“There’s a pigeon in here,” Andrew says, pointing it out on the metal beams of the clubhouse at Joe DiMaggio playground. Now and then it does a loop side to side, and each time Michelle ducks and clutches James who sits next to her, though Pigeon doesn’t get closer than fifteen feet. “I have a fear of birds,” she says. We open the side door, hoping the pigeon might ride a ribbon of air out that door or the other. Pigeons can give a good fish eye but are not otherwise known for smarts. Pigeon was still in the clubhouse when we left and the doors were locked.

3 pm Sunday, Pigeon is still in the rafters, looking seriously penitential. Michelle announces, “I have the solution,” and extracts doggie cookies, low-fat pellets. She puts them in a row leading to the open door, like Hansel and Gretel, she says. Too many, I tell her. We could be here all day watching Pigeon chow down. We proceed with the talking part of the class and just when we forget, Pigeon swoops down on doggie cookie and pecks away. Too hard. Tries another. Ditto. At the third, on the threshold, Robert rushes Pigeon Out the Door. Freedom. Pigeon Flies off to Dentist. They hard, those biscuits.

Michelle is now known internationally as The Pigeon Whisperer, as well as being free in the deep end of the pool. Standing O!


An Uber Named Desire

“…and while this may sound like lazy reporting, I found no better way to meet New Orleans natives than by riding in Lyfts and Ubers.”

Out of 13,000 applicants for our 52 Places Traveler job…we chose Jada Yuan. This is her first dispatch.” NY Times

Number 1 on the annual 52 places-to-go list is New Orleans. How top of the game I am, having tickets to go there in two weeks time. I will be reporting from a soon-to-be evacuated convent. I find no better way to meet New Orleans natives.

What’s it all about, selfie?

I’ve been walking around the house taking pictures of myself.  Selfies, I believe they are called.  A notion of putting out a personal ad has recently occurred with more frequency.  The picture I post will be the real me, termites and all.  So far they are all bad, a great relief since it relieves me of the idea of following through.  I have looked at some ads on some sites and a heavy leaden blanket descends upon me.  Is there a Freudian term for that syndrome?  Should I confess to it in my ad?  Would it attract interest?

Today’s selfie shows my receding hairline hasn’t been a hairline for a long time, and that at the corner of my head is something that looks like a bloody incision.  I would attach it but I fear some of you might faint.

Would it attract interest?

Working in gardens I get my head into thickets.  These gashes are commonplace.

A study recently published shows that being submerged in water up to your neck sends additional oxygen to the brain.  Makes you smarter.  I told my swim students.  Next Saturday, if they ask about the scab, I will tell them that it wasn’t working fast enough, which is basically true or I wouldn’t be gouging my head all the time.  Damned lucky I haven’t poked out an eye.  I have come close.

Brain implant.  That would attract interest? If Doctor Frankenstein looks like Johnny what-his-name in the broadcast version, playing opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, alternating roles, the doctor and the monster.  Oh bliss.



All my emoticons are deeply sincere

I’d use one (smiley) right here if I knew where it hides on the computer. I know, anyone minimally computer literate could find and wield emoticons. Is there one for exasperated, hair flying, curses tumbling out? Just kidding. That’s not me. I just got an email with four (hearts). Everybody loves somebody and I (heart) you. Happy Vaseline Day (winky-wink.)


We have a winning entry.  From Louis who is a preternatural unpuzzler.  I was going for “icon” and he submitted “iconic.”  Close enough.  But you owe me some bitcoin for your multiple entries.  The first was fifty cents.  The second, third and forth run into billions.  Read the fine print.

Icon.  Dickie got me started noticing after he complained how everything was being called an icon.  Now you’ll start noticing too, I predict.  Got any doozies? Let me know.  I am going to write a series of poems, entitled, of course, Iconic Poems.

Broke from payouts

Too much winning last time, so this one better be harder.

Also, I should tell you, a 50 cent fee per entry, I take PayPal and mail order and occasional servitude.

The puzzler:

In my peripatetic reading of the week, the three items listed below were said to be this.  I am looking for a single word.

The Ellsworth Kelly “Chapel” at the University of Texas

the figure skater Adam Rippon

A Streetcar Named Desire”

Mirabile Dictu, winners coming out of the woodwork

We have three winners already, Joyce, Jane, and Louis.  Fortunately the canoe is a four-seater.  Off to (and through) the Slough of Despond.