Friday, July 29, 2005

Poem: George Bush Is An Asshole

George Bush Is An Asshole

Corrupted regime is imbedded
In fabric of governmental design
Now we are stuck with an asshole
Unless he is forced to resign

He smirks and he grins from his pulpit
Mindless in directive and plan
When the nation was facing its terror
He revealed himself half of a man

Extremist and radically driven
Zealotry stems from his soul
Only when all can be conquered
Will he attain of his ultimate goal

Condemns and eschews moderation
He’s devoid of all ethical traits
What is not absolute to his favor
Is assigned with illogical hate

A legacy built upon ruin
Of people and programs destroyed
His time in the White House remembered
For the ruthless betrayals employed

Representing the worst in our nation
His minions a dastardly crew
All we can hope from the people
They’ll awaken to turn more states blue

ht SGW 2005

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Scott's Island

What we will need:

1. Electricity. No way we can go without internet access. Plus, if we leave this fucking mess to the idiots who voted for Bush, it will be fun to watch them suffer the consequences.
2. A good stereo and lots of CDs.
3. Writing pads and a bunch of pens. I can't do poetry on the computer.
4. A supply contract with Guinness.
5. Suntan lotion. I burn.
6. A barbecue. Nothing like a good burger to make everything seem better.
7. A computer. See #1.
8. 50,000 books. Smart people read, so the people left in the U.S. won't need them anyway.
9. Someone who is really handy; kind of our version of the "Professor."
10. A giant litter box for all our cats. Catherine can bring her dog, though, too.

Ok, who's with me? I can't take this shit anymore!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Lance Armstrong: It's not about the bike

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows about my cancer story. One thing about cancer is that you immediately feel connected to other survivors; especially those who shared the same type of cancer. Lance Armstrong and I both had testicular cancer. His spread and mine did not, so he had a tougher road, but we still have the bond of survivorship.

Due to this connection, I have followed Lance's domination of cycling as closely as anyone. Today Lance completed his seventh consecutive triumphant run through the Tour de France. To Lance Armstrong I say, "Well done, well done."

By all rights, Armstrong should have died as his cancer spread to his lungs and brain. However, superb doctors and Lance's incredible will to live beat the disease and he returned to active cycling and became the greatest rider in tour history. More than that, Armstrong became the poster child of courage and a role model to anyone struggling to defeat illness. His strength and fortitude is the goal of every cancer patient and a connection to every survivor. He is our face; the symbol of victory over illness. Lance represents hope and unyielding determination.

As Lance Armstrong stands proudly in the yellow jersey that tells the world that he is the champion of champions in cycling, also wearing his yellow "Livestrong" bracelet on his wrist that has so become a part of our daily lives, he rides off into a life of other challenges and interests. No matter what, though, his legacy will endure forever as a survivor.

Friday, July 22, 2005

20 Great Things About New Jersey

1. Springsteen - Sorry, but no one has a rocker like the Boss, who is also just one of the guys. I have run into him several times and he will stop to chat. He frequents local businesses, too. Of course, the most important thing is that he is this generation's poet and voice, and speaks to New Jersey and America like nobody else can.

2. The Jersey Shore - From Sandy Hook to Cape May, the shore is fantastic. Forget all the problems of the late 80's, our coast is clean and fun. Whether you like baking in the sun, fishing, dining, or great music, there is no place like our shoreline.

3. The Music - Speaking of great music, and beyond Springsteen, New Jersey has some of the best rock and folk music in the country. Classic clubs like the Stone Pony and the Saint, and our many great coffeehouses are havens of top of the line music.

4. Ocean Grove - Visiting this quaint, little town is a pure joy. Again, that wonderful food and beach atmosphere, but combine it with 19th century nuances and an eclectic population that is found nowhere else.

5. The Pinelands - Despite business's attempts to eat into this area, it remains a pristine and beautiful home to nature and wildlife.


7. Jersey - Try abbreviating any other state and see if it sounds this cool.

8. Jenk's - In Point Pleasant; you've got the aquarium, a great club, good food, and a happening boardwalk.

9. Central Jersey - Publications consistently rank the Monmouth/Ocean County region as one of the best places to live in the country. Developing is taking its toll, but we still have open space and lots to offer. Plus, given the location, we get New York and Philly media.

10. Our parks system - The state is sprinkled with great parks in every region that offer fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and nature watching. My favorites are Turkey Swamp and Cheesequake.

11. Hoboken - Ok, so it takes a week and a half to park on the weekend, it is worth it. Tons of good restaurants and a cultural scene to match.

12. Our flea markets - Others states have these, too, I know, but just try Englishtown Flea Market and then talk to me.

13. The Papermill Playhouse - Shows the quality of Broadway at times and a lot less cost.

14. Everyone lives by an exit - No other place has its citizens describe where they live solely by what exit they live off on the Garden State Parkway.

15. Princeton - The campus is beautiful to walk through and the town is a mix of dining, shops, culture, curiosities.

16. Cape May - Great bed and breakfasts, whale watching and a calm that is unrivaled.

17. Our terminologies for invaders - Bennies and Shoobies, go home!

18. Newark Airport - It sucks so badly that Jersey folk appreciate vacations all the more, just for knowing we made it out of the freakin' airport!

19. Stuff Yer Face - There is nothing like a good boli. Of course, if you go to the original in New Brunswick, part of the experience is Thomas Sweet's Ice Cream for dessert next store.

20. The Garden State Art Center - A great place to hear music that is easily reached. It is an amphitheatre with lawn seats that only enhance the experience. Some of the best national acts perform there each summer.

Bonus Picks
21. Our boundary shape - Admit it, you think it's cool that our state looks like a man.

22. Diners - They are everywhere and they never close. There's nothing like a full meal at 2 A.M.

23. Jersey Freeze - In Freehold, they've got great lunches (especially the hot dogs and fries) and the ice cream hits the spot (Although Days in Ocean Grove is better).

G.D.'s influence Extra-Bonus Picks
24. Red Bank - The Count Basie Theater, the Clearview Cinema, The Jazz & Blues Festival, the Navesink River, and antiquing.

25. Golf Courses - Read the comments. I don't play, but the state has enough golf courses to spend a lifetime trying to play. Some of the best courses, including Baltusrol the home of this year's PGA.

26. Horses, horses everywhere - He's got me on this one. Read the comments.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It's time to wake up ....

... on a Sunday morning when your dreams are completely freaking you out! I was doing laundries yesterday, so apparently my mind was stuck there.

I was having a dream that my washing machine was backed up with a half-full drum of water, white socks and wide-egg noodles. How the noodles got in there is beyond all comprehension. I am a lousy cook; in fact what I do in the kitchen is rarely described as cooking and Italians in particular would call me a blasphemer on one dish, but I can assure you that I know not to put pasta in my washing machine with the socks (or without the socks for that matter).

Anyway, I panicked and called mom. Again, we are still in the dream. Mom told me about a secret, reverse cycle that would clean it out. However, it went into effect on my dryer, which proceeded to fill with water and leak onto the carpet. Of course, I have no carpet in my laundry room, but now both washer and dryer were in my office, our Human Resources manager, who is a friend, was telling me I needed to report this to maintenance at once, and my boss was standing over my desk, oblivious, sorting through the mail and asking annoying questions.

I had, had enough at that point, so I woke up. I have that gift; if a dream is too much, I can just wake up. Anyway, any pseudo-psych peeps want to tell me I need to be committed?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Poem: The Next

The Next

Take this soul as you deem,
Beyond earthly limits;
Points reached through time’s retreat.

Discovering a peace
Built in exultation.
New dimensions with breadth.

Oh, Angel of Mercy!
Your arms warm and caress;
Guiding me, unafraid;
The willing passenger
As the next path revealed.

Joyful ascendency
Lifting to beginnings
Of eternal reward.

Copyright SGW 2005

Friday, July 8, 2005

Poem: Man On The Can

If any male reads this and wants to comment negatively, think twice, buddy; there's not a guy that does not read in the bathroom. Women; feel free to shake your heads.

Man on the Can

The moment comes at once to a head,
Where nature will invariably call,
Then off goes the male to the bathroom,
To read; this is true of us all.

We seemingly spend hours turning the pages,
Whether the papers or comics or mags,
Off on our porcelain study,
Long after nature’s call often lags.

I’m not sure why the toilet provides this,
For some reason it just seems some place ideal,
Twenty minute clips to peruse any article,
Is the least each American male will steal.

And it is funny to mention this also,
But sometimes there’s no reason to go,
We just wish to check out the latest in Newsweek,
And the bathroom’s the quietest place that we know.

Females never will get it,
“He went in there and now it’s an hour,”
The place just kind of provides us a haven,
That is beyond any rational power.

In the most dire and desperate of circumstances,
Even cereal boxes occasionally will do,
Medicine jars, shopping lists or pizza menus,
Long as there’s some words we can eagerly view.

I’ve long believed as an educational measure,
Toilets in classrooms rather than desks and a chair,
I guarantee every male would be hungry for knowledge,
Because the reading throne that they need would be there.

So, this is the American male,
Although I am now told it’s universally given,
Any man on the can it can be spoken,
To be reading, while sitting, is driven.

Copyright SGW 1997


My father died on July 8, 1992. It was a tremendous loss for me as he and I were extremely close. We coached youth baseball and basketball together, went to Rutgers games with shared season's tickets and spoke on the phone at least two or three times each day. He was a dad, but was more and more a buddy as I got older. If Mike Richter made a great save in a Rangers hockey game, my phone would ring instantly and it would be my dad yelling, "Did you see that!?"

My father taught me to be uncompromising in love, tenderness and emotion. We had a three squeeze hand grasp that our entire family shared. Each squeeze signified a word in the sentence "I Love You." I kissed him hello and goodbye as a teen in front of my friends (How many teen boys do you know who will do that!?). The night before he died, I stayed over my parents' home while my car was being repaired in a neighboring town. He was lying on the couch watching a ballgame. I was beside him with my head on his stomach. I was twenty-eight at the time.

Every kid on our block loved my dad. During our baseball games in the street, he would come out and play with us sometimes (My dad was offered major league contracts in his youth and was arguably the best baseball player of his generation growing up in Brooklyn. I have heard stories from countless people. It was a pisser having a catch with him as he would change the glove from his right to left hand and back every few minutes, being ambidextrous.). Other times, you would have to be on guard. Dad had a German Shepherd's bark down pat and he would sneak up behind you and pinch the back of your leg and have you jump out of your socks.

Dad had a generous heart second to none. As time has passed, I have discovered how many kids he subsidized to play sports in town. I already knew about the boys we would pile into our car so that they could get to practices and how much time he would spend writing newspaper accounts for the local paper so each kid could get a moment of glory. I have sat and listened to many of these children as adults now who credit my father for their becoming doctors or good parents themselves or not ending up in jail or dead.

Politically, he would go door to door for issues and causes that mattered. He was relentless when people needed his voice and support. He could talk a topic to death and would disappear for hours while chatting up someone he ran into at the local convenience store.

His death was an event on the scale of JFK passing, small town style. The funeral home required the largest police presence they had ever seen to handle traffic that day. The procession of cars driving to the graveyard stretched for miles. So many food baskets arrived at our home, that the owner of the shop stopped by to see who this person was. Our family being Jewish, a minyun of ten people was required to conduct the necessary prayers each day. We had a congregation that sounded like a fall temple service during the high holy days. The house was filled to capacity until late in the evening every day. The number of letters we received for months after was staggering.

In the years that have followed, I have discovered how much of my father I am becoming. My writing skills are drawn from him. My political and social conscience is his making. With each lost hair on the top of my head, each movement of my arms while talking on the phone and every subtle mannerism, I see him when I look in the mirror. I am proud of all of that.

I marvel at my poetry's development since he died and wonder who controls the pen as I sit and create a new piece. Dad never feared a public audience. I wish he could have seen me talk in front a thousand cancer survivors and their families during an American Cancer Society event or watched as I have performed countless times for people sitting at attention to my poetic musings.

I think he would be incredibly proud of this blog, too. Hell, I bet I would have to give him his own access so that he can be a writer here!

I don't generally feel sad on the anniversary of his passing. I have strong views on death. When a good ... really good ... person dies, I am happy for them. I see life as a test, and what comes after death to be the reward. When someone lives their life well, and does God's work to the best of their abilities, then in death they will reap the benefits of the goodness of their life. That is why I believe God is misspelled; it is missing an "o."

I am sad at times because I miss my father, but I am always happy for him. However, this weekend I felt an extra twinge of sorrow in missing him. I looked at my poetry, and the massiveness of its form today. I spent time with some musicians on Friday and Saturday that I think he would have loved as I do. I shared a couple of hours with the child I mentor each week. I looked at myself in the mirror. I felt like having a catch ala "Field of Dreams," as he and I shared a few thousand times (He had a wicked curve and knuckler!).

It is moments like those above when I wish I had my father around. I want to share these times with him and show him who I have become ... him. I can't do that, although in a way I know he can still see and is proud.

I am left with one choice. I can keep attempting to live a life based on his example. I can do that, and I can share who he was/is with all of you.

Monday, July 4, 2005

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton


John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery


Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York

William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey

Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark


Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith,
George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross


Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean


Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina

William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton


Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton