The title of my last post got me thinking about how much time I spend on the first paragraph of most of my posts, introducing or setting up what I’m getting at — sort of what I’m doing now, except I realize that some set-ups are necessary and others could just as well be dispensed with, thereby freeing time for better things, such as reading your stuff (if that doesn’t ingratiate me with you, you’re just plain un-ingratiateable). My point is that this set-up is necessary in order to explain what I’m getting at here, OK?

Now where was I? Oh, yes — inasmuch as the drain on my brain is a pain to explain, each of my next x number of posts will consist of a single poem, un-introduced and un-set up….so don’t be upset if you’re on your own to navigate the depths of such odes as this:


Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray there’s been one helluva mistake.

No need to get all hot and bothered if you don’t ‘dig it.’ Simply send $100 cash or money order (if you order before 10:01 a.m. next month, add $10.01 because I’m kinda busy right now) to the address on your screen, and you’ll receive an explanation that’s as transparent as the address on your screen. Satisfaction guaranteed, or double your dissatisfaction back. As our gift to you, the first 100 callers will also receive who-knows-what absolutely free (simply pay an additional $101 to cover the cost of bs&h*). This offer is limited to the first 100 callers, and because I’m not giving out my phone number, the odds against your being the 101st (or later) caller are all in your favor. So act NOW! And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

*bullshit and handling



It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something. –Samuel Butler

Some time ago, after I’d written a number of posts lampooning America’s vainglorious leader, I was asked by a reader why I “hate” Donald Trump. I replied that I didn’t hate him, I pitied him — pitied him for being the kind of human being he is. In hindsight, I should have asked the reader, Does Trump hate those he insults? — i.e. “Pocahontas” Elizabeth Warren, “Little Marco” Rubio, “Lightweight” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (I suppose the Senator should be grateful Trump didn’t call her heavyweight), etc., etc., etc. My answer (and, I assume, that reader’s) is no — hate is something deeply felt, not a juvenile slur. Trump’s mocking is strictly gratuitous, like a bully who must put down anyone who, in his world, is a “loser” — someone in his way; an inconvenient object to be diminished or pushed aside. It’s not even personal (a “loser” is but an abstraction).

So, in deference to Samuel Butler, should I apologize for not hating Trump — or anyone, for that matter? Truth be known, the closest I come to hating anyone is God….that is, if I believed in God — the biblical God, the invented God of wrath, innocent suffering and mystifying absence. But I am a ‘default’ deist, left with a creator God, an impersonal God, a God with nothing to explain — at least, not until the next life (if there is one). The creator God never said a word or promised us anything — not on earth or after. Perhaps I should be jealous, for, unlike the creator God, there are times (like now) when this only-human creator feels the need to explain what I create. And yet, I get not deigning to explain — explaining ain’t easy. If I were God or Trump, I might not explain myself either.





A com-POSE-r BY ANY OTHER NAME (Part 2 of 2)

I am pleased to announce (as is often said when making an announcement) the proper pairings of birth names with noms de plume listed in Part 1:

a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5
e. 6
f. 1
g. 10
h. 9
i. 8
j. 7

Next (as is often said when making another announcement), I am pleased to announce that I have selected the following song from the requests made by readers of Part 1 to be played in Part 2, which I am pleased to announce totaled one request, which was a considerable help in deciding the final choice. So, after much soul searching — not to mention weeping and gnashing of my remaining teeth — here is the request winner:

But wait — there’s more! I have my own favorite song from the list. Composed by Eubie Blake with lyrics by Andy Razaf, here is MEMORIES OF YOU, with vocal refrain:

I close with the 1930 instrumental version played by Eubie Blake & His Orchestra:


A com-POSE-r BY ANY OTHER NAME…. (Part 1 of 2)

Tomorrow, Feb. 15, is the birthday of one of America’s greatest composers of popular songs, Hyman Arluck. Hyman WHO, you ask? Never heard of him? If you’re a fan of America’s Golden Age of Popular Music, this song of his is probably one of your favorites:

….not to mention this one:

You say you thought those songs were composed by HAROLD ARLEN?
From what I hear, no doubt they was….
of the wonderful whiz he was.
But before a wonderful whiz he was, he was Hyman Arluck, so born on Feb. 15, 1905. If you were fooled, you should be grateful because, as Arlen (nee Arluck) notes in another of his songs, it’s….

Speaking of which, I thought it might be fun (for me, anyway) to fool around with a selection of birth names of other great Golden Age songwriters (each of them listed with one of their most popular songs), followed by a list of their noms de plume in scrambled order. Unless you Arluck-y, you’ll probably be unable to correctly pair more than 70% of the names (but at least half are guessable even if you don’t know them):

a. Israel Baline (HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN?)
b. Benjamin Anzelwitz (SWEET GEORGIA BROWN)
c. C. K. Dober (BARNEY GOOGLE)
d. Vladimir Dukelsky (APRIL IN PARIS)
e. Charles N. Daniels (CHLOE)
g. Johnny Kluczko (RACING WITH THE MOON)
h. Edward Chester Babcock (LOVE AND MARRIAGE)
i. Andrea Razafkeriefo (MEMORIES OF YOU)
j. William Samuel Rosenberg (I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING)

1. Albert Von Tilzer
2. Irving Berlin
3. Ben Bernie
4. Con Conrad
5. Vernon Duke
6. Neil Moret
7. Billy Rose
8. Andy Razaf
9. Jimmy Van Heusen
10. Johnny Watson

In Part 2, I’ll post the answers plus clips of a few of the above songs. Meanwhile, if you’d like to hear one of the songs in particular, comments are open — please make a request. I’ve got a feeling I’m filling it.



If you haven’t been following this series, you don’t know what you’ve been missing (athough some might claim ignorance is bliss). If you are a follower, you may think the humor has been pretty juvenile. This first selection of Part 05 should assuage all concerns:

3 to 1 you now think this series is for the birds….but you ain’t heard nothing yet. Here’s a real turkey:

OK, I don’t need a straw vote to tell me the next selection has nowhere to go but up….

Now that’s what I call ending on a high note (as opposed to starting on a high chair). And so we come to the moment you’ve all been waiting for….

You’re welcome.


At the end of Part 04 of this series, I said it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, which wouldn’t happen until Part 05. Unfortunately, the fat lady has yet to show (something must be holding her up), so I’ll have to put Part 05 on hold. Meanwhile….

If you’re not having any fun, what’s holding you back? It’s good to let loose. For example….

….and Dance Around in Your Bones.

Think dancing sans skin is a stretch? Mark my words — stranger things have happened:

Getting back to the fat lady, I can feel it in my bones that she’ll show up soon — hopefully, in skin and singing. After all, who ever heard it’s not over until the fat lady dances (the very thought sends shivers down my spine). Verily, the future end of this series hangs in the balance. Give me (Post) five.


The first three posts in this series have been monopolized by guys, so what…do you say we turn to the gals for amusement? What a muse meant by that remark is more songs of the same type, but with ladies leading the way — as with this girl-before-boy title tune:

Beatrice Kay (1907-86), for the benefit of those who have never been to She-boy-gan, Paducah, Elmira, or Tacoma, was a NYC-born singer specializing in parodies of songs which, in some cases, have seen better days — but then, haven’t we all?

The quarrel of the story is that no matter what depths of depravity women fall into, men are to blame for it all (with the possible exception of mistermuse’s male followers). Therefore….

So, men, let us close by resolving to resist lady fingers, she’s-cake and all other such she-nanigans (no matter how tempting), O-Kay? However, this does not mean that Part 04 is the end of this series. If that’s what you were thinking, I have news for youse guys: it’s not over until the fat lady sings. You’ll have to wait 4 Part 05 be4 that happens.