Saturday, July 21, 2018

Jonathan Gold (1960-2018)

The achievement that still remains
A bit hard to believe
Is Gold’s being chosen as the first
Food critic to receive

A Pulitzer Prize but what’s even more
Worthy to yell & shout about
Are the City Of Angels restaurants that
He decided to write about.

Unlike his L.A. Times predecessors who
On a rather regular basis
Reviewed upscale restaurants, he was
Drawn to out of the way places.

The various and exotic ethnic dives that
Jonathan often sought
As a rule always tended to reflect Southern
California’s melting pot.

Gold inspired so many locals to be daring &
After an awfully long freeway trip crawl
Across surface streets to find some amazing
Vietnamese place in a crappy strip mall.

He changed the way that millions eat &
Embraced this as his duty
Yet somehow did this without sounding
Like an obnoxious foodie.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Cutoff Point

My old pal, Jim Jensen, recently told me that for a while
the receptionist at the beauty parlor his wife went to was
... Lorena Bobbit.

Yeah, that Lorena Bobbit.

I promised Jim I'd find the poem I wrote about her and
post it.


The Cutoff Point

While he was asleep, Lorena Bobbitt
Sliced off her husband’s penis, went
For a drive and then tossed it out the

Window like it was a flyer that she’d
Found under her windshield wiper
For teeth whitening or rug cleaning.

In court, Lorena claimed John Wayne
Bobbitt persistently denied her any
Orgasms. I’d hoped the fallout would

Be husbands with unsatisfied wives
Would overnight all become the most
Attentive lovers. No such luck.


“The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” was on
Then. I sensed that Robert MacNeil hated
This story & desperately wanted no part

Of it. But the following year, 1993, when
The verdict in this case was finally going
To be announced, MacNeil had to mention

This because the Bobbits had found a way
To become legitimately newsworthy. He
Did the wrap-up on world events and then

Brought up the end of this controversial
Trial. I wondered exactly how he would
Convey all of the sordid details. The wall

Behind MacNeil now was suddenly like this
Enormous dam with multiple visible cracks
And water beginning to leak out. Still, he

Single-handedly attempted to keep it in
Place and prevent the coarsening of the
Culture and harm to all things decent and

Proper. “Lorena Bobbitt was found not
Guilty of ‘malicious wounding’ against
Her husband for severing his … payniss.”

MacNeil elected to mispronounce the
Offending word to make it seem genteel.
But the dam broke anyway as cable TV

And talk radio and O.J and Fox News and
The internet would soon wash away all of
The decorum that PBS and their flagship

News show had fondly cherished. Looking
Back, it was inevitable but I now can see
MacNeil bravely trying to stop the tide like

Some Canuck King Canute and despite my
Mockery back then, I now salute MacNeil
For giving it the old college try.