Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Casey at the Screen


The outlook wasn’t good in my wood-paneled den that day:
My brother still had twenty lives—I’d never get to play.
But when ol’ nature called him off to do what he must do,
I seized my moment—and his chair—for Baseball Legends 2.

I blew the cartridge, sniffed the dust, and powered up the game,
Just one short inning on my way to everlasting fame.
My eyelids tightened, fingers flexed, and brow a little sweaty,
I skipped the menu, chose “1 Player,” got my thumb tips ready.

A nimble flick through all the players set the perfect roster,
A licensed-image Hall of Fame without a sole imposter.
Then up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-B-A-Start
To fully load my players’ stats and set my team apart.

The sky was blue, the field was fresh, the stands were packed with dots
Who cheered on a three-second loop and wiggled in their spots.
And when the starting pitch was thrown, I mashed with all my might—
A rad three-button combo that would send it out of sight.

But at the crucial moment when it mattered like no other,
My head was smacked upside itself by my returning brother!
“Get up!” he cried, “I’m telling mom, ’cause I was playing first!”
And then he purple-nurpled me.  He really is the worst.

With gritted teeth I tensed my grip around the grey controller.
For hours I had watched him through another dull side-scroller!
And now that it was my turn, well, I would not be defeated.
He’d made me miss my first swing, but that could not be repeated!

But with his elbow ’round my neck, I swung again and missed!
The players jeered, my brother laughed, the tiny crowd-dots hissed.
I punched him as the third pitch came, I heard him trip and fall,
Then focused on the slowly floating pixellated ball.

A whisper of eternity resounded in the den,
I cleared my mind and exhaled in a state of Jedi Zen.
And, tuning out my brother and the pounding in my chest,
I watched it, timed it, waited for my moment, and I pressed.

Oh, somewhere in this neighborhood the kids are filled with joy,
There’s celebration somewhere for some somewhere girl or boy.
And somewhere there are high-fives, and somewhere there’s a hug.
But there is no joy in our house—mighty Mom has pulled the plug.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Ay, There’s The Rub


Oh I’m the genie of the lamp,
And you have set me free. 
I’ll sing a song, stretch out my cramp,
And grant you wishes three. 

I won’t sit on the sidelines,
I’ll get straight to work for you. 
But first, some rules, some guidelines,
There’s some things that I can’t do. 

I can’t make people fall in love,
I can’t undo the past,
I can’t move planets up above,
I can’t make time go fast.

I cannot bring you riches,
And I will not maim or kill,
I’d rather not soothe itches
Or clean up a diaper spill. 

I don’t do windows, won’t do floors,
I cannot bring World Peace,
I will not help you with your chores,
I won’t co-sign your lease. 

I can’t transport you places,
And I can’t change your appearance,
I can’t affect horse races,
Or find hot new styles on clearance. 

A friend like me, you’ve never had—
No need to quake and cower. 
You want to be a Prince? Too bad. 
That’s just beyond my power. 

But what I do, I do so well
Your mind will come unglued. 
From in the lamp where I do dwell,
I’ll bring you any food!

Whatever you are hungry for,
A meal, a snack, a treat,
Just make a wish or three—no more—
And pretty soon, you’ll eat!

You make your wish and give a nod,
I bring your food out later. 
I’m not a wizard, not a god. 
I’m basically a waiter. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Closing Argument



“Your honor, the defendant stands accused before the court
Of crimes quite reprehensible. The list is none too short.
Three counts of grand theft auto with a rusty old machete,
Two counts of public lewdness with a plate of cold spaghetti,
Obstructing heavy traffic wearing only a fedora,
Conducting a Bar Mitzvah with a giant gummi Torah,
Misspelling girlfriends’ names on half a dozen big tattoos,
Removing final chapters from a shelf of Nancy Drews,
Kidnapping a koala from a wildlife sanctuary,
Assaulting strangers dressed up as the ‘Random Beat-Down Fairy,’
Providing pure ghost pepper juice to quench his grandma’s thirst,
And thirty-seven separate counts of murder in the first.
Your honor, he must answer for each horrible offense.”

“Agreed. Now do you have a thing to say in your defense?”

The little man inhaled and eyed the jury on their stools,
And then he offered his defense:  “Your honor . . . APRIL FOOLS!”



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Works


Hello?  I’d like a pizza, please,
A deep dish extra large.
And on one half I want the works,
No matter what the charge.
That’s pepperoni, sausage, onions,
Mushrooms, turnip greens,
Sun-dried tomato, pineapple,
Some tiny jelly beans,
Dill pickle slices, candy corn,
Those salty little fishes,
Six chocolate chips, five onion rings,
Four pretzel rods, three wishes,
An eye of newt, some batwing flakes,
Green peppers, bacon bits,
The essence of a dying star,
A glob of cheesy grits,
Blue diamonds, purple horseshoes,
Garlic chicken, clotted cream,
Black olives, gummy peaches,
And a newborn baby’s dream.
So that’s the first half, that’s the works,
And extra napkins, please.
And on the other half?  Let’s see . . .
I guess I’ll go with . . . cheese.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dream Cheese


I was hungry, just a smidge, 
So I opened up my fridge,
And I pawed through every bottle, jar, and can.

As I feasted both my eyes, 
I was taken by surprise
By a tiny balding six-inch little man!

“I’m the cottage cheese,” he said,
“For, you see, you’re still in bed,
And this dream you’re having sure is very strange.”

Well, a moment then went by,
And this tiny balding guy
Gave a hefty belch and then began to change.

He became a pink banana,
And he sang “Copacabana,”
While he shook his two maracas and he twirled.

Then a flash of light exploded,
The banana growed and growded,
And became the biggest sausage in the world!

As I watched him, still in slumber,
He became a big cucumber,
Then a fully tricked out sixties muscle car.

Then a wiener in a bun,
And before the job was done,
For some reason he became a big cigar.

It was this point in my dreaming
I could feel the subtext screaming
And, I tell you, I began to get annoyed.

Oh I swear, tomorrow night
I will just turn out the light
And I won’t sit up late reading Dr. Freud!

Monday, December 31, 2018

New Years Countdown


10 is for the new friends I befriended,
9 is for the ones I drove away.
8 is how I ate too much at Christmas,
7 is the extra pounds I weigh,
6 is for my major faults in judgment,
5 is just how many I’ll admit.
4 is for last year’s new resolutions,
3 is for the days before I quit.
2 is for the two of us together,
1 is just ’cause you’re the one for me.
Happy New Year to my favorite person,
Who makes each year my favorite time to be!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Prince Charmin


There’s a damsel in distress!
She’s stranded on the bowl!
She cries out, “Someone help me,
For I haven’t got a roll!”
He’s at her side in seconds, 
With a speed a bit alarmin’.
He’s bold, prepared, and fearless—
Feast your eyes upon Prince Charmin!
He plunders every cabinet
To bring a fresh supply!
He’s stocked the plain, the quilted,
And the precious triple-ply.
His skills are legendary
And his smile’s a bit disarmin’.
He’s kindly and embraceable,
But please don’t squeeze Prince Charmin!
And when his job is over
And his duty has been done,
He hears a cry for help, and now
Another quest’s begun!
Prince Charmin doesn’t grumble,
And Prince Charmin doesn’t groan—
He’s destined to be next in line,
But never on the throne.