Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Conniving Councilman, the Perjured Puppet City Manager, and the Sociology Professor

Conniving City Councilman Kevin W. Johnson

It is reported in the Portsmouth Daily Times that Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen (below), a convicted perjurer, claims he is swamped by his work load and needs an assistant.  Is he telling the truth? If he lied under oath in Piqua, what whoppers might he tell in Portsmouth where he is not under oath?  I have previously pointed out that Allen  is really a part-time city employee who lives a couple of hours drive away from Portsmouth in Piqua, Ohio. If he moved to Portsmouth full-time, maybe he would have more time to devote to his job . He was previously the city manager of Piqua until he lied under oath and was fired. How in the world did a convicted perjurer from Piqua end up as city manager of Portsmouth?

Derek Allen in a trash selfie

Because the conniving Portsmouth city councilman Kevin W. Johnson is the kingpin of Portsmouth politically, it is he more than anyone who turned Allen into a puppet city manager. As long as  Kevin W.  is the councilman for the First Ward, and Donald Trump is the president of the United States, the devil is  well represented at the local as well as the national level. But registered voters in the First Ward, of which I am one, have a choice in the next city election. Sean Dunne (below),  a First Ward resident and a sociology professor at Shawnee State University, is challenging the convicted perjurer Allen. Without the conniving Kevin W. to back him, Derek will be done and Dunne will be First Ward city councilman.

Sociology professor Sean Dunne

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Statues of Limitations

The controversy connected with Confederate statues and memorials recently erupted in violence at Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman died and a number of others at a rally were injured after being hit by an automobile driven by a twenty-something reportedly white racist male who is being held without bail. We have had for many years what is known as "road rage," but the Charlottesville fatality resulted more from what could be called "race rage."

Located on the northern side of the Ohio River, which unofficially marks the boundary between the vaguely defined northern and southern United States, Portsmouth, Ohio,  has one prominent statue, erected in 1879, which commemorates the first Union soldier from Scioto County to be killed in the Civil War. The Portsmouth statue, on a pillar worthy of Caesar Augustus, stands high over Tracy Park, near downtown Portsmouth, facing the Ohio River and Kentucky, which may be just a coincidence.

As a so-called border town, Portsmouth had southern sympathizers and the Ku Klux Klan, as I pointed out before in River Vices, was active in the town well into the twentieth century. Hell, the KKK was thriving in northern Ohio for a time. KKK membership was not limited, to use another racial stereotype, to rednecks. It seems very unlikely that the Tracy Park Union statue is in any danger of being pulled down. But we live in an increasingly rapidly changing, some would argue, alarmingly deteriorating times. Some towns in the South and possibly elsewhere, according the New York Times, have already passed ordinances and provisos that prohibit the removal of statues and memorials from public places, offering some legal protection for sacred carved cows.

Who could have imagined just five years ago a Donald Trump, a psychopathic narcissist, as he has been analyzed,  perhaps in part because of his flamboyant blond wig, being elected president of the United States? I still wake up some mornings thinking it's just a bad dream. The possibility, as hard as it now is to believe,  is that there might someday be a statue of President Donald Trump in Tracy Park, and in hundreds of other American parks and  plazas. It's within the realm of possibility, particularly if, like President Lincoln, he becomes a victim of "race rage."

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Lili St. Cyr

The crush he had on Lili as a kid
he kept secretly to himself.
He kept her photo hid
up on his closet shelf,

where it was long forgotten,
until now, an old man,
by time downtrodden,
he dreams of her behind her big fan.

For the Wikipedia entry for St. Cry, click here.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Truculent Trump

      I recently perused A Book About Words, published in England in 1865. The curious latter-day Calvinistic thesis of the book is that words, reflecting the evil proclivities of human nature, tend to become negative and consequently “degenerate.” It occurred to me that at least one fairly common word, trump, may be undergoing an accelerated degeneration because of the the controversial career of Donald J. Trump, the truculent, dysfunctional 45th president of the United States.  
        The noun trump has as one of its meanings, according to the Third Edition of the International Merriam-Webster Dictionary (1968), “a dependable and exemplary person.” “He’s a trump,” are words of praise. But that sounds like the antithesis of what Donald J. Trump has unfortunately proved to be. It is trump as a verb that seems more appropriate for our president. Trump. As a transitive verb, to trump means to get the better of, or to override, as a trump card can in cards. To trump also means, more specifically, to get the better of someone, which might be described as Donald Trump’s modus operandi.
        Trump tried to get the better of the reading public by claiming to be
the co-author of The Art of the Deal (1987). Trump’s putative “co-author” Tony Schwartz claimed—and he was backed up by the publisher—that Trump had nothing to do with the writing of The Art of Deal. Trump continues to claim he did. Since lying is an integral part of “the art of the deal,” Trump naturally would lie about his part in the writing of the best selling book. One does not have to have a Ph.D. in psychology to see that the Donald is as incapable of writing a book as he is of thinking straight. If “the Donald” exemplifies anything, it is mindlessness. Trump acquired that nickname earlier in his loopy career. The word donald is not listed in Merriam-Webster, so I’m not sure why the nickname “the Donald” has stuck, though it might in part be because of Trump’s resemblance to Donald Duck, particularly in that cartoon character’s temper tantrums.

"Who sez I colluded with the Russkies?"

Sunday, July 09, 2017


I’m here to tell you, of this have no doubt,
smoking becomes what your life is about:
smoking in bed, before sex or after,
in the throes of tears or peals of laughter, 
smoking while soaking in the tub,
at a party or on the potty,
whether broke or rolling in clover,
at midnight or next day, hung over.
Of this, please, entertain no doubt:
that’s what smoking is really about.
You may be happy and photogenic,
but tobacco is carcinogenic.

Sunday, July 02, 2017


                The back of a Google Pixel

Each morning, in foul weather or fair,
I still walk down to the river
to make doubly sure it’s still there,
still flowing resolutely east to west,
dividing Ohio from Kentucky,
the liberal North from the conservative South
as far as my bleary eyes can see,
and even farther for the hawks on high.
When I’m assured nothing’s changed,
that no tug’s pushing four long barges
against the flow, as if deranged,
I turn to the business at hand:
my Google Pixel, with messages
that tell me what the day presages.

Friday, June 30, 2017

There was an Old Woman

Who in their right mind wants
to bring a child into this world
in which not only tropical fish
but coral reefs are imperiled,
in which global warming
is dismissed as fake news,
like when “the experts” predicted
Trump would definitely lose?
Have mercy on your grandchildren
by not having children of your own.
What did Eve need with progeny
when she already had a crazy bone?
And why didn't that woman in the shoe
cook all her kids in a mulligan stew?