Some people like neat suburbs.  I always am attracted to the rundown and the old and the offbeat.  –William S. Burroughs–

The place to be?
A good place to die?
Empty eyes ignored
Just like before
Escape–break free
From reality!
Somewhere else
Less perfect
Less sky-high
Less Fourth of July
Where, there were
More slices of life
And, less graffiti

After hump day
Downhill slide
Blue highway, blues
Lulled to sleep, by
Bumps, tar strips
Weaknesses, magnified
Sky blended with sea
Happiness was possible
But, just as likely, not
Onward to paradise, as
Banal, led the bland

Defenses bolstered
Because, anything said
At that moment
Could be construed
As offensive
by some, sensitive
Soul, somewhere
Because, those
In the know
Wanted me to know!
Crimeless victims
Protested the loudest
That was then
This was now!

To old to rock and roll
Went with the flow
Through suburbia
While, wind tousled
What was left, of
Rapidly thinning hair
Played familiar games
With same expectations
There were no clouds
In the sky, on the day
After, the night before
It didn’t matter anymore



fish house
Funky, junky
Local landmark
Modest, fish house
At mailbox, marked
As, number fifteen
Fish house birdhouse
Rested on bench nearby
A treated fencepost
Leaned against weathered
Board and batten
With, just
Hints, of paint
Longed to be
Part of a fence
Somewhere, someday

Two fish house cats
Familiar faces
Roamed freely
Near, the broken light
That glared over
The fish house door
Promised, more
To see, inside
Among buckets
Bricks and brackets
Plastic pails, pallets
Ladders, to reach things
In, hard-to-reach
Fish house places


easter eggs

The shutters were faded.  Formerly Wedgwood blue–they looked more gray than blue.  “Honey, if I painted the shutters they would really make the front of the house pop,” I suggested.  “OK, Dear,” Answered my sweet wife.  “Just don’t spend too much money.  Keep it as close to the original color as possible.”

My helpful paint store friend showed me color chips–and more color chips.  There was “On the Town” blue, “At the Opera” blue, “Philadelphia Independence” blue, “Katmandu” blue, and what the heck was “Etruscan” blue?  In the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of chips there was no Wedgwood blue.  I was all alone–lost in the color forest.

It was dumb on my part–I didn’t bring a color swatch with me.  A picture–anything, would have been helpful.  On to “Plan B”–select what, I imagined, was closest to Wedgwood blue.  My good intentions jumped the track at that point.  I selected “Regatta Blue.”  It was a pleasant color–who didn’t like sailing and the sea?

My color choice became the talk of the neighborhood.  At home, my “Regatta” blue morphed into a garish, happy, Caribbean steel drum band blue.  It should have been, “Weekend at Bernies,” blue–I was gonna’ be so dead.  There was no easy way out of this dilemma.

“The house looks like an Easter egg,” She said.  “You’ve got to repaint.  I can’t bear looking at this every day.”  This time we went together to a different paint store.  I wasn’t going to risk going back to the first store and explaining.  A darker, more tranquil, shade of Pacific blue was selected.  I hated do-overs.  For the colors to match–all shutters had to, first, be painted the lighter, brighter, blue–then, top coated with darker blue.

Then, the gossip started. The phone rang off the hook.  “Do you know what your husband is doing?  That color is hideous.  Where did you get that color?  Why is he painting your shutters two different colors? When is he going to do something about it?”

None of my neighbors called my bright blue shutters ugly to my face–only behind my back.  I knew what they were thinking.  Nobody had to spare my feelings.  The shutters looked good with, what turned out to be, six coats of paint.  I’ll carry this, along with the approximately 2,917 other blunders made in my life–thus far.

I got in digs with one pesky neighbor.  “Would you like me to paint your shutters and trim when I’m finished?  I’ve got extra paint left over.  Could I paint your birdhouses?  They’re looking a bit shabby.”  There was no response–only silence.


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