BY Michael

11/01 Direct Link

The driveway is shining with rain and littered with leaves. One son has vacuumed and mopped and run out the door to work. Another sits scowling across the sea.  But I told myself in the beginning

That no good deed goes unpunished, so I am not surprised that things have ended the way they have.  I could have written this ending three months ago, possibly could have predicted the date, time of day and my own reaction.  The odd thing is that the endpoint is still not clear, but my grandson seems to be getting what he wanted all along.

11/02 Direct Link

I sort through all the curves and angles and hook-backs of the conversations with and about my son, and yes, the conversations about him were designed to flow to him.  I remember saying that was the plan, and they did so with terrifying efficiency.  What else was I to do when I could not engineer a meaningful conversation directly with him?  I knew I should expect some backup of sludge in the pipes…perhaps I underestimated the amount, but still the end result is exactly what is required, the transfer of the son to his father.  No more waiting or bullshit. 

11/03 Direct Link

There remains the unpredictable variable of the custodial mommy.  It was a risk that had to be taken.  I know Tom will point out that I am forcing other risks.  I feel they are insignificant compared to the ones we are taking continuing the current course.  I feel it is important that Daniel get centered within a relatively healthy family now and not dangle in the wind another unknown amount of time.    I know there are many who will say these were not my choices to make.  I say my making them proves that I indeed had them to make.

11/04 Direct Link

I wake up at 5 o’clock. I have to pee.  I think I have to pee.  I am not sure.  I do it anyway, rolling out of bed, finding a light, my glasses dimly aware of life elsewhere in the house.  Is it true?    My old phone is flashing.  I have recharged it, of course, and now the calendar has woken up and has news to tell me about.  That is why I put it to sleep in the first place.  I know I am up.  I won’t be going back to bed.  .  What is with me and mornings lately? 

11/05 Direct Link

This room is full of snow.  I have lost my drink and my patience.  There is a low bookcase along one wall.  On the top left is a model rocket, at least three feet tall, which explains the low bookshelf.  Two other items are arranged on the shelf and it is clear now that this is an arrangement for effect.  This shelf is for display, not for utility or storage; its primary function is display.  The second object is a yo-yo with about two inches of string dangling over the front of the bookcase.  The third object is a geode.

11/06 Direct Link

Putin's eyes

Putin is shorter than I

had expected.

The early winter wind

over the runway moves his hair

And then passes on.

His hands are out working

but it is Putin’s eyes that draw

you in. 

They are icy


Impecably dressed, the man

stands out

and the resonance of that voice

and the subsequent silence

in his skull

leave no doubt

that he is walking history.


It is cold this evening

and the concrete has drawn into itself


I have never

felt quite so declinated

by a single man,

A single nod.

He is Putin.

I am a mere poet.

11/07 Direct Link

In this room, there are lace curtains blooming in sunlight.  Beneath the window sits a small ornate writing table in walnut.  The drawer has a single brass pull centered in it.  It is covered with an embroidered runner, with cutwork roses with ivory leaves.  Sitting on this is a china fountain gurgling water, trimmed lightly with gold and painted somewhat incongruously with mauve tulips.  It is not apparent where the power source is for the fountain and after a while I begin to wonder if it is battery or solar powered since there is so much light through the window.

11/08 Direct Link

I am about to make a mistake.  I am installing Microsoft office 7 on a computer that is already using some kind of cloud version of Word and Excel 10.  I realize that I will lose any documents that I have created, oh, in the past 2 years or so due to compatibility issues.  It’s just that the cloud version keeps coming up in some instances and insisting that I don’t own it.  At other times it says OK, I came with your PC.  I don’t trust it any more and I have a perfectly sane version of Office 7.

11/09 Direct Link

One thing about having a large house is that you never need worry about being alone. Someone is always moving in or staying for a while.  Sometimes they cough up rent.  There are times I am reminded of my days back at the university in the dormitory, wandering from room to room, interacting with the other students.  Of course the difference is that I am no longer one of the students.  I am the dad, the grandpa.  I am in charge of the menagerie. I am the one who weekly gets to ask the question, “Are you living here now?”

11/10 Direct Link

I’ve started building a new pair of speakers, I think.  It is a semi-creative endeavor.  I purchased drivers readymade.  I am using full-range drivers so I don’t have to design a cross-over.  Cross-overs are supposed to suck the life out of music anyway.  The box design is not original with me.  I have seen pictures of it before, albeit not with this particular driver, and definitely not in the way I will be building or using it. So I don’t know how many creativity points I get for this endeavor.  And I’m not completely sure why I am doing this.

11/11 Direct Link

This morning has not been noted by anyone.

She needn’t obey any laws

of morality, man or god;

of physics or

classification keys;

as she shakes her hair and loosens

the cool autumn breeze through her limbs.


A white seed pod lifts from the ground

in nearly a straight line, wavering

slightly and

colors begin

fine tuning as the first automobile slides down

the street,

but the driver takes no note.


The sun breaks over rooftops

piercing and honking.

Great groaning trees,

turning and polishing leaves,

mumbling, still half asleep.


Giant white cranes rise

with silent mist on their wings.


11/12 Direct Link

It started snowing while I was in the middle of a twenty-minute nap.  I had known it was cold outside, knew from the matted frost I walked on this morning when I took some trash out.  Still the snow was a surprise when I woke up to it.  It was my job this morning to drive Daniel to work, so I got to practice my rusty winter driving skills, wondering if my tires were still up to it.  They seemed to work ok, sliding a little bit at one stop sign.  But I didn’t lose the car in any corners.

11/13 Direct Link

I keep finding dark stuff in the most unlikely places.  I don’t know it is dark stuff until someone else points to me and says, “Mommy, that man is oozing dark stuff,” 

“Shush,  mind your manners.”   And there I am, out in public, dark stuff dribbling out my ears, marking my footprints wherever I walk.  It would be different were I a dark stuff booster, or even a sympathizer, but I am not.  I don’t  like dark stuff.  I think it should be done away with wherever and however it shows up, and now here I am, oozing dark stuff.



11/14 Direct Link

I come back from the grocery store with my brain smoldering.  I don’t like it when my brain is smoldering.  I keep making notes to myself to do something, to take a chill pill.  Michael helps me unpack the groceries and we make short work of it.  He retires to his video game and main squeeze while I fix a gin and tonic and sit down with some jazz music.  I am thinking that if I am not careful I will run out of things to do before I run out of day.  That is nonsense.  What am I thinking?

11/15 Direct Link

The new doctor put me on new drugs.  They always do.  The first thing they do is throw away the meds you are on and put you on new meds, like a dog pissing on its territory.  I wonder is how many of them have tried out the fucking cocktails they are feeding me.  This one was ok at first.  Then he doubled the dose and everything went wonky.  I couldn’t sleep.   I couldn’t stay awake.  I couldn’t focus on my work.  I couldn’t breathe without effort.  I called to tell them I was taking myself off the damn Perphenazine.

11/16 Direct Link

It isn’t that I am anti-drug.  I had hopes for this doctor, for this med.  It seemed to help a little bit before it started crushing the life out of me.  Then it was worse than the disease.  They called back almost immediately.  The doctor wanted to start me on a new drug: Haldol.  He wanted to see me next week and they were calling the drug into the pharmacy.  I sat at my desk and cried.  I do not want to be a lab rat for any more of their drug experiments.  I did not pick up the Haldol.

11/17 Direct Link

Now I have to decide whether to keep the appointment.  What do I need the doctor and the therapist for?  Maybe for the Ativan.  I may as well try getting along without the Ativan because if I do what I am considering, go outlaw on the medical establishment they will take the Ativan away from me.  I think about all the money I will save.  I think about the periodic pain I will inherit.  I think I can handle it, maybe as well as I can handle the doctors.  Hell my gp wants to stick a flashlight up my ass.

11/18 Direct Link

It seems like a dream and I would ask what would be happening to me to cause me to have a dream like this with all its apparent detail and confusion, with its amnesic and blurred vision.  I am thinking that this is all useless endeavor.  I would say I was angry, but I have no god to be angry with.  I do but I do not.  As I watch it, the anger changes into something else. It becomes a kind of curiosity, a desire to poke my finger into life to see if it rebounds, to know its pulse.

11/19 Direct Link

I think perhaps I really don’t need anything but some fresh air and exercise.  I really do like music and I seem to like it enough to want to make it sometimes myself. I remember myself at seventeen and it is a surprise to me how little I have changed in my heart given the rabid and peculiar changes in my body.  I look in the mirror now and I see an old man, or an aging man.  It seems peculiar and not attached to me, to who I am hurtling through this barrel of time toward a certain uncertainty. 

11/20 Direct Link

There are two ways to view the uncertainty.  One is the concrete.  In this cradle to crematorium view we exist for a finite time and an infinitely small purpose.   The other view is the spiritual/transcendental.  I know people will disagree with me but life seems to resonate with the spiritual aspect, with the transcendental view.  People are simply healthier and happier embracing this perspective.  They are also inspired.  This view seems to be synchronous with art.  It is the view that says we must keep all the music playing.  It is the perspective that requires that we hold one another.

11/21 Direct Link

I think the patterns are more complicated than we realize and we cannot possibly come to understand them because of an uncertainty principle that states that the machine cannot completely know itself because its nature is to require overhead and it cannot have enough memory to comprehend what it is as long as a portion of memory is dedicated to overhead.  So in death we operate without overhead and finally comprehend exactly what we are.  The concrete view says this comprehension is akin to shutting the machine off.  The transcendental view says that we escape the limitations of this principle.

11/22 Direct Link

It seemed innocent enough

the first time she cut into the ancient wood

of the fine old bedpost.

Sauce for the goose,

she thought.

But now she looks

At nine notches

Almost daily and pauses.

Each one is finely chiseled.

There is one that seems to be cut

a little more deeply

than the rest

as if her jaw were set or maybe

her feet braced

against the headboard itself

so that when the stain was re-applied

it settled into that cut so deeply

that it left

a darkness on that post

that can be seen from across the room

11/23 Direct Link



Make that three.

Three are bare scratches

not notches

that could have been accidents

not notches though

you see how it happens

One even so light

That one day she thought

he had left a hair and she reached for it

In a moment of



Independent of her

it is still working,


only it is her.

She remembers the weight of

his penis across her thigh

but not his name.

She has tried to contact

at least once a year



She looks at the dark notch

breathing now.

A cloud shadow passes over the window



11/24 Direct Link

There is only

one notch.

she curls up in it

holding herself carefully.

This is where she goes to hide

Maybe it is where she has been


for the past fifteen years

she won't give this one up,

not even for a real one.

For her, it all stopped there:

The sunlight, the dust in the air.

Maybe she bonded for life


to the wrong notch.

This is a dark crevasse

which has captured her

and holds her embedded.

It is oblique resin in her mind,

Never stated

never touched but with caress.


she strokes

the notches



11/25 Direct Link

There was a thing I was going to write but I have forgotten what it was.  It may have been something about how that cloud appears to rise in the sky like a great vertical fungus, a white thing rooted in the earth.  This is what I see.  It may have been the ringing and buzzing in my ears or this soft float of my eyelids as they close against the late morning light.  It may have been the way Daniel got out of the car at the high school this morning talking about getting an apartment with Michael Jr.

11/26 Direct Link

My father taught me about trees and there is a way you can crawl into them, and hear them whisper.  When I was a boy and we’d go hunting he’d lean into a big maple and just rest a while.  Then he’d move off and say, “This way,” and that’s where we’d find the game.  Maybe, I thought it was just a game for the children the way I used to move the stone turtle around the house at night and watch my children run down the stairs in the morning to see where it had crawled in their sleep.


11/27 Direct Link

The kitchen isn’t my favorite place to work, but I am making do with it.  It is not as easy to drift off to a nap while writing as it is when I am in the recliner.  But the normal venue is having carpet scrubbing exercises, by me, and I take a long time to shampoo a carpet.  The process involves multiple passes with the machine, while I let the carpet dry in between passes to bring the dirt up from the pad as the water evaporates through the top of the carpet fibers.  It is a lot of work.

11/28 Direct Link

I’m feeling quiet today

and things are going to be

just fine for me.

Every touch leaves

its mark on me

and I have learned

to let them many sleep while

I read into the night

by the memory of the

light shining

In your eyes.

They tell me I’m not quite


But I’ve put the garbage out

from Almonte

to Yakima

And it smells much the same.


I might like to dance

tipsy off

into the night with my own

hairy chest of treasure.

Big bare toes

scuffing damp leaves across

the yard,

fox-trotting toward the dawn.


11/29 Direct Link




Well I am out walking

In the snow and rain and

there are newspapers to the

 left main event;

newspapers to the right.

Containers for

coupons for things I don’t want.

They’re wrapped in

 tight little colorful plastic bags  

so I can pick them up and put

them in the recycle bin without really touching or

becoming infected by them

and somebody's off

 sailing the Sun today in

odd zig zag notions that tickle

the inside of my brain.

I don't know what it means but there

is a little note

with the newspaper,

 a note I do not read.

11/30 Direct Link

What’s it like to be his son?” she had asked.  She had kissed me first.  They always kiss you first.  It is to anesthetize you or something.  Then they go for the grubby.  They want to know.  They wanna touch him.  It’s Jesus’ son they want.  I was an idiot if I had thought I had slipped far enough beneath the surface that they did not recognize me. I could feel my nostrils start to flare in a sneer and stop.  I swallowed the curse on my lips.  There was nothing useful in saying he was a lousy real father