About Me

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Paso Robles, California, United States
Novelist, poet, songwriter, and journalist, I bring over four decades of experience to the written page. I just finished Mental Hygiene, a coming of age novel set in Fort Jackson, SC circa 1967-68.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Poem from the European Trip

On My Birthday

on my birthday in 1945
the philadelphia record reported
that a dozen peach growers in new jersey
filed suit; blaming
the atom bomb for ruining
their crops/ that was the big headline;
the nuremberg nazi war criminal trial
began that day with less fanfare/
both events were far away
and not my fault/

on my birthday in 1968
circus circus opened in las vegas/
i was not there but i heard
things were getting better/
led zeppelin said their setlist
was still sketchy,
as was mine/ rumors
of a bombing halt in north
vietnam set the stock market soaring
and I had a double/

on my birthday in 1985
nearly one million people lived on the sidewalks
of india's two biggest cities
according to the la times,
adding that toilets were an issue/
i was in north hollywood
shirking/ pee wee’s big
adventure was the number 11
grossing movie of the week;
it was good to know/

on my birthday in 1998
tori amos performed famous blue raincoat
in raleigh and i wish i’d written it
or been there/ rainfall in south
east texas exceeded twenty inches,
and there was one less place to run/
it was the twenty-ninth Sunday
in ordinary time and the second reading
from saint timothy said
“for I am already on the point of being sacrificed;
 the time of my departure has come.”/
fidelity to tasks, amen/

it’s close to my birthday in 2010
and events from other years,
like cerebral dust balls on a cosmic attic floor
in the late afternoon,
hang around in corners
waiting for their friend to join them/
i’m happy enough to sweep a few
into metered lines and measured smudges,
passing time in simple entertainment
until it’s dark/  

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