Tuesday, April 6, 2010


“Act now, act now, and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colors, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills. You're tired of kitchen drudgery
Everything must go! Going out of business, going out of business, going out of business sale . . .”


Theoretically speaking, a professional baseball season is 1,458 innings long. Of course, that’s not taking into account a handful of inevitable rain-outs which will diminish that number slightly.

Also in baseball, every team has a “middle relief” pitcher of mediocre talent who is always praised for being able to “chew up (or eat up) a lot of innings.” What is meant by this saying is that this relief pitcher has a strong, durable arm so he can be inserted into many games without needing a whole lot of rest:

“Joe Schmo’s a great guy to have on this team; he can really eat up a lot of innings for us!” In other words, Joe is one of the better mediocre pitchers who can pitch often, moving the team closer to the season’s finale and without doing too much damage to the cause of winning. Joe’s going to take his lumps often but hopefully he won’t allow the games to get out of hand, giving his team a reasonable chance at victory. He ain’t good but he ain’t terrible either, and he can pitch often.

I have a collection of poems I’ve written over the decades which I’ve titled: “Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Some Of My Poetry Doesn’t Rhyme.” I am under no delusions that I am anything resembling a poet. I haven’t written a “poem” (if I can use that word) in 16 years, and back when I did try my hand at them, it was usually only as a method of expressing and therefore purging my depression. With the exception of a few humorous pieces that I wrote, when it came to (what I called) “poetry”, I had a dark muse.

However, I have decided to post selected examples of my old “poetry” during this A To Z April Challenge as a way to “eat up some of these letters” and advance ‘Team Stephen’ closer to Z-End. They will hopefully be helpful as I progress through the alphabet. In some cases, I’ll get to copy stuffs I wrote in my raw, idealistic, emotion-driven youth, rather than think up new stuffs for this Blog. And hopefully, for you the reader, my “mediocre, middle-inning relief poetry” which I’m sending to the mound to “eat up some letters” won’t be TOO painful. But feel free to criticize, ignore, or just run screaming away. Stephen’s just tryin’ to survive this April Challenge by posting some things that otherwise would have NEVER EVER seen da Light O’Day.

Yesterday, I posted a Love Letter [sic] I had written back in 1983 to a woman called “T”. Today I’m going to post a poem I wrote in ’85 about our relationship that never really got properly off the ground. I never showed it to her, but I’m showing it to you because it starts with “E”. It’s rather personal, so I don’t expect that anyone could really comprehend it, but it does have about it a certain . . . mood.

. . .(For T.)

I’m floating
My feet desire roots to a mere island of earth
But space . . . nothing there
. . . then . . . here . . . now . . . outside . . . within . . . wooshhhhhhhh . . .

Lost again, am I? Lost again I am. Looooooossssssst.
If you could return for a tangible minute. One.
One minute of redemption.
Of flesh to flesh.
Emotion to flesh.
Honesty to flesh. Honesty for
A REAL minute.

I make love to pain instead of love
Unwilling to rise above an ancient bruise. Again.
And now like a balloon I expand achingly
Filled with next to nothing . . .

Lost. Again.

I apologize to you
And twice to me.


[And as if that wasn’t bad enough…]


Here in Phoenix, Airheadzona there’s a chain of stores called ‘SAVERS’. Savers is essentially just like a Goodwill store where people donate used items which are then sold cheaply to the public, primarily to lower economic income folks who frequent those types of establishments.

Well, there’s a Savers in the neighborhood not far from where my Brother Napoleon (Nappy) and I and my Sister’s family live. We’ve all gone in there from time to time when looking for some item we want cheap and don’t mind if it’s gently used (I got a CD player there once and a leather Tony Dorsett-model football).

They play this game at Savers where they will periodically announce a trivia question over the P.A. system and the first customer in the store to answer it correctly gets 20% taken off their purchase price.

Well, we all gathered at my Sister’s house for our Easter celebration, and at one point, Nappy held up the can of root beer he was drinking from and asked, “Does anybody know which cartoon character’s favorite soda pop is root beer?” No one got it, so Nappy said, “Dennis The Menace. I once got 20% off at Savers for knowing that.”
Then I said, “What is the only female animal that has antlers?”
My Brother-In-Law answered, “Reindeer?”
“Right!” I said. “I got 20% off a leather football at Savers for knowing that.”
Then my Brother-In-Law asked the group, “Which country exports the most frog legs?” Nappy and I both guessed France.
“No”, Bro-In-Law answered. “It’s Japan. I learned that one day at Savers, too.”

And that’s when I started laughing while being struck by a small pang of embarrassment. “Oh, my gosh!” I said loudly, “Do you realize that we are a Jeff Foxworthy joke? If your family gathers around the table on Easter Sunday to share Savers trivia questions . . . you might be a redneck.”

Le McQuote Du Jour:
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
~ Albert Einstein

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Eudeman, Ecuador

Letter Links:
ABC - D -

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


Anonymous said...

My dad (Arlee) thinks very highly of you and encourages me to read your blog all the time as much as I don't like listening I am doing my best to keep up with your blog as well as my dads. Be patient!



Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Listen to your Dad, Emilee. You must honor your Father (as 'The Good Book') says, even when he tells you to do dumb things like, "Read Stephen's Blog."

Well, despite a Bit O'Bad advice he might give once in awhile, you have a smart Dad. (But you have my permission to ignore my Blog if it just ain't yer cup of tea. My style only appeals to a small band of weirdos, and I'm cool with that.)

Thanks for the good wish, Emilee.
(And by the way, you have my all-time favorite name for a woman. No kiddin'! In fact, I even wrote that in one of my recent Blog Bits.)

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

Lisa said...

I guess I'm a weirdo because your blog appeals to me. :) Great E word. The poem was kind of strange at first, but the more I read, the better I liked it. Not bad at all.

Have a great day and see you for "F".


Wonderful , all three "E" words.
I am enjoying reading your blogs, it's good to read new works and see how others blogs compare with your own. Once again Happy Birthday.


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks, Weirdo LISA ~
While I'll admit that I do kind of like my balloon metaphor, I have other "poems" that are much more conventional and much less opaque which you might be able to relate to better. Maybe. (But the one I'll post tomorrow ain't One O'Dem.)

I realize that this one is of such a personal nature that few if any people could embrace it. But it did eat up the letter "E" for me, didn't it?

I thank you, too! I just came from your Blog and I see that you write the "real" poetry stuffs! Very beautiful. I'll visit again soon.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McStephen

Grammy said...

Hi, Stephen,
I think maybe your blog is growing on me. Ooops no, not actually growing "on" me, but it is interesting (sorry, I am a punster at times). I especially liked your story about Savers. I can really connect with that because I am from East TN, and I luuuuuuuv Jeff Foxworthy's humor. I'll be back.
Best regards to you,

Nf1andprek-whisper said...


Bud Ezekiel H. said...

Happy Birthday!

btw...you can't be a redneck. they all live on the other side of ole Miss, don't they?

ModernDayDrifter said...

Happy birthday! Second, this was an entertaining blog. I like how you broke down the baseball season to that many innings. Wow! Never thought of it that way! LOL

Chryifiwant2 said...

Sorry I'm a little late with the birthday wish, but I hope it was a happy day nonetheless. My birthday is the 14th and, well, let's just say that they are not as much fun as they used to be. I appreciate your comment on my blog title and I've enjoyed poking around your blogs. I am beginning to feel like the only (prepare yourself) liberal agnostic in the blogosphere, but I hope we can be friends anyway.

Also, you look kinda cute in that picture...it may be the bottle.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

LOLOLOLOL! We have have savers in Australia too :) I love shopping at savers, you can find great bargains if you rummage long enough. My mother once had to argue with one version of an Australian 'red neck', which we often call, 'yobbos', or 'white trash' - very bad terms I'm ashamed to say, to get an item of clothing that she apparently touched first. We don't have the trivia questions though. But we do have excruciatingly happy check out chicks :)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>I think maybe your blog is growing on me.<<
Shall we pray for you? If your faith is strong enough, The Lord will heal you!

NF1 ~
Thank you, Blogger Friend!

>>you can't be a redneck. they all live on the other side of ole Miss, don't they?<<
Oh, no, BUD! "Redneckism" is transnational; "Redneckism" can't be restricted to one area, or even one nation. "Redneckism" is universal(ly bad).

Believe me, I never could have done it without a calculator. You know, my atrocious math skills an' all!

>>I am beginning to feel like the only liberal agnostic in the blogosphere<<
Well, focus on the bright side: at least you're not an ATHEISTIC liberal.

>>Also, you look kinda cute in that picture...it may be the bottle.<<
Ha! And it's a VERY old picture.

>>one version of an Australian 'red neck', which we often call, 'yobbos', or 'white trash'<<
Ah yes, "White Trash" - now you're speaking my language.
SAVERS in Australia, eh? Hmmm... That's interesting and surprising because I always assumed that Savers was a regional thing since we didn't have them in Southern California, where I'm originally from. Then again, maybe they're only found in Arizona & Australia; maybe it's an "A" thang?

But it's too bad yours didn't have the trivia questions - that's the best part. There's no more satisfying feeling in the world than answering a Savers trivia question correctly and saving $1.10 on a leather football you'll never use!

No trivia questions? So, how do you celebrate Easter there?

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

LOL we get told to search for chocolate easter eggs in the overgrown grass only to find out mum forgot to hide them :)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Ha! True story?
That is FUNNY!

Well, I suppose even the Easter Bunny is susceptible to "Senior Moments" - he's been around a long time.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McStephen

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

yep - true as toast :) I think there came a time in my life where I pretended I believed in him - despite knowing that mum knew I didn't, because she had told me that she hid them herself - which is a bit weird now that I think about it ... Hmmm

arlee bird said...

Sounds like you are driven to poetry by the same that has always motivated me. Now to do like Yvonne and some others in the challenge and write poetry for the sake of poetry. Echoes creates an interesting image of ethereality (is that a word?).

Oh, you crazy rednecks! I'll join you in that game-- I love trivia.
Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

AlliAllo ~
Hmmm... Maybe not so weird after all. Sounds to me like perhaps you were someone who was reluctant to let go of the innocence of her childhood. And if that IS the case, it's something I can most certainly relate to!

rLEE-b ~
Yeah, you're right. I visited Yvonne's Blog yesterday and she does indeed write poetry just because she loves it. I have a hard time writing ANYTHING unless I'm inspired to do so, and when I was young, nothing inspired me like sadness and anger.

Hmmm... come to think of it, not much has changed.

~ "Sadness Dogg" McAngry

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Hmm, Stephen, it looks like we may have much in common. My childhood was spent in much anger and sadness too - which first inspired me to take it out on my guitar. But that is not info fit for this post! Maybe one day I'll find the strength to finish my memoir and you can find out all about it. But for now I'm escaping in fiction ... yeahhhhhhahahaha!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

AlliAllo ~
Well, if much of your childhood was spent in anger and sadness, then I guess my speculation about your wanting to hold on to the Easter Bunny as a way of holding on to your childhood doesn't hold water.

Actually, my childhood was pretty idyllic - maybe the best time of my life. I differentiate the Childhood era from the Teenage era. But even a good portion of my teenage years was cool. Then I made the mistake of... thinkin' 'bout stuffs. Ha!-Ha!

Oh well, this too must pass.
Let's hear it for guitars and whiskey!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe