Saturday, December 31, 2022


by tom tophead

i woke up this morning with a feeling of despair
my head was on the floor and my feet were under the chair
rain was beating on the wall and seeping through the window
and i wondered with all my heart and soul what had brought me so low

i sat up and wondered, where had i been
i put my hand in my pockets but of course they had been picked clean
outside in the street a truck blew its horn
and i wished that i had never been born

but i had been born - i surely had
so there was no point in getting mad
the pertinent question was where was i
the rain continued to fall from the sky

i sat there wondering why and wherefore
when suddenly there was a knock on the door
after a last glance around the little room
i closed my eyes and awaited my doom

later that evening at her majesty’s ball
i stood in the corner and read the writing on the wall
the rebel armies were advancing from the south
the glass fell from my hand and the cigar from my mouth

the generals were talking to a maiden fair
of whose existence i had not been aware
who is that ravishing creature, i asked the black prince
but he passed me by, and i have not seen him since

the room began spinning, and the walls to shake
i wondered how much more i could take
perhaps you are asking yourself the same thing
but if we wait for a moment the birds will sing

who are these wise men invading my dreams
do they not realize nothing is what it seems
i wrote them a letter a long time ago
and for my good intentions have nothing to show

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

freedom on the corner

by dog e relaford

willie had a boo-boo
johnny had a kangaroo
they partied hearty with big artie
because that is what they were born to do

my daddy was a railroad man
my mama was a giant squid
you can try to hide forever
but i know what you did

genghis stood on the corner
and said to omar khayyam
all i wanted was to be free
but you do not know who i am

all i wanted was to be free
and live my life untrammeled
won’t you buy this set of dishes
made of the finest enamel

i wish i had a little dog
who came when it was called
my uncle joe wore red bow ties
and my uncle bob was bald

i went downtown to see the show
but it was all sold out
a band of angels surrounded me
and gave a mighty shout

now you know how it all started
and why i live in a tree
the world was there for the taking
but you were not nice to me

sally had an aardvark
who liked sandwiches of cheese
one night there was an earthquake
and he was gone like a cool breeze

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

what i have learned from reading a million books in 10,000 lifetimes

by anonymous

there are people - they are probably people, but who knows ? - who rule the world

they have ruled it since “the beginning of history” - about 6000 years ago

or maybe longer

they have complete control over human life, and all life on earth

the greatest heroes, the most dedicated revolutionaries, the wisest sages are helpless against them

the rulers grind the heroes, the rebels, the sages, into powder and laugh at them every day

you and i and the whole human race are their helpless pawns

there is an occasional pathetic stab at an uprising but it is quickly shut down

they always win

there is no light on the horizon and no horizon

there is no light at the end of the tunnel and no tunnel

and yet -

this is the strange part -

they, the rulers, are complete idiots who know nothing

figures of fun mocked and cursed not only by the wise but by every passing bum or clown or bag lady

a newborn child, a cat, a dog, a stone, know more than they

why is this? how can this be?

do you have any thoughts on this?

Monday, December 19, 2022


by dog e relaford

jojo went down to the river
to buy his poor dog a bone
but the river was dry
no birds flew in the sky
and he was all alone

jojo reached into his pocket
to find a nickel or a dime
but his dog ran away
and had nothing to say
and jojo was out of time

jojo went down to the city
to see what was going on
in the courthouse and jail
there was nothing for sale
and he silently watched the dawn

jojo went down to the seashore
to watch civilization collapse
the best and the worst
the last and the first
are now just splendid chaps

Saturday, December 17, 2022


by walter w johnson iii

my aunt judy was a nice person
but maybe not so nice as we thought

my uncle jeffrey made millions selling high end cardboard
except that it turned out he really didn’t

my sister sally talked until she was eighteen about running away from home
but she never even left town and married a guy who worked at the local gas station

<> i never did understand what my dad did all day
it was easy enough to know what my mom did

when i was a child i had a little stuffed bear
i never called it a teddy bear

my mom used to tell people how much i loved it
it was the cutest thing and i was the cutest thing

one day we were driving over a bridge on our way to yellowstone national park
and i threw the bear out the window into the river below

who am i?
who is anybody?

how are you doing?
i have not heard from you in a while

Friday, December 16, 2022

ham and eggs on the corner

by tom tophead

i was standing on the corner waiting for my bulldog to bark
when along came my erstwhile acquaintance danny the dinosaur and his longstanding companion sal the shark
how are the ham and eggs today, danny asked me pleasantly
i had known danny a long time and knew he was always looking for something for free

they have been better before, and they also have been worse
i replied, giving an opinion easy to reverse
we were interrupted by eddie the ectoplasm with his face all in a twist
spouting a litany of grievances which we were powerless to resist

frank the flounder sauntered by, with his alligator in tow
he had had the alligator forever, but it never seemed to grow
the alligator’s name was gus, and sometimes he looked sad
but all in all, his life was not so bad

hoover the mover, the local groover, now entered the scene
in his brand spanking new limousine
where, i wonder, did the curious expression “brand spanking” originate?
perhaps it is futile to speculate

jenny the jingler jiggled by, wearing a boot and a shoe
and asked if any of us had seen king henry the kangaroo
he is hiding in the kitchen with a ham and an egg, miss laura lee opined brightly
and do not forget to come to my show, which plays at the palace nightly

hiding in the kitchen with a ham and an egg, madam x exclaimed outraged
i guess he slipped that one past me, when my attention was otherwise engaged
nobody could have guessed what happened next
which is the subject of this text

out of the swirling depths of space, old man mose appeared
he wore the same old stovepipe hat, but seemed to have trimmed his beard
peter rabbit, who had the habit, of laughing at all he saw
looked around in panic, and said, we had better summon the law

i know this poem makes no sense, and apologize in advance
i write it under the influence of a demon haunted trance
if you see the ham and the egg pass by, tell them i said hello
the hand of fate is calling and i really have to go

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


by tom tophead

the roaring rotation of the relentless rain
penetrates my reptilian brain
how many times must i explain
that i do not wish to be king again?

the corridors of power
are filled with dead flowers
and the palace stairs
are carpeted with despair

the spider waits
the ambassador of fate
i want to go back
to my mushroom shack

beyond the castle walls
where wet leaves fall
without a thud
in the mud

Monday, December 12, 2022

the cupcake

by bofa xesjum

victor jones was walking down the street.

he was not famous, and no one knew who he was.

he had nothing to do, and nowhere to go.

he kept walking.

it was dark, and the streets got darker and darker.

finally, he came to the end of a street, and there were no more houses or buildings or lights.

he turned back.

he came to what looked like a little coffee shop on a corner.

there were no signs indicating whether it was open or closed, but he tried the door and it opened and he stepped inside.

he did not see anyone behind the counter or seated at the two little tables, which had two small chairs each.

there was a glass display case beneath the counter but it was empty.

victor was just about to turn and leave when a person in a white apron appeared.

can i help you? the person asked.

i would like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

we do not have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

well, what do you have?

chocolate cupcakes.

all right, i will have a chocolate cupcake.

victor expected the person in the white apron to ask him if he wanted anything to drink, but the person disappeared into the shadows and quickly reappeared with a small chocolate cupcake on a plate.

victor took the plate with the cupcake from the person’s hand, and opened his mouth to ask for a cup of decaffeinated coffee - because it seemed to be late in the evening - but before he could speak the person said -

that will be three thousand dollars.

victor was surprised, but not as surprised as he might be, because he had had experience of the world’s curious and sometimes ridiculous nature before.

oh in that case i do not think i want it after all, victor said with a smile. i did not realize it cost quite so much.

it is too late now, the person in the white apron replied. you should have thought of that before you ordered it.

come now, victor laughed good-naturedly. this won’t do. do you take me for some peasant who just fell off a banana truck in the middle of the trackless desert? i am a citizen of the world, and wise to your roguish tricks.

where is the trickery in asking for payment for services rendered? have a care, fellow. it is you, i am afraid, who do not know who you are dealing with.

victor was not in the habit of looking directly at his fellow humans or for that matter at any living creatures, and for the first time he took notice of the person in the white apron.

why, i do believe i know you, victor exclaimed.

of course, the man in the white apron - who had blue eyes and a small scar just below the left the left eye, which had caused victor to recognize him - replied. you are victor jones, and you were the best solver of crossword puzzles at winchester high back in the day.

and you are gary milton, who dropped what would have been the winning two point conversion in the big game against east columbus, although butch bailey hit you right in the hands. i never expected you would turn out a baker of chocolate cupcakes!

and i never expected that victor jones would turn out a lonely wanderer in the night!

life is strange, victor and gary agreed.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

history 2

by tom tophead

civilizations rise and fall
some are big, and some are small
some only serve a happy few
all are old, and all are new

a few will turn the whole word red
with mighty conquerors at their head
they burst the dams and burn the towns
and all before them must bow down

sargon sat upon a throne
and he sat there all alone
he was the mightiest of all
and summoned nations to his hall

princes came from far and wide
queens rushed up to be his bride
they threw their kingdoms at his feet
as he looked down from his golden seat

though modern folks might think it odd
he proclaimed himself a god
but in time his act grew stale
and he did not live to tell his tale

alexander was called the great
but suffered an unhappy fate
from a lamppost he was hung
although he was so very young

genghis khan had but one eye
with which he looked up at the sky
he swept the earth like a kitchen floor
but now, alas, he is no more

napoleon rode a horse of white
and put the kings of earth to flight
he marched through sand and rain and snow
it does not seem so long ago

churchill smoked a big cigar
as he travelled wide and far
the british empire ruled the waves
but in the end could not be saved

marx dreamed in a library dim and cool
to make humanity his tool
and end the story once and all
it turned out it was not his call

rockefeller discovered oil
and slowly put the earth to boil
henry ford invented cars
and dreamed of driving them to mars

heroes break out of the box
and leave their names scratched on the rocks
that crumble in the noonday sun
perhaps the story has just begun

Friday, December 9, 2022


by wiggly jones "the little hippie boy"

the grass is green
the greenest ever seen
the sky is blue
and the birds are too

the gardener is gray
he works hard all day
the lady’s hair is red
she wears a hat on her head

her dress is white
her eyes are bright
when they rest upon
a cat on the lawn

which is playing with a ball
which has all
the colors of the rainbow
but nowhere to go

like the elderly gent
whose back is bent
he lights his pipe with a frown
as the sun goes down

Thursday, December 8, 2022

happy hour

by bofa xesjum

zenobia williams, a woman wearing a blue t-shirt, was watching television.

it was happy hour, and she was drinking a glass of wine.

it had long been her habit to indulge herself in this way.

her husband, porter, did not approve but kept his own counsel.

porter was out on the highway, selling used automobiles.

it was tuesday, and wednesday would be the same.

zenobia heard a car pull into the driveway.

she had not been expecting anybody.

the doorbell rang.

zenobia left her seat on the couch, happy to be curious.

she did not expect the caller to be a serial killer.

she would have been quite unprepared for such an eventuality.

she did not recognize the person she beheld on opening the door.

he looked like a quiet type, wearing a heavy sweatshirt the color of quails eggs.

don’t you recognize me? he asked zenobia after she had stared at him for three seconds.

he looks a little bit like jonathon, zenobia thought, but did not say aloud.

jonathon had been her husband in her younger days.

but he had apparently been devoured by a strange sea creature off the coast of the indian ocean many years previously.

you may have seen the story on the news, or read about it in the newspapers.

it had been a bit of a story back in the day, although believed a hoax by many.

eventually zenobia had collected a little bit of money from an insurance company.

she herself had been the subject of jokes in the more scurrilous reaches of the media.

who winkingly professed to regard her as responsible in some way for jonathon’s fate.

jonathon’s body had never been recovered.

i am afraid i do not know you ,sir, zenobia told the man in the quails egg colored sweatshirt.

i guessed you might think that, the man responded with a deep sigh.

his sigh sounded a bit like the one that had annoyed her from jonathon.

excuse me, i do not wish to be rude, but who exactly are you? zenobia persisted.

oh, what is the use! the man cried. i never should have come here!

zenobia was amused - this was a welcome change of pace from the game show she had been watching.

darn it, zenobia - i am jonathon, your long lost husband who supposedly perished in the indian ocean twenty-three years ago!

i see you have done your due diligence, sir - i believe that is the phrase - it was exactly twenty-three years ago last friday.

perhaps i should have written before coming.

maybe you would like a drink, or a cup of tea or coffee ? you look a bit tired.

you act like this is some sort of joke.

would you like the drink or tea of coffee or not?

i fear i am imposing on your generous, though skeptical, nature.

please, come in. i won’t bite you.

the door closed behind the man with the quails egg colored sweatshirt.

no one could ever establish exactly the time he left the house.


a tree stood beside the house.

it was a pear tree, but did not produce that many pears.

gray clouds floated by from time to time.

nobody knew or cared what went on inside the house.

some people thought the house had a sad air about it.

the man calling himself jonathon rogers had thought long and hard about approaching it.

finally he just did.

his motives may never be known.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

the prophet

by horacee p sternwall

the world was all wrong
until i came along
i may have been uncouth
but i told the truth

crowds came to hear me speak
down by the creek
i fed them red meat
and they took to the street

i wrote a book
and empires shook
i delivered speeches
on highways and beaches

everyone knew my name
and i had no shame
i spoke in thunder
and the world wondered

has the time come?
will this bum
unleash the sleeping forces
beneath history’s courses

all the kings and priests
the greatest and the least
took a little time
to make up stories of crimes

that devoured me like ants
i never had a chance
like those that came before me
because everybody likes a story

and the world turned
and i learned
i was yesterday’s news
i put on my walking shoes

and rejoined the ranks
of the forgotten and the blank
and stood in line
counting my nickels and dimes

of fame and friends bereft
i went down and left
town on the next bus
it was ever thus