Keep What You Got!


I went to the little store just now, and again Lisa asked me if I was getting enough food to eat; so I asked her curiously if Suk would do anything if I answered no. She said she didn’t know about him, but she would do something… With Kim in mind, I bought still another Ty stuffed animal: a little white owl with a big funny beak and a clueless expression on its face. The Ty toys are one sign that some people still care about each other, even if our government is cold and corrupt and doesn’t give a damn for the citizens. In this regard, the USA now resembles the more authoritarian countries in the world and seems less like a democracy. The next vote will probably be a joke, down to the same old clowns, while people are not credited with having any intelligence at all. God help you if you’re the invisible person on the street. You just ask yourself what in the world is wrong with society.

My dog is very vocal for his breakfast, finally barking at me to feed him… Done.

In the market parking lot I saw a red Nissan truck with a canopy, 90s vintage, that made me think of my old green pickup which I couldn’t afford to maintain anymore: so I sold it to some drunkard for a humiliating price and now I’m stuck without a car.

You can’t have everything you want, so be happy with what you do have. And if you have something, by all means keep it. 


Hardball; Epitaph


As the church seems to cut me off, I feel more deserted and aimless; I don’t even have the church to beat up anymore: nothing to wrestle with to give my thoughts direction and purpose. Once I heard a political song on the radio years ago with the chorus, “Without this system, you guys would have nothing to bitch about.” Now it’s a point taken. The weather today is beautiful with irrepressible sunshine coloring things on the ground with orange juice. The high temperature should be 79 degrees. But I feel very alone in the world, and the perfect weather just rubs it in. It’s like being all dressed up and nowhere to go. “Waiting for someone to come / And turn your world around…” And Rush was probably right. But also there’s The Beatles: “Nowhere Man, don’t worry / Take your time, don’t hurry / Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand.” I think I like the John Lennon version better.

I was considering reading Daisy Miller again, but it’ll likely turn into another unfinished project. Besides, I still have to read to the end of The Portrait of a Lady.

Karen is bringing me a whole rotisserie chicken from Costco this afternoon. So at least I know that somebody cares about me and won’t let me starve. At the same time, I feel kind of like a bum to take charity from my friends. And maybe I ought to try to support myself; see a specialist at the agency and hunt for a job. I remember how a local bookstore hired an older man when I used to frequent the place a long time ago. Again, there’s the difficulty of not having a car. I’d have to take the bus to work every day.

The cards seem stacked against me, but even so, you know that something has to give. In the meantime it’s a game of waiting and seeing. Does anyone still believe that the pen is mightier than the sword? Or I should say the dollar. And the game of cards has really become a game of hardball. Hardly anyone lives for love nowadays. People are still saying that money makes the world go around. I think this will be the inscription on our stone.

My mother taught me two main lessons. First, to be honest. The second, to despise money. Was this a disservice to me? But there it is and I can’t change it. I’m not sure I would if I could. 

Polemic: Invisible


On second thought, the gold of pure philosophy doesn’t put food on the table.

Two hours ago I could barely hobble to the store around the block, having lost a night’s sleep. When I got there, Lisa asked me if I was getting enough to eat, and I replied that I had plenty of food at home. She pursued that a lot of others were having a rough time since their Snap benefits were reduced, and some women would get pregnant just for the hike in food stamps or whatever welfare they received. She said it was ridiculous, but I don’t know if she meant to blame the mothers or rather the situation of the government. I know which party I would condemn, and it’s not the women on welfare. Again I see that I am not alone in abject poverty, yet the ridiculous thing is I have an education, but because of the stigma of my illness, and because I am honest about it, I’m totally screwed. What’s the difference between the dungeon for schizophrenics and the chains of poverty and prejudice?

Either way, we’re locked up and forced to be invisible 🫥 to the public. It’s completely fucked.

What Drives the World?

Seven o’clock.

Maybe in a few hours I’ll go buy Aesop a treat, but otherwise I’m set for a while. I actually see sunlight from the east out of the window and some blue sky. A horoscope once told me, “Your fortunes may run very hot or very cold.” I’ve seen how my life path has been an economic roller coaster. “When the money’s gone and all your spending ends / (Friends) won’t be around anymore.” But strangely, I feel all right with that today because one good turn deserves another, giving the lie to the old song. Is the meaning of life no more significant than money? Even some of our spiritual places have grown pecuniary. We forget that love makes the world spin round… It seems inconceivable to let some people fall through the cracks and die of hunger. Something is seriously wrong with this scenario.

“Mother, should I trust the government?”

My brother once gave a panhandler’s dog a cheeseburger from McDonald’s but nothing to the man. Only a capitalist could be so perverse.

The Joneses

Six fifty five.

The day has the potential to bring something good. The moon still is in the heavens, low in the south, obscured by haze. I thought I saw my neighbor James drive past me in a new electric car, black with Kendall dealership plates. The cost of an electric car just boggles my mind when I can barely afford to eat. I’m not the only one. Can I turn my writing into something lucrative? Perhaps five cents a word? But this would cheapen the quality and ruin a beautiful thing. Like putting a dollar sign on every drop of blood in my body: every cell accounted for. “We matter more than pounds and pence / Your ‘economic theory’ makes no sense.”

Seven forty.

But I’m fortunate to have shelter and enough clothes to wear, and a small empire of books to read. I’m quite comfortable. I don’t need my own electric car for getting around. The postal and parcel services bring stuff to my door. How did the ending go to “The Shoemaker and the Elves”? I only remember that he was impossibly overtaxed with work and at night the elves came and finished his work for him. Where there’s endurance there’s a way.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends…


Wee hours.

I was reading about the “hunger cliff” that millions of Americans like me experience now, since our Snap benefits were reduced. I feel like something somewhere is going to break. It seems as if things couldn’t be much worse than they are today. Not enough is being done for low income people and families: people with disabilities and seniors. Also, WordPress is changing as a platform, so that personal bloggers like myself hardly have a voice anymore, and maybe I ought to move to a different platform more suited to my needs. All of the fun is going right out of life the way things are. It’s all coming to a head like some looming catastrophe. And the worst part is that nobody seems to care. Can’t anybody do something to stop the world going wrong?


Eleven o’clock.

It’s another strange kind of day to me, and I didn’t sleep well during the night because of my financial worries. I just hang on and hope that things get better around the world.

And the strong seem to get more

While the weak ones fade

Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade

Mama may have

And Papa may have

God bless the child that’s got his own

That’s got his own


Eight o’clock.

Aesop is barking for his breakfast. I just got back from the market with a few things. It was a little above freezing and cold. I saw a homeless man gathering empty bottles and cans for redemption at the same little store. He rode a bicycle, carrying four big black bags of containers. Why is it that every writing on my iPad turns into a moral teacher? It’s as though what Emerson said is true about all literature being moral. Now I sit on a couch still in my jacket, getting warm after my adventure. And speaking of moral, I should feed my dog and be his hero.

Got that done.

The cloudy winter sky stares down impassively on people as we pass each other on the streets, likewise indifferent to one another. We feed our pets but allow other people to starve, or at best scrounge for bottles to feed themselves. Instead of saying we, I ought to make it personal and say I. Because, it’s my guilty conscience prodding me, sitting comfortably at home while others have no home at all. Just the clothes on their backs, and a bicycle if they are lucky. I also wondered where he got his plastic bags if he didn’t buy them in a store. It’s too easy to dismiss the homeless by saying they only use their money to get drunk or high on drugs. More realistic to say, That could have been me.


Seven fifty.

At the store, Lisa was telling everyone about a customer who said he was short the 8 cents he owed for a purchase, expecting grace. She insisted that he pay it this time, and she had seen that he had the money. But the interesting thing of it was how Lisa felt she had to tell everyone what had happened. My guess is that she felt badly for her action and needed vindication from others. It’s curious how conscience works; and who knows, perhaps the right thing to do was to give him the 8 cents? It’s just another little moral quandary to puzzle over, if people even care about ethics today… I treated my dog to his favorite chicken jerky this morning, plus his marrow snacks should arrive later today. Right now he seems pretty relaxed, spread out on the carpet next to me. Last night they reported snow flurries, but it was dark out so I never saw it, and now any evidence of it is gone.

The more I consider it, the more 8 cents sounds trivial. Why make a scene over something so small? It’s not like he stole a loaf of bread…

A City in the Air

Eleven thirty.

I let Aesop out of his little prison down the hall after my zoom meeting was done and he barked at me to tell me he wanted his milk bones. The white light of day makes the room appear green, a greenness that reminds me of the cover to a book of Robert Frost I once had when I was a student. If it weren’t so cold out, I’d say it was kind of like the springtime with all the blooms and bird activity, and it stays lighter now for longer. The greens also are souvenirs of a serotonin buzz many years ago from taking Prozac. The drug made me feel impulsive and sociable, but also sleepless and finally suicidal, so I had to stop it. 1991 was very long ago and I can sense how much I’ve aged. It isn’t like Goethe anymore, a creed of seize the day. Rather, it’s a time for quiet reflection and study. Still, the green outdoors is a distraction from cerebral things. It is entirely possible to get too comfortable; security can be a trap that keeps you from pursuing happiness.

And then you ponder the difference between green pastures and ash gray pavements littered with cigarette butts. Where do we go from here?

Quarter of one.

It’s doable to be young at heart. Not to spit in the wind and give up your dream of paradise. They say poverty sucks, but poetry will never desert the pauper. It is there if you look for it, like the kingdom of God. It dwells within you.