Monday, April 30, 2012

l'amour, part 19

by gabrielle-jeanette perfidy

illustrated by rhoda penmarq

part nineteen of seventy-eight

for previous chapter, click here

to begin at the beginning, click here

part 20

town tramp

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by roy dismas and rhoda penmarq

there's one in every town
one that gets left behind
when the other girls head for broadway
or hollywood and vine

there's something about her
something not quite there
you think she'd be long gone
but she's still here

marked for trouble
from the day she was born
daughter of darkness
child of scorn

they whisper behind the curtains
snicker at the general store
you'd think she'd have had enough
but she comes back for more

len jones is a deacon in the church
bob jackson has a spotless reputation
but their eyeballs always follow her
when she walks past the trailways station

tommy wilson is the quarterback
on the undefeated high school team
but even on the night before the big game
she haunts his dreams

at night she goes out walking
with her handbag trailing low
she must be going somewhere
but where is there to go?

she wanders past the pool hall
saunters past the five and dime
she looks up at the moon and stars
but stops at the county line

tales of the hotel st crispian, chapter 54: "dependable"

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by rhoda penmarq , roy dismas and konrad kraus

for complete episode, click here

Saturday, April 28, 2012

a mother's prayer

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by konrad kraus

the angels will be waiting in heaven
when they strap you to the electric chair
they'll be waiting in heaven, joey
if they listen to a mother's prayer

if they listen to a mother's prayer
for justice to be finally done
for the truth to be finally triumphant
as bright as the rising sun

this world is fallen and twisted
and drowned in a swamp of sin
to save her helpless children
oh how can a mother begin?

you were such a beautiful child
maybe just a little bit wild
but deep down you were just pretending
your inner light burned neverending

your soul shone forth for all to see
but you aroused the jealousy
of those who want to drag things down
there are plenty of them in this town

who can't see in front of their noses
and always see thorns not roses
who are blinded by truth and beauty
and think denial is their duty

no, it wasn't the nicest neighborhood
but i always taught you to be good
yes, it was a mother's secret hope
that you would be the first american pope

now that hope will not be fulfilled
thanks to mister district attorney de ville
but what will be his own fate
when he answers for his lies at heaven's gate?

for the jurors who were led astray
by his perfidy i have this to say
i hope you never feel the pain
i felt that day walking away in the rain

the angels will be waiting in heaven
when they strap you to the electric chair
they'll be waiting in heaven, joey
if they listen to a mother's prayer

Friday, April 27, 2012

3 more poems by 3 more poets

illustrated by konrad kraus

artistic supervisor: rhoda penmarq


by regina osgood stapledon

oft have i wandered in the loveless night
and bid my soul take flight
with no angels wings to hide me
and desperation to guide me

let the moon possess me
the wind caress me
let the leaves and trees laugh
if only they knew half

of what i have had to flee
through all eternity
and what i still hope to find
though i be dumb and blind

in the flowing river the towers
reflected like dark flowers
whisper their refrain
"it will ever be the same"


by mary crow fogg

wrapped in her
purple shawl

watching the
red sparks fly

never to
be content

still filled with
rage after

forty years
keeping her

alive but
for what? go

ahead and
smoke what do

i care? i
haven't smoked

for thirty
years or more

you don't say

you know

by corinne delmonico

you always thought

that you
were so hot

and were always so surprised
when i didn't believe your lies

not even
the biggest lie of all

and maybe
i'm not the only one

you know
you know

i am doing all right
thank you

maybe tonight
i'll go over to joey's


almost everybody
will be there

joey will be
behind the counter

ruthie wiggins
will be staring at yet another run in her stockings

judy smith
will be popping her gum

will be staring out the window

and i'll walk up
to you

and say
oh hi, billy

paula isn't here tonight?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

“T.S. Eliot on Facebook”

by Dan Leo

illustrated by rhoda penmarq

If T.S. Eliot were alive today,
the motherfucker would be on Facebook
just like the rest of us, checking
his notifications, and being
disappointed when people didn’t like
his Youtube clip of Lucille Bogan’s
“Tricks Ain’t Walkin’ No More”.
He would loosen his tie late at night,
unbutton his stiff celluloid

collar and wearily scroll through
the six or seven poetry groups he
belongs to, wondering why so few
people were commenting on his links
to his new work-in- progress,
which he is calling “The Waste Land”.
Perhaps the title is too off-putting?

“I shall try to squeeze out one more line
tonight.” And with great effort he does,
and, sighing, he returns to Facebook.

He still has half a joint, which he has
been saving for after the night’s
creative work is done. Smoking,
and drinking that last can of Pabst
he checks his notifications again.
No one has liked his latest link yet.

“Tom! Are you coming to bed?”

“In a while, sweetheart!”

Oh, wait there’s a new comment:

“I hate it when poets put all these
foreign words and phrases in their poems.
Okay, you have an ejumacation, we get it!
Write in English, douchebag!”

That was certainly rude.
He knows he should simply block the fellow.
But instead he prepares a reply...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

“A Town Called Disdain”, Episode 125: pointed

Relax, literature-buffs, our legendary author Larry Winchester hasn’t forgotten about that Shakespeare-quoting motorcycle bandit leader you all hate to love (but you love him anyway anyway): Moloch. Not to mention the glamorous Dick and Daphne and friends, as we return to this fateful September night in 1969, and to the desert somewhere beyond the darkness on the edge of a town called Disdain...

(Click here to read our previous chapter, or go here to return to the very beginning of this sadly-obscure American epic of which former president G.W. Bush has said, “I like to read it right before I go to sleep, ‘cause it makes me have cool dreams.”)

Moloch was still conscious and he was not in pain, not yet.

He had tumbled along like a fucking tumbleweed in the saucer’s wake, sucked along by that hideous hot metallic wind. Then the thing had finally skidded to a stop over the edge of that depression beneath that butte-thing, and the sucking wind had abated, leaving Moloch sprawled in the dirt a hundred feet away.

Rising up on his left knee, as an enormous cloud of dust descended gently about him in this starlit desert gloaming, Moloch turned and looked back whence he had just rolled and saw, stretching back, a faintly iridescent swath of broken and dismembered motorcycle and human parts, of gleaming blood and petrol and oil.

So much for the Motorpsychos.

They were a boring lot anyway.

Moloch tried to stand up and he fell.

He looked at his right leg and saw that the foot was twisted one hundred and eighty degrees the wrong way and that a bloody and jagged shard of calf bone stuck out three inches through a tear in his leather trousers.

He looked down at his right arm and saw by its odd angle that it too was broken in at least two places, at the elbow and the wrist, possibly the forearm as well.

With his left hand he reached into a jacket pocket and took out a handful of pills: Dilaudids, Black Beauties, Pink Footballs and the devil knew what else.

The Dilaudids would kill the oncoming pain while the speed would keep him alert and maleficent. As he swallowed them down he gazed through the dust at the saucer, which still glowed quite green.

He looked around for his Sten gun, and was pleasantly surprised to see it about ten feet away. He dragged himself over to it on his one good knee and with his one good arm. He picked up the gun and looked it over. It seemed in workable condition. He wiped the weapon on his leg, then blew as much dust from it as he could. The gun was cocked, set to full automatic, and it held an almost full 32-round magazine. It would be difficult to fire with one hand but not impossible. He would dare say he could still do some damage with it, provided the fucking British-made thing didn’t jam.

He forced himself to stand up.

The drugs were already working.

He felt no pain, he felt comfortably cushioned from the universe within his self, he almost felt detached from his body, as if his brain and his one good eye were floating by themselves six feet above the ground. But though he could barely feel his body he could feel his life force, what the Chinese called chi, roiling and pulsing from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. He concentrated his energy on feeling the steel of the gun in his left hand. At first it seemed so distant, as if it were not the reality but the memory of holding a gun, but then he felt it, heavy, hard and cold, and he willed his energy into it. He felt his hand grow warm on the gun, felt the steel of the gun grow warm. He caressed the trigger and felt an electric shock from it up his hand and along his arm into his chest and down his torso to the tip of his penis. Oh yes. Oh fucking yes indeed.

So, outer space creatures. Yet another vile race polluting the universe. Well then perhaps it would behoove him to give them a cozy warm earthling welcome in the form of a few well-aimed bursts of hot lead.


“So we’re all climbing out and running like mad over the top of the saucer which all the time is sliding, um, inexorably into the sink hole --”

“A mad dash, and believe you me, I was in the lead.”

“But we made it.”

“And you were the last to jump, darling.”

“Well, maybe --”

“You were.”

“So, anyway, I jump off just in time and this great big flying saucer just goes sliding down into the quicksand, and then -- nothing. It was gone.”

“Not a trace.”

“So, we’re all -- Daphne, Harvey, Mac, Buddy --”

“Brad --”

“Brad, yes, and myself, we’re all just sort of standing around lighting up cigarettes, wondering what happens next, when we hear this kind of crunchy-shuffling sound and we peer out into the desert which was very dust-cloudy from the space ship crash-landing, and who should we see come shambling up but this motorcycle guy, this Moloch character -- nose all smashed in, one eye out, one leg and one arm broken, and one Sten gun pointed right at me.”

(Oh dear. To be continued. Soon to be a major motion picture from the Rank Organization, featuring Lawrence Harvey as Moloch and Rock Hudson and Audrey Hepburn as Daphne and Dick.)


written and illustrated by noozhin azadi


a woman
a man
a street
an umbrella
a boat

there are so many women in this world
and so many men
and so many streets
and so many raindrops
and so many umbrellas
and so many boats

but how many times do you see
a woman
under the rain
in the middle of a street
with an umbrella
held upside down
brimming with rain water
and a man
waiting on the sidewalk
for the rain to stop
then approaching
to launch a paper boat
on the little lake
contained in an umbrella
held upside down
by a woman
in the middle of a street?


machine christ

by Peter Greene

illustrated by rhoda penmarq

machine christ

and i saw skies
filled with craft like
dragonfly buses, dozens of wings and
snake-like golden metal body full of 
seats and handrails:

i saw
the night full of eyes, some like fireflies in the street 
some in
and amongst the stars themselves:

i saw
future princelings sport in luxury
high above the city, and these only
the underlings of under kings:

who ruled this place were
generally unseen, except when they wanted to be.

fountains that flowed fresh forever, without murmur, there were
magical shops, and everyone
rode inside a machine, spoke to a machine,

eyes with a machine and spent their time in 
what they could to the hidden intelligence 
now building itself:

then  the shining one   departed
told us
not to reproduce too much and that they would be
back to check on us, tuck 
us in before the next millennium: 

copyright Peter Greene 2012.