In Defense of the Realm

When much younger, listen to me children, I wrote out my heart on pieces of paper and sent them all away out to the world and the world unfailingly threw them back into my face, all of them into a face they never knew.   Oh yes, rejected, neglected, incarcerated without trial or appeal they kept their counsel and I kept mine, changed by their changelessness.   For you see, the inscrutables are right. Every no engenders yes somewhere else. I’m OK with that. Really, I’m OK.   You never know what I’ve discovered and you keep rejecting me the way you always have you never will. ♠

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SHAME

To the Pathetic Members of the Extraordinary Session of the Wisconsin Legislature There are desperate people in this State. People who can’t get out of bed in the morning because they’re so sick or afraid or depressed or impoverished or hooked on some filthy drug they took because they were in pain or sick or afraid or depressed or impoverished.   Now you come with your titles and your personal fortunes and your letterhead with matching envelopes at taxpayer expense and your benefits and the best medical insurance money can buy and your reserved parking spots and club memberships and you argue in the sacred halls and chambers built before any of you were born by people who spit more eloquently than you speak and you dare to bicker before the people because you don’t like the very rules you were elected and sworn to uphold.   You call each other […]

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Purple

You wear a purple coat and all you do is professional, as all of it should be. The purple is a good color for you, but beware the label, that it never betray you to the harsh reality of the world, never become the face you fall behind, without a smile because cold and harsh is all you see. Beware the north face. ♥

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Route Cause

I don’t want to go the shortest way. I don’t want to go the fastest way. I don’t want you to tell me which way to go or how many feet I need to go before I turn left or right. I don’t want to go at all if I can’t find a way I’ve never been before and learn something I never knew. If you want to travel my way let me know. Otherwise let me go. You stay home. ♥

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434

Let me tell you something. I’ll only say it once. I won’t repeat myself. Even if you’ve heard the words before, listen carefully. I went into darkness and silence was there. Total darkness and total silence. Brothers and sisters of the same mother and the same father. My next of kin. I heard the words “I love you,” and the words “Do not be afraid,” though nothing interrupted the darkness or the silence. I heard the words and repeated what I learned. “I love you,” I said. “I will not be afraid.” If the light comes I will be grateful. If not, I’ll find my way. If more words come, I’ll be educated, but if not I’ll know anyway. ♥

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Sleeping Beauty

I have an old story within my heart, part memory, part fairy tale of a night I went camping in a forbidding wood and as I walked to where my camp was laid beheld the dark, impenetrable fortress of the trees arrayed against my entry. All seemed uncouth, all seemed against me. Yet on I walked over broken ground, fighting down my fear and trepidation, to enter into darkness yet more profound and by the light I held found yet the camp I knew prepared and finding it enjoyed a slumber all the more sublime for winning it against my own reluctance. That is the story and the moral. Join me there. Remain not where you are in safety. Leave what you think you know of light and brave what’s out there. ♥

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Holy One

God has given me a challenge. He has revealed you to me, yet left me no way to express my helplessness before what He has shown. That would be you. I will never comprehend, but I will never deny the honor of this anguish. ♥

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The Low Down

You don’t get what you need all the time. You get that thump in your chest, those sparks in your brain, but what you need most comes in spurts and flashes, meteoric and concise, like the last glimpse of that diamond you dropped down the drain by accident. That’s OK, honey. It’s only money. You get another chance. Next year’s calendars are already on the New Arrivals shelf. Give yourself a break. Pour yourself a drink. Give yourself a kick in the ass if that’s what it takes. Hit the brakes. Hit the gas. But don’t leave the road. It’s nothing but weeds out there. You wait forever for a tow or walk all that way back home. ♥

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An American In Madison

Fat motorcycles, trendy folk and hangers on, people pretending they know what the hell they’re doing and making laws between tequila shots, getting married, getting buried, kicking sand a long way from the beach and no art, no God damn art, unless you think its therapeutic and then we’re all artists. I hear thunder in the air. It could be a storm, one of those interruptive downpours, or it could be Armageddon. You know, reality come to crash the party. ♠

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Rhapsody In Blue

When I was a boy, I listened to this song. You cannot hear it now, I know. There are a lot of songs you can’t hear anymore. The Song of Roland; the song of my heart when first we kissed, the Song of Bernadette. No, I never kissed her; the song of half a dozen guys pulling all along a rope at the same time. All together now. No, you never heard those songs, but I heard them and my heart still thrills. I hum them. “I’ve got a gal that’s mighty sweet.” Here’s another. “Oh Mary, Mary you wicked girl, what are you doing in this desperate world? You’ll ruin your fame and fortune too, by playing on your,” the way my grandfather taught me. We used to sit there fishing and I’d take a puff of his cigarette. You should have heard grandma, “Jack,” she’d say, “what are […]

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