That Dick . . . Cheney

December 27, 2018

My poem below, “That Dick . . .  Cheney,” was inspired by the just released movie Vice.


During the nineteen-sixties

he supported the Vietnam War.

And to show his support and backing,

five draft deferments he applied for.


When asked about those deferments

in nineteen eighty-nine.

He said he would have liked to serve

but was busy at the time.


During the nineteen-eighties, as a

Wyoming Congressional fella, he voted

no to Head Start, a holiday for Doctor King,

and a decree to free Nelson Mandela.


Though he spoke like a hawk when he

served Papa Bush as Secretary of Defense,

he cut military budgets and downsized our forces,

which when Clinton did it got him incensed.


After leaving Defense he opted for wealth

becoming Halliburton’s CEO.

And with his Pentagon old-boy connections

he set the firm’s stock all aglow.


But making money was not enough

for a man who relished power.

He was elected to be vice president

and our nation would rue the hour.


Following 9/11 he swore

Al-Qaeda was linked to Iraq.

He affirmed that conviction with vigor

though intelligence said unsure fact.


He was a fast and firm supporter

of fighting in Mesopotamia.

And a staunch defender of torture

that became somewhat of a mania.


While hunting quail in Texas

he shot a friend of his in the face.

He reported the incident the next day

so his alcohol levels couldn’t be traced.


In 2012 he published a memoir

with the catchy title My Time.

It was panned by numerous critics

who said it didn’t contain Cheney’s crimes.


In screwing the public and screwing the state

the man has been clever and quick.

In his memoir he screwed with his legacy,

which is what you’d expect from a dick.


New Book: Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living

November 15, 2018

I just published my latest book Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living: Revised Second Edition, which shows how one’s life can be improved through the use of general semantics. The book can be purchased at:

Below is an Amazon review of it.

This book offers practical advice on topics such as sound thinking, overcoming indecisiveness, stress reduction, emotional self-management, and getting along better with others. The stories are educational and informative and the illustrations that accompany them are a lot of fun. Highly recommended!


August 28, 2018

A poem by me

(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)


If Osama Bin Laden had just written poems

he would not have been killed in his Abbottabad home.


If Michael Flynn’s ambition was penning great odes

then prison would not be his future abode.


If Donald J Trump had been ballad-obsessed

he would not have had time to lie and oppress.


If George W. Bush had lived for villanelles

Our nation’s foreign policy might not have gone to hell.


If Roy Moore’s first love was scripting sestinas

he might have avoided the scandal arena.


If Vladimir Putin had focused on rhymes

he would have been too busy to instigate crimes.


The lesson for all is plain to see

to stay out of trouble write poetry.



Call for Papers

April 9, 2018

Language and Meaning in the 21st Century

Sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics

Co-Sponsored by the

New York Society for General Semantics

Media Ecology Association

October 26-28, 2018

Princeton Club

15 West 43rd Street

New York, New York

Featuring the 66th Annual

Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

to be delivered by

Diane Ackerman

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us

Send papers, proposals, and inquiries by September 15, 2018 to

or contact

Martin H. Levinson, President of the Institute of General Semantics

c/o Institute of General Semantics, 72-11 Austin Street #233

Forest Hills, New York 11375

212.729.7973 (voice) / 718.793.2527 (fax)


The Business of Love

March 30, 2018

By Martin H. Levinson


My love for you is like an

IPO yearning to gain traction,

a center of excellence,

an industry model hoping

to make inroads against

your pushback, your reluctance

to roll out your affections and

operationalize a paradigm shift

in your core-caring competencies

to allow a white knight to bring

to the table seamless adoration

and customer service dedication

to disambiguate your every desire,

set the night on fire, and make the

best damn omelet you’ve ever tasted

when we ramp up in the morning.


A 21st Century Cri de Coeur

March 22, 2018

By Martin H. Levinson


I thought forever my existence

would be the same / that I was

a player in a predictable game /

but some things have happened

that’s given me pause / Margie has

left me for a guy named Claude /

my work at the factory’s gone up in

smoke / automation has made my

job a joke / my landlord said that

he wants me out / the building’s

gone co-op / what’s that all about? /

It seems you can’t count on things

to stay the course / life’s not like

still water / but a bucking horse.

The Worst President

February 24, 2018

A couple of weeks ago a survey of 170 presidential historians put Donald Trump in last place—behind even James Buchanan, whom many historians blame for failing to stop the Civil War. That led me to think about a comment that Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. the preeminent political historian of our time, made about American presidents, which was this, “President serve us as inspirations, and they also serve us as warnings. They provide bad examples, as well as good.”

As to the bad examples, the Supreme Court said over one hundred years ago that “The nation has no right to expect that it will always have wise and humane rulers, sincerely attached to the principles of the Constitution. Wicked men, ambitious of power, with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln.” You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know such a person is sitting in the White House right now.

The GOP Serenity Prayer

February 5, 2018

By Martin H. Levinson


God grant me the

serenity to accept

the facts I can easily

change; the cynicism

to convince others

they are true; and

the wisdom to know

next to nothing.

Metonymy Gone Wild

May 13, 2017

By Martin H. Levinson


Beneath the rule of men entirely great

The pen is mightier than the sword.

—From the play Richelieu;

                        Or the Conspiracy

by Edward Bulwer-Lytton


Cardinal Richelieu fictitiously said the pen is

mightier than the sword which makes me

wonder if that noble cleric ever received a


serious wound from a blade that punctured his

skin and caused profuse pain as the object of

his disaffection sliced through muscles, organs


and epithelial tissue giving great distress to a

royal corpus that will someday enter heaven

if it does good works though countless clergy


say works are useless for getting into heaven and

atheists say there is no heaven, which means if

they are right that the Cardinal will simply decay


over time once he perishes from his stab wound if

that laceration is a lethal one and not just an injury

that will spurt blood all over his eminence’s


handsome red ecclesiastical robes and throb like

a mouthful of infected rotting teeth for droves of

dolorous days and numerous nightmarish nights


and lead him to cry out at the top of his

First Minister’s lungs I was wrong!

To get one’s point across the sword,


which can cut you to the quick

and leave you dead or real sick, is

far superior to any writing instrument.

The Election is “Rigged”

November 5, 2016

Donald Trump is right the election is rigged. But he is wrong in the direction of the rigging. It is rigged against Hillary Clinton and here are the “riggers”:

The first one is the “liberal mainstream media” that for the first sixteen months of his run gave Donald Trump a pass while he spun obvious and bold-faced lies that they didn’t call him on because those lies created conflict, which was good for TV and news ratings.

The second one is the Russians, who hacked Democratic Party emails to help swing the election for Trump.

The third “rigger” is FBI director James Comey, who in July stated there was not enough evidence in Hillary Clinton’s email to prosecute her on, but slammed her anyway, and has now, against the advice of the Department of Justice, intruded in the election by informing Congress that the FBI has found evidence that may or may not be significant.

Hillary may lose the election because of the “rigged campaign” against her and if she does I’m pretty sure that unlike her Republican rival, for the good of country, she will make a concession speech and not keep the nation in suspense.