Behind The Red Door (poem)

On my way into work early last week, driving my usual route, a few backroads through some pretty suburbia (one of the reasons I take this way) I noticed this one house, like really noticed it for the first time though I pass it every day. It has a striking red front door, how it hadn’t really caught my eye before I couldn’t tell you but, no matter, it did on this morning.

I think it did because recently I went to visit Mom in her assisted living facility for Mother’s Day and something about this red door seemed vaguely familiar, like maybe when I was kid we lived in a house behind a red door or maybe it was a red house?

So, though I don’t “poem” very often, even if this could be considered such, this then is for Mom, who lives behind her red door in a different sort of house now, two of them.

Love ya Ma

Behind The Red Door

It fronts a house

Once center



Floating hazy now outskirts

Lost in trees tall tangle roots shoots forest grasping edge of the old gathering square

Where voices were



Songs sung in unison

They did declare

It’s a house with a red door

Please knock to sell something

Tell something

Needed in




All shared

Through bay whispy window tissue thin doilied curtains now floating like ghosts pushed


(move away ghosts)

To glance

Please knock to sell me something

Tell me something

Are you the paperboy?

Do you have the news?

Have you heard of Linny?

I worry

It was a house with a red door


Of many room’s 




Castle with Nobles and Ladies



For wisdom’s grace

I have words

Had words

Want words

Can you hear them through whispy bay floating window tissue curtains?

Through whispier lips?  

Behind the red door

Kind ghosts

But ghosts still

Oh, go away ghosts, shoo!!

Bloody things!!

Are you the paperboy?

Have you some news?

It’s a house with a red door

Flashing in

Out planes


Moving on wheels


Through tangled grasping forest carpeted hallways

Of village

New sort

To sort

With time lost



So many different colored doors

So many different castles

So many doors

It’s a house with a red door


No, ajar instead



Can you





Whispy bay floating window tissue curtains like ghosts?

Oh, go away ghosts, shoo!!

Are you the paperboy?

Do you have some news?

A Crazy Cat Lady Guy’s Cat Tips: Tip #349

When Mother Nature finally gets her season shit in order and lets you know that, yes, you can now safely put away the Fall & Winter sweats to swap out with some Spring & Summer shorts, you will find yourself swapping said items in and out of a drawer.

While doing so, you, possibly being of the crazy cat lady guy ilk, will think “Ya know, I should leave this drawer open”

Million $$$ idea number 42 thousand and 14 (yes, Jonna and Keryl … Million $$$ ideas). Ok, more like maybe Million $$$ idea number 6 (you don’t want to know the first 5, #2 was a new version of pants, #4 was an addendum to #2 and wasn’t pretty, and I almost broke my ankle, don’t know what I was thinkin’. #3 #5 and #1?? Don’t ask, especially about #3, I swear I didn’t know that could catch on fire and so quickly).

As you can tell I don’t really have a lot of Million $$$ ideas, they make my brain and ankles hurt, sometimes even require 911 calls but how about a new safe animal trap, possibly for say, cats?

A dresser with an open drawer full of clothes set up at the edge of the woods, or next to a busy roadway, under that overpass, or wherever you find some cats, or any other animal that you are hoping to catch/save to be?

… Ok, that lugging around of a dresser to place in catch spots is probably not the best of ideas, it would be really awkward and impractical and would most probably hurt my back (I told you I don’t have a lot of Million $$$ ideas) but it can still be effective.

I caught this one in less than half an hour.

A Crazy Cat Lady Guy’s Cat Tips: Tip #350 (a preview)

Have I told you about towels?

(more crazy cat lady guy cat tips)

Little Autocrat Despot (song)

Last week I posted here in the Attic of driving home, windows down, on a beautiful Spring evening singing along embarrassingly loud to Sweet’s “Little Willy” from the early 70’s and my early teen years finding some 70’s glam rock and a Best of Sweet CD to be just the ticket for this ride until some knucklehead in his souped up (or down depending on perspective) Motocross dirt bike sounding BMW (such a crime) ruined said ride.

A Sweet Spring Ride Home … Almost

But I thought this tune might make for new parody material.

My friend Rick called it “Kicky!” after I had sent him a draft.

I could go with “Kicky!”

Little Autocrat Despot

(to Sweet “Little Willy”)

Don fakes, Ron wakes

Little busy autocrats … vie be new king around town

They have only one goal

Little autocrats … shimmy shuffle to crush a country’s soul


Each to a one thinks they’ll show the light

Cause with themselves in charge they can force to the right

All now, only way now

New day nowwwww


But little autocrat despot

Go home

Cause America don’t need you now

No Orban clones

Keep tellin’ everybody of your … ill intent

Little autocrat despot

Go home


Down’s up, up’s down

Little autocrats spin lies

Check ‘em if you can in real time tries

One in a town hall keeps lies his one true call

Shimmy shuffle them to brand new heights


The other does chase white truth for the base

While saying none of this is at all about race

Just whitewashed, facts now

just mind place and kowtow now


But little autocrat despot

Go home

Cause America don’t need you now

No Putin clones

Keep tellin’ everybody of your … ill intent

Little autocrat despot

Go home


Little autocrat despot

Little autocrat despot

Little autocrat tinpot

Little autocrat despot

Shoot the lot that don’t agree

That don’t agree with family tree

Little autocrat despot

Little autocrat tinpot


Little autocrat despot

Go home

Cause America don’t need you now

No China Xi clones

Keep tellin’ everybody of your … ill intent

Little autocrat despot

Go home


Little autocrat despot

Go home

Cause we like our freedom now

Of which you’d own

Keep tellin’ everybody of your … ill intent

Little autocrat despot

Go home


Little autocrat despot

Go home


Mother’s Day … Small Moments

Went to see Mom, “Ma”, today, for Mother’s Day at her assisted living facility in Somers, the Paramount, such wonderful folks, with Beck (my Sis) and her guy Buck. It was to be a perfect, and it was, perfect little brunch with a perfect little brunch menu of perfect fruits and French toast and scrambled eggs and bacon on a perfectly pretty day under an outside tent and with even a muffin or two with butter if you were so inclined to fill up too early from that basket before the main menu … and a Mom.

I’ve had some difficulty recently dealing with age and what it presents us, not for myself really though I joke of it quite a lot, not the worries of it and the remembering of better days to compensate, which is never a compensation at all by the way, that’s just the stuff and memories and doings in your past that built you, the reality of fond times, things learned, but of the creaks and cracks of body parts now that can be quite comical on occasion. I can no longer sneak up on anyone for instance with my ankle cracks, stand ups that take a little longer with breathy exhales, a belly paunch that reminds that I am terribly out of shape and leave an awful profile now in bathroom mirror selfies if I were to take such but do not (my God man! think of the children!) but for a Mom who has slid into a something that is unexplainable and something that scares me to death.

And I don’t do anything to help myself from what I have convinced a me might be inevitable. I habit too much in things that don’t help, even when I know that that habit too much is not the best of course. Put down the beer, put down the vape pen (cigarettes at least being well behind me), get some exercise, go out and mingle with actual human beings on occasion that don’t make just for fluffy pet pictures.

But I keep working anything, ANYTHING that might help the noggin keep working noggin stuff while telling itself just that.

This I do at least … constantly. A never stop no matter how much I know that no one may actually read or listen to whatever it is. Doesn’t matter. Just work it Steve … just work it.

But you know the thing I miss the most in this world is not being able to call my Mom, my friend, and recount a day, tell her of this noggin stuff, tell her of whatever stupid thing I came across that day that was latest funniest thing ever (at least in my mind) maybe direct her to new a post of mine in the Attic, that phone call that I am sure, while nodding and smiling, she was checking on her end the clock back then wondering if this phone call would end soon “Love ya Stephen, but it’s Murder She Wrote … it’s Angela Lansbury”.

Mom loved herself the murder mysteries, even in re-run, especially in the most dangerous sleepy small town that ever existed.


I brought Mom three things today, a bar of Ghiradelli chocolate, a dark chocolate salt caramel one where the caramel is salt crunchy not smooth, like a toffee, an almost English one I thought she might like, a T-shirt I was wearing with a cat paw fist bumping a human fist and a Mother’s Day card with also a cat. A wide eyed cat.

I thought maybe the cat thing might jog a bit of the Stephen. She always noted to her great dismay I think “Oh, that Stephen and his cats … why doesn’t he have a girlfriend”

When I mentioned that she nodded and said “Your cats” but then when Beck opened up that chocolate bar in her room to give her a piece of it she looked at me and said “Stephen, you’re ruining my diet” with a bit of chocolate on her lip and she also held onto that card, with the wide eyed cat all morning until we left and maybe past that on her nightstand.



When I was finally in my car (Beck and Buck and I always meet at the 84 diner to drive together the way down and back to be able to catch up and catch back) alone for my short rest of the ride home I broke down a bit. Quite a bit.

She said “Stephen, you’re ruining my diet”.

That was the world.

She said “Stephen, you’re ruining my diet” … to me.

Love ya Ma.

**Addendum: And please note that it is my sister who has been carrying the ball here with visits and keeping mind on the particulars of Mom’s care. I’ve been lax in that regard, cowarding out in the things that I just can’t quite face.

A Sweet Spring Ride Home … Almost

On my way home earlier this week, windows down, a perfect breeze with plenty of sun and light whispy cloud blue skies, singing along embarrassingly loud to “Little Willy” from Sweet of “Ballroom Blitz” and “Fox on the Run” and “Love is like Oxygen” fame I gloried in a really beautiful Spring evening ride. I had grabbed a best of theirs from my CD bookcase that morning thinking that some 70’s glam rock, with long hair and tight t-shirts and tall heeled shoes and really high pitched harmonies recalling my early teen years might just be in order, I mean ya gotta have a rockin’ throwback tune that has “His star-shoe shimmy shuffle down” & “His star-shine shimmy shuffle smile” in the lyrics for a ride like this right?

Then I came to be behind THAT car and THAT guy with a self satisfied “I’m too cool” elbow out with every step on the gas and sudden too fast lunge forwards making mother earth and eardrums die just a little in the process.

That one of the crackling and popping and sputters and intentional combustion engine machine gun sounds imitating a motocross dirt bike, just one that sounded like it needed some time in the shop, rigged up in this case with an exhaust system that featured four exhaust pipes all blowing back at me worse than a local public bus that ya can never seem to find the right moment to pass while trees just dropped over dead, pedestrians covered their ears and birds fell from the sky with X’s on their eyes in its wake.

So much for open windows and perfect Spring breezes huh?

And it was a Beamer!! Just criminal.

“Hello, 911, what is your emergency?”

“I’m behind a BMW that has been mocked up to sound like a Motocross dirt bike and with multiple exhausts”

“A BMW?!?”


“And with multiple exhausts? Well, that’s just criminal. Are trees dropping dead in its wake along with people losing their hearing and with birds with X’s on their eyes just falling from the sky?”


“Contacting local authorities now Sir …”

Anyway, Sweet, “Little Willy” and an almost perfect ride home.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3: A sort of review

There was a time where I loved to read, couldn’t put a book down, something I truly regret that I don’t do much of anymore, at least not of novels to transport, though I still do read voraciously when it comes to trying to stay informed in this real world (but maybe back to transporting type novels might be more in order as the staying informed in this real world just tends to really piss me off and make the blood pressure spike which is not recommended at my age with an old man tiny little daily pill now as proof) or reading of old friends and new found ones and their blogs, or of baseball and my Buccos when in season though that has fallen off this year, sadly by a lot, and for many very specific Rob Manfred reasons, but that is the topic of another post, and another thing to make the blood pressure spike that I just don’t need … I mentioned at my age and old man tiny little daily pills right?

But I discovered early on, after a short stint of YA sports books, exclusively baseball related but which got rather repetitive and dull after a while, that I was to settle in, instead, on what would become lifelong wheelhouse stuff for me, fantasy and sci-fi.

I couldn’t get enough of the Asimov’s, and the Heinleins, the Herbert’s, the Clarke’s, the Niven and Pournelle’s together or alone, the Terry Brook’s and Shea Olmsford’s Shanarra days, the Mary Stewart’s and her Merlin and King Arthur tales (some that I even read once in England while sitting on the lawn of an old Norman castle for added effect) and eventually the Gene Wolfe’s, man, the Gene Wolfe’s and the Book Of the New Sun of Severian the Torturer for one, or any of Wolfe’s other disquieting and always slightly askew stories that left you feeling, well, just that, slightly askew, and marvel at how they could all build worlds so immense and dense in detail and yet also so intricate and fragile, sometimes even light, though, more often than not, dire and harrowing but always just flat out glorious and the sleepless nights that would ensue just waiting for return after being forced to put whatever new world I was in now on hold, at Mom’s insistence, on a nightstand, wondering if all involved in the pages knew that I had put them on pause, in a time out though not for any face in a corner reason, small, no bigger than a novel font, underneath some kids’ lamp after that Mom’s insistence turned to Momly threats, usually of the “alright Stephen, but you still gotta get up in the morning and I don’t wanna hear about your tired if so” type.

The Neil Gaimen’s would come too and of course there was the early discovery of Hitchhiking through the galaxy with Douglas Adams and Arthur and Ford and finding out just how important a simple towel and off beat Monty Python-esque silly English humor really could be.

And then there were the movies, a lot of really bad ones as I look back at them now, “The Man From Atlantis”, the first one, a TV one, with Patrick Duffy was possibly the greatest movie I had ever seen back then when I was 13, holy cow I thought, he can breathe underwater! And he has superpowers and webbed feet and hands! something I watched again years later and probably shouldn’t have, I really shouldn’t have. Sometimes it’s best just to let your grand memories remember and live on their own, in their own time … otherwise you just open yourself up to disappointment. Ya don’t need that right? No, “The Man From Atlantis” was the greatest movie ever. Period.

Then, in the same year, came that little thing called Star Wars where I was the envy of every kid in school as I had seen it first on Cape Cod on a family vacation. For one week before it came to town at home I was a kid god.

And it was, of course, a revelation, no sci-fi anything had ever looked like this, had told such a story as far as I knew, a one so engrossing and visually mind blowing. I was sold now on the movies showing me my favorite of sci-fi things in moving pictures, real, forever hooked.


I went to the movies tonight for the first time in 13 or so years. The last being, I think, when Maria and I and the JG, back in the when we were a now, saw Toy Story 3, JG making a point of punching both of us in our arms when we were brought to tears.

It was Guardians of the Galaxy 3, a triumphant conclusion to a set of films that I had already held dear, just the first two installments, but hold even more dearly now.

I went in with intent to the Regal at the Poughkeepsie Galleria, and walked some length of the Mall from my always Mall parking lot parking spot from whenever I did go there, by rote, so many years ago, for a Maria visit at her store, and past her old store, forgetting that I was on the wrong end of the Mall for the theatres.

It was a bit of a hike. I forgot how Malls can be so long. I broke out my inhaler.

It was just a little kiosk now, the theater, menu, tap tap, menu, tap tap, in front of empty windows, almost mocking them, where there used to be human beings to buy your ticket from, with quick excited casual conversations, as you bought that ticket, of the wanting to see whatever you so were looking forward to followed with spoilerless “you’ll enjoy this one … seen it three times now” from former human beings at was now just that kiosk.

This was new navigating for me, kind of cold, but well, with big popcorn and a waaay too large a soda in hand that you know you shouldn’t order as their will be, in your old, at least one pee break, but hopefully at a point in the movie where you won’t miss too much, I made my way in.


After a back in the when we were a now with Maria and the JG and were now just a were I moved out into my own apartment, a wonderful little place in upstate Hyde Park, NY with the best of neighbors who always kept an eye for me, something I will forever be thankful of as I am often not all that good at doing it for myself.

There was a weekend where I thought the JG (Jagger) might like to come visit and watch a movie with me and just hang for a bit, I would be an awful cook in my promise of dinner and maybe he and I could just watch this flick called “The Guardians of the Galaxy” that I had heard about but knew nothing of.

I was transfixed, we were transfixed, we were transported, it was my everything space adventure, and an unexpected one at that making it even more special and engaging and was reminded of how the best of adventures, in books or TV movies or even full blown Hollywood productions of any type always have you playing the lead in your head or in your dreams on a nightstand until tomorrow.

I watched it three more times after getting Jagger back home and before the weekend was done.


I figger’d the personless kiosk, and after some tap taps it spat out a ticket and I made my way into the stadium seating which sounds like a whatever something until you realize and remember that it is more than a something, it’s just really cool, almost like a captain’s chair (a good chair to be in if this were a space adventure) and you don’t need to worry of that one really tall guy with the really big head wearing a hat who would, of course, always be sitting right in front of you.

I settled in with that too large a soda and that too large a popcorn in a too large a bucket taking up it’s own seat like it was my date …


No spoilers, but Rocket? You are probably one of the greatest characters I have ever had the pleasure (or pain now) of sharing my time with.