SPOTLIGHT: ROLL THE DICE by Richard J Cronborg


We’re all in this together,

but who gets the life rafts

when the ship starts sinking?

In the old days it would be

women and children, first.

But now, it’s the people with money.

They’ll either push you out of the way,

or pay someone to do it for them.

You’re only gallery slaves to them.

You’re what they consider

the unwashed masses.

They’ll land on private islands,

and live in splendor.

You’ll be lucky to hold onto

a piece of debris,

to keep from sinking.

Be wary, because it’s feeding time,

for the sharks.

If perchance you do survive,

you’ll get to do the dirty work, once again.

Some of you will die,

doing it.

But, that’s alright.

There are plenty of bodies to go around

to take your place, matey!



     I gave a dollar to a blind man.  I stuck it in his tin cup.  He sat there on the bus bench, unshaven with his red-tipped, white cane. He smiled at me through opaque sunglasses, showing a nice set of teeth.  I wondered if he could see me.  No matter, it was only a buck.  I put countless numbers of dollars in baskets at A.A. meetings to cover the cost of coffee and donuts.  I left dollars for bartenders and waitresses, and car wash attendants.  I gave dollars to delivery men, letter carriers, paper boys, and churches where I lit votive candles.  I prayed for redemption and many other things and all I received in return was silence, not even a paltry buck. 

     Today, a dollar is dirty and not enough.  Nobody wants to touch one because of the coronavirus.  People are going to have to carry around credit card machines for tips.  We’re going to see a new age of the entrepreneurial homeless.  They’ll even offer hand sanitizer and paper towels.  A buck just doesn’t cut it, anymore.  Five or ten bucks should be the norm.  I’ll have to stay off the streets and continue to isolate.  I can’t afford to be throwing fivers around.  I’m glad my wife cuts my hair in this age of the “new normal”.  I don’t have to throw her a tip.  I pay her in other ways.



Black is white, because I said so

I have executive privilege to do so

I will break you

If you disagree

yet, I need your love

because I’m a nice guy

believe me!

open the churches, factories and schools

give me that old time religion

the opiate of the masses

facts are the enemy

unless they’re alternative

it’s time for Trump-speak

the newspeak

George Orwell

Is spinning in his grave

Hitler did it well

but I’ll do it better

that’s a fact

believe me!

the virus will disappear

we’re rounding the bend

the numbers are going down

it’s like a little flu

or a little bit of lung cancer



Tell the same lies over and over again, and they’ll start to believe you. 

I’ll build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it.

I’ll release my tax returns as soon as I’m elected.

Obama wasn’t born in the United States of America.

Black Lives Matter is a subversive group dead set on destroying America!

You’re only safe in your homes, if you vote for me!

Fire the scientists.

Hire the fools, because loyalty is everything to me.

I’m a stable genius.

Don’t believe the CDC or Johns Hopkins.

Fauci and Birx are scoundrels of untruths.

Believe in my guy Atlas!  Go to work, it’s safe!

You don’t need masks.  See?  I survived!

God will protect us, because we’re the good guys.

We need more meat packers.

Bury them in open graves, like my buddy does in Brazil.

Hire more bodies, there’s plenty of them.

Keep them hungry, they’ll be willing to work.

America is great again!

Look at the stock market!

We’re having more spreader rallies to celebrate the good times!



Come whiskey and enchant me, sweet lover

make my pain go away

let the fantasies begin

and wrap me in your warm, tender arms

I emerge from your chrysalis, and I’m so beautiful!

as I spread my frail wings, going anywhere I please

my numbness is accepted, I am suitably anesthetized

from the pain of self

from the pain of the world

the price I pay is worth the cost

at least for the short haul

yet, why look ahead?

there’s no hope in my future

I’ve accepted this fact

the pain of the future

is covered by a tattered curtain

of more whiskey

such a wondrous drink

to combat, my worthless existence

yet, I wake up with hope

never having penned a line

while under sweet whiskey’s


yet, the last chapter

hasn’t been written



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