Thursday, March 24, 2005

Robin Wlliams

The complete story is HERE

Monday, March 21, 2005

Doonesbury Tribute to Thompson

I got this from E. Heroux's excellent5 blog out of Taipai. Check out Doonesbury at

And Erick's blog at

Saturday, March 19, 2005

New poem

hail all ye sharks...there be blood in the waters...

chew on this first draft...then comment and make your view known...


On the other side

She pinging as I tracked

One ping only

And I took all the bait

Seven years of Naivete.

On the other side

She pinging a dual

Deception of Détente

Ingrown into incestuous

14 years of dead lust and loss.

Three torpedoes,

Two still live

In my fresh fleshy steel side

I go silent and deep

Sinking to the bottom.

It’s quiet here

Peaceful, imaginative

Beautiful in a dark way

Mysterious and true

Safe and compact.

Above come their wars

Their politics and madness

Their lawyers and paper

Their endless feckless theologies

And wargames.

Not here in the dark quiet as

The Buddha stops by for tea

The giant squid makes his

Last confession

Jesus swims with the fishes

Then laughs.

It is beautiful here

On the ever-drawn floor

Of all that was, is

And ever will be.

But we must rise!

Wait and watch

Mindful and so

Carefully full.


More than once I have been accused of using old material. Not so. Go to and I have published new stuff consistently. I just like to sit with it for a month or longer so I do not look like the utter jackass I am.

Here was last month's on the death of my mentor Dr. Hunter S. Thompson:

I’m still a bit in shock. He’s dead. The blessed good doctor of all things Gonzo is dead at the age of 67. Now it is time for all of his thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of his students, now writers themselves, to write about him. It’s part of how we will carry the loss of him.

First, God bless the San Francisco Chronicle for having the good sense to lead that day’s paper with Hunter as the lead instead of the mindless Bush-driven bullshit that ran on the front pages of all the other papers. No, the real story is Hunter Thompson, and he deserves, one last time, to eclipse the brutish and ugly power-mongers that feed us their ground-up slop, using the national news media like an endless chain of feeding troughs.

There was no one like him and there never will be. If you think so, you never read him. He was the Michael Jordan of Gonzo journalism. He changed the whole venue and game.

The bullet was just retirement because no one good enough has come forward.

People who hated him were legion as are those that loved him.

He taught me to be honest and not be afraid to point at the Emperor in all his imagined finery and call him a “pig-fucker”. He also made me laugh so damned hard and demonstrated the entire region that exists between straight journalism and the wonderful world of what might actually be perceived and written about.

It’s hard to imagine some of our new heroes if not for Hunter Thompson. People like David Sedaris, Anne Lamott, and Mike Morford, would probably not exist as they do without the good Doctor. How do I know? I see him in their writings. The Spirit of Hunter Thompson is upon them in one degree or another.

Just as Walker Percy taught me that Christian faith and sexuality were not opposed, but very closely related, so the Doctor taught me that words could transport you to whole other worlds and change the way people thought afterward.

The Good Doctor was, and will be, a drug that alters our state of perception.

For example, can anyone who has ever read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ever walk into a casino again and not recall the infamous lounge scene?

I still cannot see a story about Jimmy Carter (who is also a hero of mine) without also remembering his shrewdness as reported by Thompson in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. Fucking funny shit, and I’m sure all of it happened (except for perhaps some of Thompson’s own antics.)

And that was the beauty of it. You had great reporting, and then the funniest travelogue to humanize the entire insanity.

Like Hemingway, his movement into old age would have been excruciating for a man who burned so brightly. The “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”…until the weakened flesh begins to darken the spirit and madness begins to creep in like a plague.

The flesh was also weakened by the abuse of the body. As is so often the case with writers, Thompson ingested all manner of poisons on a regular basis. Had he taken even a tenth of what he reported in print he was lucky to make it to 50.

Why do writers and artists often drink? It is, at first, to loosen the iron grip the left hemisphere of the brain has on the right, which is the creative side. The “inner editor” of the left strangulates the creativity of the artistic right.

At first this really works, but later the effect is lessened, or if not, the body itself begins to suffer from the brain’s being bathed in drugs and alcohol.

There is usually a decline in the artist’s ability to produce at their earlier levels. You can see it in Hemingway, and some will see it in Thompson. I, for one, did not. I thought his last two pieces in Rolling Stone were classic Fear and Loathing material.

More later.

Mac Out.

Family Histories

And old friend on the East Coast wrote me (and about 300 of his smartest friends) and asked the question about family histories. It was more than a simple "nature vs. nurture" issue and an open inquiry.

I wrote him back as best I could and sent him this poem from the late 80s which dealt with that issue to some extent.


I feel the tumblers
Rock and stumble
Hard within me
Well-worn keys
Handed down from
Generation to generation
Through the fumbling
My Father
Leaving the doors open
Leaving the doors closed
But mostly
Leaving the empty rumble-hum
Of a lost son
I was visited without invitations

The Iniquity of the Fathers

I inherited my
Hole of turning
The burning hot
Haunting heart of
My Grand

The Iniquity of the Fathers

Who in his youth
Made the Turning
Visited my childhood
Father no more
Unlocked the desolate places
Entertained family demons
Leaving the doors open
Inviting the enveloping
Consulate of Women
To fill each and every hall.
Visiting the Sons
so long as it is called Today

For twenty
And eight years
The tumblers
Grease grinded
Hard twisting left
Extreme right
Shaking rattling violence
But no one was released.

The Iniquity of the Fathers

But came the day
The iron stopped cold
Silence cleared a field
And holy dreams were
Born in Mercy
Mercy for a fourth generation
Who no longer hate
Or fear their God

My sons were made safe
Handed down through windows

Unmerited favor lavished on the Sons
so long as it is called

I have a great picture to post with it, but have not yet worked out the three programs you need to post pictures easily on Blogger. If you wish you can see the formatted version at:

It opens up discussion on our family histories, and the possibilities that they can be changed, by the grace of God, or human determination, or just dumb luck.

Respectfully submitted,