Monday, April 23, 2012


I asked her with my eyes
To ask me with her eyes
Do you still love me?
With my eyes
I told her
Yes I do

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Ides of May

You watch as
U-Eins approaches
Listening for her heels
On the platform
Alert to the scent of lavender
You wait as
May approaches
Seeking for memories
Sweet and sad

May is for passion
Driving you mad
The ides of May
Gave her to you
And you gave her away!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Chapter 18: Do wonders never cease
[Go to beginning]
Rove’s mood changed dramatically when Bill Hemmer told him the news about President Obama’s Secret Service contingent being accused of soliciting prostitutes during President Obama’s visit to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas.
“You’re kidding me,” Rove said. “When did this happen?”
Hemmer shuffled the script outline he was using for the America’s Newsroom broadcast; a broadcast in which Rove would be participating. “Uh, over the weekend. Down in Cartagena, Colombia. The agents were working in advance of Obama's summit meeting.”
“Well, do wonders never cease,” Rove said. “Listen, give me a minute before makeup, okay?”
Without waiting for a response, Rove went to the room he’d been assigned to prepare for the broadcast, and pulled out his cell phone, did a quick search on the ‘Hill Who’ web site and found the number for Steve Castor, who was the Chief Counsel for Investigations for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He punch in the number and while he was waiting for Castor to pick up, walked to the buffet table and poured himself a soft drink.
A secretary picked up and Rove identified himself and asked to be connected to Castor. He was told that Castor was unavailable and asked if he’d like to leave a message.
“No, I don’t want to leave a message. I want to speak to Castor,” Rove said. “Just give me his cell phone number.”
The secretary wouldn’t do that, and Rove gave her a hard time, but to no avail. Finally, she offered to locate Castor and have him call Rove.
Rove was punching in Reince Priebus’s number when there was a brief knock on his door and a young woman poked her head in and said, “Make up.”
Rove motioned her in. He swore under his breath when he connected with a secretary instead of Priebus. He told her to have Priebus call him ASAP, and disconnected.
It wasn’t until after the broadcast that Rove finally connected with Steve Castor. In the meantime, he’d talked with Priebus and told him to get the Republican leadership to pressure Darrell Issa, who headed up the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to conduct an investigation of the Secret Service incident.
In his talk with Castor, Rove stressed the importance of doing a “thorough, in-depth investigation” of the Secret Service incident. “Doesn’t matter how long it takes,” Rove said. “The longer the better.”
Everything Castor said indicated to Rove that he knew exactly what Rove was after.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Chapter 17: Did you just hang up on me?
[Go to beginning]

Tom Synhorst no sooner ended his call with Tony Feather than the damned thing buzzed at him again. He checked the screen. It said, “Karl Rove.” He clicked the Answer button and then immediately clicked the End button. He wasn’t in the mood.
Synhorst had been talking with Feather about electronic voting machines that were being upgraded and installed in Florida. He wanted to make sure that distribution of the machines favored more affluent, Republican precincts. The distribution of voting machines, and the tabulation and real-time presentation on results by allies in the media could build momentum and help swing a swing state.
Synhorst’s cell buzzed at him again. He picked it up and punched the answer key. “Synhorst.”
“Tom, it’s Karl. Did you just hang up on me?”
“Sorry about that, Karl,” Synhorst said. He heard traffic noise in the background. “Where are you?”
There was a pause, and then Rove said, “I’m at 6th and, uh..., I’m heading over to Fox News. Anyway, how are you?”
“Fine, thank you, Karl.” Synhorst wasn’t fine. He was about to go in the hospital for a neurological procedure, but he didn’t feel like sharing that with Rove.
“Good, good. Listen, I need some help generating grassroots support for something, or I should say, the look of grassroots support.”
“I’m listening,” Synhorst said.
“We want to promote initiatives in the swing states that will be on the ballot in November and help motivate our constituencies to get out and vote.”
“What states are you looking at?” Synhorst said.
Rove scrolled to his map display. “Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida,” he said in rapid succession. He dodged a young woman gang walking a menagerie of mismatched dogs and headed into the Fox building.
“Well, you know of course, that we’ve been attempting to change the electoral college vote distribution in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania,” Synhorst said.
“Yeah, I know. How’s that going?” Rove said, with a soft burp.
Synhorst sighed. “Nowhere, really. But we haven’t given up.”
Rove knew that the attempt to change the electoral college vote system to split delegates and favor Republicans went exactly nowhere.
“Well listen, Tom, could you come up with some ideas for ballot initiatives in swing states and email them to me? I’ll generate some of my own and we’ll come up with a list. That sound doable?”
“You bet, Karl. I’ll have someone get back to you ASAP.”
“How about end of business, Tom?”
“I’ll have someone shoot you an email ASAP, Karl.”
“Tom, we need to --”
“Gotta go, Karl,” Synhorst cut Rove off in mid-sentence.
“Shit,” Rove said.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Chapter 16: Grassroots, like arson is spontaneous combustion
[Go to beginning]
Reince Priebus hurried across D Street and into the Tortilla Coast Restaurant. He was shown to a corner table by the window. It was an overcast day, threatening rain. He hoped it held off until he’d grabbed a bite to eat and was able to get back across the street to RNC Headquarters.

Priebus set up his laptop and was opening Internet Explorer, when the waitress arrived with a menu, a foldout showing drinks and desserts, and another piece of plastic covered cardboard showing the day’s specials.
“Hi! Welcome to The Coast,” she said, with such enthusiasm it forced Priebus to actually look at her.
Priebus pushed away all the menus and said, “Bring me Combination Three and a Dos Equis.” Then he went back to staring at his laptop.
Undaunted, the waitress gathered up the menus and said, “Water?”
“What?” Priebus said, preoccupied.
“Would you like water?” the waitress said.
“No, I want beer,” Priebus said, not looking up.
Priebus stared at the map he’d brought up on his laptop screen. It showed a color-coded map of the United States, with the states trending Republican in red, and those trending Democratic in blue. The states considered up for grabs were tan. There were a lot of them.
His data were from DCI Group, a powerful public relations firm, whose leadership had strong Republican ties. DCI maintained a gigantic database that Priebus had been using to sharpen the RCN’s focus on swing states in the 2012 Presidential Election, as well as congressional and senate races the GOP had targeted.
Priebus picked up his cell phone and punched in Karl Rove’s number. Rove answered on the first ring.
“Yeah, Reince, what’s up?” Rove barked into his cell as he forked a Maguro Nigiri Zushi into his mouth, and chewed the raw tuna while he waited for Priebus to launch into one of his usual pleas for more PAC money.
“Karl, hey, you know I’m looking at our 2012 state-by-state projections and wondering what you’re thinking now that Romney is the candidate?”
“I’m looking at that now, Reince, and I’m thinking we need to put some serious money into some key swing states.” Rove was sitting at a rear table to the left of the long counter in Sushiden, a Japanese restaurant on 6th and 49th; a block over from Fox News New York offices. He had his laptop set up on the table, which seated four, so left him plenty of room to work.
“For ads,?” asked Priebus.
“Ads?” Rove said. “Yeah, ads,” Rove said dismissively, “but I’m talking about some hard core stuff, like our voting rights actions, and ballot initiatives. You know, stuff to get out our vote and depress theirs.”
Rove had developed data for three U.S. maps, one for Romney, one for Santorum, and one for Gingrich. During the Republican campaign he had used the maps to show the GOP leadership just how hopeless a Santorum or Gingrich presidential run would be. In both cases, Obama would exceed 300 electoral votes. Romney ran closer, but was still lagging Obama by at least 36 electoral votes under the most optimistic scenarios.
Priebus was rattling on and Rove picked up the thread about midpoint, “and so I was wondering if you’ve talked to Synhorst about generating some grassroots support for our initiatives in some of the bible belt states to outlaw...” Priebus paused as the waitress set down his beer. “...medical marijuana. You know, sort of preempt the legalization of marijuana. It’s a hot button issue with a good part of the base.”
Tom Synhorst was a principal at DCI group. He’d started the company in 1988 and grew it from a basic PR firm to a powerful lobbying and consulting firm with connections to some of the Republican Party’s movers and shakers. Synhorst basically invented ‘ghost grassroots’ initiatives, which was grassroots like arson was spontaneous combustion.
“Yeah, well we’re looking at some of these get-out-the vote initiatives, Reince. We can’t back ‘em all. Gotta prioritize,” Rove said, looking around for the waitress.
“Well, dope is a good one, Karl. And ties in nicely with immigration reform,” Priebus said.
“Huh?” Rove said. “How’s that?”
“Well, it’s the Mexicans bringing in the dope,” Priebus said. “We could pair the anti-dope initiative with one to give police the right to stop people who look illegal and demand proof of citizenship; like Arizona.”
Rove sighed. Priebus had a tendency to get carried away. “Reince, we’ve gotta be careful here.” Rove was painfully aware that Hispanic voters had supported Democratic candidates 2 to 1 over Republicans in 2008. He wanted to even that up in 2012. “We have a chance to make some inroads
with Hispanics in 2012 as a result of the bad economy.” Rove said.
“Well...” Priebus said. He was thinking about all the Republican candidates supporting the idea of a 2000-mile-long fence on the U.S. border with Mexico. “You know the fence thing doesn’t help.”
Rove interrupted, “Yeah, yeah, nobody takes that seriously, Reince. Once we’re into the campaign against Obama that’ll go on the back burner. Except maybe in the border states. What we’re focused on, Reince, are independents in the swing states.” Rove pushed around some papers on his kitchen table, looking for a report he’d been reading earlier.
“Yeah, that’s good,” Priebus said. “We’ve got some --”
Rove found what he was looking for and interrupted Priebus. “Yeah, I have a survey here that shows independents aren’t buying Obama’s fairness argument. We need to --”
“It’s class warfare,” Priebus chirped, happy to hear Rove parrot the GOP’s sound bite.
“...stress how Obama’s failed policies have contributed to the economic downturn,” Rove went on. “Blunt the focus on wealth inequality.”
Priebus scrolled down a new page on his laptop, found what he was looking for and quickly said, “Have you seen today’s gas prices? Hell, that’s a major campaign issue for us.” Priebus put his hand behind his neck and stretched. He checked his watch. He was scheduled for a sit down with Fox & Friends in an hour. “Listen, Karl, can I get back to you? I’ve gotta run.”
“Well, hell, Reince, you called me,” Rove said, and ended the call.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Cat in Florence

Chapter 18
[Go to beginning]
It took me three days to get to the apartment that Jenny and I had shared.

To read the full story, buy it for $0.99 at the Kindle Store

Sunday, April 1, 2012

An Empty Lens

The photos are gone now
Lost in the confusion of
Too many moves
To too many places
I remember taking them
Telling her to walk toward me
Along that quaint, cobblestoned street
Seeing her through the lens
I remember the way she walked
The way she held herself
The half smile on her face
And when she reached me
Wanting to kiss her
“Not here”
I took her hand
“Stand beside me”
Quickly, I took another picture
Just the empty street
“It will look as if you disappeared”
It’s that second photograph that haunts me
I keep looking up from that empty lens