On March 25th I submitted three poems to Section 8 and wasn’t notified that my work had been received, but this isn’t unusual since only a few of the ‘zines I submitted to acknowledged receipt. When I mentioned submitting to Section 8 to a friend, she looked up the site and found that my three poems are currently up there. I didn’t recall having been so notified, so I went to the site as soon as Access-A-Ride brought me home.

There, under “Poetry” and then my name, sat “Seasonal Affective,” “About.Me” (no Oxford comma) and “‘Are you okay….'” I took three passes through my Yahoo Mail Poetry Response folder and couldn’t find the acceptance message from Section 8. I took two passes through my Inbox from a day or so after the submission to current and couldn’t find an acceptance  message from Section 8.


Now, let’s see. Since poems were published without notice to the poet, I see the possibility of poems being rejected without notice to the poet. Poetic Paranoia? I have one clear example, Barrow Street. I sent three poems on December 11th, 2014, and I inquired about the submission in late Spring 2015. As with the submission, no answer. I wrote once more and again no answer, and I have to say their arrogance is breathtaking.

At least something got published.

Racoon claps paws


THIS AND THAT for October 20th


The ancient Egyptians mummified their animals and considered them as not inferior to humans, and they would appreciate today’s rescue efforts. The Humane Society has rescued hundreds of pets, but the Sierra Club goes one step further: Wild animals whose homes were disrupted.

Wildlife Rehabilitators: The Hidden Heroes of Hurricane Season

By  Meredith Brown, Sierra Club National Newsletter

“But what about the wild animals whose habitats have also been destroyed? That’s where wildlife rehabilitators, or “rehabbers,” come in—specially trained and licensed individuals (often working as volunteers) who typically work in collaboration with local wildlife centers to retrieve and rehabilitate mammals, birds, reptiles, and other species in distress.”

Great photos–see end of this post


And the ancient Egyptians would appreciate current-day Halloween celebrations:


“The National Retail Federation, as reported by Consumer Affairs, estimates that 9.1 billion dollars will be spent on Halloween costumes, decorations, accessories and whatever.”

By Sarah D. Young, Consumer Affairs

Costumes for people, but what about pets?


By Sarah D. Young, Consumer Affairs

Of that 9.1 billion, some will be spent on pet costumes.

Of the nearly 200 million Americans planning to celebrate Halloween this year, 16 percent will dress their dog or cat in a costume. And this Halloween, Fido and Fluffy might bear a resemblance to one another.”

The most popular doggy costumes:

Pumpkin, Hot dog, Dog(?), lion or(?) pirate, Bumblebee, Devil, Batman character, Ghost, Cat, witch, Star Wars character. [Listed as a column.]


This concerned animals we like. The next item concerns the ones we don’t.

Govtrack.us lists every congress-thing and the legislation they ferment. I found this site through a Washington Post Article from Govtrack about congressional donations received from the NRA, providing an excellent state-by-state and rep by rep of how much each was given. In New York, only one democrat was listed as having received $5,000, Rep. Brian Higgins. I hadn’t been able to find anything more about him until I checked his Facebook page.

” For over five years, I have refused to accept contributions from the NRA, and while I have not chosen to return previous donations, I have instead chosen to donate those funds to local and national organizations fighting for common sense gun safety policies.”

So, he used to but he doesn’t now. He’s upstate, office in Buffalo, NY.  

Here’s the WP article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/


By Aaron Williams, Washington Post

And thank you, GovTrack: https://www.govtrack.us/

Also on Facebook

I’ve been barking up this tree long enough, so this is that for This And That for October 20th. 

Here’s  baby Raccoon, squirrel, bats and baby rabbits.  I haven’t posted Higgins’ picture.




(September 18th, 2017)

I’ve been posting ersatz journalism, so why not an ersatz column? I plan to deal with many things, shoes and ships, etc., so the so-far title so far fits.

BBC Television recently showed all three seasons of their version of the Three Musketeers, and I was interested in the time period. I looked up Musketeers first and found that several nations of the time had musket-bearing troops that formed the larger part of the infantry. In France at the time of Louis XIV the unit was the Musketeers of the Guard.  Dumas’ Three Muskateers is fiction and historically inaccurate except for one thing: There was a real d’artagnan. (No,you are four!) He was (get ready) Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d’Artagnan. The Wikipedia entry has a caveat about accuracy, but I guess it’s on point here: “served Louis XIV as captain of the Musketeers of the Guard and died at the Siege of Maastricht in the Franco-Dutch War.” Dumas’ d’artagnan was taken from a semi-fictional account of his life by a Courtilz de Sandras. The book is available from Gutenberg, but it’s in French. If you can read French and have as much time for this stuff as I do you can learn more about him (for whatever reason). The link for that war will work, so if you’re interested check the Wikipedia entry.

Here’s d’artagnan.



Now, a complete subject switch, taken from my Facebook page. Followers, this is not addressed to you.

Ah, Hillary Haters! Was it Russia calling your tune? Most of you will suffer no more than annoyance and a touch of revulsion. What effect does the Trump presidency have on your lives? You’re not dependent on what might be cut. If she had won, would you demand her impeachment?

I addressed this “issue” in my poem “I Don’t Trust Her.” I hadn’t heard about the Russian connection or had overlooked it at the time.


Now, switching again, the gender-specific pronoun problem:

His, hers, him, her, she/he himer (that’s mine), and I think it gets sillier.

The problem is that there is no dative case in English, but there is a neutral pronoun: It. Instead of Mr. Blaustein, It Blaustein; instead of Ms. Patricia, It Patricia; he and she, it and it; his and hers, its and its (careful not to put in the apostrophe).

Occam’s razor, here, simplest solution.

That’s it for this This and That for September 18th.


So people pee in pools

From perhaps the water and the flesh

The sight of spandex over certain parts…

The bladder and the prostate both awake

To turn some men to urinating fools

Ladies too let loose when it hits hard

No thought at all at where they are in space

And all the other bodies that have minds

(So fuck you what I mean go take a swim)

Though I can see myself in such a space

Avoiding all the looks that spell relieved…

Now I could tell my cats and they would know

A species that by instinct hides their waste

Evolving as we have we lost the need

An instinct first and foremost dribbled out…

Here closeness is defined by sharing pee

And think what we will do when in the sea.



Their Machinations

(This poem was written November First, 2016. Prophetic?)

Can I construct a monster out of words,
Raise to all-too-real a fearsome beast?
Conceive of this—I saw and heard
As prominent, the lowest and the least

I see who people choose to run their lives,
Those creatures made of greed and endless hate,
Drawing strength where fear and doubting thrive,
To work within ourselves to set our fate

My apartment in the back-end of the house,
Provides a distance hypogealic from the street,
This is no bar to hear what those espouse,
Their lying graven image of belief

They make a running joke of should not should
Then claim their machinations do us good.

ALAN’S NEW SKILL, Pasting a link to a post


This worked!  I saw the code at the bottom of the page and saw the invitation to post it to your blog or Web Site. I wasn’t sure this would happen. I first saw only a non-picture icon when I pasted into visual. I erased, pasted into the html side, clicked visual and here it is. I think there may be an easier way, and I’ll find out next time.

And this is useful.


The death march of the wretched hobbles on,
Darkly, under overwhelming skies.
Sinews show and bones and jaundiced eyes,
Survivors’ hollowed faces show hope gone.

Who provides the music for their steps,
Whose machinations satisfy whose greed?
For more beyond whatever they would need,
They will use them up till none are left!