Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Governor Rick Perry's Daughter Attempts A Texas Abortion

The news that she was six weeks pregnant startled Sydney Perry. The first indication was the pregnancy test she purchased at a Walgrens Pharmacy in a Fort Worth suburb.  She had gotten into the habit of wearing her hair back with large sunglasses.  At times, she thought her efforts to conceal her identity were obvious.  Sydney had grown used to a certain level of paranoia.  She thought this must be typical for the child of a politician, particularly one who was on the campaign to become president of the United States.  But the ten anxious minutes she spent in Walgrens buying the pregnancy test passed without anyone looking in her direction.  Or so she thought.  Sydney was amused that she felt the need to distract the cashier, concealing her purchase of a pregnancy test:  Sydney bought additional items such as shampoo, toilet paper, hand lotion and magazines - what boys do when they buy condoms.  It seemed to do the trick, each item being scanned mindlessly by the cashier.

Sydney sat in the waiting room of her gynecologist, Dr. Samuel Pickering.  Dr. Pickering had been her gynecologist for the past four years, after being vetted by the State police on behalf of the Governor's Office.  Governor Rick Perry did not wish anyone to have access to his beautiful daughter without knowing everything about them.  It was enough that Sydney did not wish to use her mother's gynecologist, which was initially upsetting to Anita Perry.  Indeed, it created a tense discussion at the dinner table, Sydney's father wanting to know what was wrong with Dr. Groton, a friend of the Governor, not to mention Anita's doctor.

Sydney's inclination to be wary of public eyes was exacerbated by the fact that she was now the Governor's pregnant daughter, though no one would know since she did not inform anyone nor was she showing.  Nevertheless, Sydney wore sunglasses with her hair pulled back as she sat in Dr. Pickering's waiting room.  She was wearing Lee blue jeans with a dark green Lacoste polo shirt.  It was a cloudless day, and it gave Sydney comfort that it was reasonable to be wearing sunglasses.  But the sun depressed Sydney, oddly she thought, as if the heat was beating down on her, like a bright light aimed at an interrogation suspect.

Nurse Patty Garrett appeared in the waiting area wearing the customary white uniform, several pens clipped inside a breast pocket.  Her eyes connected with Sydney's.  Patty Garrett gestured with a head nod.  Sydney rose and followed the nurse into one of the examination rooms in the back.  Patty Garrett closed the door behind her.  Sydney kept the sunglasses on.  She turned, crossed her arms, and waited for Ms. Garrett to say something.

NURSE
So how are we today Ms. Perry?

SYDNEY PERRY
Fine.

NURSE
Are we here to see the doctor about
something specific?

Sydney abhorred the doctor protocol of nurse reconnaissance.  Is there some reason the doctor could not ask these questions?  After all, he would; it was a waste of time.

SYDNEY PERRY
Yes, but I would rather talk to the doctor about it.

NURSE
I see.

At that moment, Dr. Samuel Pickering opened the door, shutting behind him.  He was a man who looked every bit his age of 59, a full head of grey hair, a belly that jutted out form a thin frame.

DOCTOR
Sydney, how are you?  It has been a year, yes?

The Nurse handed Sydney's medical folder to the Doctor.  Sydney took note that the Nurse had not departed.

SYDNEY PERRY
Doc, I have something private to discuss.

Sydney remained standing, with arms crossed, her shades on, an insistent pose, thought the Doctor.

DOCTOR
Yes, well, OK.

The Doctor looked at the Nurse who could barely cover her irritation at being sent out of the room.  She left.

DOCTOR
What is it?

Sydney paused briefly, remaining steadfast in her posture.

SYDNEY PERRY
I'm pregnant.

DOCTOR
Well, congratulations.

SYDNEY PERRY
I am not here to be congratulated.
I want an abortion.

DOCTOR
I see.

SYDNEY PERRY
So can we do this today?

DOCTOR
There is paperwork I need to do.

SYDNEY PERRY
Yeah, OK, well do the paperwork and
let's get this over with.

DOCTOR
An abortion is a serious operation.
I can't just do it like a dentist fills
a cavity.

SYDNEY PERRY
Why the fuck not?

Doctor Samuel Pickering had known Sydney to have a foul mouth, much like her father, who can barely contain his use of every expletive in the book.

DOCTOR
There is a procedure I must follow.

SYDNEY PERRY
Forget the fucking procedure.  Say I have
an emergency.  You have to give me a D and C.
OK.  Do that.  Make it happen.

The Doctor paused.

DOCTOR
If you will excuse me.

The Doctor left the room.  Sydney was decidedly irritated at the Doctor's hesitation.  The door opened, and back in walked the Doctor and Nurse Patty Garrett.  Sydney looked perplexed.  The "fucking doctor" she thought.  He can't keep his mouth shut, can he.

DOCTOR
I have advised Nurse Garrett of your
situation. And she will start the
paperwork.  It requires you to answer
a few questions, and then...

SYDNEY PERRY
(cutting the Doctor off)
So much for privacy.

DOCTOR
According to the law, this is
not a private matter, not
entirely.

SYDNEY PERRY
Look, doc, I can just hop on a plane
to New York and get an abortion there.
You want me to do that?  You want me
to risk getting on a plane in the state that
I am in, and god knows what kind of
care I will get there.  You going to let
that happen?

The Doctor looked at the Nurse.

NURSE
You have every right to fly to New York
and acquire a termination.

SYDNEY PERRY
A termination?  Jesus fuck.  I am not talking
to her. (referring to Nurse garrett)

NURSE
According to the law, you have already
put us on notice that you are pregnant.

SYDNEY PERRY
I didn't put you on...notice...what the hell
you talking about.  I wasn't even talking to
you.  I wasn't talking to her.  Why is she
in here?

DOCTOR
There are laws, Sydney, really.  Do you
expect me to break the law?

NURSE
Maybe if you permit us to give you a
sonogram, you might consider
changing your mind.

SYDNEY PERRY
What?

DOCTOR
The law requires that we administer
a sonogram to all woman requesting an
abortion.  It's the law.

Sydney was starting to feel cornered like a trapped animal.  The doctor was clearly uncomfortable about the situation; Sydney noticed beads of sweat forming on the Doctor's forehead.  But the Nurse, the fucking Nurse seemed to relish taking the reins of proper procedure.

NURSE
The sonogram is meant to convey
the gravity of your decision.

SYDNEY PERRY
And what am I supposed to do with the
fucking sonogram, frame it?  Am I supposed
to study it, live with it for a few days while I
contemplate the blob of cells?

NURSE
We actually take a video of the child so you
can see the heart beat.

SYDNEY PERRY
"Child?"  Fuck you.  It's a speck.  A fucking speck.

DOCTOR
You might consider lowering your voice.

SYDNEY PERRY
Why?  Because this is private?  Because this is
a private matter that need not be screamed all
over your comfortable little doctor's office?

NURSE
The sonogram is also something we do before
a termination.  Just to make certain we know
what we are dealing with when we conduct
the procedure.

Doctor Samuel Pickering looked over at the Nurse who purposely avoided his gaze.  The Nurse knew she was lying.  The Doctor knew she was lying.  It was a ruse by the Nurse to get Sydney to subject herself to the sonogram.  The Doctor squirmed.  Sydney noticed.  She also noticed the phony smile on the Nurse's face.  A smirk.  She felt nauseated, by this obvious display of subterfuge, or at least she hoped it was due to this and not the pregnancy.

A long moment passed.  Sydney uncrossed her arms, changed her posture.  She felt a weakening in her resolve.  What would be the big deal.  Have the sonogram, do the paperwork, get the abortion.  End of story.  She felt the word "OK" rising in her throat.  Her eyes ached.  She placed her hand on the patient table behind her and felt the temporary paper sheet.  She looked up at the Doctor.  But when she glanced over at Nurse Patty Garrett, a flash went off.  Sydney blinked.  The Nurse had jsut taken a photo with a digital camera.

NURSE
A photo is part of the legal requirement.
I didn't mean to startle you.

Sydney's blood chemistry changed.  She stood erect, walked up to the Nurse, grabbed the camera out of her hand with a pique of violence.  And pushed the Nurse back with a shove.  The Nurse was shocked.

SYDNEY PERRY
Both of you can go to hell.

Sydney stormed out of the examination room, leaving the Doctor and the Nurse in bit of a daze.

NURSE
It won't be us going to hell, that's for sure.

DOCTOR
Let's protect our asses.
Make detailed notes in the folder.
And keep your editorial
comments to a minimum.

The Doctor left the examination room.

THE END.






Rick Santorum F*cks His Wife


Richard John "Rick" Santorum lied on his California king bed wearing baby blue Fruit-of-the-Loom boxer shorts.  He felt the cream-colored satin sheets under him as his head was propped up by the fluffy pink Martha Stewart pillow purchased by Karen, his wife, from the Macy's at the Fairfax Mall.  The bedroom in their Great Falls, Virginia home was large, with windows facing a stand of trees bare of leaves.  The trees were lit by two flood lights attached to the side of the house.  A small brook meandered over rocks just beyond the trees.  When the bedroom windows were open during a warm summer day, Rick liked to listen to the gentle sounds of water hitting rock.  But tonight's March night's chill did not permit any open windows.

Rick was not thinking of his two acres of property or the flora outside his house.  He was watching Karen in the bathroom.  Karen had finished her shower and opened the bathroom door to air out the steam.  Rick felt a pang of pride that his wife's body had maintained what he considered a youthful feminine shape, and though Karen worked hard at various forms of exercise, Rick attributed it to the hand of God.  After all, it must be God.  No woman could keep their virginal figure after seven pregnancies unless God had made a contribution.  Rick liked to think of Karen as a virgin, only touched by a divine hand, as if all his children were immaculately conceived.

Rick's thoughts drifted to sex.  Karen had finished drying her legs with a yellow towel, her back to the half-open bathroom door facing the mirror.  Rick examined the small of Karen's back.  If Rick had a fetish, a thought he preferred to avoid, it was the back of a woman's knee.  And Karen's legs and concave bend to the anterior of her legs gave him, at this moment, an erection.  Rick placed a hand on his groin, pressing down.  It felt good.  He was tempted to start masturbating, but knew this was not an option; at least not when his wife was present.

Karen slipped into pink satin pajama shorts and a satin night blouse and emerged from the bathroom.  Rick made no effort to conceal his erection.  She caught this at the corner of her eye.

KAREN
A long day.

RICK
They are all long now.

Rick said this looking down at the back of his hand cupping the groin.  He almost chuckled.  Karen referenced the alarm clock on the night table.

KAREN
Oh god.  It's past midnight.

Karen already knew it was past midnight.  Since the campaign had swung unexpectedly into high gear and the media was ever present in the Santorum family life, she and Rick had not hit the sack before midnight in over a month.  Nevertheless, she did her best acting to communicate that she wanted to sleep.

RICK
You look wide awake.  I know Derrick is.

When Rick was a child, his mother referred to the penis as "Nippy."  But when Rick used the term as a freshman at Penn State, the guys reamed him for being an "idiot."  Or at least that is how Rick heard it.  Rick never used "nippy" again to refer to his penis.  But he refused to say "penis."  And so he adopted "Derrick," which he understood to be a rather refined way to reference the male organ.  Or so he heard from a Priest at a church in College Station, Pennsylvania.

Karen sat on the bed, ignoring Rick's remark, and slipped under the sheets, pulling the white down blanket up to her chest.  Her head rested on the matching pink pillow.

KAREN
Isabella has an eight o'clock appointment.

Rick pulled his legs up, grabbed the blanket and then stretched his legs out covering himself.  He turned toward Karen and wrapped his legs over Karen's, reaching around her, raising himself up.

KAREN
Rick, can we not tonight.

RICK
It has been almost two months.

KAREN
Yeah, well, it has been a difficult two months.

Rick looked down at Karen, holding himself up with outstretched arms, a hand on either side of Karen's head.  Rick's legs straddled Karen's, and Derrick was making contact through Rick's boxer shorts.

RICK
"Difficult."   This is one of the most exciting times of our lives.

KAREN
Yes. I know. But...

RICK
Let's celebrate this moment.

KAREN
It's not a good time to celebrate.

RICK
Your period?

KAREN
No.  It's...the right time...but...

RICK
So it's a good time.

KAREN
I can't, Richard.

Rick ignored Karen's remark and reached down with his hand.  He did not remove Karen's satin pant pajamas, but instead pushed the fabric aside.  Karen stiffened and closed her eyes.  She thought about Gabriel, her son that was born prematurely in 1996.  Gabriel survived for two hours before dying.  She recalled hugging Gabriel's lifeless body while lying in the hospital bed.  Rick was furious at the hospital, pacing, running in and out of Karen's room, raising his voice, assigning blame, telling the doctors that someone was going to be sued.  Karen tried to close her ears to Rick's loud rage and merely hold Gabriel, who was still warm and wet.  Hours past, Rick had kicked everyone out of Karen's hospital room, closed the door, undressed, and got into bed with Karen and Gabriel.  Karen asked what he was doing.  Rick said they were going to sleep together with Gabriel and in the morning he wanted to take Gabriel home to introduce him to their other children.  Karen initially complained about subjecting her family to the pain she was feeling, but she knew better to resist Rick when he was so agitated.  When Rick was of a certain mind, there was no talking him out of it.  Karen was awake all night, quietly struggling not to cry.  And it struck her as strange that Rick slept like a baby, like Gabriel.  She dreaded the next day, which proved to be a bizarre homecoming, carting Gabriel's lifeless body to their home, and watching Rick introduce Gabriel to the shocked and unsettled eyes of her other children.

Rick pushed himself off Karen and fell to her side on the bed.  Karen had not even noticed that he climaxed.

RICK
I love you.

KAREN
Yes.  I love you.

Rick turned to his side and quickly fell asleep.  Karen waited a few minutes.  Then she got out of bed and went to the bathroom.  Karen closed the bathroom door.  She turned the faucet and let the water run.  She sat on the toilet, placed her face in her hands and cried.  After several minutes, she reached down and pulled out a diaphragm.  She wiped herself, rinsed the diaphragm and placed it in a plastic container that she kept hidden in a large personal cosmetic zippered bag.  She pushed the container to the bottom of the bag, and placed the bag in the back of the bathroom closet that served as storage for toilet paper and other bathroom supplies.  Karen looked into the mirror.  She looked down at the running water.  She looked back at herself.  She turned the water off, took a deep breath, and opened the bathroom door.  Rick was asleep.   Karen went to the bed.  She wondered how long she would lie awake before falling asleep.



Israel Seeks Advice From A Nazi

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's Foreign Minister, sat in a large green leather chair in a secure conference room at Ben Gurion International Airport on the outskirts of Lod southeast of Tel Aviv.   The conference room was part of a small complex of low buildings connected by underground tunnels to the main terminal as well as a smaller terminal used by dignitaries and other Israeli government officials.  Israel had four El Al Boeing jets retro-fitted for special government use, one of which was ready to depart with Avigdor Lieberman on board.  But Lieberman received a phone call on his Blackberry that Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, wanted a word prior to his departure.  Lieberman was instructed to wait at the airport until Netanyahu arrived.  Lieberman drank green tea from a paper cup, prepared for him by his aide.

The door swung open.  Two men with short black hair wearing identical light blue suits, each with his right hand tucked underneath the opposing breast of the jacket wear Lieberman knew was a holstered pistol.  The men took two steps into the conference room.  They were shoulder to shoulder.  They each surveyed the room, both nodding to Lieberman, who nodded back.  The blue suits glanced at each other, gave some sign, and then separated each taking a sidestep.  Between the two entered Benjamin Netanyahu.  The blue suit to Netanyahu's left stepped back, left the room, closing the door behind him.  Lieberman had witnessed this sort of security protocol hundreds of times.  But Netanyahu was particularly cautious, entering his own home at times with the same protocol.

Lieberman stood.

NETANYAHU
Sit.

Lieberman sat.

LIEBERMAN
You want tea?  My aide...

NETANYAHU
(cutting Lieberman off)
Please...I have five minutes.

Lieberman loathed Netanyahu.  Though he understood why he pandered to the Americans, it was money Israel received afterall from them, it sickened Lieberman that Israel had to beg anyone.  And more importantly, it turned Lieberman's stomach that Netanyahu made overtures to the Palestinians.  Lieberman knew the world considered Netanyahu hawkish on all military and security matters, Lieberman considered Netanyahu a coward.

NETANYAHU
I am advising you to cancel this trip.

LIEBERMAN
You came here to give me advice?

NETANYAHU
It is ill-conceived and unnecessary.  You already know what
he's going to say.

LIEBERMAN
I do not.  In fact, I have never talked to him about such issues.

NETANYAHU
The risk is too great.

LIEBERMAN
No one knows about him except us.  And my movements are
well covered. The manifest has an alias.  The crew is IDF.

NETANYAHU
It is sloppy.  The Americans...

LIEBERMAN
Oh fuck the Americans.  You think they are going to know?
The CIA is a bunch of idiots.

Netanyahu took a deep breath.  There was no talking to Avigdor Lieberman.  Though he took comfort that such a maniac was his Foreign Minister, keeping an eye on everyone who would destroy Israel, Lieberman had no class, no sense of political tact.

NETANYAHU
I will hang you out to take bullets if this gets out.

LIEBERMAN
I take bullets all the time.

Netanyahu paused for a moment, thought about saying something, then decided otherwise. He turned, nodded to the blue suit, who opened the door.  Netanyahu left, followed by the blue suit, closing the door from behind, leaving Lieberman alone.  Avigdor Lieberman sipped the last of his green tea.

FADE TO BLACK.

CUT TO:

Lieberman was in the passenger seat of a 1998 faded-red Toyota Land Cruiser.  The driver was a Mossad officer that arranged for the car a day before Lieberman's arrival in Asuncion, Paraguay.  The car was on a paved road that had dozens of pot holes, requiring the Mossad officer to pay close attention, weaving around holes.

The house was on the shore of Laguna Naick-neck, a small lake northwest of Asuncion.  The house was occupied by one man.  Lieberman had been here only once before, about a decade ago.  Herman Ziereis was the man, the son of Franz Ziereis, the Commandant of Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Mauthausen, Austria, about 20 kilometers east of Linz, the town where Adolf Hitler spent his youth.

It was a warm Autumn day in Paraguay, the sun glinting off the lake under a cloudless sky.  Paraguay was a forgotten land, off the radar of the world stage which permitted old Nazis to find hidden nooks to make a life.

The door to the three-room stone house was open.  It was one story, a thatched roof, a propane tank hugging one side, and a 1977 green Plymouth parked on gravel under a sycamore tree.

The Mossad officer lit a cigarette as he ambled to the lake shoreline, and Avigdor Lieberman opened the wood door.  The sunlight filled the room.  On a wheelchair sat Herman Ziereis.  Lieberman paused.  The years since Lieberman last saw Ziereis had not been kind.  Lieberman firmly believed that the guilt, the Ziereis family guilt filled al the cellular tissue of Herman Ziereis, aging him each day.  Ziereis was a man of few words.  He had learned not to volunteer anything.  He was cautious, paranoid, suspicious and generally frightened of all human life.  The solitude of the Laguna Naick-neck, with the abundant birdlife, was the only offering of mother nature that Ziereis tolerated.  But the occasional visit from a Paraguayan or Israeli official was a necessary evil.  Afterall, it was both of these nations that permitted him to survive, peacefully.

Lieberman sat in a makeshift chair made of tree limbs.  It was not comfortable.

ZIEREIS
You like my chair?

LIEBERMAN
You made it?

ZIEREIS
A tree fell in a storm.  Firewood and furniture.

LIEBERMAN
You are resourceful.

Lieberman was disgusted by Ziereis, but he tried to remind himself that it was Herman's father, Franz, that was the real evil force behind Mauthausen.  The Nazis used to say that Auschwitz was a picnic compared to Mauthausen.  The German Nazis which managed Auschwitz and the other Polish and German camps was a clinical evil, part of the job of being a Nazi, one that may have been fulfilling, but nevertheless a job.  However, the Austrian Nazi seemed to relish, almost salivate like rabid dogs, the horror they daily brought upon the residents of Mauthausen.  Lieberman had a particular revulsion for Austrians, who from the moment of Hitler's Anschluss, the German word for "link-up," the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, expressed an orgasm of elation at marrying their northern neighbor.  The Austrians, or at least most of them, expressed joy at being annexed.  What people would be joyous at such a thing, thought Lieberman.  It is as if the Austrians wanted to be the slave-dogs of the Germans, doing their bidding, torturing the Jews of Austria, not to mention the Spanish and the Russian captives that were held at Mauthausen.

ZIEREIS
Why this visit?

LIEBERMAN
You thought of us Jews as animals, rats.   But
we have proven to be the stronger people.

ZIEREIS
I will not quibble.

LIEBERMAN
But my nation is dealing with true animals,
 a people who are barely human, a people
who would think nothing of blowing up
their own infants if they
could also harm a Jew.

Ziereis was not certain where this was going.

ZIEREIS
You are referring to the Palestinians?

LIEBERMAN
They are dogs.

ZIEREIS
So you have said.

LIEBERMAN
You had management problems, public
relations difficulties with treating
Jews as if they were animals.

ZIEREIS
More my father.  I was young.

LIEBERMAN
How did he manage this problem?

ZIEREIS
I trust you are not recording this?

LIEBERMAN
Of course not.

Ziereis knew there was nothing he could do anyway.  Lieberman could probably instruct the Mossad officer to put a bullet in his head without consequence.  His Paraguayan charges would not care.  In fact, there was no one left who would care about his death.

ZIEREIS
Your country seems to be managing your
dogs quite well.  You are creating a
national crisis with Iran.  That crisis
permits you to do whatever you wish
with your dogs.

Lieberman did not like the suggestion that the Palestinians were his dogs.

LIEBERMAN
They are dogs of the world.  They are
barely human.  They are not just
my dogs.

ZIEREIS
As you wish...the point is at this moment
your nation is served by the world's
financial crisis, with Iran, with any
other crisis you can manufacture.
You have more of a problem today
than we had, you realize.

LIEBERMAN
Yes.  The media is 24-7.  The damn internet.
But you are not telling me anything
I do not know already.  What I want
to know is how did you convince the
doubters, the people, your fellow
Austrians, who might have had
second thoughts about the camps,
about the denial of rights, about the torture?

ZIEREIS
There was a family dinner once where
my father was going on about the Jews.
As he ate the roasted turkey that he so
craved, he said that if you have five
Jews present, you must kill them all,
that you leave none to survive, to eradicate
the memory, you preclude the passing
of the story to others, to the Jewish children,
or to others who might not understand.

LIEBERMAN
Yes, well, decidedly more difficult today.
Mobile phones all have cameras, everything
is in the damn sunshine.

ZIEREIS
This is why there are trees, my good man.
Forests.  Places out of the light.  We had
caves just a stone's throw from our camp.
You enjoy your kill out of the sunlight.

LIEBERMAN
That requires planning.  It is deliberate.

ZIEREIS
Ahhh, but if you are really going to be honest,
and competent about your project, you must
be deliberate.  Yes, there are risks.  But you
can always deny, obfuscate.  My father got quite
good at such a thing early on when it was more
difficult to manage public opinion.  But as opinion
shifted, as a new generation of Austrians was raised
and taught that Jews were animals, then we...
then we let a little sun shine on the handiwork of
death.

Lieberman knew that any deliberate killing of Palestinian dogs would be difficult to effectuate as an Israeli policy, even if undercover and concealed.

Lieberman noticed that Ziereis was starting to enjoy this conversation, and it unsettled Lieberman because he knew that the smirk on this Nazi was due to thoughts of tortured Jews.

LIEBERMAN
I think I have had enough.

Lieberman stood.

ZIEREIS
My father could have used you.

Lieberman had the urge to spit on Ziereis's face.

LIEBERMAN
I am better than your father.

ZIEREIS
I am sure you are.

Lieberman turned to leave.

ZIEREIS
I hope to see you again.

Ziereiss lied.  Lieberman did not respond.  He left the house, closing the door from behind.

LIEBERMAN
(addressing the Mossad Officer)
Take me to the airport.

Lieberman got into the Toyota Land Cruiser.  As the Mossad officer pulled away, Lieberman thought that Ziereis was a waste of time.  Maybe it was a morbid interest in a dying Nazi that brought him here.  He did not need a Nazi to tell him how to handle Palestinians.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Michael Jackson Starts To Develop

The year is 1964. Michael ran into his bedroom, crying quietly, his father yelling from downstairs. Michael shut the door and jumped onto the bed. He placed his face into the white pillow which he hugged with his arms. He was wearing a white undershirt and flannel pajamas. Michael kept his face pushed into the soft pillow until he felt the tears stop. He lifted his head and touched his left cheek where his father had hit him with a fist. It was tender. Michael sat up on the bed and noticed the small wall mirror. He quietly walked to the mirror and examined his face. His cheek was inflamed and had turned dark blue. He looked at his left hand where he touched his cheek and was happy to see no blood. But his hand was dirty from having played in the backyard dirt under the sick palm tree. The mess he made was the cause of his father's anger. It was different everyday. His father's rage came and went like the Santa Ana winds, unpredictable and with always a violent force. Michael reached into a drawer and rummaged around and found his sister's white glove. He put the white glove on his left hand to cover the dirt. He then looked back up at the mirror and stepped back, keeping his eyes on the mirror. He stepped forward. Then back again. Then forward, keeping his eyes on the mirror, looking at his face get smaller than bigger. Michael then thought he saw his face contort, one cheek up, the other down, his nose got bigger, one eye drooped. He was growing ugly. Michael’s heart raced. He walked forward to get a closer look at the mirror, but oddly saw that his face got smaller. He walked forward again and his face continued to get smaller. He did not know what was happening. Michael then looked down at his feet which were in white socks and black slippers and noticed that he was stepping forward with one foot but pulling himself back with his other foot, intending to go forward, giving the impression of going forward but actually walking backwards. Michael got scared. He thought this was spooky, like he was possessed by some demon that was tearing him apart, ripping him in opposite directions. He then felt a warmth in his crotch and realized he was peeing. He grabbed his crotch with his ungloved right hand and pulled it up to stop the peeing. It stopped. He was wet, but he had stopped himself and held it. Michael stood in the middle of the room, his right hand on his crotch, his left white gloved hand open and up near his face. He raised his head and saw himself in the mirror again. Michael looked at himself and would never forget this moment.

The Shebaa Farmers Just Want To Farm

The Syrians claim the Shebaa Farms,
The Lebanese claim the Shebaa Farms,
The Shia claim the Shebaa Farms,
The Sunni claim the Shebaa Farms,
No one can agree,
Except for that Israel occupies the Shebaa Farms,
Everyone agrees,
That Israel occupies the Shebaa Farms.
The French drew the lines,
Back in the 1920s,
The French drew the lines,
Between Lebanon and Syria,
The French drew the lines,
Giving Syria the Shebaa farms,
An area ten miles long and one mile wide,
With fourteen farms,
Farmers who consider themselves Lebanese,
Not Syrian.
The French were sloppy,
Drawing lines with fat pencils,
On inaccurate crinkled maps,
Not caring where the lines went,
Through houses, and back lots, and towns,
The French drew the lines,
Like drunken truckers,
Playing a board game,
On the hoods of hot cars.
The French were told,
That the farmers in Shebaa,
Thought to be on the other side,
Of the line,
On the other side of the line,
On the Lebanon side,
But France was on to,
Other things,
So the lines stayed,
Until…
The Syrians attacked Israel,
Israel attacked back,
And took the Golan Heights,
Which included the Shebaa Farms,
Which was populated by people,
Who consider themselves Lebanese,
Who do not feel Syrian,
Though the French drew the lines,
Placing them in Syria,
In the Golan Heights,
Which Israel took,
In the war with Syria.
Hezbollah wants the Shebaa Farms,
Returned to the Lebanese,
Though the United Nations says the Farms,
Are Syrian,
Because the French drew the lines,
That gave the Shebaa to Syria,
Though the farmers in the Shebaa,
Consider themselves Lebanese,
The farmers on the strip of land,
Which is ten miles long and one mile wide,
Hezbollah wants it back,
And claims Israel is an occupier.
The Syrians want the Golan back,
And Syria says,
The Golan includes the Shebaa Farms,
The fourteen Shebaa farms,
The ten mile long and one mile wide,
Strip of fourteen farms,
A strip of agriculture,
With quiet farms and hills,
Everyone is angry about the Shebaa farms,
Except the Shebaa farmers,
Who just need to farm.
So the Syrians deem Israel to be an occupier,
Of the Golan which includes the Shebaa,
Which is populated by farmers who consider themselves,
Lebanese, which Hezbollah wants back,
For the Lebanese,
Which Hezbollah wants back,
To take it away from Israel.
So Hezbollah attacks Israel,
Often, in fits and spurts,
To try to pry the Shebaa from the Golan,
Before the Golan goes back to Syria,
But Syria wants the Shebaa,
Ten miles long and one mile wide,
Syria wants the fourteen farms,
Which are farmed by farmers who,
Consider themselves Lebanese.
The tiny little Shebaa,
With little tiny farms,
With fourteen farmers,
Trying to farm their farms,
Are toy figures in a game,
Being played by bigger players,
Who do not much care,
What the farmers farm.
The Shebaa farmers farm,
As they have for generations,
And they try to keep their heads down,
Looking at the land,
Under their shoes,
As people send rockets,
Over the Shebaa,
The farmers continue to care,
As others continue to fight.

The Jew Is Very Useful

The Shia hate the Sunni,
The Sunni hate the Shia,
The Kurds hate the Sunni,
The Sunni hate the Kurds,
The Arabs hate the Iranians,
The Iranians hate the Arabs,
Osama bin Laden hates Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hates Osama bin Laden.
But things are not so bad,
Because people will come together,
And agree to disagree,
Because there is one thing they,
Can all agree to hate together,
And that is the little Jew.
The Jew is very useful,
As he has always been,
Because the Jew brings people together,
And makes them forget the hate,
They have,
For each other.
The Jew is very useful,
As he will always be,
Because the Jew brings people together,
And makes them have their hate,
The hate they have for each other,
And take it and make it useful,
At the useful little Jew.
And when the little Jew fights back,
And tries to live his life,
This is seen as an over-reaction,
Against the innocent and the oppressed,
And so the little Jew is attacked,
And the little Jew is attacked,
And attacked, and attacked,
And attacked, and attacked,
And the little Jew fights back,
Until the fight is over.
Until the fight is over…
The Jew is very useful,
Because even though he survives,
The people who all hate each other,
Declare a big victory and cheer,
Because they have fought the little Jew,
And even though the Jew survives,
The people who hate each other,
Still have the Jew to hate,
So the Jew is very useful,
As he has always been,
And always…
Will.

The Great Rubber Band Ball We Live On

White lines. Black lines. Metal lines. Stone lines. Concrete lines. Cinderblock lines.
Earth lines.
Lines crisscrossing the blue brown ball like stitched plaid.
Running between mountains and houses, between cities and woodlands.
Running through barren desert, where nothing moves but wind and sand.
Lines separating emptiness from hollowness.
The bald eagle flew from branch to peak to ledge.
Flying high, soaring effortlessly over the thick lines, over the broken lines.
Over the lines etched and stitched by man.
Lines on the surface of the earth.
The lines spoke of art from up at eagle high.
Something to look at, something to examine, a huge canvas.
From up high where the bald eagle glided over the lines.
Which seemed like pencil brush strokes.
Or scratched with a box-cutter.
Barely affecting anything but the gravity bound.
There must be a point, thought the bald eagle.
These endless lines, running like strings thrown randomly on the surface.
There must be a point, thought the bald eagle.
It is art for the passing celestial body.
It is art to communicate something about Earth.
The lines are everywhere, these lines that are straight.
These lines that curve, in squares, circles and triangles, broken at odd angles.
The Earth is filled with them, and new ones.
New ones going up with every break of day.
New lines being drawn, erected, between things, separating things from things.
Or are they connecting things?
Old lines being dismantled.
New lines being created.
Someday, maybe…
The Earth will look like…
A rubber-band ball…
Thought the bald eagle.
Twisted into a tight suffocating ball.
The rubber bands will break.
The lines replaced with new ones.
A work in progress, thought the bald eagle.
A great Earth art project,
A great Earth art experiment, the artist finding balance.
Fighting for balance.
This right. No, that right.
The right esthetic, making it right.
Never satisfied with these lines, though.
New lines seem to cause other lines to appear.
New lines bust through old lines.
The eagle flew high, soaring in the wind.
Soaring in the sky, the line-free sky.
The eagle thought about lines in the sky.
Could lines be drawn in the sky?
Someone will figure out a way, thought the bald eagle.
The lines will not remain Earth-bound.
They were alive and moved and grew, like unstoppable roots.
And they will grow upwards someday.
The lines will come up to where the bald eagle soared.
And extend out into the heavens.
This great Earth art experiment will go on and on.
And will never end.
The never-ending art experiment on the third planet.
Thought the bald eagle, as it flew higher and higher.
Never losing site of an Earth line, somewhere, everywhere.
Earth lines. Everywhere.