new poem




Known as a rat tail
Feared in locker rooms
Special deadly method
of rolling up towel

Start with diagonal fold
Thick end, gripped
Thin end, wetted

Effect:  like a whip
Purpose:  inflict pain, raise welts
Target:  back flesh on upper leg

Able to rip
a cardboard box
No, no joke

Zing!  scorpion sting
Clean after shower
Dirty rat.



Strike bullet. Blam!
Pull trigger. Pow!
Ain’t bein’ American awesome?
I feel most alive
when I’m gunnin’ someone down.

Don’t know, can’t put my finger on
when my soul got crumpled,
I’ve been psychically screwed.
I’m past the point of snapping.

I’ve crackled. I’ve popped.
My heart armored, my brain
If Waco wasn’t a wake-up call
what will be?

Ten years since Columbine,
the documentary. Gutless
politicians folded. Blew away.
Blown away. I got
my assault on.

I felt nothing.
Same old, same old.
Dealing a game
of death.

— H A L ☮ ♥

Originally published in the local newspaper:


{my poem:  originally published at on Feb. 14, 2011}


Press words out
through cardiac tissue
dip into the well of compassion

wine stain plume
spreading indifference
almost as if

a hand crank
could be attached
to virtual electronic wanderlust

bank on it
know the truth
in the negative balance

ply the Pennsylvania Dutch
for secrets
of mixing mechanical metaphors

I tried to learn the steps
before I forgot myself
and danced.

Can soap bubbles help bring peace to this world?


There is way too much war and strife all over the globe.  Who would argue with that?  Syrian people are suffering terribly.  India and Pakistan violently skirmish on and off.  North and South Korea seem to be permanently irreconcilable.  Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon . . . I could go on and on.

As unlikely solutions go, blowing bubbles might head the list.   Hear me out.  What if every soldier in every army everywhere had to replace bullets with bubbles?  All “shots” would immediately float gently upon the breeze.  I would require that every bomb be fully defused by dropping it into a bubble bath.  Landmines would definitely have to be dug up right away and replaced with soapy, soaky loofahs.

In every geopolitical hotspot, anywhere on the map, a complete lockdown on ammunition would be swiftly enforced.  Bayonets?  No.  Bubbles?  Yes.

My plan is to involve the United Nations, Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, the Pope, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mother Teresa’s ghost, and a few major manufacturers of soap bubble solutions.  Who is with me?

Got conflict?  Bring on the bubbles!

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