WORD OF THE DAY

– improvisational response to a word received in my In Box from Dictionary.com

desiderata\dih-sid-uhrey-tuh\plural noun

  1. Things wanted or needed.

Go with energy and excitement and with a good awareness of your surroundings, and a surge of concealed fear as well, into the noise pollution, hurrying, skateboarding, sidewalk sprinting, bike dodging, speeding hell that is New York City, and know that if you prefer peace and stillness and a quiet, calm contentment you will have to move out of the 600 square feet you are overpaying a thousand dollars a month for, with the knocking steam pipes and 1970s oven and frantic scratching in the thin plasterboard walls, walls that do not soften the banging and bickering and violent humping and climatic liberation of your neighbors, nor do the leaky windows much deter the drawn out honking up at the corner from those unwilling to wait more than a second after a light change, though in such situations it is recommended you do not rush out to your steps to output words that might further upset such driver as he, and it will be a he, as he already is that, upset to all get out, and you do not want to add to his instability by speaking truth to ire, just as you do not want your fragile psyche or jaw bone upset to a debilitating disorder, so it is best to ignore him and continue forth knowing you are well and whole, and you are able to go off and do whatever it is you do to satisfy your sense of self and/or earthly needs, but do remember in those matters it is best to remain skeptical at all times, as the competition downtown, uptown and everywhere in New York town is fierce and cutthroat even as there is much to be heard about ideals and justice and level playing fields, so be sure to make it a policy of yours to not be lured into that folly even if you are simpatico with all three and in desperate need of the latter, and if it is a level playing field you are desperate for it is likely you are a freelancer working at an hourly rate with an annoying agency behind you and a domineering boss in front, in other words, you are in a situation that has you biting your tongue often, and if it so happens you are not a freelancer, be assured you will be, sooner or later everyone is, and so recall in such matters it is best to smile and take it, or grin and bear it, whatever your preference, doing one or the other in order to continue your tenuous, itinerant, standing with a sense of good feeling all around, but in no way should you let any of that interfere with your goal, whatever world-renowned acclaim you have in mind for yourself at the end of the rainbow, even if that arc of spectral colors is something you see only when you are out of town, though, take note, it is wise not to press too much of that bewildering fantasy on family and friends, not even on your spouse-companion, whomever it is you have chosen or been the chosen of to spend your time and find release with, as he/she/they might be more established in their profession than you are in yours and believe they have clearance to be brutal in their judgments and thus would not hesitate to put forward the question why do you continue to reach for the stars when you are forty, you are still paying off college loans, you’re credit card is maxed out, your current freelance gig is up Friday and you are without other prospects at the moment, nevertheless, you might retort to he/she/they, forty is young nowadays, there is still time to fulfill that dream of awards and prizes and vast public attention you will achieve in the prestigious venues that reject you now but will not do so forever, so yes, those will come, in due course, and whatever else might be bandied about after that by said spouse-companion, do not flinch if your assertion is taken as a signal you are not growing into your years but avoiding them even as the mirror undeniably tells you otherwise, you are presently as fearless and deluded as when you started out, beat up you may be but humble you are not, you do not surrender, and that is not a bad way to be, each life unfolds in its own way, soon you will be the light at the end of the tunnel, singular, bright and clairvoyant, and what is yours to believe is yours and yours only and you will continue to ignore those foolish rejections and punishing defeats and misfortunes that stagger but do not drop you, such is life, as they say, but you are not they, you are much more than the freelancing spouse-companion of a more advanced talent, you are a unique creation of god, you possess a vision that is your own, one with the potential to awe and inspire and by all means you intend to push ahead with that goal through all the clamor and confusion and mockery, the utter indifference that comes with your address in New York, and as you go on with that you must remember to strive to be happy, to seek harmony with the universe, and remember too to look both ways before crossing Houston Street.

(2016)

WORD OF THE DAY

– improvisational response to a word received in my In Box from Dictionary.com

chary, CHAIR-ee, adjective
1.  Wary; cautious.
2.  Not giving or expending freely; sparing

Since October 5 is my wife Geraldine’s birthday it’s best not to be chary on this particular day. Better to be incautious, unsparing, profligate. A bit over the top. Not recklessly wasteful, but leaning a tad to the extravagant side of town will do no harm. Will continue the domestic bliss we reside in. Wary with my funds I will not be on a day of this great magnitude. A big bouquet of fresh lilies coming in the door with me will be a good start. But not all of it. Chocolates, of course, will have to make an appearance. And I don’t mean one of those 3-packs of bon bons from the corner grocery. I mean a 25 piece selection from Jacques Torres of nutty pralines, pure ganaches and others with exotic spice infusions. A little time with those, some hugs and kisses for sure. Then the main event, the removal of a box hidden behind a bunch of books in my studio with the hand knit sweater from Canadian Sweater Company I know she desires but doesn’t want to spend her own money on. Hint. Hint. (Took it this time!) It costs a couple of bucks, as the saying goes. But so what. What’s a few President Grants to keep utopia running another year? Seriously. It’s a small sum indeed. Eight bills of dead President 18, in fact, before tax and delivery. And while my pen skipped a bit of white space as I was writing that, I’ve already given in to it, acceptance being Step 1 in recovering from my sparing ways. It’s like walking in the rain in that once you stop being cautious, when you finally accept you’re going to get soaked, you can just enjoy it. You can skip along in it, sing and dance, kick your way through the puddles. Just have fun. You get home, you stamp your shoes on the mat, you take off your wet clothes and bingo, you’re back to being your usual dull self. And this day is much like a rainy day. It’s a day to give it up and splash some cash around. To spend freely. It will make me a little lighter in the wallet for sure, but hey, like I said about keeping utopia running, it’s not for the chary.

(2015)

WORD OF THE DAY

– improvisational response to a word received in my In Box from Dictionary.com

Kakistocracy\kak-uhstok-ruh-see\noun

  1. Government by the worst.

Sounds too much like you know what. But that’s what we have on our hands in Washington. A shitty, cranky, dysfunctional cast running the country into the ground. Not the best. And in many cases not the brightest either. But we the people voted them in to lead us into the future. Corrupt as their vision of it is. We checked off their names. That’s you and me. Our votes were tallied. We got what we asked for. What we deserve. Countries always get the governments they deserve. We got ours. You like it? I don’t either. As a reminder of just how hopeless the situation is, a check of the headlines on Yahoo finds the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris heading up the news. Sure enough, the rejecters are at it again. And leading the pack are the Republican candidates for President. One of them says, “Do not succumb to the notion climate change is manmade.” From another: “It will make it harder to create jobs in America.” His home state Florida might be hotter than Hell and on the verge of a Biblical flood but Marco can’t quit his carbon fuels. And then there’s the reflexive, “I don’t know, I’m not a scientist” response used by many others. Well me no scientist either, I concur as I make a few revisions to this in my NYC studio with the windows wide open on a beautiful 72 degree December 24th afternoon. Same weather as it ever was. Not. Though mentioning Marco gets me thinking about another native Floridian, the recently departed, Orlando born, Daryl Dawkins, a.k.a Chocolate Thunder, former professional basketball player and poet when he wanna be. Chocolate Thunder claimed to be an alien from Planet Lovetron, a place he went to to study Interplanetary Funkmanship in the offseason. Now that should be a required course in any university core curriculum, and raises the question: would you rather live on Lovetron or in a world as imagined by billionaire Super Pac donators? Ditto that here. I do wonder what Chocolate Thunder’s unpublished reaction to the climate change controversy was? I’m thinking it went something like his famous spoken word outburst to the backboard he shattered with a monster slam in a 1979 NBA game. In fact, I feel that’s likely. And so with all due respect to Dawk, and mimicking his Interplanetary Funkmanship, I’ll go out there myself…

Climate change denying
Bullshit flying
Temperatures climbing
Sea levels getting higher
Trees bending
Ground breaking
Still denying
Habit is lying
Floods a rising
Glaciers roasting
Earth toasting
Carbon dioxide killing
The forces unwilling
Wind ripping
Devastating making
Only one way out
And it’s with no doubt
At least Bam
Is trying to keep us out of that jam

(2015)

WORD OF THE DAY

– improvisational response to a word received in my In Box from Dictionary.com

fecund, FEE-kuhnd; FEK-uhnd, adjective
1. Capable of producing offspring or vegetation; fruitful; prolific.
2. Intellectually productive or inventive.

Not very fecund am I in the area of producing babies, that’s none. Though there was, oh never mind, I will not go into that. I will not. I do believe I’ve been intellectually productive and inventive. Not or inventive. Why can’t I be both productive (you see “prolific” in the first definition!) and inventive at the same time? One might say being inventive will lead to greater production, and vice versa. Production being the mother of invention. Or a mother. Or is it sweat’s 90% of invention? Or is it 90% of invention is half sweat? Whatever. I can’t remember exactly how that goes. Though I am a capable producer of vegetation as in I have grown several green herbs in my backyard. Not necessarily prolifically, but necessarily in that my local “organic” grocery charges $3.25 to $3.75 for a bunch, half of which usually ends up being wasted. Or is it 90% of that half? Could be either. Or both. I’ll have to check the next time I buy some. Which will be never. That money better placed in the coffers of Brouwerij Lane, my neighborhood brew pub, which prolifically produces many delicious (and inebriating) varieties of craft beer. And in that way they are as fecund as I am, though, it’s apparent, in a much more universal and satisfying way.

(2014)