I owe everything I have to boxing. I owe 
the milkman, the grocer, the newspaper boy…
    Art Aragon
 There ain’t nothing like being in a corner, 
and the trainer is whispering in your ear 
and another guy is putting in your mouthpiece. 
Five seconds to go, then boom! The bell. 
It’s more exciting than looking down a cliff.
 George Foreman, quoted in 
Newsweek (January 26, 1976) 



They were examining an applicant for
a government position at one of the
more important air fields. They were
helping this fellow fill out the
application.They would ask the questions,
he would give the answers.
   Finally they said, "Do you belong to
any political party that plans to overthrow
the government?"
 "What? ...did I understand you correctly?"
 You belong to a political party that plans
 to overthrow the government?"
"Yessir. I belong to a political party that 
plans to overthrow the government."
 "What party is that?"
 "The Republican Party."

from stop me if you've heard this one:
 the favorite stories of three favorite
funnymen - Lew Lehr, Cal Tinney, Roger
Bower (New York: Permabooks, 1949)    
 In an interview, General Norman Schwarzkopf 
was asked if he thought there was room for 
forgiveness toward the people who have harbored 
and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 
9/11 attacks on America.
 His answer was classic Schwarzkopf.   
 The General said, "I believe that forgiving 
them is God's function... OUR job is to arrange 
the meeting." 

 G-string (n.)
 1878, geestring, "loincloth worn by an American 
Indian," originally the string that holds it up, 
etymology unknown. The spelling with G (1882) is 
perhaps from influence of violin string tuned to 
a G (in this sense G string is first recorded 1831), 
the lowest and heaviest of the violin strings. First 
used of women's attire 1936, with reference to 
 I AM the spirit of the silver "G":
 I am silvered sadness,
 I am moonlit gladness,
 I am that fine madness
 Of reverence half, and half of ecstasy
[from "Spirit of the 'G' String," Alfred L. 
Donaldson, in "Songs of My Violin," 1901]  

 POEM by Mac Bica

Love Betrayed
 Through life he rode
 with sword in hand
 his goal to free this evil land
 no dragon safe,
 no windmill spared
 he spoke of love
 when no one cared.
 Oh gentle knight your task is clear
 between the laugh, before the tear,
 to show mankind he can't conceal
 the truth of things that are not real.
 Beware sweet knight
 your greatest foe,
 who'll distort the love
 that you bestow
 with cross in hand
 he hides the sword,
 his deed is sanctioned
 by the lord.
 With speed and skill
 he struck the dove
 it is the will of god above
 and those below
 who love betrayed
 to end this foolish knight's charade.
 And we who ask so much of life,
 seek love replace its endless strife
 and we who dream of what could be
 are doomed to sleep eternally.
 Prepare my friends the knight's return,
 and pray we're not too blind to learn.


I recall going to the Roxy when the Duke Ellington 
band was there, and when the film ended and the 
orchestra rose out of the pit playing “Take the 
A Train," the top of my head blew off. From then 
on, any movie set in New York had me.

  Woody Allen. Apropos of Nothing. 

 Lives that connect to others are not misplaced; 
perhaps wandering.
 I had a similar experience to Woody Allen.   
At the age of 18 or 19 I was in a darkened 
fraternity  house, doing absolutely 
nothing and thinking I was mostly alone.  The top 
of my mind blew off when someone dropped the needle 
on a record of Ray Charles doing What'd I Say. I 
shouted "what is that?!"  I had never heard it, and 
someone said 
"it's Ray Charles."  
  I said "can't be, Ray Charles leads on a capella 
chorus that performs on the Perry Como show." 
   I became a lifelong fan.


   (The crow) is a laddo that can’t afford any gorgeousness in his feathers; all black, except for a better-off  brother who decorates his plumage of brilliant black with snow-white bands – the magpie, the cleric of the Corvidae, a dignified chap, fond of chattering as a cleric is fond of preaching.
 Sean O’Casey. The Green Crow (1956)
 No cånyon is too cold for this little bird, none too lonely, provided it be rich in falling water. Find a fall, or cascade, or rushing rapid, anywhere upon a clear stream , and then you would surely find its complimentary Ouzel, flitting about in the spray, diving in foaming eddies, whirling like a leaf 
 among beaten foam-balls, ever vigorous and enthusiastic, yet self-  contained, and neither seeking nor shunning your company.
           John Muir, describing The Water Ouzel. The Mountains of California.
 …owling requires consideration and respect for the owl. You need to channel owl empathy. Owls are wild. On their minds are three concerns: shelter, food, reproduction. Whatever calories their bodies are expending, it is to secure those needs. To survive,
 Mira Ptacin. “The Art and Education of Owling” 
in The New York Times (February 7, 2021)
 The other thrushes are baroque artists, constantly elaborating, reworking and adding to their showy 
repertoire. The hermit thrush is a classicist, 
working on the principle of less is more, multum 
in parvo. Constantly changing variations appear 
within a simple, firm musical framework. Complex 
chords and high overtones climb and resonate 
between the tree trunks to create a sense of 
space and depth: a song In three –no, 
four–dimensional space that seems to speak of 
eternal things.
 Eric Salzman, quoted in The New York Times 
obituary written by Neil Genzlinger 
(November 26, 2017) 

(Egg, circa 5th Century BCE Athenian cookery)

The eggs of the peacock, a rare and much admired 
bird, were claimed to be highly superior; 'fox-
goose' eggs ranked second, and hen's eggs a distant
third. The domestic hen was common in the 
Mediterranean by fifth century BC and almost every 
Athenian had one, which may explain the poor 
gastronomic rating of its eggs.

Reay Tannahill. Food in History (New York: 
Three Rivers Press, 1988)

         (in memory of Jack Violi)

     With a voice
     For an eye,
     Its round eye opens.
     At the neck & high
     Among branches, its choice
     Is to widen

     Our forest. It
     Frets with color
     As a mad painter,
     Jet-blue, then brown,
     & never sits
     Still. It grows fainter
     Then sails or
     Soars, flits down

     Into a fool's spectrum.
     What fastens 
     Onto branches
     The way blackbirds do?
     Theirs is the dumb
     Motion of panic, is
     The beak that glistens
     With food. Blue-

     Black, the jackdaw thinks
     Mostly of hunger,
     Whistles its fast
     Among high branches,     
     Its grackle head shrinks
     To a thimble fist
     In fear without anger,

     As a wooden duck does
     On the edge
     Of a pan. Hops,
     Flaps in a climate  
     Of nerves, air-flows'                   
     & twigs, it stops
     Only to feed, to hedge'
     The lake, to mate.

     Black birds are
     Anything but black,
     Are dark blue wiggles
     & wags, purple tails
     Jutting in air,
     Slightly invisible
     Weather vanes, then back
     To the isles

     Of branches. Their
     Is worm-centered,
     An eye among storms.
     Flattened in air,
     They head
     North, then reverse
     To roost in swarms.

     The grackle chucks
     Chucks, keels
     To the wind,lights
     Treads stately, then head
     Up, wheels
     To a ribbon of black
     & sets its sight

     For water. No
     Tears for him,
     He merely adjusts
     To no avail.
     The blackbird knows
     Weather as he thrusts
     His feathers into a whim
     & sail.
     His head nods.
     The wind is doing some-
     Where, but what
     Flutters through branches
     Is not wind,
     But a polished flit
     Of blackbirds handsome
     As boots. The wind is

     Going somewhere,
     But what flutters
     Through the branches
     Is not wind, but grackles.



pavan (n.)"slow, stately dance," 1530s, from French pavane (1520s), probably from Spanish pavana, from pavo "peacock" (from Latin pavo; see peacock), in reference to the bird's courting movements. But some see an Italian origin and trace the name to Padovana "Paduan." Possibly it is a merger of two distinct dance words.
   from The Online Etymological Dictionary

The Birds  Alfred Hitchcock    Vintage movie poster  759 image 0


 "Words do not seem to play any role in my 
mechanism of thought. I seem to use more or 
less clear images of a visual type, combined 
with some muscular feeling. These vaguely play 
together, combining with each other, without 
any logical construction in words and signs 
which could be communicated to others."
                    ALBERT EINSTEIN
 Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care 
what else is on TV. 
 Jerry Seinfeld
 That is how the mind of a top-flight comedian
 works. My mind when, at odd moments, it 
 thinks does not think like that. Most of the
 time my thoughts are in free fall, the larger
 parachute called ideas rarely opens. For
 example, when I was in college I enjoyed 
thinking about naked women. I still do, but 
now I wonder how different my life would be 
if the Philosophy Department had changed its 
successful that Major would have been. I cannot 
think of any Student I knew not signing up for 
it. The Chair of the Department would soon be 
paid more than the football coaches. Philosophy 
teachers would be needed by the dozens. Final 
exams would be fun to take, and our nation’s 
low opinion about critical thinking would 
change overnight.
 "When a man is wrestling a leopard in the middle 
of a pond, he is in no position to run."
 Cary Grant's character in the classic screwball 
comedy directed by Howard Hawks --"Bringing Up 

 I recall going to the Roxy when the Duke Ellington 
band was there, and when the film ended and the 
orchestra rose out of the pit playing “Take the 
A Train," the top of my head blew off. From then 
on, any movie set in New York had me.

  Woody Allen. Apropos of Nothing. 


 Bruce Weber of The New York Times (December 6, 
2008)  began the obituary of this man with the 

     It’s a common claim that someone is the world’s 
biggest fan of such-and such. Elizabeth Taylor’s 
biggest fan . The biggest fan of the New York’s Jets. 
The world’s Biggest country music fan.  Hardly anyone 
takes such a designation  seriously, except perhaps 
when it comes to _________   ________, whose 
obsessive  devotion to science fiction and horror 
stories was so fierce that he helped propel their
 popularity. Indeed, he was widely credited with 
  coining the term sci-fi.
 Can you identify the man who coined the term sci-fi?
 Forrest J Ackerman. According to Bruce Weber:  
“Mr. Ackerman said he came up with ‘sci-fi’ in 
1954. He was driving in a car with his wife 
when he  heard a radio announcer say ‘Hi-fi.’ 
he term, sci-fi just came reflexively and 
unbidden out of his mouth.
 Please answer the essay question in the blue 
book provided. 
  In October 2020, Televangelist Pat Robertson 
announced that  God told him that Donald Trump
 would win the Presidential election.  Why did
 God lie to Pat Robertson? 


Dear Editors:

  I beg to differ with the New York Times headline
 that refers to Marjorie Taylor Greene's destructive fantasies as "remarks". Gertrude Stein remarked
 that  "Remarks are not literature," but hate speech 
is not a casual remark. Free speech is one issue
so many Trump-driven supporters do not understand. 
calling for Nancy Pelosi to be killed or accusing 
Jewish persons of starting forest fires with lasers 
from a distant planet is the equivalent to yelling 
"fire" in a crowded theater. Using "free speech" 
as a catch-all to spread false narratives and to
express disdain for truth and scientific fact 
creates a poisonous environment that kills freedom, 
drains the oxygen from the air that true speech 
needs to thrive in. Not all speech is equal,
nor is all speech free. Words can kill.  


Louis Phillips

 The moon with its bad eye
 Is a midnight feast.
 Why are so many of us 
 Dining at the wrong table? 

Preview(opens in a new tab)


Thus, I refute all those critics who say I do not know anything! I

knew how to fill out my own report card for my parents to sign.

 The proper term for
 senior women should be
   Send a text
 When you arrive
 No need to knock and
 Get the dog involved 
         I’m not arguing
   I’m explaining why I’m right
     I  have red hair because
        God knew I needed
           A warning label
      Bigfoot saw me, but
     Nobody believes him
       I sometimes wonder
        what happened to
      people who have asked
         me for directions
         Thou shalt not get
            on my nerves.
                 Mood 24-7 
 “If we behave like those on the other side, 
then we are the other side. Instead of changing 
the world, all we’ll achieve is a reflection of 
the one we want to destroy.”
                              Jean Genet

     …the term credit card…was coined by the visionary 
Edward Bellamy, in his popular utopian novel Looking Backward:2000 to 1887, published in 1888. In Looking 
Backward a young man falls unconscious and wakes up 
at the millennium to an ideal world where cash has 
been replaced by ‘a credit corresponding to his share 
of the annual product of the nation…and a credit card 
is issued to him with which to procure at the public storehouse…whatever he desires, whenever he desires it,’
 Nancy Shepherdan. “Credit Card America” 
in American Heritage,  vol. 42 (November 1991),
       Because many Americans living in the Dominican Republic are  spending so much time outdoors at 
the beaches or sipping pina coladas at numerous 
restaurants and bars, many  tourists and ex-pats 
may have missed one of the most important news items of the past year.
        Late in 2020, the ideal of Freedom of Speech 
and the First Amendment suffered severe setbacks when 
the Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that, 
although it is now lawful to burn the American Flag, 
it is not legal for an American Citizen to burn his 
or her credit card. This 6-3 decision, one of the more controversial in Supreme Court history, has the 
effect of declaring unconstitutional the Credit Card Desecration Laws of the original 13 Colonies and 5 multinational Corporations  Until today it has been l
egal for a person to destroy his or her credit 
cards and unpaid bills.
   In the Majority Decision, Clarence Thomas  
wrote: "For decades it has been a crime to 
desecrate, mutilate, and/or willfully destroy 
American money. Credit cards obviously represent 
new money. Once credit cards burn who knows how 
the American Economy will suffer. What will be 
next? Melting down Fort Knox?"
    The ruling came in the case of EXXON VS. 
ROE, when John Jay Roe, protesting recent oil 
spills in Beverly Hills swimming pools, cut 
his Exxon card in half and returned it to 
the company. The oil company, sensing a 
environmentalist revolt upon its hands, 
immediately brought suit. The case has 
   Lawyers on Roe's behalf argued that since 
the Court had approved the burning of the 
flag (ruling no. 88-l55) that the same 
principles should 
 apply to the cutting, burning, and tearing of credit 
cards. "Not so," claimed Chief Justice John Rogers 
in filing the minority report . "The flag is a 
ymbol. Credit cards and dollar bills are not symbols. 
They are the real thing. " 
      The Trump White House, however,  reiterated 
the ex-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's 
statement at the time of the flag burning decision:
 "Surely one of the high purposes of a democratic 
society is to legislate against conduct that is 
regarded as evil and profoundly offensive to the 
majority of people..."  Certainly, the majority 
decision explained, nothing can be more offensive 
than watching a prospective customer and/or debtor 
destroying his or her buying power. The burning 
of paper money and credit cards threatens the very underpinnings of Capitalism.
      Response to the decision was , as might be 
expected, sharply divided. A. Koorp, President of 
Let's Give More Credit to Americans, hailed the 
ruling as "A victory for the American Dream. 
Everything America stands for has been vindicated." 
      On the other hand, Ms. B. Fritchie of 
Whittier, California, leader of  Project Poverty 
said:   "It does not help to heal the wounds of 
America by declaring that money and credit cards a
re more important than our Flag."
   Still left undecided is the question of 
whether the destroying of carbon  copies of credit 
card bills in restaurants is protection against 
fraud or symbolic desecration of the card itself.
 Fairly original wordplay by Louis Phillips

 JECBUST –Change of subject.
     Charles Portis --
     His novels transport us
     Into true Americana --i.e,ˆTrue Grit."
     (A truer verse than this 
                       has yet to be writ).
 What’s the difference between a Rattus
 norvegicus) and the mountain Noah’s Ark
 Landed on?
 One is a rat, the other is Ararat.
 ENCOUNT  -- a brief encounter
 OF – shaved off
 What is the difference between MA and a 
 Catholic service?
 One is half MASS, the other a full mass.
 Ned Rorem,
 All by himself was a quorem.
  Rating ?

Hinky Pinky
Hanky Panky
 TARZEN – achieving nirvana while swinging tree to tree on a vine.
 THE ANSWER: Lex Barker
 THE QUESTION: what do you call a person 
who sells dictionaries at carnivals & fairs?
 Lex Barker also portrayed Tarzan in movies. 
 Telegram from a noted botanist
 There’s more here than meets the eye.
 Howard Keel,
 In reel after reel,
 Sang his heart out.
 (Young people have no idea 
       what I’m talking about.) 
 ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^))
 ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^))
 ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^))
 ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^))
 ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^))
 ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^))
 ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^))

 Dear Editors:

 William Giraldi opens his review of Why I Read 
by asserting that "For writers literature is a 
talent show. Those with the most talent win." 
But what do the most talented win? Win readers? 
Sometimes.But the books that attract the most 
readers frequently are not written by the most 
talented. Win prizes? Sometimes.But for every 
prize given to a "best" book there are numerous 
non-winning books  just as deserving of prizes. 
Million dollar contracts? Sometimes, but not 
always to the most talented. Prizes and money 
are useful to further a career and to buy more 
time to write. Not much else.How many Pulitzer
Prize winning authors are no longer read?
     Nor dp I believe that when it comes to 
readers that "everybody wins" ( Giraldi's 
third sentence). Readers who read books 
that tell lies, spread propaganda, and are 
not as true as the writer can make them, even 
in fiction. are definitely losing.
     Write what you like, the way you like it, 
to the best of your ability.Try not to shame your 
craft.  If that's not winning,, I no longer know 
what winning as a writer means.

Louis Phillips


Thou shalt not get /
On my nerves/ mood 24:7



 The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame comprised a group 
of American football players at the University 
of Notre Dame under coach Knute Rockne. They were the backfield of Notre Dame's 1924 football team. 
The players that made up this group were Harry StuhldreherDon MillerJim Crowley, and Elmer 
  In 1924, a nickname coined by sportswriter 
Grantland Rice and the actions of a student 
publicity aide transformed the Notre Dame 
backfield of Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller, and 
Layden into one of the most noted groups of 
collegiate athletes in football history, 
the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.[

    from Wikipedia
  Blocking is  something you have to make 
yourself do. Catching is natural; but it 
isn’t natural for a civilized man to run 
around hitting people. Besides, it hurts.
    Lance Alworth
If a man watches three football games 
in a row, he should be declared 
legally dead.
       Emma Bomback
Football is not a contact sport. It’s 
a collision sport. Dancing is a 
good example of a contact sport.
                      Duffy Daugherty
 Football –a sport that bears the same relation 
to education that bullfighting does to 
    Elbert Hubbard
 I love to hit people, and I admit it – blockers
 as well as ball carriers. Defensive football 
players are innate hitters. It’s a joy to me. 
I tell people it’s how I work off my daily 
hostilities. During the week I’m as gentle as 
anybody. Sunday is my time to hit.
 Dave Robinson. Green Bay Packers’ player/ (1969)
 Asking about the secret to the (ALABAMA’S) 
Tide’s success is like asking an elephant 
for his secret of squashing bugs. They have 
the best coach and the players. There is no 
second sentence.
 Michael Rosenberg. Sports Illustrated 
(October 20,2017)
  He (BUNNY LARKIN)  would line up all the 
candidates for the Carlisle football team, 
show them a football, and in a few words he 
would explain to them how the game was to be 
played. Said Bully Larkin: “When  white man 
has ball get him. When Indian has the ball, 
knock down white man.”
 Bill Stern. Bill Stern’s Favorite Football Stories.
“I have two weapons. My legs, my arms, 
and my brains.”
      Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons 
Quarterback, 2006)
 If you’re going to be a champion, you 
must be willing to pay a greater price 
than your opponent 
will ever pay.
 Bud Wilkinson

I saw at Southwark, at St. Margaret’s Faire, 
monkies and asses dance and do other feats 
of activity on a rope; they were gallantly 
clad a la mode, went upright, saluted the 
company, bowing and pulling off their hats;
 they saluted one another with as good a 
grace as if instructed by a dancing master. 
They turned heels over heads with a basket 
having eggs in it, without breaking any; 
also with lighted candles in their hands 
and on their heads without extinguishing 
them, and with vessels of water, without 
spilling a drop. I also saw an Italian 
wench dance and perform all tricks on ye 
tight rope to admiration; all the court 
went to see her.
 John Evelyn, in his diary (September 11, 1660)
 To Southwark Fair, very dirty, and there 
saw…Jacob Hall’s dancing on the rope, 
where I saw such action as I never saw 
before, and mightily worth seeing…
 Samuel Pepys, in his diary 
(September 21,1668)
 Dear Editors:
     Although I love some books much more than 
some people, I believe I was not the only Book 
Review reader who was shocked by Geoff Dyer's 
confession to his wife that he'll "just never 
love another human being as much as I love my books.'
 Does he have children?
      I do believe,however, that Mr. Dyer 
dislikes change. Human beings change; books do not. 
Our perceptions, rereadings, and interpretations 
of books change. Don Quixote is one book for a 
college-age student. It will be a completely 
different book when read by that same student 
some 40 years later.
       Dyer and I may also share a sense of 
disappointment that Dante did not create a 
special circle of Hell for persons who borrow 
books but do not return them.
 Louis Phillips

 Long live the circus with its sandy ring, its 
prideless palfreys, its jovial clowns, its 
gracefulness, its robustness, its mockery, 
its rides, its mimicry, its trapeze at the top, 
its carpet at the bottom, its somersault, its 
gibberish, its acrobatic prowess and the mystery 
of its morals.     
               Le Couriere francais     


"Smith found other ways to amuse
himself during his stay with us.
He spent one afternoon at the 
studio's main gate with an autograph
book and a pen. Each time one of our
stars passed in and out he'd approach
the performer, open the book,
write his own autograph, tear out the
sheet, hand it over, and say, "There
you are. Thanks very much for asking."

B.G. DeSylva in his introduction to
Lost in the Wild Horse Latitudes
by H.Allen Smith (NY:Doubleday, Doran &

     Autograph hunting is the most 
unattractive manifestation of sex-starved 

 Sir Laurence Olivier
 …the Dorset coast – or, as it is occasionally 
and inadequately known, the Jurassic Coast. 
The crumbing cliffs along it, dating from 
the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, 
are a happy hunting ground for anyone seeking 
the fossilized remains of ancient creatures. 
The nearest American equivalent would be the 
Academy Awards
 Anthony Lake , reviewing Ammonite in
 The New Yorker (November 16, 2020)
     When reporters at their first press 
conference asked the cheeky Brits to sing 
a song, John Lennon set them straight: 
“We need money first.”  
   Time. Visions of the 1960s. 



The three towering geniuses of European culture, 
Shakespeare, Mozart and Leonardo Di Vinci, were 
not allowed to  appear on the euro note as they 
might, in their separate ways , cause offense; 
mozart because he was a “womanizer”, Shakespeare, 
because he wrote The Merchant of Venice, a play 
judged to be anti-semitic, and Leonardo because 
he was reported to fancy boys. Now the euro note 
carries a picture of a rather dull bridge.
John Mortimer,  Where There’s a Will
From the Renaissance to the eighteenth century,
The impulse behind classic works of political 
thought was the urge to shape events. Machiavelli 
wrote to rescue Florence and Italy from internal 
corruption and external weakness.
Jean Bodin designed a theory of sovereignty that 
might rescue France from its wars of religion. 
The Marian exile of the mid-sixteenth century, 
and John Locke under Charles II, devised 
justification for resistance to prevent tyranny.
Blair Worden in TLS (August 4,2006)
No matter how paranoid you are, what the 
government is actually doing is worse than 
you can imagine.
        William Blum
Don’t believe anything until it’s been 
officially denied.
         William Blum
People used to complain that selling a president 
was like selling a bar of soap. But when you buy 
soap, at least you get the soap. In this campaign 
you just get two guys telling you that they really 
value cleanliness.
David Brooks



           President Trump Delivers His State of
             The Union Address,February 4,2020
                   He stood below the Speaker's chair,
                   With golfer's  tan and flaxen hair
                   Entirely his, with no toupee
                   And all with very little gray.
                   Given his looks belie his years,
                   What does he have between his ears?
                   What is this man? All huff and puff?
                   Or is he made of sterner stuff?
                   Is he a steak?  Is he a ham?
                   Might he be mutton dressed as lamb?
                   A statesman?  No; as that, he fails;
                   He's one whose trolley's off its rails. 
                   But showman? Yes;he made his points.
                   Most notably, he self-anoints
                   And,as his Congress claque applauds,
                   Adds to his string of self-awards.
                   Stromboli-like, Pelosi fumed;
                   Her copy of his speech was doomed.
                   She clutched it with a raptor's grip--
                   Oh,rapture! Yes, I heard it rip.
                   Glancing,nauseous, through her copy,
                   It's no wonder she got stroppy.
                   It seems the copy--every page--                      Then wound up in her parrot's cage,
                   Or so her housemaid said, when pressed.
                   This is recycling at its best.
                   The sheets, bespattered, I daresay
                   Will be collectibles one day;
                   And maybe once Trump's on the skids,
                   It will be time to call for bids.
                   "Chump Impeached by Champ Pelosi"--
                    Give the champ a gorgeous posy.
                              The   Coda 
                    Tempting fate trough self-seduction,
                    Trump promotes his own destruction.
                    When that will be, God only knows:
                    Nemesis comes on tippy-toes.
                 Copyright   (c) 2020 Bruce E. Newling
   Mike Pence
   Knows from whence
   All Presidential power flows,
   Hence, the brown upon his nose.
   Louis Phillips
 The 14th Amendment, Section 3:
 No person shall be a Senator or Representative 
in Congress, or elector of President and Vice 
President, or hold any office, civil or military, 
under the United States, or under any State,who, 
having previously taken an oath, as a member of 
Congress, or as an officer of the United States, 
or as a member of any State legislature,or as an 
executive or judicial officer of any State, to 
support the Constitution of the United States, 
shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion 
against the same, or given aid or comfort to the 
enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of 
two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.



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 The hero of  The Man in the Moon, a novel written in the late 1620s by the Anglican bishop Francis Godwin, is carried to the moon in a sky chariot pulled by a flock of wild swans. He spends the next few months among the peaceful ‘Lunars” and gains a measure of fluency in their language, ‘which consisteth not so much of words and letters’ as of melodies ‘that no letters can expresse’.
 Nick Richardson, “We’re Not Talking toYou, We’re Talking to Saturn” in London Review of’
 Books (18 June 2020)
 A provocative theory among physicists and philosophers suggests that humans aren’t experiencing and haven’t experienced reality.
   What we understand as reality, the theory proposes, may merely be one of an astronomical number of vivid computer simulations of an ancient past , designed by humanity’s distant descendants to study the evolution of their forbears. If so, the United States of America is about as real as, say the Mushroom Kingdom  in an unattended game of Super Mario Bros.
 Caity Weaver. “The Reality Behind ‘Below Deck” The New York Times (July 2, 2020).
 I want the job 
   where I push 
 scared sky-drivers
    out of planes.
 Today I will 
 Be as useless
 As the “G” in
  I survived
    The 60’s
 I don’t snore
 I dream
 I am a
 If I can’t fix it
 It must not be broken
   If only
 I worked my whole
   life for this shirt.
 Sometimes I even put it in the food
 1. Beer
 2.  Ice
    MY DAY
 All right, I know that more than a few of the questions in the various La Triviata quizzes  are unfair and often impossible for many readers, to answer. But the point of a quiz is not to test intelligence or even cultural and verbal awareness. Not by a long shot. The point is to have fun, to pass some time pleasantly while picking up tidbits of useful and useless information. I hope it’s a good party game or a good quiz to share with a friend or two. Actually I hope it is just a good quiz. And sometimes a useful one. If you get 6 correct you are doing very good. If you get 9 or more correct you are in the Genius
 1l Bees can see all colors except one. What color
 cannot be seen by bees?
 2.What is the only seven letter word in the English
 language that contains all 5 vowels?
 3. It has been claimed that the logo depicting a large
 tongue protruding from a mouth is the most famous
 logo in Rock & Roll history. It is the logo of what group?
 4. What were the names of the famous NBC newscasters
 who signed off each broadcast with:
        “ Good night, David.”
        “ Good night, Chet.”
 5. What does a kinologist study?
 6 In the Olympics Discus throw competition how much
 does the discus weigh?
 7.Fur is one of the official languages of what African

 8. In 1984, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
    established the Television Hall of Fame and inducted
     seven people. Can you name any 3 persons of the
     first seven inductees?
 9. A bit of IdMb trivia for this film, directed by John
 Ford and starring John Wayne as Captain Brittles
 Reveals that the regiment's blacksmith, named "Wagner" (Mickey Simpson), is seen at work, we can hear the orchestra playing the "Nibelung"-motif from Richard Wagner's famous opera, "Siegfried". In the opera the motif is connected with the forging of Siegfried's sword. What is the film?
 10. Ithaca and Kerykara are Greek islands in what sea?
 11.On November 25, 1864 the Winter Garden Theater
 in NYC presented a production of Julius Caesar. Junius
 Brutus Booth played Cassius and his brother Edwin Booth played Brutus. What part did the third brother—John Wilkes Booth – play?
 12. In the U.S. Presidential election of 1920 one of
 the major candidates on the ballot was a prisoner
 in a Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia . Who
 was he?
 13. What country has the oldest flag in the world?
 14. How many eyes does a scallop have?
      A. none
      B. 30
      C. 50
      D. 100
 15. What do the following all have in common?
  Mr. R. Nixon,  Phunky, Ty Kong, Wopsle, Squod
 Nobs, and Hookem?
 16. What U.S. President is associated with this
 piece of advice: “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”
 17. What U.S. President gave Maxwell House Coffee
 its famous advertising slogan “Good to the Last Drop”?
 18. Edson Arantes do Nascimento is better known to
    the world by what single name? 
 19. Richard Strauss was, of course, a famous German
 composer and conductor, but what does his last name
 20. What is paronomasia?
 1. Red (Do not ask me how scientists know such things)
 2. Sequoia
 3. The Rolling Stones
 4. David Brinkley and Chet Huntley
 5. A kinologist studies physics laws of motion 
 6. 4 pounds
 7. Dafur
 8. Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Paddy Chayesky, Norman Lear, Edward R. Murrow,  William S. Paley, David Sarnoff
 9. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
 10. The Ionian Sea
 11. He played Marc Anthony
 12.  Eugene Debs. He ran as a socialist candidate and
   received nearly one million votes.
 13. Denmark
 14.( D) 100
 15. They are names of characters  in works by Charles
 16. Theodore Roosevelt
 17.  Theodore Roosevelt.  According to The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations, Roosevelt uttered
 that phrase to Joel Cheek in 1907.
 18. Pele’, the great Brazilian soccer player
 19. According to Wikipedia , Strauss is a German: nickname for an awkward or belligerent person, from Middle High German struz 'quarrel', 'complaint'. ... Dutch: from a Germanic personal name, Strusso.
 20. According to the online Merriam Webster Dictionary, paronomasia was first used in 1571. It is from Latin, from Greek, from paronomazein to call with a slight change of name, from para- + onoma name — more at NAME. It is simply a long word meaning a pun or play on words.
 Reader, I married you.
 Louis Phillips 



By Louis Phillips

                  No mask.
                 No reading.


Even in a medieval cottage
Illuminated by erotic wattage
Of souls in collision & collusion,
Love is nothing if not specific.

Even if this sentence were false, 
you would read it all the way to 
its conclusion.


John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is 
disguised as this this simple sentence.  
The disguise was nearly perfect until 
one astute reader penetrated its clever 

The first word of this sentence is missing, 
but it still makes sense.


Stand up  & listen.
Who says
Poetry cannot work miracles?
Consider this:
It is a miracle I can
Write these words.

In order to improve this quatrain
I decided to add in the 3rd line
The German word verschlimmbessern
To rattle around in your brain;
You cannot hug it to your bosom.
Obviously it does not make
This poem any better.
What’s a rhyme for verschlimmbessern?
Every third word in this weird sentence 
will begin with the letter W at some 
weird future time.
If you shackle yourself to this sentence, 
you will be forcibly removed, taken to 
an undisclosed location and interrogated, 
beaten, and waterboarded until you tell how 
and why you did such a foolish thing.

Mistakes are with us like the crack of dawn.
Who, not knowing,
How fragile the morning is,
Dropped it?
This sentence once was only four words long.

If this sentence does not convey any information,
then why does it exist?


No animals of any kind were killed or injured in
Making this sentence.

Underneath this sentence is another sentence that
praises whoever reads it. Unfortunately, this
sentence is on top of it and cannot be moved.
This sentence ends here. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Old riddle
 What is the longest English word?
There is a mile between the first & last letter.
This poem has been missing
From the better anthologies
 For more than 5 decades.
Aren’t you glad that it has been found?
Any resemblance between the words in
this sentence and any real words is 
purely coincidental.

Feel free to add any words you wish to this interactive sentence.
All the words  in this sentence appear closer
to the reader than they really are.


Whirling electric Muse of Astronomy
Descends with “star-bespangled” song
To confess: Copernicus, with his heresy
Has been proven wrong:
This poem is the center of the Universe
& you, Dear Reader,
Are its beloved satellite. You orbit,
Orbit all around it.

No word in this sentence wears a mask, 
nor is any word six feet away from any 
other word.


humor by Louis Phillips

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
            And milk comes frozen home in pail.
When blood is nipped and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the  staring owl,
            Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
            While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow;
            And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
            And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
            Tu-whit, tu-who; a merry note,
            While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
                                    William Shakespeare

            If Shakespeare had published “Winter” today, the letter column 
of every book review section in the nation would be filled to overflowing.  
For example:

Dear Editors:
            I recently was astonished to read in your publication a poem
 by some new poet (if we can call him by that designation) named 
William Shakespeare.  His poem “Winter” is offensive to all your
 women readers.  It does not take a scholar to notice that when 
he mentions males (Tom and Dick) he makes no disparaging remarks 
about their physical appearance.  Yet, when Mr. Shakespeare remarks 
upon Joan, he calls her “greasy” and when he writes about Marian 
he notes only that her nose “looks red and raw.”  How insulting.  
If you wish to encourage male chauvinism you may do so without 
my subscription.
A. Merryweather
Chairwoman, Equal Time in Literature
Dear Editor:
            Mr. Shakespeare’s (I assume that it is a pen-name) hatred 
of religion, as evidenced by the line “And coughing drowns the 
parson’s saw” is a misguided attack on all faithful churchgoers.  
We who attend religious services, even when the weather is foul, 
deserve more respect.  I am tired of reading poems celebrating 
godlessness.  Please cancel my subscription.
Reverend Arthur Montroy III
Dear Editor:
            I don’t know much about poetry (just what I read in 
your publication while waiting in my dentist’s office) but I do 
know a thing or two about owls.  Recently, I was perturbed 
to read a contribution by some upstart crow named W. Shakespeare.
            Show me an owl that goes Tu-who, Tu-whit, and I’ll eat it.  
In the future, if you persist in your misguided efforts in publishing
nature poets, then please locate a poet who knows something 
about his subject.  No wonder poetry is in such decline.
            You might recall I wrote a similar letter to you when you 
published John Keat’s execrable sonnet wherein he had Cortez 
discovering the Pacific Ocean.  Perhaps you should consider 
dropping poetry from your publication altogether.
Quigley Horsefahr,
President of Accuracy in Poetry
Dear Editor:
            I recently borrowed a copy of your literary rag and I could not 
help but notice how your learned journal persists in its prejudice against shepherds.  In a poem by a Mr. William Shakespeare, he shows all 
persons doing something positive (keeling pots, whatever the hell 
that means, or bearing logs into the hall) but he portrays shepherds 
as being lazy and egotistical, fit for doing nothing but blowing upon 
their fingernails.  Let Mr. Shakespeare be warned!  If we shepherds 
ever get hold of him, we shall teach him a thing or do publication 
would do well to portray the simple, hard-working shepherd in a 
more favorable light.
Tom David Chinminn,
President of Teamsters Local 79675 (Shepherds’ Division)
Hey Yo!
            How come you’re always publishing poems about cold.  
What’s wrong with Summer or Spring?  Get with it.  Your readers 
would enjoy some other seasons for a change.
Yours in the heat of the sun.
Jack Frost
My dear persons:
            Is it not possible to pick up your review without 
encountering more literary efforts endorsing the exploitation 
of the working classes?  Sure, let poor Tom bear logs into some 
rich person’s hall.  How much is poor Tom getting paid to do 
all this heavy work?  Probably less than minimum wage.  
Most likely, he’s not getting paid at all.  If you don’t show 
more sensitivity to the plight of the blue collar or even the 
no collar worker, then I suggest you pack it in.  You haven’t 
published a decent working-class poem since “Man With a Hoe.”  
Now that’s the kind of poetry you should be publishing.
Yours on the way to my night job,
Harding Question, Esq.
Dear Editor:
Is your gray-eyed boy Shakespeare seriously suggesting that 
our little town is not safe?  The line “When blood is nipped and 
ways be foul,” is an offense to our to our town council.  We 
demand a written apology.
Town Council
Hey you!
Sure, let your readers think it is not good to order milk in winter.  
What is the is propaganda Bill Shakespeare insinuates into nearly 
every poem he writes?  I refer specifically to the line, “And milk 
comes frozen home in pail.”  When we deliver milk, we make
 certain that our customers get what they order and unfrozen too.  
Everyone knows that Mr. Shakespeare has it in for us dairy farmers
 and milk-persons ever since a dairymaid told the constable about 
his deer poaching.
            We demand a retraction.  And on the front page of your 
next issue.
Yours truly,
Howard Raftrough
American Union of Home Milk Deliverers
Artist: Steve Duquette
Noel Coward advised a young actor
“Memorize the lines
& don’t bump into the furniture.”
The same advice cd apply
To all readers of this poem:
Memorize the  lines,
But if you want to bump into a table or two,
Go ahead & do so.
Who am I to tell you what to do?

We’ve learned a lot about trees recently. Apparently they communicate with one another via chemicals that waft on the wind and via a fungal network underground. They warn of parasites, they feed their fellows in time of need. Like people are surprisingly social –they are at their best when there are many grouped together.
David Byrne . “By the Book “ in The New York Times Book Review (October 11,2020)


Keep America beautiful -- eat a beer can.
Support your President; burn a copy of the Constitution.
 (during the second term of George W. Bush; today more
applicable than ever)
God Made Us Sisters; Prozac Made Us Friends
  My Mother Is a Travel Agent for Guilt Trips
     Senior Citizen: Give Me My Damn Discount
      (Spotted on a passing motorcycle)
       If You Can Read This, My Wife Fell Off
Veni, Vedi, Visa: I Came, I Saw, I Did a Little Shopping
       What If the Hokey Pokey Is Really What It's All About?
       Coffee, Chocolate, Men; Some Things Are Just Better Rich
       Gravity...It's Not Just a Good Idea. It's the Law
       If You Want Breakfast in Bed, Sleep in the Kitchen
           If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Isn't for You
       The Trouble With the Gene Pool Is That There's No Lifeguard
     Get a New Car for Your Spouse.  It'll Be a Great Trade
       Wanted:  Meaningful Overnight Relationship
       Anything Not Worth Doing Is Not Worth Doing Well
       A Day Without Sunshine is Like Night
       First Things First, but Not Necessarily in That Order
          Old Age Comes at a Bad Time
       In America, Anyone Can Be President.      
You're just jealous because the voices only talk to ME.
       BEER: It's not just for breakfast anymore.
    So you're a feminist...Isn't that cute.
   I need someone real bad... Are you real bad?
        BEAUTY is in the eye of the beer holder.

 The more you complain, the longer God makes you live.
       NEBRASKA: At least the cows are sane.
       God must love stupid people...He made so many.
      Smile, it's the second best thing you can do with your lips.
       I took an IQ test and the results were negative.
              It's lonely at the top, but you eat better.

        Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
 Always remember you're unique... Just like everyone else.
         HONK ... If You Want To See My Finger
        God is my co-pilot, but the Devil is my bombardier.
I don't have a license to kill. I have a learner's  permit.
       Taxation WITH representation isn't so hot, either!
      Who were the testers for Preparations A through G?
       Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
       5 days a week my body is a temple. 
      bThe other two, it's an amusement park.
       EARTH FIRST!  -We'll strip-mine the other planets later.
       Save the whales! Trade them for valuable prizes.
        My wife keeps complaining I never listen to her ...
         or something like that.
         Sure you can trust the government! Just ask 
          an Native American!
       Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive.
          Nature always bats last.

Outside of this hour on the sea.
We imagine the Antipodes
Where the sun rises at midnight
&, as Theocritus sd:
“In sleep, every dog dreams of food.”
But when I dream,
I am wandering  in a house
Near the ocean
Where the waves are black & high.
It is my house & not my house ,
& persons inside are quarreling
Because I am late, or early, or lost.
Inside this house,
There is always a room  
I have never known about,
Did not know it existed.
A door opens. Inside is a woman.
She stands with her arms
Folded across her chest,
A sign of  modesty  or diffidence.
“Enter,” she says. “Enter.”
Through a window, the sea surges.
Breaking waves seem to ask:
Why are you here? Where are you?  
Outside of this hour on the sea,
Who am I really?
Louis Phillips