Tully and Ed

He that Violates his Oath
Profanes the Divinity of Faith Itself.

So said the learned Cicero,
A great lover of his Country.

But what Divinity is left,
When Faith Itself has been disabused?
What Oath should be kept inviolate,
When Two Oaths conflict?

Walk away! Walk away
From the chasm that exists
When conflict thrusts itself before you.
You answer only to your Conscience!
And perhaps, later, to God.

Does your Conscience allow you to walk away?
Does your God allow you to Walk away?
Or is withdrawal as disabused a notion,
as Faith Itself today?

Northward Bound on an Amtrak Train

In the morning at the Oceanside train station,
I am waiting. It is foggy, quiet, cool, and crisp.
The train arrives on an ocean breeze,
and I embark.

The Conductor announces on the PA system:
Ladies, do not do your nails on the Train. Please,
Do not do your nails on the train. You are
using a lacquer based product in a closed space.
Please, do not do your nails on the train.

In my seat, I am reading Frank O’Hara.
At Anaheim a dozen elderly people board;
They play cards, drunkenly, loudly.
A younger woman stumbles down the aisle, and is
Flirted with, lecherously, by one of the dozen.
The woman’s husband does not mind.

On Metrolink trains, they have a quiet car,
The woman sitting to my right tells me.
I know, I tell her. I used to ride
Metrolink every day, for years.

At Los Angeles I move to a different seat.

After finishing with O’Hara, I lean back
in my chair, close my eyes, and drift off
Into a train-rocked sleep. As I drift, I listen
To the quartet sitting behind me, who
Discuss the rules to an obscure board game:

You start with 45 pieces,
But if we were playing for real,
There would be no limit.

That Early Morning when I Wake with Trepidation

At 1:30 in the morning, I am stirred out of sleep
By our new Miniature Schnazuer, whom I love.
She is unwell, and looks at me, in the dark,
with sad, dull eyes, urging me up and


I stand, and walk with her to the Kitchen, and
Then we go outside, where she vomits.
She looks embarrassed, as if she does not want me
To see her.

But I see her. And pet her. And let her know
That everything is OK, that she is alright,
And that she is good.

Look at that Plaid Sport Coat

Look at that Plaid Sport Coat!
Brown, gray, yellow, white, and orange,
All criss-crossing horizontally and vertically,
And even, on the back-seam, matching up!

Man, that coat is loud;
You’d need some real balls to wear it.
But that Gently Tapered Waist,
those Functional Buttonholes, that
Delicately Woven Italian Wool…
It all speaks to some kind of boisterous subtlety.

Just look at that Plaid Sport Coat;
I think I could pull it off…
Me, in that Plaid Sport Coat.

A Disaffected Californian

An endless summer, alternating between pleasant and hot.
Paradise? For some, they live forever in short sleeves,
Never fearing the bite of an icy autumn wind,
Content with an unending, non-variable comfort.

But I want to live through seasons, through a bleak and relentless winter
Relieved by the buds of a spring that dissolves away the ice.
I yearn to live in tune with the breathing, beating heart of the Earth,
And to witness its slow radiantly golden death, as a chill wind blows into my bones.

Ten Haikus from the Mechanical Turk

Computer is warm
Am I working very hard?
or just wasting time?


Laying on the couch
My farts smell worse than garbage
Suck it, everyone


Her face is right here
Staring back at mine gently
I know I am loved


I enjoy pizza
It’s absolute nirvana
But not Papa John’s


The kids all have dreams…
Dreams of soaring through the sky,
Flying through the clouds.


Love is a Rainbow
Let the light refract your heart
Many colors shine


I hate all the snow
Winter has finally come
January sucks


The cat wants some food
I fill the bowl to the brim
Cat is not hungry


He sips the coffee,
Ouch! It’s too hot and burns him,
But he sips again.


Watching Doctor Phil
Weightloss Episode Today
He has a book out

Waiting to Cross a City Street at a Crosswalk on a Chilly Morning

Pull your scarf up against your neck, for warmth.
At the crosswalk, the homeless man who presses the signal button
Stands, smiling, saying “Your light, lady, your light!”
To someone else.

He is kindly, but stupid. He presses the signal button today, tomorrow, yesterday
For weeks, months, years he has done this;
With nowhere to go, he talks to his ladies.
Because their light is green, their light!

It is the routine of the broken man
Who simply wants to make the Walking Man
Appear at the other end of the street, for his ladies.

The light has changed.



What has become of Mentor’s baudal beauty,
The search for knowledge, electronically pulsing with life?
It still hums, faintly, so faintly, barely perceptible,
Nearly drowned out by faces and tweets, deals and ads.
The world has co-opted our networks and computers,
They become acceptable, cool, for the stlyish and hip.
We have been co-opted by the corporate, by money and government;
We have been co-opted by the world; we have co-opted ourselves.


From green on black, to white on black,
To CGA, EGA, VGA, more;
My neurons mature with progress, technology!
But I want to go backwards, and despite this, I don’t.


A genius! Bound to succeed, though a tad antisocial;
But wow, that is cool shit he can do.
Ideas coded tightly into the black ether
Become actions and beauty expressed to us all.
The acme, the zenith, clarity of vision!
Of techno-arcana, he is an electro-magician.


But now many are magic, not just the pure
And so it grows all around us, and boxes us out.
We retreat from the cacophony, into ourselves,
And remember the days when we lived as might gods.
Perhaps we’ll return, to recognition and laurels,
But we likely will not; exclusion fits exclusives,
Though sometimes we glimpse at what we left behind.


So let me don once more my top hat and monocle,
Put on my vest, and tighten my tie.
I shall pour again a glass of claret, and toast
That this one, dear friends, is for the lulz.