Thursday, April 28, 2016

Poem NO FOOL LIKE THE DONALD--updated version.

SPY magazine
once called him "the short-fingered vulgarian"
it was the 80s
and most of us weren't ready to heed the warning:
it was easier to buy copies of
and read gossip about his relentless pursuits
of women, real estate and casinos

the GOP went dither dither:
he won’t stay around that long
but Trump trumped his opponents
and he was truly ratings catnip to cable news
with not enough people getting truly upset
at the rage, racism and violence at rallies

he’s the all-but-certain nominee
with the violent ex-basketball coach
praising him for “having the guts”
to drop the nuclear bomb

so now the fate of our nation
rests on how many people are either
angry enough to vote for a billionaire
who cares next to nothing about them
or nihilistic enough
to put a blustery reality-show tyrant
into the highest office in the land
for the demented fun of it

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


at least two local TV news crews
harsh light of LAPD helicopter
fish and game employees on the ground
a tree comes into view
easy to climb
but no branches
and not enough room to sit
on top of the dozen or so palm fronds
so it’s time to reverse course
find a front yard to be cornered in
and prepare for the sting of the darts
plus premature hibernation
before waking in familiar surroundings
glad to be free
from those who couldn’t relate

Friday, April 22, 2016


the man who loved purple
ascended to heaven
in the elevator
leaving behind physical pain

also a legacy of
pushing musical boundaries
saying whatever he wanted
stating what was necessary
giving to those in need
taking his name away from the Company
until they realized
the music he allowed them to distribute
was his music
and not theirs in perpetuity

as the familiar saying goes,
“we are fortunate

to have lived in his time”

A Prince playlist.

At this writing, Tidal is the only streaming service carrying Prince's albums in the wake of his passing.

1. Let's Go Crazy
2. Raspberry Beret
3. Manic Monday--Bangles
4. Seven
5. Alphabet St
6. Little Red Corvette
7. 1999
8. I Would Die 4 U
9. Purple Rain
10. I Wanna Be Your Lover
11. Kiss
12. Mountains
13. U Got The Look
14. Sign 'O' The Times
15. Thieves In The Temple
16. Diamonds And Pearls
17. Cream
18. Betcha By Golly Wow (cover)
19. Whole Lotta Love (cover, live)
20. Funknroll
21. Baltimore

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Wild Bill e un Western terminale--from WALTER HILL by Simone Emillani and Mauro Gervasini

it was a pleasure to do next to nothing
first, curling into a fetal position
and then lay on a bed with a blank stare
all of this meant to simulate opium addiction
while Jeff Bridges as Wild Bill Hickok
carrying the foreground part of the scene

as a pretend cowboy with real facial growth,
I had a couple of good days
at what used to be the
Samuel Goldwyn studio
where, at lunch,
I was less than a foot away
from part of the history of Hollywood:
producer Richard Zanuck
sat at the same lunch table
not too proud to eat with
mere 65-dollar-a-day extras

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cheap Trick mini-playlist 1982-1988.

1. If You Want My Love
2. One On One
3. I Can't Take It
4. Tonight It's You
5. Let Go
6. The Flame
7. Don't Be Cruel

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


saw it in the parking lot
behind the Italian restaurant
on 3rd Street off Fairfax
with temporary friends
at the wrap party
of a now-obscure movie
and it was the last moment
of belonging
before unemployment beckoned
and I returned to
a daily schedule of longing
to be part of Something
once more

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Former actor Jake Lloyd: The infinity loop of being bullied, acting out and being bullied again.

From a year ago, when Jake Lloyd (forever known as child Anakin Skywalker from STAR WARS I: THE PHANTOM MENACE) was arrested for reckless driving.

A particularly resonant passage:

I understand the scars bullying leaves on victims. Bullying destroys your self esteem. It shatters your ability to trust others. Everybody is suspicious in your eyes after years of the treatment. Anxiety disorders are common after the fact. Depression is a lock. Self destruction? It almost inevitably follows for many. Sadly literal self destruction is common.

Here's an update to Jake Lloyd's story:

On Twitter, "lazypadawan" wrote the following:
Jake Lloyd deserves the same compassion and deference accorded to Carrie Fisher. Lloyd had even less resources/support.

Another Twitter post, unfortunately, opted for more mockery. Here's Tyler Parrish being a public ass:

Jake Lloyd from Phantom Menace has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I'm assuming the voices he hears belong to movie critics.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Cheap Trick 1977-1980 playlist

1. Elo Kiddies
2. Downed
3. Clock Strikes Ten
4. Big Eyes
5. Southern Girls
6. Surrender
7. Stiff Competition
8. California Man
9. Heaven Tonight
10. Hello There (Budokan)
11. I Want You To Want Me (Budokan)
12. Ain't That A Shame (Budokan)
13. Dream Police
14. Voices
15. Gonna Raise Hell
16. The House Is Rockin' (With Domestic Problems)
17. Way Of The World
18. Stop This Game
19. Everything Works If You Let It
20. World's Greatest Lover

Friday, April 8, 2016

THE NEW YORKER's Calvin Trillin Chinese food poem upstages National Poetry Month.

Calvin Trillin's poem (both text and read by Trillin himself:

Trillin's NEW YORKER biography:

My opinion:
Trillin probably intended "Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?" as light verse poking mild fun at foodies wanting to eat the latest "in" cuisine.  (Guessing David Remnick, who runs THE NEW YORKER, may have had the last word over poetry editor Paul Muldoon on the poem's appearance online/in print.)

Trillin's poem might have been less controversial in 1969 or 1970--when unchecked cultural insensitivity to non-Caucasians and non-heterosexuals was the norm (though, in a rare exception, Latinos successfully managed to have Frito-Lay's stereotyped animated Frito Bandito commercials pulled from television).

In the digital age, reflexive anger and pushback is immediate.

And the sad byproduct is an even greater ignorance of National Poetry Month (though not in Los Angeles, where a lot of poets are still in the afterglow of the AWP convention held last week) in favor of talking about an elderly, long-term NEW YORKER contributor who doesn't know what year/century he now lives in.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Merle Haggard playlist.

1. Okie From Muskogee
2. Misery and Gin
3. Sing Me Back Home
4. Mama Tried
5. Pancho and Lefty (with Willie Nelson)
6. Big City
7. The Bottle Left Me Down
8. Yesterday's Wine (with George Jones)
9.  If We Make It Through December
10. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (with Willie Nelson)