I wonder at the affluential mind,
A world they would not see through low-life eyes,
The structures they created glitter well,
No issue as to where to go to eat.

How long do wealthy have to wait?
Have they the long lines for their care?
Bottom of the wage scale or the dole,
Wait to being called across the room.

What century is this welfare wheelchair from?
Spokes and rim from days of carriage trade,
Boards and rails, signs of next to come
Of all the flawed constructions of our care.

I lined up with the hobbled and displaced,
The lost or hopeless dispossessed,
Minimum-wage mothers and their kids,
The happy world the affluential made.

Brittle Star15OBOX3-articleInline


The Death Of Self

My schadenfreud’ retreats about this news,

A well-regarded magazine gone down.

I have lived the pain, how writers drown,

Cast into a life they would not choose.

In what direction turns their working skill? 

Craftsmanship that fewer people see

And pay for—years of work for free—

Dare now ask the world to foot the bill.


office katz_360.173918


Humble Pineapple Edition

From the article How a Humble Pineapple Became Art,  New York Times May 11, 2017, By Dan Bilefsky

When students Lloyd Jack and Ruairi Gray spotted an empty table at an art exhibition this month at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, they put a pineapple on it as a joke. They probably assumed it would be taken off in a few hours.

Instead, when they came back a few days later, “they were shocked to discover their pineapple protected by a glass display case, instantly and mysteriously transformed into a work of art.”

The prank quickly took off:

“…After one of the students, Lloyd Jack, 22, who studies business, put a photograph of the pineapple on Twitter, along with the words, ‘I made art,’ the image was shared widely on social media, turning the fruit, fairly or not, into a cultural sensation.”

Mr. Jack’s tweet garnered 5,000 likes, and then the art world kicked in:

“Before long, the work, which the two students titled “Pineapple,” had been deconstructed on art blogs and social media worldwide; parsed in Paris, Texas and Tokyo; and even featured on Canadian television.”

Mr. Jack said the work had “been on display for a week” before it was removed.

In a related article by Christopher Melem, NYT May 30, 2016,  two teenagers put a pair of glasses on the floor at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art then “Stood back and watched as, within minutes, visitors regarded their prank as a work of art, with some even taking photos of the fake installation.”


(This poem was written November First, 2016)



Can I construct a monster out of words,

Raise to all-too-real a fearsome beast?

I can conceive of this— I saw it done-

Raised prominent, the lowest and the least.


I see what people choose to run their lives,

Creatures made of greed and endless hate,

Drawing strength through fear and laying doubt

To work within ourselves to set our fate.


My apartment in the back-end of the house,

A hypogealic distance from the street,

Presents no bar to hear what those espouse,

Their lies and graven image, leaden feet.


They make a running joke of should not should,

Then say their machinations do us good.





Here we have an autumn neatly dressed,
Fractured nature spread across the lines,
The nature poet, urban under stress
To see what changing foliage defines.

Stone and wood and green can make a poem,
And then the nature ends and he goes home.




April 17th Edition.

I’m back to posting with new equipment, an HP Chromebook 14 G4, and I can’t describe the tremendous relief I feel after two months of trying to work on a tablet.  Typing has been the core of my whole working life from clerk-typist (now “administrative assistant”) to writer and editor, using fingers and thumbs on solid keys. I wasn’t able to turn off suggest-a-word, so the A.I. kept trying to rewrite me.  I wasn’t used to how sensitive a touch keyboard is to touch, so letters kept popping up that I hadn’t intended.

Now, touch typing.  At the beginning of creativity, early man drew on cave walls with a finger dipped in ash.  That got rough on the finger, so someone came up with the idea of using a blackened stick.  There was the first image processor.  Writing and drawing technology progressed steadily through the ages, moving from a finger to a stylus, typewriter and word processor, and what do you use for this latest technology?  A finger!

I’ve been posting ersatz journalism, so why not an ersatz column? FUN WITH NEWS is that, odd news items and sometimes not so odd I come across through myriad news sources.  I call it “ersatz” because I’m not reporting but reporting on others’ reporting.

For this post,  quite the pretty penny

From Toronto Sun, byline Canadian Press:

BERLIN — A massive gold coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint has been stolen from a museum in Germany. Police in Berlin say thieves broke into the German capital’s Bode Museum before dawn Monday and made off with the 100-kilogram gold coin worth millions of dollars.

From Wikipedia: The Big Maple Leaf (BML) is one of six[1] $1 million (CAD) gold coins each weighing 100 kilograms (220 lb) (3,215 troy ounces). They were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) in 2007, at their Ottawa facility where the first BML produced remains in storage.

The Bode museum has what is considered the world’s largest coin collection, but is also known for Byzantine art and related works.  The museum is located on Museum Island (where else) on the Spree River near Berlin, and if I live long enough and prosper sufficiently to get to Europe, that museum will be on my must-see list.

Further from The Toronto Sun:

(Royal Canadian Mint spokesman Alex Reeves) “So then it became a product that was made on demand and customers who made a non-refundable deposit on the coin had one manufactured for them,” Reeves said.

A total of five coins were produced and sold that way, he said. The one stolen in Germany is one of those five.

I found no mention of who the buyers were or what they were doing to do with the coin once they got it home.

Obverse Big Maple Leaf.jpg

This is the front side


And this is the back.

That’s it for this edition of FUN WITH NEWS.  I’ll be searching through my myriad news sources for other odd and not-so-odd items.  Do I have the nerve to call these posts “editions”? Obviously, yes.