Strange Dreams

Strange dreams,

fragmentally remembered by,

a conscious mind.


Containing characters,

long gone,

conversations that,

never were.


Recalled to vitality,

they speak earnestly,

of things I should know,

in language I can’t understand.


If only my mind,

could work the puzzle,

I would come to know myself,

returning them to their quiet rest.


Civil Conversation

Less and less patient

I find myself,

with the empty, trifling

etiquette of civility.


Such polite mannerisms

meant to preserve,

delicate sensibilities

which are themselves

in costume.


How unfashionable!

to speak directly,

of one’s circumstances

when asked.


Couch the response

termed so,

that it hints at an answer

bearing no sharp edges.


Pay the compliments

unearned, undeserved,

insincere though they are.


praise highly!

achievements so minute

they resemble wisps

of sunrise mist.


Treat subjects of deep consequence


certainly we are above

such concerns.


Hardly worth mention,

a failed crop, a drought, famine

in light of the impending release

of the season’s theatre schedule.









A year without television

The Sunday afternoon downpour had my Son and I trapped in the house. Both of us experiencing that unique frustration known as “Cabin fever”, we’d each flipped through every cable channel available to us several times. Not only couldn’t we find anything we both wanted to watch, neither of us found anything even one of us was interested in, and this was not the first time.

A whole different species of frustration came to visit. Here I was, paying $135 a month, for the privilege of not watching television. I’d like to take a moment and sincerely thank our cable television provider for that experience, without it I wouldn’t have spent the afternoon searching for alternatives. That was the day I discovered online programming services and signed up with HULU for $7.99 a month. The following day I cancelled the television portion of my cable service, keeping only internet and phone access. My monthly cable bill dropped to $57. Add $7.99 to that and my monthly total became $64.99. Half of what it had previously been.

I admit that there was a short period of trepidation wondering how my Son would adapt to life without television. This evaporated almost immediately as He found that, with only one exception, all the shows He watched regularly were available. He’s since encountered several older series, which weren’t on cable, that He’s become a fan of. I learned something of my own habits as well. It became apparent that I was wasting considerably more time watching television than I’d thought. I know this to be true because during the last year I’ve lost 25lbs., improved my martial arts practice, and read many excellent books which I hadn’t been able to find time for, most notably; The Holy bible and Thoreau’s Walden. My Son has also enjoyed reading several novels that He otherwise wouldn’t have.

Far from feeling deprived without television, both my Son and I feel as though television was depriving us.

Why I sleep on the floor

“REPLACE EVERY EIGHT!”. We’ve all heard the catchphrase, usually followed by a seemingly knowledgeable spokes-person proclaiming that due to sweat, dust mite, dead skin cell, etc. accumulation an average mattress will double in weight every 8-10 years. That’s right, double!…………………… Or is it?

It turns out that this claim is completely untrue. A few minutes of internet research reveal that it was made up out of whole cloth by a journalist in the year 2000, falsely stating that the information had come from an Ohio state university researcher.

I’m no crusader, no martyr, just a guy with a limited income and a bad back who had reached peak frustration level. Enough is enough! Enough trying to pass off an advertising campaign as scientifically verified fact, enough extolling the wondrous (though questionable) virtues of a $2,000+ adjustable bed, which I can’t afford, as the best or only solution to my back pain and stiffness.

So, with the knowledge that sleeping on a hard surface significantly mitigates my suffering, and no longer able to suffer foolish advertising, I made a choice and moved my mattress for the last time, to the trash pile.

I laid out two quilts and a sleeping bag on my freshly cleaned floor, went to bed, and woke the next morning feeling better than I had in two decades.