Pages

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Whizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Snow Driving
by GC SMITH

Slippin' not grippin'
doin' the deep snow glide
while cars come at you
in an out of control slide

Unless you have ABS
don't slam on the brakes
that'll worsen the slide
pump for a straight ride

They say steer into it
to counteract the slide
but that's durn old advice
for a rear wheel drive

Doin' the 360 dance
on the Pennsylvania Pike
more fun than a polka
provided you live

I remember way back
before stabilty control
snow driving was an art
surely lotsa fun

We'd slip, we'd slide
with the old man's car
and hope to get home
with the fenders intact

Sometimes we made it
with nary a scratch
somtimes we came home
with fenders detached

We'd suffer the wrath
of our Pater's fury
then go snow drivin' again
soon as we got the chance

'cause there's no fun like
a three sixty slide
on a narrow mountain road
with the car swinging wide

Adrenilin pumps
anticipatin' sore lumps
and bruises-contusions
when the spin is arrested

It's wild-it's wooley
the apex of fun
daring the odds
with a slip, slidin' run

But now that I'm mature
I'm down here in the south
safely esconsed
in my own warm house

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Out there

Bafflegarb
by GC SMITH

A discombobulated aardvark
with a beaver felt wysiwyg
played on his whangdoodle
while patrons noshed
Weiner schnitzel

Background glockenspiel,
didgeridoos and labradoodle
wails brought forth
sniggers from skedaddlin'
Shih-tzus

Babushka babes bamboozled
bandicoots while
bassoonists played
collywobble riffs
to sombrero fallout

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shiver

It seemed so real
By GC SMITH

Who
could imagine
the anguished feeling
when upon first light
one comes to find that
the formally tight screw
is now
loose

Worse,
the box of drivers
slot, phillips, torex
was loaned
to the idiot brother-in-law
who tossed
and lost
them

But wait
sun peeks
from the east,
and I awake
to find
the nightmare
is chimera,
a mere fevre dream

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Off to see...

The Yellow Brick Road
By GC SMITH

Seven decades
of
looking
hearing
seeing
reading
thinking
and still
I ain’t learned
a thing
except perhaps
that
I
have had
and
am still having
fun
on this great
ADVENTURE
life

Friday, December 4, 2009

Skinny Kid

Lightweight
By GC SMITH

At two hundred and twenty today
this unHogan Hulk knew another time
way back in the way back when
he wrestled at a paltry ninety-eight

Tough monkey that he was at fourteen
he practiced hard each and every day
and once a week eliminated all comers
except that damn hardened skinny senior

He never made it to interschool competition
the skinny bastard senior saw to that
but, still, he got a lot from trying
before he switched off to other things

Looking back some fifty seven years
it’s nigh impossible to recollect
that wiry freckled fourteen year old
taking on all comers at a lightweight ninety-eight


Published in wrestling poetry collection, editor Russ Bowden.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gettin' the Job Done

TOOLS
By GC SMITH

Tools, one needs good ones in the workshop
but no less they are must haves for the kitchen
one can’t make a table without saws and hammers
or good knives and pots and pans for a pasta-fazoole

Nothing compares to my kitchen knives
Wusthof brand of finest Soligen steel
they make short work of cooking tasks
slicing, dicing, paring, chopping, carving

Then there are my Lodge cast iron pots
and sauté pans first class all clad stainless
a great big stewpot for making yummy stuff
and odd and end pots and pans for this and that

Me I live with tools for all my work
woodworking stuff for building projects
U.S and metric tools for my boat and truck
and kitchen tools that I cannot live without

In the wood shop measure twice, cut once
in the garage lay out parts most carefully
in the kitchen toss in spices by the fistful
but always make sure you have the tools you need

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Of Time and Tide

Someday, When Day is Done
By GC SMITH

Pour the good whiskey,
tap a barrel of beer,
lay out a spread of
baked meats and breads

Shove my box in a corner,
dance on until dawn;
know I'm doing fine
as I wander the cosmos

Listen to old boy's stories
and tell some of your own;
there no baloney to make up
'cause we did it together

Relax dear and enjoy
this gathering of folk
here ‘cause they're friends
who came for a last word

I've lived me a full life
but now day is done,
don't give way to sadness
remember all that we had

The kids that we raised,
the houses that we built
the time spent together
both at work and at play

Take out our sea skiff
and scatter my ashes
in the estuarine marshes
that I loved so much

I've lived and I've loved.
I've enjoyed every day.
so please go on forward,
just remember our fun

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

sleep disturbia

Fevre Dream
By GC SMITH

I'm fractured tulips stomped flat by spry giraffes. My Kentucky bourbon dyed dark chocolate liver screeches enough, damn you. Sociopathic dinner parties, they'll yet do me in. Flippant maidens dab my spitttle with sanitary napkins and giggle. I see red. But then the vague clouds by the sea, shiny beacons, beckon supine me. Cedar trees denser than bamboo thickets block my progress toward the light saving my ass from unseen, but none-the-less deadly succulent flytraps. Perhaps, if I believed in a higher being a twelve step program could be considered. But I don't. I won't. I'll simply hope for rescue by an empathitic emu as a petulant pomeranian will not ever do.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three Poems

Comes
By GC SMITH

From opaque mist
slight rustling,
honeyed ambrosia

breath in, reach out
touch life’s exquisite
mystery



Come on, honey
By GC SMITH

Hey babe
touch me
while
I tell you
everything
kiss me
I’ll
inhale you
while
we do
what
we will
do



Too Fast
By GC SMITH

Topsy-turvy
hurtling
life accelerates
dammit

Monday, September 28, 2009

With it, or maybe not

Hip?
By GC Smith

Writing from the hip, unbuttoning my lip. Gets me to say outrageous things like #@^%***#&&!!! But that has all been said before. So often said it now does bore. It loses punch this #@^%***#&&!!!, like writing interminably about vampires or of sex. There are only so many ways to kiss a neck. Only so many ways to draw blood. And so it is wiith sex in poetry or prose. There are only so many orifices to poke before sex becomes so ho-hum dreary. Just like the smutty #@^%***#&&!!!. Uttered from the lips of a boor who would be hip. But ain't.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another try

Four Years Is What He Gets
By GC SMITH

Do not forget, our “Looney Tune” electorate
says, four, no more, that’s it
unless, of course it can be
convinced or hoodwinked

Four were granted
reluctantly in 2000
grant not without squabbling
down in sunny, balmy Florida

Four more were granted
reluctantly in 2004
some from the opposition
say stolen in rusty old Ohio

Four were granted to the new,
articulate, other guy in 2008
along with that grant two houses
and a shot at progress

Four were granted
for the “yes we can”
of change so sorely needed
that will not come on auto pilot

Four were granted
to get a job done
to fight the fights
while calming the divides

Four were granted
to get a job done,
to restore our place in world affairs
to tread the winding path of leadership

Four were granted
to get a job done
to move from centuries past
to a new and bright today

Four were granted
to get a job done
to fill the potholes, pave the way
to a productive, sustainable tomorrow

Four were granted
to try a new and ambitious agenda
fraught with pitfalls
in the wider world and at home.

Four were granted
to get a job done
while holding the moderates
who vote their minds and interests

Do not forget, our “Looney Tune” electorate
says, four, no more, that’s it
unless, of course, by 2012,
it can be convinced or hoodwinked

Time will tell if this great experiment,
America, can be governed of and for the people
or is forever condemned by fringes left and right
to swing from pillar to post of lunacy

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spikin' The Pine Trees

Fight For Your Right To Comfort
By GC SMITH

Gol durn environmentalists killed the Charmin' bear cub and his momma. They did that an’ they ain’t one bit sorry. They claim to be protecting trees with their militancy. They won’t stop with the demise of those cutesy bears either. Next they'll be spikin' tree trunks. They're relentless. They’re determined to eliminate billowy toilet paper. They are anti-comfort fundamentalist Luddites. They hate progress.

Those ass wipe(oops, wrong adjectives) self righteous bastards will stop at nothing. If we don’t fight them they'll reduce us to scraping our bungholes with sandpaper or worse.

Well let me tell you, there's no way I'm going to go back to corncobs. No siree, Bob. Not me. I'll fight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yum!

Da Cajun Gumbo
By GC SMITH

You rememba da grocery list. Well now dat I got da stuff it’s time fo’ cookin’ da gumbo.

Firs’ make da brown roux. Here’s da how:

One cup o’ vegetable oil
One cup o’ white flour in a sifter
Some salt an' some peppa

Heat dat oil real hot and sprinkle in some salt an’ cracked black peppa. Now, cut da heat to medium an’ slowly add da flour from da sifter while stirrin’ constantly. Continue stirrin’ till da roux turn a rich dark brown and there is a nutty smellin’ flava. Remove from da heat. Takes ‘bout a half hour o’ constant stirrin’ to be sure da roux doan burn. Trow da roux out an start again if it do burn.

Take a break an’ have youself a col’ one.

Chop up a coupla large onion, tree-four green bell peppas, an’ a bunch o’ celery. Dat’s da Cajun trinity. Trow dem veg in da roux an sauté careful like. Add ‘bout a poun’ an’ a haf’ o’ sliced okra to da sauté.

Nuther col’ one ‘bout here.

When da veg is cooked trough add two or tree quart o’ chicken or fish stock, whateva you prefer, an’ start heatin’. (da fish stock can be made fron boilin’ shrimp heads an’ shells in wata wit’ some busted up carrot an celery, an’ green onion an’ addin some spice to da boil. For chicken I cheat an’ use da canned stuff.)

Add some chopped up ‘maters, maybe six small one or three or four medium. (strickly speakin', 'maters make da gumbo into a Creole ratha dan a Cajun dish.)

Den spice da whole mess up wit a teaspoon of red peppa flakes and several shakes o’ Tabasco sauce. Add more cracked black peppa an’ a coupla bay leaf.

Bring da mess to a boil an’ den simma for a couple o’ hours while havin’ a coupla col’ ones.

‘bout an hour before servin’ cut up some andouile sausage an some chicken or duck meat an’ add it to da simma.

If da gumbo need thickin’ use some salt an’ peppered flour dissolved in some o’ da stock.

Las’ ting to do is add da seafood, shrimp, oysta, an’ cooked blue crab meat. Let dat final mess simma fifteen-twenty minute.

Serve dat gumbo ova’ boil long-grain white rice and wit’ what eva col’ longnecks you ain’ drunk during da cookin’. A crusty baguette go good also.

Note: Da Gumbo can be sausage an’ duck or chicken, or sausage an’ seafood, or it can be alla dat stuff trowed together. It’s your choice.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Boys --boys!

FOUNDING FATHERS

Hamilton & Burr

Post revolutionary American politics, awash in rivalies and argument, precursed what goes on to this very day.

Then in America it was the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists having at one another. It’s tempting to say the arguments were liberal/conservative contretemps but it’s impossible to sort the muddled political philosophies so neatly. Let’s simply sat that then as today it all boiled down to “I’m right, you’re wrong” on the one side and “You’re wrong, I’m right” on the other side.

Arguments became raucous, particularly between Alexander Hamilton (Federalist) and Aaron Burr (Democratic-Republican). It got loud. It got nasty. One could say that it got so that Hamilton had a Burr up his … It was a mean standoff.

How else was this stuff to be settled but by duel. Dueling however, as it oft does, worked out poorly. Hamilton became a literal deader. Burr’s political ambitions died. Such are the rewards of rancor.

A lesson for today (likely not to be learned) is that we have been reduced to Republicans on one side Democrats on the other and we’re arguing with ourselves. A benefit of argument, this writer believes, is that it beats getting out the guns and shooting.

We all scream for ...

FOUNDING FATHER SERIES

James Madison

After arguing that a “Bill of Rights” was both unnecessary and dangerous Madison drafted and fought for the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, that is “The Bill Of Rights.” Ah well, consistency, as is well known, is the hobgoblin of little minds. He went on to become the fourth President of the fledgling United States, accomplishing such as the Louisiana purchase and screwing up here and there with little missteps such as the war of 1812.

For all of Madison’s missteps and accomplishments none was so important as his marriage to Dolley. It was, after all, she who brought ice cream to the White House and thereby to a hungry America. Hooray for Dolley.

Sign here

FOUNDING FATHERS SERIES

John Hancock


"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these … "


JOHN HANCOCK

He laid it out there for folks. Right up front for King and all. Nothing shy about this signer.

Did Mr. Hancock ever do anything else?

I dunno! Do you?

Utterance quoted

FOUNDING FATHERS SERIES

Patrick Henry

Known far and wide as a champion of individual rights Patrick Henry gave the famous speech with the quotable line.



"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet,
as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it,
Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me,
give me liberty, or give me death!"


Ah yes, “give me liberty or give me death.”

Then there was Mrs. Henry, Sarah, who according to Patrick went bats. He kept her in a straightjacket in the basement of their home. One could imagine Sarah muttering over and over. “Give me liberty, I’ll give him death." Perhaps the slave woman assigned to attend Sarah would have helped.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pickle Puss

FOUNDING FATHERS SERIES

John Adams.

Revolutionary, second President of the United States, Adams came by it naturally. He cut his teeth as a teacher and lawyer while preparing for public service. He failed as a farmer. He failed as a malter/brewer (seems Sam did better). He failed as a tax collector (unless you were a friend). Fouled by failure, Adams went through life looking as if he was sucking on a sour pickle, but I suppose you would as well if you were married to Abigail. Rumor has it she was not an easy woman. Then, of course, there was Jefferson, Adams ally and later fierce opponent and successor, in 1800, to the throne Presidency. Now permanently soured, Adams on his Independence Day deathbed, July 4, 1826, uttered his last words, “Jefferson lives”. He was of course wrong, which had he known might have sweetened the sour. Jefferson had died at Monticello hours earlier. But, such is the course of grudges.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ah vanity!

FOUNDING FATHER'S SERIES

George's Busy Life
By GC SMITH

Chompin' cherries with wooden dentures isn't any fun. Red stains on white painted teeth could make a man blue. Hey, red, white, and blue, great colors for the new flag. If George was with us he's say: I'll have Martha talk to Betsy about that at next week's Mahjong party. Speaking of Betsy, I'm sure, G.W. would like to sleep there. Ah, to rest his weary head on that lush bosom. But, if Martha ever found out she's have his hide and he'd be in for even more shoeless camping in the snow. He couldn't afford that, not with Lafayette coming to meet about forming the Escadrille with 'mercan pilots (and more than a century ahead of it's time). I think he'd better go and powder the wig now before meeting time. Lord knows a man can never look too good.

The Jeffersonian Approach

FOUNDING FATHERS SERIES

Thomas Jefferson

To truly get a feel for Thomas Jefferson one should take the guided tour of his ancestral home, Monticello, for it is as an innovator we can actually see the great man’s mind at work. Inside the front door of Monticello, mounted on the foyer wall is a clock-calendar. The device not only tells time but it marks the day. To the device’s winding chain Jefferson attached heavy lead weights that dropped day by day, which were noted on the wall. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Oops!

The chain unfortunately hit the floor before the week's final day. Was our polymath, Jefferson, deterred. Not in the least. Jefferson cut a hole in the foyer floor so that the weighted chain could continue its decent. Our Monticello guide remarked, “on Saturday Mr. Jefferson’s balls are in the basement.”

Bright fellow that he was you’ll find that Jefferson also dabbled in horticulture, statesmanship, architectecture, archaeology, paleontology, invention, and, of course, Sally.

So, dear reader, you have in this telling a glimpse into the mind and makeup of the man who was to become America’s third President. A man who truly represents this Nations frenetic inventiveness.

Nation Builders

FOUNDING FATHER’S SERIES

Benjamin Franklin

Busy Ben, a founding father, literally. A common law conjoiner and Pater familias to an illegitimate son. (Though just how a flesh and blood human standing before the world could possibly lack legitimacy has always eluded this chronicler.) But, be that as it may or may not be Ben went on to a continued shocking life. There were inventions galore and amazing scientific enquires, chief among which was the kite and string sting.

Our Ben is likely best remembered for his grand misogyny concerning why a young man should seek the comfort of older women, who were not yet in those days of yore identified by the cutsey appellation --Cougar. His advice: they don’t yell, or tell, or swell, and they’re grateful as hell.

Ah, but there were other sides to this most accomplished man. Lest we forget, despite peccadilloes, Ben also preached virtuousness thereby establishing an unbroken politician's hypocrisy practiced assiduously from the first days of the Republic to this very moment. Ah, yes, busy Ben, stage setter extraordinaire.

Ben Franklin, founding father, pride of the new Nation.

Monday, August 31, 2009

He's Da Boss



BULL GATOR

by GC SMITH



Roaaaaaaar!



What is it?

It sounds like a two hundred and twenty-five horsepower outboard at wide open throttle.

What is it?

If you were a lady alligator you'd know what it is. It’s the sound of spring. Bull Gator is talking to the ladies. All thirteen feet and fourteen hundred pounds of that bad boy is hollering --get your tails over here, it’s springtime; I’m horny.

Roaaaaaaaar!



Coquettish lady gators slip from their dens and swim the pond looking their sexy prettiest. Bull Gator looks them over. They are, in his pea brained estimation, a fine looking bunch of femmes. Several six footers, an eight footer, and one hot mama of a ten footer covered with moss and mud. Mmmmm-Mmmmm, the Pamela Anderson of Gators. Man, just look at her rough hide and snaggle teeth. Bull Gator swims over toward where she lies at the pond’s edge.

A young male spots Pamela Gator at about the same time as Bull. The young one comes toward her from the opposite bank.

Roaaaaaaaar!



Fair warning from Bull who sees his rival. The young male keeps coming. A mistake. Bull , like a torpedo, meets him in the middle of the pond. Bull snaps his massive jaw down on the young male’s shoulder. He wrenchs and twists. The young male thrashs wildly attempting to free himself from Bull’s jaws. The water erupts in a white froth that quickly recolors to pink. The thrashing goes on for a quarter of an hour. Finally, the young male, now three legged, pulls free and swims away from Bull. Bull spits out alligator gristle and hide, smiles, and, blood slicked, continues on toward Pamela.

Roaaaaaaaar!



Now, springtime alligator sex is much like the fight described in the paragraph above, so, like a Victorian, this narrator is satisfied to simply say Bull and Pamela did the deed. Fade to black.

Late autumn. A great blue heron settles at the edge of the pond intent on a silvery minnow breakfast. The huge bird stares intently at the water. Patience will, as always, bring rewards. Suddenly, the water erupts. Bull Gator launches like a submarine’s rocket from below the surface. Feathers fly. The great blue lives no more. Bull Gator with the heron's carcass clamped between his teeth slides back into the water. He’ll stuff the bird's flesh and bones in the hole with the remains of the ripening deer and go back to his den. Winter is coming on and its time to lay up comestibles and den up until springs warmth calls. Bull's year has been good. Tore a leg off a rival. Nailed Pamela. Watched her incubate the eggs. Witnessed the birth of his new brood. Ate ten of Pamela’s twelve hatchlings. The only down part of the year was getting his tail bitten by a pissed off Pamela. But, hell, that healed. Yes Sir, a very good year.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two Words

A Short Poem
On A Weighty
Topic That
Sheds Light
Upon All That
Comes Down Upon
Mankind
And
In Matter
Of Fact
Eventually
Affects Each
And Every One
Of Us
With Dire
Consequences
From Which
We Cannot
Escape

BY GC SMITH

Shit
happens!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

GATOR

Ain’ Getting’ Too Damn Close
By GC SMITH

There’s a gator in the pond outside my door’,
he’s a big old bull , king of the space he owns;
he’s been around here since I don’t know when
seems that he’s been here since time began

Yellow eyes watch me closely
from just above green duckweed cover
while the rest of that big old boy
lies hidden under dead still water

Prey is what’s on Gator’s pea brain
honed to that one thought by time
he’d like to stuff me in his den to ripen,
if not me my dog will do just fine

He’s quite a creature that old bull gator,
lying there so still, stalking unwary creatures;
he’s fascinating, well worth some close study,
but believe me you, I ain’ gettin’ too damn close

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cubism

Geometrics
By GC SMITH


*

rhomboid,
trapezoid
shapes
that shape
our lives
multi-faceted
diamonds
impress
girlfriends
and
wives
ellipsis,
ovoid
stuff goes
round
round
round
like Möbius
forever

_________________

* picture swiped

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Haiku

nature's wonder
by GC SMITH

a nautilus shell
found in warm subtropic sand
a littoral gift

Thursday, March 26, 2009

April is Poetry Month -- Early Start

OVERHAUL
by GC SMITH

April one starts
poetry month
and I’ll be
out of commission

Sawbones
will be sawing
on my
vertebrae

Chronic pain
numb left hand digits
are getting old
getting wearying

C-5-6-7
need overhauling
bonespur
needs a filing

So dangnabit
HORSEPISTOL
in I go
for bone repair

Spacers will shore up
old squished disks
pretty neat
technology

April one
should be the fix
allowing, of course,
I’m not the fool

I’ll be back
for April poesy
soon as I can
move my bones


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Our Kids may find this in a mason jar buried in the back yard.

Time in a Jar
By GC SMITH

We weren’t always together; we were kids once ourselves.
Rowdy raucous boy, quiet studious girl.
Her friends said stay away.
He said come on over here.
She didn’t listen; she listened.
He had a reputation; she said that’s not the attraction.
He said, what is?
She said, you kiss nicely.
He said, hmmm.
She said, they say you’re rough, I know you’re gentle.
He said I love you.
She said, I know.
He said, I’m not looking for anything.
She said, we’ll marry.
They kissed, they hugged, they married, they had kids -- time flew.
He said, we’re still here.
She said, what did you expect?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Woof!

MARLEY'S DOG
By GC SMITH


I read a book yesterday, Marley and Me by John Grogan. The book was, I believe, on the New York Times best seller list a few years back. It figures, Marley and Me is a good story, uplifting and it's fun, just what a good read should be. But, I'm not writing to sing the praises of Grogan's book. I'm writing because the very title took me back at least fifty years to the story of a man called Marley and his big red setter, Irish Bob aka Marley's Dog who were constants in McClatchy's tavern. The man and his dog were there when my father, who frequented the tavern only for the Friday night TV fights, brought me into the establishment as a five-year-old kid. Marley and Irish Bob were there through my teen years when Dad and I still came to the place on Friday nights. They were there when I was a young man. They were fixtures.

You have to know a little about Marley and his compatriots, Pennsylvania coal country beer alcoholics all, who wasted away their latter days in McClatchy's place. They weren't always tosspots, they had been miners, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, storekeepers, and yes, even a schoolteacher. Marley had been a church janitor.

The McClatchy regulars made their livings with their hands and their brains. One Orb Meehan dug coal and the grime settled so deep in his pores he was black with a single bright blue eye. The other eye was taken by a flying' chunk of coal from the deep vein that he had been chiseling. The Murphy twins worked on cars and trucks and were as grimy as old One Orb. Billy Toole fixed pipes for a living and always joked that if One Orb and the Murphy boys weren't so cheap they'd install indoor plumbing so they could wash up. Sean ``Red Nose'' Connerty earned his keep as a hatchet carpenter. The structures he hammered together were far from plumb but none ever fell down so I'd offer that as a recommendation of sorts. Shaky McKinney, the storekeeper, shook even before he took to the drink. He shook as a school kid, he shook as a young man, and he shook in middle age. He shook when he made change for his customers. In his dotage McKinney would sit down on one of McClatchy's barstools, his right hand shaking' bad until McClatchy would slide the first glass over toward him. McKinney's palsied hand would snake out, grab the glass and miraculously steady. He never spilled a drop, no never a slip between cup and lip. Brian O'Donnell had taught school for forty years pounding the works of such as Yeats and Behan into unreceptive boneheads. It was no wonder O'Donnell took to the drink.

Finally, there was Marley and his setter Irish Bob. Marley never missed an afternoon or evening attending McClatchy's lineup of characters. Marley would find an empty barstool and Irish Bob would curl up under the stool. Bob never moved no matter how long Marley sat on the chrome and plastic stool. Bob never twitched when arguments on politics and philosophy turned to shouting' matches. He never twitched when invectives were hurled back and forth at ear splitting decibels. He never twitched when the drunks, sounding like chalk screeches on a blackboard, attempted to sing Irish ballads.

Irish Bob slept through it all.

Bob would wake when Marley got off the barstool, cock one eye toward the men's room, and he'd watch and wait while Marley stumbled to the pisser and back to his stool. At that point Irish Bob would lower his head and go back to his nap.

I was there the day Marley drained his final glass, put his head down on the mahogany bar surface and died. McClatchy called Tommy McGillachudy and the coroner-cum-funeral director showed up pronto and hauled the corpse away.

But, what to do with Irish Bob? Who would take care of the big red setter? Who would be responsible? Suggestions were many. Arguments raged. No one could or would agree on any course of action. All suggestions were shot down.

I sat to the side watching with some amusement. How would the dilemma resolve?

On around midnight I could see that McClatchy was losing patience. His normally florid face was now a scarlet blaze. Finally the bar-owner shouted. ``Enough.'' He grabbed a hat from Shaky McKinney's head. ``Okay lads,'' McClatchy, said, ``we're going to raffle off the damn dog.'' He took a sheet of paper wrote some things and ripped the sheet to strips that he folded and tossed into the hat. He swirled the hat with the folded raffle tickets and looked straight at me. ``You, boy, `` he said, ``you're not a regular here, so you do it.'' He held out the hat and I took it. I walked the length of the bar and each of the regulars took a slip. When I reached the last man there was a single folded raffle slip left. ``Shit,' shouted McClatchy, ``I miscounted.'' He nodded toward me, ``Guess that one's is for you kid.''

The regulars opened their slips and each one said ~luck is with you, Boyo.

My slip read, Bob is now yours you poor boy.

Irish Bob and I spent ten years together. He was the finest of friends and I'll cherish our time forever.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

# One an' Dat Ain' Good

Da State O’ Da State O' LA
By GC SMITH

Dere was a story in da Times-Picayune dis mornin’ ‘bout what States is da unhealthiest. Louisiana da winna again, seem we da mos’ unhealthy State in da union.

Dat stuff ‘bout Louisiana bein’ bad fo’ folk’s health got me to tinkin’. Wonderin’ if it’s alla dem chemical plants an’ refineries on da River road dat’s causin’ da problem. Dey call dat strip from N’Awlins up past Baton Rouge cancer alley, an’ I say dat’s about right. But, if it’s dat cancer alley what is da root o’ da problem den I’m a bit relieved. We can clean up dat mess if we got da will.

It could-might be da Cajun cookin’ dat's puttin’ da State up to number one in unhealthy. Could-might find out dat brown roux an' andouile sausage an pulled pig an all o' our Bayou country vittles is unhealthy. Dat wouldn’t be good, no.

Could be a disasta. I'm worried, me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You asked?

The Reason Why
By GC SMITH

I think I know.

You don’t, oh no.

I’m sure I do.

Un-uh, not you.

You’re sure I don’t?

As sure can be.

But why not me?

‘cause you can’t see.

But I can hear.

Oh no my dear.

It’s all so clear.

To your tin ear?

I’ll know through taste.

Now there's a waste.

No, I can lick.

Won’t do the trick.

But I can smell.

I say like hell.

Yeah, I’ll sniff.

Catch not a whiff.

My sense of feel.

Is far from real.

But if I touch.

That wont be much.

Why not I cry?

You don’t know why?

I’ve not a clue?

You’re dumb, that’s you.