Wednesday, September 28, 2022

bill davis

by bofa xesjum

bill davis had an authoritarian personality, especially on wednesdays.

he had bad dreams, mostly on thursday nights and friday mornings.

he had definite ideas, particularly on certain subjects.

he felt that people, rich or poor, should get what they deserved.

he did not find it extraordinary that he was alive, or that anyone else was.

some of his employees considered him a fascist, but he did not know the meaning of the word.

flora miller, bill’s secretary, dreamed of freedom.

ray tucker, bill’s longest tenured employee, considered himself a misunderstood genius.

things went on in this way for a good while.

nothing groundbreaking or extraordinary happened.

but humans can be funny sometimes.

flora miller disappeared, and folks pretended for a while to be interested.

then ray tucker disappeared too, even though he had lived in the town his whole life.

and finally, and strangest of all, bill davis himself and his authoritarian and imperialist personality, disappeared.

it is important to understand that this was back in the old days.

before the internet and social media, people could just vanish without a trace.

flora miller did not even have a social security number!

she had just been hired by bill davis right out of high school because bill knew her brother tom.

it all seemed natural back then.

not that people just disappeared, but that they could.

maybe flora married a rich msn.

maybe ray tucker changed his name and proved his genius by making a billion dollars.

maybe bill davis joined the hare krishnas or otherwise became some kind of monk.

revolution was in the air , at least for a while.

now things have settled down and everybody knows who everybody else is.

but this was in the sensational and subversive old days.

Monday, September 26, 2022


by dog e relaford

alexander was an algorithm
bucky was a bot
they walked along the seashore
but never got caught

christopher lived in a cabin
made of wood in the woods
daniel was a boomer
and thought life was pretty good

albert was a neighbor
everyone was his friend
frank had all the answers
but got lost in the end

go forth young man and conquer
the hound is on your trail
billy robbed the stagecoach
but jesse robbed the mail

isaac found an apple
that fell from johnny’s tree
moses walked in the desert
because he wanted to be free

michael had a flaming sword
he wished were made of water
no one thought the less of him
when he married the farmer’s daughter

the princess in the castle
waits for the prince
who was wandering down the road
but has not been seen since

the wind waits in the forest
the moon hides in the branches
king richard asks the questions
robin hood has the answers

Thursday, September 22, 2022

the fireplace

by hotrace p sternwall

said mr red to mr green
this is as bad as it’s ever been
said mr blue to mr black
will we ever get back on track?

said mrs white to mrs pink
my dear, i think i need a drink
said miss orange to lady yellow
who let in that dreadful fellow?

and pointed to a man in gray
lifting a biscuit from a tray
and casting a glance around the room
which seemed to spell impending doom

outside a peal of thunder crashed
the butler asked, can all this last?
the maid assured him that it could
beside the fire a stranger stood

i believe that is the king of spain
said mr bounding to lord main
the man in gray corrected him
and said, that is montana slim

on a mission from the russian tsar
who conducts his business from afar
some say that he does not exist
but the tsar does not insist

miss orange flicked her narrow wrist
and coolly suggested a game of whist
on the windows raindrops pattered
because in the end, nothing mattered

Sunday, September 18, 2022


by genghis gilgamesh


just suppose

everybody in the world was a rebel

and everybody in the world did their own thing every minute of every day

and nobody told anybody else what to do

and nobody did what anybody else told them to do

would you like that?

what would you do?

would you like to be a billionaire?

what would you make a billion dollars doing?

suppose nobody wanted to buy the things you were making and selling?

suppose nobody wanted to work for the company making your billions?

suppose nobody wanted to be your lawyer or accountant or agent?

suppose nobody wanted wanted to work in your security force to protect you?

all these people would be rebels too, and nobody could tell them what to do, and they could do whatever they wanted

would you be a movie star, or a movie director, or a pop star?

suppose nobody wanted to watch your movies, or listen to your songs?

suppose all the other 8 billion people in the world wanted to be movie stars or pop stars too, would you want to watch all their movies and listen to all their songs?

would you have the time to watch all their movies and listen to all their songs, even if you wanted to?

would they have the time to listen to your songs and watch your movies?

suppose you wanted to be an artist or poet?

suppose all 8 billion people in the world were artists or poets?

2 billion rimbauds , 2 billion van goghs, 2 billion sylvia plaths, and 2 billion frida kahlos.

suppose rimbaud number 788904 and frida kahlo number 13976594 wanted to meet at a coffee shop in columbus ohio?

would there be any coffee in the coffee shop? how would it get there from brazil?


suppose all 8 billion people wanted to be serial killers?

and nobody wanted to be a homicide detective matching wits with and tracking down serial killers?

that might work itself out

suppose all 8 billion people wanted to sit home and watch tv all day?

who would produce the tv shows?


who would star in the shows?

robots. holograms. simulations

suppose all 8 billion people wanted to play quarterback for the tampa bay buccaneers?

that might present a problem

Friday, September 16, 2022

pals in the future

by bofa xesjum

the barbarian watched as the sentient being emerged from the forest.

a panther, he thought, everything is a panther these days.

the creature’s eyes were incandescent, indicating it had emerged from a watery grave.

the barbarian thought of his old pal, the knight in shining armor.

and the good times they had together in the castle in the sky.

but how true a harbinger had they been of what was to come?

the friar had taken the opportunity to betray them to the warden.

the tranquility of the castle had been broken by the friar’s unseemly jest..

the future can be predicted if you just know where to look.

how true, the barbarian thought.

all ectoplasm has its own veracity.

go on, the friar roared with laughter, you do not even know what ectoplasm is.

the aardvark perished in the deluge.

so he was not present when the folderdol burst into flames.

the panther hid in the rhubarb the whole time.

and exhaled slowly as the yellowjacket disappeared over the meadow.

the panther’s name was pete.

he was going to be late for work at the pyramid.

he would never have another such opportunity.

he blamed the barbarian and the knight for his plight.

but the foreman would have none of it.

and banished him into the burning desert.

where he turned into a peasant and searched for forty years for the rhubarb patch.

the yellowjacket finally took pity on him.

and agreed to help him in his quest for vengeance against the barbarian and the knight.

he turned into a yeti for the purpose.

the barbarian’s name was bill.

the knight’s name was cliff.

unknown to the peasant and the yeti, bill and cliff went to the great city and got jobs at costermongers.

pete and yeti did not know what costermongers were, or where they could be found.

they got jobs in the city as roustabouts.

costermongers and roustabouts did not hang out together in the city.

the future can be predicted if you just know where to look

but you have to know where to look.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


by dog e relaford

the angel had an aardvark
who could not dance or sing
a cookie that never crumbled
a bee that would not sting

a dog that did not bark
an egg that never fried
a friend who never called
a gorilla that never cried

a horse that never ran
an itch that never scratched
a joker that never joked
a meteor that never crashed

a nightingale without a square
an orangutan without a hat
a roger without a jolly
take a moment to ponder that

a maid without a parlor
a queen without a throne
a saint without a shrine
lost and alone

a turk without a taffy
an uncle without a sam
a viper without a bosom
all wondering, who i am

excuse me for a moment
said the blush without a bride
the commissioner is calling
and i have nowhere to hide

Monday, September 12, 2022


by dog e relaford

nobody likes a smarty pants
through wind and rain and snow
lincoln freed the pony express
a long time ago

high up on a mountain top
a wise man fried an egg
a lion hid behind a tree
too proud to beg

brush your teeth and file your nails
before you go to bed
trim the lamp and rake the coals
and stop shaking your head

a crab is racing down the beach
to catch the setting sun
he has never caught it yet
but it only takes one

Saturday, September 10, 2022

pete miller

by nick nelson

pete miller was just a guy.

all the people who knew him said so.

nobody argued, or said different.

he just went along from day to day.

pete had a red shirt that he liked.

but he did not wear it every day.

he had a blue shirt, and a green shirt, and three or four white shirts, and he wore those too.

he had other things to think about, besides what shirt he should wear.

a girl named nadine worked at the sub shop pete frequented.

one day pete asked her to go on a date.

oh, i’m married, she replied.

ah, pete replied, and looked down at her hand , which did not have a wedding ring on it.

i don’t wear a wedding ring because i do not want to get hot sauce on it, nadine explained.

that makes sense, pete said, i guess the joke is on me.

one of these days i will get lucky, pete thought, and say something without making a complete ass of myself.

he took the american sub and large coke he had ordered and went and sat at a table beside the window.

it was raining outside, and a woman walked by under an umbrella.

pete thought about going to an animal shelter and getting a cat.

he finished his american sub more quickly than usual and got up and left, leaving half his large coke behind.

usually he took the unfinished coke with him, but not on this day.

and he usually said goodbye to nadine or whoever else was behind the counter of the sub shop, but he realized when he got outside that he had not.

whatever, he thought.

he walked along in the rain, keeping close to the sides of the buildings.

he forgot about the cat.

he wondered if he should keep on going to the sub shop, or find a new one.

their subs were not that great anyway.

or their fries or onion rings either, when he had them, which was not that often, because he was trying to keep his weight down.

right now he had to get back to work.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

oliver jones

by nick nelson

a man walked out of a door and on to a street.

his name was oliver jones.

he stood on the pavement and watched the world go by.

a bird flew across the sky.

oliver had no desire to be the bird, rather than himself.

the bird disappeared, and the sky was empty.

it was not a very hot or very cold day.

there were no clouds in the sky.

oliver’s best friend was named ferdinand.

it had been many years since oliver had thought of ferdinand.

that is just the way it is sometimes.

oliver had never been to india.

or hung out with the cool crowd.

but he liked ice in his drinks.

and lettuce and tomato sandwiches on multigrain bread.

he did not ask a lot from life, or from his fellow humans.

oliver never argued about anything.

he checked the time on his phone - he did not want to be late for the meeting.

he wore a plain red t shirt under his blue sports coat.

his girl friend’s name had been samantha.

he thought of her almost every day.

this is monday, he thought, i do not want to be late for the meeting.

he got himself in gear and moved on down the street.

there is a time for everything.

you never know what might happen.

although usually, nothing does.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

jennifer pink

by nick nelson

jennifer pink had a kind heart.

but she only had one friend.

a dog named patty.

patty was one of the old breed, faithful and true.

one exceptionally cold evening, jennifer took patty for her walk.

jennifer worked during the day at an employment agency.

where she heard many very sad stories.

her supervisor’s name was cathy.

cathy was not as softhearted as jennifer.

but then, not many people were.

jennifer walked along with patty, not thinking about anything much.

in the dusk, she saw a person approaching.

how astonished jennifer was, when she recognized cathy!

it amazed her to see someone from the office in what she thought of as “real life”.

but she recovered in time to say hello to cathy.

but the person she had thought was cathy looked at her strangely.

i have no idea who you are, the woman addressed jennifer in a mean voice.

i am sorry, jennifer blurted out embarressedly , you looked like somebody i know.

wait - i remember you now, the strange woman changed her tune.

jennifer stared at the strange woman, perplexed.

you work at the consolidated employment agency.

oh, jennifer replied, did you have a happy experience with the agency?

get out! i did not have a happy experience with the agency or with you.

i am terribly sorry to hear that, jennifer replied humbly, but we see so many people -

yes, and you forget them all, don’t you?

jennifer did not try to deny it, although she did in fact remember many of them.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

the tarantula

by bofa xesjum

good heavens, henry, not another tarantula!

i could not resist. you know how prone i am to sudden passionate impulses.

sudden passionate impulse! but you already have the greatest collection of tarantulas in the western hemisphere!

the largest, perhaps, but by no means recognized as the greatest. and there is still the eastern hemisphere to consider, and antarctica.

antarctica! do you mean to tell me you are going to take up collecting penguins?

i do not care for penguins.

well, that is a relief of sorts. how much did you spend on this newest specimen of theraphosidae?

that is no concern of yours.

have a care, i may make it my concern.

at this juncture, just as the discussion promised to become heated, the potential combatants were interrupted by the maid, who was whimsically known to them as the virgin huntress, but whose name was really roberta evans, and who had been born in a shack down by the river and raised by an old mama alligator.

please, good people, roberta addressed henry and hacienda, the child is sleeping.

which child are you referring to? hacienda retorted icily.

the one who is going to grow up and rid the earth of foul creatures such as yourself, the virgin huntress responded passionately.

henry heaved a sigh. how he wished he were back in the old world, where good manners ruled, and servants knew their places.

this new world, with no distinction between human or insect, between blueprint and impulse, or between mind or machine - was there anyplace in it for him at all?

he fell asleep in his armchair, and dreamed he was a piranha, floating in the river alone, outcast from the piranha community…

when he awoke the room was dark, and there were no signs of hacienda, or the virgin huntress, or the child, or any tarantulas or piranhas - what did tarantulas and piranhas look like, anyway? he wondered.

the door opened and a person stepped inside and switched on the lamp and henry recognized his old schoolmate roger st raymond dellciliff, the word famous detective.

good evening, old chap, henry intoned, come for a game? i believe you were white last time.

no, henry, roger replied, i have come with inspector ingleby of the yard, with whose invaluable cooperation i have solved the decades old mystery of the murder of lord handover, and he is waiting outside to arrest you for said murder.

of course, henry sighed, what could i have been thinking?

so you will come quietly?

i always do, don’t i?