Memo

The darkness used to be ignorance. Now it’s technology. Every time I see a person walking down the street with head down and their eyes glued to a screen, I know they’re illiterate. ƒ

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Zeno’s Revenge

I had this professor back in college. I guess I grew up in a time when we realized not all professors were very bright. Maybe I grew up since. Anyway, this professor gave us an assignment to answer Zeno’s Paradox. Here’s how it goes. Zeno asked, “How long does it take an arrow to reach the target?” Old Zeno was a Greek. Philosophers love to answer their own questions. “Oh, I know,” said Zeno. “Stay with me now. The arrow can never get to the target, because before it gets to the target it must travel half way to the target. And before it gets half way to the target it must get one fourth the way to the target and before it gets one fourth the way to the target,” and so forth. “Therefore it can never reach the target.” Legend has it Zeno didn’t just answer his own […]

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A Dragon’s Tale

I met a dragon. It’s one of the dragons who live in our neighborhood. I heard him the other morning breathing out by the curb. I mistook the sound for a neighbor shoveling snow, you know, the rhythmic rasping a shovel makes on pavement. “How are you doing?” I asked. “Not bad,” he replied. “Yourself?” He looked roughly fifteen feet long from our tree to the corner, covered with green metallic scales and a tail that ended in a flared point like the ace of spades in a deck of cards. When he blinked a play of electricity flashed around his eyes like Christmas lights in the daytime. “Mind if I rest here?” he asked. “Go ahead,” I said. “I can see you’re draggin’.” He ignored the remark. Dragons get all kinds. “Want your walk cleared?” he asked. “I can handle it,” I said. I pantomimed shoveling snow. Like I […]

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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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God Loves Me

Today I went to a bookstore and bought a book. I did not intend to buy the book and the bookstore deals in used books so of course I could not buy a very new book, so I took particular delight in buying an old one. I bought a book printed in 1897. That kind of book store. The book is entitled A Year From A Reporter’s Note-Book by Richard Harding Davis, published by Harper & Brothers of New York and London in, like I said, 1897. In the book Davis writes of witnessing the Coronation of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra and we all know how that turns out. And he writes of attending the Millennial Celebration at Budapest and we all know, but wait. The people of 1897 did not know. They had no idea nor did Richard Harding Davis and as I read I found myself swept […]

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B & B

The room didn’t get it. “Why,” he thought, “do they always make romance pink and frilly, more a mauve, that color between awful and bordello?” He brought his wife here for their twentieth anniversary. If he’d known the pictures were this accurate, he’d have made reservations somewhere else. The bed and breakfast had four poster beds, chintz curtains and tasseled tie backs and oh well, they booked two nights. “We can put you in the Shangri La room,” the woman said. What a woman, blousy and slightly smelling of spray perfume, probably Paris Nights though he had no way of knowing and would not ask. “I love it,” his wife said when they entered the room. “This is just right.” They had been married twenty years. They had their differences. Then it happened. He began to look around. The room had been decorated on a theme. A woman had gotten […]

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One More Excerpt

The answer does not come from the problem. The answer comes from God. The cabin on the frontier, the mansion on the hill, do not come from the inventiveness of man or woman. They come from the willingness of God that they should come at all. It is not us against the wilderness, it is us in agreement with the will of God. The way we find our way is the way God allows us to find. The wilderness journey is not a test of our endurance, it is a test of our faith. Endurance is the manifestation. The origin is our relationship with God. If we have one we live and we live illuminated. If we don’t we live anyway, but darkness prevails and without light we fail of direction, hope or knowledge of why we came into the mysterious design. The answer does not come from the problem. The […]

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Another Excerpt – Same Novel

I want to sing as the bird sings in anticipation of the dawn. I want to sing as the bird sings in sunlight and clear blue skies. I want to sing as the birds sings in the twilight and gloaming, under the leaden skies of impending rain and through the tempest, yet keeping my wings over the flock for which I have been made responsible. I want to sing as the bird sings. They have no reason to do it, other than the fact they are birds. I have every reason to do it, born as I am and into a country of heritage and dreams so big even the world cannot hold them for we have gone into the void. We have gone to the moon and there are so many more void and barren places into which we must go, but first we must learn to sing. Everything […]

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Don’t Give Up – Excerpt of a Novel

Don’t give up, America. Don’t give up. Keep trying. Don’t let them tell you it isn’t worthwhile. Don’t let them rob you of the confidence to try by telling you it isn’t as pure or fine or noble or heroic as you thought. They haven’t gone through what you’ve gone through. They’re trying to make a name for themselves by denigrating yours. They’re revisionists, but their revisions don’t read as well. They just leave you with a vague sense of indecisiveness. They rob you of yours confidence. Don’t let them do it. Don’t let them tell you the old stories aren’t true or the great stories aren’t great, that the method of transmission is more important than the message transmitted and that media is the message, that what matters is numbers not individuals and everyone has a right to be exactly who they want to be without reference to anyone […]

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Paternity

“You son of a bitch.” That’s what he said. That’s what the man heard sitting at the bar. “You son of a bitch,” the kid said a second time when the man at the bar old enough to be his father didn’t respond. You don’t respond right away to son of a bitch if you’re sitting at a bar. You take your time. You want to turn around real slow if you turn around at all and see who said it, see if they’re talking to you and if they are talking to you it may be a fight whether you are one or not. So he started turning real slow. “You raped my mother. I’m your son.” “So that’s it,” thought the man half turned from the bar. This guy is my son. He looks like me. “Glad to meet you,” he said. “Buy you a drink?” The younger […]

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