Category: Thoughts

The Ella Update

A reader of this space wrote to say that she was in the middle of “Ella in Europe,” my book about traveling abroad with my American dog. She was afraid to ask — but she wanted to know if Ella was still with us. She also suggested that I post an update every now and...

Poem: Doggerel

May your days be hairy, and bright. And may all your puppy dogs be white. I’m dreaming of a white puppy Just like the ones I used to pet Where the Labs are wagging And the hounds are dragging Their ears, blithely to the vet. I’m dreaming of a white puppy With every furry friend...

Putting Christ Back into Christmas

Despite what proponents of the so-called “prosperity gospel” preach; despite the tithing that power-hungry pastors collect from their entranced flock; despite the malicious claims allegedly found in the Bible that gays, Hindus, and connoisseurs of erotica are destined for eternal purgatory — despite all the hateful crap that religion teaches us — we believe there’s still...

Poem: Cantankerous

Would it be a sin to call him what he is? The misanthropy ooozes from his soul Like churro grease from the pores on your nose after a day Spent at the carnival, where Nineteen bucks will get you a $1.49 plush toy and an affirmation of your manhood. You can smell the bitterness, just...

The Beauty of Municipal Bonds

Setting aside the fact that the Stock Market’s valuations often have no connection to anything resembling reality; and notwithstanding the fact that interest rates paid on cash deposits barely cover the cost of driving to the bank to make them; and forgetting for a moment that the southern Californian real estate market may or may...

Poem: Cooper’s Hawk (with Apologies to Wordsworth)

Regal, as if touched by royalty, you light upon the wire, Surveying the buffet of opportunity below, where we Who cannot soar, cannot glide, forlornly aspire To shed our earthly shackles and be free.   You cannot be called a kind and caring raptor, A patient pedant, with heart o’erflowing with generosity. Your icy mission...

A Tale of Two Singers: How Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Two professional singers live on my street. One is an emerging star named Mae who both critics and fans praise for her soulful and passionate vocals. The other is Sheryl Crow. While there’s no accounting for taste — which is another way of excusing America for preferring Janet Jackson to Tierney Sutton — it must be...

The Strange Case of Stanley Williams, Icon

The astonishingly strange saga of Stanley Williams, a murderer found guilty by four courts, reached the zenith of its narrative arc yesterday when the Los Angeles Times published a full-page advertisement (paid for by celebrity supporters, one assumes) in which the convict pledged his allegiance to God and asserted his dedication to “redemption.” He did...

Poem: Quatrains

According to the primers, resolute and stout Three patterns are permissible when writing quatrains out. ABAB, AABB, and AAAA Are proper forms, no matter how passe.   The scanning lines, we’re told, should always add to four Not two, not three, and certainly not more. Transgressions bold, though heartfelt at the core Will turn the...

Poem: Go On

The night sky, tinged with neon blue around the edges. The day sky, diffusing into whiteness past the clouds. The farmers plot, unbound by hedges. The sacred Mecca, bewitched by shrouds.   Infinity is what we make it, the way we gauge this endless space Immune to ploys — one cannot fake it — suffused...