Dreaming in the Conrad Hotel on West 54th St.

Cover of Planet of the Blind....man and dog....

Last night I dreamt I was making balloon animals in a windstorm. I love the unconscious. Later the storm turned horribly intense. The unconscious has a limited sense of humor.

Meanwhile, it’s important to know what you love— especially the small things. I love the morning song from Peer Gynt, hot soup in winter, the sound of distant dogs barking at night, jazz piano any time.

Of course I love people, my wife, stepchildren, family, old friends, two horses in particular. But I talk about them all the time. I seldom say “I love that barn mouse.”

Back to the ballon animals. I love that barn mouse.


Oh America! Your swimming grows weaker and weaker, and the whale, just as Melville predicted…


Long ago I thought suede shoes were stylish—not the Chet Atkins variety, but the “Hush Puppy” kind, the beige ones. I was 13 and those were some good shoes. I say so without nostalgia.

Of the Hush Puppies I recall after you wore them for a day or two they tended to stink. I remember my father saying: “Your shoes smell like dead rats.” “How do you know what dead rats smell like?” I asked him. “I was in WWII,” he said.

I tried washing the shoes with dish soap and a rag. This ruined the suede and made them smell like the beauty parlor where my mother went for her “permanents” which were sinister since she was a drug addict and lacquered hair meant there’d be a burning sofa in the near future.

BTW I could never get my father to talk about the war. He fought in the Pacific. There were lots of rats.


It’s god’s trick, making me sadder as I grow older.


“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine, or idealism.” (Carl Jung)

Idealism is how I get out of bed. And it’s likely going to pull my strings until the end.

What’s the balloon animal for that?

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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