Unre quit ed

Unre quit ed is a bitch
A back to scratch that doesn’t itch
A nose to pick that always bleeds 
A potted garden full of weeds
A towel to dry unwashed hands
A container filled with rubber bands
Unre quit ed is a bitch
A gaping wound with no stitch
A mirrored ball with no dance
A matching top with no pants
A drink in hand with no thirst
A thinking man’s muttered curse
Unre quit ed is a bitch
A name I’d say but just can't snitch.

To Be a Kid Again

My wife and I promised our boys we'd take them ice skating this New Year's Eve and we made good on it. I haven't been on skates in ages and the sum total of times I have can be counted on one hand.

My youngest son is a big three, which means he's closer to four and he was unfazed when I laced up his tiny skates. He walked with a purpose to the edge of the rink, but when he stepped on the ice, his confidence shattered. His feet went in different directions like a foal outside a barn and he screamed from the top of his lungs for me to get him out of there. Problem was, I couldn't.

He held my hand as I clutched the wall and the two of us spiraled our way forward with the other skaters. At times, he would clutch me as if he was hanging off a cliff. Then a young girl came by and asked me if my son was learning how to balance. She couldn't have been much older than six. She told him to keep his legs straight, bend his knees, and walk like a penguin. I don't think he heard her over his tears, but I followed her instructions and echoed them as we made our way.

About halfway through, my lower back started barking like a hound dog in pursuit of a fox. My son's pleas to turn around became my own. We did an about-face and before we got too far, the young girl skated over to us and told us we had to go in the same direction as everybody else. Of course she was right, that know-it-all.

We pushed on. Salvation lay on the other side of the rink, but to make it, we'd have to cut across the ice without the safety of the wall. My son sensed the gravity of the situation and squirmed like a puppy before its first dunk in the bathtub. We glided in slow motion toward our destination. When we made it, I praised him for being brave and asked him if he wanted to go around again. He looked at me like I was crazy. He couldn't wait to get his skates off.

On the way home, he and his older brother were filled with song and laughter before they fell into a deep sleep.

I've never made a New Year's resolution I intended to keep and today is no different. I did realize something, though. After I made it around the ice rink with my three-year-old, we watched the other skaters and I felt exhilarated. Memories of my first skate flooded back to me along with the realization that decades later, I'm no better at it than I was then, but boy, did I have fun. Simply being with my kid, doing what he wanted to do, made me feel like a kid again. I may have a different answer later tonight when the ball drops and that familiar question is raised in song: Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Grab your kid by the hand and see for yourself.




Billy Joel Plays 33rd Show at Madison Square Garden

You can tell Billy Joel enjoys what he does for a living. From the moment he walks on stage, the room shrinks and the audience feels like they're sitting in his living room. These days, that living room happens to be Madison Square Garden.

He called his 33rd show at MSG, the "Halloween" show, and peppered his fans with the themes from Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Addams Family and Jaws along with a raucous snippet of "The Monster Mash" amidst "The River of Dreams."

While "You May Be Right" on any "Long Night" with the "Piano Man," I was thrilled when "The Downeaster Alexa" won the "toss up" over "Say Goodbye to Hollywood." Ya-ya-ya-oh! Strong Island in the house!

I brought my "Uptown Girl" to the show for our ninth wedding anniversary as she's wanted to see Billy Joel for "The Longest Time" and, well, "She's Always a Woman" to me.

We embraced our "New York State of Mind" as Billy Joel propped up a skull with Shakespearean flare before taking us on a tour of "Leningrad" and "Vienna" and then stopping for a pina colada at Trader Vic's with Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London."

"The Entertainer" has played songs throughout "My Life" from "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" to when I was "Movin' Out," his classics are akin to Beethoven's "Joy" and "Nessun Dorma" by Giacomo Puccini.

Billy Joel opened his encore with guitar in hand reminding us that "We Didn't Start the Fire" while twirling his microphone stand like a baton before the King of Queens, Kevin James, who shouted "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me!"

We all left the show smiling and satisfied as if we had just finished our dessert on Thanksgiving. We were all in the mood for a melody and our "Piano Man" had us feeling alright.   

Billy Joel at Madison Square Gardern.

The Body

Elle Macpherson aka "The Body"
The body is a source of sheer delight and immense disappointment. It is unique to each of us. It can be sculpted and it can change its shape without warning. We are its master and its victim.

Elle Macpherson was known as "The Body" after hers graced the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue again and again, meanwhile Jesse "The Body" Ventura used his on the battlefield, the wrestling ring, and the political arena.

The body of a newborn begins its journey to the body of an octogenarian. The intricate systems of the body keep it moving from start to finish, through shrieks of agony and pulsating electric shocks from the embrace of a lover.

It appears in scripture and in strip malls. It's in our work. It is the one thing you know best and hardly at all. We stare at it in the mirror and we stare at other versions on the beach or in the gym. At times, we covet it like a jewel.

Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Artists opine about the beauty of a body in masculine and feminine form. Scientists dissect it. Athletes push it to the limits. You and I touch it and sometimes invite others to do so as well. A pat on the back, a handshake, a different kind of shake, an embrace, a violent push. We adorn armor to protect it. We chose clothes that flatter its shape and keep it warm and safe from the elements. We shield it from the sun and bask in its rays. We manufacture a prosthetic to replace a piece that was once there or perhaps never at all.

The body is a tool to lay, move, gather, cook, hold, hit, drive, jump, stand, run ...

The body is sexy. The curves of a woman in clothes that cling or nothing at all. The broad shoulders of a man drawing the letter V at a tapered waist. The body seeks other bodies to reproduce more and more bodies.

For those whose body has been dormant, push it. For those whose body has been sore, heal it. For those whose body draws attention, flaunt it. For those whose body is healthy, appreciate it. For those whose body won't agree, convince it. For those whose body has been laid to rest, may it rest in peace.

    -0-

/EDITOR'S NOTE: "The Body" was written by request for DELve Mag . It is syndicated here by its author, Weird Long Beard Press/

Working Man Blues

When that odd day comes
and I'm finally out of debt
I shall sit in a soft chair and
light up a cigarette
I will enjoy a good smoke
then I'll let out a sigh as
I think of all the days worked
and the time gone by
The bills will be paid
my stomach well fed
I'll watch some TV
before I go to bed
and dream of all the things I have
and those I should get
and in no time at all
I'll be back in debt.

Other poems:

Ireland Baldwin Treats Us to a Lady Picture Show on the Heels of Dylan Penn

Far from a rude, thoughtless little pig, Ireland Baldwin will appear in a "some like it hot" portfolio by Arthur Belebeau in the number 11 issue of Treats! Magazine on the 4" heels of Dylan Penn who appeared in the number seven issue. Seven or 11 is quite a come out roll for the luscious pair who continue their ascendancy and are no longer a secretCheck it out:


Ireland Baldwin, Treats! Magazine, Issue 11.

Ireland Baldwin, Treats! Magazine, Issue 11.

Ireland Baldwin, Treats! Magazine, Issue 11.

Ireland Baldwin, Treats! Magazine, Issue 11.




Mourn the Slain

Mourn the slain
of every color and domain
Oppose the violent and profane
and wisdom of the criminally insane
Violence begets violence, there ain't no gain
Tyrannical politics fanning the flame
No common decency to ease the pain
Just surging hatred toward fellow man
In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave
Nobody's right unless someone is wrong
Each one of us deciding who does belong
Not a different tribe or religion
Blindness stands in way of our Founders' vision
that we are endowed by our Creator
Who sent forth a lover, not a hater
Who stood only as tall as the smallest one
and told us to love each and everyone
But we keep trucking a different lane
At speeds too fast to mourn the slain
and foot too heavy to hit the break
and a fury too blind to see our mistake.



Other poems:

Loss for Words

Loss for words
Planting grass seed for birds
Picking up doggie turds
Outside in the sun

Can not think
Ground needs a drink
Birds don't blink
Kids shrieking with fun

Pause to breathe ...
Birds starting to leave
Kids start to believe
New green grass will come.


Image courtesy of  Weird Long Beard Press.

Other poems:

Matt Harvey: The Dark Knight of Gotham Will Rise


The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
People of Gotham, have you lost your Vulcan minds? Mets fans, have you been infiltrated by front-runners who switch their allegiance as casually as they transfer from the 4-train to the 7-train? Have we collectively sunk into deep despair as we watch the villains pillage our city in the absence of its protector?

Indeed, we have.

We've seen the movie before. It was released in 2012, the very same year Matt Harvey first took the mound in Gotham Citi Field and gave the few who still believed, hope. He put the franchise on his shoulders and was invincible. He wrestled headlines and models away from the Yankees Captain and brought back a swagger reminiscent of his Hall of Fame predecessors Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza. He walked the tightrope and he did backflips on it with the snap of his cape before disappearing into the shadows to await the next arrival of would-be assassins from DC, Philly and The Bronx. If he let up just one run, the fat lady would sing in her operatic voice.

How many games have we watched where Matt Harvey was brilliant while his teammates flailed at the plate, unable to scratch out a base runner, let alone a run. As if the lack of offense wasn't enough, his teammates would crack under the pressure of a routine pop fly, a tailor-made double-play ground ball or a Little League throw from first place to home plate. Did he complain? No. He simply asked for the ball and another chance to take the hill and carry the gigantic load his teammates, his franchise and his city placed upon him.

Now, Atlas, it's time to shrug.

Matt Harvey of the New York Mets
The booing after the debacle against Washington and the swelling negativity from the Mets in their own broadcast booth has reached a fever pitch. Like the movie, the hero has become the villain and the city has turned its back on him. The chorus of boos bleeds into anarchy until the hero vanishes and begins to question himself and his ability. He retreats to the cave while the larger-than-life image thrust upon him is incinerated in the streets amidst mayhem and lawlessness. He wrestles with his own self doubt until he stares at himself in the mirror unvarnished. Then, like the Phoenix, he rises from the ashes with a fury, stronger, more powerful than ever before to save his city from itself.

Among the boos and the naysayers you'll find the You Gotta Believers. They'll be wearing a mustard splattered jersey with the top two buttons undone and the number 33 on their backs. They will gather behind their leader with the indomitable knowledge that giving him the ball when he extends his right hand is the same as Commissioner Gordon climbing to the top of police headquarters to send his signal over Gotham.