if he were still alive,
still here, plodding on,
he would have celebrated (?)
his birthday yesterday: 109;
in a few minutes,
I will make that familiar drive,
to visit his grave,
to remember him,
to ask him again,
"what was the question?"

too many questions, Grampa,
too many to count,
and too many that were
never even hinted at,
never even discussed
in polite company;

and saddest of all,
after all these years
of plodding, just like you did,
that I not only don't know
many of the answers,
but I worry that I haven't
learned many of the questions

Happy Birthday.

May 31, 2009.

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

congregation of one

with a steady wind
at about five knots
out of the south,
even the gulls are happy
on this bright, sunny
Sunday, sun-day morning,
which finds him rising early
as he has done
most every sun-day
of his life -- even the ones
that weren't --
and driving to the old church --
1827, to be precise --
and unlocking the door,
turning on the lights,
taking his place
in the front row,
hands clasped tightly:
quietly, reliably,

May 31, 2009.

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

smart worms

it would be nice to visit
the Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze
it is in Florence, Italy,
and while the city is home
to many living Italians,
the church is also home
to the remains of
and Rossini,
and was opened by
St. Francis
in 1294.

May 30, 2009.

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

extra wood and nails

he built his house
from the ground up,
and he built it well;
then he built a shed
in the back yard,

and he built that well, too;

from each, he saved
every leftover scrap
of wood and every extra nail:

the wood, he stacked neatly
in the shed, and when
the shed was full,
outside it, in the yard;

the shed had boxes and buckets
of extra nails in it:

one day, he would build
something else;

but his house was very comfortable,

and so now the wood and the nails
just wait.

May 30, 2009, for Grampa's 109th birthday.

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



the guy pulls up to the bank
and gets out of his fifteen-year-old
Ford Taurus station wagon;
he is wearing blue jeans,
a jacket that is a size too small,
and of course, a Red Sox baseball cap;
his beer belly
gives new meaning to the word
maybe he has a name for it,
maybe he calls his belly
he stops, eyes his right front tire:
it looks low,
and he frowns;
as he enters the bank,
I wonder:
has he made the connection?

May 29, 2009.

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

existenialism in the dollar store

the clerk attempted a smile
through her black lipstick,
and her black fingernails
cruised along the register keypad,
while her other hand
manipulated the scanner gun;
her low-riders showed
extra belly and love-handles
below her too short t-shirt:
she was either single,
or he just didn't care much
about how she looked in public;
she said "that will be two-ten, please,"
and I looked into her eyes,
and said with my best sincere smile,
"okay, but what is it now?"

her smile quickly faded,
and I paid her.

May 29, 2009.

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


Exit Music

Aware of the nearing end of the long, slow march, he nonetheless was surprised at a development that he had worked nearly his whole life to achieve: thinness. Not like some misguided runway model, puking her guts out in between lingerie shoots, sucking down seltzer water like it was really good booze, relishing every last bite of a stalk of celery, but like a prizefighter preparing for a big bout: watching everything going in for so long that it became almost second nature. Until that grew to be too depressing, and the call of the cheeseburger was loud enough to drown out the sound of oncoming trains.

The lifelong quest not to be overweight, which consumes most of the time, cognitive ability and money of more people than would fit in Central Park on a cloudy day, well that quest was a lot like Jason's, a lot like the guys sitting there hoping Godot would arrive shortly, and not so much like the one that Otis Redding made famous.

So the arrival of the wasting time, so long in coming (had it really been almost two years since he realized the scary truth?) filled him with a perverse sort of joy. At last, something, for all that he had accomplished, something that Mom would really be genuinely proud of: he would be thin. Just like Daddy was when he fell onto the floor of the dining room. Nearly skin and bones. But not exactly: no diabetes had burrowed into his insides, like Daddy. No, just something that was hungry. Hungry for all that extra weight: voracious, unyielding, incessant, demanding.

And for a great cook and avowed lover of food, there could have been no better news, no matter how Act III ended: he could eat most anything, and there would be no devil to pay at all, no regrets, no "fat clothes." Perfect. He would not leave a young corpse, like James Dean was able to do, but it would be a thin one, that was for sure. Thin. The word seemed so foreign that he had to repeat it, silently, on a regular basis to believe that it would apply to him.

He noticed too, that despite his considerable appetite, and his feeding of that beast, and a relatively light routine, day-in and day-out, that his strength was not what it used to be. The 37-pound filled propane tank for the gas grill seemed heavier that afternoon as he hoisted it into the trunk of the car. Once able to bench press 250, he doubted that he could manage 100 now, and he was still near 200 pounds. Muscle degeneration.

And so, with a good bottle of some sour mash, the question then became the proper exit music. He had always imagined that if there were any, if he did not die in a car crash or a hail of bullets, that it would be The Beatles. But suddenly, it seemed so far way, and he was torn between The Four Freshmen and Dinah Washington. Realizing that the boys would be boys, and that the testosterone would not be an appropriate coda, he opted for the swingin' Miss D, and set the machine on repeat. The rest, of course, is a mystery.

May 29, 2009.
Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

that way

directions taken,
right, not left;
or the reverse:
where we end up,
product of a choice;
how perverse
that even as we are never
sure which way to go
we are blind to what
we know, or should,
and what escapes us,
what could save the day,
we only learn when
tomorrow's shadows
morph into yesterday;
we replace foresight
with hindsight,
and in between,
our devils all play.

May 28, 2009.

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

cerrado, no, abierto

a door blew open
that we both knew
should have stayed
but we had not
knocked at all,
and we both figured
that it had opened
for some reason:
maybe it was just
for me to save you,
since I could not
save myself;
much as this hurt
surges and begins
to overtake me,
I would still walk
through Hell for you,
or beside you;
then, I learn that
we remain,
and joy knows
no bounds.

May 27, 2009.

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

sueño de tu besos

my lies and my wishes,
sunshine beating down,
dreaming of your kisses;
the woodpecker works his way
right to the heart of things,
while I try to catch my breath,
watching his steady rhythm;

your smile and your laughter,
oh, you know, don't you,
only a couple of the things
that I am after;

I'm such an open book,
sometimes you call me on it,
although I'm too shallow to notice,
often surprised that you
gave me a second look;

still, through it all,
dreaming of your kisses.

May 27, 2009.

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


considered our future once,
she was aghast;

I was too busy
following the steps of the dance,
while slaying demons
from the past;

don't worry, baby, I said,
hopefully time will pass real slow,
before heartache and dread
come up from below;

take today's sure thing
over tomorrow's "I hope so,"
who knows what it will bring,
who knows how far we can go;

now is for right now,
and then is for then;
I don't know, maybe
we'll be together again.

May 27, 2009.

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

here with me

sleep a deep sleep tonight my sweet,
sleep and dream a dreamy dream,
one that makes it seem
like tragedy never came,
like only good things ever remain,
dream a thousand times,
until all you dream is goodness,
until every try turns out
to be a success;
dream a dream, in a sleep
like no other,
a dream that will help you discover,
some more life,
some more love,
some more reasons
to spend all your seasons,
dark and bright,
here with me.

May 25, 2009.

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


the poem

none of it created out of thin air,
as it might seem to you at the time;
almost always built on ghosts
and victories, even tragedies,
events that once were really there,
or at least, really imagined;
and all it takes, most of the time,
is just a little concentration,
and a little memory,
and of course, those semi-colons --
they remind you to pause;
even for a brief moment,
and consider the words just passed,
over there, on the left --
and an image or two,
like the seagull standing watch
on the roof of the lighthouse,
and -- voilá -- the poem,
which is nearly done,
goes to abide with all the others.

May 24, 2009.

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

The Most Dangerous Enemy

The morning mist rose slowly and softly over the fields and the hills, as the sound of the gong called all of us to assemble for class. Being late, of course, was never an option for novices. It would be dishonoring the Master to be late to listen to him and to learn the Bushido. Without learning and training, we would bring dishonor on our families, but even more importantly on our respective Lords, who had chosen us to go to the Master for our training, to become bushi, a true warrior, hagakure, the samurai.

As we took our places and waited for the Master's arrival, there was an air of apprehension, a certain nervousness that moved through all of us. There had been talk that the day's lesson would be the most important one so far, and we were told that we were nearly ready for our armaments and our testing. None of us, myself especially, really felt that we were ready, inside, for the true test. We still felt much like little boys, and I questioned my own ability to follow discipline. Still, as we had been taught, uncertainty was the mother of death and defeat, and a samurai could never allow uncertainty to creep silently into his tent. To do so was the ultimate act of dishonor, begging for the release of death.

We all stood, as a required sign of respect, as the Master entered the room, and then immediately bowed low, as a similar sign of obedience. The air was still, but thick with the nervousness that we all felt under His gaze. We did not know how old He was, but He was clearly very old. Even so, He showed, time and again, such skill, such swiftness in demonstrations against far younger hanshi, that his prowess on the battlefield could never be in doubt. One hundred men could fall to his sword in minutes.

"Now, I ask all of you novices this question: among all those who you will face in battle, who is the most dangerous enemy? Who is the foe that you must use all your skill against to defeat, to maintain your honor, and to bring honor to your Lord? Who is," the Master said, "the one whom you must fight the hardest, using everything that you have learned?"

The silence, and the sweat of students put on the spot, grew immeasurably in that moment. No one stirred, all staring at the Master, as He stood over us, his eyes piercing each one of us. "None of you has an answer," the Master sternly intoned, "and yet you all are to become hanshi? How can this be so? How will you fight if you do not know your enemies, each and every one? If your enemies are found in the trees, you must know each tree. If your enemies lie among the snakes in the grasses, you must know each and every blade, each tiny leaf."

The Master's eyes began to search the faces of each one of us, one by one. As He looked at a student, a great struggle ensued in the student's body to avoid outright trembling, a sign of weakness that was not tolerated. To show strength at all times, this was at the heart of our training, the core of the Bushido. He searched the faces of each novice, sometimes moving up and down a row, other times randomly selecting one and jumping around the group. As I watched Him looking at a novice on the other side of the room, He suddenly spun in place, turning in my direction, and pointed His finger directly at me.

"You, Asakura, stand now," he commanded.

I sprang to my feet, lucky to keep my balance amid my nervousness. I summoned all of my concentration, all of my strength, to avoid the trembling that I felt deep inside.

"Yes, Master," I replied, head bowed.

"Tell me, Asakura, what is the answer to my question?"

Inside I was a frozen rabbit, unable to move, barely able to breathe, and still amazed that I was not only standing motionless, but that my trembling had not come to the surface. Outside, I knew that I had to appear confident, certain, unflinching in the correctness of my answer. As soon as I could decide what my answer was to be, though I had little time to think. Delay in answering a question from the Master was also a sign of disrespect, as every novice was expected to constantly consider and anticipate questions in the classroom.

"Yes, Master. A greatly skilled warrior, one with much training, and possessed of great honor, one who is skillful with both the bow and the sword, and one who can use his hands like weapons. That is the most dangerous enemy, Master," I said with all of the confidence that I could muster.

"WRONG!" the Master thundered, and for a split-second, I thought that I was going to faint, or at least fall over into a heap from the force of His voice. Somehow, I managed to remain standing, with my head still bowed, wondering what would happen next.

"Listen closely, Asakura, and all of you: training, and honor, and skill, and physical might are all formidable tools that each samurai possesses, and no man should be foolish enough to scoff at them," the Master said solemnly, "but they all can fall before one enemy: the man who has arrived at the same place as the samurai -- the same yo -- where he has nothing left to lose. He does not occupy that space as the samurai does, because of the need to live honorably, but rather because he believes that all has been taken from him, that life has lost meaning to him. He is like the cornered rat: his bite sudden, severe, and he will not release until he is killed. He expects to die, and though unlike the samurai, he does not welcome it, and wishes it were not his fate, he is without fear, without uncertainty, and is prepared to die. That, my students, is the most dangerous enemy."

Luckily for me, it would be some considerable time before I had to face such a foe. But when that time did eventually come, the words of the Master still echoed in my ears: "All has been taken from him, that life has lost meaning to him."

May 27, 2009. Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



"No, you can't."

"Yes, I can. And I will."

"I won't let you. You have no idea, the power that I have now."

"The power? What power? You didn't have the power to stay. Now, you have some power? Bullshit."

"Not bullshit at all, mi amor. Es verdad."

"Please, stop it with the love stuff. If you had loved me, really loved me, you would have stayed. Nothing would have made you leave if you had really loved me. What this has told me, amid all my grief, is that you really did not love me true, like you said that you did, like I believed."

"My leaving had nothing to do with loving you. I did love you, and I do love you. Try as you did, you could never understand the pain that I endured. You could never understand how it tore at me, how it emptied me. I don't fault you for that, my love. No one ever really understands it, unless they have lived it themselves."

"You could have stayed. Here with me. I could have helped you. You could have stayed, and been a mother to these children. You could have stayed and been my lover. Here, the possibilities were endless. But you chose to leave."

"I could have stayed? For what? More misery, more heartache? I had enough heartache for ten thousand lifetimes. No, I wanted to go. I wanted to be free of the ache."

"So it was the ultimate act of selfishness, just like they say. Is that it, is that all of it, just selfishness?"

"Call it what you like. Now I am free of it. The children will be taken care of. And my others, the ones who are here, I am here with them. To care for them. To have them safe again."

"I am following you. Now. You can't stop me. Staying here without you is meaningless."

Despite all of my careful preparation, each time I pull the trigger, the chamber comes up empty. No bullet. No sound. Nothing. I burn with the desire to join her, but she stops me. She does have power now, I can see that. But I will keep trying. One day, she will be distracted, and I will join her. One day.

May 19, 2009.

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


As most of you who regularly read my poetry know, I nearly always post only work that I think is a finished product. A few days ago, however, the poem below sprang from my pen. As I looked at it, and considered it, I was reminded of the skillful pruning that my old tibu friend Eric Lester performed several times on poems of mine and on poems of other tibu writers, and so I set out to try to follow his path with this one. The upshot is that I am still not sure which version of the poem is the "right one," and so I am putting both the unpruned and pruned versions here, and asking all of you. Which one is the better poem?


even as the new green
of this year's leaves pops out,
all along the limbs of the honeylocusts,
a couple of last fall's seedpods
hang on,
dark little reminders:
of Fate, of Certainty,
of the whole ellipse --
of Life, Death, and Rebirth;
the passage of time
does not do very much to this process:
it moves on, season after season,
pretty much the same way;
if people were more like these trees,
a lot of our problems
would disappear:
like what to do with Aunt Minnie --
"well, just leave her alone,
among the young ones,
until she is ready to go."


even as new green
pops out,
all along the honeylocusts,
a couple seedpods
hang on,
dark little reminders:
Fate, Certainty,
the whole ellipse --
Life, Death, Rebirth;
passage of time
does not do much:
it moves on, season after season,
the same way;
if people were like trees,
problems would disappear:
what to do with Aunt Minnie --
"just leave her alone,
among the young,
until she is ready to go."

May 24 and 26, 2009.

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



somewhere out there tonight,
there is sorrow,
hidden behind a hedgerow;

there's an emptiness,
in a soul,
where melodies used to grow;

someplace that you see everyday,
holds someone
who just can't
find their way,
who has nothing
left to pay,
but will pay still,
with one last push,
with one last bit of will;

so tonight, toss out a prayer:
it might even get there.

May 23, 2009.

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


found the sting

I know your hurt,
even though it doesn't
have a name;

sometimes, all I can offer
is my hand, my hug, and my
"I know";

but really,
I don't;

I can only guess
at something that is,
as Buk said,
"sadder than any sadness on earth";

although those
mournful moans
came pretty close.

May 23, 2009, for Cristina.

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

Conversations with Candida, Chapter 2: "That Stuff Goes Straight to Your Thighs" (or, "I Am Drawing the Line at Snake Sex")

"Hey there, Mr. Humoristo, how's my favorite Anglo today?"

"Hi, Candi. I'm a little sore from all the mowing and yard work this afternoon."

"Well I am going to need to clean up the dinner mess in about fifteen minutes. I spent some time over at Angela's today."

"I'll bet you ate well over there. Did you?"

"A little multigrain pasta with plum tomatoes, garlic, and basil."

"Oh that does sound good. Was that all?"

"No, I also had a citrus salad with low fat gorgonzola cheese."

"Do you have something against high-fat gorgonzola cheese?"

"Yes, you nitwit, that stuff goes straight to your thighs. You would do just as well to smear it right on them, if you ate it."

"That sounds a little kinky."

"Kinky if you like high cholesterol, Shakespeare. Since we are reviewing menus, what did you have for lunch, a side of beef or a couple hams?"

"I had an Alaskan cod fillet, butternut squash and mashed potatoes."

"Oh I forgot, Angela gave me some of her famous mac & cheese. Yummy. Oh, and I love butternut squash soup."

"Oh yeah, chow down on that mac & cheese, baby. I guess that is the kind that just bypasses your thighs, eh?"

"Shut up. It is delicious. I can indulge once in a while since I eat so properly all the time."

"I can cook a mean butternut squash. A little cinnamon. Delicioso."

"Anyway, I put the mac & cheese in the oven, and made some chicken cutlets and steamed broccoli, and put out some French bread. The kids' eyes nearly bugged out. They love Angela's mac & cheese. But the chicken cutlets were all me."

"I lived on mac & cheese for years. Poor student days."

"I cooked them on the grill."

"Ah the memories: Kraft, five boxes for a buck back then. When you say you cooked them on the grill, how do you keep them from rolling through the grate and just burning?"

"So now the kids are all eating. Keep what from falling through the grate and just burning? They are big chicken cutlets."

"Oh, I thought you meant that you cooked the mac & cheese on the grill."

"You are the strangest white man that I know."

"I am the only white man you know."

"Not true. The guy who cleans my pool is an Anglo too."

"Fine, so you know two of us. That does not mean that I am stranger than your pool boy. And I cannot believe that I am competing for who is not a strange white man with your pool boy."

"When I had my first apartment because I hated dorm living, my grandmother and my grandfather rented me this apartment, an attic studio. I used to make Kraft mac & cheese with hot dogs for dinner all the time, and my friends and I would hang out on the floor of my tiny living space and eat right out of the pot, sticking our forks in and drinking Red Stripe beer."

"Well when I was a poor student, I only had the hot dogs on Sundays for a special treat. After walking through all that snow, barefoot. Ah, good ol' Red Stripe."

"The Red Stripe thing is funny. I found a loophole in the underage drinking thing. I had a credit card that was supposed to be for emergencies. Well, I used to call the liquor store, order the beer, charge it and tell them to leave it in the stairwell."

"Well you could make a good case for beer being an emergency kind of thing, I think."

"No one ever questioned it because I had an apartment and a credit card, and so they just assumed I was over 21. Yeah I talked my way out of that one when my abuelita got the first bill."


"The bill went to her. It was her credit card."

"Oh my. And it said 'Joe's Liquors' on it?"

"So anyway we'd eat hotdogs and mac & cheese, and smoke Salem Ultra Slim lights, drinking the Red Stripe and we'd play poker until the wee hours. So I explained the bill to my abuelita by saying it was the only place that was open late."

"Ah, the good ol days."

"Yup the good young days."

"I saw a big garter snake this afternoon. It was about three feet long; I think it was the mama snake."

"Damn that's long."

"Do you know how I knew it was the mama snake?"

"Garter was it like all black and lacy or red satin? Okay, I give up, how did you know?"

"It was wearing snake stilettos."

"Well then that would explain how you knew it was female."

"With a matching bag and shades."

"Or wait, was it a cross dresser?"

"No, and she winked at me as she slithered away. You know me and the ladies, Candi."

"Eh, it was the eyes."

"Yes. Even other species love my baby blues."

"Well of course they do. But then they get to know you."

"But I am drawing the line at snake sex. Nosiree."

"Yes of course those fangs pack a wallop."

"Well yeah, but I would never bite a snake."

"Like I said before, you are the strangest white guy I know. I have to go clean up the dinner mess, Shakespeare. I will talk to you tomorrow."

"Okay, bye, Candi."

May 24, 2009.

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

septic tank care

the riggers begin
the delicate dance
of unloading
the 4,000-pound
septic tank
from the truck,
eyeing the huge
concrete box
with suspicion,
and each other
with apprehension:
this ain't horseshoes,
and close enough
is just no damned good:
men could die
doing this wrong;
not to mention
that a broken box
is useless,
just ground up for fill.

May 22, 2009.

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

A Few Minutes with Betty, Chapter 12: "Brainless Men Are Everywhere" (or, "I Ate Cheerleaders for Breakfast")

"Hiya, and how are you this fine Tuesday evening?"

"Hi Betty. Well I'm okay, but my friend Mary is sick, and her whole family is being too loud."

"Of course they are."

"And I'm trying to cheer her up and give her moral support."

"Tell her I'll lend her my shotgun and duct tape."

"Her husband and three children are rioting."

"Of course, because she's the mom and it should not faze her."

"There ought to be a law."

"I know how horrible those times are. You need just a little peace and quiet, and yet you get absolutely none."

"Well I mean at least her husband should be more, what is it, sensitive or something? Or have more brains?"

"Brains. Hah. Thinking and men . . . oxymoron."

"Well, now, I used to take Daughter 1 and Daughter 2 out every weekend with me, to the grocery store, the hardware store, you name it, and left mommy at home to rest."

"George kicks me out once in a while, so I can be alone but there are the times when everyone is home and going nuts and I need help. Then, I get nothing."

"It's just the right thing to do."

"Of course. You are a good father, but that doesn't mean you aren't a brainless man."

"Plus I loved having my little girls with me everywhere."

"Speaking of brainless men . . . my son pooed in the potty tonight. We called everyone we know so he could tell them."

"I know, it was on CNN. They had video."

"And then he conned me out of a buck. Did CNN have a recording of my pooh song?"

"Wolf Blitzer kind of stumbled his lines, but it was a good report. And no, I don't think I heard the poo song."

"Sometimes, I worry about you. And those unfortunate to be around you all the time."

"You, and the rest of North America. And Australia too. So how does the song go?"

"Oh, I just made this up today: 1, 2 . . . time to go poo; 3, 4 . . . poo some more; 5, 6 . . . I can't think of anything about poo that rhymes with six; 7, 8 . . . I like to skate; 9, 10 . . . don't make me sing again!"

"You were a cheerleader weren't you? Or on the pep squad?"

"Listen, Shakespeare, this is me on only three hours of sleep and a headache the size of Texas. I ate cheerleaders for breakfast."

"You were one those leggy, perky blonds that all the other girls wanted to suffocate, weren't you?"

"I'll have you know, Mr. Humorist, that I was in chorus and the school paper. I wasn't hot then: braces, bad skin, horrible hair, you name it, if it was bad, I had it."

"Well what led to your eventual uber-hotness? Whisky? Oral sex? Whisky and oral sex?"

"Drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll. College, baby."

"Ah, the three essential food groups."

"Ok, I need to get rid of my headache. I'll chitty-chat with you later. Hasta la pasta."

"Bye for now, Betty. Talk to you soon."

May 24, 2009.

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


the true believer

"You're just like all the rest," she spit at me, "you're only after one thing. It is just disgusting to me, that is all that I am to you."

"You are just like everybody else, Allie, just like all of us. You're looking for someone to believe in. And I'm just suggesting that you try believing in me. Who knows, maybe it'll work."

"How could I possibly believe in you, Eddie? You are a big fat liar. You lie to suit what you please. How do I believe in someone who is unbelievable?"

"Allie, dammit, grow up. Everybody lies. Everybody twists things the way that they want them to be. I just don't pretend like everybody else. What you freakin' see is what you freakin' get. No pretense. No role-playing. No polite this and polite that. You're a great lay, and you make me laugh. Anything else would be spinning a fairytale, and I'm just not into that."

"Look, I've got to get to work. I can't get into this with you right now, I just don't have the time. So are you going to be here when I get home?"

"Most likely."

"Most likely? That's the level of commitment that three months together gets me? Most likely? I give up. I don't really care if you are here when I get home or not, Eddie. It's up to you."

"Sounds like you haven't fully decided whether you're going to believe in me, yet," I said, looking straight into those eyes.

The edges of her face softened, and I could see her eyes getting misty. "Dammit, you so know how much I am stuck on you, Eddie. You are the cockiest bastard this side of the Mississippi, you know that?"

"I like to think of myself as having good self-confidence, baby. Well-developed notions of self-esteem," I told her, keeping a fix on her eyes.

"I wish, I just wish I knew what it was," she said softly, "so that I could go to the doctor and get it removed." Her impish smile was not really all that hidden.

"It's too deeply implanted, baby," I leered in my best leer, "and removing it could endanger you, so the doctor won't even try." Now I was smiling too.

"Okay, funny boy, I will stop and pick up some Chinese on the way home. The usual?"

"Sure, Allie, the usual will be great. See you later," I said, as I leaned in for a kiss, which I knew I was going to get, cocky bastard that I am. Imagine my surprise when that kitchen knife slid in between my ribs and I felt the warm woosh of my own blood drenching my shirt. Maybe she would never be a true believer.

May 23, 2009.

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


hummingbird dreams

saw the first hummingbird
of Spring just a little past
seven o'clock tonight;
he was visiting each tiny flower
of the many stalks of
Solomon's Seal
in one of the front gardens;
I love the longer days,
and those tiny birds:
just a couple of the things
that make me wish that
I could stay
all the stuff
that I won't miss at all,
usually stays around too long:
the Winter, of course,
and part of the Fall;
but that little fellow,
he's got my number.

May 21, 2009.

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

just like all the others

the daily inanity,
makes me laugh
in those quiet,
like this one,
as I sit outside the school
in my car, listening
to the programmed pleas
of endless voices,
peddling, pandering,
when the snippet of sound
breaks through
the aural clutter:
"If today were your last day."
that's a whole book right there,
certainly not
in a few hastily scribbled lines,
killing some time,
waiting to write down
all of the good intentions
intended to give meaning
to an existence
that stumbles on,
all efforts notwithstanding;
if today were the one,
it would have begun
and stopped,
just like all the others.

May 19, 2009.

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


the robin, part 2

the robin looks me over,
decides that I am not a cat,
and continues her soggy slog
in search of this morning's feast;
the wind continues to come up
from the west,
maybe a good sailing day
after all, or maybe a day meant
to just sit, and think,
and digest recent times;
some grey days are simply
just for that:
no particular fires
that need poking,
or making,
or putting out --
just watching,
absorbing --
the days that memory
stores up
for later drama.

May 17, 2009.

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

the robin

the fog starts to lift,
twenty minutes in,
and though it discouraged
sailor and runner alike,
the robin knows
that the rain will have forced
many fat earthworms
to the surface,
ready for plucking up,
and to be swallowed whole;
likewise the wrens
happily sing the late morning in:
they are glad to be here
for another day,
as the wind comes up a little,
and at least one sailor,
duly fortified,
decides he will make a run
for the far shore:
he may have seen the robin,
and been inspired.

May 17, 2009.

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



I see, upon arrival, that the table
is still moist, not really wet,
from the nighttime sweats
that it received;
I wonder which book to set down
on the bottom:
the Buk book is bigger,
and I know that he has been
wet before, moist even --
but then so has Billy Collins --
I decide to keep them both
and put the Where book
as the foundation
for my little corner of writing;
just a few more lines
that probably won't matter much,
as sirens echo on the highway;
but when you read this,
you'll know that I was thinking
of you.

May 17, 2009.

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


staying home

at the park, in my usual spot,
this grey, moist Sunday morning,
and my thoughts wander
here and there and just
a little yonder, since
it's so foggy out there
that the horizon has little
definition, just dark grey sea
met by light grey sky,
as the sailors who will be
alive and dry tomorrow
stay home with their coffee
and crossword puzzles;

we seek clarity and
most of the time
in a world often given
to neither,
and there are some mornings
when we would be better off
staying home.

May 17, 2009.

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



right where Grampa planted them,
nearly a hundred years ago;
long arms,
like mine,
that I inherited from him,
do the best,
headed with
the sharp knife,
down to the center
of the bunch,
as close to the
mother root
as possible,
the broom-handle-sized
that hold up the giant leaves
the size of
dinner placemats:
succulent sweetness,
but a little tart,
after all these years.

May 15, 2009.

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

walled mart

a hundred years of inbreeding
will get you this:
the waddling, drooling masses,
sucking down Coca-Cola
and chili dogs,
buying clothes that will last for
just as short a time
as the pobrecitos
who stitched them
in a faraway dark cavern,
filled with sewing needles,
and desperation;
America's big fat ass
still plops down with an
on the tiny third-world stool
that only has two good legs:

land of opportunity,

May 15, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

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

hard times

she screams,
and the child support is late,
but he has beer to buy,
and the sky is grey;

he screams,
and the rent is overdue,
but she has shoes to buy,
and it's Friday;

we scream,
and the bottom is up there,
but they have lives to lead,
and it's another day;

is anyone listening?

May 15, 2009.

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

turn to me

when it is hard to see,
when tears fill the hollows
of the deepest
and darkest and
most consuming of sorrows,
baby, turn to me;

when there is little light,
and you have run out of fight,
with the hole in your heart
baby, turn to me;

when the hurt seems to be
all that you are worth,
remember, in those empty aches,
our love has what it takes,
baby, turn to me.

May 15, 2009.

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


parking lot trees

stuck in their little concrete islands,
they call to each other,
and to their distant cousins,
the freer ones, the ones
in the forest nearby,
perhaps hoping that in the dark of night,
one night,
they might, faerie-like,
sprout feet,
and all tiptoe,
neatly, in a row,
out of their macadam graveyard,
noxious fumes left behind,
and slip into the waiting
coolness of moss-covered,
pine-needle-strewn ground,
to the place where no one
will see them again.

May 15, 2009.

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

dangerous area

in the dairy aisle,
I am dazzled by
the many different flavors
of yogurt on display:
strawberry-banana --
have you had yours today?
as poor old neglected vanilla
sits lonely in a corner,
teeming inside, growing,
looking for hungry bowels,
a new, proud owner --
meanwhile, I hear the
stockboys talking
about arming their girlfriends
with knives
in this part of town:
you never know when trouble
with all this yogurt all around.

May 15, 2008.

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


Star Trek

I watched the latest Star Trek last night and naturally had to give my review, as there just aren’t enough reviews of it on the Internet.

Good Things:

The plot was decent and easy to follow, I was kind of worried about that after seeing “Lost” and “Brisco County Jr” but it was less convoluted than some of the other Trek movies.

Action scenes, lots of them. Some of the Trek movies seem to forget that Star Trek is a Sci-Fi Action series and try to be a Sci-Fi Drama. This one did not make that mistake.

The Villain: Nero had a legitimate reason for being a prick, and going after young Kirk and Spock. Star Trek needs dramatic Villains in order for the heroes to “give it their all” with Nero you could see the reason for him being an evil bastard unlike some of the Star Trek villains whose reasons for being a villain were pretty lame. See my post on the 10 lamest Star Trek villains.

Eric Bana played it a lot lower key than any other Star Trek villain, I’m not sure if I like that, on the one hand it made it more believable like someone whose rage has so overwhelmed them that they dare not voice it out loud, but I have to wonder if it would have made it more Star Trekish if he played it all out over-dramatic like Malcolm McDowell, or if it would have made it cartoonish. I guess we’ll never know.

How it fits in the Trek Continuum; it doesn’t. They made sure to say over and over time travel destroyed the old Trek Continuum (It was Trek and JJ Abrams, it had to have time travel).

Casting: When I read who the cast was my first reaction was, “You’re kidding me right?” Then I read in some review how the cast really tried to imitate the originals and I thought “Oh no, I don’t want to see them do bad imitations of the originals.” So my expectations on the cast was pretty low.

Luckily the actors really tried to make the characters they were playing their own, with only a couple points of reference to the originals. The only exception was Kirk who had absolutely no Shat what so ever, but that was sort of explained in the plot.

What I didn’t like about it.

Camera Work from Hell: If done right a moving camera with quick edits can really add to the feeling of action. Abrams decided that he would get the crew from MTV Jams to film and put in more edits than an entire episode of “Lost” into a 30 second scene. And that was just when crewmembers were walking down the corridor, when heavy action scenes came up it really got confusing.

Nostalgia (Present Day) to cover lack of imagination:
The scene of Kirk racing in the Corvette was better than Picard four wheeling on an alien planet (That was just totally out of place) but still a more futurish way of showing that young Kirk was a trouble-maker wouldn’t be hard to pull off.

Characters talking over each other:
It was meant to show conflict, but it really made all of them seem ruder than I would stand for in real life, and in Star Trek I’ve gotten used to everyone being more polite than the present. They will destroy the galaxy to get what they want, but they won’t be impolite about it.

Overall, I liked the newest addition to Star Trek and hope they make a few sequels based on it. It wasn’t “Wrath of Khan” or “First Contact” but at least it wasn’t “TMP” or “Insurrection”.


chivalry lives

not in fashion anymore
in some tightly woven
but still it luckily
appeals to you,
and feels
natural to me;
so I will likely
hold a few open
as you approach,
push a few back,
if they dare
to encroach,
and just generally
watch over you,
my sweet:
that's what gentlemen do.

May 12, 2009.

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

not so sublime

called for the cavalry,
but they never came;
searched for your history,
shrouded in mystery,
then I couldn't remember your name --
something that rhymed with mine,
something tricky, but not really sticky,
since it didn't stick with me:
just like you,
stuck to another time;
just like glue,
obvious, oblivious,
and not so sublime.

May 12, 2009.

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


Cursed Ship

I’ve had another fiction story published, Cursed Ship, it’s about a Moon Ferry Pilot explaining how his career was ruined by being the first pilot of a Moon Ferry that had killed 4 people in the trip before.

Despite the ominous theme it is a cute little story that I am proud of, please check it out at:

Unlike the last story I had published last month in Raygun Revival http://www.raygunrevival.com/index.html “Long Term Thinking” which had a fairly technical discussion about Buckypaper which was hard to condense and make interesting, although I believe I did a good job making it enjoyable. “Cursed Ship” is more like a ghost story set in orbit.

I got to add in a few techie details, which the geek in me loved, but I tried to make sure a non-techie could skim past those few paragraphs spread throughout the story and still find it enjoyable.

With this story the character and story are definitely the main focus and the science elements are merely an elegant backdrop. That’s not always easy to do in a science fiction short story.

As always I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. All comments are welcome.


only when

through the little wires,
I hear her cryin',
sittin' here listenin'
to the sound of me dyin':
makes me wish
she had never come,
not just to the romance,
but to the whole damned dance;
if I had a do-over,
I probably wouldn't
stumble this way again;
likely find a new field of clover
to trample
and make a mess:
like so much else gone wrong,
never if,
only when.

May 10, 2009.

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

Mothers' Day 2009

the honeylocusts
cast off their pods
months ago, and the maples,
weeks ago finished sending
their red bunches of hope
to the ground, to the air;
the honeybees and the bumblebees
now visit every delicate door,
giving and receiving:
they know just what to bring,
as a happy greeting,
to a bunch of flowers --
new life --
and the remnants of last fall,
the fallen, all,
lie quietly,
providing warm food
for all that will follow;
this orbit, this solemn ellipse,
has its own rhythm,
has its own eclipse:
and children,

May 10, 2009.

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


with time

"You need time," I told her,
and I knew that it was true;

"You cannot rush grief,
any more than you can
make the sun rise;

"What you can count on
is me being here all the way;

"And I do not have all the answers,
sometimes only more questions;

"But as you know, no one listens
better than I do;

"You hurt, I hurt,
and we will feel better one day,

"with time."

May 8, 2009, for Cristina.

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

white flowers

all the flowers in the world:
vased, arranged,
displayed --
pushing their various scents
on the now-weary nostrils --
a sea of white-this
and white-that,
meant to uplift,
to put a brighter sheen
on a darkness
best unseen:
but though apropos,
they replace
absolutely nothing.

May 8, 2009, for Cristina.

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

For Sale

pool table,
and cues
for sale, 275;
pool table
has seen a lot of use,
9 to 5;
balls no longer needed,
as cues were seldom
call 555-444-3232,
and ask for Yu.

May 5, 2009.

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


Why should we go to the Moon?

If you’ve followed Project Savior Reborn for any length of time you will know I’m a space geek, it’s rare that I go a week with out writing something about space or a month when I don’t have a link to Bad Astronomy in one of my posts.

I hang out at a lot of sites where stating the idea of going to the Moon is singing to the choir, the idea is so ingrained that we should go to the Moon is so obvious that there is no need discussing it.

Then a wonderful thing happened at Space.com someone broke in a said going to the Moon was a waste of time and it is mankind’s destiny to be confined to the planet Earth.

Naturally I launched a bunch of ad hominem attacks against him and called him a stupid idiot, even though I feel that people who use ad hominem attacks are gay. However I know that some bright people do feel the same way, they just don’t say it on message boards about space.

So I will point out some of the reason that humans should and even have to return to the Moon.


Technological and Engineering challenge: Tomorrow’s Aerospace Industries rely on the challenges we put today’s students and interns through today. Back in the 80s Ronald Reagan talked about an Asian Express Aircraft.

An Aircraft that could travel at hypersonic speeds from the US to Japan, cutting the transport time from the better part of a day to a few hours.

Now, over twenty years later, we are no closer to building a commercial hypersonic airplane than we were then. The reason: NASA hasn’t been building new rockets, just maintaining the old ones. Rocket configurations need to be tested in the upper atmosphere to see how their thrust adapts up there. Hypersonic jets need to have their thrust adapted to the conditions up there.

A commercial aircraft builder isn’t going to do the extensive testing needed, which because of the engineering challenges would need to have the students from a lot of universities working on it. This open structured research makes it possible to test a lot of variables quickly but means that the results from the tests are pretty much open to everyone. No commercial aircraft builder is going to put forth the billions of dollars needed to do the testing, knowing a rival aircraft builder could use their results to get a plane to the market faster.

NASA is in the reverse position. If they do the upper atmosphere testing and an aircraft maker makes a hypersonic craft they can buy the hypersonic craft to continue research. Plus if they open a new industry in the US it is easier for them to get a larger budget.

New Industries:

The big short-term benefit of going to the Moon is the opening up of new industries. When we first went to the Moon whole new products needed to be produced.

Computers needed to be sped up by several orders on magnitude, parts needed to be put together with unprecedented precision, leading to ISO9000 standards. Even tailoring needed to have a scientific approach in order to assure safety standards on the spacesuits.

In order to return to the Moon and stay there, we will need new industries as well.

Since at optimum every pound of material put into Low Earth Orbit needs to use 24 pounds of fuel to get it there (In reality this is much higher) the quest for lighter materials for space operations is a must.

Research is being done in to Buckypaper (Carbon Nanotubes in a polymer) that is as strong as steel but so light that you could cover an entire football field with it and it would weigh less than a gram.

Transparent Aluminum, something that has only existed in Star Trek and in the form of Emeralds, is now being produced.

Both of these industries are in there infant stages, and at the moment it is cost prohibitive to use these materials in cars or planes, but a robust space program would need these as every pound of steel replaced by these products saves at minimum 24 pounds of fuel, a lot more if it is used in something that is repeatedly sent into space.

With a market for these products, private industry has an incentive to do more research into bringing the costs down, making these products available for more uses, giving more incentive to research more until these products become commonplace.

This will give us more fuel-efficient cars and planes, and lead to new products that can only be dreamt about now. Just as when Aluminum was as expensive as silver, I doubt anyone dreamt of using it for a soda container.

Another industry that will receive a boost from a robust space program would be small scale recycling.

On the Moon (at first) anything brought from Earth would cost literally millions of dollars per pound. You don’t want to bring something all that way just to throw it out. Making a Lunar Outpost will require Extreme Recycling. Everything sent up there will need its entire lifecycle planed out.
After this extreme recycling style is made, few on Earth will take it as far as the Astronauts on the Moon, but some aspects will trickle into the market place, conserving resources here on Earth.


While the Space Race was going on, millions of American students were inspired to become scientist and engineers. As it became obvious that America was abandoning the great plans NASA had for space, the students in the 70’s and 80’s took down their model of Skylab, took Neil Armstrong’s picture off the wall. Stopped working out orbital mechanics of the planets and turned their energies towards developing the most awesome mullet that anyone had ever seen. (OK maybe that was just me.)

While girls would sleep with me just because of my awesome mullet, part of me will always wonder, if I had spent the energy that I put into developing my mullet and put it into designing a new spacecraft, would humans be colonizing the rest of the solar system by now? We will never know the answer to that, but if we can inspire a generation of youth to master the solar system, it might stop the 30% dropout rate among students.

Medium Term (The next 50 years)


Helium 3 has the potential to make fusion power a reality. He3 extremely rare here on Earth, but plentiful on the Moon. Fusion Power could not only free us from fossil fuels, but it would open up the rest of the solar system.

It is no secret that oil has peaked, it took us 125 years to burn through our first trillion barrels of oil, we will go through the next trillion in 25 years. At the current rate of growth in consumption we would need an addition 3 trillion barrels of oil to get through the next 50 years. No estimates, no matter how optimistic, assume the Earth has that much oil.

Not only do we need to conserve as much energy as we can and use renewable sources whenever possible but we will need a true replacement for fossil fuels, only fusion offers to be that replacement for the next millennia.

Fusion from He3 hasn’t been proven yet, but if we don’t have access to an abundant supply we can’t even do the necessary testing to see if it He3 fusion can give off more energy than it uses. The longer we wait to do the groundwork the longer it will be until we get results.

Space Infrastructure:

One argument against NASA going to the Moon is that with the success of Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, space should be left to private industries. This is a false dichotomy, as NASA operates a Lunar Colony it opens up opportunities for private space industry.

The ISS will need to be a stepping-stone for the initial lunar operations. It is too small to do this alone and NASA will need to use its rockets for the actual Lunar Colony. This gives private industries an opportunity to contract some of the launches to the ISS and beyond.

NASA will need to train its astronauts in low and zero gee, Virgin Galactic is in a perfect position to contract some of these training flights both in its version of the vomit comet and in SpaceShip Two. Having a full 7 minutes of weightlessness is the best training for long-term weightlessness.

NASA will also need to have more astronauts in Low Earth Orbit, If Bigelow Aerospace knows it will have a contract for hosting a few astronauts in its space hotel it will have incentive to build more.

As private industry steps up to fill NASA’s needs in Low Earth Orbit, NASA can contract that work out. Just like the Federal Government uses commercial airlines for flying even though it has a huge fleet of its own jets.

With a robust space program mining the Moon private industry can take over Low Earth Orbit operation until companies are ready to set up their own bases on the Moon.


The Earth is not going to be perfect for humans forever. A huge solar flare could set the atmosphere on fire, a large comet could send the ecosystem out of whack. In 5 billion years the Sun will turn into a Red Dwarf consuming our humble planet.

Humans will perish if we don’t go into space. By spreading out throughout the Solar System it will take more than one of these events to completely destroy humanity. Space is humanities destiny, if we stay only on Earth we shall die.


Extortion, Ex Post Facto, Entrapment, Expediency and Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct: Justice (and NVLD) is Declared "Trespassed" at Massasoit Co

The American justice system is such a misnomer, in parts of Brockton, Massachusetts anyway, and if the conduct of MCCPD officer Christopher O'Sullivan and the (A.D.A?) under prosecutor Timothy Cruz is any example, that for such a label to have become the established and colloquial norm is downright fraudulent, and is thus a crime itself! No, this is not the cynical ranting of a softy liberal. Oh, I am damned well cynical. And I sure as hell am a staunch and proud pro-life liberal. But my rage and outrage comes from anecdotal associations, the consumption of public news, and a sober awareness of the yawning, gaping, behemoth chasm that stretches in agony between the ideal and the real.

Oh, and my rage and outrage, my disgust and disdain for this pathetic excuse for a system that more resembles the snotty arrogance, the sloth, the Orwellian truth-bending and underhanded, smoky back-room politics of Philip Morris, Dick Cheney, or more suburban police departments than you might care to admit - my utter contempt for a system that indeed more resembles the hatred, greed, and faux-elitism and "good-ol'-boy"ism of KKK culture than the so-called precious and blind lady liberty who allegedly holds eternal vigil over the good of all mankind - my bitter and furious loathing of this "justice system" that is a sickening and blasphemous disgrace to and betrayal of the principals of justice, fairness and integrity that actually *mean* something to some of us - also happens to come from some most UNjust firsthand experience.

Now, before you stop reading and dismiss this as the embittered hyperbole of a disgruntled thug, before you take the perhaps understandable but here mistaken position of doubt and disbelief, especially as I would imply such a loaded and cliche'd reference to the trump card of any pre-Obama era soapbox rant - race, or racism - and by calling forth the reviled and nearly irrelevant institutionalized embodiment of its evil - in naming the aforementioned alliterative hate group - bear with me one account of "the real world" the likes of which you never learned about in kindergarten.

-Committing a crime is not necessary to be arrested, coerced or convic... - oh, pardon me, I mean "cwof"ed.-

It was the Friday before last, which was November 21, 2008. Now, wait. I can see the furrowed brow of suspicion and finger-wagging already poised for wielding. Yes, it was a Friday night, but this was at 9:30pm. It did not involve alcohol. It did not involve violence. It did not involve a moving violation or disturbing the peace. In fact, it did not involve any breach of the law whatsoever. But it ultimately did involve a court appearance and a criminal record! Oh, technically it's "continued without a finding" for 6 months, during which this "open case" appears on my CORI. Did I mention that I work in special education? Did I mention that I work in special ed because of a life long struggle with my own learning and anxiety and neurological difficulties, and the arrogance and stupidity and ignorance and stupidity and maliciousness and stupidity and sadistic cowards and their stupidity for not giving enough of a damn to give a damn at all? Oh, right. Their brave and noble lives are on the line. Please. They're community college campus baby-sitters. They got pissed because some poor bastard was too tired to get his ass off their precious fucking campus so that they wouldn't have to stop and check on him on their way to pick up 2 glazed and a "cream with 2 sugars". They're barely more than rent-a-cops who shouldn't have the authority to write a damned ticket, let alone wield the powers of arrest.

And carrying a gun??? With THAT judgment???!!!

So, yeah. And after that 6 months, it goes down as "dismissed". But it still goes down! Will I thus go down, too??? For not having done one damned thing wrong?

Say what? That's impossible! How can it be that you'd have a record for NOT violating the law?


So, these insecure and cruel and hypocritically cognitively compromised bullies were out to teach this guy a lesson. A lesson for being responsible enough not to drive until he was safe to operate. Damn that, they say! They have tax-payer funded busy-work to continue!

-"Take a Break! Stay Awake for Safety's Sake!"-

Here's the gist. I'm busy. I get tired. I drive. I also, at 36, have acquired little, but enough common sense and have let go of some of the scorn and pride I carried with me in my early 20s. Back then, I scoffed at and thought rather ridiculous the ever-increasingly present blue and white signage with the admonition to "Stay awake. Take a break for safety's sake!", thinking that the material world drives us to this rat-race of "keep up with the Jones's" consumption. Yes - given the inevitable responsibility of keeping my own self up, in the current economy especially, I've let go of that silent judgment.

For most of the first half of my driving life - no - for most of the first two thirds of it, I had had more than an acceptable number of "close calls" - including some scrapes, literally, with off-ramp reflector poles and, but for the ingenious invention of the highway "rumble strip", probably many more.

Or perhaps just one more. In which case I would not be here to write this piece!

In other words, I finally got it.

Or so I thought. I thought I had it. I thought I understood. Yin and yang. Fuel and exertion. Work and rest. And this isn't just a personal matter. This isn't just one of those bigger (capital "L") "Lessons" about how to live a full and happy life.

This is very pragmatic. Ya wanna live? Don't drive tired! I'm sad to report, although this did not serve for me the function of teaching any lesson at the time, and even now is only anecdotal, that a member of my family died several years ago in a car crash that resulted from her falling asleep at the wheel.

She is DEAD.

My cousin's wife is dead. Her young daughter's mother is dead. She's dead.

Not only is it a matter of pragmatics and personal responsibility, it is one of social responsibility as well. When you drive tired, you put OTHER drivers and non-drivers alike at potentially mortal risk as well! You nor I nor anyone has any *right* to drive tired!

But, as I recently learned, you sometimes, apparently, have no right to sleep or rest either - in your car, anyway. Even when the law says nothing about it being illegal to sleep in your car as, let me be very clear, it is not, despite what some knuckle-dragging dumbass-in-blue might try to tell you - said "leo" (l. e. o. ) may try to- and sometimes succeed at, violating your rights and getting you convicted of a crime you did commit - even though it was not and is not a crime! Here's the real insult - the real kick in the midsection and the meat for a response of mine which has only just begun: the first officer who ever found me so dog-dead tired, in my car, on their property (of Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA) said very specifically that, technically, I was not doing anything wrong! He just said it seemed a little weird, a grown man sleeping in his car less than 15 minutes from his house.

Let me highlight, isolate, separate, pontificate and otherwise hit you all over the head with this brick again, although clearly the ones charged with knowing this best neither understand nor respect it in the least: one of their very own law enforcement brethren, an officer charged with the same responsibility to enforce and RESPECT the *LAW*!!!!!!! - told me flat out, point blank and dead-on accurate "well, technically, you're not doing anything wrong.....but....."

Yes. I heard the "but". I get the "but". But the "but" is irrelevant! Being "weird" or tired is not a crime. It is not against the law. YOU TOLD ME THAT I WAS NOT VIOLATING THE LAW!!!!!


-One "man's" prerogative is another man's burden.-

I guess my next step is to go get those records that that smarmy, cocky DA "late for his 18 holes" public servant to no one "hand waved" in such practiced melodrama as he tried to intimidate me into thinking that I was the scum of the earth. The piss of it is that if I were a "frequent flyer" in the criminal justice system, I'd get more respect just for being familiar. I'd be on a first name basis with the son of a bitch and he'd probably tell me to cut the crap or he'll have to do his job.

But be someone who is new to this thing, and you're guilty before you say a God-damned word. And if you dare to utter even one word, the D.A.'s "muscle for hire" will chime in that "you know what your problem is..(cough...gag...unfiltered Lucky Strike plegm-ball....HACKKKK!....cough)...ya talk too much."

Coughing or no coughing, I needed quite the shower after my "day in court" - and not because of the "guests". The hosts are downright slothful and mean.


Just thought I'd bring that up here.

I didn't bother to explain to that first officer - WHO TOLD ME I WAS NOT TECHNICALLY DOING ANYTHING WRONG!!!, it just seemed strange - I didn't bother to relay my complicated health and damned-near clever coping mechanisms - NONE OF WHICH BREAK ANY LAWS!!!! - as I felt reassured of my physical, emotional - AND LEGAL! - safety, that I am also on a large dose of a common SSRI for anxiety and terrible OCD, one of the side effects of which is drowsiness. I didn't mention it because I feel like I manage this aspect of my health pretty damned well - thanks in NO small part for the blessing of anti-depressant medication and the checking and tapping and repeating and worrying and repeating again that it doesn't cure but greatly relieve. Have you ever seen the police/detective sit-com, "Monk?". Please - he is a laid back thrill-seeker compared to me. Before medication, that is. I have a relative normalcy to my existence thanks to pharmacology, and if the only downside is the need for a nap - an innocent and necessary nap for God's sake! - then that is a no freakin' brainer. Napping versus driving while dangerously tired? Medication versus such a desperately nonfunctional and compulsive life that I would reconsider the suicide I came perilously close to in 1994, and to which parts of my arms STILL bear witness? It's a no-brainer.

But, do not be distracted by what may sound like a plea for pity. That's not my objective. Pity gets nothing accomplished, and it only hampers justice by creating public scorn and overall ill-will. No - the only reason I bring up these set-backs is for their factual relevance, and to demonstrate a complete lack of compassion or common sense on the part of Officer O'Sullivan and his uniformed colleagues. Apparently, their authority - and their powers of arrest, do not come with a pre-requisite demonstration of the competence to use said powers with respect, discretion, and above all, strict adherence to the LAW! I hope that the Massachusetts State Police would be horrified to hear of this cowboy recklessness, and would and will make appropriate remediation upon so hearing. It is absolutely unacceptable that these public officials, with their small city community college jurisdiction or not, would arrest first, and issue an Ex Post Facto warning while their victim is in handcuffs.

-NLD Declared P.N.G. by MCCPD-

It is a no-brainer. But I guess, if you happen to take things literally, and have evolved an understanding and way of coping with all of life by paying attention to the details, if you happen to suffer this and other obstacles as a result of a learning/neurological "difference" - wait, let me shit-can that bologna right now - it's not a "difference"! It is a disability! Perhaps if you do not function like 50.1-99.99% of the rest of the population, you are not welcome at Massasoit. Perhaps we defectives and other minorities best find another diner to "lunch" at or place to learn and grow. American's with Disabilities' Act? Massachusetts Counsel Against Discrimination? American Civil Liberties Union? Governor Deval Patrick? Hmm....funny what thoughts go swarming around in your head when you've been violated.

But then, violating an individual's personal integrity and dignity - not to mention his black-and-white and actionable legal rights - is not as important as keeping the workload down for the overnight shift of "Massasoit's finest". Perhaps that's why said "police" are so appropriately given to dealing with destroyers of society such as me - me and the thousands and thousands of others who suffer "mental" and neurological impairments, and/or who dare to try to live a life of some fulfillment, crosses be damned!. A no-brainer for a no-brainer. I am not a criminal. No - there is not a drop of Nixonian tongue-in-cheek in that statement. I have NO record. I HAVE no record because I DO NOT break the law. Oh wait - I HAD no record prior to my crime of sleeping in my car. I am an obsessive-compulsive "NLD"er with serious health and neurological obstacles, including pediatric hydrocephalus, the many surgical treatments for which may very well have been worse than the disease! I have terribly impaired executive functioning (forever confused, indecisive, disorganized, forgetful, and hopelessly lost "somewhere" in the forest). I am *extremely* literal. And although I hate the following expression with every fiber of my being and those judgmental jerks whose faux-wisdom centers around this anti-virtue, I have very little "common sense". There is also, of course, the OCD and *its* treatment that exacts an exhausting toll (the sometimes despiriting therapy for which goes way beyond medication!). But I am, above all, a person who tries harder than most people (and the VAST majority of cops and rich DAs - who by definition/label have been rewarded for their efforts) to manage and to live my life given the circumstances. I'm OUT there! I'm doing things! I'm contributing to society and helping those whose problems are bigger even than mine. I get pinched and drooled on and whacked and f-bombed and pulled and hugged and snotted and spat at and smiled at and giggled at and so very gratefully tired for a living!

-Don't be "different". Slack off and sleep ON the job! It's the American way!-

But don't nap on a college campus. If working hard makes you that tired - maybe Joe the Plumber does have some lesson to teach us - something about slacking off being the American way! No. I choose to add some depth to my life. Writing is one path through which I do this. Words -and the ever-precious clarity and precision they promise - are my best friends. With them, I'm confident. I'm competent. I'm understood.

Without said words - and their vital exactness and fairness, I get arrested!! I get damned, stinking, outrageously arrested! So writing, and living, and breathing, and getting out of the house helps me refocus and concentrate and "feel", you know, like I'm DOING SOMETHING. That, and the aforementioned OCD is ever more active in my own home, where the distractions and stresses are myriad. But that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that for more than a year, I had been a regular visitor to the Massasoit library - usually some 3 days a week or more, where I am - er, WAS! - in their library writing and using the resources SPECIFICALLY set aside for their non-student community. It doesn't matter that I have a mutually affectionate and respectful relationship with the library and cafeteria staffs. It doesn't matter that I have patronized their college as an "enrichment" and "continuing education" student when I was in better financial circumstances. That does not matter.

It likewise does not matter, if these officers, such as one officer who, by his being damned wrong but who showed SOME decency, I shall only identify by his first name - Robert - have their way, that ONE officer - CRUCIALLY the *first* one who ever spoke to me!! - said I was within the law. Any other random moment or officer apparently has the right to call it something different. Somebody like the unprofessional and rude "officer" Christopher O'Sullivan - who laughed at me when I answered the "standard question" of whether I felt or have ever been suicidal, who ASKED ME WHAT HAPPENED! (cruel bastard - I'm right in front of him living and breathing, yes?) - will try to call it "trespassing". Maybe they'll call it loitering. Maybe they'd even have the unmitigated and absolutely outrageous gall and arrogance and cruelty and self-loving grandiosity to claim your behavior as "antagonizing" - if, as in my case, you - shocking! - got tired more than once or twice (fine, 5 times - it is NOT a crime!!!) over the course of a year.

-"You're not gettin' it. You're - you're just not gettin' it..."-

Try then, to have justice at all. Once the "officer" decides to put the cuffs on you - you are SCREWED. Now, to the real criminal who is getting what he deserves - the one who got caught doing something illegal - go suck on your indignity. I'm not talking to you, you thug.

And that goes EVER THUS for the thug who thinks he is above the law because he wears some blue and flaunts the shiny bling that gives him carte blanche over decency, respect, or the law period. Those accessories give you the tremendous responsibility to respect the law and the people you vowed to serve. It does not give you carte blanche to be a bully. Hopefully you learn this before you encounter an actual criminal - who may have a stronger weapon than his pen (or keyboard). I don't. But don't you sigh with relief, yet. You may have had the cuffs, but I have the facts, the actual TRUTH on my side. With it, I hold YOU in MY custody!

And in tremendous contempt.

I'm talking to the guy who tried to do the right thing. I'm talking to the guy who is NOT a lawyer or a law enforcement officer or who is not in anyway professionally or academically credentialed or seasoned to be expected to know the fine points (and the MANY MANY contradictions) of public law.

I'm talking to the average Joe. Or Jane. Or Barack. Or Latifah. Or Apu. Or Chong. Or "Bubbles". Or Smith.

And I'm talking to you, O'Sullivan, you arrogant jerk. You cannot arrest somebody for an offense that only became an "offense" an hour AFTER said arrest, when - AT THE STATION after you had taken me into custody!!, you decided to hand "to my person" a trespass notice that forbids me from THAT point on to be on Massasoit premises. Never mind what the hell for and is such discrimination illegal - that will be - and it WILL BE! - for the ACLU to decide - you have a hell of a nerve and one freakin' corrupt sense of right and wrong that you would fudge the chronology because...

Yeah! Because why?! What the hell did I do wrong?

Did I piss you off? Did my complying with your every directive calmly and cooperatively piss you off? Did my answering your question "You do know you're trespassing, right?" with the honest and absolutely nervous and yet completely honest "No, I don't understand" - piss you off? You weren't going to arrest me. I heard your "transmission" with the desk or whatever as you reported to them my cooperation and that I was in your custody in the back of your car and that you'd probably let me go with a summons.

A summons for what?

For violating a no trespassing order you only gave to me AFTER arresting me - when, after I continued to be ever frustrated and confused, but still calm if only out of self-preservation) and not at all understanding what was going on, you rolled your eyes, became militant and aggressive and said "You're not gettin' it. You're you're just not gettin' it".

No kiddin', jackass! And that is not my fault! Nevermind that you could do with a lesson in some clarity and/or patience for ALL of your "police" work. Let me say this to you SLOWLY: I am VERY vulnerable to stress and confusion. I need NEED everything explained slowly and with METICULOUS care and specificity. Otherwise your message is gonna miss me and I'm gonna get frustrated and not understand you and get even more stressed and the snowball gets rolling yet again.

You don't care? You cannot be bothered? Well fuck ya. I cannot help it and therefore it is not fair. If that's the law, then the law sucks and can heartily kiss my ass. If that's your job - then you can thus kiss my ass as well. I put up with a God-damned lot of unfairness and inequality and confusion in my life. On the job, I'm getting a paycheck to do my very best despite all that. I'm also helping people who know a little something about getting dealt the short hand. I ACCEPT that responsibility by taking the job. I do so with tremendous love and fulfillment.

I can not, will not, do not have to put up with ambiguity and unfairness in the realm of my own civil rights and in regards to my ability and/or susceptibility to the abuses of the rule of law and those who would bend it to be mean for no good reason.

That's YOU I'm talking about, piss-ant. You take your good fortune for granted and your authority beyond the limits of your judgment. Do that with awareness and there is a place in Hell for you, sir. Get thee hither - and sooner than later.

-"...what? Oh, crap, right! Uhhh....uhhh..sh..no, stop talking....shh....! 'You have the right to remain silent..." OOPS!-

Suddenly I was on a ride down the road and behind my favorite library to get "booked". I don't know what the hell I did wrong. Except maybe for cooperating and thus rewarded by being held in your custody - and chained to that stupid rail! - and ONLY THEN, incidentally - and at long last did you "oh yeah" your way into a not-quite urgent but nonetheless insistent shushing of me so that you could Mirandize me.

My only mistake was that I happen not to be dripping with enough money to hire a lawyer to defend me against a charge for a "crime" I didn't commit. My only mistake was assuming that the process takes the truth more seriously than expediency.

Oh, and get this. If I stay off of Massasoit property for the next six months, this goes down as a dismissal. Didja know that arrests - even if the end result is a dismissal, stay on your record?? The dismissal stays too. Then what the hell was dismissed?!

Aaaannnd...I really have no idea how long this cocked up "no trespassing" order stays in effect. Am I banned for life? For *sleeping*??? Jesus - half the students would have to take their courses on-line if that were so! Ahhhh!!! But they're *students". They PAID for the privilege to enter the sacred grounds of Massasoit Community College. W..wait. What was that? Communiity? You mean - like those four computers in my favorite local library that are specifically set aside for COMMUNITY (read: non-student) use?? *THAT* community? So, who exactly gets "trespassed".

Oh, right! Right right right right right right!!!! Those of us who actually have to WORK at making their daily lives WORK. Ahhhh. The Kingdom of the Neurotypicals don't want no "defectives" on their property. Got it.

Boy, am I naive. "What the hell did I do wrong?", I ask. I guess what I did wrong was piss off a cop for being my weird self. Guilty! I'm weird! Maybe. I'm eccentric! Maybe. Or maybe I'm managing as damned best I can to enjoy this life and accomplish something - AND NOT DIE IN THE PROCESS!!. Well, I did ask. During this "get-in, pay us some money, get-out" process, I had decided to "just take what he was giving me", after being scared to nearly peeing my pants by the D.A.s threat that I should stop wasting his time (I'd been in there a total of 2 minutes at that point) and that I could be fined $100 and spend 30 days in the county jail!! I said "but I didn't break the law!!! The first officer said just that!"

"That doesn't matter".

Excuse me? Let me write that down again. D.A Timothy J. Cruz, or someone from his office (but who surely must also be a member of the Massachusetts bar, yes?) uttered to me, after I pointed out the mere simple little fact that I HADN'T BROKEN ANY LAW! - said "That doesn't matter".

He said "That doesn't matter".


One of O'Sullivan's brother officers said just that - that it doesn't matter that I wasn't doing anything wrong. He said that I had "been trespassed" and thus couldn't be on campus. What the hell does THAT mean? I tried to ask - and I was told that even though I wasn't technically "trespassing" - my appearing on campus over and over again could have been interpreted as "antagonizing".

What????? What the hell did he mean by that? Why is it "antagonizing" for me, but "utilizing" or "studying" or "working" or whatever else for ANYBODY else? Was he telling me I should sit in the BACK of the bus? Was he telling me that I needed to use "that fountain over there"? What the hell does he mean "antagonizing"???

I never got an answer. And by remaining silent next to him, another officer was complicit in this prestidigitatory NON-protecting, NON-serving violating of my rights, my intelligence, my dignity and my humanity.

But that doesn't matter. What matters is that I wasn't wanted, so these thugs saw to it that I couldn't be on campus. They "got 'er dooone!". It doesn't matter that I was within the law, and they and their conduct was in breach of the very law they vowed to enforce, and by implication of their position of trust - UPHOLD!

-"..but I didn't break any law!!!"...."That doesn't matter."-

But that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that I did nothing wrong.

That doesn't matter??????????????

Lesson learned. In the United States of America, where you are innocent until proven guilty and where there is supposed to be "liberty and justice for all", the fact that you are absolutely innocent doesn't matter.


IT does NOT matter!!!

I get it, Mr. Timothy J. Cruz, D.A. I sure as hell get it. I get it, "officer" Christopher O'Sullivan, of the Massasoit Community College police department. I get the HELL out of it.

Justice doesn't matter. I do not matter. The truth does not matter. Right and wrong does not matter. Compassion does not matter.

I get it. I got it. I got the hell out of it, and I got the hell out - just as you ultimately wanted but never asked. You never asked because you never had a right to ask. But then, this did not stop your reprehensible and illegal behavior violating not just my civil rights and my rights as a member of the greater community of Massasoit Community College, but simple decency. That, and your entrapment committed by your department contradicting each other directly to me. Oh, and your ex post facto violation as breached by presenting me with a copy of this "no trespassing" order AFTER arresting me for violating the conditions set forth IN that document - never before having been in my possession and these conditions not applying until AFTER your pitiful and disgraceful act of false arrest.

The American justice system is about one thing and one thing only - get in and get out, and oh, by the way, pay your money to the crooks whose livelihood depends on harassing and extorting NON-crooks. Don't clog the system. Don't fight back. How dare you! The individual does NOT matter. Go along to get along.


That may not be what our forefathers had in mind. That may not be what is held dear in our constitution or what some believe they are fighting for - and dying to - protect. That is not at all what Mrs. Cookiesmile taught us in Kindergarten.

But it IS the reality. The American justice system is not about ideals. It is about "getting 'er done!" - even when what gets done has nothing whatsoever to do with justice.

Not yet, anyway. Did you catch that Mr. Cruz? Mr. O'Sullivan?

*Not yet*. I'm pissed. I've been wronged. You don't comport yourselves, you "guardians of the law" (hack! cough! pteewwy! MY TURN!) with any respect for that and those who deserve it. You did nothing to uphold justice. I did not receive justice. You haven't learned justice.

N-O-T Y-E-T.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

TO ANYONE STILL READING!!: Please feel free to forward this to any friends and family. If you happen to know the email/public/constituency-feedback addresses for Senator Kennedy or Governor Patrick, do feel free to publish them in the comments section below. If you're feeling ambitious, as I sure as hell am (well, ambitious and mad as hell!), contact these public servants yourselves with a copy of this article, as I intend to do tonight. Don't worry about citation or copywrite or whatever - I own this piece and I want the information to spread like a waistline during the holidays! Byline, no byline - in whole or in part - feel free to let folks know that this nonsense really does happen. It isn't karma. It isn't the inevitable result of keeping bad company. It isn't predictible, it isn't preventable, and it isn't fair. But when it does happen, harness that dignity that still rightfully belongs to you and FIGHT BACK!

Here are some links that may be useful:

1. - http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1255405/no_justice_at_massasoit.html?cat=17
This is a copy of the link to this story! Ha! And it's in the story! Talk about meta!!

2. http://kennedy.senate.gov/senator/contact.cfm
This is the address to get a template to contact Senator Kennedy via postal mail regarding a specific issue

3. Here is some more contact information for Senator Kennedy


Washington Office

317 Russell Senate Building
Washington D.C. 20510
p (202) 224-4543
f (202) 224-2417

Massachusetts Office

2400 JFK Building
Boston, MA 02203
p (617) 565-3170
p (877) 472-9014
f (617) 565-3183

4. http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_contact_us
This is the address where you can contact Governor Patrick

5. http://www.aclum.org/
American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

340 Main St
Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 752-5363

Obviously this is information on how to contact that Massachusetts ACLU.

6. http://www.mass.gov/mcad/endnotes.html
This page begins your and/or my search for the Massachusetts Counsel Against Discrimination (MCAD)

7. http://bostonglobe.com/about/contact/default.asp?fld=dept&crit=News&exact=y
This is the web address to get the Boston Globe news editor

This address gets you to the address for the editorial/opinion section

8. http://ledger.southofboston.com/extras/contact.shtml

Main Telephone Number: 617-786-7000

Mailing Address:

The Patriot Ledger
400 Crown Colony Drive
Post Office Box 699159
Quincy, Massachusetts 02269-9159

This is the contact info for the Patriot Ledger newspaper.

9. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/BrianRoss/page?id=3247430
This is the address to 'The Blotter by Brian Ross. Basically, a venue for news consumers to be news contributors.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU in advance!!!

Stanley W. Shura
225 Green Street
Abington, MA 02351
(617) 872 - 1239

P.S. - One final note (of contempt!) to the two biggest offenders in all of this - yeah, you, Cruz and O'Sullivan - and for that matter the officers who recorded me as "trespassing" or allegedly so, WITHOUT BOTHERING TO TELL ME! :

Okay, you spineless pukes. I get it. Now I get it. I'm awake. I am WIDE awake. You didn't have the decency or courtesy to let me in on the joke, the "inside scoop". Yours was a sneak attack. You're a disgrace. You threw down the gauntlet when my back was turned - or when my eyes were closed, whatever.

What you did was an insult to basic human decency. You showed NO respect for my verified and documented (and COSTLESS!!!!!!!) need for clarity and calm. You showed me no respect when you failed to inform me those middle 3 "naps" that I was doing anything wrong (or just plain irritatin' ya for playin' in your 'hood for longer than "allowed". You showed me absolute DISRESPECT by contradicting what one of your own officers - on the same damned force - it's not that big and I'm sure you sip coffee together once in awhile doing "report" or whatever it is that you do when you're not looking for someone to intimidate. I have a very difficult time believing that it was an honest "mistake" that two people in the same office, and thus the same work and law enforcement culture!, would interpret something as simple and clear cut and BLACK AND WHITE as what constitutes a crime and what does not! Especially "trespassing"! That one isn't rocket science, Barney Fife.

You're the one with the badge - YOU learn the damned law!!! If you don't know it well enough to be on the same page - nevermind that what is ON that page (in other words, the LETTER of the law - which is the ONLY standard to which ANYONE can or should be held - should ever, EVER vary from within this country's walls - then you are not fit to wear the badge. No one - NO ONE - not judges, DAs and ESPECIALLY not your less (or non-) academically credentialled law enforcement officer!!! has ANY right or sway or discretion or prerogative to "interpret" it at will. That would make the rule of LAW, no, the law itself, like a chameleon on steroids! You would have a code of law that is so morphable and ever unclear as to make complying with it absolutely impossible. And when you keep it a secret that you're criminalizing the behavior of somebody who doesn't even know you're doing it - when such "criminalizing" and recording it as such is in fact the infraction (in other words, dicks, YOU broke the law by your flagrant abuse of power and arrest) - you are behaving frighteningly similarly to some of the most evil and corrupt scum to have unfortunately walked this earth in human history!

CASE IN POINT ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

You simply cannot expect the populace, or ANY citizen, to "just know" what is "reasonable" or "sketchy" or "ill-advised" or "antagonizing" or "gray". This is the LAW for Christ's sake!!! It has no RIGHT to be gray or ambiguous. Why? Because some citizens just might have a very difficult time understanding it and living and getting on with their lives. It is EVERYBODY'S rights and abilities which must - MUST be accounted for, not just "the average joe's". Screw that and screw him.

I'm not your average Joe. I can not, should not, and WILL not be expected to comport myself such as to pretend that I am. That is a vile and stinking precept and premise. It is downright vomitous. And as a prededent - it is positively frightening. It is dangerous. And it is unAmerican.

No I am certainly *not* doing any flag-waving with that statement. I am saying that the true American ideals are the true HUMAN ideals. Anything that veers away from basic right and human dignity is just pure politics and the putting on of patriotic airs. When the cop's word becomes implicitly stronger or more valid than that of the average citizen, either blatantly or subconsciously, it becomes unconstitutional. There are 3 branches of government. The cop is NOT the judge. The cop does NOT have the right to 2 "votes" to Joe Citizen's 1. America had an era like that. And it was positively a disgusting disgrace. The culture and "law" at that time, and the people guilty of obeying and fostering it, is and are unfit and unworthy, even, to kiss my... ..."foot".

And so is anything or anyONE who resembles it.

The law, and those who take on the immense - IMMENSE - responsibility to legislate, enforce, or interpret it, have NO right to be inconsistent or ambiguous. And NO police officer has the prerogative of interpretation.

No. You do not.

You had it in your power to be clear. That would have been the least you could do for even a completely healthy and uncompromised citizen. But when I specifically said I do not understand, and when I told you that I have an incredibly arduous time negotiating ambiguity, your sarcasm and mocking demeanor - especially as you were acting in a position of authority - was a particularly low and despicable act of unnecessary and downright sadistic cruelty on your part.

SHAME ON YOU. I don't just mean that rhetorically. You deserve some tremendously difficult karma. That all goes just as much for you, Cruz, as you too were more concerned with clearning the docket and keeping the production line flowing than with serving justice. You didn't have time for the truth. Tough - I am going to serve it directly to you - and I do not need a lawyer to do that.

To the pair of you scum - I have just the same rights to access to resources in my community as anybody else. And, when it comes to levelling the playing field, and this is one of the only events where I hold such a hard and severe attitude as I am about to express - when it comes to ensuring fairness - the ends justify the means.

You as much as stuck out your foot in the path of a walking blind man. You stole my security. You stole my faith. You stole the purity - if even only temporarily - of my deserved and hard-earned good reputation. You tried to steal my dignity. You tried to steal my justice. You tried to steal my equality. I've got news. I'm one who gets back up. You may have succeeded, temporarily, in kicking me out of your 'hood, but trust me, I am not going anywhere. Neither I nor you will rest until I get back what's mine.

Shame on such loathesome slugs as you. How's about hitting me now that I'm looking you square in the eye.

Cowards. Janis Joplin sang that 'freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.' I'm discovering how empowering that really is. Maybe you should now keeps *your* eyes open, you bullies, 'cause I intend to get my lunch money back.

And I don't just mean that rhetorically. The harm and indignity and injustice you committed unto me was not rhetorical. The larceny of my property - real, intangible, and projected is not rhetorical. The $90 in court and "bondsman/appearance" costs is not rhetorical. The personal day was not rhetorical. MY time is not rhetorical. My elevated blood pressure is not rhetorical. My extremely elevated stress level is not rhetorical. My subsequently even MORE compromised attention and newly compromised demeanor and even more acute vulnerability to stress at work - and it does continue - is NOT rhetorical. The *SUBSEQUENT* onset and new diagnosis of migraine and the costs associated with it - both fixed and now forever variable, et cetera) was not rhetorical. Yeah - yeah, go ahead and lay that "correlative does not mean causative" argument right on my lap. I promise you I intend to let someone in authority decide that. You read that right - I am going to file to have this causality reviewed for a judgment. I have enough health problems. I did not need this early Christmas present from YOU, thank you very much.

Litigious? Don't even cross that line. Who arrested whom - for SLEEPING??? Believe me when I tell you that my reaction is not litigious. It is damned well understated and more than justified. You think my body's physical response is but a mere happenstance? Please. I'm more than satisfied to let a third party decide which is more credible - coincence or etiology.

The material loss is absolutely trivial. I mean - I am living literally hand to mouth and have better places for my money and would surely feel better having that personal day still "in the bank", but that is not at all the poinot. The point is that you not only wronged me. But you did so willingly and with considerable malace and a tragically unnecessary destruction of good will and my overall well-being, for NO gain to the well being of anybody else. THAT is what stinks here. It was completely unnecessary - not just wrong.

WHY?! I can only guess. It is just unfathomable to me. Did you enjoy it? Were you just tired of "dealing with" an "oddball" such as me. How utterly grandiose and judgmental. The plain inhumanity, injustice, the cruel - and I'm sure for you voyeuristically motivated - exposing of me to the chasm of confusion and fear, and just the blatant and willful meanness and flagrant abuse of authority on your part are the real travesties here. This whole damned thing was beyond simply unnecessary. It was downright immoral and I assert illegal and borderline criminal as well. Mr. O'Sullivan, the gratuitousness of your cruelty, your fleeting if not downright ill-conceived grasp of fairness, and probably the law itself - and most - your haughty refusal to acknowldge either one, renders you unfit for duty, not only for reasons of competence, but also of character.

Mr. Cruz, your obvious allegience to efficiency over the facts, and expediency over the law, causes me to pray (or grieve) for any children you may have, and their own sense of fairness and security in the world. You wield that much power as a father and as a D.A. Here's hoping you are much better at the former than the latter. Now, before you laugh or scoff this off, I'm going to warn you - even though I have a feeling these cards are those that one of your fellow Bar members might very well advise me to keep to my chest: I can PROVE your prioritizing of expediency by behavior you exhibited and actions you took right before my eyes. In your questioning me without waiting for the answer to come from my mouth, you sought it elsewhere - expected that source to contradict me.

He/she/they did not, did they, sir? No, they didn't. Massasoit's IS a public library. I DO have *every* right to be there, don't I, pal? Yeah. But you didn't want to hear that. No - to learn that it is a COMMUNITY library was a pretty damned inconvenient little thing to you, huh? Suddenly, the answer you predicted would be worth the time to seek found the same response you gave to my own "testimony" before you - "well, it - it doesn't matter anyway. Look...if you wanna spend Thanksgiving in county lock-up that's up to you, I don't have all day". Funny that, ay' Gov'nuh? Then why'dja make the call? You weren't looking for information. You were hoping to be able to dismiss me out of hand. When it didn't pan out that way, THEN suddenly - it "didn't matter". That is absolutely corrupt. I intend for you to answer for that behavior, counselor, and not just to me monetarily, but in defense of your very law license. I'll try you by your superiors. I'll try you in court. And I am and will try you in the court of public opinion. If I find your photo - I will amend this piece to include it.

To then attempt (and succeed) at pressuring me and threatening me and giving me the bum's rush, IS criminal. It's coercion. It's practically extortion! No. "Practically" - nothing! It is the TEXTBOOK and literal definition of extortion. You abused your position of authority to get money from me. Oh, yes you did.

That little conversation you two uncaught felons had before me: "'whaddaya think? $50 in court costs and stay off the property?'...'Yeah, I think...(cough...hack....Chesterfield phlegm!!!...)..I think that's appropriate...(ckakkk!!...ptew!)'." That in the context of not letting me have the slightest chance to offer up my side, and to regard me with less respect than the revolving door puke-fest that I shared company with as they pled for dui and domestic assault and probabtion violations and the like. You, sirs, owed me much more respect than that. And you are deserving of less respect than the aforementioned repeat offenders that you love so well. I'm sure your mothers are proud of you. I mean, you have their genes, right?

So, yes. That was plain vanilla extortion right there. There was no "mens rea" on my part - but it was DRIPPING from you. You KNEW you were lookin' at a greenie NON-criminal who was about pissing his pants and would comply for his own lack of experience in such matters and lack of funds to obtain a lawyer of my own who could have told you where to shove it. I tried. I did a Google search and called one up. He actually accused me of being snide when, after he casually remarked that he might be able to appear for me for less than his usual $3500, I said "Hey - once you get to four figures, it's all the same to me."

It's a different game to you folks. A grand here and a grand there is one week's take home for you. For me, it's two weeks' gross. You had the power. You abused it. You got money out of it. That's called extortion. And ya know what? You, Mr Cruz, and your menthol-mouthed muscle in a tie are hardly better than mobsters in the way you treated me. $50 in court costs versus $3500 (just to start!!!) to have the "privilege" of proclaiming my innocence. Hell - to a guy in my shoes, that is just as bad as having to chose between paying up my $50 in protection money or getting my legs broken. It's all the same damned thing to me and you are truly just as dirty and immoral as any of the Sopranos. I had no choice but to "accept your graciousness, Mr. Godfather".

To the three of you - Sullivan, Cruz, and Cruz's brawny back up, whoever the hell you are, your behavior was inexcusable. What you did was wrong, and I damned well intend to fight until it is made right. There is nothing at all rhetorical about that.

The amends I will get from you, with or without your willingness, contrition, or cooperation, are not going to be rhetorical, either. You did this to me because I needed to rest. Let me tell you something: I am going to see some sense of real right out of this which, you'd better believe this, I won't regard as having occured until you, Cruz, and especially you, O'Sullivan, stand before me, look me square in the eye and apologize - and SHOW me how sorry you are - through significant monetary damages, and maybe a demotion or censure, and it goes absolutely without saying, an expungement from my records of any of this, and that icludes (but is not limited to) my fingerprints which you so disgustingly made me give you, and the photos of me you took, and any and all paper on this - including the REAL account, if it exists outside of this report of mine.

You did all this because I decided I needed to rest. You *DID* this, sirs, because you cannot STAND that there are folks out there (out HERE, you jerks!) who cannot, do not, and never will fit the mold of "typical" that you bullies in blue and your cro-magnon counterparts INSIST is the "order" you are duty bound to uphold. You did this because you expected me to read between your unspoken, unclear, unassumable and VERY blurry lines. When one officer tells me I'm within the law - THAT'S IT! Case closed, buzz off, go get a kruller and leave me the hell alone! I promise you this - if it is your duty to harass and abuse somebody just because he thinks literally, and dares to trust that the LETTER of the law is his GUARANTEE of clarity and success in finding and GETTING absolute fairness, then I will see to it that your duty is your demise. Let me repeat that. Just because I am differently abled than most of the "middle of the road", "top of the bell curve", beer chugging masses, does not mean that I have different rights under the law. You cannot mandate, legislate or enforce "normalcy".

I fully intend to teach you that lesson, as I am absolutely entitled to the guarantee that you behave in accordance with fairness and the LETTER of the law. Toward that end, and read this - YES - literally, I am entitled to and intend to act within the full range of my rights to absolute justice - and with the irrefutable interpretation of that range to be BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

The only reason I didn't and couldn't drag this out and call you out publically, is because I couldn't and can't afford the lawyer's ante. And that's YOUR "system". I represent myself, and I'm bullied by two clods who as much as tell me to shut up or they'll break my legs. Or send to to jail for 30 days, whatever. Same damned thing. The truth IS on my side. The constitution is on MY side. The law is on MY side. The facts are on MY side. And yet that isn't enough.

Your way.

Alright - bottom line: and, hear this. I deserve exoneration. I deserve an apology. And in lieu of the decency needed for the latter to happen, and I'm not holding my breath, believe me, I deserve and will HAVE justice. I can't afford to get it your way. So, you tell me, what choice do I have?

I promise you thugs that I will NOT rest until *I* am satisfied you have learned how to do your jobs. YOU are not going to rest until I am satisfied you have learned a little something about empathy, and about how to damned well treat a person.