To the gills

This is not a poem
It is a metaphorical pipe
For one can smoke it
Like a king salmon
In a smokehouse
Where the fish gather
at the smokehouse pub
a yearly school reunion
where the fish enjoy
smoking poems.
Three wishes!
said the kingfish
smacking his lips
Three wishes!
I am parched
I rolled this poem
from parchment
though it is distinctively
fishy behavior
I offer my kingdom
for in the sea
you must see
one can hardly ever
find a light.

Old Jack McLantern, a warning

“What is a Jack-o’-lantern?” she asked.

“It is a pumpkin, hollowed out, its flesh carved with a design, usually a face, and a candle placed inside turning it into a lantern. Do you not have them?”

“No. But why is it called Jack?”

“I don’t know. I suppose, since there is usually a face carved in it, it was given a name – Jack.”

“No. There is always a reason why,” she said.

The Jack-o’-lantern is related to the Will-o’-wisp. It literally means “Jack, of the lantern.” The Will-o’-wisp occurs in folklore throughout the world, in various forms, the lights seen in the distance being souls, lost souls. Usually witches.

Meanwhile, their erstwhile compadre, the Jack-o’-lantern exists in various folklores. Occasionally, it is known as Jack McLantern.  For Jack was a wicked soul. And the devil one day came to claim him. But he made a deal with the devil. As one would sometimes, often, do in a folktale. For our dear protracted protagonist, a jack of all trades, was, in fact, a thief! And one day he was being chased by villagers. It was this day the devil came to claim his soul. But he made a deal with the devil. The devil protected him from the villagers. For Jack was more afraid of their wrath than the wrath of the evil one. And as part of the deal, the ever wily Jack, he made the devil promise that he would never go to Hell. And it was agreed. And Jack was off. He got off, Scott-free, or so he believed.

“Who is Scott?” she thought.

But sadly, he did not bargain for immortality. For he had heard the betrayals that occurred in such deals. So when he died he was, by his own bargain, disallowed entrance to Hell. While his additional years of wickedness insured he could also never enter the kingdom of Heaven. With nowhere to go Jack was doomed to roam the Earth forever as a Will-o’-wisp. However. Jack was ever a wily one. And his favorite food was a turnip, later morphing into a pumpkin, as things happen in folktales. And his spirit, a shiny, shimmering spirit, giving off the light of Hell fire, was trapped within. It turned a mundane foodstuff into a shining lantern. And it protected those who utilized it from spirits ever-more-so malevolent and powerful than Jack by showing them a terrible fate. 

Reign of error

Hark, dear friends, a terrible fate

America ran down the sewer grate

Beavers shouted “damn!” But it was too late

They were attending a party at 10,000 a plate

“What to do?” said the otter to its mate

“Why I otter…” was the reply-but it was too late

The Dragon said, “We’ll consolidate!”

“We can own this parched landscape if we concoctitrate!”

“If anyone tries to stop us we’ll denunciate!”

“Berate. Sublimate. Keep both eyes on Homeplate. Trust in me and I will make this land again great!”

“The first thing we’ll do is seal up those drains.

So we can keep all the water when it rains.”

And the creatures sang the dragon’s grand refrains

And they praised his renowned business brains

So they sealed up those drains

And muddied those plains

And reminded that only a traitor complains

About the mixture of clean water with sewer drains

And how drinking sewage causes stomach pains

But complaints, the dragon, he disdains

For it is his golden reign.

Let it rain golden showers.

Let it rain. Let it rain.

We are all freaks. Solidarity.

1916:
The gentleman raised an eyebrow. He said, “I shan’t go to the circus for the freaks are revolting!“
His servants responded immediately. “If the freaks are revolting I must go and lend my immediate support! For I love a revolt! Revolution!”
Also the gentleman’s wife left him. For the bearded lady.

Cold Civil War Heats Up

I can’t stand when Nazis try to lecture the public on politeness. But it does prove the old adage that those who can’t do will always try to teach. After all, the complaint that Nazis aren’t being treated fairly is nonsense. I’m willing to bake them a same sex wedding cake, same as anyone else.

The Nazis finally get some men in power, and still no respect. They just can’t win. What totalitarians hate most is people laughing at them. Their hatred is very serious to them. They expect you to respect their hate. Nazis love to be the center of attention but they hate being the butt of the joke.

The right wing is being torn apart slowly by the stress of having to take a stand on the NAZI issue. How uncomfortably sad for them. If they side with the Nazis they will be in the minority. They hate that. They hate minorities. And that makes them side with the… Soon they will be fighting each other in the streets. But at least the police will leave them alone.

Those who support Donald Trump are a shrinking minority. Which is awful for them, because they hate minorities. Reminder: The Republican party does not support this kind of hate. It supports a kind of hate with a slightly different presentation. Tactics are important.

Southerners were so angry following the Civil War, after John Wilkes Booth, they went and took over the Republican Party. It is interesting the Republican Party base is so patriotic. Considering they are made up primarily of confederate traitors and nazis. Abe Lincoln would never put up with this hogswallop.  I suppose we would’ve let the south secede, had they not been holding hostages.

Because Nazis have misused the term feminazi they’re left with nothing to call their own women. Irksome, as they don’t consider them equal.

The Nazis have never done anything decent for humanity. Except invent toaster strudel.

Which I won’t eat on principle.

Mimes are confusing to nazis. They like them because of the white face. But hate them because they are mute. Then they realize they’re making fun of the mute. They like that. Then they decide the white face is insulting.

When you say something nice about nazis that means you’ve lost the argument.

Eric Trump says his father tunes out criticism to prevent suicidal urges. Even his own son. Making Hitler comparisons. Say what you will about Donald Trump. He loves his kids. They make excellent human shields.

Evangelicals vote Republican because someone explained the horror of the free market to them and they thought it sounded like a revelation.

For the record, I am against forest fires, hurricanes and typhoons. I have opinions about a lot of extremist weather conditions which are counter to those of the ruling elite.

Let’s keep things factual: the American medical system is the only death tax applicable to 99% of Americans. There is no surer way to separate a family from money than sickness. In the USA. There’s a whole industry built upon it.

Trump today signed an executive order abolishing hope. He stated, “There is no hope for me – why should anyone else have it?”

Without getting too in to it, I’d vote for Colin Kaepernick in the next election. He’d never stand for this BS.

 

A heartbreaking Iron Maiden tale

2008. Amsterdam. I enter an empty bar. It is the dead of winter. It is cold and the streets are deserted. As is the bar. Deserted but for the barkeep. A British man standing behind the counter looking stoic. Early Iron Maiden plays featuring the first singer, Paul Di’Anno.

“My boyfriend left me last night and took all my records. All but Iron Maiden. The early Maiden. With the best singer. Paul Di’Anno. But it’s all right. I can listen to Paul Di’Anno the rest of my life.”

Stiff upper lip.

 

A proper airing out

A night out with the clown is not all it’s cracked up to be.

The clown strolls down the sidewalk his balloon hanging behind him, half inflated, like a dog being taken for a walk. What slim string holds a balloon to its master? It is convention. To a balloon being half inflated is to hang dejected. Not up. Not down. Just there. Any dreams the balloon once had have long since popped. Where do balloons go when they sail away aimlessly skyward? To salvation? Or are they ultimately eaten by the sun? I cannot tell you. Because if you look too long at the balloon it means you’re taking your eyes off the clown. The balloon is a diversionary tactic employed by clowns throughout the known world. The oldest trick in the book. When you develop a tingling excitement regarding the advertisement “balloon tricks,” you have already been ensnared in the trap.

Balloons contain thoughts. Exclamations. Hopes and dreams. Each balloon, each balloon filled by a clown, is filled with thoughts, exclamations, hopes, and dreams. Every balloon a repository of such. Filled by a clown.
From where? From where?

These things encased in artificial skin. Divided from the real world by a colorful but transparent wall. Turning the outside world into a fun house mirror of horrors, every day and accute. Of one color. I have one viewpoint. The result of one vantage point. The result of a definite imprisonment at the awkward hands of a clown.
The clown sneaks up behind you and delivers a tentative touch. You feel deflated. There is laughter, not yours.

Universal robotics

‪”But I don’t think I need to be reprogrammed,” said the robot.‬‪”That is exactly the kind of thing we all say when we need reprogrammed,” said the robot doctor. ‬

‪”That does not compute,” said the robot.‬

‪”Hey, who’s the robot doctor here?” said the robot doctor. Then she laughed. Kind of a tinny mechanical laugh. Just a whiff of robotic condescension. The product of millions of dollars worth of research, that laugh. Let us be clear – it is not meant to reassure.‬

You can’t tell people how you perform a trick if you also can’t do it. 

‪”The president is a wonderful magician,” said Mitch McConnell.‬

‪”How so?” said Paul Ryan.‬

‪”When he saws a lady in half he actually saws a lady in half.”‬ ‪As he said this Mitch McConnell smiled in that creepy way Mitch McConnell smiles.‬

‪”I’d love to see that!” said Paul Ryan. Because he is also an immoral creep.‬

Killing you softly with our love

I wrote this to commemorate the death of Ronald Reagan.

It ran in a magazine in Texas. Still true today.  

Killing you softly

by David Raffin

Very rarely do people kill politicians. Especially given the fact that so many people fantasize about doing so. But Americans are apathetic; they often fail to follow through on things. Do you not have a list of things you have “just not gotten around to?”

People have a bad attitude about killing anyway. They don’t think killing is wrong, but they are wishy-washy about the whole concept. Some people think it’s all right to kill prisoners but not babies. Others think it’s all right to kill babies but not prisoners. (You may argue my semantics, but you cannot argue my logic. Or, you could argue my semantics and my logic; but you would be wrong. And you would have to face the possibility that I might kill you for that.)

Likewise some people think cops killing people is all right while being very adamant that killing a cop is always wrong. Still others think cops should not kill but it’s all right to kill a cop to stop him from killing.

If we were a less apathetic country this conundrum would incite vigorous debate and our streets would run red with blood.

But, as I said, hardly anybody kills politicians even though most would like to see many of them dead. Few people kill cops, even though they are all around and access to guns is easy. Cops kill people pretty often—but if you look at the large number of cops in any city and consider the number of people they would like to kill—the actual killings are a statistical blip; hardly worth getting upset about.

For a country obsessed about killing we are just not doing as much as we could be doing. We are a nation of slackers.

Sure, you think about killing politicians but do you ever bring it up for discussion? I have. And although people change the subject pretty quick, I can tell by the look in their eye that it intrigues them. After all, it’s quick, decisive, and smacks of frontier justice. It honors the past while addressing the present. Dare I say it’s patriotic? This country was founded on killing the British and destroying their tea—and sadly we have drifted away from these noble beginnings.

Now, some of you nay-sayers who like to argue are probably whining, “But we kill people in other countries. We kill lots of people. What about that? We kill more people before breakfast than many nations do all day.”

And I say, sure. We kill foreigners. But that is a separate issue.

Also, I admit that we kill each other more than other nations do, but not as much as we’d like; secretly want to. That’s what separates us from them. They want less. We want so much we set ourselves up to fail. That’s what I’m getting at. That’s what we’re discussing. Our defeatism. How you people are letting all of us down and sinking this country into the depths of apathy and defeatism, shirking your duty, spitting on our traditions, and leaving a few visionaries to pick up the slack. And complaining. Oh, how you all complain. Because you’re unsatisfied. Because you have all these urges to kill and you suppress them.

Granted, occasionally someone tries to kill the president. Rarely do they succeed. Some say it’s because they just don’t want it bad enough.

Do you realize that Ronald Reagan was in his nineties when he died of old age?

In a Viking culture this is a disgrace, a shame, and a slap in the face. With your help he could have died honorably in battle. Hell, every president could; and every city councilman, mayor, governor, and congressman.

Our politicians know we’re letting them down and they try to get us back on track by drafting worse and worse laws, more bizarre tax codes, giveaways to the rich and takeaways from the masses, and other efforts to try to enrage us into action. Our politicians want to die in battle!

I note this for those in the audience of Viking descent. Shame!

How can you Viking-Americans live with yourselves? Especially you Viking-American-Republicans? Triple Shame. You disgrace your own leaders. They ran because they had a lust for glory and the fight in their hearts. You have let them down. If I were them, I’d kill you. I hear they’ve been working on it.

Consider: politicians kill more people than people kill politicians. On reflection you’ll see this is true. Politicians of all stripes have worked hard to punish criminals with harsher sentences, including death. And they have worked to make death apply to more crimes and to carry out these killings with greater speed and less paperwork.

Really, are you willing to sit there and let them work harder than you; possibly outperform you for years before you are spurred to action?

These people are simpletons and yet they work steadily toward their goals. These goals happen to be more killing. Will you be left behind?

 

Hark!

Hark, dear friends, a terrible fate
America ran down the sewer grate
Beavers shouted “damn!” But it was too late
They were attending a party at 10,000 a plate
“What to do?” said the otter to its mate
“Why I otter…” was the reply-but it was too late
The Dragon said, “We’ll consolidate!”
“We can own this parched landscape if we concoctitrate!”
“If anyone tries to stop us we’ll denunciate!”
“Berate. Sublimate. Keep both eyes on Homeplate. Trust in me and I will make this land again great!”
“The first thing we’ll do is seal up those drains.
So we can keep all the water when it rains.”
And the creatures sang the dragon’s refrains
And they praised his renowned business brains
So they sealed up those drains
And muddied those plains
And reminded that only a traitor complains
About the mixture of clean water with sewer drains
And how drinking sewage causes stomach pains
But complaints, the dragon, he disdains
For it is his golden reign.
Let it rain golden showers.
Let it rain. Let it rain.

 

Spin the Revolution. 

When economic inequality reaches its zenith the rich will have to consume ever so much more to keep their economy afloat.   They’ll have to buy things just to throw them away.

  History is difficult to grasp in modern contexts, without references to deals, low prices, blowouts. Thank you for your quality service.

  We treat our low-wage employees just like we treat our veterans. And vice versa.

  This Pearl Harbor day watch for our surprise sales. Low prices rain from the sky.

  As long as the financial elite can profit from global climate change nothing shall be done about it.  

  Yesterday an acquaintance was fired for not being social enough. Corporate America craves your false friendship. Smile.

  We are not the people cowering at the arrival of the intergalactic warlords. We are the intergalactic warlords.

  Come the revolution we shall stop forecasting what comes after the revolution.

Burn this flag, please

I question all the proposed laws against burning or desecrating the flag. That’s bad for business; ergo it is un-American. Think of it: every flag burned is product moved. Flag burning should be encouraged. That’s good business.

Otherwise flags would have to be manufactured to wear out sooner. Or the design would have to change seasonally to encourage sales. Only a traitor waves last years flag. Displaying an old flag from the back of your pickup truck? Prepare to be pulled over and ticketed. It’s all about your safety. Security.

You’re either with us or against us. Remember, America is about shopping and turning in (on) your neighbor.

The media tells me about many things I need to buy. It seems my old toothbrush is not doing an adequate and hygienic job. There have been technological breakthroughs in the field of personal hygiene and I am being left behind. How can anyone love me; I live in the filthy world of yesterday.

Still, there is the hope of stability. We do not hope for peace, as the starry-eyed utopians, but stability—the utopia of the hard-hearted realist. War. It’s good for the economy they say; it sells American flags. They’re made in China, but still, business is business.

There has been much talk of terrorism in the last decades. I want to say this clearly so it will be well understood: Terrorism is peachy. Otherwise we would not have funded it. It’s stimulating the economy.

This country was built on terrorism. It was not for nothing our founding fathers stole and destroyed tea. It was so that we, their heirs, would be free to steal and destroy tea. Do not let anyone tell you it is not your right to steal and destroy tea! Our boys in uniform fought and died to insure that right. The stores are filled with tea. Go out and do your duty citizen! Anyone who tries to stop you is a traitor.

One principal of private property (the foundation of the Free Market) is that you have the right to slash your own tires.

They’re yours. You paid for them. How dare someone prevent you from slashing your own tires!

Friend, I will fight for your right to slash your own tires—just as I will fight for your right to burn your own flag. Remember, burning flags is good for the economy. Stimulates flag sales. Anyone who tells you otherwise is anti-business and anti-American. They are traitors.

You can either be pro-business or anti-flag burning. Logic dictates you cannot be both. Those who cannot choose are wishy-washy liberals. Which is just another word for traitor. Stand in the middle of the road long enough, buddy, and I will run you down.

I say defend your rights: Slash a tire today!

If you do not use your rights you will surely lose them. I understand you may not want to slash the tires on the car you drive to work. You shouldn’t let that stop you. Let me suggest that you slash the tires of city police or state patrol vehicles.

Do you not pay taxes? Are those not, in fact, your vehicles?

How could any politician argue otherwise? Do they not all promise to “slash government?” You are just doing your part to help. You are a patriot and you are defending your rights—as well as the rights of all Americans. Anyone who disagrees is a traitor.

Those tires are yours to give and yours to take away. If they don’t want you to slash them, perhaps they should have business pay for them instead. The businesses write the laws in this country, so they might as well write some checks for the upkeep of their government. They already give money to the politicians and parties, why not to the government? Why should they expect us to pick up the tab?

The business of government is the business of business. That is why businessmen run and control the business of government.

We hold this truth to be self evident: that the business of government shall never perish from the earth. To secure this truth, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the businesses governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of business to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

The Pepsi generation is ready for a fight.

Will we leave the field scattered with paper cups and bottle-caps with “Sorry, not a winner” imprinted under them?

We may have no choice.

Thankfully, ideology only brings out the best in people.

Whenever terrible things happen the intelligentsia inform you the age of humor has ended. Because they don’t want you to have anything.

Will there be funny jokes during the suffering? Yes, there will be funny jokes during the suffering. But the laughter will be desperate.

This country used to have slaves. But the word was distasteful. So we replaced it with other words more socially acceptable.

Under the new regime poets shall be stripped of their words and forced to communicate via color wheel.

Why is there so much disaffection in the USA? Because people there have been trying to buy happiness for too long, and it isn’t working.

People always say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But they never say the reverse, “if it’s broke, fix it!”

You can’t buy happiness. Happiness is given away in exchange for personal data used for advertising.

After the terrible election fiasco, the USA is finally getting back to normal with another mass school shooting.

I have the best nightmares. They are the stuff other nightmares are made of. No one can defeat my nightmares. My nightmares are winners.

“All groups are inherently exclusionary or will inevitably become exclusionary.” I read that on a men’s room wall when I was 19.

‪Sometimes I am informed how lucky I am to be a man. Other times I am informed I am not a man. It’s a controversial definition. ‬

Honestly, when I was in kindergarten, first day, I couldn’t figure out which bathroom to use. But I got it eventually. Now I just go anywhere.

A sales circular says these are the final days. Apocalypse news filters through in store displays. Everyone pays in different ways.

‪”Only in America!” As Yakoff Smirnoff would say, would the phrase “water is life” be controversial.‬

It’s been a long emotional journey. But I’m ready to eat pancakes again. I just can’t afford them.

Modernity as it relates to walls

I awake. I think of breakfast. I post on Facebook about breakfast, and get a warm response. Yet no breakfast occurs. I become concerned that there are rats in the walls. My walls. Rats. There is an alternative explanation which seems too cut and dry. This is a world where rats in the walls are as plausible as any other explanation. I would be disappointed were there no rats in the walls. My walls. Those rats! It is not something I could accept. It is a good opening line for breakfast. “I have rats in my walls.”

Are these American rats, these rats in the wall? Are they outsiders looking to ingress or insiders looking to egress?  Do they want my food? My breakfast? I punch a hole in the wall and cold air ingresses. The chill of the night invades the inner sanctum. I dance a dance of bitter cold. I shout out sanctimoniously. Rats have put a hole through my abode! Rats! Rats in the walls!