Specks of cherry blossoms remain, six months after, crunched

to microscopic, yet able to detect the soft November feet of

knee-booted beauties. Washington’s engorged monument is

Korean, six inches, but proud, laying-in to boot-skirt on the mall.

Blushing blossoms accept the thumping as better than souls,

more aesthetic than the spiked dens that welcome the kinky

Dupont Circle crowd, you know, congressmen on the town with

their page boys.  We’re now “all -in,” bushwhacked into this

winner-take-all culture with few winners, proud sinners, all-meat

dinners. Unshaved Hispanics growl when the dealer hits two

black jacks in a row.  Cactus stand, not waving in the wind that

tumbles weeds over mountains, that then ignite to torch homes

of the “richies” who once had it made.  Malibu, New Orleans,

Florida in general:  is there a pattern here?  Gaia, perhaps our

only god, has good aim, giving the haves ample opportunity to

atone:  few do.  Perpetual human error peaks again now, as

Christians preach morality, their U.S. leader tortures, slaughters,

greedily spilling blood for oil, trading tomorrow for carbon-filled

today, while children and nincompoops watch, jaws agape, because

they didn’t see it coming.  By nineteen-eighty-three it was evident,

but still, twenty years into the fall, the one-two combo of religious

propaganda and twisted “news” helped smooth over electoral fraud

in time to put the slow crank on World War Three.  Skip forward

to November, back-peddle to the leaf pile, where larger color

combinations lure Alexis and her playmate into unbridled bare-

backed adventures.  Cool air slows his sweat, but not before a drop

jumps his nose.  She thrusts to lick it out of the air, which is just

the angle adjustment he needs to finish the act.  Show this to the

wonks, well-walled on cubicle row sixty-seven, and BASHA! your

job is over.  It’s that easy to escape the grind, but near impossible

to be your own cowboy and feed the kids.  This is when corporate

can be your friend:  just throw out all convictions, trade values

for value-added do-dads that increase profits and productivity

simultaneously and do not stress the details.  No one minds if you

are loading atomic weapons, making attack ads, fucking your

“niece,” as long as the leaves rustle gently, lips quiver repeatedly,

and voyeur neighbors get a hot glance, on an Indian Summers’ eve.

Single Currency Theory

Single Currency Theory



The racial flow, still imperfect, puts most on edge here

in L.A.  Jews and Gentiles huddle in “richville,” but

Bloomingdales and Macy’s crowd with a four-way mix

of Koreans, rap stars, Spanish speakers and stressed out

white folks  who either don’t have the nerve to be kind

to strangers, or shop the big tickets, knowing collapse is

on trade-day away (but which day?). The economic divide

could collide if rich turn poor, grocery trucks hijacked

and guns replace compassion in the latter-day depression.

So sing while you can, scare viewers into the tip jar of

street performers who remind you that by break-dancing

they are not robbing your home.  Come crash time the wine

sippers will hustle dollars too, but how?  Food delivery is

my guess.  Safe, clean food delivered to your gated palace

in a time when even growing food may require armed guards

should be a valuable service for those with money to spare.

If there were only a benevolent  group that could be trusted to

switch us to a one-currency world with one minimum wage,

say twelve bucks and hour, and a Chavez style reprioritization

of both crops and housing.  If implemented, this might prevent

the crash of 2015.  Gulls dance on garbage heaps.  Open lots

in East Los Angeles harbor rats and desperados, scream a

warning no one hears.  Look, there’s a rotting book: “Canary

Row,” now sporting touristas unprepared for upcoming disaster.


Ode to Horace Mann

Ode to Horace Mann

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.  Horace Mann


Be aware that energy is life, save some for your kids.

Be afraid that our minds are bent by news not books.

Be awed by the healing power of the simple purple cone flower.

Be amazed that after four short years she knows so much.

Be awake before the bombs drop, before the money rules.

Be agile: live in a town that walks and bikes to work and play.

Be amused by ants and birds, goats and potato fields, lilacs and sycamores.

Be angry only long enough to solve the problem, then move on.

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.

Play (One and Two)

Play (1974, age 15)

Brandy barks at swooping swallows,

Life, lowered to one foot or so

In summer time is simple,

As the lure of tired dogs and clover

Greets only those who need to play.

Scampering down outside stairs

Past the skidding bicycle marks

To a tumbling fit of joy

Goes the only daily memory

Of a happiness once known.

Landing in a pile of limbs,

Which includes the golden hair

That shines of wetness on the

Back of Brandy, the player

Laughs at the summer sun.

How long will it be

Before the play begins again,

Before the youthful joy

Once known appears, before

The love, if ever, returns?


  Play II, Thirty Five Years Later (2009, Age 50)


There’s this shadow made by Korean Pines that hits

the white wall of building two at one every day.

If you’re sitting upstairs at An Die Musik, lazily

waiting for your favorite lunch-mate, this shadow can

appear to be the cliff seen in ancient watercolors.  A

dark cliff and foggy white air in a far-distant place.

Foreground cloud-clipped conifers add a touch of reality,

nudging you back to lunch, which arrives, unlike your partner.

Today it’s the newfound cliff, visible only from three

southeast-facing seats.  Students move, shoes push grains

into jagged cracks, yellow buds enlarge, the sun warms

frosted souls, but it’s the shadow cliff that matters.  Now

you have a new friend, silent but hopeful, strong yet fake,

everlasting but ever-changing, finally receding with the sun

to a place no one knows.  A morose quartet, early romantic,

pops at least one bright piano note, while cello, violin, viola

continue their lament.  A new banner is stretched between

trees.  The perpetrators are efficient and mingle into passersby

in less than thirty seconds.  Now the cliff cascades, trios walk

and talk, you dream of love alone, confident it will return.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2011.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.