Monthly Archives: March 2012

CORPORADO….my re-write of the song ‘Desperado’



why can’t you come to your senses?

your head is as dense as

some old fat cow


Oh, you’re a hard one

but I know that

you got your reasons

these things that are pleasin’ you

are killin’ me now


Don’t you draw

the Ace of Diamonds, man

it’ll bite you in your ass soon

you know the King of Hearts

is always your best bet


Now it seems to me some Fat Cats

have been slipping you some fast cash

but you only want the shirt

that’s on my back!



Oh, you ain’t gettin’ any kinder

you need a hard reminder

like a boot up your ass


Oh, freedom

well, that’s just liberal bullshit

you trample the people

with your fists full of cash


Don’t your ass get fat in the winter time?

the wine is sweet and the meals are fine

it’s hard to tell how many chins you’ve got


You’re losin’ all your sympathy

ain’t it funny how

your empathy is shot?



why don’t you come to your senses?

you make me as tense as

a virgin’s first date


It may be fat times

but there’s a hammer above you

you better spread that wealth around you

(spread that wealth around you)

you better spread that wealth around you

before it’s too late!



13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens




Among twenty snowy mountains,

The only moving thing

Was the eye of the blackbird.




I was of three minds,

Like a tree

In which there are three blackbirds.




The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.

It was a small part of the pantomime.




A man and a woman

Are one.

A man and a woman and a blackbird

Are one.




I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of inflections

Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The blackbird whistling

Or just after.




Icicles filled the long window

With barbaric glass.

The shadows of the blackbird

Crossed it, to and fro.

The mood

Traced in the shadow

An indecipherable cause.




O thin men of Haddam,

Why do you imagine golden birds?

Do you not see how the blackbird

Walks around the feet

Of the women about you?




I know noble accents

And lucid, inescapable rhythms;

But I know, too,

That the blackbird is involved

In what I know.




When the blackbird flew out of sight,

It marked the edge

Of one of many circles.




At the sight of blackbirds

Flying in a green light,

Even the bawds of euphony

Would cry out sharply.




He rode over Connecticut

In a glass coach.

Once, a fear pierced him,

In that he mistook

The shadow of his equipage

For blackbirds.




The river is moving.

The blackbird must be flying.




It was evening all afternoon.

It was snowing

And it was going to snow.

The blackbird sat

In the cedar-limbs.


North American Time, by Adrienne Rich



North American Time


When my dreams showed signs
of becoming
politically correct
no unruly images
escaping beyond borders
when walking in the street I found my
themes cut out for me
knew what I would not report
for fear of enemies’ usage
then I began to wonder


Everything we write
will be used against us
or against those we love.
These are the terms,
take them or leave them.
Poetry never stood a chance
of standing outside history.
One line typed twenty years ago
can be blazed on a wall in spraypaint
to glorify art as detachment
or torture of those we
did not love but also
did not want to kill.

We move but our words stand
become responsibly
for more than we intended

and this is verbal privilege


I am thinking this in a country
where words are stolen out of mouths
as bread is stolen out of mouths
where poets don’t go to jail
for being poets, but for being
dark-skinned, female, poor.
I am writing this in a time
when anything we write
can be used against those we love
where the context is never given
though we try to explain, over and over
For the sake of poetry at least
I need to know these things

Vocabularium Poetica, author unknown



Dearest creature in creation,

Study English pronunciation.

I will teach you in my verse

Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy,

Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye, your dress will tear.

So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,

Dies and diet, lord and word,

Sword and sward, retain and Britain.

(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)

Now I surely will not plague you

With such words as plaque and ague.

But be careful how you speak:

Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;

Cloven, oven, how and low,

Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,

Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,

Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,

Exiles, similes, and reviles;

Scholar, vicar, and cigar,

Solar, mica, war and far;

One, anemone, Balmoral,

Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;

Gertrude, German, wind and mind,

Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,

Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

Blood and flood are not like food,

Nor is mould like should and would.

Viscous, viscount, load and broad,

Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation’s OK

When you correctly say croquet,

Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,

Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour

And enamour rhyme with hammer.

River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,

Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,

Neither does devour with clangour.

Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,

Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,

And then singer, ginger, linger,

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,

Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,

Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.

Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.

Though the differences seem little,

We say actual but victual.

Refer does not rhyme with deafer.

Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Mint, pint, senate and sedate;

Dull, bull, and George ate late.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,

Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,

Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.

We say hallowed, but allowed,

People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the differences, moreover,

Between mover, cover, clover;

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,

Chalice, but police and lice;

Camel, constable, unstable,

Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,

Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.

Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,

Senator, spectator, mayor.

Tour, but our and succour, four.

Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, Korea, area,

Psalm, Maria, but malaria.

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.

Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,

Dandelion and battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye,

Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.

Say aver, but ever, fever,

Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.

Heron, granary, canary.

Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.

Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Large, but target, gin, give, verging,

Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.

Ear, but earn and wear and tear

Do not rhyme with here but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even,

Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,

Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,

Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)

Is a paling stout and spikey?

Won’t it make you lose your wits,

Writing groats and saying grits?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:

Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,

Islington and Isle of Wight,

Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough,

Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?

Hiccough has the sound of cup.

My advice is to give up!!!

Mercurius Trismegistus the Alchemist ponders the Retrograde.


Frankly, it irritates me, the irksome re-winds & necessary confabulations (, the juggling & re-balancing of space & time. I wish it weren’t so, but I am subject to conditions I myself create, and this is always a busy & confusing time, with Mercury retrograde: patrolling the borderlands is tiring enough on it’s own, without the added burden of garbling already esoteric meanings & signs & lessons in accordance to the winged planet’s seeming retreat. In more felicitous times I’m tasked with more straight-forward & simplistic trickery – forking paths & riddling gnomes & such – but during the retrograde (thank Baal this cycle ends April 4th) I’m engaged in all manner of communication tomfoolery, sowing apprehension & misapprehension, misdirection, confusion & disarray from my full arsenal of glitches & snafus, like scattering seed in a spring garden.

The Borderland, my domain, where the clearing meets the forest: the ‘verge’, where the sub-conscious strolls with the conscious and combatants meet to parlay, is not settled, yet is not not quite a wilderness, either. I do my best during these pesky retrogrades to keep land open for growth, but the wild brambles & thorny hedges of mixed messages grow with alarming speed, and I’m forced by fate to entrust their riddance to the individual.

j.j. marino

Washed-Out Juju

Washed-Out Juju

Spotted salamanders not less than hanging salamis

in the butcher’s abattoir extract exact equations of

woodland necromancy. Shamelessly fancy Magi

scurry aimlessly without & within the nexus

as neuromagnetic waves flux. Given

Time enough & wine the oracular cadences tumble line

upon line through the lizard’s gizzard & the newt’s eye. I’m

resolute. No fumbling jumble of dissonant clatter or squawking

cuckoo shall shroud the sign. How? Still

Potent weathered & washed-out juju plots my design,

writhing & spiraling through chakras of footnotes

& annotations, proclamations & declamations, the

hoarse invocations beneath the yellow jealous moon

Soon work their ancient magic in empty rooms of morbid

melancholy, inside cheap plaster walls of modern folly.

I creep faster along the sense-marked trail still

clutching the Grail of Eunoia.

j.j. marino




SU – Wisconsin Preview….on to the Elite Eight or into the Pit of Despair


The word I see most used to describe Wisconsin basketball is “deliberate”….they have the lowest average  ‘possessions per game’ in the country, which means they take their sweet-ass time finding a shot they like….unfortunately for SU, they’ve been making the ones they finally take, to the tune of 47% from the 3-point arc so far in the Tournament….they have one of the best point guards in the country in Jordan Taylor, a guy not prone to turning the ball over, which is worrisome  because Syracuse scores a whopping 27% of their points off turnovers…..they’ll try to slow the game down, SU will try to speed it up…the good news, as I see it, is that a slow, low-scoring team seldom blows anyone out, and if it ends up being a close game at the end, Syracuse has made big plays in crunch-time all season….in other words, we can play their game, but they can’t play ours…..the Vegas point spread has SU favored by 4, and the over/under is a (disconcertingly low) 121…..I look for the ‘Cuse to run ’em out of the Boston Garden in a total & dazzling display of hoops supremacy, but will, of course, settle for the W, and a ticket into the Elite Eight….if the absolutely unthinkable should happen & they don’t, in fact, win this game (I can’t bear to write ‘if they lose), I’ll tip my cap to the Boring Badger Ballers & congratulate my boys on an incredible & immensely enjoyable season!…..Go Orange!

j.j. marino

Can Wisconsin ‘Control Tempo’ in the Sweet 16?


White-bread, cheese-head, bovine-intensive Wisconsin will meet Syracuse Thursday in the Sweet Sixteen, and I’m appalled & distressed to the point of distraction with the implications. The Wisconsin Badgers, hale & hearty denizens of the Big Ten Conference, home to paragons of American sportsmanship like Woody Hayes & Bobby Knight, where I’m sure they have fine Schools of Agriculture and a proper respect for the rural aesthetic, are a potentially disastrous draw for the Orange. As I mentioned before,(, there are basically two types of offenses in basketball, a set-court offense & an open-court offense, a half-court offense & a fast-break offense. Properly executed, I enjoy watching either, but they both offer extremes which offend my finely-honed basketball sensitivity. The extreme form of the running, fast-break style that Syracuse employs found it’s grotesque upper-limit in the Loyola Marymount teams of Paul Westhead in the late 80’s. In 1990 LMU averaged 122 pts. per game! I like scoring as much as the next guy, but those games were just run & gun affairs brought to ridiculous heights – Westhead told his team he wanted a shot put up as close to 5 seconds as possible after gaining possession. It was crazy, and fun at first, but it got to be a clown & circus show with guys hoisting prayers from anywhere & everywhere.

At the other end of the spectrum, the extreme form of the half-court set offense, is the plug-ugly, humpbacked monstrosity known as ‘The Burn’. Here, the object is to monotonously swing the ball around the perimeter, with no other purpose in mind but to run as much time off the 35-second clock as his humanly possible before even attempting to score (you finally shot, missed & got an offensive rebound? Don’t even try to put back up, throw it back out & BURN more time off the clock!).Plain & simple, this strategy stinks, and makes for lousy & boring basketball…..and this, dear reader, is how the Wisconsin Badgers play the game. They will try & negate SU’s greatest strength, their ‘transition game’, their ‘points off turnovers’, by simply keeping possession of the ball. The operative word of course, is ”try” – it’s easier said than done…..if the Boring Badgers manage to keep the score in the 50’s or 60’s, the game will most likely come down to who makes the big plays in crunch-time (which the Orange have done all season), if it gets up in the high 70’s or 80’s, it will mean that Syracuse has ‘dictated the tempo’, which I believe to be the key to the game – which team forces the other to play it’s style of ball….Go ‘Cuse!.. Blow-Up the Boring Badgers!!

j.j. marino

Crowd-Sourced B’Ball Add-A-Rap.

Greatest Rap Lyrics About the NBA.

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