on marriage

on marriage
i wonder if there’s an honest husband alive who would not secretly admit to actually enjoying his wife’s planned, but still unexpected, 2 week call “out of town”, much to his own surprise. who wouldn’t have to admit to the temporary feeling of relief… of release…. of so called… “freedom”. yes, i know you’re out there, my deceased father amongst you…. husbands who never want(ed) to breathe a day without their “soul mates” and life partners. but me… sure, i call, text, facebook and whats app my wife, who is now in...
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gino cumeezi, outlaw clown & provocateur

gino cumeezi, outlaw clown & provocateur
as many of you may, or may not know, i used to be a clown. “gino cumeezi”. that was my name. great grandson of the infamous and toothless “gums” cumeezi. a cross between charlie chaplin, jack kerouac, and grand central station. i like to think of gino as a subversive public fool. a comic outlaw. a provocateur to the max. truly one of new yawk’s “finest”. in fact, gino ran for mayor of new york city in 1977. against the recently deceased (february, 2013), one and only mayor of new yawk, ed koch. “put a real clown in gracie mansion.”  that was gino’s campaign slogan. he finished...
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ripples in the pond

ripples in the pond
may 17, 2013 beware. this is a story of curmudgeonliness turning into beatitude. let’s start with the first. it’s the merry month of may. time for college graduations. i never go. never went to my own, never will. you know the routine: 1969… the me generation, protest, stick it to the man. my parents made me go to the college i never wanted to go to, just to save the dough. i certainly wasn’t gonna go to make them happy. i was socially inept, volcanic, and generally, i had a hard time making it out of adolescence. i didn’t need a diploma, recognition from an institution i didn’t respect. i...
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R.I.P, Clay the Dog, 1998 – 2013

R.I.P, Clay the Dog, 1998 – 2013
 It ended the same way it began. On a hard, linoleum-covered wooden floor. Me lying next to Clay, the Dog. Comforting him at the very beginning. And comforting him again at the very end. Clay, my homeboy companion. My escape artiste extraordinaire. Clay, the canine outlaw of Echo Park. The cat killer and coyote enforcer. The sweetheart and heartbeat of Elysian Heights. Clay, the Dog, who is no more. I remember the first night on my brown-diamonded, linoleum kitchen floor, high above the lowlands of trendy Echo Park, that locals used to call “Red Hill” (for its Commie-leaning, rabble-rousing...
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dancing with L

dancing with L
i saw her first on the BMT line the RR to be exact, heading uptown from 23rd to 57th street she’s sitting… diagonally across from me wearing bright red and white candy striped pants   balloon size, with a white tuxedo blouse and tiny red bowtie her hair, flaming red her face, like a fleshy, scandinavian beauty full figured body with a tiny waist i couldn’t resist   i get up, cross the train car, and sit down next to her i feel like an intruder “excuse, me, i usually don’t do this, but i really like the way you’re dressed” right there on the RR...
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act three?

act three?
“act 3”, you know, of a play? it follows its 2 predecessors: act one, which brilliantly sets up what’s at stake for the protagonist. followed by act two, in which the play develops with tension & suspense as it builds in “rising” action, when finally, you have, “act 3”, the climax and resolution of the play. if it’s a good/happy ending, the play is called a comedy; if it’s a not so good, bummer of an ending, the play is called a tragedy. in either case, act 3, the “falling” action and… the end of the play. now being a college theater professor for the last 26 years, i...
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the klown, the motorbike, 9 lives times 2, and good karma

the klown, the motorbike, 9 lives times 2, and good karma
when i travel i like to clown. like wear the 3 foot wide sombrero my first time in tijuana. or like jump into the giant stone central plaza in guadalajahara with the white faced, black and white stripe-shirted mime & improvise a duet with him in front of 200 gaping guadelajarans. sans makeup. or like call all the touts and locals “boss” wherever i go in the 3rd world, after they’ve called me “boss”, stepen fetchit style, like say in denpasar, bali, or cuzco, peru, but never in 1st world rotterdam, holland, where i took my infamous klown company, the cumeezi bozo...
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mountains and ocean and hollywood sign… and yet?

mountains and ocean and hollywood sign…  and yet?
   look to the right, exactly 90 degrees from the terraced hillside back deck of lucretia gardens, and there are — the san gabriel mountains — gently looming over the hazy glendale flats. turn 180 degrees back to the left and there’s — the glassy silver rim of the pacific ocean, dividing the big sky of another multi-colored california sunset from the slightly high-rise sprawl of snarky century city and the equally-hazy flats of LA’s toney west side. turn back another 90 degrees to the right, and there, straight ahead, is the white dome of the griffith observatory, the shrubby...
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the slow fade of the perfect easter lily

the slow fade of the perfect easter lily
one of the true, inalienable gifts of the end of summer is the harvesting of home grown garden tomatoes. bright red, succulent, juicy-delicious, it’s a gift that actually comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes: the  omnipresent heirloom, the muscular beefsteak, the green zebra, fuzzy peach, red boar, the hillbilly, grape, plum, campari, even the diminutive cherry. all can be planted easily in the spring, watered abundantly through the brunt of summer, and ultimately & gloriously harvested, often, thru the end of september. personally, i can’t think of anything much more satisfying than...
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confessions of an ageing rage-aholic, part 2: the mad prof

confessions of an ageing rage-aholic, part 2: the mad prof
most of my friends, and probably all of my enemies, think i have an easy job. cushy. secure. even… lucky. i teach theater, something i still love and am passionate about, at a major university in southern california. i’ve been doing it for a quarter of a century: 17 years as an “adjunct”, 8 years as a full time professor. i don’t have tenure, never will, but somehow my contract seems to get renewed every year. i like to think that it has something to do with the fact that i’m a good teacher, i teach something valuable, self expression & creativity, and perhaps i make a difference in...
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