My cat is freaking useless.
There’s no way to say it nicely.
Another mouse is in the house
And where’s the cat, precisely?
That’s just the point:
The cat’s right there!
In fact, she introduced us!
So now I’ve got two mouths to feed.
My cat is freaking useless.


I’m no more competitive than the next guy,
But the key word is next–he came later than I.
Not that it matters, but I was here first;
I won’t claim to be best, but I’m clearly not worst.
If the pool of competitors totals just two…
Well, I’m not into titles. I’ll leave that to you.

How To Make A Sausage (If You Care)

It’s time again to write a sonnet, so
Let’s get it done. A topic would be nice
But sonnet-writing’s all about the show
So merely matching meter will suffice.
Well, almost. It’s important that it rhymes
Appropriately, too: a-b-a-b,
Then c-d-c-d, then e-f two times,
And that it’s all tied off with g and g.
Plus, okay, there’s supposedly a scheme
That governs how the text is organized
In quatrains that all share a common theme
Until the couplet comes and we’re surprised.
O. Henry would have nailed the couplet turn
But hacks like me still have a lot to learn.


The little cats come clomping down
The boulevards and streets in town
Their thunderously velvet prancing
Setting shades and stemware dancing
Just the way that fogcats wouldn’t
If they didn’t know they shouldn’t.

Little cat feet might be cuter
If their kitty steps were muter;
When they come to these environs
Mostly what I hear are sirens
Wailing in the fogcats’ wake.
Silent, Sandburg? Big mistake.

Pier Pressure

A patch across one eye is cool.
That’s what we learned in pirate school.
A wooden leg, a steel hook-fist,
A shoulder parrot…can’t resist
Investing in the whole ensemble
(In pirate fashion, it’s the bomb).
Retirement is when it bites:
It’s difficult to see the sights
With just one eye, and can you put
Your best foot forward if the foot
You’re putting’s best, but also worst?
And if your shoulder’s parrot-cursed
For decades (those things live forever),
That’s when what when young seemed clever
Metamorphosizes to
A thing your older self will rue.
How come? ‘Cause parrots poop. A lot.
Their conversation’s also not
As riveting as one might wish.
The hook, at least, is good for fish
Which you can eat as well as use
To feed the bird, so that’s good news.
On balance, though, I’d rather keep
Both eyes, and only patch to sleep
At nap time like the buccaneers
Who make it to their golden years
Along with me (still parrot-free).
Perhaps a cat instead? We’ll see.


The English gerund ends in -ing
But all of them aren’t counting: sing,
For instance, isn’t gerund stuff
‘Cause i-n-g is not enough
All by its threesome to transform
A verb to noun. You’re getting warm
If you conceive of warming as
A thing that is, that someone has,
Instead of something taking place
In front of our collective face.
That verbs transformed to nouns with -ings
Are candidates for gerunding’s
A grammar fact not worth debating.
Am I caring? Nope, still waiting.