A Big Mystery

     Kneeling near the shaded tree line.  Bout from here to there, 100 yards or so.  Frozen, hair sticking up on his neck, he made out the figure.  Some sort of animal, maybe.  Then it stood up.  It was taller than a house and ran off back through the forest.  An animal alright.  A somewhat human looking giant animal.  That was the first time it was seen by this native of the area.  Evidently, a camera or phone was not available.
     It was the next encounter that left a huge impression and validated the first as authentic.  He told of a sprint across the highway.  The road to Gallup, NM.  Then it glided gracefully over fences, smooth as butter and fast.  His cousin saw this too.  Amazed.  It all happened really quick.  No time to snap a photo.  These are incredible things to see, shocking things to see.  Taking a photo was only a minor thought.  He spoke of his fear liberally.
     The final encounter was at his mother's house, I believe.  Up on a rock or in the mountains.  Near St. Michael.  In the Navajo Lands.  He was there when a massive banging on the house began.  Loud, demonstrative discriptions.  Boom.  Bam.  And wild hand gestures.  The beast never entered the house.  A sawed off shotgun was retrived and held out of a doorway, sideways.  He was too scared to step out. Firing it like this produced a huge back kick, and the gun went flying.  The intended target took off running, again into the forest.  Further inspection of the peremiter of his mother's house revealed emmense footprints.  The feet of someone, or something, really big.  He spoke of others who have seen, over and over, this mystery being.  He talked of eaten animals and deformed trees.  And I had seen these trees that were used to provide back scratching for the creature.  Won't be camping at that place.
     Continued inquiry of video or pictorial documentation was dismissed or ignored.  He mentioned two phones and an SD card he left at his house, but that seemed a diversion.  A camera stakeout should be organized and arranged.  An all nighter.  Or, perhaps, the mystery is better.  A big mystery.


Dirty Cloud

that UFO covered up by a dirty cloud.
been hovering all night.
moves during the day.
the windows tinted dark green.

angels and flying Vs.
flimsy proof of an abduction.
three dots that quiver.
and a loss of time.

the one had long yellow hair.
down to her feet.
she wore flowing garments.
knew she was a woman right off.

these stories were vivid.
each with a another story to tell as well.
I realized this only later.
I listened literally.

they move in erratic movements.
they camouflage invisibly to most.
look up and have no fear.
we are most certainly the aliens.


Young Spirit, Old Soul

Young spirit, old soul.

The ability and willingness to evolve.

Away from present knowledge, into the future.

A long time from now.

And forever.


Huff Is Tough

     Arriving at the courts, moonroof open, my radio was jacked up high.  Blaring Frank Zappa, loud cosmic riffs, singing about how his guitar is going to kill somebody.  He truly was a legitimate guitar god, one of the first who has held that lofty reference.  Drove slow past the check in table so I could stare down some opponents.  Spotted Keck, the tournament administrator, who had roddicked two days before.  'Injuries happen' was his attitude.  He communicated the roddick to the group and got a replacement player. This is proper Isner Scoring Method ethic.  To be clear, it is not dishonorable to roddick, not usually, but there is no honor in bailing unannounced, leaving the group in a bind.  Keck would never do that.  His wrist was not healed, further damage was being avoided.  His body would heal itself, eventually.  Then, as we all know, it's something else.  A knee, a plantar fascia tendon, a back.  The tennis life is a tough life, almost never do you feel perfect.
     After parking and gathering needed items, bags, and water, walked up on Vito, unloading an Escalade of his tennis equipment.  A guitar god in his own right, I immediately told him of my plans.   He had destroyed me at the previous tournament with a sweet backhand, quick feet, and warrior grit.  Perhaps we could meet in the Duke division, an opportunity for revenge.  I told him this, and he knew I was coming for him.  He smiled, like he does.  But I would have to overcome Frank Friday who was in my morning group first.  Keck had called it the 'Group of Death' in communications leading up to the event.  With me, Frank, Prince Fess, and two time King James, I was somehow supposed to feel honored. 10 game mahuts against each of them to start the day.  The most games won of the 30 goes to the afternoon King group, 2nd most Prince, 3rd Duke, last Earl. The format is repeated in the afternoon to determine The Royal Court.  In all, 60 total games against 6 different players in about 6 hours.  In addition, because we are playing a defined number of games, the dreaded downtime is avoided.  I had been the Earl.  The Earl of Nantucket.  KOtC5.  It was royal and sweet, but it had been done.  I was hungry for the Duke.  I was going to have to dig to get another shot at Vito and the Duke title.  The air was heating up rapidly when Keck announced play to start.  He also encouraged the group to maintain hydration and explained why 'Mahut!' is shouted by the server to begin each mahut.
     Imagine my panic when, in my first mahut of the day, Frank Friday had me down 4-1, serving, up 40-30.  To lose the point would mean disaster.  This was the game after Frank had won several amazing points, punctuated by several authentic celebrations.  Frank is one of the greatest of all KOtC players.  A former Prince and a former Earl, his intensity is well known by many.  Frank Friday double faulted.  I went on to win that game and the next four to win the mahut 6-4.  One of his authentic celebrations, the one at the net with a clenched fist thrust towards my face and a long, spit producing roar, helped turn my game around.  He played King James tough, but fell.  Prince Fess then mouletted Frank, further helping me get into the Duke division for the afternoon.  Later, King James confided that one of these authentic celebrations from Frank had motivated him as well.  Frank Friday celebrates winning.  It is a very admirable trait, but can sabotage his efforts by inspiring his opponent.  He was not celebrating being in the Earl Division.  Coach Bill Vita went on to win the Earl title that afternoon, taking it from his older brother, the KOtC6 Earl.  William The Earl.  A true inspiration, a reinstitution of a tennis institution.  Trained at the Julian Kinsky School Of Tennis Instruction near Philadelphia, he had fell away from the game for a time.  His royal success was well earned.
     King James made it to the King division again.  He tied both King Foster and Justin Huffman and was on his way to finishing off Hunter Foster, college player and son of King Foster, when the rains came.  The dark clouds had been near.  The heat that day was heavy and fierce.  Suffocating.  In some ways the torential rain was welcome, but it required rulings from Keck, the tournament administrator, because continued play was impossible.  Huffman had a one game edge over King James when all was totalled.  A veteran of the King division, he had never broken through.  Grit pays, perseverence is rewarded, all hail King Huff!  Every game matters in the KOtC format.  Those lost games could have mattered, but they never existed.  Water is water.  The Fosters were gracious and friendly in defeat, but the elder seethed visibly as the rain drenched everything.  Keck awarded the trophy and bobblehead under an umbrella to the new, beaming King.
     The Prince division disintegrated due to cramping, heat exaustion, and other injuries.  Once Prince Fess took out Marty Feldman, it was done.  It went quick.  The two time Prince then sped off to play more tennis, with a royal glow.  I had been up on him 3-1 in the morning round before he changed tactics and beat me 6-4.  He was a very good player and his backhand flip, down the line, was a devestating shot.  Determined and relentless, he is a fitting Prince.  He'll be at the Fries Cup later in the summer, his company a title sponsor in the war on cancer.  Hopefully, I'll get another invite from Marty.  It was an honor to play for the winning Blowfish team.  Perhaps my 3-0 record, good behavior, and responsible social drinking will be remembered.  Marty is a busy man, I hope he doesn't forget.  His brother, King The Todd, 2-time winner of this event, must have had a hockey game or something.  His absence for the last two tournaments, KOtC's 6 and 7, is inexplicable.  Has he forgot us?  Has he abandoned the game?  Is his desire for royalty gone?  Surely, he could still compete for the King' s crown.  Inexplicable.  Keck has no answers and doesn't seem to be in contact.  His brother doesn't even know.  Maybe we'll be teammates at the Fries Cup.  King The Todd is missed.  His public will welcome him back.  They will cheer him.  He could become the first 3 time King in November, a distinction that eluded King James in KOtC7.
     When I walked onto the court in the afternoon for the Duke fight, the 3 other players were warming up.  Berco Neiman, the Peuvian ace who once beat Keck and had a very steady game.  Austen Holmes, a first time KOtC player with a true Kramarian game.  The old 'big' game.  Came to the net after every serve, evidently since he was 15 years old he told me during the 30 minute break that separates the morning and afternoon rounds.  From Lubbock originally, he understood air weight and winds.  In his 30s now, that's alot of rushing the net.  I was very, very impressed with his style of play.  It is rarely seen anymore.  Every serve, come in at all costs.  Also there, warming up, was Vito.  He had beaten Coach Vita, now William The Earl, in the morning.  I could not have asked for more.  I played Berco first and it was a back and forth match, his steady game and my unsteady game finishing 5-5.  He was extremely complimentary and respectful, engaging in interesting conversation on changeovers.  When I go to Peru one day I will remember his advice.  Aquas Calientes, I think.  Near the ancient Inca lands.  Austen Holmes, the Kramarian, was true to his word.  He was good at it, swooshing in to put away any weak return.  Stuck them right in the corners.  Of course, to play that kind of game takes resilience.  A Kramarian player can expect to get passed by, lobbed over, and fired at.  Persistence to the strategy requires a numb memory.  I had my share of success, especially with my serve, but he was too much and took me down 6-4.  By then we were all 50 games in, we were dragging and the dark clouds were bearing down.  While grabbing more water for my final mahut againt Vito, I still held out hope for the Duke title.  He and Berco were going long, giving me the advantage in rest and hydration.  Then, walking from the courts, Vito announced he had to go.  Unavoidable conflict with something or the other.  I was gracious, even somewhat relieved.  My body and mind were fried.  I could have played, would have fought hard, may have even beat Vito, but the Duke would elude me either way.  Keck decided, based on games won, Berco and Austen would play for the Duke.  One game in, the skies poured water.  Austen, up two games, was announced the Duke.  I really admired his game.  Duke Holmes, rushing the net since 15.
     Everyone left quickly when it rained. William the Earl received his trophy from a barefoot and soaked Keck.   We met at Dodies Cajun Place after.  Bobby was there too.  Surviving a heart attack, marrying off his daughter, and playing mixed doubles had him busy the previous 6 months.  He is like a tennis brother.  And a writer brother.  A mad combination.  A fighter for royalty himself, just not this time around.  King Huff was there.  He celebrated with many large beers. William the Earl got tater tots with his burger, his brother Joe wore an electric blue shirt.  He looked like he could play more.  Keck, of course, beaming because of the smoothness of the event.  Frank Friday was there too. He was disappointed, no doubt, bit jovial.  King James was there, cussing the rain.  His bid for a third crown fell just short.  He was laid back as usual, despite the disappointment.  We re-lived the points and games and mahuts.  We compared scores, we made involuntary noises of pain, we ordered multiple 'another rounds'.  Yes, Huff was tough.  Like all Kings.  Tougher than everybody this day.

Crusty Lips: Jingle Hut

Ain't no kiss.
Ain't no kiss.
Ain't no kiss with those crusty lips.

Carmex saves.
Carmex saves.
Carmex saves em from the sun rays.

Ain't no kiss.
Ain't no kiss.
Ain't no kiss with those crusty lips.


With Conditioning Machines


.sit right down and listen up.
.it ain't the heat.
.or the ozone alerts.
.or nothing like that.
.it is for practical purposes, like all things that are worthy and unworthy.
.reason is involved.
.logical and sound.

.pools of water on the perimeter.
.spider and mosquito nests.
.the spray only eliminates the weak.
.the strong ones live on.

.the real thirsty.

.the mornings are our only refuge.
.and this is night.
.confined and controllable spaces.
.with conditioning machines.
.with music and games.
.begin with the end in mind.

.i can feel it clearly.


Executive Notes: #1

     This assignment of a watershed.  When things changed.  When there was a before and after.  Clear and distinct.  There are many.  Degrees, even.  Some minor, some major, the culmination of what we are and where we are now.  And so much more, our impact on others.  Our involvement in their wastersheds.  The majors and the minors, much of it unknown.  Random circumstances or intentional associations, controlled by some external superior power with intentions all their own?  These wastersheds are real.  Some leaky, some broken.  Most important to consider and know, but some important to forget.  The past is only a part of your life, it is less important than the future.
     Settlement is taken for granted.  Only when it is stripped is it realized.  Misinterpreted as security early on, only now is it understood as a natural longing.  It is not a crisis, it is a calm.  Once known, it becomes treasured.  Settled into middle school in Sherman, Texas in the early eighties, my elementary years had been spent with rugged boyish endeavors, mostly of the outdoor kind.  Girls were now a priority and eighth grade had brought first, second, and third loves.  So I thought.  The coming years were clear in my mind.  Take my pick, have a girl fall in love with me, then get a boat, a family, and make a life.  It was all settled.  Family, friends, the good life.  This was my pre-teen mind.
     One day my dad, Texas Instruments Ace--The Boss, came home and informed his family we were moving to Lubbock, Texas.  Evidently, the engineering wizards of TI had developed the greatest personal computer known to mankind.  The TI 99-4A.  Affordable, portable, and incedible.  This was before Dell, as Apple was in their infancy, as Microsoft was plotting their takeover.  TI, known for smarts and manufacturing sleekness, was gonna run the whole operation out of Lubbock.  The Silicon Caprock.  As we planned our move, I kept a brave face.  The truth, looking back, was confusion, depression, and an unsettled mind.  We all, both older brothers and mother, chose to welcome the adventure and new experiences.  Off we moved during the Spring Break of my 8th grade year.
     Lubbock was fine.  Inside the loop, like a suburban oasis in the West Texas desert lands.  First in an apartment, then a house on 10th street, near Slide.  Unsettled, especially when I walked into MacKenzie Jr. High.  Assigned some student guide, my first buddy.  He seemed put out and unfocused on the task at hand.  His mind seemed on summer already.  I ditched him on day 2 in favor of a solitary existence.  At least for a couple of weeks.  I was happy to see my family in the evening, the most settled time for us all.  Everything outside the house was different, all of us were weary.  We grew closer as a family, even my oldest brother moved in, attending Texas Tech University for a time.  Although oddly, very little evidence exists of his academic record at the school.  It was short lived, as was our time in Lubbock.  Only nine months total.
     Looking back, Texas Instruments had a pathetic marketing department.  My father has since told me he knew the gig was up when he asked where all these computers being made in Lubbock were going.  He found out a million units were being stored in a huge wharehouse in Abilene, Tx.  They wern't moving, but we were.  First to Midland, Tx. for 5 months, then to McKinney, Tx.  By then, I was fully aware of being unsettled.  It didn't bother me much.  I was better at it by then.  Observe and listen while unsettled, remain patient and wait for life to unfold, for others to approach, for opportunities.   Starting McKinney High in the 10th grade was a breeze.  Eased into several groups, made lifelong friends, met the girl of my dreams, went to college, married the girl of my dreams, began a career,  built a house, began a family, and settled down.  Or settled in, rather.
    It's routines now, settle in and adjust appropriately.  Test the waters.  Be mindful of the difference between settling for and settling in.  Habits are critical and should change with time.  Settle on your priorities.  I don't get restless too often, only when things are unsettled.  Faith helps, the ultimate calm and perspective.  Like a glassy pond.  Word and Spirit do their thing.  Think about the peacemakers and their fate, lift up levity to its rightful place, settle the petty scores.  Settle the big scores too.  It is worth the effort, to be content, to be satisfied, to eat our daily bread.

***presentation 1***

Tennis Is Superior To Golf.

1.  Athletic activity.
2.  Costs less.
3.  Takes less time.
4.  More Competitive.
5.  Promotes far less drinking and smoking.

Far from perfect, tennis shares some other characteristics of golf, including: wear and tear on the body, likely outbursts of vulgarities, and obsessive tendencies.  Both sports are steeped in history and have somewhat similar development timelines.  Both have exciting professional tours to humble the masses, although women's professional tennis has far exceeded the success of the professional women golfers.  The Serena effect.  Both demand etiquett and trustworthiness.  Both offer stylish attire choices, even influencing broader culture.  Golf has the slight edge in nature proximity, deal making, and corporate events.  However, on the whole, the time and costs alone are enough to make tennis a superior recreational pursuit to golf.


Texican Chili

to make a good chili, you gotta start with the meat selection. shoulder roast is best, for sure, but more importantly the way you get it ground up is critical. ask the butcher for the chili meat cut and get about 3 pounds. it will be lean so that will make quite a bit. enough for six to eight.  mainly with chili, it's about the spices you don't use. many will dazzle you with concoctions of ridiculous proportions. spices of unknown orgin. strangely, always leaving out the pepper. here's the deal, all you need is a bunch of chili power and cumin, perhaps combining whole seeds and cumin powder, in a 2/1 ratio. you then have the basis of chili. salt and pepper at the very end. i've eaten horrible chili before. chili with kahlua, chili with chocolate, white chili. i've left many full bowls of chili on the table due to taste issues. the creativity comes next. tomato sauce and diced tomatoes are a given, but here's where you should take note. rotel. yes, the mexican and queso staple. it will add the proper spice to finish off the pot of texican chili. a chopped whole onion should be cooked along with the meat intitially, fresh garlic added in the latter stages. cook it long, cook it low. honestly, it should be cooled and refridgerated overnight to really taste it's true potential and experience its perfectly tender texture. serve with corn chips, raw onions, sharp chedder, and sliced avacodos. light english beer goes good. ice water too.  beans should be eaten at a seperate meal.

Already Cracked

Coming from nowhere.
Out of the black.
Surprise attack.
Surprise attack.

Left with an empty stare.
Already cracked.
Surprise attack.
Surprise attack.

Tradgedies are tragic.
Tears falling faster.
Faster and faster.
Faster and faster.

Love works like magic.
Direct from the master.
Faster and faster.
Faster and faster.

Mix up some cocktails.
Start up some tunes.
In the soundroom.
In the soundroom.

Birds land on rails.
Plug em in soon.
In the soundroom.
In the soundroom.


A Game Of Slush

.don't own a gun.
.but I told my daughter to tell her boyfriend that I sleep next to a heavy metal pipe.
.just to be clear.
.had to sing him hog killing weather.
.just to be clear.
.pick out 5 fat ones.
.the air is getting cold.
.rent some freezer space in town.
.break away from this noise.
.see it for what it is.
.a game of slush.
.the funds ready to wire.
.bought the hook.


High Class Dinners


Showing up late, showing at all, walk in unison, down the hall.

Work is done through words and deeds, body and blood brings em all to their knees.

Water does its thing like its always done, flooding the world, announcing the Son.

Streets are paved with the already saved.
All day sinners eating high class dinners.
The hero don't live here anymore.

Shake it all loose give one more run, drive to the sands for some summer fun.

Shut the doors and make some noise, out of our minds with the beastie boys.

Fight for your right to get your delights, travel the world to find the light.


One of these nights in a purple haze, picking out tunes for the big parade.

All we'll find on either side are plastic people living plastic lives.

I like dirt, and i like mud, like to remember we're all in love.


Temporary Hassles

.growing old is just getting closer to living forever.  .these breakdowns and breakups don't mean nothing.  .temporary hassles and ruckuses.  .flipped on the lid.  .for really good reasons.  .but no excuse is good enough.  .excuses are pathetic anyways.  .reasons, however, they are always there.  .why in the world is right.  .goodness gracious is all to say.  .respect of time and space.  .the ways and means are mean indeed.  .stepped carefully into the future.  .awake and aware.  .compromising on the truth is unthinkable.  .ludicrois and easy.