you need this

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

extra special blogs


about me
poet, technologist, cynic, father of five, child of chaos, punker, prankster, patriot, punster, leftist, latino, japanophile, audiophile, beer drinker, quiche eater, dog walker, soft talker, deep thinker, shallow sleeper, introvert, covert operative in a parallel universe.

View my complete profile

* m a y s t a r *

  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • August 2012
  • April 2013
  • June 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • August 2014
  • March 2015

    extra special bitter
    hops are bitter. life is bitter. coincidence?

    Wednesday, August 31, 2005

    between rain showers

    between rain showers —
    the dog trembles
    in her sleep

    between rain showers —
    that same damned cricket
    outside my window


    Monday, August 29, 2005

    alter ego ergo sum

    This blog is mostly autobiographical in that, in addition to original haiku, surrealist rants and ad hoc word droppings, there are frequent references to real-life events contained herein. I use the qualifier mostly because these events are deliberately cast in a decidedly dark light. In other words, Extra Special Bitter is a blog persona which allows me to indulge an oppressively pensive perspective, one which, while accurate, is not 100% of the whole.

    The feelings I have about my eldest daughter’s wedding, my son and daughter’s departure for college and my youngest sons’ continued incarceration with their mother are undeniably complex, composed of unequal parts of joy, pride, frustration, anguish, amprehension and grief. So while I am somewhat sad to see my daughter married, I’m also genuinely excited to see her wide-eyed excitement as she begins a new phase of her life. It’s a sign of success as a parent to see one’s children taking bold steps into adulthood.

    Extra Special Bitter is blind to this hope, thinking it so much Hallmark fluff. He sees his daughter’s wedding in the mirror of his own disastrous first marriage, never considering the possibility that she may have a greater capacity to overcome life’s obstacles than he did at the same age. As such, the marriage is a pure aching loss, overwhelming his every waking thought with a paralyzing grief.

    The real-life counterpart to Extra Special Bitter beamed with pride while walking his daughter down the aisle, and then presented her to the Minister with a kiss on her cheek and a whispered "I love you" in her ear.

    I liken it to my music collection: Bauhaus’ 1979-1983: Volume One sits on the shelf right next to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Portishead’s eponymous debut is adjacent to Frosting on the Beater by the Posies. I like the inane bubblegum pop of the Pooh Sticks every bit as much as the shimmering noise of My Blooding Valentine.

    In other words, I embrace both side of the Force.


    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    I should be

    I should be uproariously happy. I should not be inconsolable.

    Overtly, I am mostly content, displaying my best attempt at a benignly pleasant demeanor. I smile when I talk about recent events and genuinely thank those who congratulate me. What a lucky guy I am.

    Two nights ago I woke up screaming at about 4 in the morning. I had touched an ignition coil and was instantly incinerated. It was tough falling back to sleep after that.


    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    red savina peppers

    red savina peppers —
    the father of the bride


    Monday, August 22, 2005

    Monday morning

    Monday morning —
    my daughter has
    another man’s name


    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    my daughter's wedding day

    my daughter’s wedding day —
    a dragonfly perched
    on the backyard pulpit


    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    a father's dilemma

    a father’s dilemma —
    how can one give away
    that which is priceless?


    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    ex post facto

    it stood just beyond the gate, leering at me. I say it because I’m reasonably certain the creature is only vaguely human. it hunches, mutters and spits, always approaching but never getting too close. because I do my best to ignore it, I get the impression it believes it is invisible. judging from the disgusted stares of everyone around it, this is sadly not the case.


    Friday, August 12, 2005

    Downtown Crossing

    Downtown Crossing —
    no one wants a balloon
    from a dejected clown


    two from the train

    chance of rain —
    a crow perched
    on a satellite dish

    summer clouds —
    the dog stretches
    then lies back down


    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    I've been tagged

    Heather Feather was the unwitting tagger. Here is the sorry result:

    10 years ago: my first and only full summer in Stillwater, MN. As I recall, we had two or three consecutive days with high temperatures over 100. tenement landscapes begins to take shape.

    5 years ago: our next to last full day in England. We are loading up on Monkman's Slaughter. Camera in hand, Mary asks "do sheep bite?" Two days later, Tim moves in with us.

    1 year ago: we prepare to drive Tim to college in Fredericksburg, VA and then drive back the long way, through Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and the U.P.

    Yesterday: pay day! Asian Dub Foundation's "Community Music" arrives in the mail. The Red Sox beat Texas 16 to 5.

    Today: back-to-back meetings are cancelled, freeing me up to compile this list. Red Sox are off. Yoga at 6:30, after which I perform pro bono IT functions for Mary. I suspect I will need beer.

    Tomorrow: Friday! John is taking us to lunch at Redbones in Davis Square. we prepare for Saturday's MWRA meeting. Rebekah is getting married next weekend!

    5 snacks I enjoy: turron, halvah, cashews, almonds, grapes

    5 singers/bands most of whose lyrics I know: Guided by Voices, REM, Robyn Hitchcock, The Kinks, The Who

    5 things I would do with $100,000,000: pay for my kids' college, invest in an income-producing fund, visit Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and other places on our growing list, purchase my very first new car, move to Belize

    5 locations I'd run away to: Placencia, 29 Palms, Monterrey, Santa Fe, the Cropton Brewery

    5 bad habits I have: a fondness for beer and wine, an aversion to exercise, bad puns, night terrors, blogging during work hours

    5 things I like doing: hunting for brewpubs in new locations, "discovering" new music, writing haiku, writing about writing haiku, researching new gadgets

    5 things I would never wear: a girdle, a corset, a wife beater, a midriff-bearing blouse, pumps

    5 TV shows I like: The Daily Show, Malcolm in the Middle, The Simpsons, Argentine Soccer Highlights, Thirty Days

    5 Movies I like: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Breaker Morant, My Favorite Year, The Waking Life, Lost in Translation

    5 Famous People I'd Like to meet: George W. Bush (to punch him), Robert Pollard (to introduce him to good beer), Jon Stewart (to talk about dogs), Robyn Hitchcock (to talk about supercomputers), Jackie Chan (to drive me around San Francisco)

    5 Biggest Joys at the moment: Hazed and Infused, Melody du jour, Nate's two doubles, a number of rekindled friendships, "Pink Frost"

    5 Favorite Toys: Creative Zen Touch, Blackberry,, Shadow Poetry, Google Earth



    I’m considering a reorganization of my two blogs. was always intended to be a gallery for my haiku in combination with my wife Mary’s photography. What I’ve discovered, however, is that we rarely have time to collaborate, therefore the posts to the blog are few and far between. extra special bitter was supposed to be a place for me to indulge my dark side, but I’ve found myself using it as an all-purpose playground for recycled poetry, impromptu rants, and haiku in progress.

    So I’m pondering several possibilities:
  • expanding to include all of my haiku posts
  • shutting down and making all of my posts to extra special bitter
  • keeping both blogs as is

  • Naturally I welcome the feedback of the reading public regarding this critical crossroad...


    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    pay day

    pay day —
    a double espresso
    for my hangover, please


    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    dead of summer

    dead of summer —
    a spider dangles
    from the windchimes


    Monday, August 08, 2005

    winning at the game of losing

    just a title. otherwise I’ve got nothing.


    Friday, August 05, 2005

    dog days

    dog days —
    the dog



    windless —
    a bead of sweat
    clinging to her lipstick


    the opposite of insomnia

    It’s not even eight o’clock and I’ve been up for almost four hours. Sadly, I finished my first cup of coffee nearly an hour and a half ago. I wanted to wait a little longer to grab another dose of caffeine, but I’ve encountered a foggy section of road in the deserted highway of my brain and I need to pull over. Please grab the wheel...


    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    south central bell

    a pay phone on the corner
    rings unanswered.
    it isn't mine.
    I can't see the ocean
    but I can taste the salt in the air.
    hurrying past me
    terms of endearment
    are uttered
    with the sincerity of a sneeze.
    no one asks me
    what I'm writing
    or why
    but they all eye me with suspicion.
    and with good reason, of course.
    I say I'm nearly through waiting
    but it obviously hasn't been long enough.
    not even a whisper of reprieve.
    more pedestrian traffic weighs in
    chatting cheerfully until they see me.
    why am I here?
    the foundation of metaphysics.
    how long will I stay?
    foundation and too much blush.
    laughter spills out onto the sidewalk
    with no one to clean up after it.
    shops are closing right and left
    and yet no one
    wants to know
    what I'm waiting for.
    maybe that's not true.
    maybe they all want to know.
    maybe they all know already.
    the flags are taken down.
    the lights are turned off.
    my hands are turning blue.
    there are more reasons
    to leave
    than to stay
    even though I only needed one.
    the last pedestrian
    was downright frightened.
    am I so indistinguishable
    from the shadows?
    maybe I'll wait
    until I've filled the page
    although I've already said
    far too much
    about nothing at all.
    I have a fantasy
    in which I walk away
    and finally hear the phone ring
    only to continue walking
    never turning back.
    what will happen instead
    of course
    is that I'll stay here
    until I freeze solid
    and the phone will never ring.
    every few steps
    I will look over my shoulder
    at the silent phone.
    every few steps
    I will hear it ringing
    somewhere else.

    (Hermosa Beach, CA - 1996)


    a beer is a poem is a hand grenade

    a beer is a poem is a hand grenade
    silencing the birdsong
    in tall leafless trees
    framing the gray horizon
    in a doorway of flames
    and staggering to the drunken music
    of a cocktail napkin haiku.

    (Irving, TX - 1998)


    Wednesday, August 03, 2005


    express train —
    all the conductor's dollar bills
    George-side up

    standing room only —
    the flutter of false eyelashes
    behind the shades


    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    August heat

    August heat —
    a gypsy moth
    trapped in a spider web

    August heat —
    the double yellow line

    August heat —
    a chorus of crickets
    in the train yard


    Monday, August 01, 2005

    late night thunderstorm

    late night thunderstorm —
    we invite the dog
    into bed


    design by may
    maystar designGet awesome blog templates like this one from