Back Off in #Haiku. 11/24-11/30/2014


[Please note: I’m just the narrator character here, kind of like Ishmael from ‘Moby Dick’ or Dr. Watson. The ideas expressed in this are not mine, but rather poetic translations from an anonymous messaging service, a service providing the concerns of concerned citizens to the readers of their local newspaper. Sometimes these translations might be a little off. Sorry about that.

Also, if it means anything to you, I’m sitting four stories up in a coffee shop with red tube lights hanging down next to a window where I have to straighten up and lean like a baby about to fall out of a high chair if I want to look at a canal that isn’t frozen yet and parade organizers who clearly are. A chandelier made of antlers and votive-style lights inside the shop seem to match all the wooden tables, chairs, walls, ceilings and floors like it’s an out of place hunter’s lodge. The coffee’s good. And why is there a mop three stories up across the canal in a doorway which you probably don’t want to run thru due to the complete lack of anything but a long dive on the canal side? I understand why there’s a doorway there, there used to be a tunnel there connecting it to the mill I’m in. But the mop makes absolutely no sense. It might get frozen. Even in an igloo a frozen mop is useless. And you can’t have an igloo three stories up, heat rises. Just doesn’t make any sense. But yeah, here’s some haiku.]

Backtalk: 11/24/2014

President gone mad.
Totally out of control.
Like a man possessed.

Farmland for farming.
Know what you’re buying into.
Dracut be aware.

Ban ev’ry fire pit.
Kids getting severely burned.
Babyproof the world.

Sound Off Nov 24, 2014

College should speak more.
Alumni donors in dark.
Donations withheld.

Two sets of ledgers.
Merrimack College records.
Clearly hiding shit.

Assisted living.
Shouldn’t be in Andover.
How dare these scoundrels.

Supreme Court royals.
John Roberts is not a king.
Barely a swinger.

Living under bridge.
Not enough jobs in this land.
Can’t help immigrants.

Backtalk: 11/25/2014

Chelmsford management.
Destroyed a cherished landmark.
Should have sold the place.

Executive call.
Ignores the will of voters.
First Prez to do that.

Chelmsford school issues.
We don’t need a new budget.
We need a new board.

Fix up Baker School.
Contractors could volunteer.
As a Christmas gift.

Todisco Towing.
Ignores one-way signs at night.
I’d get towed for that.

Backtalk: 11/26/2014

Chelmsford Schools again.
Doctor Tiano must go.
Or vote out The Board.

Obama again.
Next he’ll bring in grandparents.
Can’t adopt the world.

Glad GOP won.
Now we’ll see what they’re good at:
Blaming Obama.

Climate change is bull.
There’s record cold in the south.
Basic math to me.

Obits all over.
One in sports one in comics.
Glad graves aren’t like that.

Dracut Franco Vets.
Thanks Bobbola’s for hosting.
Fundraiser went well.

Old Butler School site.
No construction started yet.
The city got suckered.

Backtalk: 11/26/2014

White folks ain’t shopping.
It’s all them damn foreigners.
Respect Thanksgiving.

Of course Mike Brown died.
Confronted an officer.
That’s some risky shit.

Boys cross-country team.
Won the D-1 state title.
Pride of Mill City.

Hassett writes letters.
Pro-life and anti-gay rights.
Nobody cares Mike.

Someone paid our tab.
Kind gesture from a stranger.

Billerica center.
Stop whining and just move on.
Voters have voted.

Baker fighting ban.
Wants fishermen unburdened.
Coakley didn’t care.

Sound Off Nov 27

Alzheimer’s disease.
Charity worth supporting.
Hoping for a cure.

Bud drops the Clydesdales.
Just ain’t Christmas without them.
Boycott Budweiser.

A bloodstained country.
Folks getting killed ev’ry day.
Changes don’t look near.

“Executive privs.
Impeach him for using them.”
– Frustrated goldfish.

Girls Scouts school program,
Lawrence won’t do same for boys.

Shaheen backs The Prez.
Illegals will take over.
New Hampshire is screwed.

Peter Principle.
How Obama became Prez.
Incompetence reigns.

Backtalk: 11/28/2014

Ferguson verdict.
Couldn’t agree with it more.
Prez should just butt out.

They burned a Walgreens.
And flipped over some old cars.
Too dumb for justice.

Ferguson needs prayers.
It’s time to pray and not fight.
The Lord will listen.

If the cop were black,
There wouldn’t be a riot.
What does that tell you?
[almost untranslated]

Blame the protesters.
They’re why we have racism.
Wasn’t none before.

Back Off in #Haiku. 11/17-22/14.


[I don’t think I’ve explained the gimmick here recently. Basically two local papers run daily collumns made from anonymous angry people who leave messages on an answering machine set up for this purpose. I then take what they publish and translate it into haiku. Here you go. Also, you know how somewhere out in Buffalo under 12 feet of snow there’s probably a guy who decided to jump out of his second story window to make a snow angel and is now stuck in a pretty deep snow pit with no clue how to get out and thinking “at least I’ll be remembered?” This is dedicated to him. Gotta love that bastard].

Backtalk: 11/17/2014

Black kids don’t study.
That’s why their grades are lower.
Decades continue.

National Grid sucks.
Energy monopolized.
Officials useless.

Jaywalking problem.
Sat through six damn sets of lights.
Students will get hit.

Sound Off Nov 17

New Hampshire’s stupid.
Voting in a Democrat.
We’re worse than Mass now.

Government corrupt.
Can’t wait till Obama’s gone.
We’ll throw a party.

Albert E. Thomson.
Got a school named after him.
Glad kids know of him.

No real actors left.
Replaced by other artists.
Timing’s what matters.

Hard drugs kill people.
Hundred plus so far this year.
Don’t legalize pot.

Kill all drug dealers.
People are dead from their shit.
That cures addiction.

Backtalk: 11/18/2014

Called voters “whiners.”
He can’t say that about us.
Let’s vote his ass out!

Jaywalking problems.
Kids think they have right-of-way.
Lights are not dawning.

Blow-ins hate old stuff.
No respect for tradition.
Save the fire station.

Westminster smoke ban.
Put all smokers in one room.
Kill themselves slowly.

Sound Off Nov 18

School shootings happen.
Methuen is right to prep.
Cops got that one right.

Stop preparing kids.
And cops should drive unmarked cars.
What would Lawrence think?

Too many school vacays.
Not a nation-wide habit.
Choose winter OR spring.

Haverhill taxes high.
They’re “skyrocketing” if you will.
Vote all the bums out.

Support the shutdown.
Only time things don’t get worse.
They suck at their job.

Backtalk: 11/19/2014

Billerica beats Chelmsford.
We’re building a new high school.
Real estate should boom.

Chelmsford school board.
No one ever tells them ‘no.’
Money has run out.

Billerica center.
The sign will give credit to George.
Ev’ryone knows George.

Flu season is here.
Don’t forget to wash your hands.
And use that soap stuff.

Sound Off Nov 19

People hate Jesus.
And they don’t believe in him.
They should just shut up.

Massholes all moved north.
Changing the tint of our votes.
Now we suck like them.

Southern New Hampshire.
Nothing but Massholes who moved.
To avoid taxes.

No parking on Main.
White lines make it a highway.
Lined with businesses.

Global warming’s fake.
That’s why they’re changing the term.
Climate change my ass.

Merrimack college.
Making elitists feel hurt.
I’m okay with that.

Backtalk: 11/21/2014

No monopoly.
Can buy energy elsewhere.
Some homework required.

Called me a ‘whiner.’
I can’t believe he said that.
Let’s all whine louder.

Taxpayers don’t whine.
We just want what we pay for.
Nothing new with that.

Stop your damn whining.
Pipeline needed for cheap gas.
Most of us want it.

Billerica Center.
Voters all voted on it.
Confusion settled.

Democrat Moulton.
Now in Congress on our dime.
Our towns will all melt.

People hate this Prez.
Voters don’t want compromise.
They want overhaul.

Sound Off Nov 21

Small court claims process.
Favors the perpetrators.
Not worth the bother.

Investigate Ken.
Sonovabitch got a raise.
Leaps and bounds I say.

Politicians lie.
Not remotely a new thing.
They don’t have a choice.

School safety is key.
Armed guards in barbed wire towers.
Seems reasonable.

Shelters aren’t enough.
Need to address real issues.
We can do better.

Time to leave Haverhill.
Taxes are pricing me out.
Plaistow here I come.

Sound Off Nov 22

Traffic at Frost School.
Drivers going way too fast.
Worst parents ever.

Mayor’s “empathy.”
Not worth anything to me.
Taxes still increase.

Whiners don’t know shit.
They just love to bitch and moan.
Ignorant babies.

Casinos are bad.
Take advantage of addicts.
That’s the whole business.

Fred Doyle: Who’s it Gonna Be?


I kind of like “Fred Doyle.” “Fred Doyle” isn’t just a name, it’s a title. It’s a title given to blatant novelty candidates who have a clear and necessary job. And we need more of them. Unfortunately I work on Tuesday nights, so I’m out. But we need a someone who can say things that make the guy who stood against the bikelanes seem rational by comparison. We’re looking for nominees. The role is to provide credibility by comparison to people who think it’s perfectly normal to have a prayer at the beginning of a public meeting.

Any suggestions?

Back Off in #Haiku. 11/15/14.



School Department’s bills.
Have to be paid the right way.
Late fees on sick days.

Vet’s Day ev’ry day.
No freedom without heroes.
Still go to work though.

Welcome back Backtalk.
You’re always what I read first.
That and the obits.

Dracut water smells.
Like chlorine flavored chlorine.
Cleaning is needed.

Sound Off

Stop preparing kids.
It scares the hell out of them.
This isn’t Newtown.

High school shooting drills.
Make Methuen look real bad.
What will Lawrence think?

Ev’ry body pays.
“Only half pay income tax”?
There’s other taxes.

No more baseball news.
The season ended last month.
So sick of that shit.

Dems ignore the truth.
Their bums caused all problems.
Admit it for once.

Rubberstamp school.
Hiring public image firm.
They’ll earn that money.

Back Off in #Haiku. 11/14/14.



Senator Warren.
Against some big businesses.
Wouldn’t help MB.

Varnum Ave paving.
Won’t get done before the freeze.
Rips provide traction.

Billerica Common.
Causing lots of arguments.
Look for common ground.

Sound Off

Pot overrated.
You can’t teach kids if they’re stoned.
We’ve failed the future.

Dems were for workers.
Now they only help the bums.
Lazy people vote.

Why give amnesty?
Illegals must follow laws.
Then they’ll be legal.

Schools over budget.
Three months after big raises.
Not even our kids.

Back Off in #Haiku. 11/13/14.



Seals killed bin Laden.
President kept his nails clean.
Watched it on TV.

Lombardo did win.
But it wasn’t a landslide.
He was unopposed.

Mayor Menino.
TV ads pay their respects.
Sofa shaped tombstone.

Chelmsford school budget.
Extension needs approval.
Sup should “retire” first.

Sound Off

V.A. doing fine.
People criticize all gov.
They take care of me.

Give a vet a job.
V.A. can’t do ev’rything.
Stop whining and help.

Plaistow soap op’ra.
Town Manager and Fire Chief.
Good way to burn town.

Goal post close to road.
Windshields will all be shattered.
Bring back tennis courts.

Drive with your lights on.
Daylight savings is gone now.
We’d like to see you.

Cuts don’t help just rich.
Half the country benefits.
Half that gets welfare.

“Americans stupid.”
Says Obamacare writer.
Real reform needed.

Problem with healthcare.
Is hospital industry.
Pretty high markups.

Check out those headlights, eh?

Bright lights

As an avid cyclist, I encounter people of all walks of life sharing the roads with me on their bikes.   Many, like me, are recreational riders who ride leisurely or maybe for personal fitness.  But for a majority of Lowell cyclists, the bike is their only means of transportation.  And, doubtless, we’ve seen cyclists riding at night without any safety equipment or lights.  This doesn’t just perturb motorists and pedestrians who can’t see them but is obviously a grave safety risk to all involved, but perhaps mostly to the cyclist themself.  A recent Mass-wide study showed that Lowell had among the highest bike-related accident rates in the state.  

If you’ve ever wondered how you can make a real, tangible difference in your community, then this is no exaggeration  when I say you can really save the life of someone in your community.  The inability to afford a simple bike light should not be a death sentence in our community.

My goal is to raise a minimum of $500 to secure approximately 500 units of front and rear bike light sets through Alibaba and distribute them to the Lowell Bike Coalition and various other community organizations so they can be given to the people who need them.  Please consider that for the cost of one movie ticket, you can essentially provide an entire family with bike lights and make their commuting lives far safer.  Thank you.

Go Fund Me- Lights for Lowell

For a good chunk of the city cycling community that uses their bikes exclusively for vandalism and stealing GPS units out of people’s unlocked cars, this probably doesn’t apply to you…you’re better off just waiting until this pilot is funded and you can just steal them like everything else.    But for the growing gang of commuting exclusive pedal pushers out there that are carving up the city streets (and sidewalks), let’s make sure we get some lights on those trikes.  You know…for safety yada, yada…and more importantly, for blasting a high beam through the back windshields of our elected officials that don’t ever see people riding their bikes on city streets, or the elected officials that just like to troll and waste folks time with “test motions” that call for the removal of bike infrastructure, or simply to ensure the safety of the jay-walking pedestrians crossing Market Street to get to the Athenian Corner.

If you don’t ‘Scoo the Poo’… you’re probably going to get stabbed.


Police said a fight between neighbors over unscooped dog poop on private property escalated to a brutal double stabbing in Springfield Saturday. 

Authorities said that Michael V. Valentin, 33, of 60 Belmont Ave. was quickly arrested after other neighbors identified him as the assailant. Detectives said they also found a large kitchen knife they believe was used in the attack. 

Valentin is accused of repeatedly stabbing a 46-year-old woman in the back and slashing her 23-year-old daughter in the face. Both women are reportedly in stable condition at an area hospital.

The Springfield Republican reports that Valentin had called police to complain about his neighbor not cleaning up after her dog two hours before the attack. 

Valentin faces two counts each of armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and a single count of mayhem.

Look, I’m a reasonable dude.  I’m not going to sit here and say that “intent to murder” is a reasonable response in this incident…well, at least directly.  Fact of the matter is that these two birds are lying, semi disfigured in hospital beds for a mere lack of effort.  Hey, we’ve all been there…only a block left in your walk and Cujo decides to take his fourth behemoth dump of the session, and you’ve already exhausted your shitbag reserves. (Side note: most dogs are assholes.  Don’t think for a second they’re not counting how many shitbags go in your pocket before you leave the house.). But that doesn’t mean you’re without options.

Option one is for the suckers…where you scurry around trying to find alternatives like discarded candy bar wrappers, napkins/tissues, only to ultimately have to pay the price of completing the journey with shitty palms. (Not worth it, I’d think I’d opt for the stabbing if given the choice.)

Then there’s the old “phantom poop trick”, where you circle the crime scene for a minute or two, finally putting on a show of wild bewilderment as if the clump of shit mysteriously vanished. You throw out a “WTF,” raise your hands to the heavens, and even go as far as asking Cujo “did you see where it went?” Narc’ing neighbors tend to give you the benefit of the doubt because nobody wants to incite a confrontation when the Devils work is potentially in play.

Finally, there’s what I like to call the “Grass Grabber”. The Grass Grabber is the “phantom poop” alternative for those that are terrible actors.  You simply take the maxed out bag that you’re already toting, and scoop and pull the clean patch of grass, preferably in the vicinity of Cujo’s landmine.  While not required (but preferable), if you can sneak a couple leaves of lawn clippings over the evidence, all the better.  That should give you enough time skulk out of the neighborhood before your psychopathic neighbor is any the wiser.

Clearly there are options.  Some may read this article and conclude that Michael V. Valentin, 33, of 60 Belmont Ave, is an unstable lunatic.  Or you consider the real moral of this story, which suggests that, any level of indifference with regard to Cujo’s shits will likely lead to you getting stabbed.  Scoo that’ Poo, bruh!

Back Off in #Haiku. 11/11/14.



Trash in the canals.
Tourists don’t want to see that.
Snow blanket comes soon.

Daylight drug dealings.
Police not where I’m looking.
Only seen in dark.

Trash cans aren’t free gifts.
Scumbags are taxing us all.
Over a barrell.

Don’t shop Thanksgiving.
Take time to feel gratitude.
Keep the day sacred.

Coakley not your foe.
She didn’t give your kid the drugs.
Drug dealers did that.

Sound Off (11/10/14)

School Board in the dark.
Too many secret meetings.
Desenters tied up.

School Board in the dark.
The CIA’s less guarded.
Shadows hide big lies.

Issues and faces.
Each side took one whole collumn.
Inconsistent votes.

Flat tax is fair tax.
Ten percent is ten percent.
Give or take loopholes.

Baker ain’t said that.
Didn’t call welfare cheats Dems.
Just wants to fix things.

Only The Right cares.
The Left just wants all your money.
Privatize welfare.

Take your damn signs down.
Aren’t these just litter by now?
Fine them tomorrow.

Canobie guardrail.
Abutters are objecting.
Ruins the beauty.

Back Off in #Haiku. 11/8/14.



Connector well lit.
At least there’s plenty of lights.
They should hit the switch.

Congressional clowns.
Glad we tossed some of the fools.
Maybe more will learn.

Baker wants more jobs.
300 folks just laid off.
Good luck there Charlie.

Don’t move to Dracut.
We have to bag our own leaves.
It’s like the third world.

Phonebook print too small.
Magnifying glass required.
Old eyes seeing red.

Dracut trash barrels.
Hundred dollars a year rent.
Money thrown away.