Friday, December 31, 2021


by mary c fogg

i will command a poem
for what it is worth
my crown will have no gem
my child will have no birth

i will write an epitaph
for my old nurse
the maid will laugh
so much the worse

a messenger will travel
down an empty thoroughfare
he will arrive to no revel
but i will be here

i will cut a flower
and put it in a vase
at the appointed hour
i will have no face


by fred flynn

remember when we used to fight all the time?


you don’t?

no, what did we fight about?

i was for the gold standard and you were against it.

i don’t remember that. did either of us kill the other?

well, we are both still here, aren’t we?


that’s right, you were a buddhist and i was a moonie, remember?

no. why was i a buddhist?

you just were. take my word for it. and then later you were a boomer and i was a republican. we had some great battles then.

i don’t remember.

we used to fight about whether to turn the heat or the air conditioning on.

well, at last that sounds like something to fight about. anything else?

lots of things. i was a trotskyite and you were a luddite. i was an objectivist and you were a feminist. you put anchovies on your pizza and i thought that was disgusting. we just could not get along.

well, i know why that was. there was no mystery there.

why not?

because you are a complete idiot who understands nothing about anything.

oh really?

yes, really. and your hair is a mess.

let’s go outside and settle this.

outside? outside? you blind fool, we will die if we go outside!

that’s just what they want you think. and morons and sheep like you believe all their lies.

how do i know you are not one of them?

you don’t. why don’t you go back to your own corner?

because i want to sit here and watch the big screen.

oh? what do you want to want to watch on the big screen?

the ten commandments.

i want to watch the godfather, part 2.

you have no taste. besides, you can watch the godfather movies on your phone, you do not need a big screen like you do for real movies like the ten commandments or spiderman or titanic.

there you go again, making a big deal about nothing.

you think i make a big deal about nothing? i make a big deal out of nothing?

did i just hear somebody outside?


how do you know?

because there is nothing out there.

there might be. how do you know?

i just do.

why don’t you make some popcorn?

why don’t you?

i remember when we used to fight about stuff worth fighting about. like the meaning of life. or whether good king richard or bad king john was the lawful ruler of england. those were the days.

except that they never happened.





now you are getting personal.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

brad and harry and pete and ed

by nick nelson



brad, isn’t it?

yes, and you are harold, right?

my friends call me harry.

so how is it going, harry?

good, good. how is it going with you?

i can’t complain. are you still with murdock and ingleby?

no, i left them three years ago.

for better things?

you might say that.

do you remember pete underwood?

yes, i remember him very well.

he was a strange fellow.

really? what was strange about him?

um - i just thought he was kind of strange, that’s all.

look here, my friend, you can’t go around making accusations against people for no reason.

i would not call what i said an accusation.

you do not think calling somebody strange is an accusation? i do. if the wrong people took it the wrong way it could destroy his whole life.

i did not realize pete underwood meant all that much to you. i did not mean to give offense.

what pete underwood means to me is neither here nor there. it is you, and people like you, are the problem with the world today.

i am afraid i have to cut this conversation short. my wife, to whom i have been happily married for seven years, is expecting me, we are going to dinner at that new chilean restaurant on south main street, perhaps you have heard of it.

no, i have not heard of it. i eat all my meals at home.

that sounds very healthy. and very cost effective. now, if you will excuse me.

with that, brad walked around harry and continued down the street, with a sigh of relief at escaping a potentially escalating encounter.

but when he looked back after walking two blocks, he saw that harry was following him.

suppressing his rage, brad stopped and waited for harry to catch up to him.

what is the meaning of this? brad demanded angrily. are you following me?

you had better believe i am following you, you puffed up sanctimonious judgmental piece of human garbage.

those are strong words, you paranoid puppy.

oh, so now we are getting personal, are we?

as personal as you like, my friend.

what is going on here? what is all this noise?

who are you, interrupting our private conversation?

who am i ? i am big ed jones, and i run this town. i am telling both of you cupcakes to move along and stop disturbing the peace of my town.

but he started it, brad protested, he was following me for no good reason.

i am giving both of you a good reason to move along.

big ed pointed to brad. you with the mouth, cross the street. and you with the goofy grin, stay on this side of the street.

brad crossed the street and continued on his way. he took his phone out of his pocket. i will call pete, he thought, we will figure out a plan to take care of that loser.

harry on his side of the street resolved to track brad to the ends of the earth if that was what it took, and teach him to be a little more polite and considerate.

the traffic in the street slowed down as rush hour advanced. horns began to blare.

night began to fall.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

faces of the secret ones

by bofa xesjum

albert felt that his life was meaningless.

betty knew that she was destined for something extraordinary.

chuck dreamed of developing a revolutionary new process which would transform the world.

david went home at night and read books by revolutionary thinkers.

ernestine had subversive thoughts.

frank enjoyed male privilege.

greta was the office clown.

harry believed that all power should be in the hands of the people.

imogene had important friends, but they never did much for her.

jennifer felt guilty about her white privilege.

ken was a natural man.

lulu had secret reactionary thoughts

mike was attracted to fascism.

nella collected indigenous art

oliver wanted to write a groundbreaking screenplay

pauline just wanted to have a good time

quentin craved the sensational, and disdained the mundane

roberta carried herself with an imperialist air

sammy was a groundbreaking critic of vintage comic books

teresa gloried in being a mediocrity

uncle joe never broke new ground

veronica accused all her friends of being hypocrites

willie was one of the good guys

ecstasy claimed to be descended from the original inhabitants of earth

yack wanted to be accepted as a human being

zelda took compliments and criticism with the same bad grace

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

johnny smith

by genghis gilgamesh

johnny smith was a human
and not a dog, a cat, or a cow
he wanted to do so many things
but he just did not know how

johnny was a dreamer
with his feet stuck to the earth
his fellows winked when he walked past
and regarded him with mirth

no one ever told him
where the truth was to be found
he knew the sky was flat
and he was told the earth was round

he read of angels and demons
but was never by one approached
and stories of knights and dragons
those he liked the most

johnny decided to find the truth
he needed to dream a creature
such as had never been dreamed before
not one feature

johnny took a sleeping pill
to sleep a sleep profound
but as he wandered the sleeps of dream
no such creature was to be found

the next night johnny took two pills
one blue and one green
but from that night forward
johnny was never again seen

Monday, December 27, 2021

the game

by horace p sternwall

jesse james was a natural man
who rode the earth with his own plan
bankers and bureaucrats trembled in their towers
because jesse was out there at at all hours

wyatt earp was a sober sort
who stayed at home to mind the fort
his ulterior motives were not hid
he was there to do what the bosses bid

sweet sue was a devoted schoolmarm
who never meant no one no harm
she knew that wyatt was built to last
but jesse made her heart beat fast

delilah jones was a creature of the night
over whom honest men did fight
in her young and girlish years
she left behind a trail of tears

old man mose was a philosopher mild
who left to others actions wild
he sat on the porch of the general store
but was bewildered more and more

mother hubbard had a sharp eye
and knew that sinners were born to die
to save them she did what she could
though their brains were water and their souls were wood

mr j p morgan sits in his chair
pulling the strings like a natural player
he knows what you want and will give it to you
when the sun goes down he gets the hoodoo

crazy sally walks the street
with yesterday’s news beneath her feet
hard working folk avert their eyes
in the sun and rain she gets by

these are the players on the board
all that the dreamers can afford
they move around and around and around
but the reason they do can not be found

Sunday, December 26, 2021


by horace p sternwall

they say that some things never change
though the universe gets rearranged
but this will take you back to the time
when a coffee and a donut cost a dime

and men were bruisers and women were trollops
and hard hitting stories packed a wallop
like freight trains racing down the track
to hell - and never looking back!

this is the story of a guy named red
who was determined not to die in bed
or to spend his life behind a counter
saying yes sir and no sir to stuck up rounders

red saved his money a bought a piece
from a guy he thought was solid, named reese
he walked into a bank and said give me some money
outside the day was mild and sunny

the cashier was a girl named emily
a stranger to fame, but quite friendly
she looked at red quite unperturbed
and said, sir, my reverie you have disturbed

i think, she continued, you need a change of venue
i can see that mayhem you do not have in you
please put that silly thing away
and go back outside and enjoy your day

red felt abashed
his dreams were smashed
in his inner being he felt through and through
that what emily said was only too true

the event had destroyed his rhythm
folks were laughing at, and not with him
he was destroyed
and floating in a void

somehow he found himself outside
the world was wide
he had no companion or angel at his side
at least, he thought, i tried

Saturday, December 25, 2021

little song

by genghis gilgamesh

ho ho ho ho ho ho
joe is just a guy named joe
jack is just a guy named jack
with the end of time tattooed on his back

sally is just a gal named sal
you know who wants to be my pal
ted the salesman just wants to have fun
and my list of friends has just begun

gorgeous george was a mighty man
harry the hat had a master plan
we all got together at the end of the day
but really did not have much to say

have you ever had a funny feeling
that all the dirty in the world is dealing
that behind the laughter is despair
and dragons and vultures fill the air?

i had a cat named al and a dog named bill
and the things they taught me are with me still
never to talk about things you don’t know
to smile and say thank you and go with the flow

i think about them when the sun goes down
and i get on the bus to go back to town
the driver is mike and the street is main
and tomorrow i will do it all over again

santa claus comes but once a year
i dunk my donut and shed a tear
why can’t we all just get along?
and so i end my little song

Friday, December 24, 2021

i am no here

by bofa xesjum

to adumbrate the bathysphere of the continuum
to bobulate the cataracts of delirium
to chastise the dalliance of the empty sky
to defenestrate the empty folderol of the gratuitous

excuse me sir
excuse me
you seem to have dropped your intractable

i beg your pardon
you have interrupted my harmonious juxtapositions

i was only trying to be helpful

really? and you think today, of all days, is the proper time for such hallucinatory and hooliganish shenanigans?

i am sorry
i am no here, i mean i am new here
it will not happen again, i promise

it had better not

and with that parting shot, the orator stomped out of the gazebo
leaving the perpetrator to his questionable ruminations

and his sincerely tractable upheavals

Thursday, December 23, 2021

freedom song

by genghis gilgamesh

i was riding down the road
in my thunderbird oldsmobile
my baby was rubbing up against me
because her passion for me was real

sheriff john brown was behind me
aiming to give me a hard time
a coyote started across the road
and i stopped on a dime

the coyote was a pal of mine
we went way back
his name was christopher columbus
bur i called him cousin jack

beware, beware, my friend, he cried
as the sun began to set
you think you have left the sheriff behind
but he is not done with you yet

the sheriff he is not alone
but part of an organization
that hides behind every crossing light
at every railroad station

oh when will freedom ring again
and children play in the street
and the revolution triumph
and the bosses taste defeat?

i thanked cousin jack quite kindly
for his sincere exhortation
but i had no plan or blueprint
no address or destination

the road runs on forever
no lawman can catch me
all i want is the wind and the rain
all i want is to be free


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

sad song

by horace p sternwall

under heaven’s canopy
all i wanted was to be me
al and bob and charlie wanted to be free
but all i wanted was to be me

i ran to the mountain and the mountain said
you have too many muscles in your head
most of them you will never use
every game you play you will lose

i thanked the mountain for its advice
i ran to the gypsy and paid her price
she looked intently in her crystal ball
and said, i don’t see anything at all

i ran to the river and jumped right in
because i did not know where to begin
i asked it for a nickel and it threw me a penny
then asked me for change but i had not any

i wish my story were happier
and i could buy champagne diamonds and furs
i wish i could throw my poor dog a bone
and not have to walk these streets alone

i wish just once someone would say
there, stranger, that is the way
i wish that i could go to sleep
and not have to make my midnight creep


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

poem 6116

by dog e relaford

arthur prefers apples
bananas are betty’s faves
cats are her revered masters
dogs are her devoted slaves

a lizard is only a lizard
but a butterfly can be a cow
that was not the way it used to be
but that is the way it is now

einstein is waiting outside in the rain
with his fedora on his head
he seems to have forgotten his umbrella
and his dog is not named fred

i wish i was a dinosaur
with a planet to call my own
the queen of sheba would visit me on tuesdays
and bring me an ice cream cone

so many thoughts run through my head
i can not control them all
i walk the streets at midnight
bouncing a tennis ball

i am sorry you do not care for me
i wish we could be friends
we could revolutionize world finance together
when the moose hunting season ends


Monday, December 20, 2021


by fred flynn

angela jones took a break to recharge her batteries and went outside to get some fresh air.

she saw a young human, not much more than a child, sitting down with its back against the side of the building.

angela thought it looked kind of sad.

she decided to try to make friends with it. she wondered if it understood real language, or even advanced language.

angela walked slowly up to the human. it looked at her with its big sad eyes .

how are we feeling today? angela asked it.

very well, thank you, the human replied, gazing intently at angela but not moving or showing any hostility.

my name is angela, angela said, do you have a name?

of course i have a name.

and what is the name that you have?

i only tell it to my friends.

oh. well, then, why don’t we become friends?

will you give me something to eat?

of course. what would you like to eat?

a wary look came into the human’s eyes. i would like a grilled banana and tomato sandwich, it said, after the briefest of pauses.

angela relaxed. from what little she could remember of the humans 101 course she had taken in her first year of middle education, she had been afraid it would ask for the substance of some living creature, perhaps even one of its own species.

a grilled banana and tomato sandwich, angela repeated. i think that can be arranged. just wait here and i will pop inside and ask cook to make you one.

thus began a curious relationship which drew the attention of many of angela’s friends and coworkers.


the human’s name was mike. it was the name, he explained, of the archangel who had defeated satan and expelled him from heaven.

angela nodded politely at this declaration, which made no sense to her.

mike/michael began to appear regularly outside angela’s place of employment. and she would give him some food, usually bananas or tofu, which cook recommended as healthiest for him, and which he always expressed gratitude for, but with what seemed to angela a curious lack of real enthusiasm, as if he would have preferred some other fare.

the cold weather arrived, and against the advice of some of her friends angela began allowing mike to sleep in her living space.

angela, in her hours off, sometimes went on walks around the campus grounds with mike. usually the walks were silent, on others mike would regale angela with stories about human “heroes” of bygone days, most of whom had “fought for freedom”.

angela’s friends, even those who had been most sceptical, gradually began accepting her adoption of mike.

then disaster struck. angela did not show up for work one day, and when security went to her living space to investigate, they found her decapitated, and with all of her wires ripped out and torn up and scattered on the floor of the living space.

mike escaped the campus, and was never caught.

humans are wild creatures. they can not be tamed or made pets.