Paul wrote so many years ago
that his "love lay waiting, silently,"
but I've got something on him:
my love may be waiting,
but not laying,
and certainly not quietly:
she'll have a big brass band,
and she'll turn out half the land,
when she learns that
I'm on my way home,
tired of being alone,
making my way to her,
looking for that harbor she provides:
safe, snug and secure;
elation will fill all Creation,
when she leads that celebration,
when my love dances
her waiting time away,
and welcomes me home one day.

March 31, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


echoing off the stone
that I roll,
I hear the wails
of her frail daughter;
the Kingdom will not come,
'til all such lambs
are slaughtered;
servitude's toll
is made of these trails:
taking many, saving some;
and though Proserpina's call
rings clearly to us all,
there is still one unheeding,
the only one whose grave
is neither shallow,
nor stinking:
her Mother searches on,
searches even her own thinking.

March 31, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

broken promise

the believed, but unspoken
be true to your country,
and to God,
and life
will fall into place;

now broken,
shattered at the foot of the stairs,
in the house no longer owned;
smashed against the wall
around the job that is gone;
crushed by the weight
on the soles of the feet
outside the food bank;
pounded by the furious misery
that walks the block,
looking for somewhere to turn.

March 30, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



she has a thing about the way
that I say Baby;
so I try my best
to say it a lot,
while trying to avoid
things like "maybe";

doing the best I can
to be the kind of man
that she wants to have
call her Baby;

and of all the availabilities,
she chooses silly old me
to bring her;

and that still knocks me flat:
to be the number one
for bringing her
and saying Baby.

March 30, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

spring peepers

I heard them again, last night,
for the first time in a long time
(a pity, but you can't hear them in the city),
and hands-down,
they beat all the other
harbingers of Spring
in their harbingering;
and as lullabies go,
well, crickets,
and Chopin etudes,
soft-spoken dudes,
and even un coqui,
have got nothing on them:
Phil Spector must be jealous
of their Wall-of-Sound,
as they gather by the hundreds,
from all around:

and just chirp the night away.

March 30, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Travel Destination: Tranquility Base (Moon)

For an out of this world travel destination, the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon is an excellent place to get away from it all.

For some travelers the lack of certain luxuries that they have come to expect at other places (air, water, cell phone reception, ect.) may be discouraging but with a little planning the heartier travelers will find the views well worth the little extra hardship.

Things to do:
Golf: With the low gravity it is possible to hit some incredible drives.

Four Wheeling: Drive over the virgin plains.

And of course there are fantastic views of Earth.

What you won’t see:

Stars, or at least not in the daytime. The suns glare makes it too bright to see the stars.

The Flag planted by the Apollo 11 crew. In the 40 years it has been exposed to the sun the ultraviolet radiation has destroyed the plastic the flag was made of.

During the day the Moon’s temperature is a balmy 107 degrees, at night it is a chilly –153 degrees so make sure to dress appropriately.

Local Culture and Cuisine:

Average Trip Cost:
Adjusted for inflation the cost to send 12 men to the Moon in the late 60s and 70s was $120 billion or $10 billion per person. That was an all expense paid round trip.

Health concerns:
Going to the Moon is a great way to lose weight. If you weigh 150 lbs on Earth (That’s a bunch of stones, pebbles, kilos and assorted plant material in England) you can easily lose 125 lbs just by being on the Moon.

Cosmic Rays are a concern, you will tend to see flashes of light as the Cosmic Rays destroy the nerve endings in your eyes.

Solar Flares can give you a lethal dose of radiation; it is best to schedule your trip when solar activity is at a minimum.

Things to ask your travel agent:

Make sure it is a round trip. If you accidentally book a one-way trip it could be decades before you can get a return flight.

Make sure your accommodations include, air, water, food, and toilet facilities. These need to be brought with you from Earth and you do not want to find yourself without them.

Of course you will want to bring plenty of space on your media for photos.


your mysteries almost tactile, as you pull
the covers over you, and all the while, I
thought I was in exile, but that wasn't really
true, it had more to do with you than with
we two, and nothing I had said or done gave
you anything remotely to revile, and when
you thought of me it always brought a
smile, and while I am not in exile, and my
faults to me seem tactile, you do not shy,
you come by, and we talk awhile, which
makes both of us smile, since we have at
least a mile or two left to go in this walk,
so we'll just while away the time, we'll just
talk, just we two.

March 30, 2009, for Kimberly.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


thin air

you will sit there,
and read this,
thinking to yourself:
"how cliché,
how trite";

but that is only because
you've not spent the night
watching us two,
with our
unbridled passion
relentless ecstasy,

creating our personal sauna
out of nothing but
each other
thin air.

March 29, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

whatcha doin'

you took a path that was hard to walk,
and you still like to linger a while,
but you're not much anymore on talk,
though your voice still has that smile:

when I looked back,
you were gone;
a lovely concerto,
turned into an ordinary song

where it goes from here I don't know,
most likely a way that is way unclear,
looking for something behind that rainbow,
hoping to wind up with someone here:

when I looked back,
you were gone;
a lovely concerto,
turned into an ordinary song.

March 29, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


los besos

as big as the ocean,
and as strong as the moon:
you've got the kind of action
that can make me swoon;

los besos fantastico, baby:
enough insistence
to keep me from maybe;
enough heat
to keep me warm all day;
more than enough
to make me stay;

los besos fantastico:
the way I want to be,
the way I want to see,
the way I want to go:

trapped at the end
of los besos' rainbow,
trapped by those kisses
that always let me know,
that always let me know.

March 28, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

the 1970s

like Joe Namath,
better-lookin' ev'ry day,
and Chicago in the '70s,
stronger ev'ry day;

this newest generation:
boy, what a mess they will have
to clean up:

ev'rything turned upside down,
inside out,
and yet spangled still;

and we had such
big ideas
and noble purposes,
when we began.

March 28, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

write something with me

as Regina Spektor sings at my feet,
I think to myself
I may not be able to make you prettier,
and you might fall short of dragging me
through handsome-land,

but nothing would be better
than to spend forever with you
just the same:
you teach me the feelings,
and I'll give each one a name;

your passion and style
melt into my rhythm and
form a slightly warm pile
of deliciousness that can
take a while
to seep through;

write something with me:
let's see where it leads,
what kind of fun
we can get into.

March 28, 2009, for Kimberly.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

The financial meltdown as explained by Sean Penn

In the last eight years the economy was driven by “Trickle Down” theory which means that bankers and the smarmy pundits in the Bush Adminstrations pocket – those who bathe in the moisture of his soiled and blood-soaked underwear, would shake off the moisture on the rest of us.

As the investors turned their backs on the manufacturers whose hard work, sweat and tears bathed the nation in the cleaning purity of American pride and allowed everyone to eat from the fruits of their labors, and instead embraced the bankers and smarmy pundits so they could lick their butts to receive the drops of moisture left over from Bush’s soiled and blood-soaked underwear.

After eight years of squeezing the American Workers to gain more blood for the soiled and blood-soaked underwear at the cost of their jobs making the fruits of American labor rot on the vine as the American sweat dried up and was replaced by the moisture of soiled and blood-soaked underwear.

With no fruit the American Workers blood became thick no longer supplying enough moisture to allow the bankers and smarmy pundits to bathe in the moisture of Bush’s soiled and blood-soaked underwear.

Investors continued try to lick off the moisture from the bankers and smarmy pundits butts, however their asses were dry as they got no American Workers Blood to moisten their soiled and blood-soaked underwear.

Now it is urgent we return to eating the fruit that has been grown from the sweat of American labor and no longer rely on the moisture of Bush’s soiled and blood-soaked underwear.



A Few Minutes with Betty, Chapter 1: "I Am No Pretty Maid" (or "Headshots Are Not Just Photographs")

"Hey, long time no chat, Betty; wassup?"

"Nothing. I just thought more people would care that I disappeared."

"Well I was gonna IM you this morning, and then the day got away from me; working on this school budget story with lotsa numbers, and my brain got overwhelmed; I felt blonde for a while."

"Yeah, yeah."

"So you came up for air, only to break the break with long moments of silence? It's all true, I tell you, true, true, true. You know how much I love you. Plus I've noticed that you appear offline when you are online. Are you hiding from someone? Like Michael? And where were you on the evening of the 22nd? And who did you have coffee with last Tuesday? And if a man types in a chat, and there is no woman to correct him, is he still always wrong?"

"Yes. And for your information, Michael has emailed me several times to check on me. So Ne Ner Ne Ner Ne Ner."

"Dammit. F-ing Michael always beats me to the punch no matter what I do."

"Hot stupid boys are like that."

"So why did you vanish? Secret ops? Black bag work for the Feds? Forgot how to turn on your 'puter? I turn on my 'puter by whispering sweet nothings into its little electronic ears."

"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

"You always want to kill me. You want to kill everyone with headshots."

"True, I always want to kill everyone. I just happen to be very good at headshots."

"The world is just your big shooting gallery, and we are all ducks or pretty maids all in a row. I'm one of the ducks, of course; I'd have been one of the pretty maids, but I look silly in pumps. Plus, I have a crewcut. Pretty maids don't have crewcuts."

"You are really weird."

"Yes, but that is one of the reasons you love me so much."

"You keep thinking that."

"That quintessential weirdness, like one of those Animal Planet shows about the odd little fish that live in the dark."

"I like those shows."

"Well me too, actually. Especially since you are so good at headshots."

"My favorite show of all time is 'UnWrapped.'"

"What's that about? Strippers?"

"They show you how they make snacks and desserts and all the fun foods; once, they did it all about hot sauce. And everything in life is not about strippers or sex."

"Oh, that sounds like a fun show. Do they have any strippers in it?"

"It's an awesome show. And you are obsessed with strippers. And sex. You need to see a professional for some help."

"I used to watch "How It's Made"; that one is cool. But there's no sex in it."

"The kids like that one. Of course there's no sex in it, it's about how things are made in factories."

"Well, I'm just a big kid, ya know, amused by the simple things."

"I could not have said that better myself."

"I got made in a factory. Damn near got both of us fired."

"You are incorrigible."

March 27, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

3 TV and Movie Characters that really aren’t suited for their jobs.

Scriptwriters love to give their characters strange quirks and powers that make them do their jobs better than other people, the only problem is they then have to rearrange the job so it fits that characters power or quirk. In the real job the power would actually get in their way. Here are three examples:

Deanna Troi:

Power: Empathic (Ability to sense others emotions)

Job: Counselor

Why this power would make her bad at her job.

Deanna works on the starship Enterprise counseling the crew and their family members. This is a pretty cushy job as the crewmembers are supposed to be the best and the brightest in the federation. They all have had extensive psych evaluations and are pretty emotionally stable.

This stable crew leaves her time to help out by reading the emotions of stray aliens and tell Picard “I am sensing great joy and gratitude, great joy and gratitude.”

She can do her job because she is on the flagship of the federation, but what if she didn’t get that post? What if she had to start out as an intern in a federation rehab clinic, and was surrounded by individuals whose brains were undergoing withdrawal pains?

“I am sensing great joy, no deep depression, no extreme horniness, no great anger, no uncontrollable hilarity, just pick a damn emotion already!”

She would have to deal with people who have totally lost control over their emotions. The randomness of it day in and day out would overwhelm her and she would have to find a new job.

Wonder Woman

Power: Goddess

Day Job: Lt Dianna Prince of the military intelligence.

Why this power would make her bad at her job.

Two words: Security Clearances.

Although in the comic and later TV series they totally ignored the fact the Babes of Paradise Island never came in contact with the outside world since the time of the ancient Greeks they all spoke perfect English. At the very least they would have some sort of accent which might raise some intelligence officer’s eyebrow during one of the most xenophobic times in America.

Even without the accent the War Department wasn’t exactly the sort that let just anyone wander through their offices. The background checks were pretty thorough and even with divine forging skills Wonder Woman would have a tough time coming up with high school classmates for them to interview. This would launch an investigation and she would have intelligence officers watching her every move intensely. Probably quite a few would do it on a volunteer basis.

Her every move would be watched and it would be impossible for her to slip away and take off in her invisible jet.

King Kong

Power: Giant Ape

Job: Feel up Fay Ray or Jessica Lang and countless others.

Why this power made him bad at his job.

He is a big Ape. Although he did manage to get the Black South Pacific Islanders to supply him with babes, I think his being a huge ape slowed down the amount of feeling up he could do.

losing Fargo

predictions of a Red River crest
of forty-three feet,
for as much as seven days,
make the last such
liquid Hell
the one in 1897;

and so while
sandbags go "plompf"
on top of each other,
and cracks appear
in a levee:

prayers escalate,
as tensions enervate,

and every face in town
carries the same
mournful frown:

what if the whole thing
is left to drown?

March 27, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


March 26, 1982

twenty-seven years ago today,
and even though
so much went astray,
well, still three good reasons
to stand up and give
some rousing applause:

that you accepted
that drink
from my bartender pal,
and that
for a good long run,
we did a few things
really right,
and that
on balance,
by most standards,
we had a lot of fun,
even though neither of us
turned out to be
the one.

March 26, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

la chica con azucar y mi

love is one of the few things
that gets bigger
the more that you give it away;

bossa nova, baby:
we are a perfect fit in every way;

once or twice or so in a
something like this happens:
neither fast or slow;
la chica inmortal,
amor inmortal,
desde mi a tu
from me to you
desde tu a mi
for an eternity

un inmortal milagro;
and to see it grow:

just with our hands,
just with our lips,
my fingers find their home
resting gently on your hips;

vibrarse y nos espiral
de arriba y abajo
some sobs, as our throbs
come and go;

no estoy loco
no esta loca, chica:
este amor es verdad;

su toque,
su toque es que yo necesitar,
el toque magnifico
el toque para su corazon
stretching the horizon
el toque de amor
what feelings are for;

me gusta su besos
in secret places
y su abrazo
strong and secure,
never letting go;

me tire un beso,
and I swoon:
we make the moments
hacemos los momentos
we take the moments
tomamos los momentos
we keep the moments
tenemos los momentos
we are the moments
estamos los momentos:
stolen time for stolen hearts,
hearts afire
with more than mere desire:
la chica con azucar y mi.

March 26, 2009. Tu conoce, girl. You know who you are, chica.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Reality Fights Back

Down in Texas there was a bitter fight to shield kids from the reality.

From Bad Astronomy:

The State Board of Education voted on the science standards — the list of basic scientific knowledge students should have at various grade levels, like knowing that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter, the Earth goes around the Sun, and — say — evolution is the basic and most fundamental aspect upon which all of modern biology is based.
Creationists on the board (and there are many) tried to water down the standards by creating a phony baloney "strengths and weaknesses" amendment, a totally bogus and arbitrary rule that says that teachers have to point out where a theory has faults. They did this specifically to weaken the teaching of evolution in biology classes. They don’t actually care if the students get a solid education on the fact of evolution, they only care to tear down real science and replace it with Biblical literalism.

Science wins in Texas.

The Texas School Board voted 7-7 on the amendment, it needed a clear majority to win.

For those who think that teaching the “Strengths and Weaknesses” of a basic scientific theory can’t do much harm, here is a few scientific theories that have some Weaknesses:

Gravity is a fundamental force of the universe. However like all theories it has some “flaws”.

Although we can observe the effects of gravity, if you drop something it will fall. We have no clue as to what gravity (as a fundamental force) is.

It current approach to account is to treat it as a form of energy couples with spacetime to create the geometries that cause gravity. This is wrong, scientist know it is wrong but until a less wrong theory comes along this explanation works (mostly).

This weakness in the Theory of Gravity shouldn’t stop kids from being taught about Gravity because these weaknesses don’t come into play until you are studying relativity/quantum mechanics and you have plenty of time learn about it in your first few years of college.

If the 7 Texas school board members still want to see if a theory that has weaknesses should be taught, they can go to the top of a high bridge and step off. I will use the “flawed” Theory of Gravity to predict the exact second they will land.

Matter and Energy

“Matter and Energy can neither be created or destroyed. Merely transformed into a different state.”
Is something I had to learn in 8th grade, it holds up in most cases until the very small. It runs into problems at the very smallest scale. Max Planck observed that energy acts like integers 1,2,3,4 and so on. So it is not a straight line. In photoelectric cells atoms happily sit there absorbing less than 1 unit of energy until they reach that magical 1unit and then they release it.

While the atom is absorbing the energy, it is gone from the universe only to reappear when it is released.

Should students be taught that it is fine to work on a perpetual motion machine because of this one little loophole in Spacetime?

For the 7 Texas school board members I’ll be happy to rig up a series of photoelectric cells and attach the electrodes to their private areas and they can tell me if they believe in matter and energy.

Naturally I could go on thinking up ways to torture the 7 Texas school board members with Theories that have “Weaknesses” in them but I think it they read this they will get my point.


the meeter

needs, wants:
what are desires,
but extra dips
in life's fonts?

it doesn't matter
much to me
for the rest of this ride,
I'm running with scissors,
and I won't keep my arms inside:

like Springsteen,
when they say
Sit Down!
I'm Standing Up;

meeting needs,
desires and wants:
and splashing the water
right out of those fonts.

March 25, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



capable of nothing,
apropos of everything,
I worry
that I may join
the frozen,
locked in cages
of our own fabrication:
too much to lose;
can we afford
much less

I do not know;
as Rundgren said:
"if we had known
what to do, we would have
gone and done it
for ourselves."

so I grab my piolet,
and rise, grinning.

March 23, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

twenty-six buttons

Spring was due
last Friday,
yet prognostication
remains for betting fools,
as that long, black
hides the silky softness
that separates
my roughness
(you asked that
I not shave today)
from the heart of you;
miles, just feeble measures --
smiles, signs of treasures --
and that dark, soft garb,
by virtue of its length,
features thirty buttons,
neatly spaced,
carefully placed,
on the path
to your center;
gravity or something
pulls me,
as you slowly
overcome me.

March 23, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



none of this, not the feelings,
nor the crafted descriptions
or the sometimes clever rhymes --
none of any of this work,
or the words that assemble
on the parade ground that is
this very page --
will ever be able to conspire
to make us even,
you and I;
just like Billy Collins's lanyard,
it is, however well-done and
just not up to the task,
and yet just like the boy
trying to repay his mother
with woven plastic,
I try in these lines to somehow
offer equivalence
for all that you give me,
for all the songs that you enable
my heart to sing:
and yet for all my intentions,
we will never be even;
the beauty of you and I is
that we never need to be.

March 22, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

The 4 Greatest Diets Ever.

#1 The Russian Federal Space Agency diet.

How the Diet Works:
The Russians will ferry you up to the International Space Station where you will be effectively weightless.

How much can you lose:
Take your current weight and subtract zero, that is the amount of weight you will lose.

You go into space.

It costs about $20 million and it only last for a week. Think of it as a Yo-Yo diet.

#2 The Heisenberg Uncertainty Diet

How it works:
From your vantage point before getting on the scale you may or may not have lost weight, therefore if you never get on a scale you will never know if you ever lost weight, or how much you have lost. So from your vantage point any number of pounds lost is just as likely as any other so you just have to say the amount you think you lost.
This is a more refined version of the total denial diet.

Easy to Stick to.

Has zero health benifets.

#3 The Dark Energy Diet.

How it works:
You simply replace some of your regular gravity with Dark Energy (also referred to as Anti-Gravity) as other objects like the Earth exert less pull on you the pounds will drop off.

You don’t have to change your normal routine, unless you cause a rip in Space-Time causing the destruction of the Universe to be focused on the spot you are standing.

The potential destruction of the Universe is a biggie. The fact that at this point Dark Energy is just a mathematical construct makes it hard to obtain.

#4 Eat sensible meals, exercise regularly, and have illnesses examined by a doctor.

How it works:
Eating sensible meals reduces your caloric intake while the exercise increases the amount of calories your body burns. Checking with a doctor will find any health problems that can restrict the effectiveness and will help you find a way around the problem.

You will be healthier and live longer.

It’s a lot of work. Also if you are American you probably lost your healthcare so are unable to see a doctor.


The Gentleman


"It is the duty of the gentleman to ride,
to shoot, to box, to fence, to swim,
to row and to dance. He should be

"If attacked by ruffians, a gentleman
should be able to defend himself,
and their women from their attackers."

"A true gentleman is one who has been
truly fashioned after the highest mode."

I cannot be everything you need me to be,
even if I tried; I can only try to be
everything that you want. If I am seen
to be graceful, it is because everyone
sees you on my arm.

I am not Superman any more than you
are Lois Lane. But the hounds of hell
will not keep me from dying for you, if
that is necessary.

I am very much a work in progress,
always trying to learn and always learning
to try.


"Use your manners. A good manner is
the best letter of recommendation among
strangers. Civility, refinement and
gentleman are passports to hearts and homes,
while awkwardness, coarseness and
gruffness are met with locked doors and
closed hearts."

I know how to say thank you, but taking a
compliment is still hard for me to manage.
I am not without sophistication, but I try
to never let it get in the way of being real.


"Open the door. If passing through a door,
the gentleman holds it open for the lady,
even though he never saw her before. He also
precedes the lady in ascending stairs and
allows her to precede him in descending."

I will try to treat you as my equal, my partner
in life, my best friend and confidante, and as
one with whom I would trust my life, and the
lives of my children.


"No smoking. It is not deemed polite and
respectful to smoke in the presence of ladies
even though they are amiable enough to
permit it."

I have my faults, and my vices, all of which
I wish did not belong to me. They make up
who I am, for better or worse. I will accept
yours, if you will accept mine.


"Hats off! The gentleman removes his hat
when entering a room where there are ladies
present. When he greets a lady friend, he
should raise his hat gently."

I remain in awe of the blessing to me that is
you, and the love that you give me. I will
never pass up a chance to remind you that
I love you.

March 21, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All right reserved.


these waters on which we tread
don't seem so deep
on the first glance --
not so cold,
that love had no chance --
but once surrounded,
they get murky,
and where we find ourselves,
not so plainly bounded;

who are we
to blithely cast aside
a lovely mystery,
a new-found tide,
made to ebb
just for you and me?

wrong and right
get cloudy late at night,
and solace gleams
in neverending dreams
of knowing you,
wrapped in bedclothes,
wrapped in my arms so tight,
wrapped in my arms so tight;

water is deeper
when viewed in the light.

March 21, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the things he sees, so everyday;
and yet their ubiquity masks them,
making them only swept-by mysteries,
colliding with the sunset in a cracked rearview:
eyes narrowed from too-constant focus,
and heart worn thin by the 'eines and 'tines;
his mind's eye no longer a blank canvas,
he lives his life through pictures in magazines;

the dots of landscape fly by and coalesce,
painting a picture he cannot look at:
stories gone as he wanders lonely,
looking for the next good food stop;

and the road hides behind him,
just as much as it lays before;
all he needs is some more,
some more road to get to the end;
more asphalt is his only friend,
since he leaves so much behind;
moving on is just a way
of alternately remembering
and forgetting,
depending on the day;

each trip more than just
a destination,
it's that constant moving,
that gives him just a little

March 20, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


when I consider them all,
in a great, long, fluid line,
stretching out over the years,
they all, each one, really have
taught me a lot;

some, intentionally, and some
just by having been part of that
eventual chorus line:
never cast as a high-kicking group,
but each entering
individually, becoming
part of my
limited engagement,
and giving performances
that sometimes brought the crowd to its feet,
and othertimes brought the house down;

some of them
I loved more than others,
and still others,
I loved better than some;

and now, although I can bring most
into the white spotlight,
for a final bow,
mostly they all
just blend together
except for you.

March 19, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


Too Funny for words

When English Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to visit President Obama he choose his gifts wisely.

The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.

In return President Obama gave him a set of 25 DVDs.

This would be a bad enough exchange of gifts but the DVDs had the DRM region coding for North America so they won’t even play in England. Engadet reports.

That is just too funny to think up a punchline.

File this under “Shut Up” Stewart vs. CNBC Round 4

In the “Art of War” Sun Tzu says the most important thing is to know when to fight and when not to fight. I guess CNBC doesn’t follow the Art of War any more than they follow the rules to good journalism.

For those of you who haven’t been following the latest media war, about a month ago CNBC commentator Rick Santelli had an on-air rant where he asked why the stock traders who made huge amounts of money under the deregulation of the markets should pay for the “Loser’s” mortgages.

That same week he was scheduled to appear on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. Someone must have warned him that Stewart would use that rant against him so he canceled.

The Daily Show went ahead and ran that clip as well as some great clips from CNBC where their commentators made wildly bad stock picks, like Jim Cramer recommending people hold on to Bear Stearns stock three days before it went from over $60 a share to $2.

If CNBC had left it at that they would have had to eat some humble pie, and the whole thing would have been forgotten about. But Jim Cramer decided to make it personal. He went every NBC show he could, including Martha Stewart, saying how Jon Stewart was being unfair to him. (Just a tip if you are being accused of playing dirty tricks with stocks, hanging out publicly with someone who went to jail for Insider Trading is not a smart play.)

Naturally The Daily Show had to hit back and did an entire segment on bad advice given by Cramer. For some reason Jim Cramer decided to answer those allegations and agreed to appear on The Daily Show.

To be kind to Jim Cramer I will just say that he got his ass handed to him, after Jon put it through a meat grinder, handed off to Emeril Lagasse who fried it up Creole style with special seasoning and onions and “Bam, just like that” Cramer was humiliated. Other commentators haven’t been as nice to Cramer in their description of that interview.

Stewart was hitting him with things that no one could justify like: "Listen, you knew what the banks were doing, yet were touting it for months and months," Stewart said during his March 12 show. "The entire network was. Now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst."

The beat down was so bad that Cramer canceled all his post Daily Show interviews.

If CNBC had left it at that they would be able to slowly shift the blame of their bad journalism to the entire news industry. CNBC turned into cheerleaders for the financial industry just like the rest of the news had been cheerleaders for Bush when we rushed to war with Iraq.

Instead of quietly trying to smother the flames, NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker has decided to grab the nearest Gasoline tanker and pour its contents on the embers. At the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York, he said that Stewart was being “Unfair” and “…to suggest that the business media or CNBC was responsible for what is going on now is absurd."

To say that reporters should ask follow up questions and not just serve as PR flackys for companies when they are lying is absurd? I can’t wait until Monday to see Jon Stewart’s response.

Although CNBC is being incredibly stupid in their handling of this, they may be doing the nation a great service by inviting Stewart to look over the network news practices with a magnifying glass. If this war keeps on long enough maybe the entire news industry will see why people no longer find them credible and that is why the whole journalism industry has gone into the tank financially and some mainstream outlet might just start reporting the truth instead of just repeating whatever their sponsors tell them.

Original Story Here.


a light bulb moment,
every once in a great while:

recollection of past wings,
remembrance of things,

and a crick in my neck
from looking over
a time-worn shoulder;

and I realize that
all my bright ideas,

won't help me with
this hill
or this boulder.

March 19, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



the rain slowly pelts the car windows,
as I sit here,
wondering whether
poems should evoke,
or emote,
or perhaps both:

should I try to make words
dance and then
sound like rainbows of rhapsodies
that carry you aloft,

or should I tell simply
of my sorrow,
of the ways that I weep
when I teeter on the edge of sleep,

when you float away?

maybe I just answered
my own question.

March 19, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

just like blackbirds

the remains of the blackbird
stare up at me
from the site of her final battle:
some decaying flesh,
a few bones,
and lots of feathers,
strewn on the ground
in a circle of deathstruggle;

I pick up two tailfeathers,
sleek, dark and nearly perfect,
for a remembrance
of both bird and
the quicker cat,
now sleeping,
belly full and
prowess reconfirmed;

it all reminds me
that we wind up
just like blackbirds,
except for the feathers,
just like blackbirds.

March 19, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

that morning

that morning,
when I heard
slow, languid jazz playing
in my ears,
and when all around us,
the whole world
just spun away silently,
and I heard you ask me
to make love to you --
it was the best,
and remains the top of the top --
because it told me
how right it was
between us:
how special,
how miraculous,
how treasured;
that morning,
when I fell in love with you
all over again.

March 19, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



we started out
with just us;
no goals,
no ambitions;
nothing but
leftover lust;
like newly
uncaged animals,
to explore
every crevice,
every nook,
every thing;
and while
we weren't looking,
what we couldn't see
suddenly appeared;
and when it
stared at us,
when it looked
in our eyes,
we had no idea
what it was,
or where it came from.

March 18, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Attack of the Space Bats!

Space.com has reported on a disturbing trend Bats are attempting to gain access to Outer Space by clinging on to the Space Shuttle.

According to NASA they have made several attempts in the past to cling to the Shuttle but always chickened out at the last minute. During the latest launch of the Shuttle one fearless Bat pioneer, NASA withheld his name so I will call him “Bat” Aldrin, clung on to the Shuttle as it lifted off, defiantly clearing the launch tower and probably riding much farther.

It is a well-known military saying “He who holds the high ground has the advantage”. For centuries Bats held the high ground as being the highest-flying mammals, until humans invented airplanes. It is obvious that Bats resent the loss of this strategic advantage and are planning on gaining it back.

The Bats will no doubt examine the details of “Bat” Aldrin’s historic flight to gather information on the Space Shuttle’s aerodynamic properties in an attempt to build their own Spaceship fleet.

We will never be able to see what the Bats are designing as they live in caves, or Evil Lairs as I like to call them. They are likely building an Evil Space Armada in these Evil Lairs as we speak.

The answer is clear we must restart the Space Race before we lose the high ground to these Avenging Astrobats.


there's a person in there

she arrives in the reception area
of the bustling dermatology practice,
at least sixty-something,
brought in by the muscular, young, uniformed man
who drives the ambulance
and delivers his pulse-possessing cargo;
her entourage includes
the loyal, white-haired husband,
the fulltime nurse,
and the soon-disappeared driver
who earned his company $447.10
for twenty minutes of work --
and he will be back for the
return trip home --
another payment,
another twenty minutes;
and in considering
the immense cost
and complicated mechanics
of keeping her alive,
everyone forgets, most of the time,
that besides a nine-digit number,
there's a person in there.

March 17, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

The financial crisis explained in alconomic terms:

This little story was emailed to me, the sad part is it is a good analogy of the financial meltdown.
I don’t know who the original author is.

The financial crisis explained in alconomic terms:

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Kansas City. In order to increase sales,
she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed
alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks
consumed on a ledger, thereby effectively granting her customer’s loans.

Word gets around and as a result, increasing numbers of customers pour
into Heidi's bar.

Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment
constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the
most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank
recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases
Heidi's credit limit.

He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the
alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these
customer assets into “Drinkbonds”, “Alkbonds” and “Pukebonds”. These
securities are then traded on markets worldwide. No one really
understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are
guaranteed. Nevertheless, as the exchange prices continue to climb, the
securities become top-selling items.

On Wall Street the Bank’s shares climb as they have managed to rid themselves of risky loans, they look to invest the money somewhere and they see that “Drinkbonds”, “Alkbonds” and “Pukebonds” are top selling securities so they invest heavily in them.

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the
bank (subsequently, of course, fired due his negativity) decides
that eventually the time has come to call in the debts incurred by
the drinkers at Heidi's bar.

However they cannot pay off their debts.

Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations and files for bankruptcy.

Drinkbond and Alkbond drop in value by 95%.; Pukebond holds up
a little better, bottoming out at 80% of its former value.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment
deadlines and having invested in the securities, are faced with a new
situation. Her wine supplier files for bankruptcy, and her beer supplier
is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is bailed out by the Government after dramatic round-the-clock
consultations with leaders of the principal political parties. With the new influx of money the bank gives out huge bonuses to the geniuses who saved their company by getting a Government to bail them out.

The funds required for this purpose are obtained by levying a tax on

Got it now?


and then some

when that certain longing
doesn't fade with the sunset every day;
when hours apart last forever,
and you need each other in every way;
well, then it might be
what you hoped it would be:
a union of souls afire,
wrapped together forever,
or at least as far as you can see;
good enough to count on,
dependable and ready whenever,
maybe even indefinitely:
the sounds of quiet combination,
two hearts beating as one;
the deep, steady certainty
of your breathing beside me:
all I could wish for, and then some.

March 15, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Bruckner knew

I wasn't sure how many violins it takes
to capture you in a symphony;
luckily, Bruckner knew,
all those years ago,
and he even went to the trouble
of writing it all down,
and others, many years later,
performed and recorded
Number 4,
so that I could have it for reference
when trying to find
the right words
to accompany all those
soaring violins,
and all the tender waves
that wash out of the speakers,
building, moment by moment,
andante, andante,
to such a glorious crescendo.

March 15, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

La Chica de los Ojos

I wish that I had been the one
who snapped the shutter
and captured your essence
in that photograph,
the one that caused me
to dub you
La Chica de los Ojos.

Every time that I see it,
it plays the movies
of your life,
as witnessed by you:

all the joys, laughter,
wonder, excitement,
searching, sorrows,
possibilities, scenes,
sadness, longing,
and hopefulness
that make up who
you are --
revealed in those eyes:
La Chica de los Ojos.

March 15, 2009, for Kimberly.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Great Phone Conversations 12

"I recognize your voice, you pervert. You're no police officer."

"You misunderstood me. I said he's right here, and he wants to talk to you."

"Fine. Put him on the phone, then."

"Just a second. His mouth's full right now."


March 15, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


If you were a sandwich,
I'd throw away the chips and pickle;

If you were a baseball game,
I'd hope for extra innings;

If you were an ice cream sundae,
I'd savor the whipped cream and the cherry on top;

If you were an omelet,
I'd skip the o.j. and the bacon;

If you were a sunset,
I'd wrap myself in your colors;

If you were a lilac, longing to bloom,
I'd gently sniff each little flower;

If you were my only candle,
I wouldn't need any other light;

If you will just walk with me a while,
I will always walk with you.

March 15, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


just for waiting

sad enough, it seems,
that even though
the heart relishes
the saunas of dreams,
that the season of hope
always ends in screams,
with the dawn of
the season of uncertainty:
the quiet of one soul,
bleeding out,
with a mere whimper or two:
never so bold,
as to shout,
just quietly staying
trapped inside a cage,
carefully built
just for waiting,
just for waiting.

March 14, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

on my knees

k.d. lang sang
of the
"mind of love"
and that voice
so melancholy
as I consider
the words
and what they
about me,
about you,
about us:
what is only
what is just
nothing that
gives a foot rub,
or scratches a back,
or finds the atm card,
or your keys:
what finds me,
on my knees,
on my knees.

March 14, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


They had Stanley's wake yesterday:
he died, they believe, sometime last Monday;
his ex-wife had called him
to see if he wanted a ride
to his doctor's appointment;
and of course,
Stanley did not need a ride,
he was dead in his chair,
in his apartment,
while his dog played,
and tried to get Stanley's attention
(probably wanted to go for a walk;
those two walked everywhere together);
that's how old divorced men die.

I didn't like seeing Stanley in that box:
I remember him with a grin on his face,
and a hammer in his hand;

They buried Stanley today:
I didn't go;
I was just glad that he is free.

March 14, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

X-Box Live Taking the World of Discrimination Further.

I’ve gotten some interesting comments on my blog when I commented on a story published in the Consumerist.com.

For those who haven’t read it, X-Box live is actively discriminating against people who identify themselves as Gay or Lesbian (or who have the word Gay in their name. So people with the last name Gaywood or Gaylord can’t use the service).

This is blatant discrimination against 10% of the population, but as a private company Microsoft does have the right to discriminate when they offer services to the public. However it is a really bad business decision.

So I’d like to talk about the economics of discrimination. In sales discrimination can help or hurt a company. When a company targets groups with their products it is a form of soft discrimination. Apple designs and advertises their products aimed at two groups of people, the non-techie creative type and the Super Hardcore Techie (Those who skip the GUI interface and use the UNIX core of the Mac). This allows Apple to charge a higher margin for their machines than other computer makers.

This works for Apple because they tap into a more affluent (generally) segment of the population and they have built their entire company around making computers for that segment of the population. As a result that segment of the population is more loyal to the company.

X-Box Live on the other hand is a service designed for individuals who have some free discretionary income, have free time, and like to interact with other live people while playing games (16-30 year olds).

It’s a fact that Gays and Lesbians tend to have fewer children and have them later in life than straights. This means when they are in their early adult years they have more discretionary income and more free time as they don’t have to spend it all on children.

On the other side of the scale are the homophobes, who like companies that discriminate against gays. On paper they make up about 20% of the population although I’ve found that a lot of people who fit the profile of a homophobe (Belong to an Evangelical Church or are Mormon, republican, ect.) have gay friends and have no problem with their lifestyle.

Even if they were the actual 20% amount that wouldn’t translate into larger profits for Microsoft as they tend to have children earlier thus having less discretionary income and less free time, plus the conversations they like to have like potty training, their kids marks at school ect. Don’t really fit into the X-Box Live’s chat system. “Take out that monster, BTW my kid got an A in Basket Weaving.” As a result easily half these people (the 22-30 year olds) would never become X-Box Live members anyway.

That leaves two more groups 16-18 year olds and 18-22 year olds. For the 18-22 most of them are either in college or the military, odds are they know quite a few openly gay people already and will just avoid openly gay players like they do with openly gay people in life.

That leaves the 16-18 years olds. They are too happy to be playing the game to worry about the other players life outside the game, so it’s their parents who would determine if they could keep their X-Box Live account. Any parent who thinks that the Gayness can be spread over the Internet probably thinks that violence can be spread that way too and won’t let their kid have an X-Box Live account to begin with.

Microsoft’s policy is to actively turn away 10% of the population that are prime targets for it’s services to appease a group of people that will probably not be their customers anyway. This is especially surprising coming from Microsoft since it knows it would be costly if they tried the same thing with their hiring policy it would make the labor costs to high for even them to afford.

Those of you who know me, might be wondering how any of this effect’s me?

It doesn’t directly as I own a Playstation 3 and I’m married to a wonderful woman. However I do like to have a choice, if they don’t start releasing games that can use the power of the PS3, I may have to switch to the X-Box 4 in 10 years or so. If Microsoft continues this policy then their Live service will be very slow to improve, forcing Apple to come out with a similar service to grab the 10% of the population Microsoft is abandoning.

Although I love the power of my Mac, I would hate to try and play an online game surrounded by Fanboys.


behind your shadow

tomorrow has a way
of turning today
upside down,
because it remembers
I remember yesterday too,
and all those tomorrows,
wished for and counted on,
mostly by me for a while,
just to hear you smile;

oh, what I wouldn't do
to make those dreams,
those rhapsodies,
still ring so true;

and you know, somehow,
that I am still here,
just a step behind your shadow,
just a step behind your shadow.

March 14, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


I remember that for years,
in school, at work in meetings,
I used to doodle;
sometimes a little,
sometimes a lot --
it helped me concentrate,
always has --
and now I find, not
doodle-filled pages,
but poems,
with lines from the conversations
around me,
phrases sucked out of context,
and used to make a point,
crystallize an emotion,
describe a scene,
paint a portrait,
express an impression
(never impress an expression,
or it will come back to
haunt you or hunt you),
give answers, or
even just ask questions.

My doodles, come poems,
have expanded
over time
to fill spaces
that I never knew were there.

March 12, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

wolf in the barnyard

I was supposed to be there
simply to learn more about writing
grant proposals;
pretty dry stuff,
but the leader was well-prepared,
knew her stuff,
and the whole session was great.

So why, ten minutes in,
am I a hungry wolf in the corner,
searching for red meat?
Why am I scanning
the twenty or so women in the room,
sizing each one up,
deciding among them
which ones would be
good enough to take over to
the Motel 6?
Which ones smile, touch their hair,
slip off their sweaters,
cross their legs, suck on their pens
or glasses, stretch casually,
arms back and up,
testing the waters?

Always hard to concentrate
when in the middle of the barnyard.

March 12, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


At the grantwriting seminar,
a eureka moment,
when the leader said:
"things that you didn't know
that you knew";
and I heard echoes
down the hallways
of the ancient Lukeion,
as Socrates himself
stood to proclaim:
"Yes, that is the Question,
and also the Answer."

Satisfied, the students,
the grantwriters,
smiled knowingly at each other,
recognizing each other
as the most accomplished,
professional, bullshit artists:
with degrees, and portfolios,
and clients, and proposals.

And each of them believed that
they knew all that they knew,
but they did not,
and knowing that makes
all the difference.

March 12, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


great books

Buk said in "the feel of it"
that "great books are the ones we need";
and so I wonder who is writing them
these days;
Is it you or me?
Is that even possible,
given the tiny little spot
that either of us occupy,
physically, emotionally,
rationally, intellectually?

I guess it depends on
what we need right now,
what you need right now,
and I don't know you,
or your needs --
I only know mine, really,
and even those, not so well,
from moment to moment,
or day to day --
so I have to try to meet mine,
and just hope that maybe
you have the same needs,
or that figuring everything out for me
will somehow speak to you,
maybe help you somehow,
maybe give you a voice,
maybe be great,
or maybe not.

March 12, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the heart burglars

The moon is full tonight,
and it is raining;
tough choices for
the heart burglars:
risk getting caught
and getting wet?
or just stay in
and wait for the
soul's darkness
and the arid conditions
that it engenders,
to give opportunity
a free rein?

Me, I am staying in tonight:
they find me anyway,
dark or light,
rainy or bright.

March 11, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


I know that sometimes
looks can be deceiving,
but I sure like the looks of you:
so I stumble and tumble
in your general direction,
not looking for love or affection,
just looking for what eludes me;
something that I'll remember
when I see it, when I hear it,
when it gives me chills,
when it replaces thrills
with something not as tragic,
something with a little magic;
something that can go on and on,
something that is at least as strong
as me:
so, if you're going to fold up,
like a cheap umbrella,
do it somewhere else.

March 11, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

doctor's office

they arrive
clutching folders
filled with many sheets of paper:
reports, test results,
prophesies of doom,
written in foreign languages;

they seem timid,
restless, even uneasy,
like uninvited dinner guests,
or the in-laws who always
stay too long;

they are here for some good news,
for a few milligrams of hope;
they pray that the end is not near,
even though sometimes at night,
they can feel His cold breath,
washing over their necks,
as they pour over their sheets of paper,
written in foreign languages,
looking for one familiar word:

March 11, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


You only get a finite number of them
(just like everything else,
everything that is just given to you,
without any reason, without any
payment, just given, just because),
and we all think of them
as so precious,
as so desperately in need
of protection,
of safeguarding them,
even hoarding them,
for use at another time:

When would you use you
hoarded heartbeats?
Is there another life
that you are saving them for?
Wrapped in cellophane,
sealed in a box,
for use at another time?

Thanks anyway,
I'll use mine now.

March 11, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Hey, Jim Cramer

For anyone who hasn’t been following the diatribe of a madman, when the Dow went down after Obama’s first budget bill passed congress, Jim Cramer and most of CNBC went crazy(er) and started screaming that that was Wall Street reacting badly to the bill.

Jon Stewart gave him a lovely tribute by showing some of Cramer’s great advise, like to hold on to Bear-Sterns days before it tanked and to buy it seven weeks before it tanked.

Today Obama signed that budget bill and the Stock Market went up.

Is Jim Cramer going to use his previous logic and say that Wall Street now likes Obama’s budget?

Or is he going to admit that the Dow is just an arbitrary sampling of a few random companies and its day-to-day fluctuations don’t mean anything about the direction of the economy, it’s only a useful indicator over the long term?

I would like to see he spins this, but that would mean I’d have to watch his show.

eye of the beholder

House Beautiful™ magazine,
November 2008:
filled with photos
of the unattainable,
custom-made for
the unthinking,
by noble craftsmen
of Bloodsucker Industrie:
all for one,
and one for all,
no biology,
merely brain chemistry:
what you don't need,
can't buy,
can't have,
at prices that make
most obscenities
seem like nursery rhymes;
everything for a price
(and to think they still
arrest for that on the streets):
places where no one could sit,
or live or belch:
the plasticine
come true,
and just for you!

March 10, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


To Serve Man, or Maggots. The Importance of the Federal Science Policy.

With the latest media fad controversy about Obama’s reversal of Bush’s ban on using federal money for Stem Cell Research I’ve noticed an interesting change in tone. The arguments are no longer about the whether it is more ethical to use these embryos (that are made up of roughly 150 cells) for research that could lead to the great advancements in the medical field and save many lives, or if they should be thrown out in the trash where the maggots can feast on them. The new argument is aimed at the entire role of science in government and society.

The big question is why should the Government pay for Scientific Research?

The simple answer is it pays. Every time the Government puts money into research that money comes back many times over.

During the Great Depression and World War II the federal government poured vast sums of money into Nuclear Physics, Aeronautics, Electronics, and Chemistry research. From this whole new industries spawned, Nuclear Medicine, the Airline Industry, Radar, Televisions, Computers, and Plastic. The change that this investment in science spawned gave Americans a lifestyle that was envied around the world.

The Soviet Union looked at how the US and the Nazis used government funded research and took that idea to go from a feudal state to a Superpower.

Where the United States got the surprise advantage over the Nazis and Soviets was using the idea of Big Science, not only for Military applications but for consumer goods as well.

Developing the science and engineering for the Jet Engine had huge military advantages of course, but giving that technology to commercial airlines opened up the entire country to air travel while the Soviets were still building their rail system.

The idea of building an indestructible communication system was a Big Science idea for the Cold War, then some guys thought up the idea piggybacking communication between computers on it and the DARPAnet became the Internet.

Faster computers were needed for the military and NASA so they invested in silicon chip research and Steve Wozniak figured out that the new chips were powerful and cheap enough to build a computer the average person could afford, and the personal computer industry was born.

In the 70s Japan took this idea of Big Science and skipped the military and put it straight into consumer goods. Knowing they couldn’t grow a company that could compete with Bell Labs and IBM they built a government run electronics research lab and turned the science over to the likes of Sony, Nintendo, and other Japanese companies as well as American companies that agreed to employ Japanese workers like Saga and Samsung (The agreement worked out so well those two companies moved to Japan).

The Japanese took their idea to all industries including the car industry. Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi couldn’t compete with America’s big three even with a trimmer management structure and (at the time) lower wages, so the Japanese Government invested in automotive science, engineering and manufacturing techniques so that Japanese car companies could have better engineered cars at a lower cost in factories that could retool in three years instead of five, making them more responsive to customer needs.

All of this brings me back to the original question of this article, if scientific research is so profitable, why should the Government pay for it?

For some of it the projects are simply too large for individual companies to do it alone, like the beginnings of the Internet. It was started in 1957 and wasn’t commercialized until the late 1980s that’s a thirty-year lead time, most managers are reluctant to take on a project early in their career that won’t pay of until after they retire.
NASA has an even larger lead time, manned space exploration started in the early sixties and private space trips are just now starting, a large profitable manned space industry is still decades away.

Some projects the scientific process works against individual profit margins. The pharmaceutical industry for example: Research into groups of drugs (like heart medicine) needs vigorous scientific debate so it is done openly by the National Institute of Health. Those findings (after 20 to 40 years of research and debate) are turned over to the Pharmaceutical Companies who spend 8 to 10 years researching the individual drugs. There is no profit for an individual company to do the groundwork, but the whole industry rises from the government research.

Finally some scientific projects benefit thousands or even millions of people but there is no way to make a profit from them.

In Bobby Jindal’s response to President Obama he railed against federal money being spent on Volcano Monitoring. The federal government monitors active Volcanoes in order predict when they will erupt. Before they erupt warnings are given out so that people can evacuate the area.

This has saved thousands of people and countless billions of dollars but there is no way that any individual could make a profit from it.

Federal money spent on scientific research is a good investment. So when Bobby Jindal makes fun of Volcano Monitoring, the people whose lives are saved aren’t laughing. When John McCain jokes about Grisly Bear DNA testing, research to determine the exact numbers of endangered Grisly Bear vs Common Bears, the ranchers who will have their land opened up because of this research aren’t laughing.

And finally when Eric Cantor says, "Why are we going and distracting ourselves from the economy? This is job No. 1. Let's focus on what needs to be done." The thousands of people with spinal injuries who will able to be productive members of society again, as well as all the specialists who will make a boatload of money from the research won’t see it as a distraction.

Many Thanks to ChristinaTM for asking that question; She is obviously not alone in not understanding why the anti-science policies of the last 30 years have destroyed the engine of our economy.



"I told you already, because I'm married. Are you like, a little deaf or somethin'?"

"No, I'm not deaf. I just can't hear bullshit. Been that way since I was like, 16, I think. Doctor told my mom that it was degenital or something, and there wasn't anything that could be done about it."

"Eh, you're a laugh riot. And it's CONgenital, not degenital. You might be confusing that with degenerate."

"Thanks. And sweet talk to boot. And you are slinging bullshit my way."

"Bullshit? You think I got nothin' better to do than sit here in this dive and bullshit you? Bullshit you 'bout what?"

"About getting' busy with me."

"And so what's bullshit 'bout what I said? I'm married. Fact. Not bullshit. Fact."

"Yeah, and I am the Walrus. So what? Married means dead, huh?"

"No, married means it is for him, not for every half-loaded dickhead that I meet in a bar."

"I am not half-loaded, but I can be a dickhead if I'm not careful. And with you, I can see that I am goin' to have to be careful. What I don't get is the 'it is for him' part, though. What, he is gonna to be deprived of somethin' if you and me have a romp?"

"No, he won't be deprived of anything. I won't deprive him. But I will know. Inside me, I will know. And then I will feel bad, feel guilty about it."

"But while we're doin' it, you won't feel guilty while we're doin' it?"

"Well, no, not while we're doin' it, no. But after, that's when I will feel guilty. Afterward."

"So how long does this guilt hang on you afterward? Is it like Chinese food, or a bad check?"

"Chinese food? Bad check? What, now you're talking in some code or somethin'?"

"Chinese food: gone in an hour. Bad check: haunts you forever."

"You are kinda funny, ya know? Kind of an asshole, but still kinda funny."

"Does that mean that I'm makin' progress here, or that you're gonna write my name and number on the women's room wall?"

"I don't have your name and number. And I don't write on other people's walls."

"I can give you my name and number. And does that mean that you write on your walls?"

"No, I don't write on my walls. I don't write on any walls. And what makes you think for a minute that I am interested in writing anything about you, anyway?"

"Because this is a big enough joint, and you are still talkin' to me."

"Heh. Does that line ever work for you?"

"I'll tell you after we do it."

"Heh. You are a real Johnny-one-track, eh? What if I say yes, what then? You take me down the street to the posh Motel 6, and give me something that takes penicillin to get rid of?"

"Naw. I give you the best lay of your entire life."

"Oh boy, there is one that I have never heard before. You should copyright that one."

"All I'm saying is that you should give it some consideration, that's all. Chance of a lifetime."

"Wow, you seem really serious here. Like you believe your own line. That's a little scary, ya know?"

"Well it's true, I wouldn't say it if it weren't true."

"Ha ha. True. I wish I had a nickel for everything I've heard that was supposed to be true and turned out to be anything but."

"Money? Are you talkin' 'bout money now?"

"Fuck you. No, I am not talkin' 'bout money, you jerk. I was makin' the point that guys say all kinds of shit when they are tryin' to get in your pants. This shit is nothin' new, nothin' new at all. What's that word? Clee-something. Dammit. You know, you've heard it before?"


"Yeah, cliché, that's it, yeah, so freakin' cliché."

"So, we aren't talkin' 'bout money, then?"

"No, I'm no damn hooker. I don't sell it. If I give it, it's because I wanna, not because I hafta."

"So what makes you wanna? What really makes you wanna? Lookin' for a better time? Lookin' just for some new, some strange? What?"

"I dunno. Mostly I don't look. I stay true to my husband. He does me alright. I got no complaints that every other woman doesn't have. It's okay."

"Okay? So okay is good enough? Not spectacular? Not out-of-this-world? Just okay?"

"Yeah, okay is okay. Nothin' wrong with okay. Sometimes, okay is enough. Sometimes enough is enough. Everything doesn't have to be like the best. It can just be okay."

"But deep down, when you really think about it, wouldn't spectacular, just once, wouldn't that interest you? Wouldn't having spectacular just once be worth it? Like you would maybe not have it again, but you would remember that once for the rest of your life?"

"I guess. I can't say that I've ever thought about it. But I guess it would be nice, just once."

"That's what I thought. Human nature. Everything's cool, everything's fine, but still, the possibility that you could have something unique, something spectacular, even if it was just once, well that's pretty enticing, ya know?"

"Maybe, yeah. But I wouldn't want to risk my 'okay' for one 'spectacular.' I'm not that much of a gambler. Never have been."

"Well who's to say there's any risk at all? I'm not talkin' 'bout anything risky here, just a little fun, a little romp between two grownups, is all."

"Eh, you seem like less of an asshole, maybe even a blue-eyed devil, but still, I don't need what you're sellin' here. Don't need it."

"I think you really are intrigued by the possibility. I think you are thinkin' 'bout it right now, and sayin' to yourself, 'Self, you should go for this brass ring here. Once in a lifetime, what the hell? Go for it, just once.' That's what I think is goin' on in that pretty little head of yours right now. Am I right, or am I not?"

"I'm not sure. Maybe. Maybe it might be worth it, but your bullshit about 'the lay of a lifetime,' well, that is just some bullshit that you try to use to pick up a new piece in a bar, that's what I'm also thinkin' right now."

"Oh no, that part is not bullshit at all. I promise you that. True. Every bit of it."

"Okay, so maybe I say yes. No tricks? No catches? No STDs? Just once?"

"Nothing but once. The lay of a lifetime guaranteed. I swear."

"Yeah, and if I am not so impressed after I see the movie, do I get a refund?"

"You'll be impressed, I guarantee it. You just have to realize that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and go for it. Live a little. Nobody's guaranteed tomorrow, so live for today, that's what I say. Live for today."

"Eh, you know what? It's early, but you are startin' to look better to me. Okay, let's go. Let's go so you can give me the lay of a lifetime, okay? Then I can go back to my life, and you can go back where you came from. Ha ha. Worst case, this will be good for a laugh with the girls."

"Deal. I'll get the tab."

"I'm likin' you more each minute that goes by, 'specially if you're payin' for my drinks. You're not so much of an asshole all of a sudden."

"Meet you at the door. Red Chrysler outside."

"Okay, but hurry up. I got some spectacular comin' my way."

* * * * *

"Oh my God, you were not makin' any of that shit up at all, dude. That was the most incredible sex I've ever had. That really was spectacular, awesome, freakin' awesome. I feel kinda silly for doubtin' you, dude. That really was once-in-a-lifetime."

"See, I told you. You are so satisfied right now, so totally spent, so freakin' happy that you took a chance on me back in that bar, a chance of a lifetime, that you're not gonna feel this razorblade until after it has gone from ear to ear, baby. And then, of course, it's too late when you realize what happened. See, just like I told you, you're never gonna have sex like this again. Once-in-a-lifetime."

March 9, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the creative process

me, a writer,
and Her:
someone she dismisses
as just a storyteller,
as if writers don't
just tell stories,
in addition to
lots of lies;
we were discussing
The Creative Process
when suddenly it
turned into
Something Else,
and she saw
That Look
my eyes,
Killer Blue Electric,
set on "simmer,"
and not wanting
to make light
of our talk,
I made her

an omlet instead;
maybe next time.

March 8, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

unexpected you

always, it is the unexpected
that brings forth
the crystalline perfection
that we spend our lives
trying to achieve,
as Billy Collins said,
in our "headlong rush to the grave,"
all of us wiser,
and each of us, a knave,
squandering time
on thoughtless moves and gestures
so much for our eternal conjecture;
and so I've found,
time after time after time
that the best of
what's around
is usually where I am not
looking, seeking,
digging, working;
I turn life's corners,
and suddenly,
there you are.

March 8, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

that river

the scattered remnants
of winter passed
seem so disorganized:
broken shells,
wasted seed pods,
last year's leaves, now brown,
and all the plans,
unmade, some
and others waylaid,
stunned by the ever-present
and the grains falling
in obedience to
an unbreakable law;
life is that river,
never visited twice,
sometimes like a bath,
sometimes cold as ice,
and plans and dreams
risen and fallen,
float by, disorganized,
when I think of you.

March 8, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

for the promise of you

at the sudden, insistent cries
of the seagulls, startled,
I realize that I have just
brought you
to this sacred place,
sacred to others for other reasons,
but hallowed by me
for all the beauty I see:
beauty that, while spectacular,
and even sublime,
cannot hold a candle
to the woman you are,
and this place, out on
the edge of the edge
of the world, reminds me
of how far I will go
today and into eternity,
for the promise of you,
for the promise of you.

March 8, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


big boys, quietly

never been sure why
when a woman cries,
the whole world pays attention;
but see a man sob,
and everyone looks away;
oh, sure,
"big boys don't cry,"
but that is
comic book reality,
and isn't worth
the paper it's printed on,
or the hearts it tosses
out the window,
or sitting and waiting
by the phone,
like I'm doing now,
like I do all the time,
crying silently,
so quietly,
so as not to disturb
anyone but me.

March 7, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

in between F and H

Where you want me to be, baby, now and
mos def eventually, right there, right there,
in between F and H, the only great place,
end of this furious race, the only place you
want me to be, now, then, and twentyfour
seven, the way to send you straight up to
heaven, the only spot that's got what all of
everything's got, in between F and H, the
only place where real is all feel, and there
is no space left for daylight, what always
starts out slow and never fails to feel right,
same way last week and same way tonight,
in between F and H, the place where I know
my place, tight in that tightest space, the end
of this furious race, the one that I always
let you win, the place you finish where I
begin, the way to let you know just how far
I am willing to go, the only way to know
for sure that for your illness I am the only
cure, in between F and H, baby, in between,
always will be, baby, and always has been,
the place that the race ends, where the pace
suspends, just for long enough, just for long
enough, to prove to you that I can go to
where you need me to go, faster, deeper,
steady or slow, ready to rock and always
ready to roll, whatever you need is found
right there, the spot where you never have a
care, the spot that is so supernova hot, no
need for anything more, no need to look
for another place, the place is the space,
the only space, in between F and H.

March 7, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

The Amazing Adventures of Gardenhosewoman, Chapter 1: Valium for Everyone! (or, "The Mudmen Always Ring Twice")

"Whatcha doin'?"

"Well I was getting ready to write a little more. I made lunch, ate, did laundry, got milk, and got eggs from the farm."


"Did you nap?"

"Yes, a small one; the kids. And it's raining and raining. I wish I had rain yesterday and the 60-degree day today."

"You should send them out to make a rainman; boy, those are hard to make; could take them hours."

"No, they would make mudmen. If it were warm, I would think about it, but it's 37 out."

"Oooooo, icemen!"

"Or really sick kids. That is worse than active kids."

"But if its mudmen, that sounds like a call for help to: Gardenhosewoman! Able to spray small children clean in one pass!"

"You are hilarious."

"What evil lurks in the hearts of the mudmen? Gardenhosewoman knows! One spray, and it's justice for everyone!"


"Good, I made you laugh."

"You are a nut."

"Yes, I am. I have proof; ask my kids, they'll tell you."

"Hahahaha. Mine are being very, very active."

"Well, that is when busy moms need 'SprayValium', the answer to overactive kids! Yes, just like the bug spray, SprayValium shoots a stream over 15 feet long. You can reach them without leaving the comfort of your couch!"


"And that's not all: order now, and we will send you PocketVal, the handy, pocket-sized version, absolutely FREE!"

"But will it work for overstressed bosses?"

"Call NOW! Operators are sitting by! (You didn't really think they were standing, did you?) And for overstressed bosses, nothing works better than SecretVal, our patented, palm-size squirter. One pass over the boss' favorite drink, and voila! Look for our money-saving offer on the back of Pop-Tart Cereal boxes today!"

"And what about those pesky telemarketers?"

"Ah, glad you asked: that is where our newest product, ElectroVal comes in. Simply attach the ElectroVal dispenser to your phone line, and turn it on. Each telemarketer gets a full dose, right after you say hello!"

"SWEET!" *dials the number*

March 7, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

LOL Frist Family

They say the first family is off limits to humor, but I feel they brought it on themselves by being so damn cute.

So if cute and adorable kittens aren't spared then neither are Malia and Sasha.

And the kids might have actually been thinking this: