X’s, O’s and Z’s

Football season! Hallelujah!
Fans exclaiming Bam! and Boo-yah!
Student jocks who play for free
Enrich their university,
And even if I couldn’t care
Much less who wins or who’s from where,
Each Saturday I find a flannel
Blanket, flip the TV channel
To some random game, lie back
And let my thought train jump its track.
Each tight end on a crossing route
Is squeezing stressors farther out
And every wide receiver deep,
Good hands or not, puts me to sleep.
I’m not concerned with ranking crap:
The BCS, for me, spells “nap.”
Team A’s today’s Team B’s best test?
That’s great! I really need the rest.

It Ain’t Me, Babe

The turtle on the telephone
Keeps calling. Won’t leave me alone.
He doesn’t speak–I think it’s he;
The voice I don’t hear’s deep for she
But when I scream, “Who is this? WHO?!?”
He does that thing that turtles do
When they’re embarrassed or caught out:
Retract their heads. That’s when I shout,
“Oy! Turtle! Look, I know your game,
You coward! If you have a name,
You’d better spill it pronto, Jack,
Or else I’ll flip you on your back!”
It’s always then the line goes dead.
The after-image in my head
Is of a turtle, feetside-high:
A welling tear obscures his eye
Then spills. It streaks his leathered neck
And splashes on the refund check
He’s written for the 45
Of It Ain’t Me, Babe (’65,
On White Whale Records), never sent.
Worst buck-ten I ever spent.


For 50 years the words I have a dream
Have echoed in the voice of Dr. King,
And looking at the White House it would seem
That dream came true; I fear, though, no such thing.
When FUD–that’s Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt–
Takes root, Monsanto’s godlike engineers
Could not a crop less likely to die out
Design, than one that’s sown of human fears.
The Great Society of LBJ
Seems evermore consigned to history
When Stand Your Ground outlasts the V.R.A.;
Was that in Martin’s dream? And as for me,
I’m quick to judge the character within
By how a person judges others’ skin.