Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5-Finger Discount

Now that Robinsons-May is gone,
I’m free to tell this story
Without fear of recrimination.


Quite a long time ago
In this Beverly Hills department store
My life of crime began.

I stole a book:
The Zebra Derby
By Max Schulman.

He was a top notch
Mid-20th century humorist
Who most famously created

Those screwball imps
Dobie Gillis
And Maynard G. Krebs.

I read the few first sentences,
Laughed out loud and was hooked.
I can’t explain this obsession.

Yeah, I know, I could’ve just
Gone to a used book store and found a copy
But I felt as if I had to have it

And there.

I didn’t do this kind of thing back then
And certainly don’t do it now
But there I was

Suddenly embarking down a dark path
From which I might not
Ever return.

Committed to proceeding with this brazen act,
I rationalized it by concluding:
What could they charge me with?

The volume in question was in a bookcase
In a display of den furniture
And wasn’t even for sale.

It was like going into a Denny’s,
Moseying over to the salad bar
And pilfering a decorative sprig of parsley.

As I picked the book up
And way too casually
Flipped through it,

I felt more anxious than a drunk driver
Who just rear-ended a cop car
At a sobriety checkpoint on New Year’s Eve.

The only other thing more nerve-wracking
Was sauntering out of the store
Leaping into my car

And trying to make a smooth getaway.
I managed to wave and smile
At the security guard

In the parking kiosk like the law-abiding citizen
I had (until five minutes earlier)
Always been.

I still don’t grasp what made me do that
But have sympathy for others lured in
Similar moments of impulsivity.

The Zebra Derby
Has been sitting on my bookshelves
In two apartments, one duplex and three houses.

At some point in the not too distant future
I may even get around
To reading it.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Germany Wins World Cup

Mario Goetze’s unforgettable goooooooooal
Had him sprinting like a cheetah:
It was the worst thing to happen to Argentina
Since Madonna starred in “Evita.”


Saturday, July 5, 2014

UK Phone Hacking Trial Ends: Top Murdoch Men Go To Jail

What conceivable scandal could ever top this saga?
A new story raises creepy suspicions
About a decades-long cover-up of a pedophile ring
That involves top British politicians.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Oklahoma GOP Primary Challenger Claims Man Who Beat Him Is An Imposter

Timothy Ray Murray doesn’t say Frank Lucas
For whatever reason took a hike
But was killed in 2011 and replaced by a robot
Or perhaps by a human look alike.

So, can we go ahead & conclude Murray’s crazy?
Well, what you just see is
A guy who’s unbelievably upset at losing. Hold on:
Is he nuts? Yeah … he is.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thoughts On The 40th Anniversary Of “Chinatown”

This was the first film I reviewed for the
Student paper at UCLA.
I saw it in Westwood, took the bus home
But stopped along the way

On Sunset at The Eastern Star Home:
I didn’t want to have missed a
Chance to see what in the movie was
A rest home in Mar Vista.

(It’s now become The Archer School for Girls.
Competition to get in is obscene:
It’s the kind of place Evelyn Mulwray would’ve
Attended if she were now a teen.)

That evening, I talked to my parents as
The three of us had dinner.
We all realized the line between films &
Real life had gotten thinner.

Decades later, I drove out with my own family
To yet another “Chinatown” location ---
Big Tujunga Wash in the San Fernando Valley
Where J.J. Gittes did some investigation.

The dry bed where he looked for clues was
Still a swash of mud and silt
But on the mountains above it, a rather large
Development had been built.

The past (if you look hard enough) is still there
But the present’s fate I’ve found
Is always wanting --- not unlike Noah Cross ---
To try & throw its weight around.


Saturday, June 21, 2014