Stevieslaw: Yearning just appeared in Ekphrastic Review

My poem Yearning has just appeared in the Ekphrastic Review.  The poem is based on my wife Karen’s wonderful photo/abstract– she photographs flowers against a background of  one of her abstract paintings.

The link is above.





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Stevieslaw: Me volveria atras si fuera tu

Stevieslaw: Me volveria atras si fuera tu

David Lauter reported today in the Los Angeles Times that Donald Trump told reporters flying with him on Air Force One that “there’s no need for full border wall.”

Later today, The White House will formally report on the new plan for border security with Mexico. Stevieslaw has gotten advanced notification.

The new plan will involve up to 100 signs written in Spanish and in English. In Spanish, facing Mexico, they will say “me volveria atras si fuera tu,” and in English, “I’d turn back if I will you.”
The last phrase, you might recall, was popularized in “The Wizard of Oz.”

The White House will also announce that Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Mexico, has agreed to pay for the signs—a huge victory for Mr. Trump, and one that is sure to please his supporters. Mr. Nieto said, “I will write a personal check for the signs. I only hope to god it will get that moron off my back.”

Fair and Balanced News (Fox) reports, “the erection of the signs will employ up to three hardworkingamericanworkers for nearly two weeks, another victory for Trump!”


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Stevieslaw: Rust Belt

My poem, Rust Belt, is one of five finalists for the goodreads monthly poetry prize.  If you are a goodreads member, log on and vote for the best poem (mine I hope).

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Stevieslaw: Feds Clear Trump’s Son

Stevieslaw: Feds clear Trump’s son

Fox News trumpeted the headline this morning that Trump’s son was not under investigation. Although, Sean Hannity promised that details would follow, Fox has not followed up on the report.

Said former Speaker, Newt Gingrich, “This is wonderful news, though not unexpected. We’ve long known that this investigation was just a witch hunt.” Vice-President Mike Pence agreed. He was just about to attend his fourth prayer meeting of the day, when the news broke at 7 A.M. Said Pence, “I’ve prayed that this would all come to a quick end, and this looks like the beginning of the end to me.”

Speaker, Paul Ryan echoed that sentiment. “This is the kind of good news we’ve been waiting for.

There are unconfirmed reports that Jared Kushner might have cracked a smile.

Undarr Rocks, spokesperson for the Special Prosecutor said, “There is no evidence that 10 year old, Barron Trump was involved in any way. We were naturally curious about his play dates with children of Russian Embassy officials, but these were all quite innocent.”

“He has never been under investigation,” said Mr. Rocks. “As a parent, however, I find it nice that he has friends.”

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Stevieslaw: The Casino on the Corner

Stevieslaw: The Casino on the Corner

Anti-tax Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature, who have steadfastly refused to impose additional taxes on Marcellus Shale natural gas production, have an ingenious plan to close the 2 billion dollar revenue gap in the current budget. In fact, they are hopeful that the plan can be extended year after year to provide hardworkingAmericanPennsylvanians with a nearly tax-free existence.

Republicans plan to allow roughly 1000 mini-casinos in residential neighborhoods throughout Pennsylvania. One will go in a “difficult-to-sell” single family home on the corner of our block, just across from the school bus stop. “Our goal is to create a mini-casino within walking distance of every Pennsylvanian, so that we may continue to collect revenue even after the roads, bridge and other bits and pieces of infrastructure have gone to hell,” said Hed R. Tails, spokesperson for the Republican majority.

Mr. Tails said that the casinos will allow for all the usual forms of gambling—including sports gambling. They will serve alcohol and offer licensed prostitution. That’s a huge revenue source.

“The casinos will be open 24 hours a day,” said Tails. “But, activities will be strictly confined to the building housing the casino,” he said, “And they will be closed on Sunday—as the good lord decreed.”

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Stevieslaw: Dr. Bill

Dear Dr. Bill,

Enclosed please find my ernest (your spelling) money in the form of a $250 certified check in answer to your ad in the National Enquirer. Your offer of a by phone, self-esteem clinic, similar to one just featured in a New York Times article, sounds like a godsend to me. Although I can certainly afford “face to face” counseling, I do not like to leave home for long periods as my family is apt to change the locks. Once, they moved to Milwaukee.

I am married with two or perhaps three children. Spite is 3 and his/her near twin, Malice 3.5. My wife, Molybdenum, claims that she is an alien. As proof, she cried continuously for two and a half years after watching the movie ET. I met her at a symposium on the harmful effects of cosmic rays, at Cern, in Switzerland some years ago. Their particle accelerator burped (a technical term) and there she was in the seat next to mine. This was unfortunate for Professor Ng, who was in the seat at the time. He screamed Molybdenum and vanished. As you may have guessed, I am a theoretical physicist. My thesis, “The Double Knot in Superstring Theory,” caused quite a stir when first published. Unfortunately, it seemed to annoy Stephen Hawking quite a bit. Later, my paper “A Briefer, Better History of Time,” seemed to irk him a little as well. No telling. Just yesterday, he tried to run me down with his chair. Not for the first time I might add.

I have low self esteem. I believe my childhood is to blame. I was born and raised in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. It was a tree lined street—a Sycamore as I recall. My father was a professional boxer, who’d retired before I was born. He made little conversation, preferring instead to twitch, grab what was left of his right ear with his left hand and scream, “OK”. My father felt that growing up in a nice neighborhood was a disadvantage, and every Friday night, between drinks, he would load the car with the kids and drop us in some neighborhood in Brooklyn, Manhattan or the Bronx. Queens, as we all know, is for sissies. And Staten Island. Why bring that up at all? In this way, we could be systematically pummeled by Italian, Polish, Black, Puerto Rican, Jewish, Chinese and Irish gangs. Once, I was nearly tickled to death by four Buddhist kids in Prospect Park. The beatings had little effect on my two older brothers, Armed and Dangerous, and no effect at all on my two younger sisters, Ready and Willing. It is surely a weird twist of fate that my brothers are now in the hairdressing and grooming industry, while my sisters make license plates for the State.

I was a special child. My distinguishing feature was bronchitis. I coughed. My bronchitis was recognized throughout Central Brooklyn, as I kept most of the neighborhood awake, from roughly 10 PM to 5:30 AM from late October through early April. For years, everyone in the neighborhood was haggard and I’m proud to say that the expression, sleep deprivation, was born of that era. Often, my family would load me in the car in the hope that the motion would drive me to sleep. I was smart enough to fight against that, however, as the few times that I did fall asleep, I would wake to find myself abandoned in Coney Island, outside the Steeplechase. The police would take me in and force feed me large quantities of ice cream until my family could be located. The concept of lactose intolerance —hives, breathing difficulties, and coma—dates from my evenings at that station.

The good thing about my bronchitis was that I had a refillable prescription for all the cold and cough medicine I might ever require. The bad thing was that my mother used the medicine in her cooking, which for some archaic reason was illegal in New York City (although it is currently the only light industry left in the upper Mid-West). Before she was jailed, there were some great evenings when the family—the twitch, the witch, Armed and Dangerous, Ready and Willing, and I—would sit around the Sterno can and drink. Sometimes our dog, Lassie, would drag in a neighborhood kid, Timmy, and sit with us while she gnawed on Timmy’s leg. Sadly, I have no family portrait.

I was raised by my grandmother, a bookmaker. She couldn’t cook and never cleaned, but taught me how to play any game involving a deck of cards. She also taught me how to mark cards—the second most useful skill I ever mastered. I shared my space with various uncles and cousins, each named Vito. They were also in bookmaking—collections to be precise— and were always going in and out of the slammer on charges related to lead pipes or fashionably short shotguns. While other families would get in their vehicle on Sundays to visit relatives and share a fine dinner involving a roast and potatoes, we would visit the Post Office lobby to admire our family photos displayed prominently on the wall.

My grandmother lived in a small apartment between the Allen family and the Brooks family. Woody and Mel were my best friends. They called me Al, which was great as my parents had never gotten around to naming me and I had thought, for many years, that my name was OK. They were great kids. Woody, even at age four, was a chick magnet, while Mel could talk his way out of anything, anywhere. They were always creative and invented games and diversions by the dozens. I was often included in these events—a star even—although the props were likely to be tar and feathers, or the Sycamore tree and a rope. Thanks to them, I got much better at running and hiding—my first most useful skill.

It’s improbable but true that Woody, Mel and I had the same birthday. For all I know, we still do. Imagine the fun the three of us had! Their parents would throw these incredible parties they termed “birthday duets.” I was never invited, but was free to cough behind the thin walls. Well, I was invited one year, when they persuaded me to dress as a piñata. Heady days.

I have to close now Doc. The tykes have found the nail gun and have started on my door. I believe I smell gasoline as well and I’m fairly certain I can hear the hum of a motorized wheelchair. As my story is fairly common, I’m sure you can help me and that my money has been well spent. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


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Stevieslaw: Back to NAFT

Stevieslaw: Republicans are back to NAFT

When we first reported in January that the Republicans were planning to repeal Obamacare and replace it with NAFT (Not a Fucking Thing), most of our readers were appalled. No one could be that cruel was the general sentiment. But, as pointed out by Paul Krugman of the New York Times, they can.

Not a Fucking Thing accomplishes the two major goals of all the Republican “repeal” bills. First, it kills the Obamacare taxes and returns the money to the most deserving—the super-rich. And second, it takes health care away from tens of millions of Americans that the Republicans consider moral defectives—you know like the single mom working three jobs (without benefits) to feed her kids.

So, we are once again predicting that the Republicans will repeal Obamacare and replace it with NAFT.

Is it too much to hope that we might all get off our asses and vote in 2018?

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