don’t cut it. The canaries in the coal mine are gasping for air. Every minute, it seems, a new travesty coupled with another (un)natural disaster. Making america great again. Why isn’t everyone out in the street protesting? It’s baffling.



This Friday, part of LitQuake, I’ll be reading with cohorts in my writing group.  Be there or be hapless.


didn’t you expect

didn’t you expect

when you got to this age you’d

have a better idea of not who

but why you are

that you would

have more stable friends

that each day when the bluejay

steals a blue marble

you unearthed in other gardens

and re-buries it with his beak

placing a brown leaf over the grave

for remembrance or ceremony

you’d recall your debts to praise and

praise again


In the morning I am a bouillabaisse of irritation, for no obvious reason. No major threats or hassles, just the usual, the drive across town to work, construction everywhere (NOW WHY are they ripping up the street?) Uber double-parkers, garbage trucks (future) and UPS trucks (present) further contributing to the vehicular thrombosis. At Arguello and Fulton many cops misdirect traffic, a smog of sizzling flares, a bus up the curb, a smashed SUV and a motorcycle on its side. Well, at least that wasn’t my morning.

Today’s peace quote in my inbox: There’s nothing about content that’s going to change. Turn attention to joy and joy is what you experience. Turn attention to ego, to something wrong and something wrong/suffering is what you have. Cheri Huber.

Naturally this irritated me further.

My body’s tired after a strenuous season of gardening. Maybe that’s it. Reading the news is not joy-inducing; today’s understatement. I read it anyway. Venom and bile. My inbox is a blizzard of exhortations, pleas, and petitions. It’s too much, an excuse to do too little. When do we march?

After work I take my phone to the ATT office. The durable protective glass ($40) is disintegrating in snowflake patterns. Lifelong warranty. I’ve had the damn thing less than three months.  I detest it, and it knows it.

Glad to be home though before nightfall I am on the 49-Van Ness, on my way to see Dolores before it disappears.

The list: I almost forgot. Six or seven candidates, pretty good, when, like Ishmael, “I find myself growing grim about the mouth.”

1) Da Gang’s yoga class. Feels good, even the next day.

2) Rita’s getting her casts off today.

3) This cartoon in the New Yorker: a couple sitting up in bed, covers to their waists, the wife on the phone saying, “The parking is terrible, so we decided to never do anything again.” More than a smile, I laughed out loud.

The issue is The Style Issue. Every year when The Style Issue arrives my inner unfunny uncle gets stirred up. Why am I reading about The Beautycon Cosmetics Festival? Pictures too! On page 69 we have the plumassier Eric Charles-Donatien napping on a swan. That 4) merits a smile and a single raised eyebrow.

Some rabid honking yanks me back from ateliers and icons and Donatella. Van Ness Street is setting a record for being torn up. Now it’s a duet, a laying on of the horns. There’s more of that lately, a lot of it from bus drivers. I think they’re being trained to blast at the Uber ubstructors. That kinda makes me smile. Queasy though it is, I put it 5) on the list.

At the theater waiting impatiently for the movie to start, I remember why I decided to never do anything again. Preview after preview. One, fittingly you might say, is about the shoemaker, Manolo Blahnik. Just Manolo to the cognoscenti. There must be a less poverty-stricken word than “shoemaker,” something French with five syllables.

On the way back home, this 6) made me smile: “The dress looked almost like something that a Catholic schoolgirl might wear, except that at the waist the fabric had been cleverly cut and folded, like origami, to reveal glimpses of midriff. The fabric, from Japan, was made partly from paper. When I asked her how the dress was washed, she looked surprised, as if the question had never occurred to her.”

Lately Muni buses have been reliable. Smile 7) of amazement.

Home again. Glad again.


Roget, of course, the talking horse

easy as a b c

do re mi



ROGET THE HANDYMAN’S TALE (today’s tickler)

cagey campfollower



sodomy somewhere

pinched pity

chink chuckhole




standing room only

Inquisition insomnia

queasy race against time

Toyota tomato

overeager oversight

evangelist excellence

obeisant obstruction

pooped postgraduate



This fragment, found in a sealed capsule at the bottom of the compost pile, is composed of dyads, fractured and otherwise.  One dyad is a misfit.  Which is it?


I intend to be as slothful as possible.

Not go to work, except to prune

Matthew’s pittosporum hedge

and the lower branches of the jacaranda.

Maybe weed the curb strip while I’m at it.

And after that work in my own garden

trim the tree ferns, renovate…

of god, don’t even think about it..

It would take the rest of the day.

And I need to send out invitation cards.

And do my laundry, an unseemly pile.

And wash my pickup before it sprouts.

Practice the accordion, rewrite a chapter

of my swim book,

I already meditated a half hour

most of which time was spent

thinking about the things I need to do.

(Laundry and pickup ain’t gonna happen.)

Send birthday cards to sibs.

Buy birthday cards to send to sibs.

While I’m out shopping get

epsom salts and vinegar. Don’t ask.

Okay ask. A homebrew herbicide for a mischievous

tuft of black bamboo.

Plus oil. I forget the proportions.

Look for the recipe. Ask Doyle for the recipe.

Visit neighbor Jack battling cancer.

Answer emails. Decide on books to order. Order them.

The bills can wait. Definitely not doing bills.

There are at least four other things.

Ponder. Maybe not do-or-die situations.

as far as I know.