Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reflections: Tick-Tock

Once you stop caring about the weird hair growing all over your body you realize you've lost the will to live.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rants: Getting Real Over the Otto Warmbler Affair

I cannot believe that so many Americans seem ready to nuke North Korea over the tragic death of an American student at the hands of Korean prison authorities.

We read daily--if we are paying attention--about the brutal atrocities and resulting deaths of prisoners in AMERICAN prisons. Never mind the public executions by law enforcement of often unarmed citizens taking place with disgusting frequency and lack of consequences on our nation's streets.

What happened to Otto Warmbler is tragic and unjust. But I wish we would not be so self-righteous as to threaten war over it when there is plenty of injustice and brutality to correct right here at home.

Reflections: Happiness Considered

The history of art and literature, as well as the study of history itself, shows us that interpersonal relationships rarely generate happiness in perpetuity. When and where they do, it is because those lives have been conjoined in an agreed-upon simplicity, based upon a recognition of the sufficiency of what simply is, here and now, and a satisfied contentment with that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reflections: Some Valid Talking Points

Trump is a nightmare.

The Neo-Liberal Democratic "opposition" is just another set of shopworn corporate tools.

Bernie's "movement" has now fallen into line behind provoking war with Russia.

Identity Politics generates Cognitive Dissonance.

You are alone.

If you are sane, you are on your own.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rodak's Writings: Flash Fiction


When I got a text that he had hit his wife, my daughter, and that she had not brought charges, I packed a few things and drove ten hours to the City.

I parked my car on the street where I could watch the entrance of their building, a brownstone townhouse a block west of Central Park, in the upper 80s. They had an apartment on the second floor.

I sat and waited for three hours, listening to cool jazz and watching hundreds of passers-by, pursuing their urbane lives frenetically as the squirrels in the park foraged for seeds and crumbs.

Finally I saw them coming down the block. At the top of the stairs, he held the door open for her. She entered without speaking, without looking at him.

I got out of my car, climbed the eight stairs to the top of the stoop and pushed the button for 2F on the intercom. She said, “Who’s there?” I answered, “It’s me.” The door was buzzed open.

I stood before them now in the front room of their cramped little flat. I looked into his eyes and without saying a word pulled the 9 mm from the pocket of my jacket.

She screamed, “Daddy! No!” But it was a done deal.

 I shot him once in the gut.

He now sat on the floor, several feet behind where he had been standing. He groaned, “Don’t shoot me again, please! It won’t happen a second time!” He struggled to his knees, his hands outstretched.

“You don’t get it,” I replied. “This is for the first time.”

The contents of his head made a hot mess of the wall behind him.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Rodak's Writings: Two Songs of Resignation

Two Songs of Resignation

1.  Profile Deleted

I am sick
of my face, sick
of my tastes,
eroded by existence
on the abrasive surface
of this inconsequential
pebble, the banal
opacity of which
mirrors the clotted
vision of my fading
sight, the dying lamp
of my solitary soul.

2.  Gone

The warmth,
sometimes heat,
of your skin,
the soft hairs
twisting up
from its smooth
sparsely birth-marked
the muscles beneath
that contracted
or stretched in response
to my explorative touch,
the faithful bones within

Your hot skin
with its apertures,
their fragrances
and salt tides,
the non-gender specific
meeting of our mouths,
our twin tongues,
hungry, thrusting

the blank silence
of this room

the whispered resignation
of graphite on empty page

Saturday, May 27, 2017


My father died on May 4th and I haven't been able to write about it. Although he was 97 years old, his death was sudden and unexpected: he hadn't been ill. I was not, and still am not, prepared for the aftermath, which has left me completely alone in the world, in a very real sense. 

When I can get it together, perhaps when his house has been emptied and sold and it is completely over, I will try to write more.

In the meantime, here is the obituary I wrote for the local newspaper:

Robert F. Dakin, age 97, died Thursday, May 4, 2017 at O’Bleness Hospital. Born April 10, 1920 in Mansfield, Ohio, he was the son of Charles R. and Lois Armstrong Dakin.

Robert was a graduate of Cadillac (Michigan) High School, where he and his future wife Elizabeth A. Burch Dakin were members of the graduating class of 1937. Robert and Elizabeth were married in December, 1945, after Robert, who had served as a combat medic in the Pacific Theatre during WWII, received his discharge and returned to Michigan.

Robert then attended Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, where their son, Robert F., Jr. was born in 1947. Robert next taught in an elementary school in Midland, Michigan prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1952, where he completed his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan.

The Dakins resided in Ann Arbor until 1967, when they moved to Athens, Ohio. There, Robert became the founding director of the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE), serving until his retirement, after which he was an active member of the Ohio University Emeriti Association. Both Robert and his wife, Elizabeth, were active members of Christ Lutheran Church.

Robert is survived by his son, Robert F., Jr. and his wife Theresa; their two daughters, Alana E. and Laura A. Dakin; and a sister, Mary Pattison, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Richard Dakin; a sister, Helen Dakin Blackman; and his wife of 65 years, Elizabeth.

A memorial service will be held on a future date at Christ Lutheran Church. His ashes will be interred next to those of Elizabeth in Maple Hill Cemetery, Cadillac, Michigan.


My father was well loved by all who knew him. This world will miss him. But not more than I do. I love you, Daddy.