Maybe it’s my time of life but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about time —something of which I  never have enough and which I’m keenly aware I’m running out of.  But I’ve taken some informal surveys that suggest I’m not alone in this.

It seems time is a pebble in everybody’s shoe.

Poets deal with time’s perplexity all the time: its demands, its wonder, its fun and (especially) its annoying personal terminality. Like child-tinkerers taking apart a marvelous toy, poets talk time to get a handle on it, to hack a place to hold it, to turn it, to fold it, to climb it and mount it to ride it, to flip it, to hide it, to turn it, to toy with and tip it, to wrench it, to rip it inside out to unlearn it, to kill it, to burn it, to track it in the innards of clocks, to pick it apart like a crow on a corpse, to drill it, to dig it, to bore it and finally ignore it.

But poets are not the only ones who meditate upon the workings of time; everybody does it to some extent whether professionally or as amateurs, out of sheer desperation. When it comes to time we’re all closet philosophers. We all parse time until we either give up due to psychic cramping, come to a stand-off with it, or suddenly realize there’s not enough left to worry about.

The tackling of time is just one part of getting on in years. Kids don’t have time for time. The most beautiful thing about youth is its ability to frolic in the sea of timelessness. But, one way or another, sooner rather than later, this time-frolicking ends. For some that end often comes as a stupendous freak-out epiphany, while for others time just creeps up and renders them quasi-comatose before they’ve learned to enjoy it.

In any case, when time finally clocks you and you find yourself hovering near the ceiling having an out-of-body experience looking down at what used to be you on your back among the remnants of splinters of minutes and shards of hours you might regret the time you wasted watching Sean Hannity reading script written by corporate CEOs and international bankers.

The truth is that as innocuous as time was when the air was green and tenderfeet knew the ballet of beginning; when they were as free as birds ascending a draft of instants in the hour of sometime-but-not-now, time inevitably becomes a bane and cornucopia of elegies.

Time is the  master of poets it has ever enmeshed since the word became flesh —which is to say, as Bob Dylan did, “Time is a freight train, it moves too fast.”

But we’re all poets in some way shape or form. As such, the poet in us would do well to just pour time like water or blood & wine and, savoring, sip it.

Ah, but like most things, that’s easier said than done.

For many among us time is not so resplendent; not so filled with favor. For some, times are really tough because the time of some is frequently held more dear than the time of others. The hours and minutes of little average lives are too often considered to be as weightless and insignificant as a wagonload of nanoseconds. They barely tip our social scales. Meanwhile those of others have the heft of ingots with 24 carat brilliance. In the current marketplace the lives and time of  millionaires have the mass of wrecking balls on the life and times of average folks.

The precious minutes of some buy mere bread while the equally precious minutes of others buy yachts. This has been the way of the world from time immemorial. It’s the way a considerable portion of the American commercial and political apparatus works tirelessly to establish and institutionalize as the status quo once and for all (or few, if you really want to pick a nit).

It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Time is money”, which is an aphorism with a large thumb we’ve lived under since Ben first uttered it. It’s been the rule of business over labor since man invented slavery.

A couple of hundred years after Franklin equated time and money, philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “To realize the unimportance of time is the gate to wisdom.”

Now, applying the logic of equations  to Franklin’s “time is money” —to simply exchange those terms and apply them to Russell’s “gate to wisdom”, we come up with a truth that, if embraced, might shake the foundations of world; namely:

“To realize the unimportance of money is the gate to wisdom.”

All of our times are short and all have equal value until you start measuring them against net worth; then, depending upon the enlightenment of a culture, they’re either seen in terms of big bottom lines and held in great esteem or judged in terms of small ones and dumped on the junk heap of history and the upwardly mobile.

“Time will tell who has fell and who’s been left behind…”  —Dylan again.

by Jim Culleny


“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was,” Rivera explained. “What’s the instant association? It’s crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or get the old lady in the alcove, it’s kid with a hoodie.”

Homicidal Hoodies

Apparently clothing is as responsible for murder as people are, according to Geraldo Rivera. This is the same line of thinking that says short skirts and plunging necklines are as responsible for rape as men are.

Actually, men are hardly ever responsible for anything; not greed, indifference, egomania, arrogance, rape, war, financial corruption, political graft, brutality —not responsible, especially white men with money. It’s everyone else who’s responsible; in particular the underclasses and women —the whipping-boys-and-girls and their clothes.

Rivera just weighed in on the Trayvon Martin homicide regarding the murder part of that observation: Hoodies are as depraved as killers, according to Rivera.

It is the Big Moustache’s opinion that callous disregard for human suffering by inanimate objects is an outrage. Clothing must be outlawed (or at least incarcerated in maximum security laundries) to stop the widespread murder and sexual assault caused by textiles.

If what Geraldo says is true then it must also be true that unattractive unkempt moustaches are as responsible for assault as anyone who forceably shaves that annoying thing off Rivera’s upper lip.


“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was,” Rivera explained. “What’s the instant association? It’s crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or get the old lady in the alcove, it’s kid with a hoodie.”

It’s reasonable, therefore, to shoot down anyone wearing a hoodie, and to arrest any employee of The Gap for selling the vicious things.

This is the kind of stupid deep-dish thinking that passes for journalism and political commentary in the USA.  Listen to the statesmen-wannabes running for Chief Republican Nitwit before you decide to argue the point.

I just can’t get over the feeling that we, as a nation, are seriously screwed.

Jim Culleny, 3/23/12
Dangerous White Boys In Hoodies


Via 3QD:

To our great shame  the great shame of progressives American now has:

• the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
• the greatest inequality of incomes;
• the lowest social mobility;
• the lowest score on the UN’s index of “material well-being of children”;
• the worst score on the UN’s Gender Inequality Index;
• the highest expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP, yet all this money accompanied by the highest infant mortality rate, the highest prevalence of mental health problems, the highest obesity rate, the highest percentage of people going without health care due to cost, the highest consumption of antidepressants per capita, and the shortest life expectancy at birth;
• the next-to-lowest score for student performance in math and middling performance in science and reading;
• the largest prison population in absolute terms and per capita;
• the highest carbon dioxide emissions and the highest water consumption per capita;
• the lowest score on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index (except for Belgium) and the largest ecological footprint per capita (except for Denmark);
• the lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of national income (except for Japan and Italy);
• the highest military spending both in total and as a percentage of GDP; and • the largest international arms sales.

Meanwhile politicians are harping about birth control (Republicans), the necessity of a new theocracy (Santorum); how great massive wealth is (Paul Ryan); colonizing the moon (Gingrich); grits (Mitt Romney); and how to kill Medicare (all Republicans, again).

The loathesome legacy of Ronald Reagan and supply-side economics… “Trickle-down”: the Big Scam

by Jim Culleny


60% Lunacy

March 13, 2012

Economic troubles are the least of the US’s worries.  Over half of one of the the country’s only two parties are lunatics: those who live in a world of fear and fantasy against which the facts of life have little effect. For lunatics facts and fictions are interchangeable. The truths of life have become so groteque to the deranged that fictions are their only sanctuary.

Polls show that even after president Obama has released his long form birth certificate 60% of Republicans still say “…that they either still consider Obama’s birthplace to be open to debate or aren’t sure.” What’s more “…33 percent claim that the president was “definitely” or “probably” born elsewhere.” 18% still consider the long form a forgery.

If time travel were possible and you took these people back to 1961 in Hawaii, gave them bags of popcorn and sat them down with calendars and GPS gizmos to watch the birth of Barack Obama in all its natural wonder and geographic certainty they would still claim the thing was staged and that they’d been abducted by liberal aliens and tractor-beamed into a hovering spacecraft by a cabal of communists under the direction of Saul Alinsky and socialist, Bernie Sanders, who stood ominously apart eating french fries with Osama Bin Laden and Malcom X.

The latest lunatic candidate pumping like hell at the birther well (joining bad-hair-day and perpetual pouter Donald Trump, the barely-tethered-to-earth Michelle Bachmann and every other spineless Republican politico who cynically poisons that libation) is Republican Cliff Sterns of Florida. Sterns is in a tough race and is dispensing birther Kool-ade to the Sunshine State’s whacked-out thirsty. These people are so destructive that some of the hysterical are even doubting themselves.

I have serious problems with president Obama: his continuance of the Bush policy of indefinite detention, the war in Afghanistan, and his constitution-diminishing defense of the extra-judicial assasination of US citizens —seroius problems, but his place of birth is not one of them. In fact, this president falls easily into the long line of presidents who have found themselves in the grip of war and its power over them.  In this, half-black or half-white, he’s as American as apple military rations.

But there is no cure for birther brain fracture —that dementia is self-willed.

by Jim Culleny

Here’s a little video as spiritual as anything you’ll hear in church:

Fresh Brim-Feather

March 11, 2012

“Our institutions are at the mercy of a body of foreigners (the Holy Alliance of Catholic Nations). . . and held completely under the control of a foreign power.” —Samuel B. Morse, 1834

“Roosevelt inevitably draws upon his Jewish ancestry. It is as natural for him to be radical as it is for others to be true Americans . . . he is not one of us!” —Reverend Gerald Winrod, 1936

“What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his [Obama] having grown up in Kenya, his view . . . is very different than ours . . .” —Mike Huckabee, 2011 (Obama did not grow up in Kenya)

“What if [Obama] is so far outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan . . . behavior, can you piece together [his actions]”  —Newt Gingrich, 2012


Fresh Brim-Feather

Inside the eye of a new storm
are you lost? came the question;
came as a little nesting tornado, a
windy Matryoshka tucked
naturally within another;
a wind like the tiny tempests
that lift street leaves from gutters in fall
—a miniscule funnel by standards of
Tornado Alley but
if you’re small (as small
as a small thought)
the small question,
are you lost in this new storm?
is as mighty as a tsunami
gathered on a beach at your feet
its humping, horizon-lifting wave
poised in the instant before

in the shutter-click before
it rakes the landscape,
in the time before

……………. still

inside the eye of this new storm
everything’s familiar;
the heavens have not issued
new revelations
news is always old-hat
but with a fresh brim-feather
love and hate are ghosts with heartbeats
eternal as new babes, and
to be lost in a new storm
is as natural as breath & death

by Jim Culleny