A Sad Poem for a Sadder Country

I bleed the tears of loss to watch the coming end/To see the hatred in my country grow and spew/Like long pent up volcanoes breaking through their glue/As open fields and walls of hearts are rent/I cry because it’s so unreal/Because my words cannot make others feel

It won’t be long before we see him load/Them into cattle cars, like those of old,/To camps where thirst and hunger must prevail/To gravely lead them to their graves or jail/It’s no matter, as long as they are gone/Adolf Trump will sing their exit song

It won’t be long before we see him send/To camps where thirst and hunger will prevail/To gravely leave or throw them in their graves/Or shove in cattle cars, like those of old,/It’s all the same to him, if they are gone/Adolf Trump will sing their exit song

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“Nate and Adel and Other Stories”

Now free for a few days!


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See my new post on AU’s Cafe Americain!

The Irrevocable Connection Between Stories and Litigation


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Composition: A Poem

Let’s say I was painting a page with words/ They must come from somewhere/ I see them flash to the screen by magic

For the brain may signal to the fingers/ To move on the keyboard/ But the many-lobed organ holds no words

The heart may relish the verse that appears/ But it can be cold, too/ And doesn’t connect to the ten fingers

It must be therefore that the hands’ digits/ Themselves create the poem/ One haphazard letter, then another

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We Are In Danger

The hatred-mongers of ISIS have certainly advanced their strategy of destabilizing the United States. That becomes clear when we see our fellow citizens berate all Muslims as “terrorists,” as happened recently at a hearing on construction of an Islamic Center in Virginia. But the bigots have been given permission to vent their hatred by people such as the leading candidate for the Republic presidential nomination. Is there any real difference between (1) his suggestion that mosques be closed down and that torture be used against America’s “enemies” and (2) the anti-Semitism and violence of the nascent Nazi party? If we are not afraid of the possibility that this Republican candidate will bring the reincarnation of Nazism into this country via the next election, we should be.

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Junior Partner

Wipe that silly grin off your face, because this is serious; plan your closing argument before you do anything else; practice in front of a mirror, looking directly into the jurors’ eyes; modulate your voice, because you don’t want to put everyone to sleep; pause for dramatic effect; make them anticipate what you’re about to say, then spring the point on them in a sharp, memorable way; stay well hydrated, but don’t drink too much water just before court starts; keep your mind on what’s happening in front of you, not your need to visit the rest room; but I can’t plan a closing argument when I don’t even know all the facts yet; develop all the graphics yourself; don’t rely on the so-called artists who’ve never stood up in front of a jury; use Power Point but not too much; when you sit at counsel table, keep everything well organized, not like the haphazard disarray in front of the plaintiff’s lawyer; remind your team that everything that happens in a courtroom is evidence; make sure your shoes are highly shined with the shoelaces not excessively long, because you don’t want them to catch under the wheel of your chair; wear blue ties if you think most of your jurors are Democrats, red if Republican, and switch off every day if you have no clue; ignore what the jury consultant tells you, because they’re wrong more often than they’re right, and you know that the psychologists are the ones who couldn’t get into med school; but why do we hire them in that case?; this is how to carefully set up a cross-examination notebook so that you can be spontaneous; this is how to fake sincerity; this is how to sit in the war room when court is not in session, so that your subordinates feel you are one of them, but keep your earphones on and listen to Leonard Bernstein and the Beatles so you don’t hear everyone chatting; this is how to ignore e-mails from your partners who want to micromanage your case; this is how to prepare a daily report for the clients so they can prepare a daily report to their bosses who have to submit a daily report to the CEO; this is how to preserve deniability; this is how to make the judge seem like an idiot as well as a tyrant, and don’t worry because everyone will believe you; this is how to talk to your wife every morning so as not to make her fear for your sanity; but what if the trial is going poorly, I’m not getting enough sleep, my insides are twisted, and I feel I’m about to pass out?; — you are not the junior partner anymore, you know, because I’m out of here, so take charge and be a leader — this is how you take a Valium to stop your hands from shaking and your voice from cracking; this is how you use propranolol to subdue your high blood pressure and get the green look off your face; this is how you pace the hallway as you pull yourself together; this is how you pray; this is how you wipe that silly grin off your face. (with thanks to Jamaica Kinkaid’s “Girl”)

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Let’s say I was painting a page with words

They must come from somewhere

I see them flash to the screen by magic


For the brain may signal the fingers

To move over the keyboard

But the brain holds no words


The heart may care what shows up in the verse

But it may be cold, too,

And doesn’t connect to those flying digits


It must be therefore that the ten of them

Themselves create the poem

One haphazard letter and another

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