place.
Not a pretty thought, no, but it’s true.
And it might be a pretty thought, actually;
If it’s dark, then it’s obviously hard to see
And “pretty’s” subjective: What’s pretty for you
Could for me be irrelevant space.

Deep inside a man’s soul is a dark, dark place.
Not just “dark,” mind you: dark comma dark.
That’s the kind of dark where, when your eyes first adjust
And your pupils expand, as in darkness they must,
And you start to distinguish faint shapes, then a shark
Bites your eyeballs right out of your face.

Not that I think that could happen, of course.
After all, sharks aren’t known for precision.
If one ate your eyeballs, your nose would go, too,
And, most likely, the whole of the top side of you
Would be rendered a quick disposition,
And the surgeon would feel no remorse.
(The surgeon’s the shark, here, of course.)

Deep inside a man’s soul is a dark, dark place.
And that’s not any man in particular;
The indefinite article’s meant to imply
That a man is every man, not just one guy
With a really dark interventricular
Groove in his cardiac space.

Plus, the heart and the soul are two quite different things.
One’s a muscle, the other’s a vessel
Containing within its indefinite shell
The credentials to get into heaven or hell–
Will you tie or be tied to the trestle?
(For the latter, th’angelic host sings.)
When your heart stops, the soul’s alarm rings.

Deep inside a man’s soul is a dark, dark place.
By the way, that applies, too, to women:
The double-dark soul isn’t gender-specific
It’s neutral, which, normally, would be terrific
If this weren’t the place those oracuvores* swim in.
*That’s eye-eater, which, just in case
You forgot, means a shark ate your face.

So, to recap, in both men and women exists
An utterly, massively double-dark hole
In the wallet containing the passport to Life
Everlasting, perpetual freedom from strife,
Or, potentially, unending pain…so the whole
Point is this: Life and death’s full of twists,
So Die Hard — Scrunch your toes into fists.