Long poem by
Roy Jerden | Details |
I don't know what came over me that day - an instant of weakness after years of resistance, I suppose.
My beaming spouse leads me, a dog on a short leash, into the forbidden citadel, the sanctum sanctorum of feminine fastidiousness, the dreaded nail salon.
As we pass through the portal, we enter another dimension, one not of Man.
One of Woman.
Overwhelmed by estrogen, like Superman in the presence of Kryptonite, my strength saps.
The harpies in the salon immediately sense fresh meat, hailing my wife like Caesar in a Roman triumph, gleeful in the knowledge of the barbaric sacrifice to follow. Lightheaded, my eyes dart around, a trapped beast seeking escape.
The sacrificial altar is prepared. The torture device is like a dentist's chair, but with a tub for the feet, presumably where they will drain out my blood. Resigned to my fate, I mount the gallows.
Glancing around, it seems that all the employees are Southeast Asians. Mostly young. Reputedly, they own this territory, like Indians in convenience stores or Italian greengrocers. My personal tormentor is the proprietor, a slim pretty Vietnamese woman perhaps in her mid 50's, with cold eyes and a professional smile.
I immediately sense that I am dealing with She Who Must Be Obeyed. I am commanded in that bossy Asian way to put my feet in the tub, as she turns on the water. Apparently, like some feminine droit du seigneur, Dragon Lady reserves the right to draw first blood from pedicure virgins. My primae noctis, so to speak.
As she sits below me and leans forward to grab my feet, I get a good look at her well-formed cleavage. Maybe this won't be so bad,after all...
As my feet soak, I close my eyes and sink into a Felliniesque fantasy, surrounded by Asian houris garbed in short white Grecian gowns, catering to my manly whims.
I'm getting a semi...
Dragon Lady brings me back to reality, placing my left foot on her toweled workspace.
There's another guy here...
and that SOB is getting a manicure from one of my girlfriends!
An older lady enters the shop. She has an experienced and well-traveled look. Obviously a repeat offender, she immediately begins apologizing to Dragon Lady for her tardiness, meanwhile sizing me up like a slab of man-meat. Dragon Lady gives her a proper scolding, then the horny old biddy tweaks my big toe and flashes me a knowing smile. I wonder if she is packing heat in that big purse...
Suddenly, I become William Holden in Sunset Boulevard. As I make a break for freedom, I am plugged in the back by the scorned Gloria Swanson lookalike.
Then, a cold look from Dragon Lady and my spouse re-establishes territory and Gloria backs off.
Dragon Lady looks pleased as she draws out what appear to be farrier's tools for shoeing horses, presumably to work on my virgin toenails, which I admit are heading toward Fu Manchu territory. A pair of evil-looking wire cutters makes short work of my talons, then she pulls out a chisel and begins removing layers of yellowed nail until they are smooth and white.
Nice. I can take this.
Then she removes the cuticles and pushes back the skin.
Holy crap! I think she just popped my cherry! I see blood on my big toenail. I take it like a man. A bead of sweat runs down my brow.
She finishes the flaying job, puts the foot back into the soothing bath and begins carving up the other one.
"And women pay for this?", I think.
"You like massage?", she asks.
"Massage?" I glance at my spouse nervously, wondering if she intuits the direction of my thoughts.
She points to the control panel on the chair.
"Why, yes. Yes I would!", I reply.
Anything to take my mind off my pending amputation.
"All the way?"
I suppress my licentious thoughts.
"Warp seven, Mr. Sulu."
"To infinity, and beyond!"
She got that one, and turns on the machine. Robocop immediately digs deeply into my neck and spine with his titanium-steel fingers, plowing my vertebral column like a John Deere cultivator. My central nervous system releases a flood of endorphins. The cocktail of pain and pleasure is a masochist's wet dream.
The surgery going on downstairs dissolves into the background...
Dragon Lady puts the second foot back in the tub and removes the first. She pulls out a big cheese grater and goes to work on the bottom of my foot. I don't have thick calluses, but she produces a pretty respectable pile of Parmigiano. Makes short shrift on foot two. My smooth feet now look like a baby's.
Not too bad, not too bad.
My spouse shoots me the old Told You So look and smiles.
Dragon Lady now pulls out the pumice for the final polish. As she goes to work on my foot, nerve endings now exposed after many years return me to infancy.
It tickles! Oh Momma, does it tickle!
I'm giggling like a young girl. I can't stop, and I really don't want to either. The entire salon joins in my giggle fest.
Dragon Lady doesn't let up for a second. She is giggling too, and for the first time I see the young, innocent Vietnamese girl buried deep inside.
Then I see the napalm and burnt village.
And all the rest of it...
I see and she sees. We each have seen... too much.
She smiles sadly. As do I.
My next appointment is in a month
I'll be there.
September 11, 2014
Copyright © Roy Jerden
Long poem by
Edlynn Nau | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/dont_feed_the_particles_in_the_zoo_699441' st_title='DON'T FEED THE PARTICLES IN THE ZOO'>
DON'T FEED THE PARTICLES IN THE ZOO
What particles ARE, with this list of ARE NOTS,
ARE listed below to peruse in your thoughts.
Mesons AREN'T plural for multiple mice.
Baryons AREN'T picked for a pie just to slice.
Neutrinos AREN'T Newts and Leptons don't leap.
Muons AREN'T kittens that mew in their sleep.
Electrons WON'T fry you to particle vapor.
Gluons WON'T stick you, down to your paper.
Gravitons AREN'T gravy nor dug from a grave.
Tachyons AREN'T tacky in clothes you won't save.
The Tau's AREN'T an Empire with power to wield.
Bosons AREN'T bossy while out in their field.
Fermions, ALL TWELVE, while The MATTER endorse,
the Bosons, OF FIVE, are Carries of FORCE.
Fermions WON'T be, in same-place-at-same-time,
But Bosons WILL be, it's their paradigm.
While some Quarks ARE Uppers and some let you Down.
Some ARE true Toppers with Bottoms profound.
Some DO act Strangely, while others have Charm.
Mass, charge, spin, and color, ARE features they arm.
Leptons ARE in "flavors" that can be most tasteful.
What they ARE in decay is not at all wasteful.
There ARE three generations that change what they weigh.
And they ARE very different in how they decay.
Electrons ARE stable with common precision.
While Muons and Taus ARE made in collision.
NO strong interactions these Leptons will take.
Yet they're subject to basics, make NO mistake.
Photons ARE particles AND waves of light.
Gluons ARE binding in matter, just right.
"W's" ARE weak in their force, it is true!
So ARE the "Z's," who are last at the zoo.
The Higgs, IS a boson that's so elusive.
What boson it is, IS not so conclusive.
We know IT's a particle with zero spin.
IT's got positive parity from deep within.
Now that you know what particles ARE NOT,
And what some likely ARE, it can help quite a lot.
Some things ARE tiny and invisible too.
They ARE dancing about in the particle zoo.
So MANY zoo particles for you to know.
In a zoo of a SECRET particle show.
Come SEARCH for particles, if brave and you dare.
But DON'T feed the particles, while you are there!
May 26, 2015
Copyright © Edlynn Nau
Long poem by
Sarah Bryant | Details |
I am playing with my dollies
And my princess pram all pink
I'm nearly 5
A big girl now
No more nappies
Or plastic pants
I outgrew the potty
When I was only three
My mum says it's because I am brave
Now I go to the toilet all by myself
But today my bum didn't behave
My tummy was hurting
Making squidgy noises too
Blowing bubbles inside
I needed the loo
But it was too far away
I felt it coming
I knew I was going to poo
I couldn't stop it
It was runny and wet
Dribbling down my legs
Err smelly poo
I stood on the floor
I shouted for mummy
But she’d already smelt it
Mummy came in
Said “Oh deary me”
“Did we have an accident?” She asks
I look down
“Only me” I reply
My legs were horribly brown
I started to cry
Mummy hugs me and says
“Everyone poops you know
Even the Queen
Let’s get you in the bath
Fresh new pyjamas
You’ll feel as good as new
Sparkling, fresh and poop free”
Fifteen years on
My first date a disaster
Oh yes, all thanks to my bum
I should have known better
A bad idea it transpired
The night before
With my mum
That morning I woke up
I knew I was in trouble
When I felt my feverish brow
My belly was bubbling
Making squidgy noises as before
I was really in turmoil now
This isn’t good news
I feel awful and sick
My intestines are angry and raw
Rebelling and furious
They are plotting their revenge
For the curry I'd had the night before
But I’m a big girl now
So my mum says
The rumblings I chose to ignore
Brave or stupid
Feeling nervous and scared
I walk nervously out of the door
I shuffle into the restaurant
A penguin walking on ice
My bum cheeks squeezed together
I smile, he looks really nice
Actually if I’m totally honest
It was a bit more like a wince
But I was too scared to move
Too scared to breathe
It was all I could manage
I was convinced
I resist the urge to pass wind
My bum and I are at war
Anxious to avoid a lethal escape
I feel the bubbling’s I remembered from before
I excuse myself from the table
Plead silently for my bum to behave
Walking penguin style
Across a crowded restaurant
I can do this
I am brave
I find my sanctuary
In the form of a loo
Sitting down I feel surges of pain
Squelching noises galore
Sweating buckets I'm sure
My modesty I hope to retain
With my elbows on my knees
I push just a little
My bum explodes
I am shocked
Poop expels from my body
A 100 miles an hour at least
Making a terrible sound as it plopped
The smell is intense
I want to cry
Poop has ricocheted off the bowl
Splattered all over my bum
I've formed a seal around the seat
This is a nightmare
I have no control
As I stand up the seat sticks to my bum
I unpeeled myself off
It crashes down to the bowl
I clean up
Feel a bit better
But into bed I want to roll
I flush the smell away
And I hope the disgrace
I look in the mirror and gasp
I look like a zombie
A lovely first date
Was that really too much to ask?
Leaving the ladies
I return to my date
He is still there
What do I tell him?
My secret was mine to keep
Is honesty the best policy here?
What lie can I use?
But I take a deep breath and I speak
“I'm fine, thanks for waiting
I had a dodgy curry last night”
He laughs and I felt silly
Who talks about poop on a first date?
He says “Hey don’t be embarrassed
Everyone poops, I relate!”
Shall we go somewhere else instead? He asks
“Like a public toilet?" I joke
He laughs as he takes my hand
He is cute
I really like him
He is gorgeous
He seems to understand
He walked me home
It was actually more of a crawl
But a kiss on the doorstep
And another date next week
Maybe this wasn't a disaster after all
Seventy years on
I am living in a home
I married my first date
We had a family of our own
Wed sixty glorious years
He passed away last year
Now I'm back in nappies again
Oh what a cheer
Yesterday was my birthday
I am ninety years old and a day
I had a naughty curry last night
And I think I'm in trouble today
My tired old organs
Don’t work like they did before
My skin is all crinkled
My intestines are like straws
The nurse comes in to change me
Nappy filled with poop galore
Says “Don’t worry my love
She's seen it all I'm sure
I smile as I remember
Those very same words spoken
To me when I was four
By my dear old mum
In the bathroom
In our house
So many years before
Copyright © Sarah Bryant
Long poem by
DENNIS DE ROSE | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/thats_chuck,_hes_my_friend_493715' st_title='That's Chuck, He's my Friend'>
What's that in your hand?. Let me see.. He said.
It's a picture; that`s Chuck; he is my friend... I said.
You pick your friends kinda young, don't you?... He said.
No, that was a long time ago. We were in college... I said.
I'd like to hear more about your pal Chuck... He said.
Okay... I met Chuck in New Paltz in `74... I said.
Oh, that's the pot smoking college, isn't it... He said.
Don't generalize, everyone's not the same... I said.
You're right. So tell me some more about Chuck... He said.
Okay, so you want the short version, or long one ... I said.
Whatever you like, I have plenty of time ... He said.
Well, this guy Chuck approaches me; he looks perplexed... I said.
So what was his issue. Why that look on his face... He said.
Chuck tells me "No one will stay with me in the room."... I said.
How odd is that? That doesn't make sense... He said.
You and I swing one way, Chuck swings the other. ... I said.
Now I see what the problem was; What did you do?... He said.
What do you think ? That doesn't bother me.... I said.
Hey, you want to hear a funny story? It's a side splitter... I said.
I've got time. I could use a good laugh right about now... He said.
Chuck had a 53 Schwinn bicycle, all chrome, red and white... I said.
You've got to be kidding me. I haven't seen one in years.... He said.
I'd hop on back. We`d go to town and chug down a few together... I said.
That's not funny. Where's the punchline? So what happened?... He said.
Well, one day Chuck failed a test and got super pissed off.... I said.
That's not funny either. You've got to do better than that.... He said.
He yanked on the handlebar so hard, he busted it clean in half... I said.
Wow ! Did they have "Funniest Home Videos" back then?... He said.
That's not all. We had so much fun together. There's more... I said.
Don't keep me in suspense. Lay it on me..... He said
There was this girl; unique with a special attribute.... I said.
What was so special? Three breasts instead of two?... He said.
No joke, her name was Madam Clittora! Enough said... I said.
I can't believe that. You gonna leave me hanging?... He said.
Anyway, shortly after that, I graduated. Chuck was younger.... I said.
So what happened to Chuck? Good friends keep in touch... He said.
We saw him two years later. We visited With his family, was nice... I said.
Ever see them again? You shouldn't desert a friend.... He said.
You're right. But things don't always pan out... I said.
So what does that mean? You both seemed quite close.... He said.
I was married at the time with a lot of responsibilities... I said.
So that's no excuse. You should've kept in touch... He said.
After that, I didn't. Time changes things. Wasn't intentional.... I said.
So is there more to this story? There's got to be more... He said.
Oh, there is. Time moves on. 35 years later... I said.
It's 2010 and out of the blue, I think of my old pal Chuck... I said.
So you didn't forget him after all, but almost... He said.
It's a gamble, Chuck Drzal was in the phonebook; I called... I said.
Good for you. You took a chance, renewed a friendship... He said.
You're right. Just like old times. `74 again. What a feeling... I said.
So what happened next. Tell me quick, can't wait... He said.
We talked off and on, old times and new things; it was good... I said.
So it sounds like things are really working out for you guys... He said.
We saw Chuck, in the summertime; looked good for 52... I said.
Hey that's great news; Is there more to the story?... He said.
A little more... His friend died the day after we saw him... I said.
Oh, bummer. Sorry to hear that. How`s Chuck now?... He said.
Called him in November. His diamond ring was stolen... I said.
Wow ! That's a real downer. Did they catch the bastard?... He said
No !... I said.
There's got to be more than that. Call him since then?... He said..
Yeah... but... I called twice... he never answered the phone... I said.
Well, I hope you find out how he is doing?... He said.
I did. Saw his obit a few days ago. He died November 17th... I said.
He looked at me. A tear rolled down his cheek... He said nothing..
I looked at him. Couldn't speak, all choked up.... I said nothing.
He looked at me. Gave me a hug, turned and walked away.
I yelled to the universe... "That's Chuck, he's my friend!"
Copyright © DENNIS DE ROSE
Long poem by
Dawn Fulmer | Details |
It was the time before the celebration on Saint Peter’s day, when the noble page took a fine white scroll and was glad upon his way.
For a bird had whispered in this good page’s ear that what he bore might bring glad tidings near. Did he then hope too much for such as an extra ration or a copper penny to increase his fashion?
Indeed he did not and when the lord Auz Zoo had read the scroll he patted the back of this good page and said with a voice from his belly that told of his age. “Oh hoe! My lad run thither hence and tell the cook that I want mince” And this was good for everyone knew that when in fine spirits he’d call for his food.
The news ran thus, that the high king, Prince had granted lord AuzZoo his one great wish, a plot of land with fertile soil with plenty of hands to turn the mill and work and toil. That one day soon he might raise his castle there.
The feast was had and thus began many gold pieces spent and marvelous plans. The wood worker came and so did they all; chisel, hammer, axe, and, saw.
And when in court next day the high king, Prince did hear them say “Never before have we seen such a sight as this old bachelor knight.’’
For, many years he had saved his gold now giving him a wealth untold. So, fine jewels were engraved and a brilliant red carpet laid, a high backed chair of cedar wood but best of all, the kitchen stood where nothing entered save, the most savory meats and the sweetest treats.
Then the town crier cried and all stood silent with starring wide eyes as he proclaimed the first morn’s dawn upon this new castle Ugungawmon.
But still in the happiness he lived Lord AuzZoo felt there must be something askew. He knew this feeling to be right because of how he felt around the belt. And it is known both far and wide that those gut feelings never lie.
He pondered hard but thus it seemed that all his thoughts were locked and bared. Till one day at the height of noon our good page thought that for cause of the heat he’d surely swoon. And thus it accrued to our good page that there was indeed no castle gate.
Therein on report when the lord AuzZoo asked how his trip had fared the page then lifted up his chin and dared, say “All was well my master dear but I inquire with greatest respect is your head quite clear?’’
AuzZoo did not ask or threaten but simply waved his hand for an explanation.
“I fear…” the good page started again, “that I have found something wrong with you perfect castle.”
“For, it is such in every way down to the last sliver plate, and there it is out and plain that we have no castle gate.”
Lord AuzZoo had not interrupted he had let the page go on unheeded. But, when the page looked up a ghastly sight did meet his eyes for he thought his master might be in paradise.
For Lord AuzZoo had gone a hideous white and all his clothes did seem too tight, no breath he took just looked, and looked. This sight did so upset and grieve the page he wept and called for help of any age.
But, none did come till twas too late, now the page was drowned in grief and still there was no castle gate. The rest of his youth our good page spent in the service of the king till he himself could become a knight. And when he did for was fate he would no colors for a love he wore instead the glove of the lady determination he kissed so that there was only one burning desire in his breast and one thought that guided his lance and won his lot.
Thus, he returned to the home of his youth, the perfect castle Ugungawmon that he had bought and renewed.
Timber from the strongest trees and iron with the best of wrought was hither brought. Then for many years and everyday you’d see go by that way a small and vigorous party of the most skilled workers in that day.
One fine twilight our good knighted page with tears upon his cheeks did gaze upon his life time work. Better than any before, stronger than the strongest oak door, and bigger than the castle front its self-there she stood magnificent and unmovable.
Today, if a traveler will pause upon his weary way he may look to the east and see the glistening castles of Ugungawmon which stands before the open sea and the wind will blow but never shake the strong proud planks of the castle gate.
Copyright © Dawn Fulmer
Long poem by
Robert Ronnow | Details |
A bespoke suit is tailor-made to the individual and a bespoke person is
engaged to be married (spoken for)
but to have bespoken, or bespeak, is to ask for or engage in advance
(as in marriage or a business partnership)
and also to speak to or address, show or indicate, foretell or forebode.
So, truth may be ascertained by considering the truth we reason, the truth
we've seen, the truth we feel and the truth we're told.
Merely to speak is to cause good or doom in a magical world.
Silence is not an option for every action bespeaks intention.
Although the empire and the corpse collapse we do not let the circle
We impose our own small order.
Order may delineate or assimilate the Other.
Belonging is longing for complete solitude but you gladly return to lovers'
arms and plumbing.
There's little humor in the cholera unless you manage to survive.
I pleasure in and treasure my insignificance. If only I could be overlooked
by the planning board and IRS.
Powerful contrasting and synergizing photos on the cover of Balance by
Hubbard & Kane
the economics of great powers, ancient Rome's ruins, decaying columns
versus Washington DC's orderly, straight and sterile streets from the
Capitol to the National Mall.
What causes empires to fall? How do they come to hold community?
Well, we worry. Overpopulation, malnutrition. We are anxious about
famine, genocide and nuclear war.
Self-imposed suffering, the hyperorganization that is a cancer on our
When the individual dies does the National Mall impose its own small
order on all dark matter? Or is the whole universe canceled including
chaos and complexity? Watch out, don't run into those small invisible
These are questions I'm willing to find the answers to. Willing in the sense
of living in the place where will and power are one. Because to be
bespoke is to be spoken for.
* * *
Three conceptual models of causal logic:
the unclosed valve at Three Mile Island is an example of the on/off or
the genetic contribution to a developing cancer is likely a graded,
probabilistic risk rather than an absolute certainty;
a depression that occurs after a relatively minor stress that followed a
long string of moderate or severe stressors would be an example of
an emergent or nonlinear cause.
Four levels of analysis, an approach first suggested by Aristotle over 2K
in the Three Mile Island and Fukushima nuclear accidents, predisposing
causes were the flawed training and management oversight;
the tsunami was a precipitating (get it?) cause;
the inherent complexity of the many interacting systems that make up a
nuclear power plant is a programmatic cause;
and human hubris is a purposive cause.
Three logics by which knowledge of causation is gained:
the empirical method uses the scientific method, for example, the
determination that a genetic variant is present in multiple members
of a family in which cancer is common;
the empathic method uses the logic of narrative connectedness to
support the reasoning that a specific stressor is negative for one
person but not another;
ecclesiastic logic would be employed by a believer who attributes cause
to an actual lapse in his longstanding participation in the precepts of
his religion (or discipline).
Therefore, we may estimate the probability of a precipitating cause using
or name the purposive ideal behind an emergent cause based on
or identify a categorical cause predisposing us to an event by telling the
story or history empathically.
Horrible how we die!
Yet it's an idyll of an early summer evening, new cut grass, two baseball
teams of children playing in it.
Copyright © Robert Ronnow
Long poem by
Gerald Dillenbeck | Details |
I am just finishing my morning meditation when I hear my doorbell ring. It actually sounds more like that buzzing sound you hear if you fry a fat fly on one of those electronic bug swatters. On my way to the door I hope it's not my new neighbor who just moved in the first floor apartment below me yesterday. Nobody wants a too friendly neighbor, right? I'm from the "fences make good compassionately mindful neighbors" school of thought about neighborly interdependence, much less intimacy.
I open the door to a 60-something blotchy, ashy, white-skinned man wearing grey polyblend sweatpants, slightly too short, over a pair of black Crocs, screaming "I gave up on myself years ago," and a lighter grey zip up the front, grimy hoody with a ripped left pocket, sleeves pushed up over old-red-haired-man, possibly ex-athlete, thick creepy hairy forearms.
Before I have a chance to let him know this feels invasive to me, or even say "Hello, who and why are you at my door during my meditation time?" the new downstairs neighbor starts flapping his jaws as if my ears were born to listen to his cheery wisdom.
"Hi, I'm Oliver. My two neurally challenged teenagers, Ivy's the bratty girl, and Daquan is the perfect, but sometimes a little loud, sort of like a really ticked off roaring lion, but you'll get used to it, son, and I are your new downstairs neighbors, and I wanted to meet you right away because I don't want you to freak out and call 911 when you hear us yelling or screaming or crying or jumping endlessly hour after hour because Ivy is really hyper and because Daquan can't speak but often seems to have a lot to bark and roar about what sometimes seems like its just gas and sometimes means he's wet and is trying to tell me I need to put the novel down, or stop writing that dreadful sad poetry, or writing predictable lyrics for country-western songs, much less living them, and sometimes he's just playing Tarzan, yodeling in his make-believe jungle. He's legally blind and uses a wheelchair for school but at home he scoots and thumps around, surprisingly athletic, on his butt, kind of like an upside down inchworm if inchworms had feet and arms, which of course they don't."
I don't have the first clue where this is going but we have no time, and apparently not the least commitment, to discern my own thoughts about Oliver's communication and rationality skills, or lack thereof.
"My husband lives about a mile upriver in our cottage that we are trying to expand before the rest of us move in. He is tall, dark and handsome in an AfricanAmerican kind of way and is usually depressed, at least when he's around us, which I can't really blame him because Ivy is Oppositionally Ordered, I don't know why they keep saying Fetal Alcohol kids have Oppositional Disorder because her capacity to oppose everything is most certainly not out of order, or in any way under-developed. She will pitch a fit if all you're trying to do is get her up from her feeding trough to help her out of a poopy diaper. You would think that somebody was going to eat her food after she has already marked it with her drool. I have no idea why they would call that Oppositional Disorder. No one I have ever met has been more oppositionally wired synaptic than my daughter."
"Anyway, Valentino, that's my husband, he suffers from chronic depression which is too bad because he used to have this really nice soft sense of humor and romance, if you know what I mean, but now he's just quiet and sad and afraid to retire because then he won't have any friends that don't drive him crazy like his family does, including me."
"He complains that we're too loud and stinky and the house is always filthy and my cooking is terrible but he likes to cook and clean so I don't really get it why it's not OK for me to not like to cook and clean, or do the laundry, or the dishes. Do you know what I mean? So, tell me about you."
Finally, a question other than the parenthetical "do you know what I mean."
"Ditto. Except mine are named, respectively, Yang, Yin, and Attila. Do you happen to like Ginseng tea with lots of honey?
Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck
Long poem by
Loch David Crane | Details |
The Mojo Trick
Loch David Crane
Sweat-sticky and hot! The P. I. is not
a comfortable place to be;
but sit here and perspire (as though by the fire)
and I'll tell a tale to thee.
I was coming alive in a Philippine dive
after Mojo and San Miguels;
the raging fire in my stomach went higher
but my sea legs rode out the swells.
I began with a pitcher of Mojo that hit
a spot in my appetite;
and glass after glass I drank till the last
and soon was feeling just right.
Then a hostess sat down in a low-cut gown
and asked "I sit with you tonight?"
And I nodded OK in a nonchalant way
so she seated herself on my right.
Now the hostesses here are all drink San Miguel beer
And the same is served all around;
but it don't show much class to charge five times' a glass
when serving's the same size per round.
So you pay a dear price to drink beer over ice
which is how it is served in P.I.;
if you buy a girl beer when she says "I work here,"
then she knows you're a Big Spender guy.
So I looked at this girl and my mind began to whirl
and the Mojo played a trick.
Her face was so funny – a nose like a bunny –
I wouldn't let her flick my Bic!
I won’t call her ugly, but with that funny mug she'd
make customers run and hide;
you could send that girl in to a crowded room; then
watch as horrified man stepped outside.
So as I drank my beer with a grin ear to ear
I said "My name is Billy, I think."
She was hardly demure; she said "My name is La Tour.
I love you no lie. Buy me drink."
Well I should have said "no," and let the chick go
but I wasn't alone in the place;
and the thought of all night with this dog was a fright
though her body was nice – but that face!
I thought "just one more brew,” cause I'd only had two,
and I said that I'd buy her a drink.
Then she gave me a grin with her toothless brown chin
and my self image started to sink.
But because I was shy (I'm just that sort of guy)
I just couldn't tell her to leave;
so I stared at the band and I drummed with my hand
and I brushed off the lint from my sleeve.
Well the music was fine; but the bar girl's next line
was to say "Are you married, young man?"
And I saw my way out and lied with a pout –
told her I had a wife in Japan.
So she finished her beer, and was soon gone from here,
and I ordered two beers to celebrate;
I was lucky, I thought, not to get caught
between her and a magistrate.
For the Philippine girls wear long dresses and curls
and use perfume and makeup for baits;
for to marry a guy, seaman or G.I.,
means a free trip back to the States.
Then a man from the crew asked me "What's wrong with you?
Why did you let that girl go?"
And I told him her face was scare spots off an ace
but he looked back at me and said "No."
I called for "beer 12" and started to delve
into my pocket for money;
my friend said "I'll buy," and his cash didn't lie,
and "Mind if I sit with your honey?"
I said "you can do just what you want to do,"
and I said that I couldn’t look at her;
but he thought she was cute, had a nice bod to boot,
so I nodded to go ahead after.
But beer thirteen made my vision grow keen,
and I saw what a prize I had missed;
"I have drunk too much brew! She was beautiful, too."
as I saw him voluptuously kissed.
I thought "How could this be? She said she loved me! "
My hand shook; my ice cubes went clink.
I heard her say to him "My name is Tuptim.
I love you no lie. By me drink."
So I smiled. I was glad; I was no longer mad
'cause the Mojo had clouded my eyes;
I realized then she was after my friend,
and I hoped he was quick with his lies.
So it's "sailor beware!" In Olongopo there;
where the girls fish for guys in the bars;
and though I often roam, I always come home,
– single! Thanking my lucky stars.
– By the Phantom of the O2 level
(O1 and O2 are Officer’s and Civilians’ quarters on the USS Kitty Hawk; I taught English aboard several ships at sea, in the Program Afloat for College Education.)
Copyright © Loch David Crane
Long poem by
Vic Pister | Details |
NEWS Item AP: TOGO
LOME – In an effort to topple a government set up to end a 24 year dictatorship rebellious army troops seized the state broadcasting station yesterday, then left the building but returned several hours later and recaptured it. Up to six people died in the clashes. The rebels forced a broadcaster to report demands that the prime minister Joseph Koffigoh resign and dissolve the high council set up to oversee the transition from military rule to democracy.
Revolution in Togo
I was lying on my lawn chair on a sunny summer day
With a dozen pack of Heineken and there I planned to stay
My wife came screaming from the house, most upset I must say
She knew there was trouble brewing, that I’d have to go away
In her hand she had the newspaper, waved it wildly in my face
I looked quickly at the headline and my heart began to race
What, I cried, a revolution? That could not be the case!
A revolution out in Togo? But we all came from that place!
“That’s impossible” I shouted, it is such a peaceful place
A revolution out in Togo? What a terrible disgrace!
I wondered what was brewing, what the problem there could be
My imagination then took over and the rest is history
I could see the picture clearly, I could see it all come down
It was all about the money, and the purse strings of the town
John Mulroy’d been in opposition for two terms maybe three
He was sick of watching the corruption and all the bribery
The foreigners came from Makaroff and San Clara and took hold
Taking all the jobs and contracts, lined their pockets with our gold
Johns support from Runnymede and Kamsack were stuck outside
Getting menial jobs and thinking they’d been taken for a ride
Rollie Hamel was Johns inside man, he was working for the town
Telling John what was going on and what was coming down
John was now determined to stop the debauchery
And raise himself an army to set the people free
He got the Nabe boys and the Burbacks and a couple of their friends
To mount an armed insurrection and bring this to an end
They quickly took the broadcast station in the back of Richies’ store
Within two hours the regular army came crashing through the door
What a standoff as they stared each other down with dirty looks
Talking about the law and the dubious entries in the village books
It was turning ugly for no one was backing down
But Richie’s store was also the only liquor store in town
In the meantime I had panicked with a sense of responsibility
For there are times when a man must fight to protect his dignity
I sold my house and all my toys to buy supplies and guns
To try and save the homeland from the invading Huns
I arrived in Togo just in time to get to Richies’ store
And found a bunch of bodies lying passed out on the floor
What happened? I cried, with dread to anyone that could hear
John Mulroy said, with groggy head, t’was the best party of the year
“We came down last night to have a beer and watch the hockey game
Drank a too much and passed out on the floor here, what a shame
We drank up all the whiskey, the whole supply in town
Then we finished off the moonshine as the third period wound down”
I said “What happened to the revolution going on here at home?”
He looked at my newspaper article and said “No, that says in Lome”
Lome I said, confused now, where the hell is Lome?
He said that’s in a place called Togo, I said well…. that is my home…..?
He said “No you idiot, that’s not here, it’s an African country
Everybody’s heard about it”, I thought “Yeah, everyone but me”
I said “Damn it, I’ve got loads of equipment, what can I do with it?”
He said “Sell it I guess, to tell the truth I don’t really give a shit”
So, I have two dozen crossbows, two hundred arrows and 3 Willis jeeps
I came fully prepared to fight the war, prepared to play for keeps
I have enough stores and weapons so any revolution I can dowse
I’m trying hard to sell it now so I can buy a house
Copyright © Vic Pister
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
(A Rave By A Poet)
Remember when you were a child?
Adults seemed then to be in control,
Almost like Gods, with special powers
That almost always knew
When you'd been up to mischief.
‘Playing with matches again Brian? '
What a childish view of things! Right?
And my punishment, how perfect that was!
‘After you've finished lighting two boxes
Of wooden matches, one at a time,
You can go to bed, without your supper! '
Probably the best punishment I ever got.
I really couldn't believe my luck
But I was more careful after that!
Of course mom's punishment didn't stop me.
Do you remember match guns,
Made from 2 wooden clothespins?
Oh, my God, what fun those were!
A little carving with a kitchen knife
Reversing the spring on the outside,
And some electrical tape was all it took.
Really made me appreciate man's genius!
Hiding behind parked cars (a block from home)
And shooting flaming missiles in the dark
At unsuspecting passing cars
And then running like Hell
On a preplanned escape route
When the innocent victim screeched to a stop
Jumped out of his car to yell at long gone villains.
Honestly, the 4th of July couldn't beat this!
Carrying out the garbage every night
Now that was a chore made in Hell,
Though better than the night pots
Our forebears had to deal with.
Wow, thank God for outhouses
But especially modern sewage systems!
At my house the trek to the garbage can
Was a long hike, especially for a kid.
We burned trash in those days,
There was no garbage pick up,
And the can was hidden in an alley way,
You had to go through a gate to get to it.
A big elm tree (that I loved in the daylight)
Blocked even starlight and made the yard dark.
I always was scared so I'd whistle to and back
Praying that if a monster got me Mom would know,
My whistle wouldn't stop without reason,
That there was a chance at least of rescue,
I think I was too scared though to test it out,
I needed to believe that Mom would hear.
How insensitive the child is to adult problems.
But really how's a child to know
The tyranny of feeding a family,
Of trying to secure an unknown future,
Without a crystal ball, only prayer really!
(Though with luck, maybe some common sense.)
Parents, really are children grown large,
Carrying their demons in a sack on their backs,
Taking them out on occasion to play with,
Hoping against hope that that's all there is,
That some special Hell doesn't await them!
Meteor showers that exterminate all life,
Dust bowls, global warming, ice ages,
A new Yellowstone blast that buries our cropland,
A Canary Island tsunami that wipes out the East Coast
(A 2,000 foot wall of water now 50 years overdue) ,
Magnetic storms that destroy all electronic progress
That we've made in just the last fifty years?
The universe may seem big
But there's really no place to hide.
The public school system, what a joke!
More like twelve years of day care.
A football coach teaching physics,
Latin the only language choice?
(Sure opened up the world for me!)
The most important job of our lives
Getting married? Sex? Raising a family?
Well our parents were screwed too,
‘Pass it on, no pass backs, joke's on you kid! '
You want to fix the problems of the world?
Make politicians work for no salary or benefits
Let them shower us with their love of country,
Eat cafeteria food every day (no wine) ,
Random armed guards monitor their calls.
Let's make teaching the highest paid profession
With teacher's tenure voted on each year
(Each kid two votes, parents one vote for both parents,
Put power where it belongs baby.)
Well this may not in fact be a poem,
But it has sure been cathartic.
Hope my venting at least struck some chords
And was not a complete waste of your time.
May God save us every one!
Copyright © Brian Johnston