Blue Light Romance

‘Know this’ she said

‘I shall be with you’

Or so I recall

As the blue light

Special blinks

Reaching the case

I quickly put the item

In my pocket

A secret treat only

K-Mart can provide

Walking slowly toward

The front doors

All are watching

Knowing of my sin

Feeling their judgment

And eyes upon me

Perhaps none are watching

None judging

My criminal act of

Rebellion and romance

Going unrecognized

I cross through the doors

No alarms ring and nothing

Notes my passing into

The dingy grey parking lot

I stroll across the lot

Feeling triumphant in

My small success and

Heading across the railroad

Tracks and past the half

Burnt out sign of the

Burger King buzzing like

A sad dying bug

Drunk sitting on the bench

At the train stop knows nothing

Of what has transpired

And I pass him quickly

This is one of my finest moments

I think of what it will change

Walking through the neighborhood

I feel different and walk with

More purpose and style.

Coming to her house I see her on

The porch sitting there and waiting

And I walk up and hand her

The bounty which she has desired

She takes it and looks at it and smiles

And says, ‘It is the wrong one’

Mortification my old companion

Returns quietly and crawls up my spine

Can I do it again I wonder?

And looking at her I know the answer

Gene G. McLaughlin 2005

This Is Not My Pop Song

This is not my pop song

Playing on the radio

My pop song is still playing

On the air waves of long ago


I can’t hear the melody

And the harmony sounds bad

Well I think whoever bought this single

Well I think that they’ve been had


Well how the hell they dancing and singing

Without losing all their damn breath

I bet they’re damn lip synching

How else they avoiding cardiac death


I try to switch the radio dial

But all the stations are the same

I will just sit here quiet a while

And think who I should blame


This is not my pop song

Maybe it belongs to you

The song structure is all wrong

The rhythm sounds bad too


Maybe I have just lost touch

And start to get a bit old

But this song sucks way too much

If the truth really be told


Well instead of sitting here feeling sad

Looking for some new tunes to hum

I am going to just be really glad

I got a box of old LP’s if I need some

Gene G. McLaughlin 2003


In the blue dark moments of the dream

Happiest with sense of self

Drifting and sifting through the images

By experience informed

To the limits conformed

Knowingly it comes to me

Fleetingly clear to see

Schism of empiricism

Truth beyond my simple science

So foolish to have asked for proof

Leaving my soul detached aloof

Mystery need not be questioned or embraced

Only know to exist across void of space

In the yellow light moments of the end

Joy fades replaced with

Weight all of it reposed

With hope in reality imposed

Gene G. McLaughlin 2004

The Tech Will Not Be Denied

The tech will not be denied

It keeps its own pace and company

You can hear it in the past

The sound von Neumann heard

In the back of his mind

The hum Turing felt

At the base of his spine

The spark the chimp saw

Pounding walnuts between stones

The ones and twos of it

The spiderwebs of it

We stride next to it

Because we are of it

We tell stories

To mask the data

Narratives to help

Ease through our days

Those who face the light of it

Move us forward

To something different

That is still yet us

The tech will not be denied

It moves without consent because it is us

We are its company and its raison d’etre

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

The Quiet Life

I am greedy for the quiet life

For the longing to forever end

Accumulation and achievement leading to

An empty series of dusty rooms

I have already visited

Finding them wanting

Let’s waltz my love

On the porch

While the sun goes down

As the azaleas bloom

And spring comes again

The most important things earned

Are learned by the failures of success

And the victory of the speckled dusty air

Dancing at twilight

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013


I need a hat

For the sun in my eyes

I need a woman

With shapely smooth thighs

I need a job

With a paying high wage

I need a day

Of a world without rage

I need a suit

Of fine Italian silk

I need to find

Some friends of my ilk

I need a sun

Of bright warm orange light

I need to find

The will to carry on and fight

I need a morning

With no direction

I need a taste

Of a fine chocolate confection

I need a tomorrow

Different than today

I need a map

With a clearly marked way

I need a song

Of sweetest melody

I need for you to long

For something in me

I need a salad

With clean fresh greens

I need the ways

To equal the means

I need a world

Without boundaries or borders

I want these things

In no particular orders

Gene G. McLaughlin 2004

Spring 2005

The rain the sun

The bud the pollen

The flower the leaf

The fruit the seed

Spring undeniable

Again in its glory

Winter’s toll taken

The fallen both recalled

And unremembered

Now is the time of


And new responsibility

Awakening comes slow

Then sudden

Like the flood of the

Mountain stream

White and cold with

Anger and breakneck

Speed, ice no longer

Controlling and slowing

Its pace, What did I

Believe yesterday?

It seems so distant

I am who I was, but

There is the reckoning

That maybe I was wrong

Believing the cycle broken

And the world to be colder

Than it once was

Winter is nothing if not

A capable illusionist

Claiming things broken and

The cycle stopped

Yet it comes again

The rain

The sun

The bud

The pollen

The flower

The leaf

The fruit

The seed


Just in time

Gene G. McLaughlin 2005

Fear Knows Your Name

Fear knows your name

It is born the same day as you

Fear knows your name

It nestles in the wind that follows you

Fear does not know your actions

It is behind you and reacts to you

Fear does not know your actions

It is subject to the whimsy and truth of you

Fear sometimes wins

If you let it guide your steps for you

Fear sometimes wins

If you do not acknowledge the subtle moves it makes for you

The moments for fear are seldom needed by you

The moments for fear are sometimes real for you

The moment you acknowledge fear has decided for you

Is the moment fear fears it might lose to you

Once we decided all differently

In the background

In the shadows of instinct

Now we can decide for ourselves

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013


The burden is shared

Such a thing alone is heavy

The pull to decide before the end

Is strong

Pushed away by will and effort

As the tale unfolds

The impact upon all

Is clearly visible

There is a tangible

Feeling of relief

When we are called to judge

Justice does not feel

Like I thought it would

Vindication or truth

Are the crux of making something

Whole and complete

They do not

Displace the damage

That cannot be undone

We deliver the words

Filtering out when dismissed

Back into our world

Away from that where

Someone’s world

Has forever changed

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

We Of The Divided Mind

We of the divided mind

Whose digital selves

Diverge from our day to day

Where the blacksmith

Once became

The hammer and tongs

Where the painter

Once became

The ladders and brushes

Where the man

Once became

The actions of his day

We of the divided mind

Whose dual selves

Drift between two worlds

Transverse two identities

Evolving best we can

Seek the moment

Where we become

That thing

We do

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013