a priori/a posteriori

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Butterfly rests. Asking her stomach to be kind.

Bee tip-tap-types.

Big bombs blaring in the background

Dragonfly inches closer, her first solo ride,
Neither freight nor fright, slowing her roll.


Bee hears the song and hopes
Hope down stairs
Hope for the 3000 on his screen.

Butterfly waits
Waits as she counts
Wonders what world her ring interrupts
Excited to swap stories
To share worlds

The dishwasher churns


Bee buzzes back to the hive.
Butterfly files with her heavy new coworker.
Two minds making one decision.

Dragonfly makes peace
Finding that childhood smile
Buried under the bed

And finds it still fits.
This is life

As much as any show with a fat girl on NBC,

This is life.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I Love Poetry

I don't know why, exactly. I can't even tell you exactly what "it" is.

How do you know it when you see it?  When is it good? When is it bad? When is it self-congratulatory? When is it self-...

When is there a point?
I don't know. But I know I love it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I Wonder how Ryan Stackman is Doing

One of my first childhood friends was Ryan Stackman.

He was a second baseman. Which, for all you born after 1994, was a position in baseball.

(Which, for all you born after 2007, was a sport that used to be played in America)

(Which, for all you born after 2020, was a country in-between Canada and Mexico)
I remember a ton about Stackman. He lived on the left side of a cul-de-sac, maybe two houses down from Randy Tomlin, a Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher at that time.

Ryan's dad was a pilot. He had a neighbor named Scott, and I thought he was cool. I remember the first time I came over and Scott's older sister had gotten "hot." I remember a lamp not working in their basement.

I remember playing baseball games on his Nintendo, and I think I remember a birthday party where we got "grab bags" at the end of it.

I remember one time he got a really big bruise on his bicep -- which did not exist yet, because we were ten -- when he tried to apply a tag too quickly at second base.

I remember him being a good friend.

I also remember talking to him a combined zero times after, maybe, 7th grade?
I wonder how Ryan Stackman is doing.

I hope he's still playing baseball.

Friday, April 7, 2017

RIP, Mr. Warmth

That seems like such a superlative.  "Changed my life"

It's like saying "World Peace Achieved!"

But Don Rickles changed my life.

  I never met the guy, and I never will in person, now that he died this week, after about 9 decades on Earth.

But he was married for a long time.  Through a lot of years of performing, and being around other people in the entertainment industry.

He and Bob Newhart both had long marriages, and they and their wives had a friendship that lasted like 40 or 50 years.

I learned about Bob Newhart some when I was in college, and then I saw a documentary about Rickles a few years ago. 

Like I said:  I never met them in person.  So I have no idea whether the persona that was presented to me was their reality.  I can't know either way.  10 years ago I felt just as highly about Bill Cosby.  20 years ago I felt the same about O.J.

So I don't know what their reality was.

But I know what my reality has been.  I know I grew up in an era when it seemed really difficult to balance a career in the entertainment industry with a healthy marriage, or a healthy and growing relationship between yourself and one other person in particular.

Marriages like the Rickles' were presented to me, growing up, as an alternative path.  That I could entertain people, and still get to have a wife, and a partner, and that we could enjoy life together, and vacation together, and enjoy the ride.
I don't know Barbara Rickles.  But I hope she -- and everyone who's lost anyone --

realize how many more people we impact, than just the ones we meet. 

RIP, Mr. Warmth

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Turns Out, Johnny Habu is Awesome

So to review:

The last few weeks, I've decided to start performing again.

The one spot I really want to start performing at, consistently, is a bar show not far from our home -- a spot called "Pinboys" here in Virginia Beach.

The new host there is someone named "Johnny Habu."  I've only met him a few times, but he's terrific.

First of all, he's a Cleveland guy.  Which always seems to help.  Even though Pittsburgh and Cleveland are supposed to be rivals, it's a pretty dumb idea in reality.  We're both traditionally blue-collar towns that are about a 90-minute drive from each other, if you're speeding. 
I was running late this past Monday, because of a twist at the end of my daughter's lacrosse game.  (the twist was rain)

As soon as I ran in the door, I saw Johnny waiting by the stage, and I gave him a nod.  He gave a quick look like "It's about damn time" -- and then started his intro music, and hopped up and started the show.

He then proceeded to be a total pro about it, gathered the room's attention, got them laughing, and then brought me right up as the first comic.  He even gave a mini-plug for the t-shirt I was giving away.

He was awesome! 

To review:  I was totally unprofessional, and he could have 100 percent been a jerk about it, and he would have been justified.  But he wasn't a jerk about it.  He understood that shit happens, and was as appreciative as ever.
Lol  I had a terrible set, by the way.  But I was more natural than I've been in a year.  If I start having better sets there -- and then elsewhere around town -- I'll have the host of Pinboy's to thank.
Come out to Pinboy's any Monday night at 9, and support Johnny and my favorite show in the city.