Thoughts on Walking Through the Neighborhood at Dusk.


When I was but a slippy youth, impelled by lusty flush

To run and skip and hide and sing like any careless thrush,

The boys and girls around the street joined in my serenade,

Or fought with clods of earth or set up stands for lemonade.


The slightest hint of mildness in the weather caused adults

To open all the windows for some gossip (or insults).

We yelled our silly heads off as we scalped each other like

The Westerns on the TV, or went on an oval hike –


Around the alleys, past trash cans just full of won’drous tripe,

Scuffing on the clinkers as we rolled a broken pipe.

Mrs. Berg put up a sign that said “Stay Off The Lawn”.

Old Benny on the corner drank his Schlitz and gave a yawn.


Cranky Mrs. Hannigan put out her wash to dry

(They said she beat her husband so until he’d start to cry).

Nozzles on the hoses sent the dew upon the grass,

Held by men in t-shirts with their arms as stiff as brass.


The cavalcade of bikes and trikes and hopscotch-playing girls

Made the sidewalk squirm just like a box of baby squirrels.

To sit inside when sun and wind made love to all the trees

Was just about as stupid as a snort of anti-freeze.


Even Mrs. Henderson, as old as Herbert Hoover,

Smiled upon the bedlam through the chinks of parlor louver.

The noise was a cocoon that wrapped the neighborhood in fleece;

Underneath the woofs and tweets there lay a modest peace.


Today – today, I walk by neighborhoods and cul de sacs

Where fam’lies park their minivans and figures made of wax

Sit inside the windows playing games intensely bright

While the beauty of the world fades into unmourned night.


The quiet doesn’t cheer me or promote much peace of mind.

The lack of noise, like lack of sight, is something dull and blind.

The yards are neat and comely, and the children are well-bred;

A lemonade stand here would get you handcuffed by a Fed.

The Economy Recovers.


I guess the old economy is working like a charm;

People going back to work have muffled the alarm.

The days of basking in the sympathy of friends have gone,

And now I’ll have to resurrect my rusty brain and brawn.


I’ve grown to like the idleness and languor of defeat,

To cherish reruns on TV, with bags of chips to eat.

I haven’t seen the sunrise since the elder days of yore;

I’ve given all my neckties to the neighborhood thrift store.


My resume’s a relic that will need much restoration.

I’ll have to make a template for an online application.

But once I get a job I will perform it in high gear.

Until Social Security kicks in this coming year.

What Do You Do With an Old TV?



Throwing out a TV is not easy nowadays;

The EPA determines all the means and all the ways.

If you toss it in a field where weather breaks it down

You are liable to a fine (or maybe just a frown).


No one wants an old TV; they’re orphans in the storm.

Heavy metals in them might begin to pool or swarm.

Cathode tubes and diodes and a bunch of other stuff

Could explode or radiate and turn your brain to fluff.


If we shot our TVs into deepest outer space

It might be seen as act of war by some green alien race.

So my advice is take your old TVs – computers, too –

And grind them into Copenhagen snuff for dolts to chew.