off the main drag…


his jazz guitar
seemed to sing
to them
a pied piper
of the neighborhood
they wandered
into his yard
by riffs of music
as foreign
as anything
they knew
they were
and these tunes
were from lost times
times when
folks sat
in garage bars
and their children
went searching for them
when something went wrong
heading down alley ways
looking  and listening
for the music
that released their parents
from the pain of society
and gave to them
a brief belief
that things could be
would be
in the future
but now
the tunes
reminded the children
that things
have not


transparency international
would like to
have been selected
at random
from thousands
to receive
an all expense paid vacation
to one of their
top ten countries
this trip will afford
you an opportunity
to live life as a local
experience the reasons
for all those heart warming stories
that you have only heard about
on the evening news
for example
watch a new-born infant
vainly fight for survival
wade through governmental muck
attempting to bribe a government official
to regain your passport
experience the thrill of the hunt
by being the hunted
run wild to foreign borders
be rejected
imprisoned in tent camps
this is just a sample of what awaits you
and although previous winners
have requested a travel brochure
i must sadly admit we have none
i have enclosed
several photographs
with comments on each
photo number one
a lovely camp in sudan
where you’ll  while away the hours
talking to natives from darfur
please ignore the small fire being set
in the foreground
photo number two
transportation system is displayed
these are somalian toll boats
please bring the correct change
since the captain only carries large bills
this is not some one time offer
like those silly tv commercials
this a stable world condition
so you need not rush to your phone
to respond
take your time
most people