Rhyme-N-Reason: April 2006: Archives

April 27, 2006

'Twas The Night Before Fitzmas? genre: Polispeak & Rhyme-N-Reason & Tongue-In-Cheek

‘Twas the night before Fitzmas, and all through D.C.
The Senate stood empty, just waiting to see.
The Grand Jury listened to Fitz with much care,
He hoped that the votes all would be there.

Ken Mehlman and Rover all snug in their beds,
While visions of November danced in their heads,
And Dick in his bunker, as “W" did sip,
A drink from the flask he poured through his lips.

When out at the Post arose such a clatter,
They sprung from their cubes to see what was the matter.
Away to the phones they flew like a flash,
Called up their sources who asked for some cash.

The Times of New York had the lights all aglow,
As they savored the scuttle they knew soon would flow.
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a signature sheet with twelve names written so clear.

With Old Crow in his throat, George W then spits,
He knew in an instant it must be the Fitz.
More rapid he guzzled, his Party might lose,
So he bristled and shouted while chugging his booze.

Now Karl! First Libby!
Damn Fitz you vixen!
Lost Browny then Scotty!
Who else are you fixin’
To topple from power!
We’re takin’ a lickin!
Now damn Fitzy, damn you!
Damn you this hour!

If not for those levees and Katrina’s wrath,
Dear God, why all these obstacles, who chose her path?
You live in the big house, but the White House is blue,
What else can go wrong, will Dick Cheney go too?

And then in a tantrum, he ran to the roof,
The stomping and kicking of each little hoof.
As he pulled out his hair and was turning around,
Up through the hatch big Barbara came with a bound.

In blue robe with white dots, from her head to her toes,
Yes her clothes were old fashioned, but everyone knows.
A bag of buckshot she held in her hand,
Then she told him that Karl could not take the stand.

His jaw how it twitched, his chin to and fro,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose white from blow!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
She pulled on his ear…you’re back on the snow!
The shaft of a pen he held tight in his fist,
And the smoke it encircled, man was he pissed.
He made a mad face, then reached for the lead,
He shook it and scowled, I wish he were dead.

Righteous and pompous, a nasty old soul,
She slapped him and said, pull Cheney from the hole.
A wink of his eye and a grin on his face,
Soon Fitz he would show that he should stay in his place.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
And filled all the shotguns, then turned with a jerk,
And with shaking fingers, he dialed the phone,
Dick Cheney I need you, he said with a groan.

Dick called for his chopper, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,

Happy Fitzmas to all and we’ll get him tonight!

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 9:23 PM | link | Comments (0)
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April 25, 2006

Rant: 1,000, 24,000, That's A Lotta Minutes genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Tongue-In-Cheek

George Bush has 1,000 days left in his Presidency. That is 24,000 hours. When I pondered this information, it made me think about the play Rent...so needless to say...since I like playing with words, I decided to play with the lyrics to Seasons Of Love and call my little ditty, Rant - Season To Vote.

Rant - Season To Vote

One thousand, twenty-four thousand
That’s a lotta minutes
One thousand, twenty-four thousand
Moments we fear,
One thousand, twenty-four thousand
That’s a lotta minutes
How do you measure - measure your fear?

In Iraq - in Sudan
In Tehran - There’s al-Zarqawi
In Kabul - No smiles
Disasters - The bomb

In - one thousand, twenty-four thousand
That’s a lotta minutes
How do you measure?
The life that is gone?

How about wrong?
How about wrong?
How about wrong?
Men who are gone

Reasons are wrong
Reasons are wrong

One thousand, twenty-four thousand
That’s a lotta minutes
One thousand, twenty-four thousand
Gurneys of men

One thousand, twenty four thousand
That’s a lotta minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a soldier or a man?

In truths that we learned
Or in tears that we cried
In bridges he burned,
By the way that he lied

It’s time now - To speak out
Or this war never ends
It’s not too late
November this year is time for an end

Remember my friends
Remember my friends
Victory descends!

Oh you got to remember my friends! remember my friends,
You measure in votes, know that a vote is what needs to be wrote, Season to vote
Please vote, just vote, must vote. Danger, danger time that you vote

Ohhh!!!
Season to vote........
Danger, time that you vote

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 1:32 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Pieces genre: Gaylingual & Rhyme-N-Reason

The subject line read “blast from the past". It was an old high school friend who I hadn’t spoken to in twenty-three years. It was last Thursday and at the time I took it in stride. I instinctively responded and we traded emails to fill in the gap. However, by Sunday night my anxiety was palpable…not because I didn’t want to communicate with my friend…but because all the emotions that I had neatly packed away came racing to the surface.

Truthfully, I can’t recall the specifics aside from the emotions. They remain vivid like so many others from that period of my life. You see…it was when I announced that I was gay. I think a lot of gay people talk amongst themselves about their coming out experiences but I don’t think many of us talk about it with the straight people in our lives. Sometimes I think we’re protecting ourselves and at other times I think we are protecting them. It’s probably some of both.

My friend told me he had run across my name on the internet and after checking out Thought Theater he concluded that it was me. In his third email, he broached the subject of our last conversation. He mentioned that he had hesitated to email because he wasn’t sure what to say to me or what I might say to him given that last uncomfortable discussion. In retrospect, the words hit me like a ton of bricks but I ignored them and simply responded to the rest of his email.

I went to bed around 11:00 Sunday night but I couldn’t sleep. I lay there for probably fifteen minutes before I just suddenly started to cry. At first, I wasn’t even sure what was happening or the source of my emotions. My mind started to race and I suddenly found myself returned to that period of my life some twenty-three years prior. My brain locked in on one thought and I actually started to repeat the thought aloud over and over. The words were these…"one by one, I lost them all…one by one, I lost them all."

As the tears subsided, I was able to return to the present and look back and see me as that person in that place that I had tucked away for all these years. Strangely, my first observation was that I didn’t know how I had survived it all. How can a person walk into a new identity in an instant, leaving behind an entire lifetime’s identity? What could ever be so compelling? Anyone who is gay knows the answer to that question.

One by one, everybody I had ever cared about let me go when what I needed most was to know that I was worth enough for someone to keep holding on. I remember feeling like I was being pushed out of one world and pulled into another. The people I was leaving knew me but didn’t understand me. The people I was running to understood me but didn’t know me. In a matter months, everything and everyone I knew and loved was gone.

The whole of me that had been divided all my life came together for an instant as I began to cross from one world into the other. Sadly, it became apparent that once again I could only hold onto half. I wondered if the whole of me would ever exist.

My friend shared one other piece of news. One of our high school classmates died a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that fact. Twenty-three years are gone…one is lost and one is found. Something is received and something is taken away. Much as I’ve come to believe, this life we live is shared with death. At some point we pass from one half to the other. It all seems to fit so well and yet I still don’t know if the pieces can ever be connected.

Few people know this, but one of my favorite movies is Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s funny and its sad; its silly and its serious. On the surface the movie is about two people who fall in love and then fall apart. It is actually far more complex. In reality, the movie is about only one person who is struggling to find the second half of him. I have lived a life of halves as well. My life has been filled with dichotomies…more of necessity than choice…but then I tend to think the world is ordered accordingly. Through it all, though none may know, whether on this side or on that side, whether this piece of me or that piece of me…I loved them all with with the whole of my heart.

I wrote the following poem that I call Pieces while I was traveling around the world. It captures this idea of life being made up of different parts.

Pieces

Life is made of pieces
The pictures incomplete
The paint slips off the canvas
While tears fall at your feet
Has the picture already met the screen?
Can you erase what you haven’t seen?
The search is on to find what’s gone
And yet it’s impossible to know what belongs
Soldier of love in the house of the heart
Tell us our purpose, who to defeat
Does victory ever bring us relief?
Life is a tightrope, its balance we need
Poles on each end, yet the center we seek
Is the puzzle solved when the spirit leaves?
Or is the spirits resolve what makes us complete?
With brush in hand and colors lucid
The image forms, the walls obtrusive
Building blocks just block your view
Tear it down, you’ll be renewed
It doesn’t matter what you can’t see
Each piece is a part of your destiny
Life is made of picture frames
No two are quite the same

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 7:21 AM | link | Comments (0)
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April 21, 2006

Less Than One genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Uncivil Unions

The category “Rhyme-N-Reason" is intended to be a place to share poetry that stimulates thoughtful reflection. For me, writing poetry is cathartic. It’s a way to encapsulate a group of feelings or thoughts that might be on my mind such that when I’m done writing, I experience a level of resolve that is both comforting and motivational. It has the same effect for me as listening to a song with which one has a significant connection. It takes you somewhere you’ve been or to something you’ve felt or experienced and allows you to further interpret the intended meaning or the lesson learned. Hopefully this can be a place for readers to pause and reflect on their own thoughts and feelings. Your comments are welcomed as well as any poetry you might want to share.

This poem is called Less Than One. It's fairly obvious that it is about relationships and how easy it is for two people to spend time together though never actually be together. Relationships can often be filled with hidden dichotomies and a number of them are contained in the poem. The photo is actually the same photo that appears in Snapshot Thoughts titled Push & Pull. For this posting, the photo was manipulated to form two figures that are engaged in the push and pull of a relationship, thereby further explaining the poem.

Push & Pull

Less Than One

The you in me is still my lover
The me in you has found another
Funny, you and I don’t know each other

Two together, too apart
The endings read before the start
Empty beds, empty hearts
Too together, two apart

The hidden self brings self deceit
The sum of us is incomplete
The shadow grows, the heart retreats

Two entwined, too alone
Neither one was ever known
Broken souls, broken homes
Too entwined, two alone

The taste of love, the hemlock simmered
The glow of love was just a glimmer
We met in spring, we died in winter

Two ignited, too requited
Nothing said, but yet decided
Each consumed, each divided
Too ignited, two requited

I lived for you and you for me
The you and I was never seen
Sadly, you and I were just a dream

Daniel DiRito | April 21, 2006 | 6:57 AM | link | Comments (2)
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April 12, 2006

Silent Voice genre: Rhyme-N-Reason

The category "Rhyme-N-Reason" is intended to be a place to share poetry that stimulates thoughtful reflection. For me, writing poetry is cathartic. It's a way to encapsulate a group of feelings or thoughts that might be on my mind such that when I'm done writing, I experience a level of resolve that is both comforting and motivational. It has the same effect for me as listening to a song with which one has a significant connection. It takes you somewhere you've been or to something you've felt or experienced and allows you to further interpret the intended meaning or the lesson learned. Hopefully this can be a place for readers to pause and reflect on their own thoughts and feelings. Your comments are welcomed as well as any poetry you might want to share.

The following poem is called Silent Voice. It's a poem I wrote some time back and it is primarily a compilation of many recurring thoughts. Essentially, it's about looking for direction in life while at the same time still living life. As such, while we are all looking for guidance, we still move forward until such time as we suddenly realize we have arrived where we should be...without ever actually having found the direction or guidance we had long sought. In the end, we must all steer our own ship to its destination.

Bus in London - 2004

SILENT VOICE

Summoned by a voice I turned to see the source
It called out again and yet no closer did it seem
I paused to listen in silent quiet
The voice was gone so it mustn’t be calling me
In haste and hurry I never thought of the voice again
It never said my name so perhaps it called to another
Yet somewhere deep inside I kept an ear in case it called again
Like one might do in fear of lightning
Nearly hit by the deliberate bolt
Yet saved by the startle of flashing light and reminded by the subsequent rumble
Always aware of the sky but never fully engaged in gaze
A collision avoided and does my destination receive me if it’s never given?
A near miss on my intended journey or a journey towards my intention
Are such events like the calling voice that can’t be seen?
Or do they work in consort with the voice to deliver and direct the message?
Something big moves forward and yet not a word has been spoken
Have the years of anticipating the voice given the message without an utterance?

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 10:58 AM | link | Comments (0)
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April 7, 2006

Family Values: This Blows genre: Gaylingual & Rhyme-N-Reason

It's become fashionable to talk about family values. In today's culture war, the posturing by various groups to become the definitive voice on the subject is rampant. All too often the debate centers on issues outside of the family in what appears to be an attempt to vilify segments of the population that don't meet with the approval of any given group. Most recently, homosexuals, through their efforts to legalize gay marriage, have become the focal point of many of these family values proponents.

From my perspective, children learn their values at home and the values they adopt are primarily discerned in proportion to the degree of sincerity and integrity they believe exists in their parents. In this construct, the degradation of family values originates within individual families as a result of a child’s perception that their parents are inauthentic and hypocritical. It's also important to keep in mind that nearly every homosexual is the product of a heterosexual relationship and a heterosexual family. Consequently, the fact that the vast majority of children are raised in traditional heterosexual families makes the premise that homosexuals endanger the family not only flawed, but blatantly absurd.

In trying to then determine what is wrong with families, the indicators seem abundantly evident. Firstly, a family cannot succeed if the parents aren't committed to personal responsibility, a trait that frankly cuts a swath across all of society in its impact on the overall health of civilization. When personal responsibility is abandoned, so are the family and ultimately the society.

The family fails when parents demonstrate their own intolerance and disdain for others. It's not uncommon for a parent to have issues with their own parents and when they live out these failed relationships, their own children are taught that it's acceptable to choose conflict and estrangement rather than compromise and conciliation. This can take the form of a dispute with a sibling over money or the holding of a grudge against a former employer or coworker. Sometimes it's an instantaneous conflict with the soccer coach or the store clerk. Nonetheless, all of these actions have impact.

Families fail when mom and dad's relationship succumbs to failure through divorce or the demonstrated disdain for a spouse...often acted out in bitter divorce proceedings or custody battles where both parents savage the persona of the other in full view of the children. Frequently, these situations involve infidelity and betrayal that only further serves to tell children that commitment to the self far exceeds the keeping of commitments.

The family fails when children attend school for the first time rife with the prejudices of their parents. A child reared in a home filled with bigotry simply brings more bigotry to the society. This can take many forms...a hate for Mexicans, Blacks, Jews, Asians, Arabs, Homosexuals, Catholics, Christians, Atheists, Conservatives, Liberals, poor people, wealthy people, and many, many more. The adoption of these unfounded hatreds foments conflict which ultimately damages the child’s ability to form and maintain relationships.

Families fail when parents teach children the need to win but fail to instill in them the ability and the acceptance necessary to lose. This is perhaps one of the most negligent oversights...in that there is no doubt that, when confronted with the many struggles of life; more of us lose than win. There is only one Super Bowl winner each year, a limited number of lottery winners, one Tiger Woods, one CEO of Microsoft, and so on. Far too often parents give children the false impression that they can, should, will, and must always win. Many of these children are destined for disappointment. They're apt to leave school in search of a job or a relationship or success absent the ability to overcome rejection or endure failure.

The family fails when parents neglect to teach children respect for others. This can manifest itself in many ways...a child wandering the aisles of a store without regard for another customers ability to navigate the same space...not saying excuse me when moving through a crowded room...not disposing of trash where it belongs...not acknowledging a driver that allows you to merge onto a busy freeway or into a different lane...not thanking the waitress for bringing one's meal, and numerous other courtesies that collectively build a functional society and set the framework for successful future families.

Families fail when parents give a child $20.00 to go to the mall because they want the child out of their hair. Other times it may allow a parent to make up for not attending the school play or the tennis match or simply not having the time to spend communicating with their children. Many times, a parent's work or social life leaves little room for children...sometimes out of necessity, but also sometimes by choice. Regardless, children eventually distinguish the difference.

Ultimately, the family succeeds one child at a time and that must start at home. The relationship of the Mexican couple down the street or the gay couple in the grocery store can only threaten one family...their own. Time spent obsessing about the actions of other families simply detracts from the precious time each family needs to succeed. The sooner families begin to act accordingly, the sooner the value of all families can be maximized. If and when this happens, the individual will flourish and society will endure.

I wrote the following poem called This Blows while thinking about this topic. For me, it captures the essence of the issues and demonstrates the subtle, yet foreboding ease with which a parent can lose contact with a child. Such occurrences are all too common and familiar.

This Blows

Raised down where you were brought up
Brought down where you were raised up

You shouldn’t need to be propped up
Cause you were brought up so proper

Time is money, it’s only money
Another cliché, give the kid some dollars
Things couldn’t be better, let’s talk tomorrow

You crammed all night for your last test
They said stick with it, just do your best

School teacher says the kid needs some help
They think he’s fine, there’s always the belt

Give it all you got, how much do you need?
Another cliché, give the kid some dollars
Things couldn’t be better, let’s talk tomorrow

Be with you in a sec, they can’t spare a minute
They’re all over it, but their shows never quit

Holler if you need them, just give them a holler
Better not bother them, they can’t be bothered

Whatever it takes, they can’t take anymore
Another cliché, give the kid some dollars
Things couldn’t be better, let’s talk tomorrow

They haven’t time, they must be martyrs
Don’t you mother him, he wasn’t fathered

Don’t blow it all, you blew your top
They blew your mind, you blew them off

These kids today, they grow up so fast
Another cliché, give the kid some dollars
Things couldn’t be better, let’s talk tomorrow

Hey mister neighbor, they seemed so normal
Kid was so sweet, the mom was adorable

Nobody’s home, it’s been dead there today
Headline tomorrow, is tomorrow OK?

Another cliché, give the kid some dollars
Things couldn’t be better, let’s talk tomorrow
No need to bother, he’s blown away…

Daniel DiRito | April 7, 2006 | 4:36 PM | link | Comments (2)
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April 2, 2006

The Keeper Of The Night genre: Rhyme-N-Reason

I wrote the following poem while living just west of downtown Denver near the railroad tracks. I woke up in the middle of the night and as I looked out the window, I witnessed a lengthy coal train traveling through the city. As I began to write, I was thinking about the people who were working, or for whatever reason were awake throughout the night. Before going back to sleep, I finished writing this poem that I call The Keeper of the Night. I've also included a photo of the Denver skyline that I took one evening out the same window. It seemed appropriate to include the photo since it shows much of what I had seen that memorable night.

Abstract Image of Denver Skyline

The Keeper of the Night

My mind awake, my body tired
The battle of the night is waged again
Who minds the world as it sleeps?
Was I to see and hear
The sights and sounds of slumber?
Life reversed but still alive
I watched the lights as the trains slid by
Darkened coal and metal brakes
The weight of the world moves by us, escapes
Carried by cars and crates of metal plate
The engine roars, the bell is rung
The music of the night is sung
Darkness wins in spite of the lights
From windows peer the startled few
In shadows move the people of the night
A blanket tossed upon a stoop to fight the cold
We gaze below and wonder what they think
We share the night but is that all?
The train has passed, the rumbles over
The people of the night succumb to slumber
The keeper of the night stands hidden from the light
Keys in hand, cold and metal, the lock of night secure
Never seen, he readies his retreat
I close my eyes to sleep.

Daniel DiRito | April 2, 2006 | 3:29 PM | link | Comments (1)
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