Monday, July 10, 2017

Ode to McDonald's Water

Few things can capture
the flavor of childhood
like McDonalds water -
that ubiquitous clear liquid
with a tinge of Hi-C bliss
at so many fairs and tournaments,
parties and meals.

You pick it up
in that cute little
McDonald's cup
you never see
at the restaurant
and gulp it down
in a swallow or two
and go back for more
til you drown.

I wonder how they make it:
Does some first-week employee
get the task of holding the water cooler
below that red-headed step child
of soda machine buttons:
the awkward white square lever
labeled "water"
though it's always more than just that
as Hi-C particulates simultaneously descend
through the shared nozzle?

Or do they put in water from any old spigot
and intentionally splash in a dash of the C,
that aqueous equivalent of their special sauce?

This afternoon, as I quaff again this quaint elixir,
I contemplate how I am transported
so effectively through time and space
to reunite with my younger self
and hypothesize this trifecta to credit:

One: The clear necessity of life flowing through the soda fountain of youth,

Two: The orange Hi-C, gold-ish as if from the philosopher's stone,

Three: The paperboard cup, which - if it had been presented to him as an option - surely would've been chosen by Indiana Jones as the humblest cup and thus equivalent to the Holy Grail.

Surely these are why I am transported
both to the past of my younger self
and to the future
when I will bestow this same potion
on my children and their awaiting friends
at some community soccer event
where we'll all be winners
because though we came in as 60% H20,
we'll leave 60% McHiC20.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Pillow Sings a Siren Song

odd I see
the pillow as a
white-capped wave
one mermaid
singing a siren song
each morning
tempting me to stay in bed.

It's the
oddest sea
to be sailing on -
these nightly visions
with the only sail
my thin bedsheet,
catching all my drool
as I dumbly gaze out
at Circe's dreamlike world.

It's an
audit - see
how this daily test
investigates the solvency
of my will,
inspecting my obeisance
to each day's taxing
list of to-dos.

In this
ode I see us
as the crew,
hastily and vainly
stuffing feathers in our ears
as if to block the pillow's siren song,
only to find its sound
is coming from within.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


It's finally happened.

You know how you listen to
Paul Simon's "Crazy Love, Vol II"
as you drive in the rain
then turn on the wipers
and for a few moments,
their rhythms align,
and you tap your foot,
tentatively pleased,
wondering when the other shoe will have to drop
as their beats invariably separate
in one of life's predictable disappointments?

Well, that separation never came.

It was like being in a scene
from Sesame Street
when inanimate objects sprout mouths
and sing along with you,
and the whole world is in impossible sync -
one concerted rhythm of light waves
illuminating through the splotchy clouds.

at least,
that's what it felt like
for a moment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

After Her Bath Time

She stank.
That's why I gave her a bath.
But after it was over,
I discovered the reason should've been
because I needed a laugh.

No sooner had her 2.5-year-old glistening self
emerged from the bubbly tub
than she started to giggle,
in stark contrast to the moans she emitted
upon hearing the news that she was about to be sans sauna.

When we got in her room,
she commenced a weak whimper
pleading, "no woof jammeez"
(which, being interpreted, means 
"do not place upon my body 
the gray and red plaid pajamas 
with the Scotty dog emblazoned 
over the stomach region").

In the stead of the canine footy jammies, 
she quickly suggested 
(shrugging her shoulders and eyebrows nonchalantly 
in a rapid transition of tone from the moment before) 
"'Go' jammeez." 
("Go" referring to the song "Let it Go" 
and by extension the sister princesses Anna and Elsa 
from a film whose title must not be named).

Fortunately for all parties involved 
(and anyone withing scream-shot 
going for their nightly neighborhood jaunt), 
some long-sleeve pink princess jammies 
were procured from the top dresser drawer, 
at which she emitted the most triumphant maniacal bellow 
I've ever heard from female toddler lungs - or, really, anyone's.

Before donning said jammies, though, 
she had to get lotioned up, 
which occasioned its own series of screams 
(odd, since a number of people pay for such
moistening and rubbing).

After lotioning and diapering, but before clothing,  
we had to have the obligatory, ritual tickle session, 
which produced a range of laughters in 15 seconds 
that far outstrips the possibilities presented 
in Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dykes' nigh encyclopedic recitation 
of the modus laugherandi.

Now in a good mood, she readily consented
to having her jammies on,
but when I tried to add some blue socks to the ensemble
to warm her feet, she freaked!
"Pink Socks! PINK!!!" she shrieked!
At which I sprang to the drawer once more
to find the footwear that would calm the beast
and force the horror that had reared its ugly head
back to its lair. 

She's clean now. 
And asleep. 
And not stinky. 
And I can't help but reflect on how
her mercuriality never ceases to amaze me.
I wonder how we'll survive till she's 13
and then beyond.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

To Get this Girl to Fall Asleep

To get this girl to fall asleep -
this toddler always anxious for adventure -
I have to enter the dream-world with her.

Mostly, I lay down by her side
and intentionally breathe slowly,
pretending to be asleep
to lull her there herself
(though sometimes I get caught in my own snare).

But if I never nod off 
then slowly stand to sneak away,
she detects me
and cries.

I think it's not so much that her physical self
senses my departure
but more that her dream self
knows she never saw me.

So I must lay down again,
and this time, so she can rest assured,
she hooks my head with her arm
and presses her nose up against mine
till the tempting tendrils of sleep
creep around me, pinning me with her,
allowing my mind to enter her dream.

We must play some dream-game together
long enough for her to then drift away
on her own independent spree,
leaving me,
if I have the will,
to stand and shuffle to my own bed,
knowing that,
at approximately 2:36 am,
I will be back
at her beck and wail
to get some dream-ball
off some dream-shelf,
hoping that her leg - now on her pillow -
doesn't mistakenly punt my face.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Brushing My Teeth

As romantic or existential as it would be,
and as I imagine myself to be,
I don't often gaze up at stars.

I don't wonder or wish upon them,
any of them,
as Jiminy Cricket has advised us.


But I do do something I contest is akin:

Many nights, as I impatiently wait
for the two-minute sentence from my dentist
to end,
I exit the bathroom,
electric toothbrush in mouth,
and meander to the living room
to survey through the picture window
my dominion
and the neighboring fiefdoms
all in silent nocturnal alliance -
not wishing upon them, per se,
but hoping good things will maintain.

And as I lean on the couch
reaching for my molars,
I reflect on how I'm also not taking
Alanis Morissette's advice,

and I wonder if anyone actually does.
Wouldn't that be ironic.
Don't you think?

(Or would it?)

Sensing the second minute is at an end
and hoping to avoid that frothy, foamy, rabid mouth of bubbles,
I hasten back to the sink and think
perhaps I ought to follow
Michael Jackson's example
in the remaining time.

But the toothbrush finally sings its dilatory ditty,
and I realize I can't face myself,
discovering I've forgotten,
for the 37th day in a row,
to floss
(preferring to floss before, not after, I brush).

So, I turn off the light
and go to bed,
telling myself that perhaps tomorrow
I will follow the wishes
of these stars.

at least some of them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


I'm surprised at how often people copy
and paste

and then go back to delete what they copied

rather than just

cutting it
(thus copying and deleting it at the same time)

and then pasting it

to save time.

Is there some technology-trust issue here,
knowing that if the robots will eventually rebel
(as is so aptly depicted in so many tales),
surely they must be out to get our
resumes, recipes, essays, and emails
in a humble prelude to world domination?

Or perhaps this practice is proof that
the infant's confusion about object permanence
persists even in adolescents
(digital natives though they be)
and on to bewildered adults
squinting askance at keys and screen?

Or is it the afterlife we're concerned about?
Unsure about our continuation
in a different part of this cosmically documented story
after our ultimate deletion,
we sloppily copy and paste ourselves on as many
photo albums, headstones, lives,
label-makered miscellany,
(and even libraries or LLCs)
as possible before being
just to make sure we're not accidentally lost forever
if somehow
the code or the keys fail
and we're left half-beamed-up,
a pleiotaxy of pixels
floating forever betwixt our home planet
and some eternal Enterprise,
Scotty lamenting
"I cannae change the laws of physics!"
as he hits, over and over,