Monday, June 26, 2017


him in his Armani
suit with extra arm holes
buying Earth for Sqinux
his nephew by assimilation
for target practice


Alien in the Kitchen

First, the Visitor:
sniffing the jars
bottles and so on,
sampling cabinet doors.

Squeezin’ the cook
paper-towel roll too
grabbing onto the walls
stressing them peculiarly.

Next was the Visitor
wafting through the house
poking the dog/guppy/armoire
rummaging intrusively

Then was the Visitor
slapped on the cutting board
Earl’s hand engulfing
its wriggling-tentacled head

Simmering bubbling
abanging the lid
holding its breath
and staying quite tough

The meal, a powerful
passel of chewing
swallowing in extremis
ended at last

Lastly, the Visitor
bending their bowels
reconstituting its body
most grievously.


Fly away, now

The ladybug leaned against the window frame and crossed its lower right leg over its lower left. It took a drag from a nearly microscopic cigar and blew an even smaller smoke ring.

"Yep, this is all mine. I made the whole shebang," it added, by way of explanation, seeing John's look of confusion.

John had written about talking pigs, etc., but never a talking insect. Was one kind of talking animal more or less improbable than another? Somehow it seemed that talking mammals were more plausible than bugs.

"Hello! Anybody in there?" The ladybug pointed at John with the cigar.

"What? All what? The whole shebang of what?" John clicked save, though he'd written so little that losing the file wouldn't matter much.

"Everything. The universe. Didn't even take a week." If an insect ever looked smug, this one did.

John shook his head vigorously to clear his mind. "Ha ha. It almost sounded like you said you created the universe. But you know, we already know who did that. There's a book about it, maybe you've heard of it." Having come to the conclusion that he was hallucinating, John had decided to play along.


"You think I'm stupid? Of course I know about the book, I wrote it. Surely you don't think your primitive ancestors were equipped to handle the information that they had been invented by a bug. You don't seem to be doing too well with it yourself." The ladybug stubbed the cigar out on the window sill and tossed the butt out the window. John winced. He hated litterbugs.

"You know, that's bad for you. Bad for the environment too. North Carolina and Virginia should never have gotten started cultivating tobacco in the first place. And, what's up with evolution? Is it real? Are birds really dinosaurs? And, if you're a benevolent God, why do bad things happen to good people? Is it really so we can have free will? Because, you know, I don't think that's a legitimate justification."

The ladybug seemed to sigh. "I don't think you've been paying attention. That benevolent god crap was something humans made up because they can't handle the truth. Who said I was benevolent? Why should I be? Arthropods are "r" strategists. Have enough kids and some are bound to survive. Benevolence is neither necessary nor desirable. And it's not like you're real. All I have to do is snap my --"


John scraped the bug guts off on the edge of the sill and tossed the book down on his desk. It was time for a drink.

Publ. Apr. 15, 2010,

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Takes a Cool Head

In the middle of the mall
a shopper fell to the floor,
writhing and jerking back-snappingly
gargling incoherent pleas
then coming apart in smaller and smaller chunks
swiftly disintegrating
into a dispersing crowd
of juvenile advertimorphs

onlookers stampeded

they always forget, the Inspector said
the ads are annoying
but it's the mod-wasps to look out for
why I always wear Cutters 3000
and earplugs
added benefit: I talk first and listen last
if at all


Donald Trump goes back in time to inauguration day, tells his former self to stop playing golf, so he'll have time to wipe out ISIS in 30 days. past-Trump kills his future self, has Spicer bury him in the Rose Garden, keeps on playing. What's important here, right?!



Something was trying to crawl out of the pool. Cele turned on the light. The carpet was wet all the way to the couch. A lobefin squeezed its eyes shut against the glare, then opened them again and dragged itself past the TV towards her.

“Urrk,” it croaked, and pushed up on its forelimbs. A low wave ran up behind it from the dark, quiet sea that had replaced the wall. The wave ran under the couch, and presumably was soaked up by the remaining dry part of the carpet.

“Tim,” Cele called over her shoulder, “Fish!”

Her husband came in from the kitchen. “Kelly’s pool’s a bit full. I’ll drive ‘em down to the river in the morning.”

“I think they taste good.”

“Cook ‘em then.” But Tim was such a good cook anything she made would be a disappointment. She sighed.

“Tell you what. In the morning I’ll drop them off at St. Mark’s, instead. They can cook some coelacanth steaks for the clients and it won’t go to waste.”

Cele smiled and got to her feet. “You are so good to me! I don’t deserve it.” She patted him as he staggered by with the lobefin in his arms.

In the shower she had to shut her eyes. Sunlight shone in from where the ceiling used to be with blinding intensity. Her thoughts drifted to Tim. Immersed in an erotic daydream, Cele took a while to realize she wasn’t imagining her body shaking. Her eyes shot open. The shower stall shook to a heavy beat. It reminded her of that scene in “Jurassic Park;” with the ponderous but swift footsteps of an approaching tyrannosaur. She looked up.


Tim dashed up the stairs. Cele was standing in the hall, shrieking and trembling. He encircled her with his arms and stroked her, making calming noises. Eventually he got her to tell him what was wrong.

“You’re shivering,” he said. “Go put something on. I’ll check the shower.” He opened the bathroom door and strode inside. A few moments later he came back out. “I don’t see any…. Cele?”

A wet area on the carpet marked where she had stood. He hunted all through the apartment and found no more trace of her than that. Unless you count a meter-long placoderm, flopping on the bedroom floor in front of her open closet.

Publ. Daily Cabal, 2011

Saturday, June 24, 2017


sun shining
from each leaf-caught drop
clouds disperse after rain