Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Grading on a Dream / Dixie Cups and Pesetas / Sly Notion / Genoa


I'm a 67 year-old former computer program and two times Navy Vet.   Thomas Michael McDade



Grading on a Dream


Jocko was the C-man

because he could skip

nearly every class of any course,

take the final and grab a C,

nothing more, nothing less.

He did have an A dream once

that he loved to share:

with bowels about to burst

he was sitting on a red commode,

a buxom woman was straddling him.

A can of ice-cold Bud was in one hand,

a steak sandwich dripping onions

and mushrooms in the other.

She coordinated a cigar

of marijuana

with his chomping and slurping.

She rode him like an equestrian

in a gold medal dressage

or a trick rider in a rodeo.

Didn’t need spurs for precision.

Don’t know whether or not

Jocko’s dream was ever realized.

Heard he perished

scaling rocks in Arizona.

May his last thoughts

have locked on the pleasures

of that red commode.

The C-man and Eternity?

Some said he lived a flunking life

but I hold the almighty would

would have graded on a curve

lifting Jocko’s mark to a C

the day the mountain flicked him

off like the party’s last

Budweiser beer

can tab.

Dixie Cups and Pesetas


Snipes working the ship’s innards

hotter than any civilian hell,

where the smoking lamp stayed out,

substituted dip and chew

tobaccos for cigarettes.

They carried Dixie Cups for their spittoons.

Once and only once that I know of

a Machinist third hurting for cash

and madly in love with a red light

lady who shed boots for him

and him alone said pour some

of each into one, take a collection

and I’ll drink like it was Wild

Turkey. . . if you raise enough. 

A fool who asked if it’s such

a great romance why the need

for “potatoes” required stitches.

A little over twenty was the prize

and the potion was prepared –

he performed as advertised -

no vomit, paralysis or regretting

that slimy cocktail.

The stuff of legends

one saliva donor decreed,

any way you mix it.

Liberty call and then deep

in the gut at the Old Kentucky

Bar it turned out

since it was last

night in Palma de Mallorca,

the beloved arranged

for the smitten sailor’s stint

to be gratis and by God,

nearly an hour. 

As he strutted down

the stairs eyewitnesses

to the Dixie Cup

caper stood in ovation.

Even the Engineman mad

dog, crazy drunk licking

barmaid ankles howled

in homage.

The king of spit bought shots

for all and they downed them

as if they owned a piece

of his fame,

and weren’t just trying

to wash away

the very thought of it.    




Sly Notion


The Senior Chief

finishing his

career on shore

said he’d found little

in two and a half

decades of Navy

more overrated

than pussy.

(Man, best

keep that off



Crazy for it


a port and

cathouse call

quickly put

all lust to rest

he claimed.

It wasn’t until

family members

were guests

for Thanksgiving

dinner that we saw

that his fine wife

was likely

responsible for

his sly notion.

Not daring to

leave our eyes

on her for long

we just smiled

like recruiting

poster sailors

a photographer

shouted pussy at

instead of cheese.




A question flies from a window

like the thrush that tells

the secrets of children

to mothers.

“You fuck?” it asks and follows

us to a Serviceman’s Center

where there is a terrace

with a harbor view

and a weedy garden

where Gods and Goddesses

including Neptune pose.

The question hooks

their marble where it fits.

This Center is brighter than the one

in Naples but has no slot machines.

The hostess says that city

is not Italia as sailor eyes

roam the faded ceiling art.

This used to be a palace!

Visiting the house

where Columbus was born,

we listen to the windows

like field tripping Audubon members.

We wrap up the evening

in a red-light bar called Hollywood

where rumors fly

that American beer contains


Some sailors tell upstairs whores

they’ve seen them in works of art

on ceilings, no shit!

But no bargains follow.

Prices are old world always

says the lady in a dim hall

who knits so fast her needles click.

She passes out towels,

takes the money.

At times her tired hands fall

on her yarn like birds

the children have found out.




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