Big Bottom Fish


in the dark river

the big bottom fish


for the plop…plop

of bait.

“Yes, sir. I’ve been trying to catch him my whole life. First, you got to find him, but wait—no. First, you got to have the faith that he’s there.”

“Jim—you sound like, you’s trying to think like a fish.”

“I don’t know about that—but I sure as hell drink like one. Give me a beer.”

The smaller man, reached into an ice box and handed it to Jim.

The fish was watching them, waiting for the line, to sink lower.

“Jim, what have we been doing?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well… I’ve known you, since we were kids. We both worked at the Ford plant. Some of our friends went to college, but we stayed put.”

“Those fancy Universities don’t teach anything.”

“I know that.”

“There is more to know, in the river, than from the Greeks.”

“How so?”

“A river constantly changes—it eats away at itself—it rages—and it dries up. The mountains feed it with their glaciers, and when it becomes bone dry, it doesn’t complain.”


“Don, we are all going to die—some of us, sooner than others. Then, there’s the disease to worry about, and not being able to fish. If you want my opinion, people with high opinions of themselves, don’t live very well. Just look at the mountains right now.”

The purple peaks were reflected in the river.

“Every man must decide what he is going to do—and it becomes his destiny. It’s not so much what he does, but who he becomes, that matters. I’m a fisherman—I always have been. If there were no fish, it wouldn’t change me. I believe there are fish. Besides, it isn’t the many fish, I am looking for, but the one big bottom fish. He and me, are pals. We’re the same. That’s what you have to find in life—who you are, in something else. The fish and me are one. I’ve never been caught.”

And the big bottom fish

looked at the bait

and smiled.

The End


The Original

The original

was afraid he couldn’t write


he had to kill the demons inside of him

or give into them.

It was easier, to let them have their own way

and not to fight them


he had so many fears, when the demons were restrained

but when they were given free range

they didn’t bother him—

nothing bothered him.

When the demons were there

he didn’t have much belief in anything

he didn’t care

and that was a relief.

The original wondered about

the truth in other people’s words

the sentences they said,

that sentenced them

to a certain interpretation of life.

He wondered if they really believed what they said

there was no way to argue with someone

who needed to believe

more than he did.

The original knew, that by doing everything new

people wouldn’t understand him

but he decided… better to be original, than to be understood.

Climbing a mountain, made sense to the original

even though, mountain climbing, is unoriginal—

it’s metaphoric

it means, to do something difficult, because it’s there

and the task, isn’t worth the status of accomplishing the task,

which makes it noble.

Maybe, people go to war, so they can tell war stories

but when they are there, they realize how foolish they were, to think that.

An original decides to do something, but it might not have any use, to anybody

it probably won’t gain acceptance,

and most people need that.

The original works really hard

probably for nothing

think about that.

All the right ways to go about doing something

are tossed out

because the original is doing

what has never been done before.

Man, I love this game.

People think they need to change

for their life to change

but this isn’t true.

People are impatient.

I got a text

from the guy I played golf with two weeks ago

He recommended:

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book.

I ordered it from the library.

“Are you at the golf course?” He asked.

“Where else?”

“Well—I’ll see you around the course.”

He showed up 5 minutes later with a big grin on his face.

“You playing alone?”

“Yeah. I have the Tao with me.”

He frowned. “I’m playing with my son and his friends. They’re pretty good. You could join us?”

“I’m alright,” I said.

You would be surprised how difficult it is not to talk to people on the golf course. It really is a social game.

Those years in high school and college, I spent alone…

I was socializing,

and I didn’t even know it.

I don’t make an effort to be with others. They find me—the way vultures find a dead corpse—they can smell someone going bad, who wants to stink by himself. They want to preserve that person, with their colloquialisms, and I don’t mind. It’s fun to be rescued by people who are completely lost.

On hole 11, I caught up with a group, but I kept reading my book and they said, “Hey, aren’t you going to play golf with us!?”

“Okay. I might as well,” I said.

“My name’s Leon. His name is Leon too. He gets annoyed with me—apparently, I don’t play golf fast enough. I’m 82. You know what they say?”

“What?” I asked.

“If you sit back and drink beer when you retire, you’ll be dead in two years. Well… I’ve been retired for over 20. Can you believe that? I went to see my urologists yesterday. He’s giving me testosterone, and you know what he asked?”


“He asked me if I still get erections. I told him, ‘Hell no. I wake up in a pile of my own piss each morning,’ but that’s okay, because I like my doctor.”

Leon was bald, the way old guys get, when they shed all of their body hair. He looked like his face was made of putty—like God got him wrong. His son wore an Alabama shirt. “I work as the janitor at the elementary,” he said.

“Really? What school?”

He told me. It wasn’t in my district.

“I play foursquare with the kids at recess. The fifth graders are good.”

He kept talking about playground sports until I was convinced, he was retarded.

Then Leon asked me the question. “What are you reading?”

“I’m reading the Tao. It’s older than the Bible.”

“Oh—are you a believer?” Leon challenged me, by looking into my eyes.

“Yes—” I said. “There’s too much evil in the world, not to believe in God. Man needs redemption. He can’t redeem himself.”

“I believe you. Let me tell you the story of how I got saved.”

“Okay,” I said.

“Well, I was working swing shift with this guy at the factory that nobody liked. The reason being, he was a Christian. He started trying to save me. ‘God cares about you, Leon.’ Shit. No, he didn’t. I was drinking every night and screwing women. You see, my son Leon, over there?”


“I was chasing his mom. Anyway, this Christian wouldn’t leave me alone. It got so bad, that one day he told me to call his pastor. I said I would, and then he pushed the phone over to me, and waited. So, I did. ‘Jesus loves you, Leon’ the pastor said, but that was hogwash. This guy at work kept after me. ‘Go to church, Leon.’ But I didn’t. Then, one night, I was driving in my truck and God spoke to me. ‘Leon, go to church, and if you don’t, I will never bother you again.’ Now, that scared the shit out of me, so I went to church, and right when I was going to go through the doors, I stopped, and said, ‘I don’t know anybody here, God. I’m not going to go in.’ But then a fella opened the door and told me that he would sit with me and introduce me to everyone. He did, and two weeks later I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.”

“Wow. That’s so cool,” I said.

“But wait, the story doesn’t stop there. It keeps going. I’m almost to the really good part. I became friends with this woman who dressed really bad. Her husband was an alcoholic and he beat her. I started to go out to ice cream with her and her kids. A month or two went by, and then, in the middle of the church service, she said, ‘Do you want sex? You can have me after the service.’ I told her, ‘Shit—if you’d only met me a couple months before, we could’ve done it, but now, I’m a born again Christian.'”

Leon turned to me. “You know that’s how men are—sex means love to a woman, but a man views it as a conquest. I can’t believe I said ‘no’ to a woman offering me sex. She was a looker. Well, a couple weeks later, she showed up to church, looking good, in a brand-new dress. I thought she was trying to seduce me, for sure, but she told me that she reconciled with her husband, and he quit drinking! —All because, I didn’t sleep with her. Now, if Jesus isn’t real, you tell me. They both got saved.”

“That’s some story,” I said. “Did you have a happy marriage?”

“No. I married Leon’s mom—that woman I was chasing, and we fought all of the time. She pumped-out four kids, and when all of them were grown, I divorced her. You can’t get no peace of mind under the roof of a disagreeable woman. I’ve been married to my new wife for 35 years, and we haven’t had one fight. Can you believe that?”

“Hard to believe,” I said. “What advice would you give a young man thinking of getting married?”

“Make sure she’s your friend, first, and don’t marry a woman you fight with.”

“Good advice,” I said.

“It was nice playing with you, Andy!”

Both Leon’s drove by in their power cart and waved to me.

How can there be this much honesty in the game of golf? It never happens at work, church, or bible study.

Man, I love this game.

The End

Forgotten Bones

People want me weak



to take a stand.

People want the easy way out

We can’t all be soldiers

on a hill.

I get tired

standing still.

I prefer to hide

like a cowering creature

in my natural


People, like to see me go under

they don’t want me

to evolve.

They stare into my eyes





tucked behind

my raw-hide bones.

We all

have to lay-down

one day.

I prefer to do it

as often as possible.


with the living

is too much work.

What does it accomplish?


and Peace


those forgotten bones…

What a Rare Thing

I am ready for hot



where I hunt

for something

I can’t find.

I have wrestled with wanting to be liked

my whole life

it suits a human need, that I want to put on

but when I do, I find

it doesn’t fit me

nothing does

because I have walked around naked

in the hot twilight

for far too long.

What people don’t realize, is that acceptance

makes you

one of them, and I have flirted with

total acceptance, and settled on

partial tolerance,

a sliver of respectability

that festers

like a painful wound.

It might be easier, just to be cut wide-open.

If people think you are one of them, they accept you

but as you say

and do


that violate

who they believe you to be, who they need you to be

they disregard you,

because they can’t listen.

This is mostly true, for women

but it also applies to organizations

with female values

that emphasize



and community

Public Education, comes to mind.

There is a dark side

of the moon

a harsh mistress

that cuts people off—like a crescent

especially those, who don’t yield to her gravity

Many men are ships, without a motor

sails, without wind

caught, in her regular tides.

I am a submarine

that goes down, into the depths

of nowhere

where the stillness

keeps me safe.

I have been blessed with good looks

a good mind

but when I say

the things that come out of my mouth, they turn away.

It’s not their fault

Women must feel secure in society

it’s one of the reasons why

social risks

and brave philosophies

seldom come from women.

All of their marches and slogans are done

to secure a stronger position in society


a woman’s right to have

—golden parachutes

but they don’t want to parachute over Normandy

in the dead of night

where they will most likely become dead.

Women seek spirituality, to feel better about themselves

to feel connected to each other

and when a woman bullies

she shuns—

She tries to render a man or woman

socially irrelevant.

Her power comes from the group.

I have always been attracted to people like me

it’s a narcissistic quality

the strange

the shunned

the superior, without position, without acceptance (so interesting…)

I like to talk to homeless bums

to the men who don’t go to church

Many people are living their whole lives to be approved of—

it’s necessary, in a society

but I have always loved the freedom of being me

People will be attracted to you

like a circus freak

and then they will

dismiss you,

as someone seeking attention.

I have spent so much time, on the outside

not wanting the light,

because I am chronically misunderstood

when I am heard and seen.

The need

to be listened to

is a neediness

I have been trying to kill

with my own poisonous words

for some time.

One of the pleasures of writing stories

is that it forces me

to pay attention to people,

and when they say false things, they become false

and when they speak the truth, they become true

what a rare thing.

Amateur in Love

“I did it for love,” he said.

“What? How can that be? That’s not serious?”

Most often, what is said, in a serious way

is boring.

What can’t be explained,

is love.

Love is a kind of madness, that people don’t understand

They fall in love and fail in love

and find it again

even though


is not kind.

A contract killer,

is easily understood.

The man who says, “I did it for love,” is terrifying.

There is something pure

about the foolish amateur

who spends his time, in love.

Too much love

is scorned by society–

I see him, with a heart tattoo

and a scraggly beard, loving

all the things he might do

with his cheap cigar, and gold golf shoes.

Many men

don’t become good

because they don’t love.

There is too much business

in what they do.

Their lives

are spent

as professionals

who do it for money.


from the Latin—

one who does it for love.

The Sound of the Silent Soul

There are so many holes

in the human soul

like a heart, stapled

and punctured

with bullet holes

We try to transplant our pain

but there is no medical procedure

for the invisible organ

that makes music

we live by.

We play


and that is the sound

of a billion souls

screaming in the city.

Every once and a while

there is a note

so powerful

we listen.

People need good music

or simply silence.

That is why

the woods

and the water


the worries of men—

the wind

blowing the trees

like memories

so distant, from you or me.


allows us to capture the moment

Something invisible

isn’t seen

but we know

its affect—

the sound of the soul

in the trees.

There’s bad music playing, no doubt

So, read Poetry

Become as still as a rock


you will know

the world worth knowing

a thousand sunsets

a Universe glowing


the sound

of the silent soul.

The Perfect Relationship

Don called me

I played golf with him a couple weeks ago

and he got my number.

I didn’t think he would call.

The guy at work who talks about playing golf

has given me the same load of crap for two years

but we haven’t gone out.


he was talking about how he had played golf with his friend.

He was trying to make me feel bad


it’s amusing

that he continues with his charade.

Sometimes, you can never know, if what someone is telling you, is the truth

and sometimes, you can,

and that’s gold.


told me

that he works at Amazon

that he is married

and he has kids.

When we passed the house on Number 11

he told me,

“The Asian lady who works behind the counter in the pro shop, lives there.”

“Really?” I asked.


“She must’ve won the lottery. That’s a 2-million-dollar home.”

“Her husband works for Microsoft.”

I didn’t tell him that I know the lady who lives in that house, and she’s not Asian.

He began to say stuff

and I knew, he was making it all up

which was amusing to me

“They got bass in that pond,” he said. “I’ve seen young boys fishing in it at night.”

By the time we finished the last four holes

he had lied a dozen times.

He told me that he had 6 million dollars of Amazon stock.

When I met him two weeks ago

he asked questions, like

“What do you do for work?”


“Do you live around here?”

He’s overweight

Somebody told me once, that conmen are usually overweight

because they don’t want to do the work, on themselves.

“I was at the Kenny Chesney concert last week, with my friend. We snuck backstage, until the security guy threw us out,” he said.


gets bored.

I’ll probably play golf with him again.

He gets entertainment from telling lies

I get my entertainment from knowing

he tells lies.

It’s the perfect relationship.

Acting Like an Idiot Until Midnight

Waking up, dreadfully early

is dreadful, and then trying to write

because there is nothing else to do.

I feel how Hemingway must’ve felt

after they hooked him up to the electrodes, and he got

short-term memory loss

and he couldn’t remember the previous sentence he said.

It killed his writing

and it eventually killed him,

lying in bed, with empty beer bottles.

The doctors told him, “This condition is reversable”

but the days of no writing piled up

like spent shell casings

and the shotgun looked better and better

for those brains that weren’t being used.

Feminists, have since criticized

his last great novel

because it is too simple–

they don’t realize, simplicity is genius.

Public education has me dancing like an idiot

and the female teachers

don’t follow my lead.

Every guy

considering marriage, should work

as a teacher’s assistant


nobody would get married.

It’s the illusions

that keep us dancing until midnight.

Beaten Scarecrow

It’s hard to floss

these days—


to pick my nose.

As I get older

I do the natural thing

What are fingers for?

I play golf after work

I don’t have time to adjust my outfits

So, the golfing clothes

of the day before

belong to the next workday.

I’m becoming a scarecrow

with muddy pants

and shirt-tails

hanging out

while I fumble for ice cream

in the supermarket.

My hair grows long

My side-burns bushy

My weekends are filled with literature

This annoying teacher, I know

pretends to be my friend

He gets my number, “Let’s hang out.”

but he doesn’t call

I listen to the Old Man and the Sea

in the late evenings



there isn’t much else

I want to be.