He grew fed up with the Army. He had put in 25 years, but the last five had been totally discombobulated, one snafu after another. Everything was FUBAR and he grew wholly disgruntled with it all. He knew it was time to go, to bail out, and no one tried to stop him, to change his mind. He shipped his uniforms off to Goodwill, grew a beard. He learned to speak vernacular English again, not the military version with its own weird argot. He would be happy, he knew, with this new life. But he wanted more, he wanted to be gruntled, to be fully combobulated, to hell with Merriam-Webster who said he couldn’t because they didn’t exist.
As kids every couple of weeks
we’d take our allowances,
go down to the variety store
and buy the latest DC comic.
Larry and I would spend
that afternoon imagining
we were whatever superhero
was featured in our new,
and now most prized book.
Jimmy was with us
all the way, but admitted
he wanted to be Lex Luthor or
or the Joker, or better still
So we probably should not
have been surprised that
while I became a lawyer
and Larry a classics professor,
Jimmy became a politician.
I have decided it is now time
and I am establishing a new
field of study that blends
mathematics and political science,
which I have named idiometry.
Simply put, idiometry allows one
to measure just how close one can
take the statements or promises
if any politician and square
them with the actual facts.
Then you repeat this for all
of the statements of that politician
and you inevitably find the square
unattainable, there simply are
no perfect squares yet achieved
in idiometry, for no politician
ever seen on a public stage
hews perfectly to facts, always
veering off into self interest
or blatant ideology, so perhaps
idiometry isn’t worth it, telling us
what we already knew full well.
HEAVEN MUST WAIT
He said he sent God an email
but got no response until, after three days,
he got a bounce back saying the account
had been closed for lack of payment.
A few hours on the internet yielded
a heavenly website, and after another hour
digging down into the site map, he found
a tiny hot link to the Contact Us page,
and there a phone number he
immediately called. What could be better
than asking God directly, he figured.
He should have known better, and did
when on the third ring the phone was answered
and the recording began, “For Jewish, Press 1;
for Catholic and most Protestants, Press 2;
for Muslims, Press 3; For atheists
and non-believers, Press 4.
He pressed two and was told the office
was only open for calls on Sunday from 6 AM
until noon, and occasional Saturday afternoons.
Unsatisfied he called back, pressed 1 and learned
the phone would only be answered Friday night or
Saturday, though he doubted anyone worked then.
He tried 4 on the next call and was transferred
to a line that seemed to be answered in Norwegian
by someone who he thought said was in the branch
office in Stjordal in Nord-Trondelag.
The afternoon was growing short
and he realized he didn’t really care
about the answer, wasn’t sure
he’d believe it anyway.
First appeared in Dipity Online Literary, February 2023
NOTE: Jazz K, the editor did an amazing job with her treatment of the poem. It is worth a visit for that alone.
It was simple by definition
a neat orderly universe, but then
a Big Bang and all of the planning
went out in a monumental flash.
He could easily have corrected it
a simple thought would have
done the trick, but He made the rules
so He had no choice but to abide by them.
It was truly a godly mess, He
would be the first to admit it
had there been anyone to whom
He might admit it, but that lot
on Olympus were a poor joke,
and had long since ceased
to serve any purpose at all
save taking up library space.
So things were banged about, things
blew up spectacularly, things
disappeared entirely, and he
was left to practice meditation.
With knowledge comes something
but I cannot remember what
my mother told me it was, or
perhaps it was a teacher
who said it, but I can’t hope
to tell which one it was, I
cannot remember some
of their names or in what grade
it might have been said.
I don’t think it was in college
or graduate school since by then
it was assumed we knew
what came with knowledge.
So I am left to look around me,
and see what the knowledgeable
have wrought and consider that
perhaps with knowledge comes
chaos for we have quite enough
of that, or a lack of compassion,
we’re big on that one, so maybe
with knowledge come a hidden
key to making this all right, but
I cannot for the life of me find it.
Someone declared it Star Wars Day, but that is not fair to the progenitors of that series of films and countless spinoffs. Imaging Captain Kirk engaged with a Klingon in a lightsaber battle, Mr. Spock standing by and commenting “illogical.”. And for that matter, why not imagine Gort looking down at Klaatu and saying, “No, I am your father.” On forty-second thought, let’s leave things as they are.
In our time
of never-ending war,
punctured by the briefest
lulls we now call peace,
more likely, will talk
about whom will be
the victor, to whom
shall go the spoils.
Bierce, that perpetual
cynic, reminded us
that peace was a period
of cheating between
two periods of fighting.
But no one pauses
to consider that
in any war there are
no true victors
only the victims
unwillingly offered up
in sacrifice to delusion.
First appeared in Jimson Weed, Volume XLI, New Series Vol. 25, Number 2, Fall 2022
I suppose I should
make a list of the things
I don’t very much like.
I’m an optimist so the list
won’t be all that long, though
it grows the more I think about it.
I was going to put
my ex-wife on the list
but she doesn’t like me
and I have no feelings
for her either way.
So it’s down to
autocrats and would be
autocrats, and customer service
people who have no idea
of what that title entails.
Oh, yes, and lima beans
and cauliflower pizza crust.
I would love to work for the Postal Service. I don’t want my own route, and I certainly do not have the right temperment for working at the counter. The health insurance is good, and the retirement would be something to look forward to. But I want one job in particular. I want to the the man who sits all day with the micrometer and measures the mail to see if it is over a 1/4 of an inch thick, so he can send it back for additonal postage.