My Pseudonym

People stumble on this weblog
And sometimes they bark their shin
Usually, they end up asking
Why I use a pseudonym

Why “Beleaguered Servant”, they ask –
A fair question, I might add –
It’s because of the long years
Of corporate vassalage I’ve had

I work as a corporate exec
For a company you know
When I started here on WordPress
I’d hit a career low

I was feeling, quite beleaguered
That’s the word I came to choose
To describe my web persona
These two words were what I’d use

These days, I’m not so beleaguered
And I write because I’m me
But I keep the pseudonym, now
It’s part of my poetry

Commercial Foods: Chef Boyardee


Imagine, if you will, an eighteen-year-old
Back in 1980
Unable to cook so much as an egg.

Imagine him off at college
With a budget of, oh, roughly
Three dollars
Trying to make himself something to eat.

Now imagine a boy born in Italy
Way back in 1897
Who emigrated from there in 1914
And who spent time in New York and Cleveland
Before opening a factory
And developing war rations during WWII.

A real italian
Who really immigrated here
Who was a real chef
Who mass produced his real recipes
To feed
Real idiots like I was.



For years running,
On the first day of a new elementary school year,
My son and I would eat here.

The old men in the cafe
Would kid the waitresses
Who waited on them ever day
(Except Sundays).

Eating eggs, pancakes and toast,
Sausage, ham, bacon and grits.

My son loved this place,
But we stopped coming when he hit middle school
Which was far away in another direction.

Before he graduated from high school, though,
We came back one last time.

The food was the same,
But a few of the old men weren’t there any more.

This is a good place
Not a great place
Except that we may have had great times here:

We shouldn’t idolize the past,
Which had its flaws;

We¬†also shouldn’t despise the past,
Because in despising the past,
We despise part of ourselves.

A College Professor’s Lament

I thought it would be a capital idea
To bring the truth to those still blind
But, oh, the words I had to say
I couldn’t find, I couldn’t find.

I thought it would be a smashing thing
To bring light to the hicks below
But, ah, the way to reach these plebes
I didn’t know, I didn’t know.

Water Burial


She walked in with a glass of water
And said it was time to celebrate

All the great times she’d been having going places alone, because I showed up late
All the family gatherings I missed
All the parts of her life she had poured out to me when I wasn’t listening
All the problems she faced on our behalf

So, I suck, I said
What’s the water for?

It’s not a real drink
And it’s not a real toast
Because this is not a real relationship