Iron Eyeballs

these iron eyeballs are rusty
seen some things you could never believe
ignored the all out gang fight
tried to chart a middle way to make it through


Ten Cent Plan

a terrible waste

the way we fret fate
closing minds
obsessions and maniacal quivering
scheming and plotting


and concerned about it

on the ten year plan
more like a ten cent plan

depending on assumptions and calculations
mathematics as truth
adds up but doesn't really divide into anything
and we can multiply the subtractions
only a fraction of our prime

fate has reasons, to be sure
everything has a reason
anticipation is forgotten
shoulda coulda woulda

a fools fate


Bouts Of Inarticulation

'huh?' shrugged the maiden of the house
prone to bouts of inarticulation
and not a beginning of understanding
only her instincts to guide her through
'whaaat?' she asked gloriously after my silence
'your beauty makes you oblivious to the obvious.'
an initial blush reacting to the beauty compliment
then a confused look and noticable thinking
'obviously you are mistaken about my obliviousness.'
'you're aware?' i asked and continued louder
'you know of the suffering and distraction you cause?'
louder still 'of the disappointment and raging heart?'
she stood there as the city shined behind her
my captured soul in her unmerciful possession
'we should take a walk.' she finally said
considered several responses
'why don't we.  nice out.'


Funeral Mutterings

when we look back on our last coherent day, preperation will be seen in a regretful light. while moderate and thoughtful preperation can enhance life's experiences, many will spend far too long perfecting their rediness for eternal life. perfection has been known, by One. it is finished man. our bones will be left, but our souls will be gone. funeral mutterings tell the story of your life. pictures too. smile big in all of them. eat a rib-eye. watch a 4th quarter. sleep peaceful, heavenbound.



poetry: the point
poetry: the gas tank
poetry: plaza scenes
poetry: floatation devices
poetry: cleaner girl
poetry: sideways thumb
poetry: sour cream
poetry: villanova
poetry: the downtown drunks
poetry: disappointment lingers
poetry: hungry sounds
poetry: foot issues


Poker Nights And Planet Jams

pack 'em up thirty feet high.
the friends, acquiantences really.
provided a diversion, an escape.
an acceptance and ear.
ageed they did, with everything.
dug your music.
called you by your last name.
a youthful indulgence, friendship.
a silly game.

the old souls grow old alone.
realizing they have only light to give.
to others, all the others.
peaceful and friendly, not a drag.
the friendships came with a price.
occupying finite time with disappointments and expectations.
grudges and done-me-wrongs.
real friends always forgive.

the coolers and the koozies.
bright shirts and jeans in ninety.
live music all weekend, the brownhawk band.
late night closings with real servants.
smokers, almost all.
poker nights and planet jams.
wandered green lawns for hours.
all the while hoping to make it.
just to look back.

it goes on ond on and on.
people i used to know.
seemed important at the time.
a worthy pursuit of worldly bonds.
and it continues, these friendships.
that always end.
wishin' to understand stillness.
havin' to keep going fast.
hopin' all my old friends are doing fine.


Kramerian Game

     Refinement of the Isner Scoring Method(ISM) is a continuous deliberation of incremental improvements over time.  Time, as we know it, has no end.  Therefore, this scoring method will be subjected to the American developed and Japanese implemented theory of Kaizen which is founded upon the principle of improvements implemented in a continuous cycle ad infinitum.  It is with this intent that two changes were made to the scoring method that significantly impacts isner tennis culture.
     First, the definition of a mahut has changed from 10 games to 15 games.  The benefits of this improvement are:  (1) increased physical exercise.  (2) quicker Isner matches.  (3) rewards stamina.  (4) elimination of mahut ties.  The change has also led to the increased importance of the pre-mahut racquet spin.  No longer is it an indifferent net gathering ceremony prior to play just to get started.  Going forward, its result will determine who serves 8 games and who serves 7.  This significant advantage, especially over time, can have an impact on PCR.  Keck has recently been seen practicing the toss and spin and volunteers at a higher rate since the inception of the 15 game mahut.  Perhaps this task should be rotated and standards set.  Another advantage of this change is the ability to break down each mahut in thirds to reflect, motivate, and strategize.  Going 4-1 in the final third of a mahut can make a 5-10 loser go home enthused and eager to play the next mahut.  The dejection of the opposite scenario is just as impactful.  Up 7-3, imagine the mindset of a player who goes on to lose every game of the final third of a mahut.  Not only loses the final 5 games, but loses the mahut itself 7-8.  The overall impact of the 15 game mahut format is profound.  The word corpse is now used to describe a mahut skunk, although the term moulette, formerly used to describe a 10 game mahut skunk, is still used within the context of the first 10 games (or two thirds) of a mahut.  To date, Keck has scored 3 moulettes, one against J. Vita and two against me, the most recent during a 15 game mahut that was close to the first ever corpse until I broke serve to make it 1-13.  Only two mahuts removed from my second ever mahut win against the man and I was fighting off a corpse.  Keck's recent dominate play has been greatly impacted by two things:  (1) drills and practice sessions with a certified coach, B. Vita. (2)  integration of wood racquets--vintage tennis.
     The next change in the scoring method involves the decleration that the first and seventh mahut of an isner match be played using a wooden racquet.  Modern grips are acceptable, but tension absorbers are not allowed.  The benefits of this improvement, known as vintage, are:  (1) the actual game of tennis is being played.  (2) promotes a focus on swing form and proper pace.  (3) reminds us all of a great American and 1947 Wimbledon singles champion, Jack Kramer.  As executive director and founder of ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals), the retired Kramer also led a principled and heroic boycott of Wimbledon in 1973 for the banning of Croatian player Nikola Pilic from the tournament.  Pilic had refused to play Davis Cup for his native land and was banned from international play.  The American Kramer could not support this draconian state-issued madate in the game of tennis.  That year Czech Jan Kordes defeated Russian Alex Metreveli for the tainted Wimbledon title. 
     Jack Kramer and and his game were described in the free encyclopedia this way:

     Tall and slim, he was the first world-class player to play "the Big Game", a consistent serve-and-volley game, in which he came to the net behind all of his serves, including the second serve.  He was particularly known for his powerful serve and forehand, as well as his ability to play "percentage tennis", which he learned from Cliff Roche, a retired Railroad Engineer, at the Los Angeles Tennis Club.  This strategy maximized his efforts on certain points and in certain games during the course of a match to increase his chances of winning. The key was to hold serve at all costs.

     Who would want Jack Kramer serving on the other end of the court, tied 7-7 in the final game of a mahut?  Inspired by my unpaid for Jack Kramer wooden racquet, the same kind I had played with in my youth, I had put Keck in position he's never been in during the inception of isner scoring methodology. By losing the first mahut of our 7th isner match 7-8 (and the first ever vintage mahut), Keck had the opportunity to understand the mind of a player down in an isner match.  The week of restlessness, the constant air swings, the drawing board.  Keck's response to this challenge was quick and resounding.  A customary 10-5 mahut win the following week and the 14-1 near-corpsing partially described earlier.  Again, the extra focus and coaching was important, but the more deliberate swings required for the vintage racquets has sharpened Keck's forehand considerably and will eventually lead to the same improvement on the backhand.  After witnessing the 1-14 mahut, B. Vita offered me some advice, "You got to slow it down. Get a bigger loop going on your swing. You can beat him, Keck makes mistakes."  I wasn't so sure and I questioned the coach's intentions, knowing that we had just entered into our first isner match, one in which he had won the first mahut 9-6.  Vintage racquets, of course.  Keck was now the least of my insner problems.  My game was in shambles and I was behind in both my isner matches.  Vita tennis players were notorious mind gamers.  Joe with his memory, Bill with his reasons, Nick with his possum playing.  Heard this song, cowboy quarterback opinions, tennis apparel and equipment, east texas days, dollars and cents, prayers too, line calls, string tension, nascar, dirk, smoking habits, smartphone nuances, new york and philly stories, and just about anything to keep you off your game during a changeover.  Due to this, and knowing our inser match would continue to 70, I was initially leery of his advice.  Upon reflection, my pace of play has accelerated greatly and should be tempered.  The looping swings seem like spitting in the wind against Keck's current precision and an adoption of a more Kramerian game seems more worthy of execution.  Never had a coach and it's too late for one now.
     Taken as incremental changes, the evolution of the mahut and the integration of vintage, were easily accomplished.  Two rule changes that have led to the improvement of the tennis experience.  If we are to play this game, if we are to devote a portion of our finite time on earth to the art of playing the game of tennis, we must continue our pursuit of constant improvement and change.




Rankin Blues

a7                                e7
stoic glares of remembered years
silent stares, no need for tears
d7                                 a7
mornings are foggy, nights are clear
d7                e7     e7              a7
nothing suprises, nothing to fear

about seventy turns around the sun
everything learned, had all the fun
i'm still right here, i ain't quite done
more to say from these tired old lungs

my high's been high, and my low's been low
told a few lies, and ate a bunch of crow
ask anyone around 'bout what they know
they'll tell you 'bout the times in stereo

travelled the world, been to timbucktoo
known a few girls, finally found my true
some think they know me, but they haven't a clue
been carrying around the rankin blues

Speed, The Villain

june, a year ago, had a concept explained regarding time and it's static nature.
no, i huffed originally, time waits for no one, it's always on the move.

time, it was argued, is the most serene and peaceful thing on this earth.
it's humanity that's on the move. the slow ones, the fast ones.

only a few, the still ones we'll call them, understand time's true properties.
possibly, it's the most heaven-like aspect of our very early eternal life.

time is certainly truth we've decided as we acclimate over the centuries.
again, darwin was partially right, except for the monkeys.

our conformity is motivated by pure selfishness. we can't help it.
you can overcome, i protested vigorously, you can decide to think of others first.

you can choose, but you can only choose to overcome your selfishness, he said.
continuing, points were made about killing your own nature and co-crucifixion.

it made perfect sense in that moment, and still does. the burden is gone.
choices and choices await our decisions. consequences to follow.

speed, the villain. not taking the time. in reality, stillness is time....


Another Rotation

on the other side of midnight
can't look anyone in the eye
bushwhacked by self reflection
what could've been.

just this side of daybreak
cured of my blues and aches
gonna live another rotation


The King's Graveyard

dissent, dissent won't matter in the end
your end or my end
the days will just stop
ours will be the same reality
none of the rightous bickering relevant
bread and wine consummed
confessions uttered
and stuttered
blessings bestowed on the unknown
the hours and hours spent in prayer
hating God
tragedies and circumstances
overcome by hope
producing faith
characteristics of those who persevere
belief is an empty word to most
more a noun that verb these days
the believers club
t shirt affliction
and crosses everywhere
Jesus was not tolerated
nor was any other self described king on this earth
take elvis and michael jackson
they were all hung
this is the king's graveyard


Johnny Goodnight

an oval moon appeared tonight
displaying its glow on the horizon
partly obscured by late dusty clouds

twisters missed this place last week
dressed up in rain gear and dry
sunroof got jammed in the middle of a gusher

wet dashboard and screaming sounds
just wait for the heat wave and drought girls
be wishing for any kinda rain then

an old man looked back at me today
first time ever he looked at me that way
turned from the mirror and opened my mind

took the blinders off and quit chasing acceptance
the gift of age
and it is true that age can give words candidness

holding on to the langauge of our youth
protecting them in the name of the good ole days
but they are only old days and don't matter anymore

this day is truth
tomorrow is speculation and unassured
He was forsaken, yes He was. by His Father.

and ours. His mother was there. and the one.
they called him johnny goodnight
now he was a good man.


Rubber On The Roads

Think of rubber on the roads
Bonnie and Clyde drove through here
The hitchhikers never saw it coming
The day when roads were obsolete.

Hours and hours of driving folks used to do
To visit relatives or lay on a beach with the tanned
Before the Chinese cut them off and gas was still available
Everyone in America walks now and bikes are abundant.

Just wonder of the rubber on these roads
Plain people and the famous kings and queens
Back before it was decided the definition of liberty had changed
We left the ruins of a revolution in the ditch.


Jesus, The Divider

compromise is the seed of debauchery
turning the eye, missing the last sentence
can't feel my way around.

the raging crowds were for, then against
certainly they would not join the death
didn't make a lick o' sense.

nail up the criminals for an afternoon roast
blood thirsty and rightous citizens
weary from the whirlwind week.

the twelve scattered logically and tragically
self interests and instincts prevailing
alone He bore the weight.

doubt He ever thought of tv preachers
salvation won by guilt is fiction
sold by the greedy.

thus began years and years of conviction
eternal life misunderstood by most
this ain't life and death.

wars waged by the dumb, ignorant, and cowardly
for nothing more than 'national interests'
warriors pay their price.

invoke decency and morality and responsibility
bow your heads for the cameras
in God we trust.

the devil orchestrates the wars of this world
blessed are the peacemakers
Jesus, the divider.