An Ordinary Day


He was a great family man, a mentor, a father,

shot and killed by a fugitive he tried to arrest,

a man wanted for attempting to kill police officers

and for domestic violence.

He was a great family man, 53,

Trying to do his job.


Men in blue, grim, walk side by side past

flashing lights of squad cars, arrived too late.

One shakes his head, how easily it could have been him.


The yellow tape stretched now, from tree to tree,

marks off part of a world that will never see again

the family man, the mentor, the father.

Do not cross, do not cross, it says, do not cross,

as if we, who stand here, might want to pick a fight.


An ATF agent reconstructs how it went down.

The crime scene lady with her trim briefcase

steps resolutely forward, ready to do her job.

Voices, fighting tears, ask in whispers,

have they notified his wife?


The tape sways in the breeze.

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A thought

I see that, in Florida and Pennsylvania, the margin of Trump’s victory was much smaller than the number of votes given to Gary Johnson. Had those voters given their support to Hillary, she would have won. Ergo, the votes for Johnson were effectively votes for Trump. We all must be taken to intend the natural and probable consequences of our acts.

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Falling Asleep

See my newly published story in Burningwood right here:

Falling Asleep


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Punch Can, A Poem

Punch can, its pointed head is ready

To press down hard and pierce its way

Through metal sealing in sweet juice

To open condensed milk to air


Punch can, small and light, invented

In 1863 I think

A church key working just as well

As when the tool was first unveiled


It’s slight, full twenty to a pound

Just right to hide in any drawer

Here it lies behind the corkscrew

Another opening device


Punch can, will you ever be replaced?

Or are you something like the wheel?

For sale today for just three dimes

Be first this product to review

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What do social media teach their users?

  1. It’s easy to pretend to have read a posting. Just “like” or react in some other way to give the impression that you’ve read and understood the posting.
  1. It’s easy to ignore the people on FB who have different opinions. Despite all the back-and-forth, the taunts, the slurs, the snide comments, the sarcasm, all you have to do is ignore those comments you don’t agree with. No one will fault you for not responding. Well, if your antagonists do fault you in another reply, you can ignore that too.
  1. It’s easy to forget that there are millions of people out there who don’t share your opinions. We tend to stay securely within the fold of the opinions we know in advance we’re going to like. Then those opinions keep reinforcing themselves, as we hear them over and over again. It’s the same way we can separate ourselves from the rest of the world by digging a deep hole, jumping in, and covering ourselves with dirt.
  1. It’s easy to disregard the norms of etiquette, particularly if we post anonymously. Even our parents won’t know how crass and inhumane we’ve become, but, if they did, it’s likely they wouldn’t care. Who taught us our manners, after all?
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An Open Letter to My Grandson

Dear Cole,

It will be a few years before you can read this, and then maybe a few more years before it means a lot to you, I know, but I feel compelled to write to you today, on my 66th birthday. Let’s see. In 22 days, you will reach the ripe old age of six months. Can I say right up front that it’s amazing and wonderful having you in our lives? Already, the people around you (including Safta Laurie) can see a lot about the kind of person you’re going to grow up into. I can see that you’re curious, strong, good-natured, interested in how things work, and love to move, dance and jiggle. You have two loving and excellent parents, one of which happens to be my daughter. You have a sweet doggie brother, Sanka, who loves you and protects you, as well as a sweet doggie aunt/cousin (?), Whiskey, who also wants to make sure you’re okay at all times.

As your Grandpa Bruce – Saba Bruce if you prefer – I feel there’s so much I’d like to help teach you, not only about playing the piano and loving classical music (your mom will take care of teaching you to love country music), not only about baseball – the playing and watching thereof, the Brooklyn Dodgers, Duke Snider, and Sandy Koufax – but about appreciating all of the good things in life, hiking in the mountains, reading, writing, learning, and loving, the things that I have been blessed with. As to the loving, there’s no greater joy in life than being a parent, in my opinion, and so, somewhere in your future, I hope you are similarly blessed.

See you soon, Cole.


Grandpa Bruce


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In Memory of R.F.K.

Lest anyone doubt that our country is subject to political assassination, I publish a poem I wrote years ago: Crumpled between the large copper kettles Resting upon the smooth gleaming steel surfac…

Source: In Memory of R.F.K.

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