I’ve heard that when one sense is compromised
The others come alive to compensate.
A skeptic, I was modestly surprised
To find it’s true. That’s good news, right? Well, wait.
The classic senses number one through five
(If you can see Bruce Willis, make it six)–
Sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing, not-alive—
And from that list your sense-boost-chooser picks…
Or, not. My left prescription lens fell out
While I was running; semi-blind, I found
These senses much enhanced: frustration, doubt,
Annoyance, plus an anger/loss compound.
For hours, sight was not my only lack;
I’m pleased to note that humor’s creeping back.
Don’t ask me what I’m going to write.
I’m playing it by ear tonight!
No edits, no backspacing, no
Idea where I’m gonna go.
I’ll squeeze my brain for words like limes
For limeade, and just hope it rhymes.
So far, so good. Since I’m ahead
I think I’ll quit and go to
high school in my underpants
Fine. Forget what I just said.
I’m through. I blew it. Time for bed.
What’s the sum of DUMB + NUMB?
That’s where my brain is coming from.
A total’s not a place, you say?
That’s neither here nor less today.
No concept more abstract than sleep
Is comprehensible, so keep
Your questions ’til the morning, please.
For now, good-night, and pleasant cheese!
400 driving miles
Maybe 20 more afoot
1 odor in the car up with which
Most folks would not put
Zero medals (for a reason
No one understands)
Add up to 1 Lost Weekend
Much more fun than Ray Milland’s!
Approaching the coast
A bit later than most
But if smiles are miles
Our rivals are toast!
Said good-night to the sun
On my opening run
Then yawned as it dawned
On my second. What fun!
My last leg was easy,
Downhill and slight-breezy;
My grin at the end
Was wide, toothy and cheesy.
Three dances with pain
For my van-mates remain
Then in Seaside, from pride,
They’ll decline to complain.
It’s really more fun
With a dozen than one:
We can boast of a most
Awesome Hood to Coast run!
Runner seven, Hood to Coast.
I’m waiting at the van exchange.
Of all three legs I’ll run, the most
Nerve-wracking is this first one. Strange.
I check the temps obsessively:
Still 90! … now it’s 88 …
Still dropping, but too slow for me.
Sub-60? Man, would that be great!
I might get 81 or so.
I’ll live with that. I’ve got my belt
With four cold bottles set to go.
I can’t remember when I’ve felt
This nervous just before a race.
It’s ’cause Van 2 depends on me
To get off to a decent pace
Then cruise from Sandy to the sea.
Or, maybe that’s all in my head?
Look, they’re all laughing, having fun…
Okay, stress less: relax instead!
I will…once I begin to run!
We always walk right after work
But this week, well, I’ve been a jerk
‘Cause I don’t like when it’s too hot
So I told Syd I’d rather not
Go out until the heat declines
To numbers that don’t start with nines
Or even eights, which means we wait
Until it’s very, very late
Before it’s cool enough to go
Outside to let her do…you know.
By which I mean, we find a lawn
Where someone’s left the sprinkler on
And Sydney goes to town and drinks
Like crazy from the end that sprinks.
She thinks it’s cool and, well, she’s right.
So, then we head home through the night
And soon I’m sleeping like a log
And dreaming I’m a hot, wet dog.
I like a little B-in-B
(Breakfast in Bed if you’re not me)
So every now and then I try
To act like Mr. Bigshot Guy
And take my repast ‘neath the sheets.
I grab assorted breakfast meats
Like bacon, sausage, chunks of swine
And Spam®, a longtime fave of mine
From growing up an island boy–
I loves that processed, meatlike joy!–
As well as two or three large eggs
And hash browns to soak up the dregs
Of grease the piggy products seep,
And just before I go to sleep
I spread it on my waterbed
And turn the heater up to red.
I’m restless so I tend to shake
The mattress: By the time I wake,
The eggs are scrambled, bacon’s crispy,
Slabs of Spam® are thin and wispy;
Sausages are often lost
(They’re round: they roll), but that’s a cost
I’m quite prepared to pay because
By now I’ve got a porky buzz
And anyway it’s fun to find
A sausage later, groping blind
For Alka-Seltzer® in the dark.
It gives that midnight snack a spark!
If someone knows a way to squeeze
Fresh OJ while asleep, then please
Pass that along with all due speed.
I’d also like–no, make that need—
Some good barist-siesta tricks
To get some coffee in the mix.
Too much? Over the top, perhaps?
You haven’t heard about my naps!
In 1966 or so
Our TV set was black and white.
It lived inside a giant hutch
And just came out to play at night.
We had as many channels then
As years I’d been alive (read: 4)
Including all three networks, but
We watched the public station more.
My parents studied folk guitar
On Channel Something High (13?)
And when the music played, we saw
Such colors as we’d never seen.
Malvina Reynolds was a guest
At least one time, and when she sang
Of little boxes on the hill
A tiny chime within me rang.
Flash forward several years: We’ve moved
From Boston out to Frisco Bay
And word comes that Malvina R.
Is at our library today!
Excited, mom and sis and me
(I never called them that, please note)
Snatched up our book of Reynolds tunes
And ran to hear Ms. R. emote.
I must admit, with some chagrin,
I can’t recall a single thing
About her show except that I
Was thrilled to get to see her sing.
She finished, and a lot of folks
Much older than my sis and me
Were crowded ’round her; she took time
To thank them all…and then we three
Were left alone. Kris stepped right up
And held her music book aloft
And said, “Ms. Reynolds, you were great!
We’re both big fans!” Malvina scoffed,
“How old are you? You don’t know me!
You’re babies! Someone prepped you, right?
You want an autograph? Oh, fine.
How’s that? I’m out of here. Good-night!”
Now, that was forty years or so
Ago, and I can still recall
The shock I felt, discovering
Ms. Reynolds wasn’t nice at all.
Her birthday was the 23rd
Of August, Nineteen double-ought,
So she was 70 or so
And tired, and the lights were hot
Onstage and she was likely wiped
And pining for her little box
Of ticky-tacky, angry that
Her agent made her do these talks.
Perhaps she had arthritis or
Low blood sugar from lack of food,
But what I took away that day
Was this: That lady sure was rude!
At Bosworth Field in 1485
Richard the Third, the House of York’s last king
On August 22nd was alive
At first, and then he died. But here’s the thing:
In Shakespeare’s version, Richard’s heard to swoon
“A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”
Not finding one, he’s killed. In fact, as soon
As Richard lost his mount, his men, of course
Immediately rushed to offer theirs
Without demanding kingdoms in exchange,
And Richard turned them down. Think Shakespeare cares?
He wrote Dick York both dumb and evil. Strange.
So, then (I think) Dick Sargent wore the crown
Until that witch Samantha brought him down.