Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Oh, Look, the Humans have Returned" - poem

Lawrence Hall

“Oh, Look, the Humans have Returned”

In spring our little hummingbirds return
And geese begin to vee their way back north
The front-yard squirrel continues to fatten himself
Upon the cardinal-contested seeds

Aggressive mockingbirds dive-bomb the cats
Pale butterflies dance lightly in the sun -
But none of these can be the same who met
Us on an autumn day in the long ago

Someday others will live here, and the birds
Will say “Oh, look, the humans have returned.”

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Coffee and Dead Alligators to Go - poem

Lawrence Hall

Coffee and Dead Alligators to Go

The Flying J, Orange, Texas

Dinosaurs are said to be gasoline
But under the gas-station gift shop fluorescents
Three shelves are lined with alligator skulls –

     Small, medium, large -

The dinosaurs must be at the gas pumps

Crocodylia to alligatoridae
To alligator, and onto the shelf
Between the “Don’t Mess with Texas” tee-shirts

     Hecho en China / Fabrique en Chine

And the “Don’t Mess with Texas” travel mugs

Whaddaya know, gotta go, cuppa joe
Don’t need no dead alligator head, no

Friday, April 21, 2017

Poets Without Boudoirs - poem

Lawrence Hall

Poets Without Boudoirs

Je suis occupy #hashtag support us
Resistance transcultural support us
Committee manifesto support us
Ministry of culture, yes, support us

Empowerment crucial space support us
Initiatives nonprofit support us
Weaves a layered tapestry support us
Conceptual identity support us

Fresh new voices unflinching support us
Iambs are oppressivist support us

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Man Talking with an Empty Table at McDonald's - poem

Lawrence Hall

A Man Talking with an Empty Table at McDonald’s

Forty-cent old-people coffee – love it
You’re not supposed to admit you like McDonald’s
But – yeah, it’s good. Fresh coffee whenever
And a happy bunch behind the counter

The usual dawn people – but who’s this?
Someone new here. Dashiki from the 70s
Talking to the air – “hey, man!” - to a chair
And then serious stuff with an empty table

Some relationships are complicated
But then – who are the rest of us talking to?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Searching for a Lost Jungle in the City - poem

Lawrence Hall

Searching for a Lost Jungle in the City

The city is mysterious, a grid
Of paths, most of them laid wonderfully straight
Upon which brave explorers roam, well-armed
Against the strange and hostile denizens

How curious to leave a jungle known
And go in search of a jungle not known
Predicated upon legends and yarns
Lost forever in a tangle of dreams

Among the still uncharted traffic lights
In a gridded city of mystery

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Funny Hat Day in Pyongyang and Berkeley - column, 16 April 2017

Mack Hall

Funny Hat Day in Pyongyang and Berkeley

Is every day in North Korea a Funny Hat Day?

Same for Berkeley – with their grubby watch caps everyone seems to channel Jack Nicholson’s role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Cuckoo’s nest – well, yeah, Berkeley.

President Trump and Fearless Leader of the Glorious North Korean Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic of Earthly Delights Kim Jong Un have something in common – really bad hairdos. Perhaps they could bring peace through a beauticians’ summit. Getting a nice haircut somehow makes a man feel better, maybe not-starting-a-nuclear-war better.

Does Kim Jong Un’s office staff play Secret Santa?

Kim Jong Un desperately wants one of those M.O.A.B. bombs – he’s got another sleepy uncle and an ex-girlfriend or two to dispatch.

When Donald Trump says “You’re fired,” that means you have to find another job. When Kim Jong Un says “You’re fired,” that’s the signal for an artillery officer to shoot you with a big ol’ cannon.

The Day of the Sun parade in Pyongyang was a matter of thousands of people in uniforms strutting and goose-stepping and driving hundreds of motorized missile launchers in millimeter precision. In contrast, the Trumpistas and Anti-Trumpistas of Berkeley couldn’t even organize pushing a dumpster down the street.

Berkeley’s Saturday milling-around event was better than Kim Jong Un’s Look-at-me-I’m-a-Hitler-wannabe stomp, though. In Berkeley people yelled at each other for a few hours, threw a few punches, and then went for coffee, while Kim Jong Un’s nicely-uniformed slaves marched on and on and on into the night.

A young woman in a tailored skirt can be elegant; a thousand young women goose-stepping in short skirts and waving swords about in the streets of Pyongyang is just plain weird. And since young women in Berkeley appear to dress out of rag barrels from behind resale shops, they’re just weird too.

In Pyongyang young people march about in step while staring vacantly and holding their Kalashnikovs at arm’s length. In Berkeley young people stumble about while staring vacantly into their little Orwellian telescreens held at arm’s length.

North Korean generalissimos wear dozens of medals and spend all their time clapping. Every time Kim Jong Un moves, the generals clap. When a missile launcher rolls by the generals clap. The generals don’t stop clapping until Kim Jong Un says they stop clapping. All those medals those generals wear must be for excellence in clapping, which is a bad case of the clap.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un bikini mud wrestling. Discuss.

All those old men with missiles and guns and bad hair and attitudes – this is not good. One wishes that Pyongyang and Berkeley could twin as sister cities. Young North Koreans could teach young Berkely-istas how to bathe more often and dress a bit better, while Berkeley’s young people could teach North Koreans how to idle away their lives over adjective coffees instead of threatening war all the time.

No hope for the funny hats, though.


The Social MePhone Justice Commandos of Toxic Doom - poem

Lawrence Hall

The Social MePhone Justice Commandos of Toxic Doom

In the unending quest for social justice
Schoolroom shootings, unisex bakeries
Tornados, a steak, a snake, get off the plane
They’re all the same to the Omigod cult:

“Omigod Omigod Omigod O
Migod Omigod Omigod Omi
God Omigod Omigod Omigod
Omigod Omigod Omigod O!

“Chapsnat bookface tubeyou my relationship
It’s complicated Omigod Omi”

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Apocalyptic Battle of the Dumpster of Our People Before the Gates of Kaplan College, Berkeley, Holy Saturday 2017

Lawrence Hall

They Shall Not Pass the Dumpster!

The Apocalyptic Battle of the Dumpster of Our People
Before the Gates of Kaplan College
Berkeley, Holy Saturday 2017

“Then shall he strip his sleeve and show his tats,
And say ‘this ink I had on Saturday’”
-not Henry V

In Berkeley, tumult; a protestor screams:
“They have opened the dumpster, and taken away
My Antifi poster of Cosmic Peace –
I’m going to kill someone! Death to Fascists!”

A Trumpi throws a traffic cone in love
Of the Constitution, and rallies then
The Go-Pro squaddies of the ball-capped cause
And bravely cries “To the dumpster, young heroes!”

And there upon that garbage barricade -
Oh, my children, history