Monday, February 29, 2016

The Donut Lady

There's a new donut shop in town,
so we gave it a try
and loved it.
Great donuts,
kind service,
home-towny feel.

An additional bonus
keeps bringing me back:
Whenever it's my turn
to bring a treat for the English department,
I stop by to get a dozen,
and she always throws in
two or three extra.

Maybe the cost is already figured into the fee,
and maybe it's just a marketing ploy
in which I am not really getting
something for nothing,
but that's okay;
I understand that I am getting something for something - 
I'm getting treated well for loyalty,
not the fake kind that's
leveraged out of those "loyalty" cards,
but the loyalty that comes from
feeling loved
and then loving in return
without cards to stamp or scan to keep score.

Yes, I love this donut lady,
and I truly believe she loves me,
and not just because she gives me donuts,
and not, for her part,
just because I keep buying donuts,
but because we've decided
to treat each other with 
consistent kindness,
and what is love
if not the perpetual decisions
to do just that?

In that spirit,
with each visit
we renew our vows of
"Is that all for you today?"
"Yep - thanks"
under the neon sign of this bakery-chapel,
witnesses lined up behind me.
Then the cash register solemnizes the ceremony
and we exchange those doughy rings,
sprinkles like diamonds strewn across the glaze.
I internalize the eternal symbolism of this circle
one bite at a time
demonstrating my finite steps along our forever journey,
finishing off the last bite with consummate satisfaction.

Monday, February 22, 2016

NPR Filler Music

Where do these interludes
interspersed between such intellectual intercourse
come from?

Not the actual album songs they play
for some meaningful or ironic connection to a story;
I mean the random, untitled stuff.

Is there an official NPR music man

(mute - I imagine him,
letting everything out he can't say
in his music)
who conceives of all these artisanal arrangements
and then layers recordings of himself 
in his one-man-band studio?

Or is there an eponymous NPR band
of taciturn proto-├╝ber hipsters,
vowing silence for the art's sake,
with idiosyncratic clothing 
carefully cultivated coiffures
typifying their auditory taste
for eclectic mixes of styles and instrumentation?

Can you imagine him

or them
going on tour:

the concert posters,
the confused yet enthused radio personality promoters,
the attendees?

The posh pits.

(For a taste of the music to which I'm referring, 
go to 4:24 at this link.)

Monday, February 15, 2016


My family doesn't just
eat cake;
we conduct a ritual
that is simultaneously highly
and also

After the celebration,
the leftover cake is lovingly placed
on the altar of the counter.

As each supplicant approaches,
he or she raises the ceremonial butter knife
and carefully calculates the quotient
of the remaining cake
divided by the individual's current hunger
(or sweet tooth),
factoring in the number of worshipers
likely to visit the baked mound
before the demon of Stale
steals the moistness away,
which requires a cleansing wash
of the offering
in a bowl of milk.

As this rite is performed
by each family member
multiple times,
the divine mystery of Zeno's paradox*
seems to come to fulfillment
as a seemingly infinite number of halves
are cajoled out of this finite cake,
no one being willing
to be that jerk
who takes
the last bite.

*Zeno's Paradox:

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Amazon Wish List

source here

Clicks on the mouse and keyboard
are all it takes to populate
the Amazon wish list
and see those beauties arrive
at the doorstep on time
either at gift-receiving seasons
when the harvests of said times
are insufficient to satiate
the professional consumer within.

This ease and convenience prompts me to attempt
to populate my less selfish wish list
with a few more

I imagine searching for sellers
of some key items for my kids:
a strong work ethic,
a solid sense of family and identity,
a positive, helpful attitude,
an enduring testimony of and quest for truth.

And I wish I could see the
delivery date,
and product quality
of said items.

I try to calculate the cost
as I imagine clicking on my cart and checking out.

My payments are installments,
often overdue and in the wrong denomination,
the only common denominator
being a hearty yet ultimately lackluster
attempt on my part
to model such traits.

I see signs of pending delivery
but am still waiting for
the tell-tale brown truck,
the sharp, short crunch of that smug, smarmy box,
the slippery snap of the bubble wrap.

It's not as easy as rubbing a lamp or
looking longingly at Venus after sunset,
pretending, with Jiminy Cricket, that it's a star.

This must be an amazon I must trail blaze
on foot
not phalange.