Friday, March 31, 2017

Sleeping Man

Listen, sleeping man,
Last week you were here trying to nap
as I was trying to read (I forget what, maybe Eco’s essays),
but you were angered and disturbed
by someone else’s loud conversation.
True, there’s something fairly obnoxious about the
private cell-phone conversation in a public place,
but the thing is, it’s just that: a public place,
not your private napping room.
And now, today, as there is no one speaking loudly on their cell-phone,
you sleep, snoring louder than last week’s disturbing conversation,
keeping me from reading these poems I’d looked forward to (Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island).
And listen, I don’t begrudge you your rest,
perhaps you can’t sleep at home due to
or perhaps you work a second job,
stocking the dairy shelves from 5-10,
or delivering newspapers before the sun comes up.
I understand, I’ve been there, and I’ve napped here.
And really, I don’t even mind the snoring.
It’s almost musical, in a Phillip Glass/John Cage sort of way,
“Opus 3, Monotonal Monotony in C-minor, Lead Septal Drone: Sleeping Man”, (whatever your name is).
No, what bugs me is the impression you give of some sort of perceived ownership over this space,
A common space, shared by us all,
The attitude that others shouldn’t disturb you,
without concern for whether or not you might disturb someone else.
I won’t wake you, I won’t interrupt your sleep, you’re obviously in need.
But the next time I see you being angered when others use this space, our space, in a less than silent way, I might just read to you.
“Goodnight, Moon”, maybe.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


I’m not afraid of scars
Scars are like souvenirs
They mark the moments
The failures
The mistakes
The lapses
They mark the illnesses and injuries
They’re like the lines on the doorjamb that show the child’s growth through the years
Like mileposts
So, yeah, cut me again
I’m not afraid of scars

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Monkey and the Football

The Monkey and the Football
A Play In One Act….or, One Scene, Actually….well, really just a couple of lines

Dramatis Personae:    

  • The Globe Guy – an innocent looking old guy who sells the Boston Globe newspaper at the train station where, back in 2006, I boarded the commuter rail each morning on my way to work.  Insists on asking everyone who passes if they’d like a Globe (“like a Globe?”) everyday, no matter how many previous days in a row you’ve told him “no, thank you.”  Wears thick glasses and a furry hat with ear flaps, even in the summer.

  • The Cowboy – a man of few words with, as Pete Townshend so accurately noticed all cowboys have, Chinese eyes.  Generally wears a cowboy hat and a trench coat, sometimes black sometimes not-quite-white.  Unlike most people who wear cowboy hats in this part of the world (Northeastern United States of America), he doesn’t look like a fool.  He could really be an actual cowboy.  One day, in passing, I said to him, in reference to his black trench coat, “You look like you ought to have a shotgun up under there”.  I said this ‘cause I’m wicked funny, as most of you know.  He responded, straight faced but with a twinkle in his eye, “Sometimes I do”.  I liked that.

  • Me.

Setting: outdoor train platform, a Wednesday morning in the fall of 2006, 6:40 am Eastern Standard Time.

As the curtain rises, The Globe Guy is standing at center stage. I am walking away from The Globe Guy towards stage right, and pretending I don’t hear him.  The Cowboy is walking towards The Globe Guy from stage left.

GLOBE GUY (to Me): “Like a Globe?”

The Cowboy nods to The Globe Guy, but doesn’t speak.  The Globe Guy hands The Cowboy a Globe.  The Cowboy hands The Globe Guy a one dollar bill.

GLOBE GUY (fumbling in his pouch for 2 quarters, since The Globe costs 50cents): I can’t do a thing with these gloves on.  (He’s wearing knitted gloves.)

(I told you he’s a man of few words.)

GLOBE GUY (still fumbling): Oh, fuck it!

The Globe Guy removes his gloves, gets the 2 quarters out of his pouch and hands them to the still silent Cowboy, who is already beginning to back slowly away.  (Get ready now, here comes the big finish.)

GLOBE GUY (just as his hand is depositing the 2 quarters in The Cowboy’s hand):  It’s like a monkey fucking a football, trying to do anything with gloves on.  You know?

The Cowboy exits behind me, stage right, never quite taking his eyes off The Globe Guy.