The Not Sonnets

The Magic Little Pill

What made me mad today?

The news, the kids, the job…

It’s always something new

That turns my insides out

And upside down.

What is this thing

That eats at me,

And eats and eats,

Salved only by the little pill

That brings my head in line.

That magic little pill.

The doc said it isn’t me,

But chemical imbalance

That has me running sideways

Getting nowhere fast.

Without the magic little pill

My nerves are all ajangle,

My head is holding fast

To steam pushing on my ears

Escaping my insides.

Without the magic little pill

I mope around all day

Seeing ghosts of tragedy past,

Fighting to stay in the moment

And failing badly.

Without the magic little pill

Nothing gets done,

My inhibitions soar,

I can’t find a way to write

A single sentence.

I read words from others

Who cry out in pain,

Who say they need that pain

To find the path to catharsis.

I cannot relate.

The pain is always there

Hovering just below the surface,

I cannot feel it.

But I know it’s there;

I keep it at bay

With that little little pill.

The loved ones say they can tell

When I am feeling the pain,

“Did you take your pill today?”

Says the love of my life.

She can always tell.

So I take the magic little pill

To hold the pain hostage for another day.

Erasing all the memories;

I push the demons back under the bed;

The sad goes away,

But where?

Am I dealing?

Am I in denial?

What are the memories doing

As I medicate?

Today I took my magic little pill.

How did I write these lines?

Where did the feelings come from?

How did I find these words?

Is it something else?

Maybe it’s not the memories.

Maybe the doc is right.

Maybe the demons aren’t just below

The surface of my consciousness.

I’m writing now, aren’t I?

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I’m Just Sayin’…

I’m just sayin’…
I’m just so damn sick
Of Dick and The Dick.
I’m tired and I’m weary
Of the news that’s so bleary;
Of young people dyin’
And distraught mothers cryin’;
Of the rich still enrichin’
While the rest of us bitchin’
Over bills we can’t pay;
That the fat cats still play
With their marvelous toys
While our young girls and boys
Die for what we are told
Is a cause pure and bold,
We are wasting our treasure
On a mission we can’t measure
By traditional means.
It’s a big hill of beans
We are fed every day
By these men who still say
We must continue to die.
It’s a bold-faced lie
That our safety depends
On their means to some ends
No one alive can forsee.
They spend money with glee,
They’re so casual with lives
That they’re givin’ me hives.

If men had the babies,
We’d treat childbirth like rabies,
There’d be months of paid leave
For the mornings they’d heave.
There’d be insurance and shots–
There would be lots and lots
Of other people’s money
Passed out like honey
To the pregnant masses
Maybe even sleep gasses
To make the process easier
So they wouldn’t feel queasier
Than they’re makin’ the rest
Of us feel. Couldn’t we just test
The alternative theory?
I might feel more cheery.
It sure couldn’t be worse
If the power of the purse
Could be put in the trust
Of the humans with a bust.
I think it’s ironic
All the critical tonic
I’ve received in emails
Is from cynical females.
Could it be that this thing
Has the closely-felt sting
Of reality’s hammer.
I’m reduced to a stammer.
Never thought the fair sex
Couldn’t see the car wrecks
Of the nation’s welfare
Were because men don’t care
That their awful behavior
Makes them less like a savior;
Makes them think that a gun
Is what they call fun.
I’m not sure that I’m wrong,
But I’m prepared to go along,
Take a shot that a change
Might not turn out so strange.
Never said I was right…
I just said that it…MIGHT.


Close your eyes. 
Sounds like home, honking, clanging,
The dull hum of a million voices.
Smells like home, exhaust, 
Food frying, smoking rancid grease.
Too many unbathed people.
Lick lips.
Tastes like…nowhere else.
It’s even in the air. Bitter.
The air is thick and gray.
Visceral industrial waste.
Like old Bethlehem.
Open your eyes now and look.
Too crowded streets.
Trolleys. Buses. Too many cars.
Roads. Trains. Bridges. Skyscrapers.
Murals painted on endless concrete villages.
Mosques and temples and cathedrals
Side by side. But not.
Golden arches. Here too?
Many, many people.
Suits. Fashionable shoes. Hand-painted silk ties.
Fine dresses. Leather handbags. 
Designer? Maybe.  
Maybe not. Maybe made here.  
Impossible to tell.  
Beyond the skyline, mountains in all directions,
Shrouded in gray-brown air.
Smokestacks above miles of buildings
Making toys for American boys,
Fashions for American girls.
Blazing nights, awash with neon,
Blaring nightclubs, pounding music,
Carny barkers hawking American names.
New York Subway, Manhattan Transfer,
Gold Rush Club, Chicago Midway.
Women wait on every corner.
Scantily-clad, young but haggard.
Amid the hustle, bustle,
Children run with my every step.
When I stop, kneel at my feet
Gazing up with sad brown eyes,
Looking for, hoping for, yuan.
An apple? A banana? he pleads.
Looking at my shoes, A shine? 
Speaking barely familiar words.
A puck? she offers, getting the word wrong.
You got money? I got time. Quick puck?
Broken English. But English. 
Even the children.
Not the place of newsreels.
Different here, the real country.
Not what the leaders want America to see.
Fueled by American dollars,
The sleeping giant has awakened.

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