Persevering Through


Relentless Absurdity
 

masthead.jpg (8194 bytes)
Three-time Los Angeles Press Club award-winner * * *


Serving the entire state of incredulity eight days a week.


 


RIPOSTE ARCHIVE

Rip Post

STORE


EXCLUSIVE
TRIBUTE
TO THE ORIGINAL LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS!

Articles
and
Essays


A Verse to You
Archive


Music Box

The
Rip Post Interview


About RR

Our Founder

  






























































































 

RIPOSTE
     
by RIP RENSE

riposte2.jpg (10253 bytes)


GENTLE THINGS
November 4, 2013

            In brutish, crass, profanity-spitting L.A., in developer-ravaged $2500-a-month “elegant density” L.A., in have-and-have-not ethnically separated L.A., in get-out-of-my-way-(epithet of choice), hit-and-run, texting-and-primping-while-driving L.A. . . .
            Gentle things still happen.
            She leaned on a walker in front of one of the wobbly tables at Papa Cristo’s, the old Greek deli at Pico and Normandie in the so-called Byzantine-Latino Quarter. Across the street from St. Sofia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, or, more appropriately considering that the masses come with mariachis, Iglesia Santo Tomas Apostol. . .
           “This is excellent!” she said, and, really, it was amazing she could say anything at all, let alone in a clear, commanding voice. The withered and dry autumn leaves on the sycamore trees in the neighborhood looked stronger. This was, to be indelicate, a corpse that hadn’t gotten around to officially dying. Stick limbs, prune skin, sunken cheeks. Talk about frailty, thy name is woman. . .
            “Okay, Babe,” said her companion, a young guy with brown curls pulled back in a pony tail. “Don't worry, I’ve got you.” And he steadied her as he removed the walker, and then helped ease her into a wooden chair. She didn’t seem comfortable.
             “Does your butt hurt?” said the companion.
              What butt, I wondered. Nothing there but bones.
             “Okay, we’ll get you another chair. One with a cushion on it. Is that what you want? Or do you just want to sit at a different table?”
              “I don’t want to be any trouble!” she said.
              “Whatever you want is absolutely fine,” said her companion, and they moved to a table by the window, the one next to me. Brown Curls ran outside, came back with a pillow, slipped it under the talking skeleton.
              “Is this better?”
              “Excellent! Just excellent!”
              Curls got up to order food, and in a few minutes he was wolfing down a salad and they were splitting a big bowl of lentil soup. The woman repeated “Excellent” again, every couple of minutes, in between sips. I thought this was a tremendous achievement, to speak this word, or any word, over and over, and with gusto.
              After a while, Curls---who I heard address the lady as Grandma---got up to go to the bathroom or something. Grandma just sat there, putting the blank in blank stare.
             “How was your lunch?” I said.
              She looked at me. I was startled. There were lyrical blue eyes hiding in the ancient face.
             “Excellent!”
             “Well, good. You have a good grandson, to bring you to lunch.”
             “He’s my buddy! He’s a wonderful grandson!”
             “Yes, that’s a blessing.”
             “Yes! A blessing! You know, I’m very, very old,"
she said, as if letting me in on a secret. "I’ve been here so long. And I have a lot of problems, but I won’t tell you what they are. I’ve been here a long time. I don’t know why they keep me around! I’m a good girl, but I used to give ‘em hell! I tell my family, don’t say goodbye. I don’t say goodbye. I say hello! I greet people!”
             “Well, that’s wonderful. That’s how it should be.”
              Grandson returned, sat down. I smiled.
             “She was telling me that she likes to greet people, likes to say ‘hello.’”
             “Right,” he said. “People should do this. I think of it as recognizing their humanity.”
             “I say hello!” Grandma continued. “I don’t want anybody paying any attention when I die. I don’t say goodbye! I’ve been here so long.”
             “How old are you?”
             “I’m ninety-two, no, ninety-three.”
             “Congratulations. That’s an achievement. I hope to match it some day.”
             “Thank you! I used to raise hell! I was pissed off! I was a communist socialist! I called everyone ‘comrade.’ I said, ‘hello, comrade!’”
             “I’m sure you did.”
             Grandson nodded, laughing.
             “She did. She fought for a lot of causes. She went to
the south in the ‘60’s to register voters, during the civil rights movement. She worked in hospice care, she’s been all over the country, protesting for people’s rights. She’s been arrested many times. I was raised in a communist socialist household!”
              He laughed.
             “I prefer to say humanist. I’m really a humanist. As she is. We were going to go to the anti-nuclear protest today, weren’t we?”
             “Yes!”
             “But she really wasn’t up for it.”
              I was going to say something about how there was a time in this country, largely in the Depressed 1930’s, when every student and young person with an ounce of compassion either attended, or was tempted to attend, communist meetings. That the word did not carry the hoodoo of later times, and essentially meant “humanitarian.” But I couldn’t get a word in.
             “I’m Esther,” she said. “I never say goodbye. I say hello. Hello!”
             “Hello, Esther!”
              Her grandson got on a cell phone, as most everyone does. Some creative confusion with a fellow musician. I spoke to keep Esther company, but she did most of the talking.
              “I say don’t hold back! Live! You’ve only got so many years.
We’re all gonna die. I say if you’ve got something to do, I hope you are inspired!   And then it’s so long, Toots!”
              Her blue eyes and her voice were as lively as the rest of her bent old body wasn’t. And we jawed a while, Esther and I, there in the front window of Papa Cristo’s, while all manner of people filed in and out in search of spanakopitas and plaki and good cheap Greek wine.
            “My grandson is a genius! He’s wonderful! He’s my buddy!”
            “She saved me,” said Curls, clicking off his cell phone. “Saved me from my parents, didn’t you, Babe? Not that my parents were bad or abusive, but when I went to visit Grandma, it was always fun time!”
             “You’re the greatest!” she said. “I am so lucky to have you! Did we eat yet?”
             “Yes, we did.”
             “Oh, we did? Okay, then let’s get going.”
              And Esther the 93-year-old one-time communist-socialist-crusader for human rights got up to leave, and told me how it was good to talk to me, but she broke her credo and said goodbye. In her way.
             “So long, Toots!” she smiled, and leaned on her walker and moved her twig legs along with surprising agility down the sidewalk outside, as bicyclists and ladies with strollers weaved and dodged recklessly around her.  
              About an hour later, I was sitting on a bench in Little Tokyo, as the sun went down, having my dessert of imagawayaki, a Japanese hockey-puck sized pancake full of sweet red bean paste. A burly guy from Detroit, a Little Tokyo regular, sat a few yards away, playing shamisen, a three-stringed instrument plucked with a plectrum, with banjo-like resonance.
               A compact, older Japanese-American lady with beautiful, straight, shoulder-length white hair sat down on the bench with me. She was also eating imagawayaki.
              “Do you like the music?” she asked.
              “Do you want a happy answer or a truthful one?” I answered.
              “Truthful.”
              “Well, he’s very good, very skilled. But sometimes
he plays a kind of rock ‘n’ roll shamisen, which I think sounds boorish, and does not serve the instrument. He kind of ugly-Americanizes it.”
               “I see,” she nodded.
               “But what he’s playing right now sounds fine. Traditional Japanese music.”
               “Pentatonic,” she said.
                I nodded.
               “Are you a musician?” I asked.
               “Yes.”
               “What do you play?"
               “I’m a composer.”
               “Really. Orchestral pieces?”
               “Piano and voice. I just wrote two Christmas songs.”
               “Ah, well, wonderful.”
                She took a bite of her imagawayaki.
               “My husband died two years ago. I had a B.A. in music. God has given me a long life, so I decide to make music again.”
               “Lovely. I can’t think of a better thing to do with one’s time than to make music.”
                She nodded.
                Her face was serene, her voice clear and matter-of-fact, her skin still smooth, youthful. She wore a merry, multi-colored quilted jacket, black slacks.
               “I am celebrating my birthday week,” she said.
                I tried to pronounce the Japanese word for “congratulations,” which I picked up from a Japanese TV series. She smiled appreciatively.
              “I am 18!” she said.
              “Of course you are!”
              “Only reverse.”
               “Right. Well you look wonderful.”
              “Thank you. I just came from a little restaurant where I had a birthday dinner. Bratwurst and a tall dark beer.”
               “Good, sounds just right.”
                “It was!”
                 She smiled, and stood up.
                “My name is Pat," she said. "It was nice talking with you." And she shook my hand, and went on her 81-year-old---I mean 18-year-old---way.
                In brutish, crass, profanity-spitting L.A., in developer-ravaged $2500-a-month “elegant density” L.A., in have-and-have-not ethnically separated L.A., in get-out-of-my-way-(epithet of choice), hit-and-run, texting-and-primping-while-driving L.A. . . .
                Gentle things still happen.

          
              Note: Esther turned out to have a long reputation for activism in Los Angeles and elsewhere. http://keywiki.org/index.php/Esther_Cicconi

 printer-friendly version


SUPPORT THE RIP POST

               E-MAIL: 

RIPOSTE column is published when the author is motivated, which has become quite an infrequent occurence.

We get e-mail! Here's our all-time favorite:

I think if humanity upsets you so much go live in alaska, or somewere
where you don't have to put up with the people who make your life
tolerable to say the least.

Paul Manners


Dear Paul,

I can now add you to that list! FYI: "alaska" is capitalized. "Somewere" is spelled "Somewhere." And you meant "intolerable," not "tolerable."

Rip Rense

THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING?
 IT IS.

READ DAVE LINDORFF


"There is no more truthful, well-researched, important commentary, even if you don't agree with it."---Rip Rense
 

If You Don't Read L.A.Observed.com,
You don't know what's going on in L.A.
civilized news about the news

SHAFTS. . .
 
by The Lamplighter

                                     is on lengthy hiatus. . .
                                     Archive.


Rednew.jpg (21162 bytes)
Once upon a time, in a Los Angeles far far away, there were. . .newspaper wars. There were five---count 'em, five---papers in town, and as many as 12 editions per day for each one. Rob Leicester Wagner, grandson of original Daily News reporter Les Wagner, is the only writer ever to put the history into a book. This was an uncrowded, freeway-less time of paste-pots, cigars, Red Cars, and just a touch of alcohol. Red Ink, White Lies.
ORDER IT HERE

fieldsnew.jpg (9743 bytes)
THE GREAT MCGONIGLE
W.C. Fields Fan Club
Great Quotes by the Great Man
Juggling Hall of Fame


Laurelandhard70.jpg (9155 bytes)
JOIN THE SONS OF THE DESERT!
Now Accepting New Members! Click here! Or here!

 


WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT
The Rip Post
!

"Imagine my (a) surprise (b) delight (c) shock (d) horror (e) revulsion (f) all of the foregoing upon opening my e-mail and getting a link to The Rip Post. It's one hell of a fun read. I was so overwhelmed that I took the liberty of contacting the yet-to-be-approved Department of Homeland Security (say, isn't than an oxymoron?   Or, at least, some kind of a moron?) about the R.P.  You should be hearing from Tom Ridge or one of his humorless minions any minute now." ---Bob Ballenger, Encino.

"I managed to spend about five hours on your site without scratching the surface. That is a great (censored)ing site!"
                  ---Andy Furillo, Sacto. Bee

"Rense is the Rick Blaine of writers."
---Maggie Van Ostrand (making inside reference to "Casablanca.")

"It's huge!"
---Maralyn Lois Polak, columnist.

"Bring your lunch."---Dave Allen, "The Sawdust Samurai."

"It is a veritable cosmic megalopolis of comestibles for the mind and body."---Raj Bavnani, bon vivant.


"It's like I've been tied to the Rippin' post,
and it hurt so good! A site for sore eyes. I've been lacking in my minimum daily absurdity requirement."---Dave Barton, Los Angeles Times, a fine man and friend who passed away much too soon.

"Isn't there such a thing as pulling a "Rip Chord?" You've just pulled mine, and I've been floating gleefully back to earth after another read of Riposte. And PS: I'm from a more ancient generation than yours, so excuse any malaprops, euphemisms, overworked expressions, asininities (now, there's one for you), or other hokum you detect in my copy. In my youth(ful reporting days) it sheltered me, as the poet said, and I'll protect it now." ---Paul Weeks, Oceanside. (R.I.P.)

                                *
Rip Rense's remarkable Riposte
Is the journal I rely on most,
{Thus, looking for a couplet that rhymes},
I scorn the L.A. and N.Y. Times.

I cannot trust the Wall Street Journal,
Or its investment tips diurnal:
As for the Christian Science Monitor,
You cannot depend upon it ,sir.

On all grave issues fraught with terror
Only Riposte is free of error:
Even the old King James' Bible
Is not entirely free of libel.

But eight days a week from morn 'til night,
You can trust our Rip to have it right;
"All the News that Fits," is Rense's creed,
Let others follow, Riposte will lead.

You cannot trust the L.A. Times,
Jennings, Brokaw or Rather,
All are tools of the CIA,
Spreading bombast and blather.

If you want the real skinny,
The true State of the Nation,
Free of propaganda,
And mass media's obfuscation,

Subscribe now on the Internet
To Rense's Daily Rippost;
Of news you can reply upon
It always prints the most.

You can't believe a word that Georgie speaks,
It was written for him by Cheney;
Together they took an IQ test
And Dick was much more brainy. (Just barely).

Keep track of the world's oil reserves,
From Alaska to Aruba;
Find out what Bush is planning next
To impoverish Castro's Cuba.

How many more aging generals,
And their coteries of lackeys
Will Donald Rumsfeld come up with next
To colonize the Iraqis?

In Rippost you will find the truth
That all other sources betray;
Join millions of other Americans,
And subscribe to it today!

               ---Roy Ringer, Malibu. (R.I.P.)

__________________________
READ IT! THE GREATEST PORN NOVEL EVER WRITTEN!
 BY THE GREAT WALT VICKERY!


ORDER YOURS HERE!
__________________________

 

The Rip Post is Sanitized for Your Protection!

hosted by asmallorange.com

DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG UNDER PENALTY OF LAW.
© 2004-05 Rip Rense. All rights reserved.

 


all advertisements are paid in fool.


 

 NEW! 25 SHORT STORIES BY RIP RENSE.
25 ILLUSTRATIONS BY KEITH SNIDER.

ORDER

the greatest grateful dead album
 the grateful dead never made.


 
PERSUASIONS OF THE DEAD
20 TRACKS. 2 CDs. 12 GUEST ARTISTS.
The word, “unique,” is beaten nearly to death by overuse, but here it applies. There is nothing in the world like this album. Nothing. The Persuasions, Brooklyn-grown street singers who became the most important and powerful a cappella group in American history, interpret the songs of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Songs that many, perhaps most, people do not know. Songs that still are not widely understood to be among the most profound and beautiful in American music. Here brought to life by the most soulful voices imaginable.
Sheer poetry, meet sheer melody.


"enchanting!"
---grateful dead lyricist
 robert hunter.

SPECIAL GUESTS ARTISTS: Country Joe McDonald, Mark Karan (Ratdog), Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones (Jerry Garcia Band), Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick, Dongming Qiao, James King, Alyn Kelley, Eric Thompson, Peter Rowan,  Pete Grant, Mary Schmary.

"Deadheads, take a hit from this double disc dose of the real thing. Persuasions fans, this may be the last time you'll ever hear a Persuasions line-up with original lead, and once-in-a-lifetime talent, Jerry Lawson. . .These tracks are stories that happen to have been set to song, not songs that happen to have a story."
---Jonathan Minkoff, Recorded A Cappella Review Board.

"Album producer Rip Rense calls the marriage of these two acclaimed artists "a surprisingly natural fit." He couldn't be more right. It works because these tracks are more than just covers; they're tributes. Each arrangement is designed to draw something new out of the original. Many of them include actual instruments, such as piano, guitar, and baritone saxophone."
---Nicole Maria Milano, Recorded A Cappella Review Board.

PRODUCED BY RIP RENSE FOR ZOHO ROOTS
 AND RENSART PRODUCTIONS

LISTEN TO SAMPLES AND ORDER
 

THE PERSUASIONS
LIVE AT McCABE'S GUITAR SHOP!


The Greatest A Cappella Group in American History
in its only LIVE NIGHTCLUB ALBUM.

Everyone knows, or should know, that as great as Persuasions studio albums were, you did not experience The Persuasions unless you saw them live. Rip Rense set about capturing this vocal lightning in a bottle at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in 1999. Yes, it’s just like being there.

NINETEEN SONGS.
70 MINUTES OF MUSIC AND JOY.
5 SONGS NEVER ON A PERSUASIONS ALBUM.


"The Persuasions have come to save your soul. America is safe again."
---The Bluegrass Special


"Live at McCabe's is a great find, a reminder of this act at its best."---Soultracks.com

"You need to buy this album!"
---
Contemporary A Cappella Society

"We came out smokin'!"
---Jerry Lawson.


 listen to samples
 and order

NOW ON iTunes!

"Their signature album."---Floyd Kucharski.

PRODUCED BY RIP RENSE AND MARC DOTEN
FOR RENSART RECORDS.

 

the rip post's exclusive
TRIBUTE TO THE ORIGINAL
L.A. DAILY NEWS!


"the only Democratic newspaper
 west of the Rockies."


INTERVIEWS!
 WITH THE ORIGINAL "NEWSIES!"
RARE PHOTOS!

MEMORIES OF L.A.'S ALL-BUT-FORGOTTEN MOST BELOVED NEWSPAPER.

THE OAKS
A NOVEL
BY RIP RENSE

"Staggeringly well written. . .sweet. . .funny. . .sad. . .elegaic. . .not a thought nor sentence out of place."
---Keith Snider, San Francisco.

review: ''EDGAR SAWTELLE' VS.
 'THE OAKS,'

 by Barbara Weeks here.

review:Susan Christian Goulding's
Daily Breeze column on "The Oaks" here
.


FLASH! MAN CHAINS SELF TO OAK TREE, READS 'THE OAKS' AGAIN AND AGAIN! here


TO ORDER

"I stayed up to finish the last 100 pages.”
---Dave Allen, Thousand Oaks.

""This book deserves to be read by hundreds of thousands of people It is a gem that talks to a diverse group of people: those who grew up in dysfunctional families(!); Southern Californians who will love the suburban anecdotes; teens and everybody who has ever been a teen with all the awkwardness those years impart. It's also quite funny. Readers simultaneously laugh while groaning over these horribly insensitive 'adults' raising Charlie, who is much more adult than they are."
---Susan Christian Goulding,
columnist for the Daily Breeze,
 People Mag. Correspondent.

 REVIEWS, SUMMARY,
 SAMPLE CHAPTER


Rense interviewed about "The Oaks"
in Ventura Star
here.


ORDER NOW

 
 

RIP POST BOOKSTORE:


Rip's Novel,
"The Oaks"


"Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity"


"Bad Words"

ORDER NOW

It's The Rip Post's exclusive line of  inconsequential products!
 
Persevere Gear!
 
Enjoy our fine "Persevering Through Relentless Absurdity"* Line of products! Tote bags, T-shirts, hats! Amaze your friends! Frighten your pets!

click the products to visit the OUTPOST
*trademarked term.

RENSE ON THE BEATLES!
exclusive!
JOHN LENNON PLANNED TO REUNITE THE BEATLES

PLUS!
SAY YOU WANT A (new) REVOLUTION?


---------------------------------------------------
***********************************************************
LESS THAN SATISFYING ENCOUNTERS WITH HUMANITY---ILLUSTRATED.
THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION. . .
Measured by its attitude.


"You have more 'less than satisfying encounters' than any three other people I know.  I've given this some thought and my conclusion is that it is your unhappy fate to be something of a "schmuck magnet." Unpleasant-incompetent-self-aggrandising people enter your close orbit with greater frequency
 than the rest of us."
---Bob Ballenger, Encino, CA.


230 pages of LTSEWH's.
 
WITH ORIGINAL ARTWORK

ORDER HERE
*************************************************************
BAD WORDS:
A LINGO CZAR LEXICON

THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION---
Measured by its language.


Here it is---210 acid-dripping pages exposing rigidly conformist slang, pin-headed outbursts, 'cool' patois, abominable cliches, infantile drivel, smug rejoinders, mandatory peer-enforced buzzwords and idiot-speak that Americans are spewing from their 500-word vocabularies as their knuckles hang ever closer to the sidewalk.


ORDER HERE

HERE IT IS: THE MOST IMPORTANT SPEECH MADE BY ANYONE IN THE LAST 60 YEARS. WELL, MAYBE. THE GREAT BILL HICKS.

The Rip Post Interview!
SHIN3

ALL FOR TAIKO, AND TAIKO FOR ALL.
How two educators and a scientist came to
 devote themselves to the drum.

HERE
also. . .

DR. HU!

CHINESE MEDICINE DOC EXTRAORDINAIRE!
HERE


AND. . .
SIMON LENG,
AUTHOR OF "WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS: THE MUSIC OF GEORGE HARRISON"

AND. . .
"Mr. Smolin:
teacher, deejay, recording artist--
on Mata Hari, Daktari, high school students, John Donne, the future of the planet, and his album. . .

HERE

plus: 'Breakfast With The Beatles' host Chris Carter, and more HERE

 

MUSIC BOX
HARU NO UMI
GRACE MOORE: UN BEL DI VEDROMO
GRACE MOORE: MI CHIAMANO MIMI
LAWRENCE TIBBETT: ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY
CHALIAPIN: DOWN THE PETERSKY
GIULINI CONDUCTS FRANCK


FOR THE ENTIRE MUSIC BOX, CLICK HERE

 

ClownA Verse to You:
Starring Rip Post resident laureates:
 the late great Scott Wannberg (Salud!), Jack Oakes, Charles Bogle, Raj Bavnani, even Rense himself.

Enjoy samples below, and. . .
visit the big poetry archive

VAGINA HOTEL
I walked into the Vagina Hotel
just because of the name
Tell me, I said, why is this hotel named for a vagina
and the proprietress
who claimed to be a poetess
said, why, does that threaten you
No, I said, I've never been threatened by a vagina
but then, I've never met one that could talk, either,
so I can't be sure
Misogynist loser, she said, so I moved on
Feeling hungry, I stopped at Vagina Burger for lunch
Tell me, I said, to the waitress,
Why is this place called Vagina Burger I mean
that's not very picturesque
Oh, she said, are you threatened by the word, vagina?
No, although I admit I find it a rather ugly sounding word
I mean, couldn't they have called it a morning glory or a midnight moon or something
She snorted and walked away, mumbling "asshole"
So I left and went to Starbucks where a woman on a laptop
had a bunch of books next to her called My Vagina, Your Vagina, Our Vagina, The Cat in the Vagina, Of Mice and Vaginas, Huckleberry Vagina, and The Vaginas of Wrath
Oh, and that one by Naomi Wolf called Vagina: a Biography
What are you staring at, snapped the laptop woman
Oh, sorry, I said, I couldn't help but notice your books
Do they threaten you, she said
No, books don't threaten me, I rather like them
Then why are you staring
Oh, well, I've never seen so many books about vaginas, and naturally
it piqued my curiosity
Are you threatened by vaginas, she said
No, I'm threatened by aggression, mostly, at least to some extent
But I do wonder how a vagina could have a biography
Does that threaten you, she said
Well, let me think about that, seeing as this question keeps coming up
Stupidity and arrogance threaten me, and hostile, defensive people threaten me, and guys with lots of neck tattoos of bloody knives and Jesus threaten me, but a biography of a vagina, no
that's too ridiculous to be threatening
Laptop woman's eyes got as big as ignorance and she said
What do you mean, ridiculous!
Oh, well, it's like this: the idea that retreating into a frame of mind where one's sex organ is exalted, where one's very self-worth is focused on one's sex organ, where an obsession with one's sex organ is conflated with philosophy, and in the case of the vagina, is somehow construed as "feminism" and "empowerment," well
this strikes me as asinine and puerile
and a mite indelicate
Laptop woman's eyes got as big as vaginas and she hissed get away from me you fucking pervert or I'll call security
I momentarily wondered what security's phone number might be, and happiness's, goodness's, and joy's
Then I moved on because I felt threatened
---Rip Rense

 

Il perche non so
mi chiamano mimi
il perche non so
my name is this
I don’t know why
things pump into
neurons
sensory flesh
groceries into bag
dogs play in yard
bestial shouts from windows
supernova roses expand
petals to Betelgeuse
super apes trail offspring
hungry
no cookie
love pondered
gland obeyed
sun nuclear fire
moon barren
little mites feast
littler mites
amoral
pernicious
chanters hum
terrified pray
wail impotent trill
murders of joy
painter wipes fix
moment gone and beauty
crack and fade
universe and skin
blue eyes and harlequin
il perche non so
---Charles Bogle

Raj Bavnani Reads!
Heard it once? Hear it twice!
Listen to Raj Bavnani's
 end-of-year poem, as read on KPFK-FM.

 

Listen at:
 
http://rense.gsradio.net:8080/rense/special/Raj_Bavnani.mp3
Raj read this epic poem for 2010 Jan. 3 on "The Music Never Stops," with Barry Smolin, on KPFK. He is available for private readings. Bookings: Charles Bogle at boglepr@yahoo.com slums of gold
the slums of gold
are having open houses for all the affable c.e.o.'s and financial wizards who have taken their bailout money to build shiny brand new executive bathrooms and finance relaxing weekend retreats far from the noise and fear of the street.the slums of gold have king size beds that will make the most tired and achy executive feel so human and tender.
special guarded elevators will take these new stylish tenants to the penthouse,but wait a second, sometimes the penthouse has no roof and the vultures soar overhead awaiting their next happy meal.
the slums of gold find themselves eventually under a fierce rain which washes that fake gold off revealing corroded iron and brokedown wood.
it's a new year
homicide will soon reach its deductible
and its bills will reduce greatly.
the slums of gold are having a block party.
bring all your favorite yes men and women,executives.
bring your bylaws and meeting minutes.
you'll have to budget the air
inhale just so much oxygen.
the banks glow in the dark.
they begin to pull up stakes
and slither across the earth
looking for food.
meanwhile,all humans with no health care whatsoever become kings and queens for one day.
they are asked to pose for high profile pictures.
as soon as you're through coughing up blood could you smile and say cheese.
the c.e.o.s have blood in their underwear.
should they panic?
should they take a happy pill?
all the happy pills forgot their distemper shots.
they are not agreeable this morning.
when you go to open them up to ingest one they bite your fingers.
---Scott Wannberg, 1/24/09

happy to
Happytogladtodyingto
Get me up in the morning to
wash dishes brush teeth feed cat
scratch ass stare out the window
wonder why and what
At least I wonder don't I
happytogladtodyingto
Get on the phone with hungry ghosts
asking for money calling me sir
India outsourced peasant fool robot
stealing lives for corporate America
Stare at the tube and write things
Go fly a kite things slight things
email eat a snail step on a nail
stomach burns world turns
happytogladtodyingto
Starbucks
culture mucks
might as well
be quacking ducks
Out on the street meetin cretin
nearly run over by el spunky
surrounded by savages yelling scared bitch!
sunshine superman yacks about script into unseen cellphone
isn't he impressive makes me manic-depressive
happytogladtodyingto
Wait in line with 80 stunned people mailing
gifties weight shifties while amorphous postal clerks take breaks
giggle and make very small talk stealing time ain’t it fine
just makes me pine for
better days other ways Shakespeare plays forgotten lays
happytogladtodyingto
Drown in ego suffocate with self
hide from horror might as well turn off the sun
Betelgeuse screaming jokes from the cosmic topsy-turvy
Humans never get the punchlines
Too busy fighting terror speechifying leechafying preachafying chicken frying
Death defying
happytogladtodyingto
Facebook, book my face out of here
A face can be a book but a computer screen is no face
And I can’t face most books
They are designed to screed, not read
They are bankbooks
Making fins for hucksters, not Huck Finns
The last book I read was the last book I will read
Kindle is a swindle
Twitter makes me want gin and bitters
Happytogladtodyingto
And someone told me he was tired of all the whining
About how this has been the worst decade of our lives
And how he’d been hearing this same moan since 1970
Get over it, people, he said, well
I’d like this guy to tell the people who lost people in the desert follies
In Iraq and Afghanistan that they are whining
I’d like this guy to tell broken people who lost their jobs to automatons in Sri Lanka and the Phillipines to get over it
I’d like him to tell the people whose people died because
They could not afford health insurance to get over it
Wounds don’t heal, they scar, but then,
as George Harrison said, with antidote pen
time wounds all heels
Happytogladtodyingto
It’s a time of ephemera, chimera, and etcetera
Everything is a substitute for substance
Demographers are the cartographers
antacid is the new acid
Pop a few and it’s way cool consuming fool office pool
Drop a stool think its jewel you’re just a ghoul out of fuel
Happytogladtodyingto
Sloganeering domineering my eyes are tearing
Reality shows, reality slows
Social network since you can’t get work
Media mavens are terrorist havens
Mexican mafia al qaeda being paraded everyone jaded
How’s it rated are you sated hell’s not gated don’t you hate it?
happytogladtodyingto
Salute the stars and bucks
Stars and bucks forever
May I help the next guest?
My mind is the fresh daily grind
Decaf short two percent Americano
Senior citizen barista tip jar bank account
Fatass cheap suit laptop cell-phone short-sell frappuccino freelancer
Oh say can you see
the dying of the light
happytogladtodyingto
Political correctness porno erectness
Mayors and presidents blowing smoke
Makes me choke kills all hope
Say okeydoke have a diet Coke take a toke
you’re getting soaked
It’s all set-up for same old joke
Happytogladtodyingto
Internet has privatized everybody’s ears and eyes
Everyone’s a hustler, a corporation, institute
Everyone is a singer-songwriter-dancer-director-artist-filmmaker-writer-author-mobile pet groomer
Every man is an island
I post, therefore I am
microcircuit circus
none can flee
Friends in Alabama Antarctica Alaska Anoka
And Bismark, Nice, and Raton Boca
You’ve never met them and never will
Nostalgia youtube is your pill
happytogladtodyingto
Beware the nice police
They will come in the night and
Steal your irony and kidnap your sarcasm
And hold your truth for ransom
And they will torture your reason with
Euphemisms and smiles and platitudes and clichés
And waterboard your psyche until you speak
Like Larry King and Oprah and Tavis Smiley combiney
happytogladtodyingto
Sometimes I find poetry in cigarette butts that will soon
Go down storm drains and stop up dolphin blowholes
And sometimes I find poetry in blue skies
And the other day I found it in a goddamn computer
Dialogue bubble when I went to erase some websurfing
And it said “All history will be cleared. This action cannot be undone.”
And I thought it sounded like Nietzsche or Schopenhauer
And should have been read aloud by Rutger Hauer
As he gave that astounding speech in Blade Runner
All these moments will be lost in time like tears in rain
happytogladtodyingto
child species walks and flops and sings and drops dead
full of curious eyes and larcenous lies
Upright two-legged tool using fool bluesing
usurping and burping
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time greenhouse gassing
Humans are on the way out and winds on the way in
Winds that will whistle through ancient rock and petrified log
For no one to hear and no one to fear
Winds that no one will hustle or paint of sing or ride
or rhapsodize with ecstatic soliloquies
Oh, tiger lily please
don’t go
happytogladtodyingto
---Charles Bogle

i didn't see all that much but boy do my eyes hurt
in the hallowed building
that forgets where it lives
i saw a way of life
try to shove itself into a tube of toothpaste
the teeth of the world
chatter
when love runs naked
through the battle
that dances up and down
the road out of town.

periodically the reaper fellow
comes through selling subscriptions
but frankly his pitch needs grease
and the navy can't tread the water
you shower in.

i didn't see all that much
honest
but boy do my eyes hurt
every time you ask me to leap off the ledge
i remind you i still haven't earned anything
resembling a wing

tell the rage
to act its age and smile
once every now and then
anything it can throw at me
i've already fielded
in a time
when popcorn fell from the sky
and wounds grew gardens.

going home time
finally slipped through the wire,
treat it gentle,
pass the veneer
ache no more
for at least a minute, anyhow
heard a rumor
we were being pulled back
to a rhythm
that wouldn't break us.

killers will eventually get monuments erected in their honor.
and the pigeons will rejoice
through impending snarling weather
asleep on the side of the road
you will find civilization
rolling dice in pitch black night
one more round for the survivors
wherever they crawled off to

the highway refuses to comp you
pay as you attempt
anything
meteors aim their best profiles
at our hacienda
raise your vulnerable face
to their fire
tell them the story
you never finished
the one about the woodsmoke
the shiny people
and when its time
to wander upstairs
to a room that goes on for hours
place your heart on mine
make some music
they claim vaudeville is coming back
together
we'll bring down
the leaking
roof
---scott
florence,oregon
10/27/09
tom russell
blood and candle smoke


while
Here’s a rhyme
On a rainy day
When there’s no time
To while away
The drips drip down
And drizzle, too
And the clouds crowd
And the coffees brew
People scurry,
and hatch their schemes
And cats are furry
Asleep with dreams
---Charles Bogle

ignorance
Do ants ignore?
And do they snore?
Trailing in and out of particulate ant reality
Pushing sandgrain boulders aside
Do they know that they know only what they need to know?
No.
People, though, are blessed with peepholes
Through which they can see
Alternative reality
To shade and color their thoughts
With pointillist light
Rembrandt realism
Mondrian steelism
So why do they ignore
(And they do snore)
Trailing in and out of particulate people reality
Pushing the sandgrain world aside
Pushing the peepholes aside
Content to burrow inside anthills
And closet in caves
Of no thought or art
No daub, no sweep, no dab
Of synaptic brush
And scarcely a blush
What compels
A marvel to be unmarvelous
A miracle to be unmiraculous
A thinker to be unthinking
The ants have an excuse
Survivability is their be
But what of we?
---Charles Bogle
 

Going to Townes
The latest failure
turned the curve
You're travelin'
with the herd.

The calamity
called humanity,
claims unfounded
rejected, rebounded.

Snapshots, scattered,
the last thing,
failed to compose
a photographic
memory,
why don't you
recall it?

You'd prefer
to let it fade
to sepia like
rotogravure
eidetic reveries.

Going to town
world-renown
clown obit
proclaims
legends
offered,
chiseled
visages
proffered

Old man of
the mountains
Fountains
of youth
eluded

Cantankerousity
has replaced
curiosity
Verbosity has
replaced
perspicaciousness.

No lines left to
rehearse, no
time to slam
into reverse.

Call it a day
Ave, universe!
I've seen my day
no more struggle
for one last verse

I'm checking out
without a doubt
Will survey landscape
one last time, not a
pleasure trip, not even hip.
Down with the ship
Chilly winds blow
Closing the show,
last one tonight.
---Jack Oakes

let's dance

What does dancing have to do with anything?
What does anything have to do with dancing?
Prisoners of skeletons, unite!
When all is said and done, there will be nothing more to say and do
So do the exclamation point while the sun shines
Come on baby, let’s do the twist
Mashed potato yeah yeah yeah yeah
It’s the latest
It’s the greatest
But dancing is confused with groin and loin
By the banal and anal
When it can just as easily be done on paper
Or in silent thought
Or turn of brush, trill of flute, stroke of lute, expression mute
The trick of the steps is in forgetting the stepping
The trick of the thought is in forgetting the thinking
The trick of the being is in forgetting the being
The thought of the being is forgetting the tricking
Dancing is moot
Atomic astute
Come on baby, let’s do the quark
Mashed electron yeah yeah yeah yeah
It’s the latest
It’s the fatest
Synapse bone’s connected to the sun bone
Time bone’s connected to the heart bone
Night bone’s connected to the moon bone
Poem bone’s connected to the math bone
Now hear the word of the Chord
Shake rattle and roll
From Betelgeuse to bell toll
Toe tap tree sap sky map noon nap
Blood pump eye blink live die sigh think
The best stuff of life is the best life of stuff
It’s all important and it’s all fluff
Trip on toes and bump your knees
And fall down waltzing if you please
Be a fool’s the golden rule
While hosted by the molecule
---Charles Bogle

better off
We were better off
When the sun went around the earth
And the seas had an edge
Where ships full of heart sailed off
And gods made the stars wink
We were better off
When books were read by monks
And there were no lights
And no galaxies tumbling through universes
Tumbling through other universes
And pictures were painted
And saints were sainted
We were happier to have a sky
Instead of infinity
And deities to control our destinies
Instead of DNA
Howling at the moon was science
Trees were television
Words were mathematics
We were better off
Frightened of the dark
---Charles Bogle 6/22/09

A Great Long While
It’s been a great long while

since fortune did smile

upon our humble enterprise

So it should come

as no great surprise

that your recitations,

incantations and recipes

are no longer on file.

 

Dangle awhile upon

cliff sides and participles

It’s best to have no disciples

lest you draw a following

for your sketches and explanations

 

The chosen few, rent asunder,

walk amidst lightning and thunder

Assiduous students practice darshan

and greet Ezra, Rimbaud, Don Van Vliet

Kleptomaniac kelp gatherers convene

on beaches, cobblestone robbers

leave no pebble unturned as tidepool

gazers, count galaxies amid sandy grains

 

We go against the grain, we embrace

the rain and salute the sunset, it is

our traditional ways that we have lost

so we fabricate new canons of the soul

Kerouac, Ginsberg and Snyder might

appreciate the noblisse oblige of our

rustic rhetoric and rusted-out meteoric

resonance with the cosmic spheres anew

I’ve got this and I’ve got you, callay calloo!

 

The propensity of humanity toward density,

defying the obvious and reviling the propitious

Is a curse and a conundrum without cure

Make a choice for bliss, the devil blues abjure

Once and for all, last chance, last dance,

cast aside your curses, select a path that’s sure

Not much time left, so best play on through

 -- Jack Oakes 2/19/09

Ramblin' Boy

What can you
imagine for a
new tomorrow?
Where can you
roar like lions
at the dawn,when
everything's almost
forgot, if not gone?

It's a new era
of hope, so we
are again told.
But I don't
think truth
is so easily
bought or sold.

Who are we to
gauge what
is the infinite
trapped as we
are in this amber,
the dimensions
we call "years"?

What we know
is soon enough
caught by the tide
and swept to
realms well beyond
blood and tears

We'll all fall prey
to some malady,
or perchance
an accidental
fatality. That's
all in the script,
you might
well remember
your lines before
the curtain falls.

Meditation on the
knowable, does
it open windows
or just pass time?

Take a step back,
you want to be fed,
and patted on the head,
like some good dog
who fell from the sky
with a mission unclear.
Must you, great huntsman,
always be barking
up wrong trees?

Your friends and kin
will always embrace
you, provided you've
learned the right
dance steps and
keep in perfect pitch.

Beyond that, what is
there than this surge
of billions of souls
we deem humanity,
arising and dying
under the light
of ancient stars?

You think you've
found one star that
will grant each
wish, but you
keeping wishing
for more wishes
when soon enough
all will be gone.

No raging at the
dying of days,
last train takes
you way out
west, far past
familiar places.
long gone are
beloved faces
faded away are
the songs you
could tune
your soul to.

This rattletrap
will eventually
collapse and
that will be that.
-- Jack Oakes, 2/7/09|

you wonder
You wonder at what
you’ve heard and you
ponder remembrances
of songs no longer sung
You await now until
the last bell is rung.

You’ve slowed down
the playback to the
point at which you
can hear the real words.

Then someone pulls
out the drum again,
the 11 dimensions
convolute and unfold,
leaving our slight lives
in the dust of stellar
dissolution.
---Jack Oakes 12/08


A Verse to You Archive

 
      
 

© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013  Rip Rense. All rights reserved.