Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Question Chernyshevsky and Lenin Asked - poem

Lawrence Hall

The Question Chernyshevsky and Lenin Asked

 What is to be done?

On Monday there will be marches and rioting
Comrades and Activists and Anti-Thats
Bombs with the right hand, selfies with the left -
(Will anyone stay home and milk the cows?)

The tattoos of the Second Amendmenters
Will bristle at those of the New Red Guard
As trash bins burn in holy sacrifice –
(But who will wash the streets tomorrow dawn?)

They all scream for a Revolution, you’ll note -
(But did any of them ever bother to vote?)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Socialist Capitalist Brutalist Health Care - a poem of protest

Lawrence Hall

Socialist Capitalist Brutalist Health Care

“Health care was affordable before it became free”
-many attributions

For FamousNameBrand Healthcare, Medicare, and a collection agency

Another bill for the CPAP today
This time from a collection agency
For an old machine paid for years ago
By Medicare, private insurance, and me

Contracts, receipts, copies of letters and notes
Are nothing to the computerized continuum
Along which elderly humans are abandoned
To drown in a miasma of incessant demands

Like the DVA they just seem to scoff:
Have the workers pay more and then
                                                  die off

Friday, January 17, 2020

Saint Anthony, Abbot, Had a Rabbit - nonsense

Lawrence Hall

Saint Anthony, Abbot, Had a Rabbit

Saint Anthony, Abbot
Had a rabbit
Chewed his shoe

(This bit of nonsense came to me in the pre-dawn several years ago while noting the date, 17 January, on the nice church calendar the funeral home gave me.)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The House Speaker's Souvenir Pens - weekly column

Lawrence Hall, HSG

The House Speaker’s Souvenir Pens

Not that a wise American quite trusts any news report, especially via the InterGossip, but apparently Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi really did hand out as souvenirs the dozens of pens she used with all due solemnity (cough) to sign the articles of impeachment. Even CNN found this somewhat embarrassing (

The pens, stamped on the barrels with “Nancy Pelosi” in gold ink, were said to have been borne into the ceremony on a silver platter, but the photograph on CNN suggests that there were three platters in proletarian stainless steel. Maybe someone found a bargain at Goodwill.

The choice of metals could be a matter of controlling the budget or appealing to The People: one imagines that after the seven impeachment managers danced for the House Speaker she might have cried (but probably didn’t), “Bring me, on a proletarian stainless steel platter, the dignity of the congress!”

It could have been worse; the Speaker might have chosen to reflect the gravitas of a formal accusation of crimes against the nation by handing out balloons, helium-filled balloons at that, so that our conscript fathers and mothers could all talk like Donald Duck.

A few of them talk like Donald Duck anyway.

I believe that district attorneys and grand juries prefer to distribute fun-filled goodie bags for felony indictments.

Anticipate rubber duckies at the next state funeral.

If you look carefully at John Trumbull’s 1817 painting of the Declaration of Independence you can see, behind Hillary Clinton’s foot, the cardboard boxes of souvenir kazoos.

It is curious that in our state and local elections we the people are almost always presented with worthy choices of candidates for office. In local elections we are often presented with an embarrassment of riches, good men and women on both party tickets.

Why, then, do our two dominant parties fail to present Americans with serious candidates, men and women of genuine gravitas, for the highest offices, instead of oddballs of the sort who show up on YouTube and on doorbell cameras?

Bias note: Dear Reader, Y’r ‘Umble and Non-Nobel-Prize Winning Scrivener doesn’t like ANY of the personalities mentioned above, and would rather vote for you.


The House Speaker's Souvenir pens - poem

Lawrence Hall

The House Speaker’s Souvenir Pens

On a stainless steel tray bring us the prize
The dignity of Congress, like a sightless head
Now as stacks of souvenir pens to be flung
Like elementary-school giveaway treats

And bring us the President’s latest twoots
Festooned with coarse slurs and obscenities
His feral howls to a republic in decay
Amid the plastic pillars of puffery

But let this be the theme of our closing hymn:
We truly have no respect for any of them

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

"I Went to Vietnam to Understand America's Role..." - poem

Lawrence Hall

“I Went to Vietnam to Understand America’s Role in Its History
and Was Blown Away by What I Learned”

A young writer for (Famous Travel Magazine)
Reports that she journeyed to Viet-Nam
And was blown away by what she learned there

Blown away


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Death and Dentistry - poem

Lawrence Hall

Death and Dentistry

How easy it is to cry “Invictus!”
And babble about one’s unconquerable soul
or even
“Rage, rage, against the dying of the light!”

On those days when one hasn’t chipped a tooth

Monday, January 13, 2020

Bus Fare for the Common Man - poem

Lawrence Hall

Bus Fare for the Uncommon Man

With a transfer to Mission Beach

A set of civvies from the 4.0 Locker Club
Which fool no one; the hair is a sailor’s cut
That book of free verse everyone’s talking about
And a transfer to Mission Beach in hand

We rocket by stops down Lower Broadway
From Horton Square, palm trees and cigarettes
A KOGO radio ad on the back
Salesgirls on, sailors off, YMCA

I’m riding to Mission Beach to read and think –
We could have coffee. And talk. Will I see you there?