Inherently pointless


Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

I’m in the middle of my crazy time, freelance work, exam grading, and I’m supposed to be doing some creative work, too. I’m minorly ahead of schedule on the freelance stuff, so I thought I would stop in and say hello.


I’m being pulled in so many directions right now, some of which I’ve told you about, some that I won’t. They are private, you know.

We are allowed some privacy in our lives.

Social media has turned us all into prostitutes, showing off our wares for all to see, like, comment on, fetish on. Have you ever posted a picture of something you were about to eat?

Go on. Even I have.


We want everyone to know what we are doing at all times. This is the age of narcissism. Just look our amateur President. He thinks the job is all about being President, showing off his power, but not doing what he is supposed to be doing, like bringing Congress together to agree on legislation. He would rather divide.

My way or the highway, bud.

Okay, I’m just as narcissistic as the next person. If it weren’t for social media, none of my writing would be published. Very little is, unless you count WordPress and WritersCafe. I have had two poems and four or five short stories published (some under another name), and believe it or not, a scholarly article.

Now I’m bragging.

Yes, that is what these platforms are all about, even something pseudo-benign like Facebook. Hey, look, folks, this is what I’m doing now. Aren’t my kids beautiful? Like my new car! Read my new book. Look at this cool cat video. Can you believe that I found it? I must be the only one who has seen it.

On the flip side, I’m more in touch with people from high school, college, or grad school than I ever was – even with people I didn’t know very well (or at all in some cases). I even get along with people that I didn’t get on with in school. Remind me why we are “friends”? Of course, a lot of my friends who were rebels in high school are now ultra-right, gun-toting, ultra-Christians. One of my closest friends has gone too far. I looked him up on FB and he’s drunk the hard right Kool-Aid, and is feeding it to his friends. I couldn’t stomach it, so I stayed anonymous. I went to his wedding, for God’s sake.

His first wedding.

Last time I saw him, he had driven hard line libertarian, which I can understand, but he’s crossed the line, and my skin crawls just thinking of it. Facebook is a place where the loonies show their true colors. You won’t find me there. (Remember that Anne Martin is my writing pseudonym.)

I hardly look at Twitter. As you can see, 280 characters isn’t enough for me to expound my wisdom. Yes, I have an account, but I rarely tweet, and I don’t get my news from there. I don’t trust it. It hasn’t been fact-checked. (But then, neither is Fox News.)

Ramble, ramble. Get to the point!

Do I need a point? This is social media. Inherently pointless.



Photo by Adrien Olichon from Pexels

I spoke to my father today. His procedure went as planned. They opted for minimal intervention. Basically, it was the least invasive option – looking at it and doing nothing. The most invasive option wasn’t really practical, and not ultimately necessary. The medium option, considering the situation, was probably the most risky. He’ll have to live with it. Part of me feels relieved, another wishes they could have done something. He’s pushing 90, so one must be circumspect about these things. It is hard to watch people age.

I’m feeling my age, too, and I can only begin to imagine how he feels, 30 years older, on the flip side of two bypass surgeries, the longest-lived of his family by a considerable margin. It’s been over 20 years since his elder sister died, his eldest brother died at my age, 40 years ago. Both his parents died before I was born, only a couple years older than I am now.

My mother is still at his side, the middle of three children, all living – from a family with more history of longevity. It is equally hard to imagine how she feels, having survived a heart attack about 5 years ago, but in much better overall health, helplessly watching him fail. He has been preparing for the end since his sixties, and she is giving things away. Every time I go to visit, I come home with something long forgotten from my school days, probably from high school. Last time I was home we went through one of her mother’s old scrapbooks. I learned a lot more about her family than I ever knew. I only remember meeting her mother once, not long before her death when I was seven. She was confined to bed, and we were never allowed up to see her, except for that one time.

I still know very little about my father’s family. Strangely, it is better documented, at least our ancestry. My father has spoken very little of his parents – his father worked for the railroad as a bookkeeper. I know even less about his mother other than her name. I’ve seen a grainy photocopy of a photo of her grandfather. The only pictures I’ve seen of her is holding my eldest cousins as babies as well as another holding my elder sister. Both my paternal grandparents died shortly after that photo was taken.

I don’t know why I’m blathering on about this. It was a good day. There was no bad news. No particularly good news, but nothing bad. Anyway, it inspired today’s haiku: A Father’s Love.

The Clock Stops


Photo by Daria Sannikova from Pexels

I’m in a crappy mood, so I’m breaking my rules again. A poem posted here in my prose space. I’m doing that much too often. I can’t even find a photo. This is one I was holding for something else. Oh well.

Disaster, faster
full steam ahead
stream crossing

my dream disappears

less than more
the doleful tune
mourns the misdirection

reflection rejected

fantasy forlorn
fallen gracelessly
no answers

to stupid questions

fallout, knocks out
the losing racer trips
at the first hurdle

the last one

too many irons
melted in the fire
the trumpets sound

the clock stops

Rant, schmant

I just spent 45 minutes ranting against a hypocritical blog that I read earlier this afternoon. What I wrote might have offended some of you, so I haven’t posted it. That doesn’t mean I won’t, but I’m pausing while I entertain second thoughts about it.

Instead, I’m here to entertain you. Shall I write you a song? An ode? A short story? A poem, gibberish-ish or serious. Maybe I’ll go over to Pexels and find a pic to expound on.


Photo by Two Dreamers from Pexels

Time slips through
like grains of sand
from vast dunes
of universal fortune

salt from a drop of water
in a great ocean
on an unknown planet
across the galaxy

the spark of life
seed of creation
for carbonic form

in my imagination

seven stars
serene gems
liquid blue bubbles
floating on bended light

azure sun, verdant moons
multi-colored rainbows
admired by tetra-chromates
rain rises from the sea

suspended on a worm-hole
through ancient nebulae
myriad possibilities delight

so far from home

The end, maybe.

Not for me. For Ezzie

Planet Ezzie will be tough going for the next couple of episodes. She has made a tough choice but found a possible way out that won’t please her friends. I’ve also attached some suitably funereal music to cool the mood.

I’m not sure how much further this series can go. Is it time for Ezzie to bow out? There are two more episodes queued up for the next two days, and then there will be one further one after an interval. I haven’t written it yet, but in terms of time within the story, there will be several days. She won’t be able to write again until Thursday at the earliest. You will have a hint as to why tomorrow morning. It will become more obvious on Monday. I may not, however, wait until Thursday to post. I’m not necessarily tied to RL time. It just happens to coincide, especially with the new moon.

After that Thursday post, going on will be difficult. I can, but that might look more like a fourth series. The alternative might just be pulling the plug, sort of Nietzsche-like.

I have some thinking to do.

Home again


Poor sleep again last night, but it wasn’t interrupted by my neighbors, just the uncomfortable bed, and being away from home. I think the neighbors went out around 10 pm, and I didn’t hear them return.

The morning sessions were informative today, and I met a few nice people in between. The weather was set to piss down rain today, so I left at noon to avoid the worst of it. The people I met were playing a concert in the afternoon, which I would have liked to hear, and there was a session after it that I would have liked to attend, but I’m so tired that I might have dozed off and then have to negotiate the heavy rain.

Although I felt a little out of place there, I am glad I attended the conference. I attended some good sessions, met an old friend that I hadn’t seen in years, and another whose wife had been a student of mine ages ago – longer than I care to impart. I’m awkward in groups, so I didn’t really meet too many new people. (That’s one reason I remain anonymous here.) I don’t attend many conferences, but I’m encouraged to go to more.

I started a longer poem last night, but I couldn’t go past four lines. Hopefully, I will get back to it.

I’m back. It’s cold and wet, and I need to get back to all the things I abandoned when I left.

Like sleep.



Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels

I must sleep tonight. I recognized that sound last night, for two hours. Not solid hours, just bursts of ecstasy at around ten minute intervals, once up against their headboard, which was right behind mine.

Only one of them. The other is silent. The noisy one interrupts with a few demands. They weren’t loud enough for me to understand, but they we enough to rouse me just when I thought I was about to slumber. I’m not sure uncle Mitch, the keeper of our national morals, would approve either. I don’t think it is one man and one woman. It could be two women, that would explain their staying power, or a man and two women. The silent one is has a high voice. The noisy one is a woman or two taking turns. No, the gasps and moans were remarkably consistent – except once when oh, oh, oh, became oo-oh, oo-oh. I’m pretty sure it is the same one each time.

Why am I obsessing on them?

Sometimes the softest sound is enough to wake me. I woke at 6:59, one minute before my alarm. I think they arose at the same time, or at least one of them. Their clock must be fast. I think they have checked out, so I might sleep tonight.

Today has been a quiet day: a couple of sessions, a business meeting, a breakfast with an old college friend, and a meeting with a possible collaborator trying to sell me his services. That just ended. He’s nice, and they put out a good product, but they are expensive. We’ll see if we can arrange a package that involves some funding streams (other than my own pocket). Tonight, there is a chamber music concert, but all the pressure is off me now, so I can relax.

Relax and dream. Dream of things I would like to be doing. I must keep my mind off getting home and back to work next week. Lots to do in the next three weeks – freelance work on top of teaching. One more session and then dinner.

I may be wrong about my neighbor. The cleaning trolley was outside their door most of the afternoon, and when I went down to my session, the same cleaner went in to the room without the trolley, and, I think, without knocking. She may be living there. Her voice sounded very familiar when she said hello to me. Hmm.