Friday, December 29, 2017

wedding day

by emily de villaincourt

illustrated by eddie el greco

amanda woke up on the day scheduled for her wedding and decided she did not want to marry jeffrey.

she wrote her dreams down in a notebook, as she always did, dressed meticulously, as she always did, and went down to breakfast.

her aunt bertha was waiting for her at the breakfast table.

a tasteful but light breakfast of rose tea and grass seed crumpets had been spread, as it was unwise for a lady to risk gas on her wedding day.

amanda wasted no time in announcing to bertha her decision not to marry jeffrey.

bertha never expressed surprise at anything, and she did not express any on this occasion.

“do you have any reason for taking this extraordinary step?” bertha enquired calmly. “was it because of something you dreamt?”

“i do not need a reason for my decision.” amanda replied. “after all, it is the 23rd century.”

“i did not mean to imply that you did not,” said bertha. “i was only making polite chit-chat.”

“and my dreams, relevant or not, are my own, are of no concern to anyone but myself,” amanda continued, as she poured herself a cup of tea.

“of course not,” bertha agreed.

actually, the contents of amanda’s notebooks, and of her dreams, and of her brain, were all available to bertha, and to the central brain in central city, and to many of the directors and servants of central headquarters, if any of them were interested in perusing them.

“how do you propose to break the news to jeffrey?” bertha asked amanda. “i am sure he will be very disappointed.”

“oh, i do not think he will be as disappointed as all that,” said amanda. “in fact, i do not think he will be disappointed st all.”

“be that as it may,” bertha replied, “it would still be good manners to send him some sort of explanation. it need not be true, just polite.”

“oh, all right. do you have any suggestions?”

“well, there are some standard forms. stokely will know them.” bertha rang the bell on the table, and stokely, the servant, appeared.

“yes, mum?”

“amanda here needs a brief - polite but not too effusive - communication to a young man she has decided not to marry. as i am sure you know, the wedding was to have taken place at noon today.”

“yes, mum. let me think.” stokely closed her eyes. “how about this - dear so-and-so, or alternately, my dear sir - i do not feel that the multitudinous alignments of the universe are favorable to our union at this time. i am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. sincerely, so-and-so.”

“that sounds excellent, stokely,” said bertha. “thank you so much.”

“do i really need the part about causing him inconvenience?” asked amanda.

“i think it would be best,” said bertha. “it adds just the right note.”

“it is a tried and true formula, miss,” said stokely. “dating from the days of the feminist uprisings.”

“remind me again what the feminist uprisings were about,” amanda addressed stokely.

“well, it is a long story, miss, but basically the women on the planet rose up against the men referencing a host of grievances.”

“but what grievances could they possibly have had?”

“well, they were too numerous to summarize in a few sentences, but many of them centered on the fact of physical childbirth by women. of course the scientific advances of the past two centuries rendered those considerations obsolete.”

“indeed,” added bertha. “i shudder to think what it must have been like for the poor creatures back then. we are indeed fortunate to live in times when women are free to compete with men on an equal basis, and to follow the dictates of their own natures..”

amanda laughed. “yes, the dictates of their own natures in torturing men.”

bertha smiled thinly at this, and nodded at stokely, who took her leave.

good heavens, thought bertha, what old-fashioned notions some of these young persons have. torturing men, indeed! i wonder if any of the young men are harboring similarly barbaric notions. i shall have to bring it to the attention of the central committee.

amanda stared down at her cup of tea. now that i am not to be married and do not have to concern myself with gas, she thought, i may as well have a proper breakfast. a grizzly bear steak would do nicely, and some potatoes fried in squid oil, and some good rye whiskey.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

a story

by nick nelson

illustrated by roy dismas

bob and joe lived in a house on the hill, with a couple of acres of farmland.

it was not much of a house, not much more than a shack.

and the house and the farm really belonged to mister f.

joe was bob’s slave.

joe did all the work around the house and the farm, while bob sat on the porch and watched him.

bob gave joe a beating every day, with a stick six days a week and with a whip on sundays.

mister f had given bob a large number of boxes of cigars, and bob sat the porch and smoked one every day as he watched joe work.

the boxes were not replenished or replaced and bob would eventually run out of cigars.

when that day arrived, mister f would come to the farm with a new supply of cigars, and bob and joe would switch places.

joe would then be the master and bob would be the slave .

bob got down to his last box of cigars and the day of mister f’s visit approached.

bob began to get nervous, and tried to reach out to joe and treat him a bit more gently.

“you know, joe,” he would say, “we are both in this together. i am just a person , just like you.”

or “we are both of us just pawns in mister f’s game. we should get together to resist him.”

one day bob did not even give joe his beating.

but joe did not respond to these overtures, and kept his own counsel.

finally the day arrived. bob was out of cigars.

bob and joe waited for mister f but he did not show up.

they waited another day and mister f still did not show up, either with the cigars or without.

bob turned into a snake and slithered away through the sparse grass.

joe turned into a bird and flew away.

or maybe it was the other way around, and bob was the bird and joe was the snake.

neither of them ever saw mister f again.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


by corinne delmonico

humans are disgusting
and don’t like themselves much
and create religions and taboos
to avoid each other’s touch

humans give off bad aura
confined together in small spaces
their bodies tend to be ugly
and even more so their faces

inside each human brain
are dreams quite sad to see
to be famous and beloved
throughout all eternity

for being a nice person
but even more for well formed features
life is a mocking classmate
but death is the best teacher

Friday, December 15, 2017


by nick nelson

illustrated by konrad kraus

albert, conrad, edgar, george, ivan, kenneth, mickey, and oscar lived in the city.

so did babs, dorothy, felicia, hilda, jenny, lucy, nicole and priscilla.

albert was not a professional hit man.

babs was not a debutante.

albert and babs did not meet in the park on a snowy saturday night.

they never married or had a daughter named cindy who ran for congress and was narrowly defeated.

conrad hated dogs and never owned one.

dorothy thought smoking was disgusting and never took up the habit.

neither conrad nor dorothy ever joined the communist party.

edgar never did crossword puzzles.

felicia never bought a cookbook or was given one for a birthday present or a christmas present and never baked cookies or brownies or made pot roast with baked potatoes.

neither edgar nor felicia was ever abducted by aliens.

george was a surly individual, and never heeded his sister wilhemine’s suggestion that he get out more and perhaps join the ymca and take swimming lessons.

hilda never bought a vcr or a dvd player and continued to go to movies in theaters, long after all her other friends stopped doing so.

ivan was allergic to cats, but did not find that this got him much sympathy from his fellow humans.

jenny never went on long trips, though occasionally she went on short ones in her capacity as a sales representative for gas-powered washing machines.

kenneth was a very lonely person, and would often complain of being so to anyone he thought likely to be sympathetic.

lucy’s parents had been militant atheists and lucy developed an interest in world religions, especially forgotten ones, and took many books on the subject out of the library.

ivan, jenny, kenneth, and lucy never played bridge together.

mickey always insisted on sleeping in a bed, and would never sleep on a couch or in a chair or on the floor or in the back seat of a car, under any circumstances.

nicole hated stuck up people and people who thought they were better than anyone else.

oscar as a child had been struck by the phrase “the life of the party” but when he got older he did not become one.

priscilla never kept a diary.

mickey, nicole, oscar, and priscilla never went square dancing together.

albert, babs, conrad, dorothy, edgar, felicia, george, hilda, ivan, jenny, kenneth, lucy, mickey, nicole, oscar, and priscilla were not killed in a plane crash together, nor were they ever stranded on a desert island together.

it is likely that none of them ever met any of the others at all.

though one two of them might have shared some tastes or enthusiasms, such as for pancakes or miller lite beer or harry potter novels.

it’s getting late.

Monday, December 11, 2017

far away

by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

i think i would like to go far away
where no one has gone before
where folks would listen to what i say
and never call me a bore

i would like to go on a journey long
where the mountains touch the sky
where i could sing my own song
and no one would question why

i would like to go on a trip
where the river meets the sea
set sail on a great white ship
where i could just be me

i would go where no one knew my name
or asked me for any i d
where nobody played the game
and i could be free

you may think there is no such place
and you may be right
i may vanish without a trace
in the endless night

Saturday, December 9, 2017

tim smith

by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

tim smith was a terrible person
and did many terrible things
as sure as worms crawl in the grass
as sure as birds have wings

but no one ever suspected
that tim was what he was
and he went on his merry way
breaking society’s laws

he tipped his hat to mrs jones
said good morning to mr brown
but his neighbors never suspected
the monster in their little town

he went to church on sunday
with a smile upon his face
and wrote in the book of infamy
but never left a trace

as the years turned into decades
he kept his crimes well hid
now he sleeps in a lonesome graveyard
and nobody knows what he did

Friday, December 8, 2017

my own poem

by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

deserts are filled with shifting sand
the polar regions with ice
but the whole world would be beautiful
if people would just be nice

butterflies live for a single day
turtles for two hundred years
but no matter how long or short they last
they have hopes and dreams and fears

they want to live forever
but such is not their fate
as st peter plays dice wth lucifer
in the shadow of heaven’s gate

if the world had a birthday party
and the universe was a clown
and you were the magician
would you turn that frown upside down?

Thursday, December 7, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

when the elevator starts to take you
where you don’t want to go
and your friends used to be named eddie
but now they are all named joe

and the reporter wears a shade of lipstick
that you have never seen
and people look at you and laugh
because your thoughts are unclean

why did you say yes to the mailman
when he asked you for an ice cream cone?
didn’t you know his name was stanley
and his girl friend’s name was joan?

report back to the station
with your passport and a bag of donuts
and wipe that foolish grin off your face
you pathetic putz

i know civilization is collapsing
but that is no excuse
the evening sun is setting
and blackie baker is on the loose

if you can’t get the picture
pick the beer cans off the stairs
tell casey jones to fire the boiler
and grandma to say her prayers

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

verily i say to you
the man on the fountain said
behind his glasses his eyes were blue
and his bushy beard was red

the snow fell down in soft white flakes
upon the sage’s shoulders
the day was drawing to a close
the air was getting colder

verily i say to you
the prophet repeated
wishing he was in his room
by the radiator warmly heated

vic and vinny watched the man
watched him as he spoke
vic had a dollar in his pocket
vinny was dead broke

vic and vinny watched the sage
and felt his secret fears
he reminded vic of his uncle jack
whom he had not seen for years

a violin is playing
in a room so far away
the prophet climbed down rom his perch
he had nothing more to say

he then set off across the park
with a trembling in his limbs
what was he to vic or vinny
or they to him?

verily i say to you
that everything must end
you should spend your money
if you have any to spend


Tuesday, December 5, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

under this undulating sky
let us shelter beneath this tree
i will tell you a story
if you tell one to me

up a lazy river
across a placid lake
sir lancelot went out one day
his kingdom for to take

the further shore was empty
no castles did he spy
but he resolved to conquer
or in the process die

he rode across a sandy waste
and on an ashy plain
he had never come this way before
nor ever would again

lancelot rode on and on
his horse beneath him died
he shook his fist up at the sky
and in despair he cried

how can i earn glory
if no monsters show their face
no villains ride to meet me
and dragons leave no trace?

under an undulating sky
the hero turned to dust
but other heroes, undaunted
ride on, because they must


Monday, December 4, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

the tower rose in the twiight
as the tarnished knight approached
across a barren plain
and up to a cold dark moat

the princess sat by the window
twirling her long black hair
as the knight approached the tower
unaware, so unaware

the monster crouched in the shadows
with his eyeballs burning low
the knight had traveled many a mile
but still had far to go

the handmaid sat by the princess
nodding as she sat
the princess is so thin, she thought
and the monster is so fat

the raven flew above the clouds
no message for to send
it flapped its wings and wondered
if the night would ever end

the knight rode up to the tower
and saw its iron door
he had a sword in his right hand
but he dd not know what for


Saturday, December 2, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

stranger, stop a little while
rest your weary soul
the snake is in the grass
and the jelly is in the roll

seven surly saracens
survey the sleeping child
the sentry slumps against his wall
strangely beguiled

samson sleeps so soundly
as delilah ponders fate
she should be in st louis
but it’s getting late

the fox is in the henhouse
but can’t find what he seeks
jezebel stole the jacuzzi
and now the roof leaks

king solomon has sailed away
upon his golden throne
his dreams are strangely humble
but they are his alone

thank you, kind stranger
for sharing your philosophy
not of how things have always been
but how they ought to be


Friday, December 1, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

running through the rain
with my rabbit named ricky
never stop to wonder
why life is so icky

the years fall down
like pizza tossed from a plane
keep on running
running in the rain

the miles roll by
ricky turns into a rhino
you in the rear
keep it in line, oh

grandfather johnson
collected rocks and loved horses
but the stars never wavered
in their appointed courses

grandmother turner
wore long black skirts
laughed at my pictures
after all these years it hurts

ricky was run over
by a rampant rolls royce
in the stillness of midnight
i still hear his sweet voice


Thursday, November 30, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

are you quite through?

quink had never seen maria so angry

she pointed to the window

zorg, the chauffeur, was standing beside the fountain

and the moon was shining through the trees

professor quinn told me a different story, quink began

but maria turned and left the room

quink decided he might as well finish his sandwich

but when he looked around

the tall red-haired maid was taking his sandwich and highball glass away

which way was the front door?

he found himself in a long corridor

with an elevator

an elevator?

he had thought the house had only one floor

he pressed the button and waited for the elevator

as he did he remembered maria

as she had been when they were children

summering beside lake geneva

before the peace talks broke down


Wednesday, November 29, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

perhaps you have forgotten
your quest for paradise
no longer bite people on the leg
and have learned to pretend to be nice

the princess in the tower
still ignores you as you pass by
the pirates in the pool hall
never thought you were a regular guy

the puppy that you loved so much
wants to play a game
but you prefer to smoke your pipe
to your eternal shame

the portraits in your ancestral home
still percolate on the walls
but nothing is left in the iron safe
but uncle paul’s golf balls

pour another cup of coffee
as you wait for lawyer smith
the handyman left last evening
but who did he leave with?

you left your pink pajamas
in a subway telephone booth
your poems turn to popsicle sticks
and your lies to truth


Tuesday, November 28, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
sometimes i feel so sad
and remember the long ago days
and the expectations i had

though i walked the streets in a haze
and ate at wendy’s alone
and slept on a wet park bench
my dreams had not turned to stone

i defied the powers that were
in their temples of metal and glass
in their towers destined to fall
when the truth was revealed at last

it was only a matter of time
it was obvious at a glance
when rainbows would fill the sky
and little children come out to dance

but the days and the years went by
the decades and the centuries
and the towers are still there
not even swaying in the breeze

o dreamers unite!
do not drown in the river of night
keep alive the heavenly flame
in the end it will turn out all right


Monday, November 27, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

never seek to nullify
the neverness of not
do not despair, my darling
give it all you’ve got

the nectar of the nightingales
is sold in little packets
by nihilists and ne’er-do-wells
in expensive dinner jackets

you left a bowl of noodles
on the vicar’s coffee table
he will send a bill for damages
as soon as he is able

they found your old blue notebook
on the beach where nora drowned
she drank coffee by the gallon
and ate candy by the pound

how hard is it, really
to remember your old friends
though they never become famous
or meet unseemly ends?

let us gather at the river
as the dawn is turning pale
nancy may be in paradise
but nicky is in jail


Saturday, November 25, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

fish are mad at the ocean
birds are mad at the air
snakes ate mad at the long green grass
because life is so unfair

people are mad at each other
all the world around
they poke fingers in each others faces
and make hideous sounds

all the world’s sad creatures
crawl across the ground
o where can fairness be encountered
where can justice be found?

prophets through the ages
have proclaimed love as the answer
but yet there is no peace on earth
only hatred’s spreading cancer

there is no cure for hatred
buried in the world’s red heart
maybe it is time to give it up
and make a brand new start


Friday, November 24, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

love love love love love
on the wings of purple doves
flying through the rain of fate
lit by lightning bolts of hate

nobody likes me
this i know
sometimes i wish
it were not so

luck smiled on me
in days of old
once or twice
or so i am told

there is a city
by the sea
to the likes of you and me

the streets are paved
with practiced ease
demons whisper
in the giggling breeze

golden doorways open wide
but who knows what is inside?
weary pilgrims put down cash on
vistas of unfathomed passion


Thursday, November 23, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

mommy, where is daddy?
little katie cried
he has gone away, my darling
gone for a long long ride

he shot a man in cheyenne
with his trusty forty four
now they’ll string him up in the morning
and his feet won’t touch the floor

oh mother say it is not so
little katie wailed
the moon is but an ember
the horizon doth grow pale

tomorrow leaves will fall from trees
and highways glow with rain
mothers will feed their children bacon
and wild horses roam the plains

waitresses will pour coffee
for truck drivers named hank
and lawyers draw up papers
for the presidents of banks

wise women will mix potions
and wise men scratch their heads
dogs and children jump and shout
but poor daddy will be dead


Wednesday, November 22, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

just because i don’t exist
just because i have never been kissed
just because i have no name
and my life is such a shame

just because my hair’s not curly
and my teeth are not quite pearly
just because i walk alone
and my head is filled with stones

just because you shake your head
at the life that i have led
and confidently assume
that i am marked for doom

will the sun not shine on me
may i not dream of being free?
if i find a dollar in the street
may my heart not skip a beat?

must only the beautiful and rich
who never sleep in park or ditch
and are never rounded up by the county
enjoy the universe’s bounty?

just because you can not see me
and my skin’s not soft and creamy
does not mean i can not dream
as i float down time’s dark stream


Tuesday, November 21, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

i am i
and you are you
what’s false for you
for me is true

if you could look
inside my mind
you might be surprised
at what you find

i walk the earth
alone and cursed
i who am last
but should be first

the lights are bright
in windows high
the night is dark
i hear a cry

a cry from the center
of the earth
is it a new age
giving birth?

is it a herald
of the dawn
or only the world
just carrying on?


Monday, November 20, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

in springtime i do wander
i wander down the lane
i see a fly caught in a web
and feel its fear and pain

a troop of ants comes up the road
intent upon its task
perhaps with some great purpose
but who am i to ask?

i see a bee attack a flower
and admire its industry
i hear a bird upon a branch
singing wild and free

i scan the flat horizon
and spy a placid cow
that may turn out a beefsteak
but not right now

for now the sun shines on the cow
as it shines upon my head
my head is feeling fine, thank you
because i took my meds

it seems so calm and peaceful
but is always on the move
i love everything and everybody
because i am in the groove


Friday, November 17, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

they live on the hill
where little birds sing
they go everywhere
and have everything

they sit by the pool
butlers bring drinks
they don’t care
what anyone thinks

with a flick of the ash
of their big cigars
they shake the earth
and put out the stars

they live high on the hog
high on the hill
they leave no pies
on their window sill

their names are henry
and henrietta
you think you know
but they know better

you cry for your pa
you can weep for your ma
but the hillside answers
ha ha ha


Wednesday, November 15, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

gerald was a g-man
and hunted bad guys down
and when the bad guys were locked up
he was the toast of the town

the ladies flocked around him
like bees around a peach
and all the mysteries of love
to gerald they did teach

gerald went to the steak house
ordered three t-bone steaks
and ate them up all by himself
because he was not a fake

the president called on gerald
to go on a secret mission
to serve the cause of freedom
was gerald’s sole ambition

gerald went to the station
and climbed upon the bus
and he has not been heard from since
but you know he is saving us


Tuesday, November 14, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

who killed the flowers?
cried henry ford
as he passed the plate
and praised the lord

what is this sun
that dares not shine
when all i want
is what is mine

whose are these eyes
that laugh at me
when all i want
is to be free

must petals fall
when i walk by
must birds and bugs
avert their eyes

were curses rained
upon my name
when little bob
shot jesse james?

a cloud passed by
the poor man raved
a raindrop fell
on an undug grave


Monday, November 13, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

for previous poem in series, click here

e for effort
f for fake
it takes a big fish
to swim a big lake

fred was a fisherman
true and patient
he worked all week
at the railway station

he fished on sunday
with his dog at his side
he never caught big ed
but he surely tried

big ed was as smart
as adam’s own snake
it takes a big fish
to swim a big lake


Monday, November 6, 2017


by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

i dreamed i was a carrot
and a rabbit was my best friend
and we watched through a broken window
as the train came round the bend

old number nine
old number nine
oh old number nine
when will you be mine?

i dreamed that i was julia child
and hitler was my mom
but i could not get the pope to see
where i was coming from

i dreamed i was a cucumber
drowning in a glass of bock
as marx and lenin lectured me
on the meaning of culture shock

if all my dreams were pennies
and the mornings all were candy
i would sail through the air like a frigidaire
and say that everything was dandy

casey jones was my best friend
and slept in a bottle of gin
and he may not remember me
but i remember him

Thursday, November 2, 2017

poem for nobody

by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

everybody is a dancer
everybody is a clown
everybody is an elephant
when the circus comes to town

everybody is a lion
waiting to be tamed
who dances the hoochie-coochie
and then feels so ashamed

everybody is billy jones
trying to win a prize
everybody is sally smith
rolling her blue eyes

everybody is slim carter
reeling in the marks
everybody is the bearded lady
dreaming in the dark

everybody is pastor wilson
trying to close the carnival down
everybody is mrs wilson
sipping tea with a frown

don’t you remember the old days
when folks liked to have fun?
i know that i remember
but i may be the only one