“Why No LaborDay SchoolStart”

We went back after

Labor Day through High School:

blame football playoffs.*


  • (Through 1965 in Florida there was no high school fooball playoffs: there were end-of-season bowl games for those qualified and invited.  Then, high school classification-era playoffs came to town and soon enough a 10-game regular season (and then a jamboree and now a who-knows-what-to-call-it “Classic” game in “preseason,” and school starts in Mid-August.  We graduated June 6, 1966.  Graduation now sometime in mid-May?  Blame the teachers’ unions – and really take a second look at the possessive apostrophe in teachers and you get a clear picture of just whom the teachers are unionized for and why and if you are a mite slow I shall just shout: It Ain’t The Students!.  And football playoffs got themselves worked halfway to Christmas what with a preseason startup of two-a-day practices early in August, and just how do kids get to practice when it sometimes starts the first session just about sunrise?  Something seeweewuswong heres, no? High School football is not supposed to be NFL. And we have had the past few seasons prep grid teams wearing those godsawfull pink shoes, socks, wristbands and all for an almost entirely female cancer that rarely kills anymore while a male cancer – prostate – kills a lot more and is curiously to me at least ignored in professional sports altogether.  Who’s mindin’ the damn store?  We used to think Sports was an escape – though some said a microcosm instead – of the everyday in this country.  But with pee wee football, t-ball and youth soccer just past the post-diaper stage is it more about the money than about some backyard and empty-lot games going on all summer instead of how-do-we-hide-these-voluntary-mandatory summer weight lifting – and, okay, maybe a little bit of chalktalk and film study sessions from the investigators and call it nothing much at all?  At all!)


Aimee-girl out Lutz-way

comes back to haunt

my momentary self,

soft and earnest smiles,

quick eyes and quicker hands

but both we knew

and only one slow-sparked

sweet just-barely touching

kiss that stopped the world

would come to naught

and confirmed in each our eyes

as our fingertips touched still

alongside our breathless thighs

that never would ever this be

and for a half-year more

but passing eyetouches

and half-sad full smiles

across a college campus

quad and nearby classes

and some quick words

before our worlds dissolved

and still that slow electric touch

of your soft yet sharp lips to mine

haunt me still from Lutz to Sanford

and everywhere else since.


“A Little Mysogamy” Tanka 809

one whore too many

will give you away easy

two too many not


every shrewd whore* has two more

to tell on the first damn fool


  • (By now you might be wondering which whore who?  I mean no disparagement of honest hard working women who found typing and filing for a living too limiting and I only mention there might be alternatives to holding the egos of the easily-bruised for remunerative purposes.  But I digress.  Who the whore, here?  She – or he – who first laid down or the damnfool still hoping to have enough left in that wallet not to have to walk.  I held one longsuffering lady who danced – both vertically and horizontally – on a half-cut telephone pole bar’s parkinglot buffering as she cried and puked and puked and cried and suggested to her I knew she had a masters’ degree in business management and left a good job in the city – yeah! An old song-joke we both knew – and she wiped-smudged stupidly unnecessary mascara across her cheek and smiled: yeah, J, but he says he loves me.  And I replied: so what? The question is – and the proof of the answer I suggest is: why don’t you love yourself instead?  Why are you punishing yourself. Answer that and maybe you won’t have to sit here with me on this beautiful low bench puking on both of our feet.  That was the last time I saw Tina.  I hope she got new shoes.)



“Honestly Earned”

honestly earned

sweet saltsweat falls off my brow

painters rules apply*


  • (First drop, God’s Fault; second drop, yours; third drop: why you still here?  Similarly constructed rule applies to high-rise steelworkers and other tiers of rebar way up high, I am reliably told.  Me?  I have been known to pack a spare bar of Dial and stand under a gushing downspout at Chooch’s Bar just before the reintegration of South Hopkins and South Washington Avenues in downtown Titusville (also named US Highway 1).  Do both laundry – tee shirt and shorts – and self in the same hard rain.  Once it hailed.  I took that as a sign.  Bartender laughed; owner, less amused.  One patron asked for the soap. Not a single car stopped nor did any honk.  Apparently they were used to me in that Florida coastal berg by then.)