This is just poetry. It won't save you, but it may locate you so that a rescue party can be sent out. — Dean Blehert

Friday, June 26, 2009


Dear readers,

Something has come up: I'm going to be out of town AND off email (and the Internet) for the next few months (probably no more than 3 months). When I return, I'll probably shift to sending out WEEKLY, instead of daily mailings. I leave tomorrow, will not have time to answer responses to these poems for a few months! Note: This hiatus is GOOD news for me, not trouble, just tricky because it came up suddenly. I'm not going to jail or to a hospital. I'm going to be taking some courses, rather intensively. As the terminator says, I'll be back.

If, during that time, you change e-mail addresses, please send the changes to my usual email,

Here are a few bon voyage poems:

The dog crosses the road.
I say "Come back here!"
The dog doesn't seem to hear.
A car comes. NOW the dog
starts to cross back to me.
I yell, STAY!
The dog doesn't seem to hear.

The car halts for the dog,
who, eventually, toddles toward me,
then, sensing something is wrong,
stops just beyond my reach, head down,
eyes peering up at mine, then away,
beneath brows (tan against his black)
writhing with worry.

COME HERE! I say. The dog
doesn't seem to hear.
The dog moves a squeamish step forward.
I lunge, catch his bright red collar and
(for his own good) swat his shoulder
hard...and again....

He ducks, cringes, looks up at me,
blinking, looks away. I feel bad.
I wonder if I should never have children.
Where did I go wrong?

[Note: Dogs are NOT defenseless against our onslaughts!]


If I hit the dog in anger,
he cringes, striken, as if by plague
or poison. When forgiven,
he's my friend for life,
everything wagging at once...
but not more obedient.

I don't know what happens
when I hit the cat in anger:
She avoids me, gradually returns --
is that a resentful expression,
or has she always had that expression?
She gets even by not letting on,
and she snubs forgiveness,
turning away to lick herself.


Relious beliefs solve a lack
of religious feelings, perceptions, certainties
and actions.

[Note: I suppose this poem is unfair, "belief" being so many things, but certainly one of the roles of "belief" is to provide a way to consider oneself religious in the absense of the other items.]


A big mound of earth pops up before me
an arm's length from my face.
As I reach to touch it,
a tiny man on a tiny horse appears
between me and my mound,
and I discover I can reach for miles.


Time to make our New Year's


Happiness is waking up
beside a fascinating stranger
and it's my wife.


When I wake, the space beside me
is where you are or are not.
That's it,
in a nuptial.

[Note: The pun is on the phrase, "That's it in a nut shell"--from, of all places, Hamlet. A hamlet is a little ham, and there's a little ham in all of us--and way too much pork.]


Don't worry about death.
We can communicate without bodies,
without words,
as follows:

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Communication as a solution to art
is watering a rose.

Art as a solution to communication
is dropping a cut rose
into a bucket of water.

[Note: Some will find this one difficult to understand. A simpler way to say it is that communication underlies art, not vice versa. Art does not resolve difficulties with communication. Communication resolves difficulties with art. For example, a writer with writer's block can unjam that block by improving his communication with himself and others and reviving his willingness to communicate. Trying to break through the block by forcing creativeness is far more complex and far less effective.

Writers, painters, dancers, actors -- all reach outwards, put something "out there" for others to receive and to which others can contribute. (Teaching an artist that he creates for him/herself alone is a great way to destroy an artist. But even someone who fancies he creates for himself is communicating, if only to himself, eager to see what he has to say to himself.) What, then, happens to the art of a person who is withholding himself from others? I imagine it becomes shallow or obscure or hideous: Shallow if he tries to say lovely things while holding back ugliness; obscure if he tries to hide from himself and others exactly what he is saying (art as encryption); hideous as an attempt to make his audience go away. Some of it may yet be striking, but he won't be able to continue it for long, because he feels he is doing something he shouldn't be doing.

It's true a man after an argument with his wife or lover, may get back in communication by sending her a poem, but only because it's a communication. Improving the art of the poem will not likely improve the outcome.

I'm sure you can think of many examples of both sides of this.

Over 40 years ago, I heard a talk where a speaker told an audience something about the importance of communication. This was on a college campus. A student in the audience stood up and started screaming at the top of his lungs, "You don't communicate with the motherfuckers!! You stand the motherfuckers up against the wall!!!" -- thrusting his arms out over his head as he yelled and jerking around as if he, himself, were being machine-gunned.

He had a vision. He was a campus hero who'd burned his draft card and was expecting to spend some time in jail. We seem to be living in his dark vision, since it is shared by those he would have stood against the wall and machine-gunned.

What lack of good communication can destroy, renewal of good communication can bring back to life.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A poem is more vision than picture,
not a snapshot, but an eye to see through,
or the light by which seeing is possible,
a flashbulb that, when you look at the world,
flashes anew.

[I think I'll add another poem, since the one above seems a bit below par to me.]

A poem is a one-way valve:
you enter at the beginning.
In two more lines
you will leave. Already
you cannot go back.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Monday, June 22, 2009


Our poems are plucked from the sky
as, in flocks of thousands,
ideas pass overhead.

Sometimes we misfire
or shoot down only a few dead leaves,
often bring home a wooden sentiment,

having mistaken for the real thing
one of our own decoys.

[Note: "Decoy" implies that the "wooden sentiment" that alloys much art is something the artist himself puts out, hoping to fool some real feeling into coming within reach. I think we all do that, as the artists composing our own lives. For example, we may labor at being maudlin or ecstatic or angry in hopes of more passionate lives. Thus we may become infatuated with our own decoys. One reason the blaze of passion is sometimes considered brutal is that in its light, the dullness of our various pretensions to passion is exposed. Or the dullness of our poems.

When shooting at birds, a hunter may bring down a few leaves from the branches just above. Or dead leaves could be dead pages ("leaves" of books), dead poems. Seems appropriate that the hunters shoot from a "blind."]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Breezes nudge me like wavelets.
The air has surfaces through which we pass.

July -- so humid the wind
makes whitecaps
in the air.

[And a poem--or really a very short essay--for tomorrow, when I probably won't have time for email:]

Spirits are not "spiritual."
You and I, for example, are spirits,
while beautiful bodies, sea gulls, mountains, trees,
Taos pueblos, Burmese temples, Jerusalem, Rome,
cathedrals, whales, crucifixes, oceans and flowers
are not spirits, though spirits,
being none of these things,
can be any of them,
unless they confuse themselves
with things: It is hard for a mountain
to be a dove.

Note: The idea here is not to put down anyone's favorite sacred spiritual objects, but to assert that an object or force (e.g., the wind) is an object or force. This is NOT a rejection of, for example, animism, since any object or force may be imbued with spirituality because spiritual beings inhabit it or grant life to it (as we do to our bodies, for example, and as children do to their dolls). Even a whale is only as spiritual as it is being operated by one or more spiritual beings. Ditto a forest. Why shouldn't someone run a forest or a nation, just as anyone reading this runs, to some extent, a human body?

On this planet at this time, we grant more life to some things than to others. For example, whales are IN, cockroaches are OUT--for most of us. Dogs and cats many of us see as beings, people. Many us are NOT inclined to see human foetuses as beings. We are more inclined to feel more "spiritual" on a windy mountain peak than while cleaning out a septic tank or driving past a line of strip malls. [The Zen masters might reply that there is nothing more sacred than cleaning a septic tank.]

Why not a sacred strip mall? The ancient Egyptians attributed sacredness to scarabs (e.g., the black dung beetle) -- not far from cockroaches.

Some scholars (for example, cultural anthropologists) use such changing fashions in spirituality to debunk religion. That makes no sense to me. The fact that we are able to imbue with spirituality any thing, from the ruby in an idol's forehead to a crack on a wall or a lumpy turnip that someone notices resembles a woman or a bearded man -- that simply shows what spiritual beings are able to create, and the fact that the auras of spirituality that surround such objects or fetishes are created, makes those auras no less real.

I have not included here the granting of life to a nothing, an entity who can't be perceived, because you and I fit into that category: I think we are perceived only by what we create or by the creations we choose to be. And we aren't granted life (though our bodies are). We ARE life.

In fact, I'm not here at all. I am not this sentence. I am letters on a page or screen, to which you, now, are granting a voice and aliveness. That's YOU speaking here. And I'm not even letters on a page or screen. I'm ink marks or pixel squiggles to which YOU are attributing meaning, saying this is a word -- the word "this" -- and is composed of letters that have sounds, etc. But somewhere is a body typing on a keyboard...or did that body die ten minutes or an hour or a year or a century before you are now reading these words?

And if I were in the room with you (in a way, I am), reading you these words, you'd have sounds -- I am not those sounds -- and significances -- we co-create those -- and a body -- is that me? If its legs were amputated, would I cease to be wholly me? Ah, but if the brain were removed? THAT is the question! Then the body would become dead meat. But would I? If you unplug the TV set, do all the people that had been moving on the screen cease to exist?

Of course, a body can say "I am this body." And a sentence on a computer screen can say, I am this sentence.

I'd say our "spiritual objects," whether palatial cathedrals, Rosary beads, idols or a stern white-bearded man in the sky or a leather bag full of "good medicine" or the embalmed finger of a great religious leader, are as useful to us as their presence evokes in us an awareness of who we are (perhaps reminding us of periods when we were more aware and more able and willing to create), and as worse-than-useless as we use them to confuse ourselves with symbols of what we are.

Being nothing at all, basically, means being able to be anything one chooses to be. The stripping away of material adhesions is often confused with aceticism (denying one's body many things, like food and clothing and shelter). We often find this a hard concept to grasp--hence the popularity of wind as a spiritual symbol, since we think of moving air as able to occupy anything. Ditto the sacredness (to some) of the jackyl or coyote, who can be everywhere, usually unseen.

Denial of the body may produce a sort of spiritual awareness: you can, for example, starve or whip or weight-lift your body into a light-headedness and then to a clear awareness of being outside that body, yet sentient. But there's a pleasure in acetism that is in itself a sensual thing, a kind of attachment to the body. What odd sorts of fun we discover. Acetisim as an addictive drug!

The more nothing one is, the more capable one is of being what one chooses to be. Keats called this ("negative capability") the basis of his poetry, the ability to BE the bird he heard singing outside the window, to be absent from "self" (really self's constructs and associations). (He explains all this in a famous letter.)

Some with this capability get worried about it, become hovering clouds of anxiety, because they resist it, or, like James Boswell (writer of what is broadly considered the finest biography every written, the life of 18th Century literary lion, essayist and dictionary writer, Samuel Johnson) alternated between relishing and seeking to reject this "negative capability." (This comes up in his diaries.) He would hang out with the great figures of his time (Johnson, Rousseau, Voltaire, Burke, etc.), be charming and immerse himself in their personalities, could become them, had the chameleon nature associated with some of the great confidence men. He was terrific at drawing them out, would have been a crack reporter. For example, in the biography, Johnson is gotten to say some great things by "a gentleman present" who asks what seems to be a dumb question. In the diaries we find that the gentleman was Boswell. We also find, in the diaries, Boswell deciding who he will be the next day.

His ability to be others was one of his great joys, as it was Keats' greatest joy. Boswell's other great joy was his connection to people like Johnson who seemed absolutely certain of their identities, men as solidly themselves as some granite boulder on a mountain that approximates a man's head. And yet, he, this nothing, was able to find friendship and even warmth with Johnson, not so surprising when you learn (from Boswell) that in his later years Johnson would awake in the darkest hours of the night feeling that he was going insane, and would loudly recite all the Latin prayers he could remember to persuade himself that he was still there, still sane.

Probably Johnson's uncertainty was as great a magnet for Boswell as his certainty.

Great actors sometimes enjoy or suffer from this awareness that whatever they are is the role they've chosen to play. They are considered great actors because they are able to go deep in letting go of what is normally considered "themselves" in order to be someone else.

When I say we aren't these bodies (or these sentences), I say it because I've experienced it to some extent. At various times I've been as aware of the body as something not myself as I've ever been of the body as "me." I've perceived things the body could not perceive quite vividly. Some would call this a brain disorder. But what I experienced was perceiving what I perceived -- and even having those perceptions validated by others who also perceived them. And my state at such times was sometimes a joyous, calm state, sometimes an agitated, disturbed state.

What made the difference? The extent to which I knowingly and willingly brought about the state and was more or less in control. A drug or a sudden hard impact or terror or other traumas may knock a person into such a state, and in most cases, the state will be overwhelming and unreal, possibly terrifying, or addictively thrilling. In the latter case, the person tries the drug again and again to recover the thrill and avoid the crash of coming down -- and becomes progressively less and less able to recapture the "high". In any case, one becomes less and less able to be apart from the body, more "stuck" in it, more solid. It's as if the drug ejects you (like a pilot's explosive ejection capsule) -- after all, drugs are toxic -- but you are ejected on an elastic leash and snapped back in, and that's something we find unpleasant. It's enough to make the idea of not being one's body very unpleasant!

My own experience of my body, nearly always, is that it's a part of a considerably larger space that I inhabit and can expand or contract. My ability to maintain or expand or contract this space is relative, something that has increased gradually over the years. Sometimes it is real to me, as I write, that my space has reached out to include those who will read (are reading) these words. I think that when people communicate well, to some extent, they become one another. I think poetry, when it is good poetry, is good communication.

I haven't always been this at ease with space and my body and who I am and what I write. That took work. If anyone wants to discuss such things, email me. But this is not intended to be a pitch, just a commentary on mountains and doves.

I wrote that poem years ago after finding myself a bit turned-off by too many "spiritual" people who, in their own hushed-voiced, orgasmic affectations, were solid and very very seriously so. I ran into lots of them in Haight-Ashbury, in Taos, New Mexico, etc. -- all the "spiritual" places. It seems to me that spiritual awareness is the opposite of this: It is light, not heavy; fun, not serious; insouciant, not dark and holier-than-thou; able to be in good communication, not glowering at the world from feverish Rasputin eyes; playful, but not devoted to one-ups-manship (that is, not heavily involved in proving to others that they are spiritually ignorant of what the Guru knows and incapable of ever knowing it fully themselves).

I remember, for example, sitting in an esoteric coffeehouse (could have been Taos, Haight-Ashbury or on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley or a dive near the University of Minnesota (10 O'Clock Scholar, it was called -- where Dylan performed before he became Dylan [now there's a guy who moves in and out of the heavy Guru games] -- happened in all of these places), and as I sip my espresso and look about me, I see some, guy, long-bearded, mystically regaled (perhaps with silver and turquoise, perhaps beads and flowers, perhaps robes, rags...), and he catches my eye with a "deep," piercing glare, and I realize the guy is trying to stare me down and that a kind of force moves out towards me along his line of vision...and it's STICKY! (If I were a cat, I'd lick myself off!) The spiritual presence was that of a fat spider at the center of his web. He wasn't so much being a body as being a negative spirit, a "minus spirit" -- someone in the spiritual state of not quite being able to be a body, a kind of animated death that is less than death.

Experiences of that sort persuaded me that much of what people call "spiritual" is intended to drive people away from awareness of themselves as spiritual beings. Who'd want to achieve awareness of immortality if it meant being condemned forever to be a vampire? (Some would, I guess.) So my little poem isn't an attack on Taos (for example), a beautiful area. Or mountains or doves or perception of spiritual presences in objects. It's about "spirituality" that makes the idea of spirituality repulsive.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
My latest book, Volume One of the Complete "Deanotations" (about a thousand of my poems with annotation and illustrations by Pam Blehert)is available from me or from (On Lulu, just search for "Blehert" and you'll find it. Or email me at

Friday, June 19, 2009


In a new development, remaining trees
are in shock, still numb to the loss
of their forest, leaving acres of red mud,
kindling and new houses.

In a few years they recover, forgive,
even (as slaves become loyal retainers
or wild animals become pets) grow to love
their new Lanes, Courts and Places, quick flit
of children, men with mowers, sunny lawns
strewn with acorns, needles and leaves
over which they arch dutifully,
good old trees,

but sometimes in a cold shock of memory
they shiver.

[Note: And they treat the newcomers, for example, impotent decorative Braddock pear trees, with disdain.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trees and Darkness

Trees sponge up darkness,
still moist with night
in bright noon.

[Just an impression. Night has a particular meaning for trees, since they eat light. I suppose, in darkness, they don't starve, but digest (as we do). But these were big globes of summer foliage, even at noon, seeming to hold within them (sources of shade, after all) volumes of night.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

My Native State

I'll bet that's a Minnesotan--
That one, there, without a coat on...
"Hey, it's winter! This ain't fall!"
Ah, skip it! That guy's from St. Paul.

Note: I was born and raised in St. Paul, MN. It gets even colder in Duluth, so here's a story told in limericks about that city--chosen mainly for the sake of the rhymes:

Ginless Martinis -- in Five Lime Rickeys

There was once a young man in Duluth

Who was awfully fond of vermouth.
Calling for a martini,
He’d say, "Please, gin part TEENY!"
For he feared straight vermouth was uncouth.

Now his favorite bartender was Morton,
Who would hold back the gin -- very sportin’!
"One more moretini, Martin --
Don’t be shtinting, you Shpartan!...
One vermeeth, I moon--gin you can short on."

He was picked up one night, this spoiled youth,
By a dame rather long in the tooth;
She said, "Babe, let’s vamoose,
But the boy was so loose
That they collapsed in the nearest phone booth.

In the darkness, they giggled and groped.
She was old, he was drunk, but they coped;
Given darkness and youth,
Vermouth made its own truth...
The next morning he learned they’d eloped.

Yes, there’s wormwood, my friends, in vermouth.
Whether toping or tupping, forsooth,
Stir or shake it, but thin
Your sweet vermouth with gin...
What the hell! It’s December. It’s Duluth.

[Note: I don't know if anyone else strings limericks into a narrative. I've written several such limerick groups. Lime Rickey, besides being a drink, spells out "limerickey." "Toping"=heavy drinking. "Tupping"=mounting (for sex), literally a ram mounting a ewe. I have no idea whether gin "thins" the vermouth, weakening the drink or vice versa, but for this poem, I needed vermouth to get the guy in trouble. In fact, I don't think I've ever tasted a martini. I just realized that a martini is idea for tupping, since, spelled backwards it is IN IT, RAM! A good drink for Aries?]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Replete With Gleet, I Bleet

Today I discovered gleet.
It's been right here in my lexicon all these years,
but I didn't seet.
Gleet: FORMERLY any morbid discharge from the
body [including feet?]
(And to the Scots, slimy matter, ooze--Neat!),
NOW a chronic mucous discharge from the Urethra
in Gonorrhea
[And maybe from other tribes in neighboring
nations?], another reason why condoms are
good forrhea.
Also, a "chronic discharge from the nasal cavities
of horses, etc."
(I wonder what is "etc." to the nasal cavities of
horses? Shall we discuss it long after we've
the soups and white-saurces et and especially
the tapioca courses? Let's!)
Also a verb; To gleet.
Gleetings, my fellow poets, and salivatations
wherever we may meet,
But not just before we eat.

[Note: A very silly poem a la Ogden Nash, who liked the variable line lengths and the forced rhymes, such as Gonorrhea rhymed with "good forrhea" -- that is, good for ya; and gleet rhymed with seet (see it); and the double outrage of rhyming "horses, etc." with "white-saurces et" (white sauces eaten) and "courses? Let's!"

(I thought white sauces and tapioca would be particularly hard to take during a discussion of gleet.)

What inspired the poem was, of course, in a dictionary, running into this word (gleet), amazed I'd never encountered it before, with all its juicy meanings, the sort relished by children, so easily enchanted by songs about greasy grimy gopher guts.

Many poets before Nash wrote stuff with irregular lines and bad rhymes, but Nash was one of the first to do it on purpose. Part of the fun of it is having the tail (rhyme) wag the dog (line rhythm and meter). In English, the rhythm of the line is far more important than the rhyme. Much English poetry lacks rhyme, but is recognizable as poetry because of regular meter (for example, most of Shakespeare's plays) or because of other rhythmic elements in the lines. Nash not only tossed out regular line lengths and kept rhyme, but emphasized the rhyme grotesquely with humorously strained rhymes. And what he did with his lines was done by a skilled writer of metrical poetry. He hid behind the irregularity all sorts of rhythmic elements. The main trick is that an extremely long line gets the reader to race through the words to get to the rhyme, after which a shorter line becomes slow and stressed, in contrast, enabling the poet to understate that last line and be more indirect, since the shortness of the line will give the reader pause enough to catch the poet's drift.

Not all of his poetry is in this form. And not all his poetry is humorous. But this form is most particularly his.

Nash's poetry has already out-lived the typical survival time for light verse. I think he'll be around for a long time. The Nash Rambler may yet outlive Chryslers and Chevrolets.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Speaking of candidates, many years ago, my children, a little man with big ears named H. Ross Perot, decided to run for president as an independent candidate. He had odd ideas--for example, that a nation should pay off its debts. He wanted to run the country as he'd run his prosperous business. Peppy little guy. Did pretty well, then mysteriously dropped out of the race, claiming the life of his daughter had been threatened if he stayed in (something like that)--which the pundits ridiculed. All the pundits come to instant agreement sometimes, usually on the biggest lies (in this case, the likely lie that Perot was simply a silly man making up stories).

Some lines I wrote at the time about Perot seem to apply to nearly all elections. I wasn't that fond of Perot myself (though year by year he, as he was, looks better and better), which led me to write the following:

H. Ross Perot: The worst candidate
who's ever been the best candidate.

[And every election since, the best candidate seems worse. One of the things about Bush that most pisses me off is that he "made" me vote for Kerry. (Apologies to those who still think W was a fine president. Personal opinions may be closer to us than they appear in the mirror.)]

I also wrote the following, which is less meaningful, but more fun--just seeing what I could do with Perot's name, which (like "Elmo" in "Where's Elmo?") comes up MANY times in the poem, in one form or another (I've Italicized his distorted mirror reflections in the poem):

Perotest Vote

Simply peruse Perot's prose
To see why Perot's temper rose
At what this ponderous pauper owes,
As zeroes sprout in proper rows.
Faster than the hole in the upper oz-
-one, our deficit more monstrous grows.
We've got to dump the D.C. pros
Who think we're silly clowns, pierrots!
They paint our future in pure rose;
It's pure red ink, and up it goes!
If we don't pay the piper, who's
The loser who must reap our ruse?
Our kids! They'll have a country whose
Gross Product's paltrier than Peru's.
Face the music, cut the dross--
That's the only way, per Ross.
Perot pro patria's the pero-
-ation of H. Ross Perot.

[Note: The "pauper" is the United States Government. "Pay the piper" is an old idiom meaning to pay for one's pleasures, take responsibility for one's obligations. "Pro Patria"--Latin: For the Fatherland. A peroration (pero-ration--a ration of perot!) is the dramatic conclusion of a speech.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Just a note to say that,
finding the bag where you left it
in the fridge, I, to be candid, ate
the candied dates. What's left
is the pits.

[Note: This is another punny one. It's a take-off on a short poem by William Carlos Williams (see called "This is just to say" -- that he's eaten someone's plums. But I wrote mine in a typical election year, in which the choices sucked. So I ate all the candidates (candied dates). (Dream on!)]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, June 12, 2009


Did the Tudors take over England
in a coupe?
(If so, historians are missing
coupe data.)

[Notes for the pun-challenged: A sedan ("see, Dan") has four doors. A coupe has two--hence is a Tudor, which is a dynasty that once ruled England (included Henry VII and Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I). Since there's no data that they took over in a coupe (no such car having yet been invented), if they did, historians are missing it. And that means they're missing coupe data (or coup d'etat--a bloodless takeover, literally a blow of state), a visual pun weakened as audio by the fact that the "p" in coup is silent, while the "p" in coupe is loud and clear. As you all know, some p's are noiser than others. (And that's another pun. It suggests that psychiatrists and psychologists take silent pees. While sighing audibly?) And "d'etat" is weakened VISUALLY, but strengthened auditorily (is that a word?) by the fact that "d'etat" is prounced day-tah (or, almost, data).]

[A dynasty is called a dynasty because when a Monarch leaves behind many potential inheritors for his throne, usually some die nasty deaths.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Thursday, June 11, 2009


"Agon": Greek for conflict.
"Pent": Held in, not released.
"Pentagon": Conflict that isn't allowed
to go away.

[Note: Our military-industrial complex seems to prefer to have a war going on, hot or cold. Some would argue it's really the intelligence-industrial complex. Some military higher-ups prefer peace, and we've usually had relatively peaceful periods with ex-generals as president. They've seen enough of war.

But I think it's fair to say the Pentagon is part of a complex organization that has vested interests not necessarily shared by most of the citizens of this nation. It was wonderfully opportune, the way our leaders and talking heads, after being staggered (caught with their war down) by the sudden disappearance of the Cold War, when the much bally-hooed Soviet might went bankrupt--wonderfully opportune how, after a bit of waffling, they were able to pull out of their hats (or other less aromatic orifices) this War on Terrorism, a war that, almost by definition, can never end.

That seems to have been the game for a long time, by the way: To create a war that can go on indefinitely, requiring vast expenditures on weaponry and other military-related products (and profits for those who produce them and their symbiotes) that never end. After all, something like World War II is too much--might destroy everyone's profits. And live slaves are more useful than dead ones...if only slightly. But a COLD WAR with lots of little offshoot wars far away in the "third world"--that can go on forever, they (some they, the "they" that has usurped that pronoun) hoped.

A War on Terror has zero limits. One can always create more terrorists. In fact, everything we do to defeat terrorists is likely to create more. And in the absence of "real" terrorists, we can always blow something up and attribute it to terrorists--as Goering and Hitler well knew.

Our pentagony goes on (agon and agon, a gun and a gun, aggh! Never a gain?)]

[Note: As you probably know, the actual derivation of "Pentagon" = five (penta) corners or angles (the "gon"). It's about a building, not our pent up conflicts, nor is it the price tag on my pen.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Nothing persists
like an abandoned

[Note: I wrote this long enough ago that I'm no longer sure what it's about, but, reading it newly, it seems to make sense. When we're haunted by lost love, lost childhood, lost whatever, it's because they were "supposed to" last they are. The sequence seems to be: We decide that something will last forever. Later we decide that that something is lost, gone, dead. But we don't then change the original decision that it will last forever. That's still sitting there, right where we put it. So we are surrounded by ghosts, the only way something can persist once we decide it's dead. Our decisions are more powerful than we think.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Sunday, June 7, 2009


"I see London, I see France,
I see someone's underpants!"

Decades ago we children chanted that.
If all the underpants I've seen since
were on one beach, they'd flutter
like great flocks gathered for nesting
or the litter left behind when rain
chases away the tourists.

On the whole, I'm satisfied,
but wish I'd seen
London and France.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at