An Early Christmas Gift

An Early Christmas Gift.

Steve Bannon, aka Wormtongue, was indicted and arrested today for his role in a fraud within a fraud—raising money for Trump’s wall. I do so hope we will be able to watch him being led away in handcuffs on the evening news.

The Trump campaign, which has long embodied the expression—if given lemons, make lemonade, has announced that the Republican Convention will air an “Indictee night” on August 25th. It figures to be a doozy. The likes of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen and others will offer a full-throated appeal to re-elect Trump. I’m making popcorn.

On the subject of an early Christmas gift, I have an interesting question for those skilled in constitutional law. Is it possible to indict an alien? No, I don’t mean someone from Guatemala. I mean someone born on another planet, in another solar system, in another galaxy? I’m writing, of course, about chief presidential advisor, Stephen Miller. Wouldn’t that be a fine gift?

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The Birds…The Birds

The Birds…The Birds.

More good news this morning. The headline in the NYTimes is: Interior Dept. Finalizes Plan to Open Arctic Refuge to Oil and Gas Companies

We are about to hear a lot about how this will give us energy security and lower our prices at the gas pump. Sure. If you buy that, I have this bridge I can let you have at a low pandemic price. It’s been in the family…

Oil and gas companies will make some money. The 1% will make some more money—although they are running into some serious money storage problems. And, the rest of us will swelter in the increasing heat and go to google to look at and hear birds and animals that are no longer.

In a just universe, the birds will be gathering on Pennsylvania Avenue. Two very large crows will have just shat on Mike Pence’s head—although he appears not to have noticed. The birds will have all seen the Hitchcock movie—multiple times.

They are waiting for you Donald. They are serious animals—not susceptible to political bullshit—they are waiting. The birds…the birds.

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Public Service Announcement

Trump’s War on Christmas.

As a Public Service announcement today, The Post Office strongly urged you to mail all Christmas cards and gifts before July 31st , if you hope that they will be delivered on or before Christmas. They also clarified their policy concerning the delivery of your Mom’s medication. “At this point,” a spokesman said, “It is what it is.”

Trump seemed blindsided by the consequences of his attack on the Post Office. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “It’s not fair to hold the president accountable for these additional mail delays. He was not aware that the Post Office delivered anything other than mail-in-ballots.” “After all, she added, he’s never needed to use the Post Office.”

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Trickle Down

Republican lawmakers have devised a plan to rush Covid-19 vaccine to the 1%, providing immunity to those who matter. Republican Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, said “herd immunity will then trickle down to the masses.”

Ted Cruz, who called the plan “masterful” noted that “it will save hardworkingAmericanworkers billions in tax dollars.”

The implementation of the plan, which has the blessing of President Trump, will be overseen by Jared Kushner through his new distribution company, “IGotMine.”

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What did Trump say about it?

1 + 1 =3.

My good friend Bernie didn’t have a wagering bone in his body, which was a good thing for him. He slowly built a reputation for “backing the wrong horse” 98.3% of the time. We could count on Bernie. If Bernie said the Giants were sure to beat the Dodgers tomorrow, we could be sure that our $5 bet on the Dodgers would be enough to get you a veal parmesan sandwich at Tony’s Pizza on Utica Avenue. Bernie was a priceless resource.

The lead sentence in a NYTimes article today is: The president’s demands for reopening classrooms helped convince many teachers that it would be unsafe. And there you have it. Of course, we need to get that venomous moron out of the White House before he kills most of us, but imagine how well we could do as a nation when he becomes (as seems inevitable) a talking head on Fox News.

War with Iran? What did Trump say? Invest in clean energy? What did Trump say? Vaccinate your children? What did Trump say?

The possibilities are never ending. All we need do is wait for Trump to weigh in on any given issue and just do the opposite. I never thought I’d say this but Trump may be a priceless resource on the road to “making American greater.” He should resign and start at Fox today.

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New poem on Pure Slush

In the anthology: The Tyranny of Bacon. This poem was written with my local deli in mind—up on Hegeman and Amboy, I believe. It was the first place I had lunch out with my friends in Elementary School. A Kosher deli, of course, so no way bacon was on the menu.

Breakfast All Day

When I was eight
I was finally allowed
to go the four blocks
to Ernies
for breakfast out
with Joel and Marvin
It was as grown up
as I have ever felt.

I had a bacon
and cheese omelette
and a plate of home fries
I could barely see over.
Who knew from bacon?
Who knew from an omelette?
My mom was not an adventurous cook
I breakfasted on Wheaties,
half a browning banana,
and an occasional bagel.

Over the years Ernies
became my home
away from home.
They did a BLT
so loaded with bacon
you had to pound it
with your palm
to get your mouth around it.
It’s the place we ate
after my high school graduation,
and you could tell if a date
was worth your time
by her reaction to two eggs
sunnyside up
with extra bacon
and a toasted english.

They went under this year,
fast-fooded out
by MceeDees and Burger King
where there isn’t much difference
between the breakfast sandwich
and its styrofoam box.

I walk by Ernies
I always stop
for a minute—
not just
to relive
the fine memories
but because that corner
will always
smell of bacon.

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The Collapse of the Base

The Collapse of the Base

Republicans everywhere are running scared today. Our intrepid reporter, Smokey Diamond, reports that Trump has for the first time refused to supersize his lunch. Club members at his New Jersey golf resort say his short game has gone to hell. Lindsey Graham needed a Heimlich to help clear the flag pin he accidentally inhaled while nervously chewing on it. Republican Governors in the Sun Belt are planning a region-wide prayer meeting, in which citizens will link hands and implore the son of god to suit-up.

The base is in danger of crumbling? What, you might well ask could cause the base to abandon the Repubs? After all, they are fine with 5 million cases, fine with hundreds of thousands of deaths, fine with their parents and grandparents dying in isolation. They are even fine with sending their children to schools that are in no way prepared for the pandemic.

But… It has been reported that the College Football season may be a no-go. If that should happen, we at Stevieslaw are predicting that the base will finally put down their beer and cheese doodles and realize that something is wrong here. They will not be happy to watch reruns of the 1984 season.

They will be out on the streets chanting—What do we want? Football! When do we want it? Now! They will loot sporting goods stores and throw old trophies at the National Guard.

And they will be anxious to vote those bastards out.

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Hall of Fame

My poem, Hall of Fame, is up on Silver Birch Press today as part of their Landmark Series. Here is the poem:

Hall of Fame
We were not
a wayfaring

My dad drove
a taxi nights
while mom worked days

at a discount store
How is it

no one speaks
of the weariness
of the poor?

A six-block trip
to the local
chop suey joint

after a double
was quite a night.

But the summer
I turned 12
dad announced

a vacation
to Cooperstown
at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There was not
a boy in all
of Brownsville

that didn’t envy
me that trip.
And, yes I milked it.

The three of us made
a week of it.
meandering through

the back roads
of New England—
admiring all that green,

while my dad
spoke of Ty
and Babe—

Honus and Christy
and Walter as if
speaking of old friends

and my mom
told me of my grandfather—
a man I never got to meet.

And the Museum?
Well that was
wonderful too.

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RavensPerch Second Poem


When I was a young man
I’d take to the shore—
counting on the salt-slap
of wind off the North Atlantic
and the emptiness
of that unearthly horizon
to rouse me
from a melancholy
that held me bone deep.

It was best
when the weather
was foul—
sky teaming with
ocean to perform—
arousing a primal fear
like the snap of ozone
almost overwhelming.

Today, as far from youth
as I am from the sea,
I take an ancient trail
to the peak of Wind Gap—
above the tree line
of oak and hemlock.

The trail is steep
and slick in spots
and as I struggle up
I wonder, out loud,
how man could have
conquered McKinley.

City bred,
I am outside my ken—
the hilltop scoured
of all life
might well be on Mars.
But the view is breathtaking.
The locals say
you can see three states
from here
and that the wind—
strange and strong
and cold as December,
can turn you around.

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I’ve two poems published today by the RavenPerch. Here is the first


Dad would never
let on how he got
his nickname.

Even mom, who used
Sonny for all but scolds,
wasn’t telling

and you’d have
more luck convincing
some chicken Colonel

to part
with the nuclear codes
than in persuading

his old friends
to let you in
on the secret.

A shrug
and a wink
was the most they would offer.

we had theories—

some relic
of a wild
and lurid past—

though dad
was the kindest man
I ever knew.

watching a crop
of neophytes

search for enlightenment
could not have
been more pleased

than dad
as we tried to puzzle
it out.

Once, just before he passed,
dad and I took
a gentle stroll

around the neighborhood
and he pointed
to a stranger and said

there is
a whole life
we cannot imagine.

But I didn’t
the connection.

Just last week
a friend used
sonder on a triple word

in Scrabble.
I lost the challenge,
but finally understood.

And, now the word,
like some fond, fair memory,
will never leave me.


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