Saturday, December 31, 2016

THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, a poem

          Our democracy
          is a magnificent
          iceberg
          never before tested
          by a chieftain
          with polluted values
         
          Will Donald Trump
          prove to be
          a negligible ice pick
          a scarring steam shovel
          or a scorching force
          of nature
         
          Perhaps our form
          of government
          will blunt him
          frustrate him
          enrage him
          burn him out

          (Dec. 31, 2016)


         

          

Friday, December 23, 2016

MY ROCK, a poem

Sisyphus
now I understand
what she did
so well
meals, washing, dusting
and loving me

What a good deal
I had
what she did
now I must do
the price of love
housework is my rock
Sisyphus


(Dec. 23, 2016)

ROSE HILL in WINTER, a poem

Fordham’s icled elms
tinkling in the breeze
in this snow pure season
that glorifies trees
recalls to my mind
the statue of a queen
which stands alone
on Edwards Green

(Dec. 23, 2016: I wrote this poem in November of December, 1955
in response to a campus literary magazine offering to publish any
poem written about Fordham’s Rose Hill campus in winter. The poem was not published. This was only the first stanza of a longer poem. I don’t remember the rest.)


Saturday, December 3, 2016

GOING, GOING, a poem

In translucent boxers
I walk alongside
the naked laughing girl
she strides away
a growing distance
between us

I expect her
to stop to wait
to turn
to rejoin me
she doesn’t

In the distance
she pauses among
three young men
I hurry forward
but she is gone
never to return

(Nov. 26, 2016: Last night I dreamt I was walking with a naked girl; I was wearing translucent shorts. I was embarrassed by our mutual nakedness; it was her idea. She started walking ahead of me on this country road. I let the distance grow between us expecting her to stop to wait for me or to turn around to rejoin me. She didn’t. In the distance I saw her surrounded by three young men. I hurried forward. They were lost to sight, disappeared. I never found her. She was gone. I am working this into a poem: Going, Going)


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

THE RELENTLESS TEAMSTER

       Fred Zuckerman, who came very close to winning the presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, has emerged from this month’s election as “the relentless Teamster.”
          Instead of returning to his Louisville home base to contemplate what might have been, Zuckerman told a thousand listeners to a post-elction telephone debriefing: “We’re not waiting for the next election.” His declared strategy is to urge his Teamster United adherents to run against Hoffa loyalists heading Teamsters locals.
          Zuckerman tallied more votes in the United States than incumbent General President James P. Hoffa. However Candian Teamsters handed the victory, another five-year term, to Hoffa. The final count: 102,401 for Hoffa to 96,377 for Zuckerman.
          Teamsters United candidates managed to win six of the International’s 22 vice presidential slots. In the Central Region: Avral Thompson, Tony Jones, Bob Kopystynsky, and Bill Frisky; in the Southern Region: John Palmer and Kim Schultz.
          Zuckerman’s drive to eventually oust the Hoffa administration centers on his opposition to the cozy relationships with bosses, which have led to continuing allegations of corruption; concessionary contracts; and imposing contracts rejected by the rank and file.
         

                     

Saturday, November 19, 2016

GOLDEN WORDS

Hillary, oh Hillary
Why did you run
did hubris blind you
to what Donald
would brand you:
crooked Hillary-

Your golden words
cost Wall Streeters
$225,000 a speech
a sum that resonated
with working stiffs
in MI, WI, Ohio

The added costs
were not only
Donald’s ugly words
but the four-year
nightmare America
must endure

(Written in November, 2016 as I reflected on the reasons why thousands of working class Democrats in the battleground states--either voted for Donald Trump or left their ballots blank on the presidential line. Hillary Clinton charged in the realm of $225,000 a speech, more than an ordinary worker could even dream of piling up in a lifetime--and she made more than 90 of those speeches from 2013 to 2015.)




Sunday, November 13, 2016

MIDNIGHT in AMERICA

In the minute before midnight
I ask
Donald, will you
take us
into the darkness
you promised?

Or will the strong man
turn back
in the face
of reality
or the uproar
in the streets?

There will be a dawn
after you
there always is
and America will
shine brightly again
despite you.

(Written on Nov. 13, 2016--50 days before
Donald Trump’s inauguration.)



Friday, November 4, 2016

The Teamsters November Bomb

           The Teamsters Independent Investigations Officer Joseph diGenova has tossed a bomb into the closing days of voting for the union’s hierarchy revealing extensive investigations are underway into whether Teamsters officials and employers enjoyed just pleasantly cozy or seriously corrupt relationships.
            In the opening blast, International Secretary Treasurer Ken Hall was accused by diGenova of stonewalling his demand for many internal union emails through delaying tactics and “mysteriously” disappearing documents.
            Teamsters International President James P. Hoffa has been given 90 days to consider bringing internal union charges, based on diGenova’s allegations, against Hall. Otherwise, the case would go to the Teamsters Independent Review Officer Benjamin Civiletti for his determination.

            The allegations against Hall have popped into public view just a few days before the mail ballot deadline for control of Teamster international hierarchy. Teamsters United, the opposition slate whose presidential candidate is Fred Zuckerman, urged Teamsters who want to get rid of the Hoffa administration to mail their ballots by Nov. 9 in order to meet the vote count deadline.


              A suggestion: my novel, THE TRUCKERS, has been described as a fun read. It is serious and tragic too. Try it free on KindleSmashwordsBarnes and Noble, or Apple.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ATTENTION: Tom Wolfe, the answer to human speech is explained in OOOEELIE.

In the New York Times review of Tom Wolfe’s THE KINGDOM of SPEECH, the author is quoted as asking (in the book): "What is it that has left endless generations of academics, certified geniuses, utterly baffled when it comes to speech?”
Let me offer a simple solution to the mystery encountered by those geniuses: Oooeelie taught men to speak. Oooeelie was a canine being--from a planet in the Sirius system--whose space ship crash-landed on earth tens of thousands of years ago.
I tell the story of OOOEELIE in my novel, available as a free download on Amazon and Smashwords.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Some insights for readers of THE DREAM DANCER

        The essence of my novel, THE DREAM DANCER, is the relationship between a singular man and his God, Koona Manitou or the great spirit.
          Coop Rever, the protagonist of THE DREAM DANCER, is an accomplished author and war correspondent living in Paris when he is propelled by signals from “the other world” to pursue a mission he doesn’t want.
Coop’s destiny as the Mythical Dancing Wolf, the prophet and protector of the Okwe native-American band’s way of life,was set when he used a bayonet to kill a German soldier after the DD Landing.
As the Mythical Dancing Wolf, Coop does some very savage things. Among them, the brutal killing of a young girl, who might appear to be an innocent. So many awful things are done by men in the name of God, as we see in the news almost every day.
Coop’s killing isn’t an act of terrorism, but an attempt to sever the roots of the Kings Family’s hundred years plus campaign to destroy the Okwe.
When he finds himself sentenced to life in a dreadful prison for what white men consider almost unforgivable crimes, Coop violates the Okwe ethos by calling upon the Koona Manitou to rescue him. But as everyone discovers who calls upon God for help whatever answers come are indirect.
And in the novel, there are signals from “the other world,” in the form or allusions to the beaver, Coop’s power spirit, but they aren’t happy ones.
His days, weeks, months and years in prison drag on with intense suffering at times: solitary confinement, loss of an eye, beatings, and attempted humiliations. Only attempted because Coop has the self-confidence of a lifetime of achievements and is in the exalted position of being the Mythical Dancing Wolf (or the Dream Dancer), the chosen savior of his people.
There are moments of relief in his confinement: the decent prison guard and the recognition of his writing by the President of the United States.
Coop’s courage never waivers--although he comes close. Through it all he remains a warrior.


A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Another five-star review of THE ABSCONDER

         In a brief, but welcome, review of my novel, THE ABSCONDER, on Smashwords, Luke Short wrote: “This is a well written book. The characters are well developed. I saw where the protagonist was headed early in the book. This is a dark story.”
          Mr. Short gave THE ABSCONDER five stars.
         
         

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Free downloads of four-star novel, BEN CONNOLLY in the PARIS COMMUNE

 BEN CONNOLLY in the PARIS COMMUNE by Kenneth C. Crowe, will be available for free downloads from Kindle for five days this week, from Monday (April 18, 2016) through Friday (April 22, 2016).
The book was inspired by the exploits of war correspondent Januarius MacGahan, during the uprising by the Parisian working class, led by left wing intellectuals, in the spring of 1871.
Gen. Jaroslaw Dombrowski and Louise Michel are major figures in the novel, as in real life.
In the four-star review, a reader offered the highest praise a novel can get: “Unputdownable.”

Please read it, enjoy it, and review it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Mystery of Trying to Sink Teamsters leader Al Mixon

         With Al Mixon’s long Teamsters career obviously sliding into a sink-hole, the Hoffa-Hall 2016 slate metaphorically stepped on his  head to push him down deeper, faster by filing a complaint accusing him of failing to file timely fundraising reports on his campaign for Teamsters international president.
          The mystery is why?
          Last summer, Mixon seemed destined to be reelected as International Vice President on the Hoffa slate. Then a surprising something happened: on Aug. 10, 2015, he declared himself a candidate for the presidency running against incumbent James P. Hoffa.
          The Teamsters’ Election Officer issued a decision on April 1, 2016, affirming that Mixon had not met the required deadline for the   filings. The decision also slightly lifted the veil on his demise as a union official noting that he had been found guilty of internal union charges although no details were provided explaining who brought the charges or what they involved.
          The guilty verdict resulted in Mixon’s suspension from the Teamsters for six months and stripped him of his many union positions ranging from secretary-treasurer of Cleveland Local 507 to International Vice President.
          The Teamsters General Executive Board has rejected Mixon’s appeal of the case against him. He has decided to carry that appeal a step further: to the international convention’s delegates at Las Vegas’ Flamingo Hotel in June.
          The prospect of a reversal by the delegates is slim indeed.
          Mixon faces a maximum fine of $2,500 for failing to file the required reports. As far as I know that penalty has yet to be imposed.
          I am still puzzled by why the Hoffa slate bothered to press the filings case against Mixon whose presidential campaign appears to have gone not much further than his announcement as a candidate.

 ***  
           Addenda: On April 14, 2016, Al Mixon withdrew as a candidate for IBT general president.

***


 A suggestion: my novel, THE TRUCKERS, has been described as a fun read. It is serious and tragic too. Try it free on KindleSmashwordsBarnes and Noble, or Apple.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Teamsters election: The Key to Victory

A line in a story touching on Fred Zuckerman in LEO, Louisville’s alternative weekly, caught my eye as the solution to the problem confronting him of how to put together 200,000 votes to win the 2016 race for the presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The article by Alex Bradshaw and Richard Becker on Sept. 2, 2015 said: “He is not your granddad’s labor leader; he has a vision for the future.”
The key to a victory over James P. Hoffa, the incumbent IBT president, would be Zuckerman’s figuring out how to put his vision in words that would inspire a couple of hundred thousand Teamsters, who didn’t bother to vote in the 2011 election to cast their ballots for him in hopes of creating a better union.
Zuckerman, president of the huge Louisville Teamsters Local 89, has a background to which rank and file Teamsters can relate. A Teamster since 1979, Zuckerman came off a truck to be elected president of his local.
Originally running for an international vice president’s slot, Zuckerman moved up to be the presidential candidate on the Teamsters United ticket after Tim Sylvester lost his bid for reelection as principal officer of New York Teamsters Local 804. Sylvester shifted to the number two slot as the candidate for secretary-treasurer the Teamsters United slate.
A continuation of Hoffa’s downward voting trend in which he recived 137,172 votes in 2011, 40,000 fewer than 2006, of course would be a mighty boost for Zuckerman’s campaign for the presidency.


          A suggestion: my novel, THE TRUCKERS, has been described as a fun read. It is serious and tragic too. Try it free on KindleSmashwordsBarnes and Noble, or Apple.