For Lloyd

When in waking hours

no relief to be found

Only poison left to quell the din

subdue the competing voices within

dosed to relegate

a conscience more sedate

Then for some hours to breath

In repose years erased

no barrier to my travels

I take the place and time of my choice

My journey to these realms may find

Mr. Montgomery’s closet and

the long, woolen overcoat scented

with briar and aromatic leaf

and romanticized memories of night skies

over Hanover ’43

The man who made it home

paid the price for living free

yet still sacrifice his only progeny

You taught us to be men

as only you knew how

I didn’t know it then

but I understand it now


April 1980

Southbound 57

Perpetual Change at volume

blown channels disguised

by open windows

First time past the great river

to places with more sand

and waters foreign to my tongue

A new sun

A new air to breath

and the relief of being unknown

Prepares you for death in a strange century

We could harvest the slag heaps

or move to higher ground

We’d rather go home

but roads no longer go back

to that familiar place

Where we dreamt that someday

we’d be up late at night

sharing Johnny Carson’s ashtray

My endorsement for the honest politician

In the ugly and crowded field of 2020 presidential contenders the most monumental task is in deciding which of these to despise the most.  We have entered the phase where the pretenders, the Quixotic warriors, have begun to exit the field. Some go in shame, while others depart as they entered: completely unnoticed. Politics is an ugly business. It attracts the worst among us and it brings out the worst in us. In presidential election years this is magnified ten-if-not-twenty fold.

I make observations and often share my criticisms. One would scour my catalogue long and hard to find an occasion where I have lavished praise upon any candidate. The search would be fruitless. While I may favor the positions taken by one side or another on a case by case basis, I have no affiliation with either of the two primary parties. I firmly believe that political parties are inherently evil, and yes, some more evil than others. In the few too many decades I have spent on this planet, there has yet to be a politician who has provided me with a suitable explanation of why the fuck I require governing.

I have recently stumbled upon an obscure, independent presidential candidate. He is a completely self-absorbed narcissist, completely void of principle or core conviction. He would lie, cheat and steal, even pimp his own mother to win an election. Indeed, a misanthrope of monumental magnitude; a man who, were he in possession of any scruples, they would most certainly belong to someone else. These are all top calibre qualities for anyone to succeed in politics, yet sadly few will ever even hear of this man. Despite the gift of all these stellar qualities this man has one fatal shortcoming: he is honest.

An honest politician? Preposterous you say? Well, what follows here is the candidate’s own press release to announce his campaign:

This is to announce the candidacy for the president of the United States of Mr. Ralph Nota. Mr. Nota is running under the banner of the Go Fuck Yourself Party. Here is, in his own words, the campaign manifesto

” Hi, I’m Ralph Nota and I’m running for president. I’m here to bathe in your fawning adulation. I won’t ask how any of you are doing because, well… I really don’t give a shit. Okay, so here’s the deal. I’m part of a mob who’s looking to throw out the current mob. Things aren’t gonna be one bit different for you, you’re not important. What is important is that my mob gets control so we can take care of ourselves and put the other mob in jail. Or kill ’em, whichever is easier to clean up. So we’re gonna need your money and your vote because you just can’t vote for that other guy. He’s terrible, right? Come on! Don’t you listen to the news? A vote for Ralph Nota assures that for the next four years I will wipe my ass daily with the US Constitution and pretend that all you motherfuckers don’t even exist. My economic plan is to cash in early and often. All you motherfuckers are on your own, except for the crumbs we’ll allow you to keep. We’ll do just enough to keep you on that government teat so you won’t wander off of the plantation. We’ll pass more laws for you to obey and for us to break with impunity. Then we’ll come back here in four years and do it all again. We’ll have some new bogeyman or shiny object to distract your attention from any substantive matters, and you will thank us for it. Because you’re all dumbasses and I’m better than you are. That’s why I should be president. Fuck you all and thanks for your support.”


There it is folks. This guy doesn’t have a prayer, but hell! At least he’s honest.


…if the universe

“What if”, my friend Fritz has asked me. In those moments unguarded I am caught, unawares. He bludgeons me with his bitter irony. And yet I always accept more.

“What if, my friend, the universe is indeed nothing more than some vast, fetid pool of reproductive goop….”

Goop? I interrupt him, quite certain this is not a term common to 19th century German. He continues unfazed…

“…. a festering, susurrating ocean of seed and egg co-mingled. A perfect, self sustaining machine of cells, combining and recombining…”

He was again sounding more German. I decided to not fixate on the goop.

“….and all life is attuned to this symphony by olfactory bulb; no memory, only direct stimulus to the brain stem.”

Fritz comes and goes. Often he is here and only sits as a silent observer. Other times he concerns me.

“Yes, my friend. A pheromone paradigm, eh? What do you think, Thomas? In that construct what is the supreme being?”

On some occasions he simply will not leave until engaged. I had to reply.

“Well, Freddy, in that construct I will say that the supreme being is Ramses Buttplug the XVI, the Great Intergalactic Aardvark. He crawls about the catwalks above the space/time fabric, probing the goop with his long, sticky tongue. He sucks up entire planets indiscriminately with each dip from the pool, thereby dispensing justice in an entirely objective manner.”

He remained silent a while. I had almost begun to believe he had gone.

“Ja, I had forgotten about the Aardvark, but you are wrong my friend! In that construct it is we, the ants, who are supreme. Through our consumption the Aardvark is poisoned.”

His logic is ever infallible. I forever dread his coming; I forever dread his absence. He pours two tumblers of whiskey, then raises his glass in toast.

“God is dead?”

I raise my glass in reply, “He is indeed dead, for we have killed him.”

We drink in silence. Then he is gone. My friend Fritz.

Time and space

All these twisted, tortured memories

have their own anatomy

Pieces only meant to fit

into certain symmetry

Something ugly shimmers in the airwaves

stealing it all

to put out on display

A subject now to all manner of decay

Hyperconnected for communion

It’s the new mental health therapy

where every psychosis is shared

The fabric of this space is folded

and goes nowhere


Mother Superior


A Doom and Reprisal report from Ale 81 Inn field correspondent, Ford Wenty


I surely hope that the pews of Mother Superior’s private chapel are padded. All of the kneeling required for her prayerful reflection must play hell on her near octogenarian knees. It is clear that, due to long hours massaging her rosary beads, arthritis has set into those bony digits; so much so that it was necessary to make a little starter tear in her copy of the SOTU address to avoid the colossal embarrassment of a mid-rip failure. Despite the fact that she is no longer able to firmly grip a ruler she has yet managed, through a combination of cheap vodka, prescription pain killers and an indomitable will, to maintain an order among her increasingly rebellious charges.

Through her long years of pious existence in service of the Church, Mother Superior has developed a possession of spirit common to zealots of every stripe. Under any creed there breaths nothing more deadly than the true believer, for they are awash in whatever flavor of holy spirit that their gods dispense. Becoming one with the spirit infects the corporeal being with the certainty that they, the true believer, are to act as the very instrument of their god on earth. The warning signs for when a zealot’s meter has grown full are not always obvious. Some of the more common manifestations are confusion, slurred speech and wearing white out of season; all three of which the Mother Superior exhibits with regularity.

This righteous fervor blinds one to practical realities, a small price to pay for such heightened enlightenment to be sure, but no less debilitating to navigation in the physical realm. It must have been in this weakened and vulnerable state that she allowed herself to accept the counsel of the Torquemada Twins, Adam and Jerrold. There are certainly more boisterous voices in the flock, but no others with the tools of Inquisition at their disposal. In the throes of her delusions of grandeur Mother Superior could not see beyond to the possible consequences: what should happen if their quarry were to escape?

Throughout history there have been bold prophets to proclaim the date of the end, usually through some construct which entails their being cast in some messianic role. There seems to be some manner of universal prune juice which causes societies to excrete these at roughly decade intervals. Most fade into history and are forgotten; those which we know range from the infamous, a la Jim Jones, to the pathetic Heaven’s Gate exit in 1997.  In those two examples the prophets went the way of their own prophecies, but the more forgettable cases end with shame and exits of a less permanent nature.

Mother Superior now stands before us painted in that very shame, but no quitter is she. She is of that rare breed who, even after utter public repudiation, will carry on undaunted. Doubling and tripling down on the same delusions, repurposed and repackaged daily to fit the ever changing news cycle. In semi-lucid moments she angrily rattles her beads as she shakes her fists in righteous indignation. Her remaining acolytes are in tow, eagerly slobbering for her continued pronouncements. Completely oblivious to the fact that she is thoroughly discredited, they blithely go their way to parrot her words. The Dark Gospel echoes in an electronic cathedral where most no longer come to take their communion. Their sacraments of horse piss and turd biscuits do not trans-substantiate into anything higher. They, like Mother Superior herself, are only the fruits scraped from the sidewalks of her home parish.

She will at some future date depart from this realm. There, but by the Grace of God goes she, mortua sorore graditur (if my Latin is correct). And she will leave us in prayer:


Our gender neutral, benign and omnipotent, anthropomorphized, extra-corporeal entity

who resides in Washington D.C.

Hallowed be thy State

Thy Kingdom unchallenged

Thy will be imposed

Here, there and everywhere

Forever and ever