November 15, 2021

No Peace

 When the act of putting pen to page feels like a shirk,
When you know in your heart it’ll take much harder work,
When the gifts that you've offered aren’t doing enough,
It’s time to work on your ways.

If your world has remained peaceful, 
Because you’ve managed to sidestep the man, 
That doesn’t mean there’s peace.

September 21, 2021


If you can,
In energy,
In healing,
In peace.

Even if that's hard,
I'll believe in you.

September 13, 2021

Don't Dawdle

Lost my buddy yesterday,
Today is quite a day,
Happy to see it,
Wish he could too.

But now…
Immediately so,
He’s just a memory.

If a man leaves a mark, though,
Deep down in my being,
A change upon my soul,
Then his mark beats on,
With me as I go. 

So today, I’ll gaze upon this day with some of his perspective, too.
I’ll be brave enough for two.
Do my best to stir another buddy’s soul anew.

August 3, 2021


Beneath the droning planes,
Beached before the tides,
A lone perhaps lonely drummer,
Keeps time,
As the ancient ones before her,
Mallet after mallet,
Skin upon skin,
Beats on into the noise.
Why, the wonders wonder,
Does she beat on just for her?
To keep her heart pounding forward,
Her movement time may cure?
Or does she hammer on for the rest of us,
Without mastery of time,
For whom the ocean keeps,
A lone steady beat,
Ancient evermore?  

July 8, 2021

Garbonzo Ron

Garbonzo Ron, 
Tried to keep it turned on,
But sometimes he had trouble seeing the light.
Thankfully, glory was but a spark away.


May 20, 2021

Six Labs Admiring Picasso in Daley Center

This museum-quality print was created from a 60” x 40” acrylic on canvas commissioned by my dear friend Jay, to honor his gone-too-soon brother, Stevie, a lover of Chicago, City Hall, and Jay’s six faithful labs, specifically painted for the walls at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles. 

For those of you familiar with Chicago, you probably recognize most of the landmarks within, including the centerpiece of the painting, The Picasso sculpture prominently situated in the middle of Daley Plaza, where City Hall is located. As a kid born and reared in Chicago (we soon moved to Colorado when I was 6), one of my first memories is of playing on Picasso’s giant sculpture. 

I dreamily recall being enamored with not just its seemingly familiar alieness, but also its massive slide, which made that spectacular form awesomely functional as well. As such, it was a welcoming early entry into the world of art that I now try to spend most of my time in. Hopefully that spirit of whimsical accessibility is conveyed in my own homage; certainly the labs surrounding the statue are filled with amused enchantment. 

Granted, I couldn’t figure out how to extend a functional slide out of the painting, but hopefully it will help to extend a little moment of joy to anyone staying at the  Ronald McDonald House in L.A., a brief respite from the most difficult of fights. To be sure, it’s a small respite, but it’s something, and that’s something. And with every print sold, that something grows. So head to to help spread a little joy, and hopefully receive some too! 

April 21, 2021

If Pigs Can Fly

The piece above was made with love and healing vibes for the kids and families that stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, so they can have something joyful to look at, and hopefully be inspired to believe that if pigs can fly, then they can get better.

As a middle aged man, I wouldn’t want to jinx my future self by saying the painting this print is based on is my masterpiece, but it’s certainly the best I’ve done yet. Granted, with all the time, energy, and love I put into it, I’d be pretty upset if it wasn’t.

The funny thing is, the painting wasn’t even my idea in the first place. My dear friend Kerri was talking with her rad Uncle Jay about what to do for his amazing wife Melanie’s big birthday, and they came up with the idea to create some art for the newly remodeled Ronald McDonald House, which Jay and Melanie hugely support. And since there wasn’t enough art on the walls, that seemed like a good place to start.

Not sure if I’m Kerri’s only artist friend, but I’m definitely her oldest, so she convinced Jay I was the man for the job. Now she just had to convince me I was capable of taking all the animals I’d been creating separately and putting them together into one big piece. 

Which now seems like a great idea -- with sea creatures, land creatures, and sky creatures (including one soaring pig) all taking their proper places in the 6’ x 6’ triptych -- but at first I was quite daunted by the prospect. See, I’m not a trained painter, and had never worked on anything so big. Heck, I still feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants everytime I start a project (though I do have some weird innate confidence in the fanciness of said pants). 

So flying was apparently always a theme. And I have drawn a lot of birds in my life. And pigs flying are on the first and last page of my MFA thesis script (which has since morphed into a novella, if you’re interested in publishing it). So perhaps this piece was waiting for me to paint it all along?

However it unfolded, I’m extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity, and for the faith that Kerri and Jay had in me to see it through, especially since I had so many doubts myself. In the end though, it was thinking of those kids that forced me to overcome those doubts. Every step of the way I was motivated by them, fighting for their lives, while hoping that my spirit could help in the smallest way to aid them in that fight. That’s why I’m sure it’s the best thing I’ve done yet, because I didn’t do it alone. 

With Kerri and Jay's prodding and help, I had a run of 20 beautiful prints made from the piece, the first professional prints made from my work (which was a whole ‘nother learning curve). If you'd like one, you could also aid in that fight, as a portion of each print sold at goes to the Ronald McDonald House Charities

February 19, 2021

Anchored Alan

Would that he could, but Alan could not. The world just felt too heavy to move. An anchor. A man of the world, perhaps once, now sunken by it.

Would that he could get up, but Alan had enough of rising. Enough fighting. Enough difficulty. And now the path of least resistance led nowhere.

Was it just laziness? To believe nowhere and everywhere are the same place?

If he couldn’t positively imagine himself rising from the couch, how could he put such an optimistic spin on his current, nowhere yet everywhere state? Who did he think he was? Buddha? 

Even Buddha created his own happiness, his own rationalizations. Nirvana is but a state of mind after all.

But how practical is nirvana, given his current state of blasé? He really just wants to have fun. Which can only be done if everyone around him is having fun. Can fun even be if no one's around to have it? 

Not like that. Would that Alan could live in that moment…

But it doesn’t last. It never has. A necessary law of nature?

Alan supposed nirvana superseded that law.

So maybe that’s what he’s really seeking after all?

But to find as much, he’s probably going to have to rise.

July 3, 2020

All lives don't matter yet

If you can't see that Black lives matter,

While screaming that all lives do,

Then you are looking away.

Whether from a place

Of privileged ignorance,

Or racial hatred,

You are still missing

What's right before your eyes:

America wasn't created equal,

And its Revolution won't be won until it is.

June 11, 2020


I'm no good with anger.

I rage, to be sure.

But I look away.


To have always done so.

Now I'm forced to glare.

To rage against the machine. 

To stare at its hypocrisy 

And my complacency,

To know even this rage, 

Is kept safely within,

As the people scream past my window.

But I see you.

You beautiful faces,

A shimmering sea of unique,

Raging for the light,

Giving all of us hope,

That if we stare it down,

No more looking away,

And see what must be done,

Finally do that hard work,

Topple the systems and symbols,

That fuel this hate,

Then rage too shall pass.

May 18, 2020

Don't Mess With Moms, Be They Humpback or Jewish

Since Mother's Day, I've been drawing and redrawing the above image. I was initially trying to think of a card to create for my most fierce and loving of mothers — as I've done mama-duck-and-duckling and mama-bear-and-cub cards in the past. In trying to dream up a new mother/baby animal image, I first and foremost recalled the incredible display of mothering I witnessed a few weeks back in the Dolphin Reef movie on Disney+ (which is about so much more than dolphins). 

In particular, there's a scene where a mama humpback whale and her calf are attacked by a pod of orcas in the open ocean. To stave off the assailants from eating her calf, Mama throws her baby on her back as she battles multiple attackers, all while crying out across the depths of the ocean for help.

Eventually help comes, as her new boyfriend/champion leads a pod of male humpbacks to her side, and the orcas are forcefully compelled to swim away. And both mama and calf live to tell the tale, with Disney's storytelling help, no less. 

In a way, it reminds me of that time in 7th grade when my mom tore Chad's mom, Brett's mom, and Todd's mom a new one when they tried to pin the hot tub party/spin-the-bottle game on me. I mean, sure it was my idea, but it happened at Brett's house, so wtf? Well, those ladies had no response.

Point being, don't mess with moms! Especially not mine, nor any humpback calves'.

April 20, 2020

April 9, 2020

Say 'Der'

Passover is not nearly as much fun in isolation. I heard people are doing virtual seders, but honestly, I'm just barely hanging onto being a Jew when it's convenient, so that seems like a big ask.

No, we'll just skip it this year I guess, and look forward to going over to our lovely, generous friends Kerri and John's place, like we always do, as was this year's initial plan; indeed, the matzoh ball soup above was meant to be the evite art for the affair.

Yes, our friends put on quite the fiesta... for a seder. We say a few prayers, tell old stories, and celebrate life with a ton of delicious food and amazing wines — at least four glasses worth, as the good book commands.

Really though, without friends and family, the story's kind of stale, and its lessons seem pretty damn harsh. And the prayers are all nebulously connected to this God character I don't have a great relationship with at the moment. Okay, it was fading long ago, but still, my gentile wife and I didn't make last night in quarantine any different than the rest.

Today, instead of feeling hungover and desperately in need of leavened greasy bread, I just viscerally feel that lack of different, as though something fundamentally the same is missing. Without those times to look forward to, without loved ones to surround ourselves with and recount the stories that got us around the table in the first place... well, it almost makes me lose my appetite.

But we Jews know a thing or two about maintaining an appetite, and surviving plagues, as the Passover story reminds us. Thank God, as of this writing, my friends and family are still eating. Still drinking. Still sending and receiving love.

I know that not everyone can say the same, so I'll do my best to remain grateful, and realize I'm not exactly skipping any meals in isolation. That with distance, our bond shall grow stronger. And hopefully, if God and COVID-19 should see fit, we'll all celebrate together again next year, in Jerusalem, no doubt. 

March 22, 2020

Heartline Like a Wolf

Look closely, and you can see the feint makings of a heartline on that there wolf above, howling away at the cycles of the moon. 

I'd forgotten all about the decorative lines adorning the Zuni fetishes that populated every corner of my mom's Southwestern art gallery, and thus our home; until my nephew and buddy both told me that the wolf is their favorite animal, when I prodded for birthday drawing inspiration. 

So I drew this guy, and as I started blowing him out in post, it just dawned on me: he may not be a fetish per se, but he definitely need's that arrow. 

Though I could surprisingly remember what the inlaid line was called, the heartline, I couldn't even vaguely recall why it adorned the Native American stone-carved animal amulets that I loved so much. I just knew it was important, particularly to the Zuni tribe.

So I googled... heartline fetish, and found this at Antique American Indian Art, llc, a gallery that's apparently been around for some 50 years:

"This arrow is called a lifeline or heartline. It begins at the mouth where breath gives life and points to the soul (spirit) where faith and inner strength preside."

Cool, right? They also have a simple yet deep primer on Zuni fetish carvings in general:

"A fetish is an object believed to have magical powers. Fetishes may be of any form or material, however, a fetish has one paramount purpose: to assist man against any real or potential problems. The problems can be those of the mind, body, or universe."

Which could pertain to times like these, when our bodies and the universe are seemingly at odds, which is certainly messing with our minds. 

I suppose we could all use a magical assist right now. So if you're reading this, I'd like to offer up the virtual fetish above as a gift to you. I hope he helps you to remember where your faith and inner strength preside, and to keep any real or potential problems at bay, at least for the duration of a smile. 

March 12, 2020

No Ears Oscar

This is Oscar, he gets a lot of crap from octopuses for being part ostrich, and a lot of crap from ostriches for being part octopus. 

But Oscar doesn't listen to 'em, because he has no ears.

January 24, 2020


Gene and Gertrude reflected,
on this wacky thing called life;
Acted as if rejected,
though truth ejected strife;
When the most that they could want for,
was one or two peanuts more.

October 15, 2019

Storyteller Doll

When I was like 10 or so, my mom opened a Southwestern Art gallery in Cherry Creek, an up and coming suburb of late '80s Denver. I like to kid with my mother, who doesn't really appreciate it, that as soon as she opened the gallery, that's when I stopped getting parented. 

The truth is probably closer to Mom just being ready to do something big, having parented the shit out of two boys to the point where they could be trusted to be alone... though perhaps she shouldn't have trusted us with HBO. 

Regardless, freedom was a boon for me, and it turned out my older brother and I could take care of ourselves. But while Mom frequently let us stay at home to explore the wide world of Huntington Estates, she did make us hang out at her gallery, Canyon Road, quite a bit, too — which is where arguably some of her longest lasting parenting lessons took root.

But at first, that's exactly what it felt like: being made to do something. That probably stems from the fact that the first time my brother and I were put to work it was underneath her office desk in the back, so no customers would see her 10- and 12-year-old boys licking stamps and applying them to her thousands of newsletters. Not because people would object to seeing such nice boys subjected to such arduous child labor, no, it just wouldn't be proper to have children in the gallery. (Proper being a parenting concept we'd revisit regularly.)

Not sure how long after that it was until my mom fired me for the first time. Or the second. Or the third. But she really liked to fire me. And I really liked to argue with my boss, apparently. And that was seemingly the way we conducted business all through high school. 

Looking back though, from the perspective of who I am now, particularly what kind of artist I seem to be, it's clear that mom's store had quite an effect on me. Perhaps I wasn't particularly suited to the business side of the gallery, but I had an eye from an early age, which my mom nurtured, and would learn to trust. As would I, somewhere along the way.

And of course being surrounded by all that stunning art, not just at the gallery but at my home (since my dad was Mom's best customer). Perhaps even more inspiring were all the artists we'd visit on buying trips to New Mexico, some of whom would come stay at our Huntington estate when they had shows at Canyon Road (mom's gallery, named for the famous street in Santa Fe). I learned to revere the artists — some of the warmest, wisest, most in-tune, gracious, respect-commanding people I ever met. 

Like Stella Teller, a master maker of Storyteller Dolls — traditional Pueblo ceramic dolls, usually of a maternal figurine with any number of babies on her lap. As the whole family made these dolls, Stella brought two of her daughters to the show — Robin, I believe was one of them, and Mona, judging by the name signed on the doll my mom gave me for working the show, which I still have on my desk to this day...

I guess that experience stuck, because the picture up top is of a painting I did for my mother for her 75th birthday, with a little photoshop magic thrown in for prints (email me if you're interested!). Where you think I lifted that idea from? 

It just made sense, of course, given the symbolism of the Storyteller Doll, and my nostalgia for Ma's life and art lessons. But I remain daily inspired by Stella and her family, and all the artists I grew up absorbing. I'm sure some people will cry cultural appropriation, but Southwestern Art is what I know in my bones, because of the Tellers and so many others, and because of my mother. So why would I ignore sweet inspiration where I can get it? 

September 24, 2019

Free Art

My life as an artist, and as a human I suppose, has been to overthink. In an effort to not overthink the pretty pictures I've been making for the last few years whilst putting off writing, I'm going to attempt to not feel so burdened trying to add words to all my posts here. At least not today.

So, here's some of the images I've been creating in lieu of using my actual words. I know a true writer worth his salt would have had a field day during the Trump years, but I've found myself wanting to say less and less, perhaps because of how much stale prattle has filled the air.

Or maybe this is just my way of not overthinking it.

September 11, 2019

Is It Peaceful?

Something’s missing from my beach today.

The salt still tempts my nostrils, yes. Same as yesterday. The sand still stays my feet in coarse irritation.

The waves perform their tragedy, singing their dying arias, giving rise to great crescendos, only to succumb to the seashore forever. The tragedy played yesterday, it doesn’t stop today. Repeat and coda, on and on.

The seabirds run their usual races, taunting the lurking waves in their dash for beached plankton. The sailboats still sail. The joggers still jog. The trash still collects. The smokestacks still spew their poison to the heavens.

The heavens, its the heavens. So resplendent today, much more than usual. So gleaming and free and expansive. Undisturbed. The clouds seem lighter, more airy, with room to grow, no ceiling to reach. The birds unfettered, more space to roam, no limits, no obstacles. 

The planes. Where are they? What’s my beach — the closest to the airport — without the constant clamor of the world coming and going?

Is it peaceful?

The skies are calm. The bellows of engines silent. Conversations, usually interrupted every minute for a take off, every other for a landing, flow without pause, save for consternation, save for pondering.

The sky is wholly the birds and the clouds and the blue. But is it peaceful?

Replacing the planes is something else entirely. Something bigger. Something far more destructive. Something more potentially hazardous. Hate.

Hate is in the air. More natural than a bird, more common than a cloud, more human than an airplane.

But today, it’s darker than ever. Millions are crying out. Millions have been violated. Millions feel the hate. Instead of just harboring safely in our darkest bowels, it’s bubbling like a cauldron in our guts. 

We are hot inside. We are raging. Hate is in the air, as thick as the knee-deep soot and ashes and blood which cover lower Manhattan.

So now what? We boil? Yes. We rage? We must. We call for blood? We react. Our nature tells us to do so. 

Is our nature correct? It must be, no? It’s natural. All that's natural is good. All that's natural is essential. All that's natural will come forth. It’s nature. It takes its course.

But isn't it also our nature to love? To feel from the heart? My heart tells me to mourn. To weep. To reach out to my parents, my friends, my fellow man, to let them know of my love.

My gut screams for hate. And I do. For retribution. For the demise of those who endanger me. For blood. My gut is thirsty for it.

But my head is not so easily swayed. My head is smart. Calculating. My head can’t figure it out, not with precision, not like my gut and my heart. Not with such resolve. With my head, I weigh it all out. I am angry, yes. I am scared. I know my fears, though never quite laid to rest, will subside if those threatening, those terrorizing, and those fueling my fears are done away with. I know they must be stopped.

I also know, in most likelihood, the only way to remove that threat is through more violence. Blood for blood. Blood for security. Blood for well being. My mind knows that’s illogical.

How can more blood make me happy? How can more violence make me settled? How can more hate make me love again? It can’t.

So I am at an impasse. In blood for blood, there can be no solace. In love for blood, there can be no safety. In hate for hate, there can be no love.

The world is different today. I am not naive. I know the world I lived in yesterday was one based on ideals. I know the world I live in today will test those values. But can it be a world without love?

Not today. 

Today has turned to eve, the eve has brought the night, and still my roof stands. My friends are somehow accounted for. My goals remain the same. My prayers last night seemed different, but I only wished more saved. I prayed for one solitary man, who accepted other’s differences. I prayed for love to reign on high, while none bent to their knees.

But I know prayers are the ideal. I know that heaven’s not of this earth. That flags, if they must fly, will often fly half mast. 

The world is a circle first, there is no top or bottom. The gold of day, brings the black of night, and round and round it goes. Man is evil. Man is good. Man is man, and can be nothing else. Fragile to the wind, he is. Fragile to the waves. Fragile to himself. 

Perhaps in fragility, there lies the strength. Perhaps in knowing it all could pass, lies the freedom to live without. To let the winds that whip those flags shake our very foundation, take hold our mighty wings, and guide us back to our place in the clouds.

(Editors note: This piece was written Sept. 12, 2001, edited Sept. 11, 2019.) 

September 9, 2019

Flamingos & Palm Trees

I've had a thing for flamingos and palm trees since well before the two beach icons teamed up as thememates for my Bar Mitzvah, back in the late '80s. But they became a far more important part of my truth after Mom went all out bringing this blossoming Jew man's Miami Vice inspired dreams to life on the "Mony Mony" fueled dance floor of Bobby McGee's — my favorite restaurant at the time, due in equal parts to the perfectly pink prime rib and the fact that the waiters dressed up in costume. (Trust me when I tell you there's absolutely nothing like having a side of beef brought to you by Rocky himself!)

The cardboard flamingos and palm trees that turned Bobby McGee's into a pastelled wonderland would go on to serve as my own room's decorations well past the sordid event of becoming a man — though the decor was demonstrably lessened when I accidentally knocked a basketball into the neon-pink "Adam" sign that my mom had made to really put a stamp on the party. Now, looking back, I not only realize that "Don't play ball in the house" is a viable rule, but also that seeing my name in light shattered into a million pieces may have had an enduring, self-sabotaging effect. 

But I still love flamingos and palm trees.

August 20, 2019

A Boy and His Dog and Simon & Garfunkel and Extreme

Once upon a time there was a boy who sang as if God we're his ventriloquist.

But along the open road, the boy lost his heavenly voice, he couldn't even be sure where. 

One day, the boy found a dog who barked like a hurricane, like the Scorpions kind of hurricane. The rocking kind.

So the boy took the dog in. Unfortunately, the boy was homeless. 

The boy and the dog hit the street, the only home that would have them. But it bonded them tighter than any roof could, and they made themselves a home without walls. 

Though both had been self-described lone wolves before, now, neither could see the logic in that. They were a pack now, forever.

Though the boy's divine voice still escaped him, he felt the air in his lungs getting stronger with each pack-spent day. Until one day, out of the heavenly blue, it was as if God, the puppet master of fate, reached out once again and put his hand up the boy's butt. And the spirit so powerfully moved the boy, he became compelled to sing gleefully to the wind. 

Upon hearing his master's soulful song, the dog joined in too, with a sublime ear for harmony, and just the slightest hint of a German accent.

The dog and the boy came together, and their voices took flight. By listening to each other, as pack members, they easily became one harmonious whole. They started a duet, loosely influenced by Simon & Garfunkel and Extreme. 

Like heaven and hell never parted, together, the boy and the dog created harmony so expansive it floated upon the wind of change, and the wings of angels, for all the world to hear.    

August 12, 2019

Serial Monogamy

Monogamy worked for Sue and Lee,
They didn't promise it would always be,
But with weather being so darn cold lately,
It just made sense to snuggle, freely or not. 

August 6, 2019


Once upon a time, 
There was a gorilla named Kong,
As big, 
And strong,
And long,
As the lingering note of a well struck gong.

Still, Kong was forced to leave his home,
By the rarest royal of all, man.
Bound, literally, for a new land,
Pushed until they forced his hand,
To make him something far more grand...

A king.

July 25, 2019

Jean-Luc Giraffe

Jean-Luc Giraffe made a helluva gaffe, 
Way back when, 
When he wrecked his whole life.

Why couldn't he have just been happy for Geoffrey?
Why couldn't he have just shaken his brother's hoof,
Said, "Nice job! 
Way to make kids happy!"

He was the alpha. 
The pride of the family.
But it didn't matter.

Did it really matter now?

A giraffe has to save his own neck.
But whoa to be part of the tower,
Basking in the cool shade of Acacia,
The irreplaceable warmth of family.

March 27, 2019

Take Solace, Take Flight

What a heavy weight
this world might seem
if seen from down below
where loud obnoxious air depletes
the sublime brevity of breath.

Are you loved?
Are you hungry?
Are you home?

A weight impossible to haul.

Let it go
unbound it so.

Unfettered by such chains
let thine load be laughed
upon from on high.
A knowing wink
may meet your eye,
take solace
take flight!

March 25, 2019

The View

Hope is born of what may never exist,
Deluding till the end.
Why bother with the way things are,
When you can make believe belief?

Not a crack above of rolling thunder,
No need for the shelter of truth,
Clouds may part before or after,
May as well enjoy the view.

August 3, 2018

Oliver Owl had a great night

Oliver Owl was super tired last night. But his hair looked incredible, and he was nocturnal, so he went out.

June 25, 2018

Your Grace

It’s only been a couple of weeks now
Since you said goodbye
But you just don’t seem gone yet
Even though i keep crying

Everywhere i see your face
Everyplace feel your embrace

I wonder how i could have kept you
Though I know that’s a lie
Maybe with your heavenly new view
You can finally fly.

But I’ll never forget your face
The mark you make upon this place

What you created in this house
The foundation and walls
Stand firmer now than ever
Even after you're gone

The dust of you leaves but a trace
Yet we’re all filled by by your grace

After all
All is all.

May 10, 2018

My Buddy Buddy

My buddy Buddy's been getting a lot of attention lately,

Ever since our boy became his late brother,

He's become much sweeter.

Or maybe I just didn't give him the attention he so needed.

As I lavished it on my boy,

Who needed it more. 

Needed me.

But he's gone,

And I really need my Buddy.


He's right here,

Staring me in the eye,

Taking me in.

April 27, 2018

Hold Us Up

Bass lines never lie.
Heavenly bodies know,
Heavenly tones don’t go undetected
Though they often go unheard.

Forget bowing your ear to listen, though,
You’ll simply never hear.
Just close your eyes to see
It’s all happening right here.

Right there, so close…
Just don’t reach
Or you’ll never touch.

Such elusive frequencies,
Why must we know so much?
Can’t we feel our way through?
Isn’t it easier to bounce?

We’re just floating anyways.

Such blessed tones
All's light in all,
Effervescent to the touch
Yet heavy enough to somehow hold us up.

April 18, 2018

My Boy

It was love at first sight,
Though we didn’t quite get along,
You tried to eat kitty,
My girlfriend wanted you gone.
But you were mine,
I looked you in the eye,
I told you I’d love you,
I told you I’d try,
I read all the books,
I paid all the bills,
Made said girlfriend my wife,
To give you stronger will.
But you gave back infinitely more,
Taught us there’s grace in opening our door.
That kitty’s now your brother,
My wife your ma,
Our forever family,
Even now that your gone.
We tried our best to keep you happy, boy,
When we took you in,
I guess you couldn’t have asked for much more,
And in the end, neither could I.

August 15, 2017

Captain Jack the Ajax

When Captain Jack the Ajax first came to these shores, he did so with the intention of being a full-on superhero in the Silver Surfer ilk. But he soon learned that Silver Surfer spent more time actually doing shit than surfing, which Jack found dubiously unappealing. So now his superpower is just being one of the best damn surfers on the high seas. And for Captain Jack the Ajax, that is totally enough.

May 5, 2017

Fido and Billy’s Big Walk

Billy bolts awake with a frown. Nothing like a worry alarm clock. He doesn’t mean to feel uneasy. But feelings have a way.

Physically speaking, waking is just hard. Particularly for one who dreams so deeply.

Fido, on the other hand, chomps the marrow at the bit, runs circles around the dining room table, leash in mouth.

Against such waking instincts, Billy rises. He puts on his pants. First one leg, then the next. Like many a great man, though not many a great Scott!

He slips on his shoes. Grabs the leash and poop bags. After some effort to slow down Fido’s circuitous sprint, Billy finally affixes his leash.

Which means it’s go time. Fido calmly takes his place next to his master, dutiful as a soldier.

They give each other that “go time” look, and hit the street in search of coffee.

Not two doors down, they spy The Scowler. You’d think two people and two dogs who see each other every day could at least do something to acknowledge as much. But that stopped long ago; she can’t be bothered to even scowl at Fido and Billy anymore.

The Wall Lady is a little better. She at least reacts to the duo, even if only to turn her back and build a human wall between her and her little rat dog, whose eyes roll back in his head as his little rat mouth froths with Fido-hating vitriol.

Fido doesn’t react, though, just keeps bopping towards Savanna, the barista with the dog treats.

Billy follows, though he’s sure Fido would like the little rat dog, if they could just get a second to sniff each other’s cute little doggie butts.

Billy gets lost in Fido’s swaying hips for a spell. Has there ever been a cuter butt in all the land?

“Who’s the goodest boy, Fido?”

Fido barks, though Billy can’t be sure if it’s a response or a warning about the oncoming gardener, blowing the grounds of the Mariposa apartment complex. Billy instinctively bows to the man.

The gardener is deeply involved in his blowing though, and doesn’t return Billy’s nod of recognition. But at least he stops billowing city dust in their general direction.

Billy walks on, thinking about home, where leaf blowers are as uncommon as people who don’t say good morning.

Homesick Billy snaps to in time to yank Fido away from crapping all over the gardener’s handiwork.

A few doors down, Fido finishes up his business when a very deliberate, neon-shoed jogger comes huffing uphill. Billy alertly moves Fido out of the way, then tips his usual “hello, my fellow man” metaphorical cap.

Alas, his fellow man seems very intent on his breathing and doesn’t notice. Apparently, the warm glow stops at his shoes.

Further down the hill, Billy and his dog finally reach “The Crossing.” He is sure one, if not both of them will someday die here.

Not today, though, as Billy only has to eye down one yield-neglecting car before the crosswalk safely opens up. Of course, the driver doesn’t even notice Billy’s death stare.

They cross the street and walk into The Coffee Shop. Their timing couldn’t be worse. Obviously, the CrossFit class next door just ended, because as many yoga outfits fill the painfully long line as business outfits.

Or are they wearing yoga pants to work these days?

The line moves at a molasses-soaked snail’s pace. But not Savanna, she flies around like Ms. Pac-Man on level 141, too busy to acknowledge Billy, or even Fido, her supposed “guy.”

When they reach the front of the line, Savanna plops down Billy’s regular big drip, then notes it in the book. Forget about the fact that Billy was feeling adventurous today and thinking about trying an americano, or something else that might maintain more suitable heat.

Savanna quickly moves onto the next CrossFitter, though. Maybe tomorrow, thinks Billy, as he grabs his lukewarm big drip, wary of the lengthening line, and his place so uncomfortably in front.

He thanks Savanna, and moves on, but she’s enveloped in steam and noise, and doesn’t hear him.

And Fido still wants his good boy treat.

“Come on, Boy. Savanna is busy, she’ll get you two treats tomorrow.”

Billy pulls the forlorn, stubborn, and ultimately heartbroken mutt out of line, out the door, and back to the big bad, treatless world.

Fido and Billy head somberly back up the hill. Now that Billy’s hands are properly full, Fido feels compelled to take another morning constitutional.

Billy drops off the bagged remnants of such in the bus stop trash can, trying his best not to allow bag nor can to make any contact with hand nor coffee cup.

The big Zippy-the-Pinhead-looking fella waiting at the bus stop side-glances Billy, who instinctively smiles. But Zippy goes right back to staring ahead a thousand yards, failing to return Billy’s smile.
Perhaps he’s downwind of the garbage pail and not feeling very smiley.

They walk on. As Billy so often does, he recalls The Pretenders’ “Middle of the Road”. Sings softly to himself, “I got a smile for everyone I meet.”

Lotta good it does, he thinks.

At the top of the hill, almost home, a dark-dressed, dark-sunglassed, scowling realtor struggles with an “Open House” sign. She can’t seem to align it as perfectly as her meticulous eye demands.

Considering her laser focus, obvious ignorance of Billy, and today’s track record, his smile doesn’t initially come out. But Chrissie Hynde sings to the ether, and Billy greets the back of the realtor’s head with a smile just the same.

At least he’s not surprised when she doesn’t smile back. Though he’s still a bit dejected.

But she’s got business to attend to. He can admire that. Perhaps Billy’s own business should be more pressing. Perhaps his debts might seem a bit less severe if he cracked his own whip a little harder.

At least then he’d get down to work, instead of just thinking about how much of his soul he’d lose that day while doing it.

Not that he’s complaining; the value of a paycheck he won’t deny. But there must be something greater to do with his life than slinging bullshit for bullshit artists, who may or may not be nefarius.

Not exactly soul-feeding stuff. So how could Billy genuinely expect people to smile back at him, if his own smile felt forced?

Lost in thought, Bill looks down to find Fido nosing his thigh, indicating for him to look up.
A bolt of sunshine blazes through the clouds, sublimely kissing their lucky shoulders.

“Thanks, pal, good looking out.”

Together, man and dog absorb the splendor.

Who knows how long the rays work their magic, when a high-pitched greeting snaps the spell.


Billy recognizes it sonically somewhere between Alvin and Theodore.

A little girl, June -- running ahead of her mom, name still unknown, both staples along Billy and Fido's morning path -- looks upon sun-worshipping man and dog, and smiles hugely, a mirror to that celestial orb.

Billy looks down; June looks up. They nod in acceptance of each other -- two souls blessed by the same sun.

It makes the little girl’s grin burst, like she's seeing just how big she can actually smile.

Enveloped so, Billy becomes the smile, fills with its exuberance. Exhales his own.

June runs along just as quickly as she came, leaving Billy and Fido glowing in her wake.

Heaven knows, Billy can feel that beam all the way home. All the way through the day, right on through Fido’s afternoon walk.