Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Pocket Knife of Damocles - doggerel

Lawrence Hall, HSG

The Pocket Knife of Damocles

Every morning good Damocles wakes up
And after breakfast from a drive-through bag
Salutes the time-clock with a merry ding
From a little card that records his time

He drives his forklift or his cubby-desk
And sorts each pallet or computer code
Into their places in the secular scheme
The minor chain of being more-or-less

Until a meeting when, and with great sorrow,
A Suit tells all, “we’re shutting down tomorrow.
Oh, the company still exists (and what could be finer?),
But we’re sending all your jobs away to China.”

Monday, November 19, 2018

Community PEAVEY Wide PEAVEY Thanksgiving PEAVEY Service - a poem with booms and bangs

Lawrence Hall

Community PEAVEY Wide PEAVEY
Thanksgiving PEAVEY Service

Prelude PEAVEY you give PEAVEY the splendor
How great is our PEAVEY WOOOOOO! The lion and
The PEAVEY name above all YEAH!!!!!

Age to PEAVEY chorus PEAVEY bridge PEAVEY
You are PEAVEY touching my PEAVEY these
Bones will PEAVEY shout your PEAVEY OH YEAH!!!!
We pour out our PEAVEY WOOOOO!!!!! YEAHHHH!!! An’ Lord

We just wanna PEAVEY you YEAH! And WOOOOO!!!
Food drive PEAVEY outreach ministries PEAVEY

Love offering PEAVEY I worship PEAVEY
Outreach WOOOOO! And Lord we just offer up our

(You can always walk away – and I did)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Premediated Amnesia - poem

Lawrence Hall

Premeditated Amnesia 1

For nothing here is old, save for deep layers
Of moss and muck and mouldering remains
Civilisations lit by visions and fire
Now lost beneath a Wal-Mart Parking lot

Incuriously the tentacles of Now
Slither more deeply into the pale past
And churn up yet another housing estate
At the corner of Kingsford Lane and Heather Way

Near the Motorcycle Church, for piston prayers:
For nothing here is old, save for deep layers

1 "The U.S. is probably the contemporary world’s purest example of a society which is perpetually trying to abolish history, to avoid thinking in historical terms, to associate dynamism with premeditated amnesia.” -Alexander Woodside quoted by Susan Sontag:


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Don't You Dare Judge Me While I'm Judging You! - a poem (of sorts)

Lawrence Hall

Don’t You Dare Judge Me While I’m Judging You!

Don’t you judge me while I am judging you
For judging me when I was judging you
For judging me since I was judging you
For judging me ‘cause I was judging you

Don’t interrupt while I am interrupting you
For interrupting when I was interrupting
For interrupting since I was interrupting
For interrupting ‘cause I was interrupting

What’s that? You say you didn’t hear or see?
How dare you not focus your life on me!?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Three Chords and a Meth Lab - poem

Lawrence Hall

Three Chords and a Meth Lab

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
Embroidered on the back of his letterman jacket
Hanging from the kitchen chair where he sits
Practicing chords while the meth cooks to crank

In the trailer back of his momma’s house
Where she lets him live while he looks for work
They didn’t treat him right at the truck stop
His uncle might get him on at the mill

A crankster wankster twanging out his art
Unless the Cossaks find out about…

                                                                   “Who’s there…?”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Self-Government is not a Video Game - column

Lawrence Hall

Self-Government is not a Video Game

In a poorly-written article featuring cluttered sentence structure, botched parallelisms, unnecessary and inappropriately-placed adverbs, and inadequately sourced quotations, a scrivener alleges that a physical education teacher in Florida was punished for refusing to watch a girl change clothes in the boys’ locker room.

The article appears in numerous InterGossip outlets but given that there appears to be only one source recycled over and over and that the InterGossip is unreliable we must first consider the possibility that the article might not be true, or if true that the narrative is not accurate – remember the story about the purportedly homeless man who was said to have given a stalled driver his last twenty dollars so that she could drive safely home. Yes, cue the tears and the $400,000 dollars given through a Go Loot Me site on the InterGossip. In the end, the narrative was demonstrated to be a money-grubbing hoax and the perps’ next teary-eyed story will be to a judge.

But let us say, for the sake of an argument, that the narrative, one of those tiresome LGQBT-and-a-buzzard-in-a-peach-tree things, is in substance correct. If – IF - a school board in Florida hired an LTBGQ-something liaison (whatever that is), and if – IF – the school board gave the liaison-person authority over restrooms, locker rooms, and the duties of teachers, then who should the people be mad at?

Yes, I know that should read “with whom should the people be angry,” but let it stand.

If – IF – these inappropriate things happened, the people of that school can only be mad at / angry with themselves, for the people are the school.

Governance of a public school district is both democratic-with-a-small-d and republican-with-a-small-r – that is, through open elections (that’s the democratic-with-a-small-d part) the people wisely and prayerfully choose the trustees of their local school board. The elected school board then controls (that’s the republican-with-a-small-r-part) the school district’s properties, sets policies, and hires and fires all of the people’s servants, from the superintendent to the nice folks who tidy up late into the night. Depending on state and local laws, the school board also establishes the assessment and collection of taxes, lots of taxes, on private property.

And yet Americans tend not to bother with the most important elections of all, those for their local school board.

Some of those who won’t vote for their trustees will, if the gossip is salacious enough, herd up and appear at a school board meeting with signs and petitions and protestations of outrage at the purported enormities of a board they didn’t bother to elect.

Yelling at the school board is not democracy; voting is. Twootering on the InterGossip is not democracy; voting is.

We don’t know what happened at a school in Florida, but we can know what decisions our own trustees make by showing up at our school board meetings or by reading about them in the local newspaper.

Democracy is not a spectator sport, nor is it a video game; it is the exercise of the rights of a free people by free people voting.

Don’t complain; vote.


Outside McDonald's: Sweeper, Man Your Broom - poem

Lawrence Hall

Outside McDonald’s: Sweeper, Man Your Broom

And so he sweeps, against the blustery winds
That blow his efforts back into the cold
Cigarette ends and plastic straws adrift
Across the parking lot and far away

His hoody hides his face against the world
And shabby gloves protect his trembling hands
His body bends against November’s winds
Before the great American fast-food dream

We sweep inside, for coffee, breakfast, and warmth
The sweeper sweeps, against the blustery winds

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Simon and Schuster and Their Explosive Brit - a frivolity featuring awkward rhymes

Lawrence Hall

Simon & Schuster and Their Explosive Brit

“Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison’s explosive Brit
in the FBI thriller The Sixth Day is now in paperback!”

One wouldn’t like to see an exploding Brit
Who would ruin one’s tweed country suit
Splattering English gore all over it –
That exploding galloping major brute!


Before the man went CRACK!
How did they ever fit
That pyrotechnic Brit
into a paperback?