Sunday, August 23, 2020

What The Tennis Legend Said


Ken Rosewall was playing at a tournament at UCLA.
He sat in the stands during a break. I headed his way
To ask him about his backhand. I hoped he’d hold court
And reveal the secret of his shot --- the best in the sport.
Rosewall kindly went into great detail --- I happily thrived
On each remark he made until his next opponent arrived.
I didn’t ever wind up competing in a professional tennis event:
At twelve, I had managed never to hear an Australian accent.
In this chat, I was so focused but that dialect was formidable:
I hung on every word without understanding a single syllable.
I learned about language then, not tennis. To be candid, one
Should also add that this assessment isn’t a backhanded one.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Pandemic Postcards (Vol. 2)

Yeah, We All Now Have Bigger Fish To Fry

This took place in a very crowded Ralphs parking lot
With a rather alarming amount of haste.
An old white guy's BMW was an awful shade of blue
Suggesting he had more money than taste.

Three young Asian guys got in their crappy Smart Car
Right beside it and before
They knew what happened, they dented the Beemer
On opening up their door.

The old white guy glared, the kids panicked, this could
Escalate into a nasty buffet of f-yous
But the old white guy shrugged and said "No worries"
A line he borrowed from his nephews.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Posting This Today Because It's His Birthday

The Main Reason I’d Like To Get A Time Machine

I want to go to Neptune, New Jersey around
1944. A young boy planned to participate in
His grammar school’s variety show. The song
He chose was “Managua Nicaragua.” Freddie
Martin’s orchestra recorded the first version
Of this and it went all the way to number one
On the Billboard pop charts. The boy belted this
Out while wearing a red and gold paper crepe
Cape and he had a bellboy’s sort of monkey hat
On, too. Forty some-odd years later, he grinned
During an interview and recalled, “It was rather
Flamboyant, I would say, for a seven-year-old.”
Why am I so eager to travel back in time to see
This? After all, the boy didn’t go on to have a
Career as a singer. However, he did become
An actor, the best of his generation. My God,
What a thrill it would be to see the cheeky first
Performance by Jack Nicholson.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Disorders & Deities

My autistic son who often
Is at a loss himself
Pasued while taking a bath
And seemed to cross himelf

Did I misinterpret that
Hand gesture a smidgen
Or has Jeremy somehow found
A way to get religion?

His access to godlike things
Would have certain gaps.
My wife and I don’t attend services
And are devoutly lapsed.

But maybe some bit of belief
Sang to Jeremy like wishes
Perhaps the prestidigitation
Of those loaves into fishes.

The sight of an actual crucifix
Might be a bit too real for him
He doesn’t drink wine but communion
Wafers might appeal to him.

Maybe this is something I imagined
Maybe it’s a serious phase
Or just proof that autism and the Lord
Work in mysterious ways.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thoughts Years Ago After Seeing Clive James On TV

Some turn to God and a church to join ---
Others worship Chance, the flip of a coin.

Religion and gambling? The breaking news
Is how each one has their own set of pews.

One trusts that life is just how He planned it,
The other has faith in the one-armed bandit.

Where does your spare change go of late:
In a slot machine or on a collection plate?

Friday, November 22, 2019

November 22, 1963

Is dead. Is dead. How all
The radios sound the same.
That static is our seed.
Is dead. We heard. Again.
We peck at the words like bran
Strung on a string of air.
Is dead. Again. Is dead.
Too rhythmic for despair.
Our faces are all the same,
Learning to taste the word.
Lockjawed with awkwardness.
Is dead. We know. We heard.

--- Chana Faerstein


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been (1941-2019)

I’m sure many people later on
Were so jealous he
In 1962 at Stanford was given
Free doses of LSD.
This guy’s sugar cube sugar daddy
I need right here to say
Was this research project that was
Sponsored by the CIA.
Did volunteering in this program
Ruin him? Make him stressful?
Hard to say but his solo attempt
At singing was unsuccessful.
Did he wind up a Sixties casualty and
Fall tragically by the wayside?
A forgotten musical B-side who never
Managed to have an A-side?
Actually, his songwriting took off:
He became a true sensation
As many of the songs he penned
Helped defined his generation.
I know that you know some of them
(This is all on the level)
Like “Uncle John’s Band,” “Truckin’”
And “Friend of the Devil.”
The CIA made him psychedelic. I know
They have conflicted loyalties
But are they maybe entitled to some of
His songwriting royalties?
That’s for others to debate and decide
And all that now needs to be said
About Robert Hunter, the main writer
Of lyrics for The Grateful Dead.