Zero for Zooz

Late night, Duke Street
the wet cobblestones shine and sparkle, bubble and squeak; and the dense fog rolls in
the clock tower chimes twelve
And it’s Zero for Zooz

Late night, Duke Street
the gauzy moon bleeds and drips, gaslights burn
and gossamer sheets of a hazy white sift through
the inimical clouds of night
the clock tower chimes three
And it’s Zero for Zooz
Westminster . . .

Sunrise, Duke Street
a languid sun cracks itself open and splashes some invisible and distant horizon with
salmon pinks, royal purples and bright orange crush
the clouds of night rest just beneath the hush of dawn
and the clock tower chimes in crystal silence
And it’s Zero for Zooz
and Westminster waits . . .



5 Miles to Vandmere

I’m sitting cross-legged on a mysterious and deserted beach with nothing but the sound of the incoming tide.
The ocean is dark, brooding and occasionally offers up a glimpse of a dying whitecap. There’s a slight breeze but for the life of me I can’t tell if it’s warm or cool, it just is.
The full moon is partially blocked by the numerous passing clouds but there are intermittent flashes of light, possible thunderstorms that illuminate the wide expanse of beach before me.
I can almost see the curvature of the earth near the horizon.
The sky begins changing day to night, night to day and the passage of 24 hours is not unlike the second hand of some diabolical and uncontrollable timepiece.

The wind begins to scream and I realize that I’m slowly beginning to disappear, grain of sand by grain of sand. I am but a slight aberration in the ground below me.
The image of a weather-beaten sphinx flitters around my dreaming subconscious mind.
It’s then that I see the shadow of a street sign of sorts in the water, roughly 10 feet from the shore. I squint hard trying to see it during the brief intervals of light.

It says “5 miles to Vandmere”, a place I’ve never heard of before.

According to Google, it doesn’t exist; and by the end of my strangely epic dream,
nor do I.
Maybe it’s a place I’m just not supposed to find.
I’m open to any interpretations.
One freaky ass dream, folks.
Should you see any signs for “Vandmere” email me a picture and send directions.
Maybe I should check it out . . .


Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State and . . .

Just wanted to put up yet another “thank you” post for being so damn generous with your comments.
I wanted to make my way around the “bloghorn” but will never do it all tonight.
I’m only human.

A few notes of interest, if you look to my side bar you will see a little jpeg of Joe Jackson (musician).
If you click it, it will open Adobe Reader on your computer (assuming you have it installed), and download his essay as a .pdf file.
I don’t comment much about smoking on the blog but I feel Jackson’s essay should be read by smokers and non-smokers alike.
I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
You may feel differently.
I’m not going to address my stance on smoking right now.
Just know that I smoke.
And I enjoy it.
And I pay exorbitant and unscrupulous taxes because of my habit (which is absolute bullshit).
To the US government, tax something else for a change, for cripes sake.
Just imagine if the government started taxing Budweiser and Happy Meals the way they tax tobacco these days.
Would people be a bit angry?
Think about it.
Click on the philosopher above to visit Jackson’s website.
There’s some great stuff to be found there.

And now for something completely different;

Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night after falling asleep early and came downstairs to the sound of ‘beep-beep-beep-beep’.
My wife was laying on the couch pointing the cordless phone at the TV and pressing the “call button” on and off.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Trying to turn this friggin’ thing down,” she said.

“You can’t do that with the phone, dear, ” I said, as I took the phone out of her hand, turned off the TV and guided her upstairs to bed.
Ah, sleepyheads can be funny sometimes.
I think she may have called China a few times though.
Check out the Jackson video below.
Classic Joe.


Sunglasses at night

It seems improbable and physically impossible to feel alone on the streets of a city the magnitude of Boston but I’ve had such a day today.
I ate a meager lunch in a deserted food court, rode a ghost train with no passengers
(save for a lone and apathetic conductor that collected my money),
walked down an empty Boylston Street to an ‘I am Legend’-like South Station.
My mind doesn’t want to let anyone in today and I feel I’m struggling against a surreal and desolate landscape that is the city of Boston.
I loathe days these because I feel almost anonymous and somewhat disposable.
And nothing I can say or do seems to change anything.

I get a seat on the train and I put on my sunglasses even though it’s 5:30pm and the sun has set on the city.
UV protection for the soul, I think,
as I contemplate a jump into a vat of lukewarm self-pity.
No, that would be too damn easy.
The past several weeks have wreaked some serious emotional havoc on my sorry 49-year-old ass and this is the aftermath, an ardent and internal hangover; it’s temporary but so very intense.
I come to realize that I’m just really tired and can’t seem to catch up.
Exhausted, actually.
Sleep doesn’t help.
But writing it out has immense possibility.
And it does.

“How are ‘ya?”

{Oh, God . . . not that question again, ad nauseum}

{Me smiling}
“Just another day in paradise, buddy, just another day.”

And I carry on.

Still somewhat alone.

For the time being . . .


Ps. happy birthday to Smoke &Mirrors (2.22.05) {you people are sick} :mrgreen:

Sad Song


I feel like a sad song
One that feels as I do right now
no rhyme, no reason; just overcrowded staves of emotional chromaticism making no sense, no reason, no rhyme

I feel like a sad song
One that sounds different than the one I’ve sung for so long, too long now
out of time and tune, out of my mind with more questions than the distant answers found on the worn pages of a fake book, my book of life

I am the sad song
One deep inside the why’s and the what ifs of a book; moments in time, this book of liars, of blue tears
of grace notes unnoticed and songs unsung, a song of the heart still waiting silently to be found . . .


A small, insignificant and relatively stinky Haiku for Bob

How come you so big?

You scare my wife and keetons

Bobby try diet . . .

Sarah informed us that Bob would be returning for a few days.
His stay will be mercifully brief because he’s outta here on Sunday morning when we bring her back to school. {excuse me, college}
Bob is currently residing in the hallway upstairs.
I found that out last night (1:34am) when I was needlessly mugged by a dark-hooded Hollister sweatshirt on my way to the bathroom.

My only thought today was where in God’s name did the summer go?

I’ve already noticed a few brave trees offering up their chlorophyll, preparation for a special place on the ever popular New England Autumnal Palette.
The hands of time are moving too damn fast for me these days.
I just said ‘hello’ to summer and now I’m sadly saying ‘goodbye’.

And I hate that.

I really, really do.

Relinquishing my sacred seat on the porch has never been easy.
I used to love the fall but even that has changed for me; probably because the autumnal equinox is the natural pre-cursor to the personal arctic abomination I now refer to as “freekin’ winter”.

The past few days have kicked my ass but the computer is once again up and running and the ‘blue screen of death’ is but mere memory. Ahh . . . .
And thank my lucky stars because I can already hear Bob calling me for more space.

I promise to catch up on my “comment absence” by early next week.

keep the faith,


PS. Happy Birthday, LiHo!!!!!!

Goodnight Irene

On days that I open the store I’m on the train at 6AM and visiting the land of Nod by 6:15.
Early morning trains are relatively quiet and sleeping is an acquired and needed task I’ve grown quite used to utilizing.
It must be my internal clock but my eyes automatically open right after the train leaves the Yawkey stop (Fenway Park) and I’m still barely awake by the time we get to my stop at Back Bay which is only three minutes away.

The other morning I got up from my seat with all the zeal of an 85 year old man and made my way to the stairs leading to the nearest exit.
I saw a woman standing by the door waiting to get off when my heart stopped.
Though I could only see the left side of her face she looked just like my mother.
I know my mother is no longer here but I found it interesting, maybe even semi- sweet,
that the mere sight of another human being resembling her can still make my heart miss a beat.
This woman’s hair, her eyes, nose and the shape of her mouth; even her clothes all screamed my mother’s name.

She must have known I was staring because she suddenly looked up at me, almost through me, smiled and left the train.

Sleepwalking my way to work, I passed on my usual cup of coffee from Au Bon Pain.
I guess I was still a bit dazed from the surprise encounter I’d just had and decided to continue sleepwalking through the surreal fog,
my scattered memories trailing close behind me.


Alive and . . .

Just to let you know I’m alive and well.
There just hasn’t been enough time to put together anything worthwhile
for you to read.
I spent all last night trying (unsuccessfully) to install Norton Systemworks on Sarah’s laptop.
I “chatted” online with several analysts in India before finally reaching someone named Arun who solved my problem.
I found that chatting is a hell of a lot easier than trying to talk with these guys on the phone.
The ‘puter problem is now solved and I’m going to try and get back to normal soon.
This post is a confession of sorts (yes, I know, another one)
The warm summer nights mean two basic things to me: cigars and beer.
Sorry to say blogging has taken a back seat.
In a few short months the weather will change and I’ll find myself back inside looking for a pen and my journal.
I changed my header so that you’d know I was still alive.
But I’m still something of a suckbag because I’ve replied to no comments and visited virtually no one.
I do apologize. If only there were 36 hours in a day . . .
One last note, my left thumb was infected.
I went to Urgent Care Sunday night after getting back from Boston.
The doc got out a scalpel and went to town on my digit before squeezing out
a bunch of disgusting spooge.
I’m currently on antibiotics and I think I’m going to make it.
Don’t give up on me just yet.
I may even surprise you all with a comment or two tonight. Maybe. :0)
Oh, and a bit on the picture above?
I thought it was strange.
Just like me . . .

Summer Break

I’m taking a bit of a break this week.
I desperately need to re-charge my archaic batteries.
Trust me, I’ll be back with you by weeks end.
I’m just currently really burnt out.
There’s nothing remotely decent in the creative cerebral hopper.
Time for some reading.
Later gators . . .


btw– I sincerely thank you all for the comments on the Cerulean Blues post.
I promise to respond to all sometime during the week.

Home on the Range

Tonight I have a wonderful guest post for you.
And yes, it’s a bit of a surprise.
It’s a story about love, family and the cherished possession of a special little girl.
These days, that little girl is a charming, witty and wise beyond her years woman that goes by the nickname A-mum.
And though we’ve never met, we’ve become very dear friends.
Nanny’s Nook is a place where virtually anything can happen.
Even magic; a destination you will visit tonight.
Moe has blessed me with an intensely personal piece and I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am to post it here.
My deepest thanks, Moe. (and to Kelly for first introducing us)
Enjoy folks, this is a real nice one.


Home on the Range

I was very close to my paternal grandfather.
Although I was very young when he was killed in a car accident, the 7 short years we had was long enough to form a very strong bond.
I was the youngest of 3, and could do no wrong in his eyes.
I was his little angel.
One of my earliest memories is sitting straddled on his lap with my head on his bare chest and running my fingers through the thick hair that covered it.
Every spare minute I could find was spent with him, playing, talking, laughing, just loving each others company. Even today I can close my eyes and smell him.
Old Spice. Yep, when I smell that I think of him still.
My apologies, I digress.

He and my Nan lived with us in our little 3 bedroom house, and had for as long as I remembered. (I was about 3 at this stage)
They had one room, my brother and sister were in another, and my bed was in Mum & Dad’s room. Now this bedroom was at the front of the house, and there were street lights directly outside the window, which would make the room a lot lighter than it should be and I used to have trouble going to sleep.
One night my dad had left the radio on, quite unintentionally, but he realised the music playing had sent me off to sleep without any of the usual whining about the outside light.

The next morning he mentioned it to Granddad at the breakfast table.
I actually remember the conversation you know.
The exact words Granddad used were
“If it’s music she needs to go to sleep, it’s music she’ll have, nothing is too good for my little girl. I’ll fix it Jack, don’t you worry about that…I’ll fix it”

He went out that very day and bought home a present for his little girl.
A musical clock.
I can, to this day, see that clock in my minds eye.
It was around 20cm wide, and about 10cm high and deep and the most wonderful, rich cream colour you ever saw.
It had a little dial, with a green dot and a red dot.
You turned the dial to the green dot, the tune played once, turned it to the red dot, the tune played twice, and the only tune it played was Home on The Range.

How I loved that clock! I loved it so much that when I went to stay with my Aunty, I had to take it with me or I couldn’t sleep.
If we went on holidays, the clock came with us.
It was my pride and joy.
I couldn’t sleep without it, so it didn’t matter where we went, the clock came with us! Nothing meant as much to me as that clock!
I would turn the dial to the red dot every night as I got into bed, and would be asleep before it had played through the second time.

On January 26th 1964, my grandparents were coming home from seeing relatives down the coast, and their car left the road and hit a tree.
My Nan was killed instantly and my beloved granddad lingered 4 days with multiple broken bones, massive internal injuries and a skull fractured in 11 places before he was mercifully taken by the angels.

God, how I remember the grief that consumed me, so clearly!
It was a physical pain. I cried for days, and was totally inconsolable; wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t go near anybody, hid in corners, refused to go to school.
Until Mum thought to turn the dial of the clock to the red dot.
It hadn’t occurred to anybody to do this, even me.
I had locked myself in a cocoon of pain and grief.

The strains of Home on The Range sung to me from the bedroom.
I went in, picked up the clock and went to bed, pulling the blankets over my head.
Every time the clock stopped, I would turn the dial to the red dot, and I kept doing it for hours on end. It was almost like, if the clock was playing he was there with me.
I had to keep playing that tune or I would lose him forever!
Just a naive little girl who thought a song could keep him alive, not wanting to believe he was already gone.
Even now as I type the tears are falling, remembering the pain and loss I felt every time that clock stopped playing.

I continued to play it of a night for many, many years.
The dial always got turned to the red dot.

When I left home, it was under less than ideal conditions. I went to look for my beloved clock, but couldn’t find it. I was devastated!
Neither my father, or step mother, have ever admitted to hiding it, but I have my suspicions.

The last time I was down south and saw my dad, he told me he has something very special for me, but I wasn’t having it until my 60th birthday, or he passes away, whichever comes first. Needless to say I’m hoping it will be my 60th, and the ONLY thing I can think of is my clock.
I’m hoping it is, I just don’t know, and I still have a little while to wait.
But I will.
Hope is sweet.

Even today if I hear the tune, or the song, I cry like that little girl who grieved so badly for her beloved lost grandfather.
She lays dormant inside me, listening for her special tune.
Then she lives.
Someone said not long ago they thought perhaps there was magic in that clock.
They could have been right.

I firmly believe each and every one of us have a guardian angel on our shoulder.
I really hope it’s my Granddad looking over that very special little girl in our family, and that he sees her as his little angel.

Anything is possible, surely?