I was teaching a class to correction officers today, about pepper spray of all things, when a lady in class said, “Do you know Horowitz is a Jew?”
How she didn’t know Horowitz was Jewish name, and what this had to do with pepper spray, was beyond me. But then she said, and I’m not making this up, “But Horowitz is not really Jewish. I mean ‘Jeweyism’ is a religion, not a race. His family is Polish. I mean, he said he doesn’t eat pork because he’s Jewish. So I said, You don’t eat polish sausages? But you’re Polish. And he said, ‘No, I’m Jewish.’ Then I found out that there’s Italian-Jews, American-Jews and Middle East-Jews. I mean those Jews in Israel? They’ve only been there like 50 years. So I don’t know how there’s Jews all over the world when they’ve only been a country for 50 years.”
Then she said, “And you know those Jews that were in the Holocaust? They were actually Polish.”
That’s when I said, “Please don’t ever say that out loud again.”
“Why?” she said.
“Because it makes you sound dumb.”
“Just because I don’t know something doesn’t make me dumb,” she said and then continued to tell us everything else she didn’t know about Jews.
“I mean how am I supposed to know that Polish people are Jews? Did you know that they say Jesus is a Jew? But he’s really not. He’s from Iran or something like that. I’m a Christian and I didn’t even know that until recently,” she said.
“And did you know that Jews don’t even believe in Jesus? I mean, if he’s a Jew how can they not believe in him?”
“Because Judaism, only believes in the Old Testament,” I said. I wasn’t even going to try to explain the Torah at this point.
“What? Well that’s where all the dumb stories are,” she said. That just doesn’t make any sense.”
“This whole conversation doesn’t make any sense.” I said. “You need to do some research before you ever talk about Jews again. Now, back to pepper spray.”
with blown 427’s
reached for the sky and
chopped and channeled
50’ Merc’s slammed to the ground
white-walled and full-mooned
lined up at start lines.
Girls with beehives and bobs
stood in the middle lane
waiting to drop their bandanas
as 400 horses zoom-zoom-zoomed
down the quarter mile
praying to keep it straight
win by a nose and
avoid the fiery inferno.
Candied choppers were raked-out
front wheels quivering
hands held high while
pipes bang-bang-banged away.
Ghoulish Rat Finks,
The All-knowing Eye,
and pin-up girls
painted the path for
bright-colored skin with
worn on sleeves.
Slicked back hair
blue jeans and printed T’s
with “Road Kings” or
rolled in sleeves
were the uniform
invented by them.
bass lines and surf-licks
On Fender and Gretsch guitars
was the soundtrack of the day.
Trippy dream-like paintings
rockets flying through
space, stars and the Moon,
and gold treasures chests with
emerging octopus arms were
by critics and embraced
by the riff-raff.
The three gods weren’t
allowed in universities and galleries,
so they created their own
Broke as a joke
Without a punch-line,
A bum is richer
My good friend Jack
Beat me down again.
But next time,
Things will be different.
I had to write a juxtaposition poem for class. To juxtapose something is to place two things close together or side by side, for comparison or contrast. You will see some examples of juxtaposition written within the sentences, but more importantly, within the story itself.
Today I saw a
rich photograph of
Kiryas Joel, NY,
the country’s poorest town.
Hasidic Jews with
long black robes
and wigs lined
A mega synagogue for
the 13,000 residents had
a small sign that read
Visitors Please Dress Modestly,
While a girl slid out of
her black SUV wearing
white Daisy-Dukes and
a red tank top—no bra.
When I was assigned this poem, I wanted to find out where the poorest city in the U.S. was. I figured I could contrast how the poor live and find something beautiful in that squalor. I would have never guessed what I actually found out about the nation’s poorest town.
I found out the poorest city in the U.S. is Kiryas Joel, NY. The town’s average per capita income is just over $4000 a year. The reason for this is because the town is mainly made up of Hasidic Jews who follow the Torah and its commandments strictly. Money is not the main focus in life.
One interesting side note is this town has had a population boom. The average age of a resident there is fifteen. Most of the residents get married young, have kids, and stay in the town. The population has grown from 4000 to almost 14000 in less than two decades. This might not seem like much to some, but you have to remember that most of this growth is from people who already live there, not new people moving in.
This poem was based on a real photo.
Ever wonder how you get dragged into an argument with your significant other? You know what I mean, the kind of argument where you don’t speak to each other for two days? Usually it begins with playful banter.
“You’re so silly sometimes.”
“You just are. You’re so silly.”
“Nut-uh. You’re silly.”
“Oh yeah, well you retarded.”
“Retarded? Well at least I’m not silly and retarded.”
“You’re as silly as a five year old retarded kid.”
“Stop calling me retarded.”
This progresses to where you’re saying things like, “Well you’re a retarded silly little slut.”
“Oh yeah, well you’re retarded and have a small penis,” she says.
And your best come back is, “I told you to stop calling me retarded.”
Before you know it the gloves come off and anything goes. You’re like a blood thirsty animal going in for the kill and nothing is off limits. From past relationships to ugly members of their family, anything and everything is on the table.
“Your mother’s overbearing!”
“Yeah well my last boyfriend’s penis was three times as big as yours!”
“Stop talking about my penis!”
This progresses to talking about annoying habits, to their deepest insecurities that only you know about.
When your wrapped up in this frenzy you feel like a washed up old baseball player who’s still swinging for the fences. And when the dust settles, all you have left is two hurt, broken people, who are suppose to care about each other more than anything in the world and they end up being the people who hurts each other the most.
It takes a couple of days before you get over the insults and the pain. You pass each other like strangers in your own home with little grunts and head nods. And then who ever drops their pride first, is the one who apologizes.
“I’m sorry that I said those things and I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
“Yeah me too. The whole thing was silly.”
“Yeah, the whole thing was silly. But you know, you just act so silly sometimes?”
“Me? What about you? You act sillier than me, ya silly freak.”
And before you know it, you’re back in the doghouse again.
Is at my doorstep
and this time
she’s carrying 2 bags.
She only stops by
when she needs something.
And that something, this time,
is 400 bucks and
a ride home
after the procedure.
Well Miss Thing
You can keep
and the baby
cuz I’ve gotta
a bike and a job.
It’s been brought to my attention by a long-time reader that he doesn’t like my poetry. He says he loves my, “sarcastic stories with a punch-line at the end.” He’s also asked me in the past, “When are you going to write a story about me?”
Well I hear ya buddy, on both accounts. I didn’t care for poetry either, but I’m taking poetry this semester, so that’s what I’ll be writing for a while.
For those of you who don’t know, I write for Missouri Runner and Triathlete Magazine. I also participate in the events that I write about, which means I swim, bike, or run, four to six days a week.
I’ve also been working on a memoir about my trip to India for four years now. I’m on the fourth chapter of my third draft. When I finish this draft, I’ll be sending it off to an editor. After that, I will start submitting it to get published. This is on top of having a wife, a daughter, a job and a life, but I digress. The point is you might be reading poetry for a while.
And on that note, do you know that a recent survey in Esquire magazine said that 12% of men can’t see their penis when they’re standing up straight? I’m guessing the guy who said he doesn’t like my poetry is in that 12%.
What? He asked that I write a story about him and he said he likes the sarcastic punch-lines at the end. Wish granted.
Sometimes when you’re as tall as I am, people say things that they think are clever, but really, it’s just annoying. Things like, “How’s the weather up there?” Or a slight variation of that, “How’s the view?”
Neither of those statements are funny when you’ve heard it at least twice a day for twenty straight years. I really want to spit my coffee all over these people and say, “It’s a torrential downpour,” but I don’t. I usually give a fake laugh and say, “Never heard that one before.”
Sometimes people are naive enough to say, “You haven’t?”
And I say, “Well, it’s the first for the day,” and I leave them standing in their stupidity.
One thing that’s hard about being tall is dating. The first question that any woman asks me, even before they ask for my name is, “How tall are you?”
“6’10” I say.
“Ewwww, that’s tall. You know what they say about tall guys,”
“They have knee and back problems?” I
“No silly—That they’ve got big…you know?”
I’ve had the same conversation with 100’s of girls and it usually stops right there because I don’t dare tell them about the Irish curse. This is the main reason I looked into an elective height reduction surgery.
“What?” you might be saying, “I know you, you’re not 6’10”.”
And I’d say, “Not anymore buddy. Not anymore.”
There’s earthquakes all over the world, toxic waste polluting the Pacific, America’s 15 trillion in debt, and now this. A Chicago school has banned home-lunches. What’s next, a ban on chewing gum? We’ve got our eyes on you Singapore.
Administrators at Little Village Academy, a public school in Chicago, say the policy is all in the name of good health. Principal Elsa Carmona told the Chicago Tribune she created the policy after watching students bring, “bottles of soda and flaming hot chips,” for their lunch.
Personally I don’t think school administrators should be meddling in what kids eat at school. They have a hard enough time teaching kids to learn. Dozens of kids have walked their trays up to the trash can and thrown the food-trays away without eating a bite. I’m sure this is going to help them pay attention to the teacher after lunch.
My only question to the students is, “Are you going to eat those tatter-totts?”
I saw an airbrushed painting of a Black Widow the other day and I couldn’t stop staring at it. The way her red hour-glass body balanced on those white-ghostly webs was mesmerizing. For a brief moment, I psychically felt the fear, which the fly in the painting would have felt, as her eight eyes stared down at her prey.
A female Black Widow sometimes eats her mate after copulation. Although most serial killers are male, female serial killers who kill their husbands or boyfriends are known as Black Widows.
Belle Gunness is considered to be the most prolific female serial killer to date. Gunness had at least 42 confirmed victims in the early 1900’s. Some experts estimate Gunness had as much as a fifty or more unconfirmed victims. She killed many of her victims for insurance money.
Gunness was never sentenced for the murders she committed and her death is a mystery. But in all likelihood, Gunness died in 1931 while awaiting trial for a poisoning under the assumed name Esther Carlson. This goes to prove that sometimes a Black Widow’s poison can come back to bite them.