Friday, February 27, 2015


by horace p sternwall

illustrations by pete palomine

what can you rip the lid off, when all the lids have been ripped?
what do you with the champagne glass, when all the champagne has been sipped?
what do you do with the river, when the last sun has set?
what do you tell satan, when he comes to collect on his bet?

what can you do for an encore, when the last note is played?
where will the last raindrop fall, when there are no more parades?
what will st george do to pass the time, when the last dragon is slain?
who will swallow the last white pill, when there is no more pain?

when the last train leaves the station, who will wave goodbye?
not the cat asleep in the corner, or the dog with a tear in his eye
not the hamster chewing his piece of wood, oblivious to fate
or the cockroach crawling desperately across the empty plate

when the last man dies, who will dig his grave?
when the master ascends to heaven, who will free his slave?
not the maid asleep on the mistress’s bed, when the trumpet sounds
or the fox running forever, away from heaven’s hounds

it’s midnight in st louis, sunrise in algiers
the countess discovers her rubies gone, and wipes away a tear
the international jewel thief taps his cigarette on his case
in the window on the speeding train - just another pretty face

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