One Night During Kwanzaa

December 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM | Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment
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I read this to my girlfriend and she said, “Wow, that’s not racist.”  I think that was sarcasm, but I choose to accept it at face value, which means that it’s okay, and not at all controversial.  Nonetheless, I figure that while I don’t owe anyone an explanation, I’m going to give you one.

Kwanzaa is a bullshit, made-up holiday created by an angry, racist, reactionary, criminal thug who wanted to drive more of a divide between black people and white people.

Since the followers of Kwanzaa want their own thing, I give them their own thing.  A realistic holiday poem:

One night during Kwanzaa, all up in da crib
All my cousins was sleeping, for the bed they called dibs;
The laundry was hung by the heater with care
In hopes that it wouldn’t start a fire in there;

The babies was nestled all snug in they beds
While visions of bling and shit danced in they heads;
Baby Mamma in her moo-moo, looking so Phat
Had just then agreed to let me hit dat

When out on the lawn there arose such a ruckus
I jumped out of bed to see what the fuck was.
I thought it was cops when I saw the light flash,
So I opened the window and tossed out my stash

The spotlight on the dankness of old yellow snow
Looked like an episode of Cops in the alley below
Just then down the street came a crazy mo-fo
In a big ol convertible, full of bitches and hos.

With a smack-talking driver, all dressed up and hip
I knew in a moment it must be Da Pimp
The car boomed and it rocked, down the roadway it came
And he yelled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Lucretia, Lashonda, Lataisha, Sha-Nay-Nay”
“LaSharon, LaChevy, Tunisha, and Carol;
“To the top of the projects! To the liquor store wall!
“Now shake them all down, ‘fore I bitch-slap you all!”

When he pulled into the driveway it made such a sound
All the property values went instantly down
While the rims were still spinning he fell out of the car
Then stumbled around before throwing up in my yard.

He offered me his 40, the sneaky old prick,
Then distracted me with the oldest of tricks
He said, “Check that ass,” and when I turned around,
Through my back door Da Pimp came in with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, with a big-ass pimp hat
And gold and a cane, like this and like that
A handful of bags he had flung on his back
He looked just like a gangsta, smoking some crack.

His eyes – how they dilated! His teeth caps, how golden!
His cheeks were like chocolate, his face a crushed berry!
We could all see his drawers ‘cause his pants hung real low
And the beard of his chin was as black as the coal.

The roach of a blunt he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad nose and big ol’ fat gut
That he rested on the ass of a bent-over slut

He’s the spirit of Kwanzaa, set to do crime;
Fresh out the joint after doing hard time.
He was out to score free holiday fare;
I worked hard for my shit but he just didn’t care.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled his bags with my shit, the fucking old jerk
He took all my presents, and food–every bit
Then just strolled out the door–ain’t that some shit?

He hopped in his car, but I couldn’t run
As he peered at me down the barrel of his gun
But I heard him warn me, as he drove out of sight,
“I’ll be back next year, and fuck you up right!”


Tag, You’re It!

January 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
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I don’t know if I ever posted this–and if I did, it was five years ago and unfinished.  I found it recently, dusted it off, finished it, and now present it to you for your dining pleasure…

Tag, You’re It!

I have had this problem, this medical thing going on, for most of my adult life. Which–to be fair–even though I am forty, has only been going on for about five years. Males mature later in life than females. I stand by that.

Anyway, this thing I have is skin tags. Barely noticeable and easily forgettable at first, over time they have grown in both size and number to become a real nuisance, albeit a non-life-threatening one. Right now I am torn between writing this and not, because how do you make something like this interesting, never mind funny?

But let’s go back. Shortly after I broke up with my old girlfriend (and she is old, too! Ba-dum, ting!) and started going out with my (new? newer? Less old?) current girlfriend who would become my wife and then my ex-wife, she wanted me to go to the doctor because I had these things growing on my inner thigh. She thought they were genital warts, and blamed my old girlfriend, the skank. Nice. I wanted to tell her that it was probably the girlfriend before that one, because she was a real ho, but I realized just in time (before my mouth opened) that women don’t want to hear this. Oh, they think they do. But they really don’t.

I had no insurance at the time, so we went to the county hospital outpatient service:  The free clinic.

Typically, you have to wait a long time in a place like that, but it wasn’t so bad. I got in there about nine am, and they got to me by three in the afternoon the same day. I was pretty happy. I was even happier when I saw my doctor:  Hot, blonde, female.  No lie.  A hot blond urologist. In other words, she was a dick doctor.

(And here I have to insert (ha-ha, “insert”) one of my favorite jokes: A gynecologist comes home from work after a long day doing God knows what, to be greeted by his wife,who was wearing sleek, sheer lingerie; there were candles lit, champagne on ice, and Barry White playing on the stereo. He says to her, “I swear to God, Honey, if I have to look at one more—“)

Imagine a woman doctor in that position, and how hard (tee-hee, “hard”) it might be to impress her. . .

So I take off my pants, as instructed, trying not to think about it too much. I was at this time in my early twenties, when I could do push-ups with no hands at the slightest provocation. She takes the little freezey tool thing, after examining the marks, and says they are skin tags, not warts. Sigh of relief, and a slight stinging sensation as she freezes these things, and we’re done.

At least, I thought we were done. As I stand and then begin to pull up my pants, she says to me, with her back turned to me to hide her smirk, “I need you to take down your shorts now because we check everyone for venereal disease.” So I pull my underwear down as she moves into position, kneeling in front of me. This is known as the honey spot. As I straighten back up and before I have a chance to look at what she is doing and react, she takes a long, thin, q-tip looking thing and grabs my wa-hoo like it’s our fourth date and shoves the thing into MY thing.

I know, right?

I try to argue my point in the most reasonable fashion about the extreme discomfort this is causing, as well as embarrassment for me, not to mention destroying all of my fantasies about this occasion, as well as causing a lasting psychosis about women in this position in front of me, but all that would come out of my mouth amid the screams and the drool was, “Hey! He-Hey! HEY! What the–? HEY!

And then it was over. Sullenly, I pulled up my pants, realizing I’m not going to get the obligatory what-have-you, and ask, “What the hell was that all about?”

She explained that it is best to catch them (the victim) before they have any idea what is going on, otherwise they won’t hold still for it. She looked me in the eyes, with a gaze that was both haunting and penetrating. She had the eyes of a woman who has seen what I have to offer, and is completely unimpressed, and perhaps a little sympathetic. Which I did NOT want. “Am I right?” She asks.

And let’s just leave it at that, shall we? Moving on. . ..


Another time, a few years later—

And look, I don’t remember exactly when. I could strain my brain really hard and estimate it, and be within three years. Or I could just tell you I did that when actually I’m just guessing, and say it was. . . twelve years ago. Yeah, I looked it up. I went to a dermatologist because I had a lot (I thought) of skin tags on my neck, and maybe some on my inner thigh, I don’t remember. He froze them off and billed me. I may not have ever paid that bill. I remember him being impatient when I was hesitant about showing the ones between my legs, and thinking, you know, I took a shower and put on clean underwear for you. I just as easily could have…done the opposite.

But I guess it’s enough that I didn’t pay the bill. I showed him.


And here we are today.

I had lots and lots and lots of these things, these tiny little mutant attachments to my skin. I didn’t feel quite like the elephant man, but I was very self-conscious about it. I always wore a shirt, did not want to go to the beach or the pool, and didn’t really even want to wear a shirt without a collar, because that helped to cover them up. But now, I had a new job and new insurance, so I figured I would see what is covered.

Not much, as it turns out. This is all considered cosmetic. But still, I figured I would go, get an estimate, then come up with some money and get it done. Well, getting a hold of the doctor’s office to begin with turned out to be a game of cat-and-mouse. They had office hours Tuesday afternoon most days, never on Wednesday, first of the month somewhere else, and lunch from 11am to 1pm the next day. Closed on Monday all week. Leave a message, but don’t count on a return call.

I finally got in to see him, in a satellite office, and realized that he travels around a lot from office to office. Is he the only friggin dermatologists in the metro area?  Well, dude, we just don’t know. I go in and sit on the table. He comes in, and as he is asking me stuff, grabs something off the wall connected to a cable, then begins to attack me with it. It’s a fucking soldering iron!

That is the essence of it, anyway. He said the way they used to do–freeze them off–didn’t work as well, and left marks. The burning, that works. I had over a hundred of them on my neck. Imagine, just imagine, someone coming at you with a soldering iron, and touching you with it over 100 times. The prisoners in Abu Grebe got massages with happy endings in comparison. I should explain, the tags themselves have no nerve endings–so he said–but are connected directly to the skin, and the best place to burn them is at the root, near the skin. So he is hitting that every time. I started to see stars. I thought I was going to pass out. I needed something to bite. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. Ever.

He apologized several times, explained that most doctors would want to do it a different way, and charge about 1500 dollars for it, and the insurance won’t cover it because its cosmetic. This was the only way. It hurt so much I started to laugh in disbelief at how much it hurt. And probably for about fifteen minutes this went on. He continued to apologize, and I understood, although I still wanted to punch him and stab him with the soldering iron. In the face.

I showed him the ones under my arms, and he said, let’s do that next time, you’ve had enough pain already…So I didn’t have to kill him. For now.

And then, it took about a week for them to fall off, like rotting fruit. It was kind of disgusting. Luckily, I wear shirts with collars, so most of it went unnoticed. But finally they were gone. A few very small ones remained, that he missed, but honestly—over a hundred? That’s a lot.  I felt like a new man, like hundreds of tiny little weights had been lifted from my body.

I made another appointment for the ones under my arms. The doctor explained briefly that I should get this certain medicine from the pharmacy, a cream to cover the area, like a topical analgesic to make it less painful.

But it was still scary, and without much provocation, I missed the next appointment, I was running late, and didn’t really try to hard to make it. But I called and made a new appointment, and went in. I had the cream, so I went to the bathroom to apply it to my underarms, and then put my shirt back on. I didn’t realize this was defeating the purpose, and I had missed some important steps. He had actually told me to apply it and cover the area with plastic wrap so that it would stay on the skin, not soak in, and not be absorbed by my shirt. So by the time I got in to see him, I essentially had  full sensitivity in that area.

He examined them and said, these are too big to burn off, so I’m going to have to cut them off. No sweat. I thought, It had to better than burning them off, right?  Right?

He grabbed a tool that looked like a tool that I have in my own tool box, except mine were more rusty. It looked like a wire cutter.

And my skin tags were the wires.

It’s hard to believe the sheer number of the things I had on my skin. For instance, before he burned off hundreds of them. How is that possible? It just is. Although scientists and doctors claim to not know the exact cause of them, I do know they happen to appear where one is more likely to sweat: The back of my neck, my inner thigh and ass-crack, and—

Under my arms.

The ones under my arms were the worst. And beyond appearances, they were a nuisance. They would catch and snag on my clothes, causing discomfort on a daily basis. Under my arm they were bigger as well. Over the rest of my body, they were the size of…I don’t know—a BB, maybe: From a .177 caliber BB up to a .22 caliber pellet. The ones under my arm were, on average, the size of a raisin. Some were bigger and similar in color to a raisin as well. You can see how a woman might find all of that so very attractive.

So the doc comes at me with the wire cutters. I have my shirt off, my arm up over my head, holding it with my other hand, and my face turned away. As near as I can tell, the technique for removing these is to place the blades of the wire cutter around the skin tag–carefully so that he only has the tag and not my regular skin—and in one smooth motion squeeze and yank.

I think he might have been throwing the skin tags against the wall, like pasta.

Remember, we’re not using anesthetic. I sure as shit didn’t forget.

A few months prior to this, I thought that burning them off with a soldering iron was the worst pain I had ever felt. Well, it’s true, and up to that point it was.  It was about a 12 on the pain scale from 1 to 10.

This was about a 15. And the scale is not linear.  The doctor rolled up a wad of paper towels and shoved them in my mouth to bite down on. I swear to God. If he had pulled out some leeches I would have thought I had traveled back in time a few hundred years.

I would also like to remind you how sensitive the area under the arms is to begin with. If you want to get all cocky about how you can take it, let me pinch you under your arm, you fucker. After you stop crying and pitching a fit, I’ll do it about 60 more times under that arm, and then another 70 under the other.

He apologized while he was doing this as well…but I wasn’t feeling his sorrow. Maybe he liked it. Maybe he was like the dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors.”

This went on for probably half an hour. It was horrible, and I wasn’t laughing in pain this time. But the aftermath—the aftermath was just pathetic.

After he was done—and maybe before he was done—he got some gauze and bandages to sort of stop the bleeding. “Sort of.” When he was done, he had me sit in another exam room with a roll of paper towels—I still had my shirt off—and apply general pressure to stop the bleeding. Questions occur to me now that did not occur to me then:

Why was I bleeding so much? I imagine because I take a lot of ibuprofen for knee pain, and it is a blood thinner.

No, I mean, why did I have so many open wounds? Wasn’t he just clipping the tags?  Yeah, if you go deep enough, into the root, you get into the skin.

Then why didn’t he—how’s about bandaging me up better with gauze and tape, et cetera? Well, I’m thinking the guy might not have really been a doctor. He might have been an apprentice electrician that was just really handy with the wire cutters and soldering iron.

Seriously, is this a common medical practice in the 21st century? Well, Dude–again–we just don’t know.

I sat for about 45 minutes, I think. The bleeding finally stopped out of boredom.  The doctor gave me a supply of gauze and electrical tape and sent me on my way.


Later, at home, I needed my wife to redress my wounds. I was still not sure of how bad it was—I can’t see under my arms very well—but I got an indication of the true severity when she declined to do it because she was too grossed out.

Well, lucky for her my whole reason for doing this was to improve my looks so I would have a better shot at picking up chicks. My son redressed them for me instead; being a psychopath, he wasn’t as squeamish.

At some point I did get up and look at the wounds in the mirror. It was incredible. There were dozens and dozens of open cuts, and places where the skin was just missing. Some of those were as big as a nickel, and triangle-shaped to match the profile of the wire cutters. I looked like I had been mauled by a bear.

A bear with a medical degree.

Song Of The Year

March 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
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At the bank yesterday morning, some chicka named Kim (I know about four or five Kims) asked me to come over and look at someone’s computer, with the excuse that they were having trouble with it.
He has a officle.  It’s bigger than a regular cube, and it’s shaped like an office except the walls are only five and half feet tall, and portable, made of cube material, and there’s no door.  It’s kind of like shaping tofu into a t-bone steak–it may look nice, but it’s still tofu.  Steak sauce won’t help.
Anyway, several people–work-friends–are gathered there and my first thought is, “Shit, not another intervention.”  My second thought was, “What could it be for *this* time?”
Before I can protest, someone says, “Listen to this.”  It’s playing on computer speakers and it’s kind of low, so I can barely make it out.  Acoustic guitar and some singing.  A familiar tune.  Suddenly the light dawns on me.  *TOO* familiar.  It’s lyrics that I wrote.  Somebody STOLE my song!
I didn’t say anything yet, which was good, because I would have made an ass of myself.  “Sound familiar?” somebody said.
I turned, and she handed me a CD case and explained.  Last year in October or November, I sent around by email these lyrics that are a parody of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.”  They got to Linda, and she sent them to her husband.  Her husband and brother-in-law have a band.  They were tickled by the lyrics and they thought up a great idea.  The band practiced the song, performed it, and recorded it.  A girl at the bank clandestinely took my picture, and another woman took the photo and ‘shopped it onto the cover of the original Simon and Garfunkel album art, and changed it to my name and the name of the song.
I listened to the song again.  They really went all out on this.  I was amazed and just knocked on my butt at the lengths they went to.  I just felt–wow.  I felt like a rock star.  I felt like I won the Grammy.  I felt special, like a sitcom’s very-special-episode kind of special, but in a good way.  It warmed my heart and the cockles of my balls.

And all of this because 16 years ago or so, I heard the song and different words went through my head, and I knew I had to go with it.  I re-wrote the lyrics to be more applicable to something I could relate to:  Pizza Delivery.  The new song was called, “The Sound of Slices.”
Whenever the song comes up in conversation, I casually mention that I was with Art Garfunkel before Paul Simon was.  We toured the local bus station circuit doing folk music.  I had just written that song when Paul Simon came along.  I got kicked out, and they stole my material–it was this whole big thing.  Paul Simon rewrote the lyrics, but my version makes more sense.  Obviously.  It’s about my life delivering pizza back in the 1950s.
I told them that story, and then sent them the lyrics.  And they did all of that work.  It’s just amazing.  It makes me happy to know that I have friends that will do things like that, and people who actually think my material is good enough to do that do.  I am now–officially–a published songwriter.  Let me go ahead and give you the lyrics. 


Pizza boxes my old friends
I’ve come to fold you up again
Because a GM softly creeping
Woke me up when I was sleeping,
And the threat of being fired still remains
In my brain
Within the sound of slices

Out on runs I go alone
Driving fast and getting stoned
Beneath the halo of a streetlamp
I deliver in the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash
Of a neon light
“Open All Night”
To serve the sound… of slices

And in florescent light I saw
10 thousand pizzas, maybe more
Pizzas stacking without leaving
Pizzas sitting and not going
Pizzas growing old and drivers never care
No one dared
Disturb the sound of slices.

“Fools!” said I, “You do not know!
“Sliced like that it cannot go!”
Hear my words that I might teach you
Grab my apron that I might train you
But my words, like pepperoni fell
And in the air the smell
Of slices

And the people bitched but paid
For the pizza that I made
And the sign flashed out its warning
See the words that it was forming
And the sign said the slices of the pizza
Are for sale near the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whisper the sound… of slices


Just Sit Right Back

September 30, 2005 at 5:00 PM | Posted in Notes on Society | Leave a comment
I’ll make this one short and sweet.  I’ve been pondering this a lot lately, and it has changed my perspective on how I thought the universe ran.
Bob Denver died recently.  It is truly sad, indeed.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family.  But he lived a good, long life, and left a tremendous, lasting legacy in our hearts.
On the bright side, at least, he is off my list of potential candidates as the anti-Christ.

Unless he comes back.

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