Monthly Archives: September 2012

Operation Teapot


The 1950s were an amazing time – full of hope, fear, and bizarre scientific experiments. Here’s a true story, from a recently released government document. Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up.


Operation Teapot

In 1955, eight communist countries signed the Warsaw Pact
war was beginning between south and north in Vietnam
and trouble was simmering on the Montgomery buses.

Meanwhile, in the Nevada Desert, government scientists
were conducting an experiment on the possible effects
of a nuclear explosion on beer and soft drinks.

Their results, duly published with full extract and pages of data,
proved that in the event of a nuclear catastrophe, packaged beverages
would be a suitable emergency source of liquid refreshment,

though the beer might lose a bit of its flavor.




“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”  Thomas Mannn



I wrote this morning,
which is why there is a pile
of plates in the sink
and we have no clean laundry.
But hey – I wrote this morning!


A dog from Hell

I was browsing books at our local Goodwill store on Saturday, and there, nestled among all the copies of “What to Expect…” and “Tax tips for the 1990s,” was a copy of Charles Bukowski’s “Love is a dog from Hell.”  I brought it home and started reading.  Bukowski can feel like the long-lost uncle you don’t really know if you want to invite to the family reunion.  He is hilarious and profane, self-centered and offensive, completely unapologetic for who he is.  He just seems to tell it like he sees it.  And in compelling style – at least to me.  After an hour with “Love is a dog from Hell” I wrote this response. (To share with friends at dVerse Poets Pub).


A dog from hell

He’s at it again,
chasing cockroaches across
the bathroom floor with
an ironic stream of piss

some nameless hooker
is lighting up in the bedroom
crouched on the headboard
and shouting at the television

he says he likes the ones
with personality, but I can’t
help noticing he chooses
the ones with big tits

he loves to tell about it while the
booze is flowing and the telephone rings
and he just ignores it all,
cave-painting in skeletal lines

and I hate him – the misogynistic asshole –
hate him because I am so damn jealous
of that clear, unapologetic voice.
No, I am not bored, Mr. Bukowski.


The end of the world

A sonnet for threatening days.  And for hope when all seems lost. 
To share with friends over at the dVerse Poets Pub.


The end of the world

There is a dreadful quickening tonight
upon the air – it runs its fingers through
my corn-stalk hair and beckons me into
the open yard to watch the growing might
of wind and cloud. This mesmerizing sight
of grey fists dipping earthward blocks my view
of all that I had trusted to be true
forever, whipping in the pea-green light.
A telephone is ringing somewhere in
the house – a warning, maybe, from a friend –
but I stand still, enthralled. This overcast
horizon has been mine before. Where thin
despair birthed hope. I trust the world will end
three times at least before I die at last.


Sidewalk days


Sidewalk days

In downtown Goshen,
we mix business with pleasure.
My favorite sign reads:
“Become our friend on Facebook
for the chance to win a gun.”


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