Stevieslaw: Shortly, Spring

In spite of everything.

I first put this on a few years ago on a beautiful winter day.  Today qualifies.


Shortly, Spring

Today, a brightness has overtaken
the grim wintry gray we suffer here,
in the shadow of the great lakes.
Our walkways are still patched
with the grease of black ice, that
makes walking a test of uprightness.
But, in the fence corner, at the edge
of my small land, I listen to the
trickle of freed water as it slides
off the edge of an old shed roof,
and speaks eloquently of the spring.

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Stevieslaw: The Next Logical Step

Stevieslaw: The Next Logical Step

Donald Trump tweeted today on the response to the Nunes memo: Poor little Adam Schiff told me it would be so, so hard to edit the Dems long and disgraceful political memo and asked for my help. I told him I would rewrite it and he gratefully accepted. Dems incapable of hard work. Vote Republican.

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Stevieslaw: My haiku a finalist at thehaikuguys on instagram

Please vote for my haiku on Instagram—thehaikuguys. It is one of three finalists.

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Stevieslaw: Spiro Agnew

Stevieslaw: Spiro Agnew

Nixon had an enemies list. We are quite sure Trump has one too. But, Nixon was able to remain “presidential,” essentially because he had Spiro Agnew to sling the shit. Agnew knew more than 15 words, but the sentiment was the same.

Back to 1968 and some Agnew quotes:

An intellectual is a man who doesn’t know how to park a bike.
In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism.
If you’ve seen one city slum you’ve seen them all.
Some newspapers are fit only to line the bottom of bird cages.

Sound familiar?

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Stevieslaw: Trumptosis

Stevieslaw: Trumptosis

The last person I expected to hear from on Thursday morning was Myron’s wife Marsha. You remember Myron—my fiery red-headed cousin with a temper to match his hair color. Marsha and I agreed not to talk about anything but the children years ago.

Our conversation was short. “If you don’t do something about your crazy cousin,” she said, “I will have him committed.”

Myron explained that he was dropping things. “Just today, I broke 11 cups and bowls, 4 pieces from an antique chess set, my electric razor and three mirrors,” he said. “And my wrist—when I fell and broke my cellphone.”

“When did it start,” I asked?

“I was watching the State of the Union speech and dropped the TV remote,” he explained. Then, I bumped into the TV and knocked it off the wall.”

“Help me,” he pleaded.

Believe it or not, Myron has always been one of the more stable members of the family. Our family coat-of-arms would be sure to feature a hysterical baby. I got Myron in to see a new shrink, who had just opened an office on Pitkin Avenue. His ad said that he specialized in treating Trumptosis—nervous symptoms arising from having Trump as President. The most common, it turns out, is a form of nervous exhaustion that may manifest in dropping and breaking things.

The doc recommended an extensive vacation in a country whose alphabet is unrecognizable and cable TV is very, very rare.

I just dropped Myron and Marsha off at the airport. They wouldn’t tell me where they were going for fear I might contact them and bring up Trump in conversation.

On the way home, I got a ticket for distracted driving. It’s my fourth since Tuesday night.

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Stevieslaw: Hi. It’s Jeff.


A little bit true.  We were online booksellers before Amazon came in.  We made money first, but they seem to have had a better business plan.

“Hi. It’s Jeff.”
We started in our basement. They followed a few years later in their garage. We both sold used books on line. That was as close as we came to being Amazon.
They knew very little about selling books. Jeff would call a few times a day. “We’ve bought thousands,” he asked. “How do you price them?”
“We use the industry recommended technique,” we explained patiently. “Get five large garbage cans. Label the cans $5 through $25 by fives. Line them up with the lowest price nearest you and toss the books into the cans. Mark the books that miss, “rare.” For those, pick a price that makes you smile.”
Jeff was on the cover of Young Entrepreneur. In the interview, he described his garbage can method for pricing books. Not a word of thanks. We sent him a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. Do you think he read it?
“I bought a mess of musty books,” he whined. “What do I do now?”
“Put the books in a bucket of cat litter for exactly 30 hours,” we told him generously. “Then shake them out, flare them open, and direct a strong fan on them. After precisely two weeks, you must set them out in the afternoon sun. An hour or two should do. Then throw them out.”
Jeff did an interview on CNBC. When asked about musty books, he whispered “cat litter.” We did not get a mention. We sent him a musty copy of Catch 22.
“Condition is driving me nuts,” he practically screamed. “How do I describe condition?”
“Everything is very good to someone,” we said kindly. “Label the ratty stuff “scarce”and sell it high.”
Jeff was interviewed by Time Magazine, the week before his IPO. He fielded the book stuff with aplomb. “Everything is very good to someone,” he said of condition.
We sent him a 5 ton crate of old German family bibles—the only books that no one, ever, has been able to resell.
That Sunday, Jeff had an ad in The NY Times Book Review. It read: “Incredible find! Free old German bible with any order over $100. While they last!”
“One swell deal,” we thought, and were almost tempted to order.
Jeff only called once again. “I’ve decided to become a re-reseller,” he said, sounding happier. “I’ll let people like you deal with the booky stuff and I’ll just take a commission.”
“I hate books,” he said and hung up.
We helped make Amazon what they are today. No finders fee. No thank you. Not even a gift card we could use to buy back that slightly musty copy of Catch 22, which is ratty enough to be rare.

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Stevieslaw: Soul on Ice

I am doing some research into the happenings of 1968, a truly terrible year, with the thought that it might cheer me up about the present. I came across this quote from Eldridge Cleaver in Soul on Ice. Perhaps, it’s deja vu all over again.

“It is not an overstatement to say that the destiny of the entire human race depends on what is going on in America today. This is a staggering reality to the rest of the world; they must feel like passengers in a supersonic jet liner who are forced to watch helplessly while a passel of drunks, hypes, freaks, and madmen fight for the controls and the pilot’s seat. —ELDRIDGE CLEAVER, Soul on Ice, 1968”

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