Photo by Tibor Pápai on Unsplash

Browsing Medium today I found a new “fan” had applauded my Feb. 2, 2020 reply to a sexy menage a trois post by one of my favorite writers. Clicking on the notice led me back to my answer and I discovered everyone who applauded were females. Pleasant to have pleased the ladies with my words.

So I decided to bring my words over here, for those who may have missed my humorous recounting of missed chances. Also an act of self-interest: these are excerpts from my Venus Mons Iliad trilogy, which I hope people will buy off Amazon.

1972…When Bob’s girl flirted with me, Bob walked out. Joe and his blonde left. The other two wound up in my room, none of us sober. Assuming I was thinking — what was I thinking? At 29 the clock was running down and sex remained a beguiling mystery, with no outlet. In a union where dalliance was de rigeur. In a city where sex was principal industry. Summed up in What the hell?

I sat…

In for a dime, in for a dollar”…is the American version of an older English proverb “In for a penny, in for a pound”… first recorded in 1695, meaning once you invest in a project you must go through with it, even if it involves more expense than expected — literal or figurative (time, effort, etc.)

— The Phrase Finder,

Chapter 7

A full year after my autumn-haired paramour was gone, I was across the state in an upscale hotel bar 300 miles from home. I was there to testify next day before a peripatetic state-senate committee that left…


Up-and-down day, managing aches and pains of old-age health issues that interfered with and finally halted my work on a lengthy and complex novel I hope will be counted one of my best. Assuming I finish its edit before the Green Ripper, as John D. MacDonald styled him, edits me.

Reaching a point of relative stasis in my health struggle in the wee hours, brain unwilling to resume the rigors of creative writing, I look up Unfinished Symphony on a whim. The internet says:

“Schubert’s Symphony №8 was started in 1822, but for reasons that have never been understood, Schubert

Still From A Jackie Chan Movie

Just throwing this out there. Glanced at a news story this morning, alleging some Irish thug in Dublin decided to harass a couple of Asian guys. News photo showed alleged thug had done a face-plant. Asians still standing.

Did a quick Google for Jackie Chan. Heard of him, right? Almost a staple in his flicks is the unsuspecting thug or thugs messing with this guy.

Sure enough, found a still from an old movie: actors playing thugs, surrounding Jackie in a grocery store. Any fan can guess the rest of the scene.

Don’t they watch Jackie Chan movies in Dublin?

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

You’re Just Brokenhearted. Many of Us Have Had It

Did I ever leave you
Was I ever able
Are we still leaning
Across the old table

Did I ever love you…

Was it ever settled
Was it ever over
And is it still raining
Back in November

Leonard Cohen

Autumn without Glenda

Across the river in South Carolina, the Greek’s after-hours bottle club had a Saturday wee-hours steak special with all the trimmings. There was a new comic the Greek imported from the New York borscht circuit. I was going to write a feature about him for next Sunday. The comic scored his final laugh and the jazz combo came back…

Photo by Derick Daily on Unsplash

Around seven months ago I posted a screed about commercialism and commercials. About companies that just…stop…making perfectly adequate things. And about video advertisements that clutter up YouTube music videos. Most egregious of the latter are those cut without warning into a long piece of classical music. Bad enough you had to wait to click skip ads to get to Beethoven; now the damn ads just pop right into the movements.

During the seven-month or so period, my diatribe recorded ZERO views, let alone reads. Scanning back to when I first posted here, a cursory inspection indicates it is my oldest…

Photo by Reynier Carl on Unsplash

I keep getting stories from Medium on the scores and hundreds and thousands of readers about which writers brag. Interspersed with all kinds of advice about how to join their rarefied ranks.

Grabby headlines. Dramatic photos. Superb writing (a somewhat subjective suggestion). So forth and so on. Only once in my time has the algorithm said I cracked a thousand views. It was all downhill from there. To single digits per day many times. Even on odd days when the count was up to 40, or almost, I had no idea what they were looking at. …

Photo by Jordy Meow on Unsplash

But…’Twas A Famous Victory

Humans are supposed to learn things from their elders, and use the knowledge to forge a better life.

Yeah, right. News accounts of Gaza Strip residents dancing in the streets to celebrate their “victory” because Israel agreed to a cease-fire says to me the odds of this happening are slim and none.

When I read about Gaza “victory” celebrations, I automatically said: “But what good came of it at last?” quoth little Peterkin. “Why that I cannot tell,” said he. “But ’twas a famous victory.”

Thousands of unguided missiles raining down on Israel, whose air force counter-punched with deadly accuracy. Most of the thousands were intercepted. Not all. Some Israelis died too. One hit was recorded in the hometown of a woman I will never forget. …

Earliest extant remnant of the author’s teen-age writing

The wild hogs had been rooting in the pine needles around the site that the map called Shell Bluff, for the piles of whitened oyster shells left behind by the wild tribes driven out hundreds of years ago by the Spaniards.

The hunter came in upwind, soft-footing, excited by the fresh spoor. He had a rifled slug in the chamber of his Winchester pump gun for the first shot, backed up by two rounds of buckshot. He kept his trigger finger firmly against the safety behind the trigger guard, knowing he’d have…


My daughter and her best friend loved the old X Files TV show. They were not alone; the Fox Mulder phrase “the truth is out there” went viral before viral was a term for anything but various flu bugs. A lot of episodes dealt with extra-terrestrials, close encounters, alien abduction. The flying-saucer craze waxes and wanes over the years.

Today, a news story mentioned a familiar name: Kenneth Arnold, the private pilot whose 1947 sighting of racing disks above Mt. Rainier started it all. The news was about Harry Reid, a former Senator from Nevada, admitting that in 2007 he…

Bill Burkett

Professional writer, Pacific Northwest. 20 Books: “Sleeping Planet” 1964 to “Venus Mons Iliad” 2018–19. Most on Amazon for sale. Il faut d’abord durer.

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