Thursday, January 31, 2013

Keeping Up On What’s Going On In The World Is Serious Business

It’s important to focus on the major news stories
That assault us every single day
Like immigration reform and --- hold on: the guy
Behind the Manti Te’o hoax is gay?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

67% Of Texans Favor Impeaching Obama

Statistics along these lines suggest the folks
Living there quite soon are
More than ready to change Texas’ nickname
From Lone Star to Loon Star.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bipartisan Immigration Reform (Finally) Looks Promising

This is extraordinary --- a very big deal and what
Republicans hope to see
Is Hispanics sneaking across political borders and
Switching to the GOP.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Berlusconi Has Kind Words For Former Fascist Dictator

Silvio, trust me: it’s a big problem --- not
One that’s remotely teeny ---
To reach back to the last century’s pages
So you can praise Mussolini.

A lot of us are hoping this will wind up
As your final finito
And you’ll soon be history like your old
School paisan Benito.

Your reinterpreting history has a way of
Making the most basic facts hurt:
In other news, your dyed hair will look
Lovely with any blackshirt.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Major TV Shake-up

This unquestionably marks
The end of an era
This parting of the ways of
Fox News and Sarah.

Dreams of political greatness
Are now kaput --- note
How a once bright light dims
And becomes a footnote.

Cancel the parades
Call off the flotilla:
Forget ever having
Heard of Wasilla.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Like Romney, Netanyahu Was Caught Off Guard In Election By His Pollsters’ Skewed Data

Completely depending on internal polling
In the face of an imminent loss
Of electoral seats --- or an election --- is
Just whole lot of mishegoss.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Military Lifts Ban Against Women Being Allowed In Combat

This development is an extraordinary change and one
Could easily argue this situation
Will have an immediate impact on Jessica Chastain’s
“Zero Dark Thirty” nomination.

Mitt & Ann Romney Travel To DC This Weekend

If some of you reading this now are at all like me,
You may possibly try to think
Of who they are but draw a blank, which is why
I’ve included a Wikipedia link.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fox News Hires Rove Through Next Presidential Election

Insiders claim that “Bush’s Brain”
Is surely going to be expected
To spend the next four years proving
Obama wasn’t really reelected.

The further speculation regarding Mister Rove’s
Specific upcoming chronology
Is on 2016’s election night, Megyn Kelly will offer 
A full and complete apology.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Don't Forget Your Monkey

This was inspired by a story
in 2009 that ran on KCET
in Los Angeles.

*                      *                      *

In North Hollywood, California
Is Madison Middle School:
Something once happened there
Which was rather cool.

35 students took some time off
And flew across the nation
To be among the freezing millions
At Obama’s inauguration.

The brainstorm of Terre Fallon
Who teaches language arts
Will remain forever in all of
These kids heads and hearts.

Fallon asked for corporate help
To finance this expedition
But no corporate help showed up
To aid them on this mission.

Fallon luckily had a Plan B
Which turned out to be dandy:
The kids would raise the money
By selling bars of candy.

Car washes added more funds and
These efforts were so energetic
Other teachers made donations who
Had become quite sympathetic.

(There’s a good lesson here for the
Times we live in ---
The things we earn are better than the
Things we’re given.)

These students come from modest means
And I should’ve already stated here
They also got trip money from their folks
Many of whom immigrated here.

Cindy Rivera has El Salvador roots
And as she did her packing
She realized that her one suitcase had
Something that was lacking.

A stuffed animal, a personal favorite
To take on her first trip from home
And bringing this little creature along
Is what inspired this poem.

Cindy has Obama’s glow of Hope:
She’s perky, bright and spunky
And she told her Dad that she really
Wanted to bring her monkey.
*                      *                      *

A lot of people don’t dare to dream
They settle for what’ve they’ve got:
This choice they’ve made eventually
In their stomach becomes a knot.

But people like Cindy, Edwin Lua
And also Jennifer Tran
Know at their young ages to believe
Not in “I can’t” but “I can.”

As we head for the stars, we want
Something familiar to bring
With us on this uncertain journey
That makes our hearts sing.

*                      *                      *

Wish a wish, pray a prayer
Take a chance, dream a dream
Walk the walk, talk the talk
Dare to try and make the team.

Believe in belief, trust in trust
Embrace the new and funky
Be bold, don’t put your life on hold
But don’t forget your monkey.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Compares Obama’s Health Care Plan To Fascism

I’m not making this up & have provided a link
So you don’t have to Google a
Guy who doesn’t know that it’s rather unwise
To mix politics and arugula.,0,4828712.story

Friday, January 18, 2013

Republicans Mourn Giving Up Their Debt Ceiling Hostage Plan

Like kidnappers kicking it old school who
Threatened Getty-like to mail back an ear
They realized that Plan A won’t work and
Then had to sheepishly declare an all clear.

Postmortem On Judd Apatow’s Disappointing “This Is 40”

The message moviegoers
Seem to have sent would
Suggest disinterest in any
Suffering in Brentwood.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NRA Warns Members That Taking Back Guns Could Be Coming Next

This isn’t true but Obama’s thugs
Have been ordered today
To soon be prepared to confiscate
Wayne’s La Pierre’s toupee.

NRA Says “Attacking Firearms” Isn’t A Solution

The fierceness of the NRA’s panic at
Legislation suggests this lesson:
Churches worship various gods but
They worship Smith & Wesson.

To obtain they protection they seek
(I’ll offer this advice gratis)
Maybe the NRA should go ahead
And apply for church status.

Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make much sense
As a gun-lovers methodology
But this is the kind of thinking that’s helped
The supporters of Scientology.

Forget the second amendment! The NRA’s
New plan will have hinged on
Not guns but on how their religious beliefs
Are wrongly being impinged on.

This kind of bold thinking outside the box
May allow them to survive this test
And gives new meaning to “Praise the Lord
And pass the” --- you know the rest.

Another Thought About Glenn Beck’s Planned Libertarian Community In Texas

It feels like a cult &
Suggests jeopardy:
(Boxes of Kool-Aid
Sold separately.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Glenn Beck Plans To Build A $2 Billion Libertarian District In Texas

What a wonderful thing! The timing’s perfect.
This retreat will be a sacred
Place filled with God-fearing patriots: call it a
Gated community of hatred.

Dallas Tears Down Ex-Home Of JFK Assassin

Who cares if Oswald was part of a vast plot
Or if he was just a loner?
The man took out a Democratic president &
Was also a gun owner. 

The NRA should’ve bought this building &
Engineered its redesign
So that it could become a place of worship:
A sharpshooter’s shrine.

That is absolutely the kind of structure that
Now should be there
Which is why so many are so disappointed
In Wayne LaPierre.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another Thought On Gun Control

Since there are so many gun owners
Who simply love to shoot
And use their weapon of choice as
A manly substitute

Whatever plans now being made for
Proposed legislation
Must surely try to openly address this
Specific situation.

New laws will result in gun shops across
The country having begun
To post signs saying, “Your Penis Must Be
This Big To Buy This Gun.”

Friday, January 11, 2013

FDA Suggests Women Take Smaller Ambien Doses To Avoid Automotive Difficulties The Next Morning

This potentially could cause Sanofi (who
Makes the drug) much woe and
Result in a car issue that I call DLLL ---
Driving Like Lindsay Lohan.

A Thought On Gun Control

Most rabid gun lovers from
Salem to Salinas
Act as if the government wants
To take away their penis.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bonds, Clemens & Sosa Get Hall Of Fame Bum’s Rush

Baseball now needs a new Hall Of Fame
Where standing ovations and hugs
Await all those players known to have
Used performance enhancing drugs.

Barry, Roger and Sammy won’t again
Ever care about Cooperstown
Once they’re told all of the details about
The new hall called Doperstown.

Competition is also fierce but entrance
Over there ultimately hinges
Not on home runs or batting average but
On having embraced syringes.

All of their exploits out on the field will
Have a chance to be protected:
This is how a shot in the arm (or lower)
For baseball will be injected.

Tricky Dick’s Political Career Was Launched With Covert Help From The L.A. Times

Nixon’s anxiety about entering politics
Disappeared and he became calmer
Realizing he had a loyal confederate in
A Times staffer named Kyle Palmer.

Better still, the one other person who was
His de facto Times handler
Was even higher up the paper’s food chain:
Publisher Norman Chandler.

But pendulums shift & Nixon later would
See that things had gone bad
For him when he had become the target of
Times cartoonist Paul Conrad.

His initial Times benefactors made sure that
Nixon for a while would stick around.
His later Times detractor made a career out
Of having this president to kick around.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Televisions Will Allow Channel Surfing With Hand Gestures, Not A Remote Control

I don’t mean to stand in the way of change
Like some Luddite martyr
But instead of “smart TVs” I’d rather see
Viewers getting smarter.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

L.A. Icon Huell Howser Dies At 67

Look over his long career &
What you’ll likely see is
Huell may have been the guy
Who invented gee-whiz.

He only seemed like a rube
Heavy on the aw shucks
But he managed to make
An awful lot of sawbucks.

Sincerity will always be mocked
And fodder for hazing
But the force of his personality
Simply was “A-mazing!”

Like “Lonesome” Rhodes in Kazan’s movie
Huell was never cowed:
He stood out in every room he entered, never
Just a face in the crowd.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Al Gore Sells Current TV To Al-Jazeera, Could Make $70 Million In Deal

That really is a lot --- no, make that
A ton --- of money, so one
Has to be impressed because that
Channel’s watched by no one.

This certainly proves that Gore’s a genius.
It’s not even mid-winter, yet
I’m thinking maybe he was smart enough
To have invented the internet.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Entry In A New Notebook For A New Year

The pages flip with cooperation of
Index finger and thumb.
A purr of flickering whiteness ---
Respectful, quiet, numb.

It’s way too soon now to divine what
Kind of year it will be:
The handwriting isn’t yet on the wall
Where anyone can see.

A prayer descends like a shadow
Eager to be bestowing
Strength to deal with whatever
Spitballs fate is throwing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

To Someone I Never Saw & Will Never Meet

(It appears that the final chapter of yet another
Southern California bookstore will soon be written.
I used to hang out there pretty regularly and wrote
this poem a few years ago after a memorable visit.)

Cliff’s Books: a used bookstore
in Pasadena, California.

The middle of a lazy afternoon
in the middle of March.

I’m browsing in the back of the store
with my back to the front of the store.

I’m thumbing through a collection of poems that
a student who became an activist in the 1960s

and then a cultural commentator in the 1980s
wrote in the 1970s.

Its only saving grace is that it’s
both age & decade-appropriate

in its colossal pretentiousness.
I hear someone walk in & approach

the gray-haired man at the front desk who’s
a) extremely knowledgeable about books

b) helpful as well as friendly and
c) is not Cliff for whom the store is named.

The female customer
is audibly brunette.

Young Woman: By any chance,
are you hiring?

Older Man: I’m afraid

Young Woman: OK … Vroman’s Bookstore is
nearby. Do you think they might need anybody?

Older Man: I’m afraid
I don’t know.

Young Woman: Oh. What about Book Alley? They’re
a little east of here. Think they might be short of staff?

Older Man: I’m afraid
I don’t know that either.

There is a brief
but decisive pause.

Young Woman: You’re afraid
of a lot of things, aren’t you?

The Older Man laughs.
So does the Young Woman.

Such sly impertinence gives me
hope for the future.

Christie Blasts Boehner For Delay On Sandy Relief Bill

I wish I could spy on their next meeting
When they go mano a mano:
It will look like George Hamilton getting
Roughed up by Tony Soprano.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

From My Hometown’s Recent Crime Blotter: Altadena Thief Steals New & Old Testament

The local police are probably going to suspect
An atheist who really needs his vision checked.

Or perhaps he’s a believer who has some disenchantment
With regard to the “Thou Shalt Not Steal” commandment.

Unintended Consequences Of New Technology In Hollywood (Vol. 17)

This has turned many horny male producers
Into an everlasting grouch ---
Auditions being done on Skype have killed
The old-school casting couch.

Pondering How The “Fiscal Cliff” Problem Was Handled

We tell our kids not to delay doing their homework
Plan ahead, don’t make it a nail-biter
Yet here is the government of the United States and
It’s basically pulling an all-nighter.