Saturday, November 21, 2015

Troblems and Prubles

Troblems and Prubles
Come waddling westward
Biting at heels
With hatreds and zeals
With monkeyshine monies
And sugars and honeys
With dripping loose lips
That have sunk many ships

Troblems and Prubles
Rustle on rooftops
Hiding in walls
With muffled catcalls
With something to say about
Any and everything
There is no sin
That they will not swim in

Troblems and Prubles
Have answers for everything
Sing out of key
But they sing with such glee!
With choruses chiming
And words out of rhyming
And now they are saying
Goodbye with a grin
Because we all know
They will be back again

© LW Publishing 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


My eyeballs are letting me down.

The fact is, they've never been much to write home about. They've never been functioning at maximum capacity. For me, it's a way of life.

When I was a little kid, I tried to take piano lessons. I was SO excited about learning the piano. But the teacher told my parents I just didn't have musical talent. (This was said with certainty about an individual who grew up to sing, play drums, guitar, some keys and a little banjo to boot, not to mention playing in several bands and writing hundreds of songs.)

Turns out, the real issue was my eyeballs. They couldn't see like they should if the music was too far from my face, which it was, and no one knew about it until after I was expelled from the world of the Piano-Forte. What did I know? I thought that's what the world looked like. And my physical limitation had me branded as a "no talent."

I have lived with this eye thing my whole life and I am not really sore about it. At this point, it would be like being sore because you have brown hair or green eyes. It's just the way it is.

And now my eyeballs have started a new journey of instability and insufficiency. They call it "Vitreous Detachment." The inside of my eyes are sort of falling apart. People don't seem to realize, in general, how gooey and gross the inside of an eye is. But when it starts coming apart in there and blocking your vision, well, it's hard to ignore. It's like looking through a veil of snot floating in salt water. And it's stubborn. It won't move out of the way

I'm told I will probably not go blind. Probably. And I have to admit that I like seeing things. But I will still have to adjust to the pseudosnot inside my eyes, clouding the sunniest of days. I also have to watch diligently for other signs of trouble.

Your body, it seems to me, is supposed to be your friend. It carries around your taste buds, which makes eating enjoyable. I'm thankful for that. It carries around your brain, which is certainly helpful. But as time goes by, this good friend starts letting you down a little bit at a time. You start losing your trust in this old buddy ol'pal. But what can you do?

In this case, it's the only friend you've got.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Lettuce, or large chunks of ice floating in the ocean, it adds up the same. There are parts you can see and parts you can't. There are things that don't show. How come we don't use artichokes as a symbol for the human condition? Or rocks?

If we were able to unwrap one another, if we we're able to dive below and see what's underneath, I think we would have a very hard time living with each other. Sure, there would be some good stuff living in there that we didn't know about, but we tend, I think, to show the good. Of course we do. It's the other stuff that sits and waits for some tragic moment of opportunity to strike out at the world we fear.

Perhaps our ignorance is a kind of grace.

But what if you knew it all? What if you knew every tendency toward the darkness in the people around you? What if you knew every single dehumanizing thought that came to mind in the people in your life? Where would love be then?

For us, I think, it would melt like ice on a hot stove. Wilt like lettuce in the sun.

But the Creator sees it all and somehow still finds a way to love. It is astounding to me. And all I really have to go on is myself. I can only guess at the darkness in others. But I am fairly well aware of the darkness in myself. And even that is a guarded self awareness. After all, we have to live with ourselves, don't we? Don't we?

The truth is that I don't deserve any of the love I have in my life. But it's there anyway. And I'm thankful for it. And it teaches me to love in spite of the darkness; in spite of the things that are not seen.

© LW Publishing 2015

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


There it is. A painting of Isaac Newton. He looks like he could have been a member of Kiss. He would have been chased out of the Bible Belt in the sixties, right?

According to Mr. Newton, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

What this has to do with figs, I have no idea.

But I find that this truth is remarkably untrue when it comes to emotional energy and the realities of everyday life. In particular, it doesn't apply to the arts. Using religious ideas to express it, it seems to me that Karma is not only not true, it is practically a joke. No offense intended to those who embrace the idea, but almost every aspect of life among humans demonstrates that there is no balance to the force. Everything is about as out of balance as you can get, and there aren't enough Darth Vaders in the universe to bring it into balance, no matter what anyone thinks about it.

And then there's God. The real One. Who doesn't seem all that interested in our sense of what is balanced and what isn't. He's got his own scale and we aren't allowed to touch it. So sad, too bad. But, the truth is, we'd only mess it up anyway because we simply don't know the true value of things.


How have you been?

I've been enveloped in the process of change. I'm changing in subtle but distinct ways, and it's making me a little nervous because I'm not really sure where it's all headed. I wonder if I'm going to end up being someone I don't care too much for, or will I be someone I could hope to be? I'm starting to feel the inevitable pull of "aging." And I'm not really what you could call old yet. Or at least I hope you don't.

Thing is, you'd think that if you put in a lot of effort, you could count on the results to some degree.  You'd think you'd end up with some control over what comes next. But, alas, that's just not the way it goes. At least not always. Then again, who knows?

Certainly not me.

And by the way...

I've been writing a lot of new songs after quite a long dry spell.


I have no idea.

I like it but it can be a bit unnerving how things come and go. And they do. Come and go, that is.

Turns out that some beasts require a lot of fodder to produce a few little morsels of meaningful something or other. And feeding those beasts can get very tiring.

If you don't believe me, just ask all of those artists with unfinished works.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Call Me Cheap

 Here’s what I think I think:

I have discovered that the best way to get “into” a prolific author is AFTER that author has already been established and gotten a good number of books published. If you can manage to get “into” them a decade after they hit the scene, then you’re really going to be able to have an inexpensive, enjoyable, relaxed time reading their books. If you read them a decade later and they stink, then they were probably stinky to begin with. You just aren’t all caught up in the hype. Which is a good thing in my book.


Last fall I started reading the John Grisham books. In case you live under a rock and don’t know, John Grisham is a best selling writer of “legal thrillers” who almost single handedly turned the genre into a huge industry. His first big book was his second book, “The Firm,” which they made a movie out of. In fact, they made movies out of most of the books he wrote over the first ten years of output. The movies were pretty much in the category of “just okay” because they could communicate the plot lines and story ideas of Grisham (which is not his greatest strength), but they can not communicate the flair, simplicity, smoothness and readability of his writing (which are his real strengths). Movie makers have the same problem with writers like Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. John Grisham could write about pretty much anything, I think, and make it readable. In fact, I wish he’d try some other things more often. I’d love to see him team up with a horror writer and see what happens. Or just write a novel about monsters and see what happens. But that’s just me.

The point here, though, is that I didn’t start reading his books until this past fall. I started with his first (and one of his best) books, called “A Time To Kill.” This book was published in 1989, 24 years before I started reading Grisham’s books. I finally just decided to see what all the hub bub was about.

I didn’t give thought to this at first, but I really liked the book and have been progressively reading through his canon, like you would do with any author you really like. But, because I’m behind the times, I have been getting these books very cheap, on discount racks, at the library, or loaned to me by people who’ve had them sitting on the shelves for years, collecting dust since they read them years ago. As a result of this, when his new book came out last fall, called “Sycamore Row,” which happens to be a sequel to the first novel, “A Time To Kill,” I was not at all tempted to jump into the “gotta have it now” fray. I’m still way back at “The Broker” (2005). I’ve got plenty of time to kill (ha ha) before I get to the new one. And I’m happy to work my way to it, watching the price drop and drop as time goes by. Why? Because I am not a rich man and I think it is stupid of me to get something NOW for reasons that don’t make any sense.

I have stopped buying books when they first come out. That, I have determined, is for rich people.

So, you do what you want. I won’t interfere. I won’t judge you. But I’m going to go ahead and let those other people out there, hustling through the hurley burley, worry about reading the latest and greatest book by their author of choice. Let them pay top dollar to read it the day it comes out. There are plenty of those people and their obsessive nature will always provide retailers with big income and all the rest in our gotta have it now world. And when those readers finally give decide to clean house and donate that book to a book sale, where it will probably sell for a quarter, I’ll be there to pick up the pieces.

And I’ll enjoy it just as much.

Maybe more.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2014

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book of Life

I can't believe it's been, like, 5 months since I've posted on this blog. That seems crazy to me. I won't say that I've been too busy. I've just been focused on other things - and there are times when I just don't seem to have that much to say.

I have been taking a lot of things in over the past year; trying to listen and learn and assess things. A big part of that has been a kind of reading frenzy. I don't even know why, but I have read more books over the past several months than I have in a long time. I've read them very fast, like I used to back in the day, including a lot of novels, which I thought I was done with. Prior to this, I went over a year without reading a single novel. It was all biography and history and technical reading and such.


I don't know.

I've also been rereading a few things that I read over twenty years ago. Things I read and really liked. I liked them so much I kept them on shelves. I'm not sure if I ever intended to read them again, or if I was saving them for someone. When you read a great book, it becomes a part of you and it's hard to let it go. But I've been rereading some of those and putting them in the box to give to the library. I won't be reading them again. I'm saying goodbye. Moving on.

To what?

I don't know.

I wonder some times about the afterlife. I wonder if we'll write and read novels and do other artistic things for all of eternity. I like to think so. I like to imagine that all of the art we produce in this life will be like the crayon drawings of two years olds compared to what we'll produce with the wisdom of eternity. Even Mozart and Bach will be like kids stuff, which is hard to imagine. What they did seems so sublime and perfect. And yet, I can't help thinking that, as a race, we've only scratched the surface, and scratching is all we get to do until the blinders are taken off.

I like to think I have a book in me. I'm not sure. A novel, maybe. Or some kind of historical thing. I have lots and lots of ideas. The ideas I'm brave enough to even start writing are the ones that are the least interesting. I know, call me "chicken." I guess the idea is that swimming in the kiddie pool is safer than jumping into the deep end. At least to start. The other problem is that the patience required may not be in my bag of tricks.

We'll see.

For now I'll just have to continue to feast on the hearts and minds of others.

Yeah, I know that sounds kind of zombie. But it really is a feast.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Just turned 50. People act like it's a big deal. It's not.

Went with the Better Half to see a play in Indiana. Amish country. We weren't there for the play. It just happened to fall into the agenda. It was kind of surreal. A sort of rockish musical-dramady about a quilting class led by an older Amish widow with six stereo-type quilters: a biker type a goth chick a pastor's wife a bickering couple and a soldier. They all had emotional problems.. It was ridiculous, really, contrived. But it was still quite funny at times. The actors did well with what they had. One of the characters had about 80 percent of the funny lines. I thought, if I was in that play I'd want to be him. I'd want to be the guy who gets the laughs.

I can't act.

Found a book written by Eddie Cantor in a used book store. This was a world class, extraordinarily famous comedian from the same era as Jack Benny and George Burns. Vaudeville. Radio days. Eddie is now almost entirely forgotten. He didn't make the jump to films or TV like some of the others. At least not well. I'm sure a lot of people don't know who Jack Benny is anymore. Or even George Burns.

It's tragic.

This Cantor book was released the year I was born. It cost me $3.99. When originally published it was $3.95. Fifty years and it's only worth 4 cents more. Doesn't seem right. But I didn't offer more for it. I'd have paid less if I could.

They say a thing is only really worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

 Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2013