The End of May

The End of May--A Sonnet on Unemployment

Without a job I might sit all day long
And never stir, and never forward e-
Mails on, or conference call--just pass the bong
Back to my workless cohort in the t...
That is perhaps how things were meant to be,
I tell myself as I skim YouTube all
And all, not answering a single call
But lounging, naked, memeing a symphony.

This cannot last I know. I stare it down
Each day, the deadline when insolvency begins--
But still not working, living like a clown
On constant holiday from the circus, wins
Most games of guilt my parents play--They frown,
I smile. Soon even they won't know the ins.


A Broken Sonnet--


Refresh. No news. What have I haven’t searched?
Refresh again. Who cares? Huffington Post.
Perhaps an H-Bomb graphic? Perhaps share?
The first one to succumb is no doubt toast
If snipers are allowed--they are in most—
Refresh. No news. Refresh. Whence comes the boast
About resistance to the internet?
No boast. Refresh. Refresh. The western host
Is free to be renamed in this market--
The beam of the right wing is not the most
Persuasive iteration on this coast--
There yet are better bets, but still, and yet
If we act now all will be seen as lost.
Self-abnegating being is no doubt our greatest cost--

Google Reader Shares--A Sonnet

There is a certain time of day
When Reader shares run dry
When commenters all go away
And I curl up and cry—
Alone, alone, I sigh,
Dreaming of the needle’s eye
And flocks of camels trouping by
Watching rich men slowly fry—
But before long I kneel and pray—
I click refresh—again—oh please—

No shares! I weep, I fall apart,
I cannot hold myself at peace—
Shared items bolster up my heart,
Without them I would surely cease—

Deep Dark Heart

Classic photo of my kitties from the archive.

Tribute to The ACTUAL God

A blogger called The ACTUAL God did live.
He produced posts prodigiously and proudly,
He was a blogger all proclaimed quite loudly,
His comedy was not derivative—

A wit with a perspective for the ages
A master of perception and of farce
His posts were clean but never over sparse
A trove of insight richer than most sages’.

Alas, he’s gone away, he is long drowned.
We’ve lost him like an eaglet fallen down
From his lorn nest onto the harshest ground.

He’s frozen somewhere—we are left to frown
And wish his voice would once again expound
The vital words of which he wreathed his crown.

Only in New York

Today had all the makings of a glorious day. As I trudged up to work at 7:25, leaning hard into the hill on top of which sits my college, I noticed the sky turning an ominous shade of gray as drops of precipitant began to fleck my hair and glasses.

"I love this weather," I said softly to myself, and I meant it; I love mixed weather. It may be an attribute of my fiery Scots-Irish blood, I don't know, but mornings like today's, where bright sun shines brutally from behind rainclouds, leave me feeling full and powerful.

That it was the last day of classes for this semester probably informed my positive attitude, but as with my favorite kind of weather, the rain cloud of having to get my car out of the pound in Brooklyn loomed against the sunlight of the term's completion... I've been a bit delinquent in paying the tickets I accumulated prior to my car's last impoundment... Right, I'm terribly irresponsible, I know, I know. It's all my family talks to me about.

I digress.

Classes were fine. All were ready for summer. I tried to entertain the kids by playing a video I thought they might enjoy about a long forgotten historical epoch, but the computers at school are so paucitous YouTube barely even loads. No matter, after a few hours classes were over and I was placidly riding the 7 train out to Queens.

After switching to the G, I got off at Greenpoint, walked the several blocks to the impound lot while continuing to enjoy the turgid weather. I redeemed my car (which was *criminally* expensive)... I felt the flare of reunion.

Listening to some leftist anti-nuclear chatter on NPR as I crossed the Queensboro Bridge my car's engine stalled out.


The car went into neutral, the accelerator flapped like a loose spinnaker powerlessly to the deck--I panicked.

Happily my version of panic is to become more calm.

I was already on the down slope of the bridge, but in case you didn't know it is incredibly hard to steer a car in neutral... Somehow I managed to guide the car down the ramp through raw strength and onto the side of the road below, off the bridge (at that really awkward place where if you go right you can get on the FDR but otherwise you have to go straight across 2nd ave or go left and south).

I paused for a second, then started the car again. Whirrrrrr..... No problem. Great, on my way...

I pulled onto 3rd avenue when I was cut off by a predictably priggish cabby. As I pressed on the brake the car stalled again, only this time I was ready and glided safely onto the shoulder.

Some time later, after trying to explain to 4 meter maids (truly the most meretricious and mendacious provocateurs in all of society) that I wasn't parking but my car was broken down and that I was waiting for a tow (I wasn't in an actual spot so this drew constant attention) I began to lose my patience.

The first approached and was mildly sympathetic, saying "What can I do buddy?" as if I had asked him for something.

Sometime later (after several cops had stopped beside me to ask why I was illegally parked and not whether I was broken down) another man on foot stalked up and said, after my initial explanation, "You're not broken down, you're playin' on your phone." I thought, "What is this, a Chappelle Show skit?" but what I said was, "Oh, I didn't realize I wasn't allowed to use my phone while waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck."

He responded:"You could at least have your light on."

To which I without hesitation:"And kill my battery also? I've been waiting here for almost forty minutes." It had been at most twenty five.

"Forty minutes for a tow?"

"Imagine it." He wanted to give me a ticket. I could see it in his vulgar, non-comprehending eyes.

I admit I was not perfectly decorous; though regrettable it was also merited. I simply mirrored him after he approached with so much inborn hate, so ready to immediately judge (and after his despicable breed had put me in the absurd situation of driving back from Brooklyn in the first place).

Anyway, much to his chagrin, a huge tow-truck immediately arrived beside us and he walked off scowling. I won't be surprised if he tries to give me a ticket anyway, but if he does I will fight him and extend his shame to the law courts!

In any event with the arrival of the truck the mood of things shifted utterly if not at once.

Eddy, the tow man had some trouble loading my car, and I was of no assistance, being generally of the effete set of males whose skills do not extend far into the physical realms. He also went to great pains to point out to me some tow-truck-caused damage he detected on my car (in order to exonerate himself) that for all I know was done years ago.

But once we were riding it was all good. Eddy is in an extremely good natured, Guatemalan gentleman in his mid thirties.

"So, you're a musician, eh?"

"Yeah. How'd you guess?"

"Oh, the long hair, the pins on your jacket. A real rocker, huh?"

"Not anymore. Actually, I used to play some Latin music."

This was my first 'mistake,' if you can call it that, for without it what proceeded surely would not have.

"Oh yeah? Vincente Uribe. Juan Calonas. My favorites. I play. I am a musician. I tell you what man, nothing is better for the two things I love in life than being a musician. I go to Queens, you know Queens Boulevard, all the Mexican restaurants? I go there (this was when I was single, remember. I'm married now and boy is my wife a jackhammer, God she keeps me in line! It's cause she knows, she remembers how I swept her off her feet with my music.) Anyway, like I say, my wife was just one of the girls then, and I go from restaurant to restaurant on Queens Boulevard and man, I get the two things I love for free: girls and drinks, man. That's where it's at. Though, lot's of people, you know what? They offer me drugs, and I say: no thank you man. My company, they call you up at three in the morning, they give you a drug test every month, no doubt. You do drugs, you flunk the test, bye-bye job, bye-bye drinks, bye-bye girls. But the music it can maybe win them back. I haven't tried it, because you know what, I never try them. Never."

"That's good."

"Hey, if you don't mind... Can I sing for you one of my songs?"


"Okay. Now it's in Spanish, it's a famous song I've just adapted, kind of my own version..."

Twenty minutes later we arrive at the shop. He's a good enough singer, I suppose. But as he kept insisting, "I only do this around my family and friends. It entertains them." After twenty minutes I have a new brother.

But it was all good and thoroughly amusing considering the ridiculous circumstances. As we rode across the park to the west side I hadn't really been paying attention to where we were. After giving the mechanics my info I wandered out.

Shaking Eddy's hand as I passed him on the sidewalk I headed east.

Taking a turn, I unexpectedly found myself facing a steep hill, right next to a subway station. I was back, two blocks from school. So much roundabout and costly movement had brought me back to the bottom of the hill where I began.

Bemused by the serendipity, I took the 1 to the 2 and walked home.

This Week in Movies with DB Shane

Arlo Harshenstein has expanded from the blogosphere into feature films. His debut directorial effort, "Going Steady," was reviewed this weekend on This Week in Movies with DB Shane. Check it out (including a clip from the film!):