Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween In The Early 1980s Just South Of Melrose Avenue

Two drunk men in their fifties
Unsteady on their feet
With liquor on their breath
Are here to trick or treat.

It was rapidly established
They were on the skids.
I calmly said, “C’mon guys:
This holiday’s for kids.”

“I got a costume! I’m John
Ireland in 'Red River'
Said the man with a clock
Ticking on his liver.

(This fellow had no costume and lying
Would be an essential factor
If I were to say he even slightly looked
Like that aforementioned actor.)

I politely nodded. “Ireland was
Also terrific when
He portrayed that reporter in
'All The King’s Men.'”

“To hell with that,” he said
With a grin obscene.
“John nailed Tuesday Weld
When she was 16!”

I’d had enough by now and
Said, “Don’t get sore:
I have no candy --- however,
They do next door.”

I sent them off in that direction
Knowing they’d soon quiver:
The dog there was meaner than
Ireland was in "Red River."

All they got out was “Trick or --- ”
Ballistic went the mastiff.
They took off down the street
So incredibly fast if

Anyone saw them fleeing, they all would
In a sudden flash have sensed
That Los Angeles’ first evening marathon
Had improbably commenced.

I bet they ran for blocks, as outdated as
Archy and Mehitabel
Looking for a bar or another world that
Was more hospitable.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Lee Harvey Oswald & Me

In February of 1981, I was working late one night in
my tiny office in the funky Writers & Artists Building
in Beverly Hills. I was leaning out my window when
traffic that was zipping by on Santa Monica Blvd. all
of a sudden stopped zipping. Police cars and ominous
sedans blocked off streets left and right. Newly inau-
gurated President Reagan was in town. When the pres-
idential motorcade came into view, I realized I was look-
ing kind of Oswald-y. My old office building must have
seemed like the Texas Book Depository and there I was
suspiciously leaning out my second story window in the
building’s only illuminated office. My first response was to
yank my head out of the window but that might look like I
was reaching for my 6.5 millimeter Italian carbine with a
four-power scope. As the motorcade was now only a few
hundred or so feet away, my only option was to stay put.
I thought of waving in a friendly manner but feared in the
dim light, it might look like one of my hands was packing
heat. Like a possum cornered on some backyard wall by a
household pet, I did the next best thing: I froze. The motor-
cade swooshed by but it wasn’t until at least five minutes
later that I unfroze, pulled myself back into my office and
slammed the window shut.


A month later, John Hinckley Jr. tried to kill our 40th president
to impress an actress who at that time was living two doors
away from me in Hollywood on tree-lined Sycamore Avenue.
Even before the shooting, Jodie Foster was not what any
rational observer would call “friendly.” I would have advised
Hinckley to instead stalk Helen Hunt, who back then appeared
to be a bit more approachable.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Gropes Of Wrath

In the 1920s, there was a thief in New Jersey who deployed an especially nasty weapon --- a tuxedo. He was attractive and wore it when he went to tony parties all over the Garden State. He fit in because he looked the part of an upscale guest. He’d often shake hands with his hosts at the end of an evening with just pilfered jewelry in his coat pockets. He was eventually caught because a criminal event so large forced the cops to widen their nets in search of suspects. (FYI, that “event” was the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby.)

I was reminded of this gentleman thief recently as fallout persists from the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandals. I do hope (as Tony Soprano used to so lovingly say) this fat fuck spends years in courtrooms before many more behind bars. And while the tabulations now are of accusers, let’s also look at who else has been recently drawn into this maelstrom.

Roy Price (a Hollywood rich kid whose dad ran Columbia and Universal) was head of Amazon Studios until he told one of the producers of “The Man In The High Castle” that she would “love his dick.” For those of you keeping score, Isa Dick Hackett is a daughter of Philip K. Dick who’s married, has kids and is (wait for it) a lesbian. Roy, you are a special kind of sexual aggressor: a really dumb one. You're like a drunk who staggers to the cash register and offers to buy everyone a drink --- in a hardware store.

At last count, writer-director James Toback has had over 200 women come forward to say he lured them to his office or hotel rooms with promises of acting possibilities only to grope them, dry hump them and-or masturbate in front of them. What a jerk-off. Literally. Overweight, balding and wearing a mannered beard usually seen on bad guys on “Murder, She Wrote, Toback's career is ancient history and he's as far from being a hottie as Steve Bannon is from getting a modeling contract.

All of the above allegations also apply to bloated Steven Seagal who in addition to sexual predation is a bestie of Putin who can’t take “nyet” for an answer.

Masturbatory rumors have been heard for ages about Louis C.K. which isn’t going to help his new movie --- “I Love You, Daddy” --- which has an old man lusting after a very young woman. I gather this familiar pervy plot device is also in play in an upcoming untitled Woody Allen movie with Jude Law and Elle Fanning. But, to be fair, Woody has been a pioneer doing these kinds of unsavory things for decades now, dating all the way back to “Manhattan.” And my wife just emailed me an article which may make many of you love David O. Russell a bit less:

Outside of show biz, top chef John Besh stepped down from his own company over sexually aggressive allegations. And Terry Richardson, fashion photographer and video director bad boy, is (finally) being blacklisted after many, many years of many, many claims that he’s made sexual targets out of young women.

This may well be the year that sexual predators get their comeuppance. Oh, and a quick shout-out to Casey Affleck, who’s been accused of harassment on sets for a while now: make an effort to be off on a distant location during next year’s Oscars when you’re supposed to hand out the Best Actress award. You really don’t want to be there. Unless, of course, being booed by the biggest stars in Hollywood sounds appealing.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Thoughts On "Morongate"

In 1993 on the BBC’s “Jeeves and Wooster,” Bertie Wooster meets an old
chum, Ginger, who’s running for political office.

Stunned, Bertie blurts out, “But … Ginger … you’re an absolute … idiot!”

Ginger grins and replies, “I know!”

It was a highlight of the entire series.


Mr. President, if you are what someone suspects, what's the problem?

Your only interests are money, pussy and golf.

Or golf, money and pussy.

Or pussy, golf and money.

Pick one. (They all work.)


You don’t read books, go to the movies, listen to music, see plays or visit

Your papers in college were written by others.
You are a moron, a dim bulb, the dullest knife in the drawer, etc.

No need to take offense at what Secretary Tillerson said and fire him.
He was just stating something that’s common knowledge.

Like your having strange hair.

Or having put on a lot of weight since the election.

Or are horrified at the thought of germs and press conferences.
Embrace who you are and we will, too.

You nincompoop.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

When Zuckerberg Is Off The Mark

Singer-songwriter David Berman, best known for his band Silver Jews, is also an engaging poet. In his poem “New York, New York,” he cheekily imagines a new New York being built.

Since spending more than a little amount of time in the last few years on Twitter, I’ve come to see it as another internet. Or, at the very least, another Facebook.

I mention this because it’s recently come to light that President Obama, not long after the 2016 election, warned FB founder Mark Zuckerberg --- to his face --- that Russians were using his social network to seriously disrupt our electoral process.

Zuckerberg initially dismissed this claim out of hand as ridiculous but ten months later, after massive amounts of bad publicity, he’s sent the names of all the companies who trolled for Trump on to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Mark, you fucked up. Big time. Whatever money those Russian-backed ads generated for you, you didn’t need it. (Small digression --- always being photographed in t-shirts doesn’t mean you’re a regular guy. Being worth untold billions disallows that option.)

Anyway, this is just to say on behalf of like-minded FB users that we don’t need you. In a heartbeat, we can effortlessly move our online lives over to Twitter and only look at FB in our cyber rear-view mirrors.

Lots of people a lot younger than me have already left your social network because too many of their Moms are on it. At places like Instagram and --- better still --- Snapchat, they’ve found a viable alternative.

Elections, as the familiar line goes, have consequences. So does interfering with them. As you did.

P.S. Being richer than Barack Obama is not the same as being smarter than him. As the kids say, mic drop.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Some Of The Countries That Don’t Extradite To The United States or Dumb Things That Trump Has To (Again) Try & Memorize Today

Afghanistan and Kazakhstan,
Algeria and Eritrea,
Angola and Moldova,
Bahrain and Ukraine,
Cambodia and Ethiopia,
Micronesia and Tunisia,
Macedonia and Mongolia,
Madagascar and Qatar,
Nepal and Senegal,
Rwanda and Uganda,
And --- to be fair --- it would be such a
Mistake to forget Nambia and-or Russia.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Stanislav Petrov (1939-2017)

He was a Russian duty officer who one
Day in 1983 happened to enter
Into history for what he did at an early
Warning system command center.

Petrov received a shocking report with the
Potential to alter all our fates:
A handful of missiles had been launched at
Russia from the United States.

His response to this alert was one that
Could’ve brought him glory:
Launch a nuclear attack that was swift
Fierce and retaliatory.

To be absolutely clear here, Petrov
Could see right before his eyes
Global war against not only the U.S.
But also its Western allies.

The world kept on spinning on its axis and
Humanity suffered no harm
Because he sensed something wasn’t right
And felt it was a false alarm.

He figured if the United States wanted
To not see any Russians alive
They would have sent many hundreds
Of its missiles, not merely five.

Petrov (a Red) put it all, if you will, on red
And was right at this junction:
It turned out their satellite warning system
Had a serious malfunction.

If faced with a crisis, be calm like Petrov ---
Is your enemy attacking or bluffing
Or perhaps making a mistake? Sometimes,
The best thing to do is … nothing.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Best. Valley. Video. Ever.

Randy Newman name-checked the Valley twice in
“I Love L.A.”
Good for him but the Valley deserves it’s own song.
I’m happy to say

“Want You Back” is just that courtesy of
Those three girls in Haim.
Having something to represent the 818?
It's welcome & about time.

There’s nothing in the lyrics about the region but
The video is keen
To evoke this place --- it’s the most Valley thing
I have ever seen.

Once you see this video, you’ll want to drive at dawn
To Ventura Boulevard and then on your feet
Head west past Casa de Cadillac as you proudly walk
Right down the middle of the fucking street.


Monday, April 3, 2017

April Multi-tasks As The Awareness Month For Poetry & Autism

From A To Z                                    

While driving in the car with my son
(Who has autism) it may get
To a point where to calm him down,
I suggest he recite the alphabet.

Jeremy’s thirty, so sometimes just
What my wife and I are doing
May seem a peculiar avenue at this
Point for us to be pursuing.

We alternate saying each letter and this
Does help him relax
Simultaneously reminding the three of us
Of a few basic facts

Like how the English-speaking world uses
These symbols in heavy rotation
In our ongoing attempts with other people
To engage in communication.

When we do these duets of the ABCs ---
A father and a son and a mother ---
We’re in touch on a granular level with
How people reach out to each other.

This is the best way I can describe this and
I hope this can bring about for you
The gist of what I’m thinking. If not, there’s
No other way to spell it out for you.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mic Drop For Barack

I love how his opponents across the aisle have
Always thought victory was in reach
If they somehow provoked him so much that
He had to go out and give a speech.

The only problem with this cunning Republican
Plan is we are
Now aware he’s the best White House speaker
Since FDR.

But the vast majority of his detractors still
Remained strangely in the dark
As he rose to every speech-giving occasion
And hit it out of the park.

It’s as if people who hated Frank Sinatra decided
His destruction they could bring
About if they got him in front of an orchestra and
Then commanded him to sing.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Stuff Your School-age Kids Will Soon Need

The Pledge of Allegiance in Russian:

"Я клянусь в верности флагу Соединенных Штатов Америки и республике,
которую он символизирует, одной нации подБогом, неделимой, со свободой
и справедливостью для всех."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

All You Need To Know About Trump's Nominee For Attorney General

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions --- that name alone
Makes you want to punch him in the face.
You know that growing up his family said “nigger”
Far more often than they ever said grace.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Trump's Favorite Words To Tweet

Win, winning, very, weak.
(Six syllables that make me shriek.)

We, they, politically correct.
(Used to evade and deflect.)

Moron, tough, dangerous, smart.
(Does Donald pick them a la carte?)

Bad, amazing, stupid, huge.
(His face reminds me of Scrooge.)

Tremendous, zero, lose, terrific.
(His knack is never being specific.)

Out of control, lightweight, classy.
(He’s a hood ornament without a chassis.)


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Kim Kardashian Speaks Out About Paris Robbery

I know how difficult her life is with all her millions
Behind the tinted windows of a limousine
But wasn't her being bound and gagged at gunpoint 
One of the few good things about 2016?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

South Carolina Lawmaker Heard On Phone Beating His Wife As Their Children Begged Him To Stop

In 2016, there was this pretty big story about
Chris Corley making the rounds
Concerning his fight to keep the Confederate
Flag flying on statehouse grounds.

(Corley also, it’s worth noting, in 2014 proved to be
Someone who openly runs
His mouth about how it’s wrong for domestic abusers
To not be able to buy guns.)

Let’s recap: “Alleged” wife beater, likely racist and Trump
Backer who never eats brie ---
This is the exactly kind of guy who in 2017 helps to define
The current state of the GOP.