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February 28, 2021

Mourning # 9

Mourning # 9


If I could decide I would not eat pizza

again tonight, I mean I would, I will

but I wish I were eating only healthy

wonder foods prepared by a private chef

and I would not smoke drink or watch

television or obsess on sex or sports

video games or sweeping the garage.

I wish I had more self-control:

I decide – I do / my life – my rules

except then they invite me over and it

seems bad to say no – to friends

to ads, to spiritual mojo. I do

not wear a mask when I go out, I

should but it’s uncomfortable, and

how can I not hug my aunts and uncles

I may never see again?


---- Isai Morocho was a Junior at East High 

in Madison, Wisconsin. He died 

from the novel coronavirus. 

His school district office released

a statement … heartbroken … tremendous

loss … impacts us all … take precautions

His principle said … caring friend …

ready smile … great sense of humor.

As if they filled in the name on a form

did anyone know Isai? His friends:

great smile … very funny … good student

good brother to his little sister … his writing

was outstanding.

That could be the real Isai. When he read

his essay he made the class cry. There, that’s

somebody special. His aunt warned the public

to wear a mask as she said Isai always did.

GoFundMe page for funeral costs.




February 27, 2021

Mourning # 8

Mourning # 8


All the prayers of the Buddhist monks

the Zen monks, the Benedictine monks

and nuns too rising like yellow smoke

from the fumaroles of a nearby volcano.


Sports is two teams, right? Us vs. Them

Only one can win, right?


The prayers that black people die

that Don Jesus Trump will establish his realm

and that slavery returns under the

Confederate Flag (like in a movie). Plus

concentration camps. And dead



On top of this contest snow dumps a load

a heavy load of coronavirus on the stadium

just as we were praying for our squad

to win to fight in glorious battle.

Unless there are no winners


---- Jesse “Jay” Taken Alive, former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, 65, advocate and protector of language and culture, died of COVID-19 a week after his wife also died at the Indian Health Service Hospital in Fort Yates, North Dakota. They leave 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren. They were married 45 years. Jay Taken Alive was a passionate leader for tribal sovereignty, defense of tribal lands, fighting drug abuse and suicide devastating tribal communities, promoting higher education for young Sioux and supporting the protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline before his death. Taken Alive met with Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, and gave her the Lakota name: Maphiyata echiyatan hin win, which means “woman who came from the heavens.”




February 26, 2021

Mourning # 7

Mourning # 7


Your body is infected

germs in camo vests run

into the halls and offices

of your whole healthiness

looking for a pinhole weakness

they’re on drugs yelling crazy shit

banging on doors with fists

and they find the pinhole

there are plenty all around

how did they get in?

why did they come?


You are infected now and could die

can you imagine

your last gasp

your final tweet

closing your eyes

for the last time

all so sad you’ll say

and preventable.


---- former Connecticut trooper

a first responder at Sandy Hook

his name is Patrick Dragon

he died at Hartford Hospital

deputy chief of East Brooklyn

Fire Department after retiring

from the State Police, 34 years

on December 14, 2012 in Newtown

at Sandy Hook Elementary where

28 were killed, 20 young children

his sister called him ‘the bravest

person I know’ he rushed into the

school and what a scene!

are first responders doing their jobs

heroes? they do it for the paycheck

but they also do it as helpers

find the helpers, support them

mourn for them, even if they are

not gunned down on duty but are

taken away by the modern black plague.



February 25, 2021

Mourning # 6

Mourning # 6


“music began 

in the midst of the mourning”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies


The shriek glissades to a moan

A major to F# minor

then the whimper on the exhale

in straight D on the upbeat

the palm slaps the chair arm

or pant leg or pillow case

a few staccato pulsations in double time

even the silence that enters the house

is musical, at night, when the guests

leave, the virus leaves with them

until there’s breathing on two notes

inhale here exhale there, over

and over.


---- Armando Manzanero, 85, died of COVID-19

in December 2020 after 6 days on a ventilator.

He was Mexico’s premier songwriter and pop singer.

His romantic ballads were performed by Sinatra,

Elvis and Perry Como. Manzanero won a life-

time achievement Grammy in 2014. He wrote over

400 songs and made 30 records. He was still working

when he got sick. The Mexican Society of Authors

and Composers called him, “the romantic soul of Mexico”

and said, “the world is in mourning.” He was married

four times. Manzanero was rather short, but he was

a giant of Mexican music.


Was that sound the swish of a brush on a snare drum

or his spirit flying away to wherever those things go?


And tomorrow

Should you ask me for the world

Somehow I’d get it

I would sell my very soul

And not regret it

For to live without your love

It’s just impossible


Siempre novios

Solo novios


February 24, 2021

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is dead.

"The world is a beautiful place"

Lawrence Ferlinghetti 1919-2021

          The world is a beautiful place 
                                               to be born into 
if you don't mind happiness 
                                        not always being 
                                                              so very much 
     if you don't mind a touch of hell 
                                             now and then 
             just when everything is fine 
                                                  because even in 
                             they don't sing 
                                                all the time

          The world is a beautiful place 
                                                to be born into 
if you don't mind some people dying 
                                                   all the time 
                 or maybe only starving 
                                              some of the time 
         which isn't half bad 
                                      if it isn't you 

Oh the world is a beautiful place 
                                            to be born into 
       if you don't much mind 
                                      a few dead minds 
              in the higher places 
                                           or a bomb or two 
                    now and then 
                                        in your upturned faces 
    or such other improprieties 
                                          as our Name Brand 
                           is prey to 
                                       with its men of distinction 
         and its men of extinction 
                                           and its priests 
                     and other patrolmen 
                                                    and its various 
         and congressional investigations 
                                                      and other 
                      that our fool flesh 
                                               is heir to 

Yes the world is the best place of all 
                                                   for a lot of such 
things as 
          making the fun scene 
                                            and making the love scene 
and making the sad scene 
                                       and singing low songs and
and walking around 
                            looking at everything 
                                                       and smelling 
and goosing statues 
                           and even thinking 
                                                  and kissing people 
     making babies and wearing pants 
                                                  and waving hats and 
                                             and going swimming in 
                              on picnics 
                                        in the middle of the summer 
and just generally 
                         'living it up' 

   but then right in the middle of it 
                                            comes the smiling 


Mourning # 5

Mourning # 5


I’ve heard of lots of homeless people in the USA

but none with the virus, you'd think candidates, in fact 

I read that out of 7,000 something infected persons

only three got the crud outdoors, so you’re good to go

if you stay indoors alone all year or two

or stay outdoors all the time …

those cardboard tents get cold though

no, it’s the human contact that gets you

not between stock brokers and them all

the only thing that makes life bearable

is what could take your life in a few days

from that first cough and fever to

no funeral no memorial no church

no wake no dinner party no friends

no relatives no kids if not housemates

no parents – the new strain favors

the young – and no sympathy from

anyone in government – I DON’T CARE,

DO U? is all you have left.

when your homeless bones leave your soul --


---- Kathi Shepherd and her daughter

did not attend the family Christmas party

because of the pandemic.

Father, ex-husband, twin sister, older sister

brother-in-law all positive within days

no family discount here, you all pay.

Father, Cecil, on oxygen and gasping

please come hold my hand

I cannot do that, Dad

things were getting better, a vaccine

things are so much worse. Why, oh,

why, do we have to live this way

or maybe today, die this way?



February 23, 2021

Mourning # 4

Mourning # 4


In virus time

I get up tired and bored in the morning

I don’t enjoy my cereal

check social media, get dressed, off to work

produce, consume, destroy the planet

I think I have opinions and feelings

do I truly mean anything I do

as I drive the streets do I notice

the bags of trash left out by the sidewalk

to be taken away and recycled

I don’t notice them anymore, there are

too many, I have my sports to keep up on

and dinner to plan, I saw a photo

of a mountain, a mountain range, a continental drift

then a kitten head poking from a toilet paper roll

that made me laugh, it looked so odd.


---- John Prine, I loved John Prine, his songs

were simple and sardonic, he made his first

record in 1971, he wrote with a friend every

Tuesday morning, then they had some meatloaf

at a diner next door, then they recorded the song

in the afternoon, about 52 a year, while not

touring. John Prine had cancer in his throat and

tilted his head, he had to learn to sing again

that took years, then he got lung cancer, more

operations and therapy, back to singing, he had

to take his songs to the people. John Prine wrote

a song that I heard on a friend’s LP in 1977 and

I still remember a line about the bottle drinking

the life out of the alcoholic, I still remember that

today, John Prine’s songs will still mean a lot

to a lot of people, he got COVID in March and

died in April at age 73, just 7 years older than






February 22, 2021

Mourning # 3

Mourning # 3


Uncle Joe will be leading

us in prayer

for the last year no one

has been there.

Now we so need to cry

for all who have died

because even in the land of hate

we care.


---- Li Wenliang, on December 30, 2019

told his friends by chat that seven patients

in his hospital had a SARS-like disease

all came from a local seafood market

within hours his text message had

been disseminated and he realized

he would probably be penalized

for giving the warning in Wuhan

the authorities were outraged

Li was questioned, he was forced

to confess, he was already coughing

he had a fever, he checked into a motel

to protect his family, he had to return

to work but was soon hospitalized

by mid-January there were hundreds

the rumormonger, Doctor Li Wenliang,

aged 33, died on February 7, 2020

of the novel coronavirus known as

COVID-19. He leaves a wife, Fu Xuejie

and 2 small sons, one of whom was

born to his widow in June 2020.