Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For the Lack of Velcro

Mister Pins was just the numbers man, the CFO of sorts,
to whom you’d owe your first born if you “took it in the shorts”
But if you couldn’t square with Pins, you’d best be runnin’ fast
as once old Pins passed on your name, each day might be your last.

A killer known as Needles was the chairman of the board
he took it quite unkindly if you’d rummaged through his hoard
When Mister Needles came for you, you’d best be far away
or have an army close at hand to act as your valet

But one fine day a lawman came to whip things into shape
A tough young broad, a mean beyatch, a Miss TwoSided Tape
She found the crooks together and she beat them to the ground
then she sat on Pins and Needles ‘till her backup came around.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Culture Creep

Herbert Delmange was not a happy Bloodletter. Since the first zombie had been allowed to buy acreage inside the boundaries of Full Moon Township, property values had plummeted; which of course led to more zombies being able to afford their own plot. For decades Full Moon Meadows had been solely owned by Vampires and Lycanthropes. And then Bill Fleshrender had decided to pad his retirement nest egg by auctioning off his back 40 on Ebay.

"Who knew there was a wealthy zombie out there" Bill screamed as his neighbors burned down his house and blasted his family with silver bullets.

"Of course they're wealthy you moron, they've become computer programmers" Herbert chided his prisoner; "Why do you think they're always searching for brains! They're melted as fast as they can replace them!"

"I'm so sorry" Bill pleaded, "I didn't know!"

"Its too late for that now" Herb whispered as he pulled the trigger one last time. "We can't stop the zombification of Full Moon Meadows any more than we can keep the sun from rising. This neighborhood is going to Hell in a handbasket full of zombie parts, and Bill Fleshrender will go down in mythos as the fool who destroyed paradise."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Polly's Pucker

Polly wasn’t sure that her primping would help her situation. After all, inter-species relationships were frowned on throughout the animal kingdom, though for some reason the rules had been eased a bit toward those creatures who dated others with the same number of legs, or lack of them. In that she was safe, Harry had four legs alright, and what fine legs they were. Polly’s parents would squeal of course, but she couldn’t worry about them. After all her mother had rolled over and crushed to death at least 4 of her siblings, so she should expect her daughter to be a little… off kilter.

The girdle was in place, the rouge fluffed in, her mascara was perfectly tuned. All that was left was the lipstick. Polly pondered a moment, not sure if she wanted to take the chance at all. Rejection was never pleasant, so the least she could do was assure herself a little kissing. Polly the pig chose a lovely deep cherry with which to paint her lips. Harry the sheepdog might spurn her, sure, but first he’d lick that fruit flavor right off her face, and that was every bit worth the price of admission.

Friday, October 26, 2012

For the Love of Billy

Sarah Jean had studied through many midnights to learn each word. She had searched the entire grounds of Cardsworth Manor to find all the floral ingredients. And she had dutifully created her own beeswax candles, marbled with her own blood. Once studying her brother Lentil’s schedule she found the perfect time and place to perform her most important spell. It seemed that Billy Benington would be spending the night in Lentil’s treehouse, totally within flummery range of the manor’s widow’s walk.

And there, just after dark did Sarah Jean perform the love’s bliss enchantment.

It was a lucky thing that she was neither seen nor heard that night, as a single mispronounced phrase had changed her conjure from “love” to “lion”; a harmless quibble had not Billy been so hungry that he ate brother Lentil before leaping from the treehouse and running off into the forest.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Think Less, Play More

It seems I have trouble remembering goodness
those too tiny fires surrounded by ice
they flicker so softly I sometimes pass by them
and start down the toll road that leads me to vice

It’s hard to believe I can carry such baggage
the weight of just one case would bury most men
and yet here I trudge with a pack filled with boulders
and blinders to ward off the rest stops again

I must write a note to tattoo on my forehead
that states, (written backward), “get out there and play”
For thinking too deeply will give one a headache
and make you a crab at the end of the day.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Adolescent Logic

Jeff was bullied for most of his young life, by one boy in particular, Seth Barnes. Some days Seth would only glare and perhaps mouth the words "I'm gonna get you". Other days Jeff would be shoved or tripped or sent ass over teakettle by a punch to the back of the head. In Jeff's mind these were criminal acts, but there was little point in reporting them. No one cares about a kid being pushed around. His mother wouldn't have the time to talk about it, his father would be angry and shout at him to stand up for himself; his siblings wouldn't say anything at all, but inside they'd be ecstatic that it was Jeff and not them. So when Jeff stabbed Seth to death, he figured most everyone would be pretty pleased with him, except for Seth’s mom of course, but as gram always said, “you can’t please everyone.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For Your Convenience

“I’m so sick of this instant gratification generation I could scream” whined Eddy.

“Well, it does have it’s good points” said Lonn; “I mean corporate scientists the world over are heavily invested in researching products that will satisfy those people, and often they come up with something we can all get behind!”

Eddy made a face. “Oh you mean like instant coffee I’ll bet. There’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The absolute worst beverage in all the world!”

Lonn reached into his shirt pocket, pulling out a tiny vial which he uncapped and drank from. He grinned. “No, I was thinking of something else” he said just as in the blink of an eye he suddenly changed into a long snouted, hairy creature whose fangs were now fully visible and dripping with saliva.

Eddie leaped from his chair and screamed. “What the hell did you just do?”

“Well” replied Lonn as he grabbed Eddie by his shoulders and licked at his chin, “changing used to be a terribly long and painful process. But ever since Doctor Met Hamphet and the fine people at Canis Labs created ‘Instant Werewolf’, I find I never have to wait. When I’m hungry, one little sip and… Baboom!”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Accoutrement Dreams

Cozy was more than a little envious. For three years now, ever since she’d come off the knitting needles and was placed near Stove, she’d watched the birds fly past Bay Window in the widow Glickman’s kitchen.  “If only I too could fly” she’d whisper to herself on days when the widow was nowhere to be seen, “then I would know true happiness!” And now one of the kitchen accoutrement had found the secret to flight!

“It all started one day when Widow Gert fell asleep at the table when Pot was just about to boil” said Clancy Teapot Cover. “Pot boiled and boiled and whistled as loudly as he could to no avail. Finally his whistle just up and broke, and the steam built up inside him until it pushed me right out of Pot’s rim and into the air, where I hovered for what seemed like an eternity! Well certainly it scared the Beejebers out of me, but in retrospect I learned I’d discovered the core of aerodynamic possibility and with that, taught myself to fly at will!”

The problem of course that the widow’s home was rather tiny and offered little room in which a flying thing might find “rompish glee.” Clancy began to sneak outside whenever Gert stepped through her door, and would fly to his heart’s content until the widow returned.

“Someday you’ll be caught” said Saucepan. “Yea” agreed Sugar Bowl, who normally would tend to silence but was fond of Teapot Cover and was afraid for him.

“You need a disguise” said Velvet Elvis, who’d found his place in the kitchen against the wishes of the League of Sentient Kitchen Accoutrement. “Perhaps Kitchen Junk Drawer has an idea!”

And he did indeed! Upon opening and allowing Nearly Useless Tiny Hammer, Good for Nothing Skinny Nail (and cousins), Almost Dry Superglue and Kite String to leap to the floor and run off into the basement where cardboard and wooden crapola had found a home, Kitchen Junk drawer shouted instructions to the group as to how to create a disguise for Teapot Cover that would surely fool the widow Glickman, and perhaps even anyone who might pass by the humble home.

The next day as the widow was preparing to leave the house for a little grocery shopping, Teapot Cover lept from the rim of Teapot and flew off to the basement, strapped himself into the disguise and flew back to behind his owner just as Gert swung open the front door and stepped outside.
  He zoomed outward, hovered a bit as he watched Gert disappear down the road, and then let loose, hoping the camouflage would stay attached and make him near invisible. As it happened, he’d forgotten the advice of Cozy, and had started his circling of the house in a counter-clockwise fashion, exposing himself and the very struts of his illusion to the windows of the little house where Gertrude would one day spot his charade and put a stop to it, most likely with a broom, or perhaps her long dead grandfather’s heirloom 410 gauge shotgun.

“Other way!” shouted Cozy; “Go the other way you idiot!” But Clancy the Teapot Cover heard nothing but the wind in his flange and the tiny whistle running through his emergency steam escape hole. It was good to be free, even if freedom went backwards.

With the Crown's Permission

Mortimer cleaned and then sharpened his blade. It had been a long day of whacking here and whacking there; it seemed like the work would never end. How many traitors were there in the kingdom, he wondered.

“Would ya rub a little liniment into me biceps lass” he called to his wife Betunia, “I’m crampin up a bit.”

Betty pulled up a stool next to her man and wet her hands with smelly oil. As she massaged his massive muscles she noted he wasn’t his normal self.

“Usually my dear you are overwrought after a day of executions, flooded with guilt for what you’ve been party to. You seem so relaxed! Why should today be any different?”

“The King has a royal ‘and in my demeanor my love” he answered with a shrug. “ 'e’s begun calling these ‘Casual Fridays’, and thus ‘as removed the angst from me weary shoulders!”

“I’m happy for you my sweet” Betty sighed.

“Well” said Mort, “I still favor ‘Titular Tuesdays’ when I’m lopping the ‘eads of nobilities. I’m ‘appy to suffer guilt when such deserving necks are severed! But it’s nice to ‘ave a day to be indifferent altogether.”

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gimme Dat!

“Rage? Will you please stand?” The headmaster of the Finishing School for Afflictive Emotions stood proudly, holding out Rage’s graduation certificate and a large red sash. Once Angie (her name was really Angry, but we liked to sing that Rolling Stones song to her cuz it really made her mad) reached the podium, the headmaster slipped the sash over her shoulders and proclaimed her “Ready for service!”

And then it was my turn. I was afraid of what would come next. I wouldn’t get a red sash like the pretty girl; I’d get some crappy color that no one else wanted.

“Envy, please stand?” There she was, holding out my certificate and a GREEN sash!

“Why can’t I have red?” I shouted; “Angie always gets the cool stuff, why do I have to have a sash the color of baby puke?”

I cried, but it was a done deal, I had to go home in green. But I swear, if it takes me my entire life, I’m gonna find a way to get that red sash off of Angie if it’s the last thing I do!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Some People Just Can't Get Enough

My lungs were burning, my legs cramping, near the end of my endurance and scared out of my wits. I dodged, he stayed with me. Even my seemingly superhuman leaping over obstacles didn’t phase him, it was like he was glued to my backside. I could feel his claws rasping at my shirt, smell the stench of rotted flesh and exposed organs. Finally, out of room, a 500 foot cliff before me, being eaten alive behind… I leapt, screaming, and fell, fell, fell, landed. Convulsing, I threw myself off the mattress and woke from the dream on the hard floor of my room.

I peered under the bed, spotting his beady little red eyes.

“What the hell is wrong with you” I said angrily, “don’t I play with you enough in the daytime?”

“I was bored” said my boogyman. “Go back to sleep and this time I’ll let you chase me!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blood of Children

 Thinking of Malala Yousufzai

I just can't seem to rid my dreams of visions I've too often seen
A mother throwing rocks to strike a child of one they hate
a woman with her brains blown out for daring to protect herself
a population killed en masse by soulless potentates

I'd love to rip their faces off, these pigs that fill and swill the trough
of "they're not like us, kill them all, they don't deserve our pity"
but then I'd just be one of them; another spiteful stratagem,
another pointless counterpoint that builds walls 'round my city

I'd just as soon have naught to say but all these things won't go away
the helpless and the hopeless always wake me from my sleep
I've tried to stop the armies past and been out gunned and been out crassed
and now they haunt me with their thoughts, black holes I cannot leap

I just can't weep here anymore, I've lost that water, closed that door
there nothing left to show me inhumanity to man
God help me I still feel it burn, too often I am prone to yearn
to find a way to stop this churning vitriol demand

But I get knocked back in my tracks by better men, by louder hacks
and I can hardly breathe sometimes its weight is so complete
I struggle to just put aside the worthlessness I feel inside
and some days I can only cry admitting my defeat

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stranger than Fiction

About every 7 years she’d call demanding my shoulder. She was right on schedule.

“It’s about time I caught you! Haven’t you gotten my messages? I must have left ten of them!”

“I’m sorry hon, I did hear a few but I’ve been busy. I don’t have time for this right now.”

“Once in a blue moon I really, really need you and you don’t have time for me? Well that’s pretty crappy. I’m really struggling here! What the hell could be so important that you can’t meet me for a few hours?”

“My father; you know, my best friend? Well he got sick last Friday, by Tuesday he was in a coma and Thursday he died. I’m trying to write his eulogy right now.”

“Geez I’m sorry, that’s a shame. But, can’t you put it off until tonight? I mean, I’m still alive and I need you!”

I had no witty retort, no guilty explanation; in fact I just stared at the phone for what seemed like 40 days and nights.

“Well? Are you gonna meet me or not? Why the silence?”

“I’m sorry, I’m just trying to remember exactly why I divorced you decades ago.”

Gauze Lies

Scissors had put on a good show for the jury, clipping his sentences, shearing away whole portions of the prosecution's case; it looked as if his taking the stand was about to pay off. But the opposition had a surprise witness.

Prosecutor Lecturn stood and twisted his gooseneck in the direction of the bench. "If it please the court, we have just this moment come upon new and damning evidence, an eye witness to the assault has made herself available and at this time I would call one Miss Gauze to be sworn in."

Scissors snapped right out of his chair. "Gauze! he shouted at the top of his blades as the judge, his honorable Astringent, pounded his gavel and called for order. "You can't do this to me; Gauze lies! Everyone knows that! Why... you can see right through her!"

As the doors to Medical Drama Props Department Superior Court 35 swung open and the witness began her stroll toward the hot seat, the entire crowd gasped in unison. It was true. You
could see right through her!

"He cut me to the quick" Miss gauze mouthed as she passed by Tooth and Nail; "snip snip snip" she whispered toward Scissors as if goading him to reveal his malevolent side...
"Cut yourself outa this one baby"...

Another Dysfunctional Family

Velour was livid.

“What do you mean you don’t like ‘my kind’ anymore? Has someone brainwashed you? You’re joining the plush-o-phobes? Your own name has velvet in it! How do you think you can leave the Velvet family?”

Velveteen shrugged and rolled his eyes.

“I’m sorry you feel that way Mom” he said. “But you and dad should know Suede and I are getting married and I’m taking her culture, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Lace was torn. Velour was her BFF, but Velveteen was a friend as well, even though he sometimes rubbed her the wrong way…

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


“Alright then” she said as she settled in on my shoulder just below the lobe of my left ear; “There’s a murder of course, a certain Sergeant Terwilliker let’s say, only he’s not a military man but a traffic policeman from, oh gosh, Burma if that suits you.”

I wasn’t sure what to say exactly, so I just listened as the maiden was obviously just revving up.

“A train!” she said as if her own fire had suddenly been stoked. “No, no, a sub marine!” She both elongated and hyphenated the word as if to paint a picture of a very long underwater cigar, jointed in its center.

“Captain Jack in the Boson Mate’s bunk with a rum bottle” I said, referring to a popular children’s game.

“No, no, that wasn’t it” she answered, oblivious to my light jibe, scratching her head as if what I’d offered was close to her original idea, but not close enough.

“No Mister Clancy, that’s not it at all” she said looking directly into my eyes; “You see if Mister Ryan is to stumble upon treason in progress, he must be properly placed!”

“Mister Stringbreaker” I said. “There must be some mistake sweet woman, I am Bragi Stringbreaker and I’m writing in a time somewhat akin to the eighth century on one of the British Isles or its mythical counterpart which I like to call Dementia. Now what’s all this about a Mister Clancy and what in Amoria’s name is a sub marine?”

The poor muse was beside herself. She pulled a notebook from her apron and flashed through a dozen pages before she settled on one and read while tracing the lines with a long, black tinted fingernail.

“Oh dear” she exclaimed. “Am I not in the company of one Thomas Clancy?”

I smiled. There was no harm in her confusion and I feared strengthening her anxiety so I quickly said “just a moment M’lady, I have a call coming in” and proceeded to think of my own muses as ponderously as I was able. Within a few moments, Giggly Muse popped into place on my right shoulder and peered past my Adam’s apple to where the elder muse was still scratching her little head.

“MOTHER!” she cried out; “what are YOU doing here?”

“I seem to be lost” said the poor dear. “I’d been consigned to Mister Clancy today and somehow I ended up on this amateur scribbler’s shoulder instead!”

“My master is no amateur!” Giggles demanded. “He may not be published, but what is publishing anyway? Just some stupid popularity contest resulting in pots full of gold. A Leprechaun trick, I assure you!” she postured, “and nothing at all to do with the worth of the words!”

“I am though madam” I added, “a scribbler indeed.”

“I’m so sorry Bragi” Giggles said as she wound her index finger around her ear with her left hand and pointed at her mother with the same finger on her right; “I’ll need to take her back to the home so she can reprint a Google map to Clancy’s house. I can’t imagine how she ended up here instead of there.”

Oh I can imagine” I said. “Bragi, Clancy… they both end with the same sound after all, they’re damn near the same name!”

Giggles giggled. “Just for that” she said, “I owe you a story.”

I grinned, as I do on the rare occasion I’m not deep in thought pondering the most important of earth shattering concepts. “Make it a good one” I said as I gave her my palm on which to cross over to where her mother was in heavy conversation with her mother; “I think anyone who’s had to suffer through this silly tale deserves something more substantive served up as an apology.”

“My brain is already awash in dirty laundry M’lord” she chuckled. “I shall bless you on the morrow I am certain, or you may hang me out to dry! Now come mother,” she whispered to her kin, “you must get to Mister Clancy’s in time to give him his hour before leaving for Mister King’s! You know how Steven hates to be kept waiting! You wouldn’t want to see him write another Firestarter now would you?”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lost and Found

I lost my virginity in my thirteenth year. I’d only just found it to exist. Before that moment, I didn’t know there was such a thing. I was still giggling about having found the word teat in the dictionary.

I lost my innocence well before that occasion. I was only six when I discovered people were not the wonderful creatures I’d been led to believe. And yet I found my innocence at a much later date, lying alongside a circular road I’d lumbered along time and time again throughout my five decades. It was a bit tattered and quite filthy; of course I’m not saying I didn’t have to work really hard to clean it up, to restore it to some semblance of its former glory. But I did, and now I keep it close and available, in case I’m prompted to bring it out and show the world the difference between innocence and naiveté. There is a difference you know. What I’m showing here? You’ll have to guess, I’ve run out of time…

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rowing Under Duress

The pit in my stomach was more a medicine ball. I was sweating profusely, my flush not only a color change but apparently a fluid swap. I hoped no one could see my hands shaking, but I guessed that would be like hoping no one notices Mount Rushmore has faces on it.

“We’re here for you” Doctor Schneweiss said in her calmest voice; “Whenever you’re ready.”

“I c-c-can’t” I stammered; “I just can’t. It's stupid! It's humiliating!”

But even while saying that I knew it was inevitable. I had no choice. As the group looked on expressing their hopes and compassion I began…

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…”

I stopped, nearly gagging. The group, on the other hand, was applauding and beckoning me to continue. My eliminating introversion therapy had finally begun in earnest.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Proper is Proper

If I were a good boy I’d know what is right
no matter the distance, no matter which flight
the stairs are the method by which we descend
what’s proper is proper, and none shall transcend!

And yet I confess to a pleasure so bold
a penchant for cheating, a break from the mold
to most men the rail is a safety device
to me a good banister beats the stairs twice

I know it’s quite rude, yes I know I’m a pip
were we all under sail I’d be thrown off this ship
but I’m sorry for this, I just can’t bear to stride
when a glorious banister begs me to ride

You be one with the rat race, I’ll do this alone
I will suffer the punishment, cast from the grown
you may see me a child, and you’re welcome to that
but you’ll envy my giggle when I finally splat

Yes if I were a good boy I’d be one of you
with your anal retentive to-do lists askew
so reject me at will for escaping the frame
but a life without banisters makes one quite lame

Trading Spaces

Lucifer was apoplectic. “What do you mean we have a waiting line” he shouted at the doorkeeper; "Just pack em in here!”

“I’m very sorry sir but since the financial meltdown there’s just no room here on the first level” replied the imp.

“Are all the babies gone then?”

“You mean the unbaptized Catholic babies? Yes my liege, the last of them shipped out after the 2007 International Theological Commission!”

“Alright then” the Prince of Darkness said as he rummaged through the gatekeeper’s books, “what’s the least serious offense for which we grant admission?”

The imp thought a moment. “Well sir, I suppose that would depend on your belief system.” The Devil raised an eyebrow.

“How many are here because they’ve taken the Lord’s name in vain?”

The imp did a few calculations. “16 million 500 thousand give or take a thousand.”

“Righto then. Outa here.”

“But sir, God doesn’t want them, it’s a commandment for His sake!”

“Then send them back as bedbugs and let them pester someone else! How many more until we have a hundred square feet available?”

The imp pushed a few buttons. “Another hundred million sir and we’ll have a hole open.”

Lucifer grabbed a bullhorn and stood atop the imp’s shoulders. “Attention people! If you’re here only because you lied to your mothers ten times or more raise your hands!” He stepped down. Ok, tally ‘em up” he said to the imp who was already doing a head count.

“Looks like about 6 billion my lord, not counting Mister Cheney over there who I know for a fact is here for other reasons.”

“Cool” said Satan; “ Send them all back as feces… and make sure they’re recycled for all time!”

As Lucifer turned to leave, the imp had the temerity to ask “Might I ask m’lord, should we stop accepting entrants for a time?”

“Well, I think I may have a pope coming soon. After he’s in place, then go back to the regular routine. Remember, sometimes it's the quality not the quantity! Keep ‘em comin boy, keep ‘em comin!”