This has been on my mind for weeks and I have yet to see it addressed by the internet. I’m old, relatively and literally. There is a game of cards, popular around the world, tho less so nowadays, called Bridge. A separate incarnation called Whist also exists, nowadays more common among people of color. I was and probably remain a rather proficient player.

Fundamental to both games is the concept of a “trump”. There are four suits in the deck…and both games require one suit to be declared as the trump suit. That trump defeats any non-trump card; a deuce of trumps defeats any other ace. So trumps rule. I suspect that’s why the family cannily chose the name change from Drumpf to Trump.

Tho the game is far less familiar to most Americans nowadays, the concept of the importance of a trump is embedded in our psyche. Yes, this would seem rather self-evident…but I have yet to see it commented upon by any article from the countless analysts that post.


Tonite I went to a Spoken Word event at the White Harte Pub, a very cool place not all that far from my home. Can’t believe I’ve never before visited. I was motivated because an old friend, Stosh Machek was featured. We go back a few years. Before I’d published my book Return To Eden in 2006, I discovered this community of writers and poets here in Los Angeles. And tho I didn’t write poetry, they were very supportive of the essays that I did write…and made me feel welcome in their gatherings, celebrating the power of words spoken aloud. Stosh held a salon at the Brand Bookstore in Glendale monthly…and he included me. That was very flattering and for some years, once monthly, I heard some of the most compelling, personal, arousing prose imaginable.

Brenda Petrakos was also there tonite, The Story Lady. If you’ve ever heard her read, you know why she’s called that. It was Brenda who first encouraged me to stand up and read at a public event, perhaps 15 years ago. And my third mentor, not present tonite is Rick Lupert, who for years hosted a monthly event at The Cobalt, now sadly no longer a venue.

I’ll be returning, because The White Harte Pub is a very cool place to hang, drink, interact. My thanks to Cyrus Sepahbodi and David Gale, hosts for this event, who have invited me to feature there some time later this summer. I’ll post notice, it’s been a few years and I’m looking forward to it.

I met a young Vietnamese American man whose father had fought in the war. I listened to a young guitarist play outside; he’s very good. On a whim, before I read my poem tonite, I offered to play some instrumental country blues, which I will do on March 30th, to open the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. I asked to borrow his guitar and he graciously consented. I’ve probably played more than 100 guitars owned by others, over the years. It did not go well. I simply lacked the hand strength to play his instrument; high action, stiff strings, old fingers. That was a tad embarrassing… but lesson learned! First try it …and while you’re at it, TUNE someone else’s axe before attempting to play it in public!

BTW, I did film it and I will post it…once I’ve managed to edit out the (non)musical portion of it.  Stosh Story Lady


ANIMALS (hbo) seems made by a millennial Ralph Bakshi. Good stoner material.

“NICE is the mask people wear to hide their inner assholes.”

Tonite I ‘protected’ GIRLS on my dvr. 1st time. This episode so captures the breadth of this series. Their convoluted relationships, frank sexuality, Hanna’s inexplicable confidence to entirely be herself – I think that’s a very courageous choice – and the colors…

And then there’s TOGETHERNESS. Unlike anything else, willing to tear your heart out. It makes me angry and sad and celebratory. I think HBO’s kind of on a roll here.

But let’s face IT, WINTER IS COMING…