Monday, September 28, 2015

Going Back to The Tomb of the HMO

I think, if a tomb is designed right, people will come by and see it and be your friend -- even though they never met you.

I go to the cemetery where there is a tomb that looks like a small office building. The guy who built it was the in business of HMOs. He perfected the concept, promoted it, was joyful in it. His tomb is made of grey marble, and there is a glass door to a small office, with two chairs and a television hooked to a DVD player. It looks like there has been no presentation for a long time. There are a few signed art prints on the wall, under glass, done in a tasteful LA style from the late 1990s, they are very expensive. Opposite the office there is a glass wall and a marble room with two stone covered protrusions that remind me of boobs or a pair of photon torpedo tubes from a science fiction movie.

This is where the caskets are implied -- one end of the casket, hanging about a foot and a half over a slate colored stone floor for all eternity. The other 75% of the casket is set into a slanting wall. I wonder if it is their feet or their heads, poking out of the wall. Part of me says 'feet' and the other part of me says 'heads'. No way of knowing, unless you want to get in there and crack open those torpedo tubes of eternity to see.

Everytime I see the tomb, I always leave feeling Death and Business are spectacular. When you combine the two realities in a tomb, I feel so morbid, I am amazed. I look at the architecture, and I want to work there, and cry at the same time. I am like a ghoul with a resume. I see my own death in a very nice silver suit, made in Italy. And I look good. That is what has got me coming back to The Tomb of the HMO.

The view is pretty good too -- you can see Catalina Island on a clear day.


Pacific View Cemetery
Newport Beach, CA

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Poem - 3 AM

there is nobody here
but us and the freeway

the diner never closes
the flies never sleep

no local food no sleep
tables being disintegrated
one meal at a time

we've got to get to LA
or vegas right away
like you'll die trying

but which town
should we go to

we flip a coin


Poem - tooto hytho aliang trumo

to hide what i meant
i wrote in code

i wrote of love
i wrote of insecurities

this was a year or so ago
i have lost the key

all i have is the cryptography
and no meaning

the notes saying like

queto meego beeto tryug
sheddo skapso filgo eum

hyrida zeeto soggum palo
eenugo ummins chan so fa


tooto hytho aliang trumo
saang whythe erago turmpin

meeps frang tragral solom
baatch egrim tentro glama

i keep the papers
and someday i might make sense

of why i had to hide
me from anything


Poem - ( i take the picture anyways )

i can't take 'a selfie'
because when i see myself

i immediately suspect my own face
as that of a character

a criminal or suspect
not of anything heinous

but yet complacent of
abetting the most stupid of things

capable of threadbare excuses
and yawning laziness

transmitted through

(i take the picture

Poem - let me make you / something / to eat

when a child cries
in the middle of the night
i get up first
this is how i am

cooking and washing dishes
doing the laundry
a kind of monster
i suppose

what happens when men
become gracious or helpful
the whole world
could end

or when women
no longer have to figure
a way out so as
not to impose
nor be a slave


but back to now
are you hungry or tired

let me make you
to eat


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Galleon Chorizo

In Bodega Bay, on a bright summer morning, I take my son Danny treasure hunting. Along the way I am able to teach him a few things.

1) Treasure can be ANYWHERE, you never know where it might by laying, and how!

2) Pirates were hiding treasure all over the place because of leaky boats and navigational errors in the swashbuckling days before GPS and iPhones.

3) When treasure hunting for buccaneer spoils, you must shout “AH HA!” and point dramatically from time to time. This is to keep all treasure hunters on their toes, and show places that could be significant — like a clue.

With these things explained, we are well underway, going down the road to the beach. Neat vacation houses give way to breezy vistas, hills going gently down where you can see Bodega Bay and the water glittering in the sun.

“Dad, what is sawshuckling?” asks Danny.

“Swashbuckling? That is a fancy word for dancing — pirates love to dance like maniacs before they attack.” I tell him, and I show him a few of their moves.

“It looks like karate.”

“Sure — Pirate Karate!”

We are passing the last part of the golf couse before we start on the trail down the bluffs.

“AH HA!” I shout and pick up a rock.

“What is it!”

“This rock is exactly the size and shape of the Star of Peru!”

“It is?”

“The Star of Peru is a fabulous diamond that drove sultans and emperors mad!”

“It is?”

“Of course! Didn’t you know Sir Francis Drake came here — he had three captured Spanish galleons groaning with treasure raided from the Spanish Empire? One was the galleon Chorizo — it was leaky and damaged from a storm Sir Francis Drake weathered, escaping from the Spanish warships sent from Cuba to intercept him.”

“He did?”

“Yes! Sir Francis Drake made landfall, and decided to unload the leaking Chorizo and bury silver plate and pieces of eight, gems and silk and pirate gold, somewhere around the beach and bluffs!”


“And it has lain here waiting to be found, because Sir Francis Drake never returned!”

“AH HA!” shouts Danny.

“You bet! Keep your eyes open!”

We walk on the beach, drag seaweed on the sand and climb rocks. Danny finds a great stick that is a sword. Dogs run by, we explore tide pools.

“We must be getting close!” I yell.

“How do you know, Dad?”

“We are treasure hunting! When you are treasure hunting, you have hunches. I can feel it!”

AH HA! In a remote section of the beach, we find a cave, blackened by smoke from campfires. It is just big enough for a few people to sit in it. Danny and I see how far it goes back — back far enough where you have to crawl, and have a flashlight. We sit inside the cave, and look out.

“Do you think Sir Francis Drake found this cave?” ask Danny, very seriously.

“Of course he did.” I say. “But he didn’t bury the treasure here.”


“This cave too small!”

We exit the cave and I tell Danny about the adventures of Sir Francis Drake, and how he circumnavigated the globe. After building a sand castle, we get hungry and decide to go back to the house.

“Did you have fun looking for treasure?” I ask Danny.

“AH HA!” shouts Danny.

On the first day of third grade, Danny brought the rock we found that is just like the Star of Peru, and shared what he did during summer vacation. Now his classmates are interested in searching for pirate treasure in Corona Del Mar.

Because when you are looking for treasure, you can find it just about anywhere.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Poem - years ago / you were flying away from me / in a toy spaceship

years ago
you were flying away from me
in a toy spaceship

the ride
we all had one
it would turn us in circles

you were in front

time goes
and you go too
still flying away from me

and time
reminds me of being
like a toy spaceship

each body
going around and around
some go before others after

it is all we can do

free will as real as the
illusion the rockets fly

but then i don't know

  time goes
  and you go too
  still flying away from me


I Put Band-Aids Over My Eyes Today

I put band-aids over my eyelids today. They are very comfortable. I listen to Johnny Cash sing a song that goes "As long as the grass shall grow..." The backup singers are very lyrical. He's singing about something horrible, betrayal, but the backup singers sound cheerful.


Sept 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Poem - the opposite of faith / is not fear

the opposite for faith
is not fear

it is faithlessness
and we do not have it

cast into a human shape
the form is faith

you can heave great doubt
or fear and still have faith

in fact there is a thing
called 'holy doubt'

it prods me to know
my faith

to discard superstitious
or magical thinking

to find the higher power
as i evolve

because as i revolutionize
the higher power does too

and i must keep re-
finding it

any static god
is not god

i follow what has
barely been touched
by books

i have found it
through action

it is experienced
right now absolutely

beyond suffering

and aware


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Poem - how i wish i could remember / we don't always need to know

i dream of perfect worlds
where there is no sin nor fall from grace
i wake up and they dissolve

how i wish i could hold onto them
but i am conscious now
of how we can create a billion things

i hear myself praying in the dark
dedicating my life and everything too
because i am alive and day is starting



Monday, September 14, 2015

Poem - by the same old liar

i wondered about it
then i didn't wonder about it

not thinking was not an answer
it just happened

like noticing particles of dust
in a sunbeam

or realizing you just woke up
to reality

a break from the customary
conversation of moods

now inner babble shown as
false predictions of some future

by the same old liar


Poem - i don't mark time

i don't mark time
if i exhaust the horror
of possibly dying

i don't get by
if i can really let go

i can be here forever
if i stay centered
in the moment

i will have no fear
if i buff off my own

clarity is its own



Poem - it hurts

they are gone there are no tears
only a dislocation
or something painful

fear or despair

just like that in the heart that loved
so smoothly and
automatically before

it hurts



Thursday, September 10, 2015

006. Playing the Anachronistic Social Game with the Director

The Director is here, smiling, nodding.

"Hello men!"

"Hello there."

We wait.

The director looks at the dogeared papers, the battered books, the map, the small lead figures, the small rocks we are using to keep everything from blowing away. "And what are you men doing today here?"

"We are playing a game."


"Yes, a game from our youth."


We wait.

"And how is it? How is it done?" asks the Director, blissfully unaware.

“It is a game based of social interactions while playing a persona in an anachronistic period of time, related somewhat to the Middle of the 1200s AD.”

“Oh! Using papers.”


"And those small things?"

"Metal figures on a map simulation."

"And those things?"


"Manual random number generators!" yells Terry, starting the Director. Nick shushes at him.

"How intriguing!"

We sit there for minute, but he does not leave. I see Terry is wanting to say something, possibly explode into profanity, but he does not. 

“Everyone has their own unique persona, based off a series of statistics.” 

“Interesting! In the interest of the community, for understanding, to be connected, I shall participate." the Director sits down.

He remains, smiling, utterly content. Terry is holding back profanity, his face a bit purple. 

“Then .... I will assign you a persona!" I shuffle papers. "You will be playing a rouge”

“Oh! How fascinating. What is a “rouge”?”

Nick sighs and looks at the sky.

“A rouge is – never mind.” I look though the old papers. “You will be playing a priest.”


“Yes a religious authority. Someone who dispenses a religion.”


“Isn’t it!”

"Can I be a monotheist? A monotheistic Priest?

"Absolutely. So now you are in the wilderness.”

"Wait!" says Terry. "I think he has to be a pagan priest."

"Aw." says the Director.

"OK -- we are in the WILDERNESS!" I shout. 

“And why are we there?” 

“You are part of a party of several adventurers who have traveled many weeks to get to this place.” growls Terry.

“And why are we here?”

“Rumored nearby is a magnificent tomb, filled with treasure, and also peril.”

“And why are we here, exactly?”

“To find the treasure.”

“And whose treasure is this, lawfully?” he gets very serious. 

“Nobodies! I mean, the person who this treasure is, is dead. And their family is dead. And the local municipality and governing authorities in the area immediate and adjacent have no interest in it. It is not part of the meta economy, nor the macro algorithmic projections for the “good of all”.”

“So strange!” 

“It is a game.”


“So shall we continue?”

He rubs his hand together, “Please do! I think I am getting the Nag of this.”


“Getting the Nag, yes.”

“You mean getting the HANG of this. Anyways, your party breaks camp and proceeds down the valley.” I pretend to roll a dice behind the screen.  “There you encounter five brigands.”


“Socially irresponsible young people who take things from others without permission.” Growls Nick. 


We sit there for a bit, the Director smiling, the sun shining.

“So now you choose to do something, to interact with them.”

“Well! I give them a – a --- a stern lecture!” 

I have never seen the Director so excited. He is beside himself, bouncing up and down just a bit, and he plants his elbows on the table. A few of the figures fall over, but he does not notice


The Director waves his arms in the air. “I lecture them to convince them of the harmfulness to themselves, and others, by using those actions that take things from others without permission! I tell them about the greater social good!”

Terry stares. Even Nick is taken aback. 

I pretend to roll a dice again.

“The brigands are moved by your oration and decide to give up their life of crime. They depart.”

I start packing up the board and game pieces. 

“Well, that’s it!”


“Oh, yes! You won.”

“Fastest we’ve ever seen!” says Terry. 

“All done! Thanks!”

The director gets up, still a bit giddy. “Well, I do have to say, that was very enjoyable.”

“Well done!”

“My, I will have to come back and play the anachronistic social game again some other time.”

“Aw shucks!” says Terry, turning purple. 

“Well, then, I will see you later.”

Off the Director goes, sufficed with goodwill and joy to all.

"It's like he just got banged really good for the first time in his life." says Nick.

We wait until he is out of sight. I take the map and the dice out again. 

"OK -- where were we?"

"Brigands" says Terry. "I take put my bow and fire two arrows."

"I cast "fireball" at the biggest brigand and back up between the two fighters."

"Men at arms advance." says Montesquieu. 

Rengszal Retirement Village
formerly Palo Alto, CA
August, 2055

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Poem - a floating card

a floating card
lit from above
with smoke curling below

behind pitch blackness

the card is the ace
of diamonds while in dreams
it means nothing and everything


you die
and your family
who knows no one here

swoop in and claim every bit of you

mementos they
rather not have they throw in the trash
or burn so it is all sealed




it has always been
this way


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

A Poem for Douglas

this was when i lived in a huge house
and you pretended to swallow your arm
as we sat on the patio at night
filming this was your new bride

your video face and shoulders lit brilliant
we had a fire nearby that i kept stoked
animated you are and happy even sly
won over totally by new love

i found the mini DV tape the other day
both of us are divorced and someone else
lives in that house with the pool
and the manicured backyard

i regret some things and not others
more is not seeing you for many years
and how we are friends now separated
and how delightful you were to your new wife