Tuesday, January 31, 2017


The sending of the Stupid God will rage
Against the narrow confines of the cage,
But being out does not seem to assuage
The wrinkled citrus avatar its ire.
It seems instead to seek to build a pyre
And cast what many value into fire.
And, what is worse, so many think them cold--
They think them frozen solid by the mold--
That they think the destroyer is the bold
And follow mindless what they think is brave,
As if the wrinkled citrus one will save
Them. They still sit and stew in Plato's cave,
But fewer are the shadows on the walls.
No light can enter when outer night falls.

Monday, January 30, 2017


I sit upon the throne, pondering all
The things that in my too-short compass fall,
Thinking that they come under a pall
For the simple fact of being mine.
I know the view of me's not always kind,
And though with it I'm usually fine,
There are times that it sits with me ill,
And I perceive a hole I want to fill
By some new means and not a tawdry thill.
No shovel, though, is ready to my hand,
Nor is a pickaxe, better for the land
In which I live, so idly I will stand.
And stand I must; the seat has numbed my own.
Such comes to one who long sits on the throne.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Sitting with my family at their home
Is good when I have sometimes had to roam,
And I recall that I am not alone.
I sometimes feel that matters proceed ill,
That how the world works reflects evil will,
Feasting on us all and never filled.
I hear the teeth clash, feel their sharpened edges.
What thoughts such feeling, thinking, from me dredges
I turn away from. I avoid such ledges,
For I know that I am wont to fall.
I know I hear too well th' abyssal call
And may well answer and abandon all.
But I with family sit and find some peace.
I'll enjoy it even on short lease.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


I want to fight the Stupid God, and yet
The wrinkled citrus avatar that's set
Upon us all is where I cannot get,
And I can scarcely be of any use;
I can do little to stop the abuse
I and others see is coming, loosed
Upon the world by casual pen-stroke
To wreak great ruin upon many folk
While some will laugh and think it a great joke
Until they are themselves its subject made.
Then they will rue when they've thought they've played,
But it's too high a price for us to've paid.
For some, the bill incurred will soon be due,
And paying will be more than they can do.

Friday, January 27, 2017


I find that I have quite a bit to do.
A single job is not seeing me through,
And I do not do well with only two,
But several work-lines I have cast out,
And some I work like seeking to land trout,
While others wait for fish to come about
And nibble on the bait that I have left.
Sometimes, with those, I've grow bereft
Of hooks whose baiting had all too much heft,
While others have seen their lines get snapped--
And, perhaps, I ought not to have napped
As I once did. But I now find I'm trapped.
No single job I have will see me through,
And I seem ugly to each passing crew.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


I do not want to merely say "Me, too,"
As adding myself now would surely do,
Because I know that I cannot see through
Most anything that could be done right now--
At least, I do not see any way how
I might. While others may their deeds avow,
And they can rise, and march, speak truth to power,
I find all that I can do is cower,
Shudder as a wind-blown wilting flower
And marvel at the folks who bravely stand
Against the wrong, and walking hand-in-hand
Seek to restore goodness to the land.
And when I look at such a picture framed,
My cheeks do burn, for I am much ashamed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


It's been a month since Christmas.
Eleven months are left
Until the day will come again.
I'll likely be bereft
Of money then and easy time;
I think I'll have to work,
Although I don't rate as ready
To be a counting clerk
Or to answer phones for folks
Or to dictation take.
I show up lacking any skill
That can some money make.
So, soon, I'll put in for the jobs
I had when I was young--
But I am all uncertain
That they to me will come.
So, as I look towards the end
Of the year in which we are,
I find myself a-questioning
If I will get that far.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


This post today
Makes fourteen hundred
I hope for fourteen hundred more

I guess I ought to get to writing.

Monday, January 23, 2017


In offering up prosody, I do
But little, I well know. I greatly rue
That the small offerings that I make through
The bits of verse with most mornings,
Whether they're complaints or dire warnings,
Do next to nothing easing the great churnings
In which we find ourselves most every day.
I know they've small effect, but I've no way
To do a better thing or better say
Such things as I think others could well hear.
I know it, and I go throughout the year
Putting pixels on the screens to clear
My conscience. At least I do but little ill,
Unlike some others, taken by foul will.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


I bought a lottery ticket yesterday.
I had to run to the corner store--
We needed beer for chili,
And it was damned good chili--
Since I was paying in cash
I figured,
"Why not?
I might win,
And I might finally be able
To clear my debts
And my family's."

Since I am writing now,
You can guess
I didn't.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


I see the Stupid God has begun work
Through choosing as an avatar a jerk
Of wrinkled citrus too easy to irk
To trust with power for the ones who think--
Yet thinking clearly's fallen from the brink
And into ruin. Why, then, waste the ink
That many spill to try to get their way,
When it's clear the Stupid God carries the day?
Its wrinkled citrus avatar's at play,
A bitter fruit that some want to be sweet
Or have convinced themselves it will be neat
To take what little drippings from its seat
As flow--from tender divine bowels no grace,
But fetid fluids thence to drown this place.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Once green, yellow now
And brown before the wind blows
Then green once again
The winter serves the cedar
It is a cold bed, indeed.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


The semester has begun, and I am already behind.
Or, at least, it feels that way; it may be in my mind.
But I feel I have loads to do, and none of it is kind.
The semester has begun again and I am far behind.

The textbooks were not ready--at least, there weren't enough--
And I teach English this term, so it is pretty tough
To make assignments without texts; it comes out fairly rough,
And provokes just a bit too much of student-driven guff.

My office had to move and it is still not set up.
There is but one shelf in the room, not much place for a cup,
And I need many such things; I am no sprightly pup.
And the chairs bite on my ass; I will be standing up.

Other things have vexed me, too; I cannot of them speak.
Some of them will charge a price if I much of them leak.
Some of them require such words as make air foully reek.
But I am glad that this first one is a shortened week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


The classroom calls to me again today,
And I will soon be on my merry way
To teach new students how they might best say
The things that are in them and need let out.
As ever, I approach the task with doubt
That I will do some good and go without
The kinds of troubles I have had before.
Sometimes, in trying not to be a bore,
I veer into such areas of lore
As make many uncomfortable with me.
Yet I have to say the things I see,
And I am not to blame that such things be
As they are, for we are as we are.
It is no wonder I do not go far.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


A fever long part of Hill Country life
Has taken me, my daughter, and my wife,
And we cannot escape; the air is rife
With tree-seed cast about into the breeze,
Driven by the wind like a disease
That, lodging in the nose, destroys all ease.
I, long knowing how the fever goes,
Am used to having pollen in my nose,
But in my wife and daughter it arose
And has laid them low or near enough, I fear.
Indeed, infection seeks my daughter's ear--
And the fever wracks the land with every year.
I suffer less than I once did; I hope
That others will come following my trope.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Today, of course, is Martin Luther King's,
The doctor reverend junior of whom sings
The great mass of the people once thought things
And many more beside. Of course, not all
Honor him or others who still fall
To those who answer yet the racist call--
And those stand more and more in open light
Who ought to have long vanished in the night
Of history and been gone from the sight
Of all the world. Yet they still linger on,
Streaks in toilet-bottoms not yet gone
And resistant to scrubbing working long.
For the holiday, perhaps it's best
To spend more time in cleaning out the nest.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


I have a month in which a paper to write,
And I have yet to bring into the light
More than a bare idea to delight
The audience that will come hear me speak.
I need to get the words down and to tweak
Them into some order far from weak,
To embed within sense that is all sound,
To in some texts my ideas to ground
So that, on saying them, I will be found
To have some insight into my texts' work.
I have heard papers of a sort that irk
Because they show each as a foolish jerk
The writer. I would not give such a one;
I will tend to my paper till it's done.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Just after my shower today
I took care of my weenis
Stroking lotion-bearing hands over it
Working it in
And forth
And back again
And I enjoyed it

Friday, January 13, 2017


The Stupid God has picked for our despite
A wrinkled citrus avatar, the height
Of bitter, sour flavor to benight
The castings of the oil lamp's old flame.
How few are those who still recall the name
O' th' lighter of the lamp? It is the same
To many ears as it has always been,
And speaking it may well be called a sin,
But saying nothing surely cannot win
Converts to the faith that few still share.
Those whose eyes are closed can hardly care
That they in darkness only poorly fare.
Few have seen the shadows light has cast
And turned to face the light and see at last.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


The Stupid God is not a stupid god,
But works its mischief through those who will plod
Through life not thinking past their own small clods
Of earth--for those who have them yet, those few,
And fewer every day. What can we do
Who too late came to know that it is true
That thought and contemplation serve no end
Without a willingness to them defend,
Yet those who practice them will surely tend
To sit and with their quiet words bewail
The extent of their oncoming travail
Instead of rising to against it rail?
Little, perhaps, against the stupid tide.
The waters' rise allows nothing to hide.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


It seems last night I slept through golden showers,
That raindrops fell throughout the nighttime hours
And spattered on the faces of the powers
That have since cranked the flowing spigot closed
And with loud voice denied that such were hosed,
Trumping thus the story some proposed.
I'll not argue truth or false in this;
I've more to do than ponder pundits' piss,
Although I mark that I too often miss
Such stories as arise from the deep minds
Of people on the internet. All kinds
Of stories spring from their behinds
And are for many years taken as true.
Against them, what are we supposed to do?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I've been working
As might be expected
And as I have
I have found
That the work I have done
Has not been good practice
Although it has been good practice

What I have done
Helps me do the things I do
I keep track of a lot of information
And I'd not be able to
Were I not trained as I have been

But I have been trained
To do it alone
To be away from people while I work
As I am now--
The nearest are sleeping
In other rooms--
And I have to work
With others
And I find that I am not good at it

Monday, January 9, 2017


My wife and I got married seven years ago today,
And in that time we've been together, we've not gone astray.
Falling asleep beside her, waking next to her each day:
Each is still my damn near favorite thing--far and away!
When I'm with her, the work I do each day seems merely play!
"I love you" is still the thing we are most apt to say.
I'm glad my wife and I've been married seven years today!

(Seriously, happy anniversary, my beloved Mrs.!)

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Things continue much as they have gone
For me and mine. I rise before the dawn
To write and wonder; they will be along,
They whom I love and they who with me live.
I labor on so I may in time give
To them, though bailing water with a sieve
Suggests itself as having the effect
On boats as working has on what my sect
Of people owes or needs. It is correct
That my working, diligent and long,
Does no more good for me and mine than song
Can do to mitigate an odor strong?
Yet still I have to work as I have done,
And perhaps in time I'll find I've won.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


My daughter is hiding behind an old chair;
She knows she cannot meet with my glare--
She cannot abide the weight of my stare
Because she knows she's being naughty.

Her toys are all scattered. Her room is a mess.
She stays in pajamas; she will not get dressed.
I can only imagine her training pants' cess.
My daughter is being quite naughty.

I'm taking her toys. I've turned off her shows.
If it will work--why, nobody knows.
I think I'm ensuring her sassiness grows,
For my daughter is being quite naughty.

The thing is, my daughter's usually a jewel,
Sweeter than honey and than ice more cool,
So it is that it's markedly cruel
When my daughter is being naughty.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Work continues, as ever it must,
And the search that goes on for more work is just
Dragging and dragging, but at least I don't rust
In sitting and waiting, but forward move on.
My searching continues, and soon I'll be gone
From the place where I am--although I'm no swan
To emerge from a duckling; I'm too old for that.
There's a bit too much gray tucked up under my hat
When I wear one for me to claim a fledgling's fat--
What I carry around is from drinking my beer
In attempts I have made to be of good cheer--
And other assorted times throughout the year.
But though I'm no swan, I can still take new flight
And see if I can propel myself to a new height,
Seeking the dawn that will end this long night.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


My hand is itching to take up the pen
And scribe on linéd pages once again,
Scratching till the mind-blood flows and then
Clawing at the edges of the cuts
Made into inky blackness, breaking ruts
And looking to those watching as if I'm nuts
For tearing at the wounds that I have made.
I know I've my anxieties betrayed.
Amid such madness, few are those who've stayed
Beside me, going with me as I go
In and through and out again, who know
There will be something from this that will show.
Anymore, my why's Asimov's why:
I write like breathing; I do it, or I die.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


My father will go back to work today.
An injury has long kept him away,
But he has healed enough he need not stay
At home or else at what has fast become
The family business, for which I, too, some
Work do anymore. The time has come
That he supporting labors may resume
And an example set that leaves no room
For laziness such as will be my doom.
For when he works, we see what working is
Who look on him, and we well know that his
Outstrips most all that we can do. It is
A source of frustration for me, and yet
I praise it, for to it I am in debt.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


I have a song stuck in my head today.
I distract myself, but it won't go away;
It's what my head-radio can't help but play,
So it's probably good that I like it.
The voices that sing in my head aren't my own.
They ring as if played through an old gramophone;
I can hear the changes to the song's real tone,
And I'm not at all sure that I like it.
The song that is playing is stuck on a loop,
And, if I could find it, I'd jump through the hoop
That would let me escape from where I'm now cooped--
And I cannot confess that I like it.
I hope with great hope that it will not be long
Until I can rid my poor head of the song
That keeps playing and playing where it doesn't belong.
If I reach that point, I will like it.

Monday, January 2, 2017


The New Year has now come and gone,
And I have merely to press on,
To search for some communion
That needs no priestly hand.
I know that there are many yet
Who need not work. Bosses abet
Them in getting themselves set,
All spread across the land.
I lack the luxury to rest
Much longer. It's for the best,
For I do not well at the test
Of the easy idle stand.
So I am back to work again;
My tasks have proved themselves my friends,
And if I can find better ends
For them, I'll turn my hand.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


To begin, this is not a poem. I do have to offer the titular "dash of lucid prose" every so often, after all, and a New Year's post (such as I have made in this webspace here, here, here, and here previously) seems a fine place to do such a thing.
In that line, then, a few comments to make. One is that my earlier question about whether I ought to consolidate my blogging into a single spot received but one answer, and that answer recommended that I keep my trying-to-be-daily efforts in this webspace in this webspace. Consequently, I expect that I will return to my usual versification tomorrow morning, and it will keep happening here. Even so, I expect that I will be working to develop something of an income stream otherwise, as I would like to put my ongoing efforts to some kind of work that will help me to support my Mrs. and Ms. 8 a bit better than I currently do.
Another comment, emerging from the end of the first, is that the Mrs. and Ms. 8 are both well. The former is gainfully employed at a business in her family's ancestral homelands. The latter is thriving in preschool, where she has made friends and is finding her seemingly innate extroversion rewarded and enhanced. My daughter continues to mystify me, but I continue to enjoy the mystery--and her generally sweet disposition. The idea that the world will work against her is one I must consider, both because I am her father and because I am probably more cynical than is good for me, but it is not one that I necessarily relish. It is one of the things about which I hope to be wrong.
Still another comment to be made is that I have two conferences scheduled for the year, both relatively early in it. I will be going to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in February for a popular culture studies conference, and I will return to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in May for the International Congress on Medieval Studies. Given other concerns that press upon me at the moment, I am not certain there will be any others for me in the future (although I will try to continue to go to Kalamazoo; it is quite a fine time), so I will be commenting on them in some detail. Methods will vary, as is appropriate; I have different timelines and different issues of access at each, or I expect to do so. There are some preparations for them that I have yet to make.
To return to an earlier comment, then: the work I mean to do to enhance an income stream might well take place in my other webspace, www.elliottrwi.com. The "w" is in the name for a reason; I write, as those who have read this webspace know, and I know there are readers who would give to keep reading. It will be a slow start, to be sure, but it is one I am willing to make. Do look there for details as they emerge; I will appreciate the readership and support, as I always do.