“Meet My New Writer”

(December 13, 2018)

with Westlake, Parker

and MacDonald all well-dead

it’s Haiisen’s turn!*


*(Carl probably doesn’t recall the quiet bearded longhaired writer who came down from Titusville to the then Florida Today newsroom in Cocoa and see him holding forth over by the far wall of the newsroom, surrounded by four or five other writers and possibly an editor or two as that night’s morning paper was getting tucked in.  I was told then – probably 1976 or 78 – he was a really bright star not at all long for The Gannett newspaper chain or Cocoa for that matter.  I was just interested in cadging a few free drinks at the paper’s late-nite watering hole which closed at 3 a.m. and Tidy-town rolled up its sidewalks sans Astronauts long before that time.  I later saw his successes paraded serially across America’s revolving book-racks: the titles titillating and the artwork amateurish.  Another MacDonald devotee. And then I read his introductions in a reissue of some of John Dann’s later works.  Okay.  But still not for me.  Then I encountered the last available Westlake’s Dortmunder and the last Robert Parker’s Spenserian Boston-fest.  So I plunked down my dine in a Sanford, Florida library’s “buy me cheap” shelf.  Now I have a quandary: do I go back to the first and read sequentially, or do I miss and hit – or be spendthrift with my dines as they come my way?  I could see if they still are on the shelves: at about the same page-ishness as the other two mystery writers it only took me 60 years or so to sample, it’s a nice moderate three-day easy drive through the swamps, unless I happen to have nothing else on tap and then the smiling boy had best get on the stick because he’s way behind on my calendar to keep my hands above the tabletops, which is why I read – especially in public – these days.  

“I Am Unsurprised” Tanka 2206

(December 14, 2018)

I am unsurprised

the scared are so adamant

I should be ‘fraid too!

Learned all about shitlessness

long ‘go at Parris Island!

*(The Sanford, Florida movie trick of hiding my eyes behind and below my scruched-up knees to the before-seat just never seemed applicable while wearing a green picklesuit called utilities at the Marine Corps’ eastern recruit depot.  Hiding one’s eyes behind nearly-closed fingers, too, was contraindicated.)