like sands through the hour glass

At birth, I cried before emerging from the womb.

At one, I learned to drive stick.

At two, I ate calamari for the first time.

At three, I traveled to Rome as the Canadian attache in charge of naval affairs.

At four, I stopped wetting my bed with the help of electroshock treatment.

At five, I suffered a nervous breakdown.

At six, I wrote a novel entitled "Where Garden Gnomes Fear to Tread"

At seven, I accidentally wet the bed while staying a weekend at the Hilton. The concierge beat me with a telephone receiver.

At eight, I won ten thousand dollars playing blackjack.

At nine, I was a guest on the Dick Cavett Show.

At ten, I read Gibbons's "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

At eleven, I burned a bag of dog shit on the porch of a grouchy old man.

At twelve, I watched the movie "Shane" for the first time.

At thirteen, I jumped off a bridge. Later that week, all my friends jumped off a bridge, too.

At fourteen, I burned ants with matches. Later that week, I burned my dog with a blow torch.

At fifteen, I sat on Santa's lap and asked for an aircraft carrier.

At sixteen, I stole a box of wheat crackers from a bag lady who lived in a cardboard box under a bridge.

At seventeen, I punched a kid at church in the balls for saying the word "yowza." I'd warned him.

At eighteen, I joined the circus and grew a second penis.

At nineteen, I learned how to play bocce ball.

At twenty, I swam with translucent jellyfish on a tropical island in the Pacific.

At twenty-one, I served three months in prison for hit and run.

At twenty-two, I rejoined the circus and grew a third penis.

At twenty-three, I traveled as a roadie with the Rolling Stones.

At twenty-four, I voluntarily admitted myself into a mental health facility.

At twenty-five, I learned sign language.

At twenty-six, I took a dump in a grocery store parking lot and cleaned myself with a brown paper bag.

At twenty-seven, my pet turtle, Chester, drowned in a swimming pool.

At twenty-eight, I embezzled three million dollars from a teachers' pension fund.

At twenty-nine, I read the Bible from beginning to end.

At thirty, I readmitted myself into a mental health facility.

At thirty-one, I joined the Peace Corps.

At thirty-two, I beat and robbed travelers and left them for the lions while on safari in the Serengeti.

At thirty-three, I became a Jehovah's Witness. At thirty-three and a half, I became a former Jehovah's Witness.

At thirty-four, in a drunken stupor, I fell and knocked my head and received a serious concussion.

At thirty-five, I rejoined the Jehovah's Witnesses and took a job demonstrating carpet shampooers door to door.

At thirty-six, I had my third penis removed and placed in a glass jar.

At thirty-seven, I completed the Sunday New York Times crossword and celebrated by jumping off a bridge. Several days later, all my friends jumped off a bridge, too.

At thirty-eight, I entered law school and worked nights grooming camels.

At thirty-nine, after losing a race for Congress on the revived Bull Moose Party ticket, I wandered into a Brazilian jungle wearing nothing but a rubber raincoat and saltwater sandals.


it is just a hole in the ground

A small group of people gathered around Ernest. "Everyone," said Ernest, "this is a hole in the ground."
"Why, it's a hole in the ground," stated Mrs. Chainsaw cheerfully.
"Don't need no damn hole in the ground," grumbled Mr. Garden Hose.
"Oh, I beg to differ. There is a wide variety of uses for a finely dug hole in the ground," mused Professor Leaf Rake.
"I saw on the TV that they's dug a real big hole in the ground over in some town somewhere," said someone.
"Well, it is just a hole in the ground," replied Ernest.

The small group of people swelled until it was a crowd of people lined around the hole. "Whatcha gonna do with it," asked Mr. Oil Stain.
"I'll give yer two bits fer'it," offered Mr. Garden Hose.

a day begins like any other

Sleeping. Sleeping in a car. Sleeping in a car driving into another car. Dying in a car. Careening into traffic. Careening into a canyon of surprised armadillos. Armed children roaming the backwater spaces of America. Dusty teeth and swollen tongues. Sleeping in the staring sun under a black tarp. A cloud of flies under a black tarp in the staring sun. Hordes of flies in a dying canyon under the careful eyes of daisies. Sleeping. Sleeping in the dust and daisies, roaming the backwater spaces of America. The pope is in the desert searching for his teeth. Barking dogs ask why the clouds fill the sky with questions. A child sleeps in a car surrounded by sagebrush and morning kildeer. On the dash, a jar of strawberry jelly and a plastic spoon.


listless urine art bleats

Let's Pretend to be Beavers and Build Dams
That's grapes, it farts with a milkshake, bards and steaks, an arrow pain -
Lenny boos a panty raid. I am hurried, OK, listen to your shelves burn -
wood slivers brown seeds, don't whittle your brown seeds. Throw it up ralph ralph,
who's there, grapes no, drapes no. Latter Day Saints who fear awful lights,
dune lights. Tire in a dryer, exterminate the severed heads in a parking lot so
dire and a wombat fight. Elf hair, was no chumming in a slurry with the Murrays
weaving goose down pillows. Ream by ream supporters waffled, clumps of toothy
cops. Like on that shallow plain! Whatever. Uh oh, overkill, pop your zits,
commie gropes, and hair dos. Shave your legs, sever your shaft. Wood brews its
own mead, listless urine art bleats. Tinfoil me with the rupture and the
revving tent in the night - ah-ight. You vitrified, pistol whipped, Shazam, Spam, Orange
Jell-O, translucent pretty food.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams and I got mine.

Sex on a dock - fishy odor. Don't be distraught in orange glower. Hash and ferns,
Jesus, glisten like an elf, child. Pluck him in unicorns and bra snapping,
flood insurance. Anti-aging cream cake. Anti-aging Cincinnati. Flights and handles,
slight emotive. Stoop drown, stoop drown. Catch a bulrush, hush hush. Oy vey,
you mean no beer - clown's here. Rent a game and share Claire! A peppermint,
a peppermint, a peppermint of eyes. Awful me some lotions, awful me aloe vera,
and I deplane.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams and I got mine.

Sister Sledge trapped in a nice continental breakfast ride. Mount St. Helens.
Christian Slater. Ronald Reagan, Danny Partridge and Conrad Baines.
Bison privy, clam chowder, Jell-O bags, kapow! You sympathetic, patronizing,
Spam, but knock, OK? OK.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams.
Let's pretend to be beavers and build dams and I got mine...mine...

(adapted from "It's the End of the World As We Know It," with apologies to REM)

a can of soup ties its shoes

A can of soup grows in Brooklyn. A can of soup lines up to join the Army. A can of soup practices the piano. A can of soup speaks to the Rotary Club. A can of soup comes home from war. A can of soup paints a self portrait. A can of soup shoots its brains out. A can of soup ice skates in Central Park. A can of soup gets the sniffles. A can of soup takes a job on Wall Street. A can of soup takes night classes. A can of soup gets married. A can of soup celebrates his bar mitzvah. A can of soup pilgrimages to Mecca. A can of soup walks on the moon. A can of soup suffers from arthritis. A can of soup purses its lips. A can of soup wears a top hat. A can of soup votes Republican. A can of soup marches against the war. A can of soup rusts on a sunny day. A can of soup has children. A can of soup reads the newspaper. A can of soup stares out the window. A can of soup dies, dreaming of all the lovely soup cans in the world.

ham ham ham ham

Ham bones, pink ham, canned ham, hams across America, President George W. Ham, ham shank, spiral ham, Boston Ham Sox, Ham I am, ham-a-rific, ham-tastic, ham-diddly-doo, how much is that ham in the window?, I left my ham in San Francisco, there is no ham there, the cow jumped over the ham, eating her curds and ham, ham radio, ham television, 50 Ways to Leave Your Ham, hamster, ham on toast, ham sandwich, ham-faced, Ham Flakes, tie a ham around the old oak tree, the Star Spangled Ham, put a ham in your butt, Elvis Presley-shaped ham, The Ham Also Rises, ham trading cards, 1965 Pontiac Ham, the Great Wall of Ham, ham on a stick, the Grateful Ham, ham-flavored M & M's, hamhead, ham-fisted, no sense crying over spilt ham, ham-scented toilet paper, ham water, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Hams, Mr. Gorbachev--tear down this ham, ham leather, get off my ham, gee your ham smells terrific, we have nothing to fear but ham itself, World War Ham, No Ham Zone, no ham no foul, start spreadin' the ham. Ham, can you hear me?

knick knacks, refuse, and outright trash

The hitchhiker slept slumped against the cinder block wall. Seven feet above him an ancient metallic sign advertising Phil's Soothing Foot Wart Pads shone in the late afternoon sun. In the dumpster, five empty apple juice boxes, three aluminum beer cans filled with chewing tobacco spit, seventeen assorted newspapers and catalogs, six soiled diapers--two cloth and four disposable, two used syringes, a bucket of chicken bones, seventy corndog sticks, two dozen empty sixty-four ounce beer bottles, a Spanish-English/English-Spanish dictionary, eight empty prescription bottles, four banana peels, two whole bananas, a skateboard, a dead cat, a plastic bag full of human hair, a tube sock full of thumb tacks, a portable radio covered in dried barf, thirty-three stray kernels of corn, an Etch-a-Sketch, three hundred and one paper clips, two wasp nests, a pie plate, fourteen dozen cigarette butts, six used condoms, a half dozen empty bottles of strawberry wine, one empty bottle of raspberry wine, a biography of Lee Iacocca, three expired packages of steaks with prices twice marked down, twenty-three wads of gum, sixty-seven candy bar wrappers, fourteen moldy loaves of white bread, ten loaves of moldy wheat bread, five empty tins of chili con carne, two dozen empty cans of dog food, fourteen empty cans of cat food, five empty bottles of motor oil, two empty bottles of STP, three dozen empty cans of snuff style chewing tobacco, two Playboys, a plastic football, four pencils with teeth marks, a 1987 Chicago Bears calendar, fifty-eight empty packs of cigarettes, three hundred plus cash register and gas pump receipts, and other various paraphanelia, knick knacks, refuse, and outright trash, including a monocle and two recently opened packages of German bratwurst.

a place for frying sausages

I have no sausages for you to fry, said the old librarian. But is this not the place to fry sausages, asked the bewildered gardener.
No, it is not.
It is a gas station. Would you like a corn dog?
A gas station?
Yes, a gas station. The library has closed and converted into a gas station. The fruit leather is where the reference desk was once located.
What about a place for frying sausages, asked the bewildered gardener.
Shh, said the old librarian.

a total lack of evidence

Hey, this is Hank "The Birdmangler" Buttpinscher, Jr., again. My court-appointed attorney, Frank Linmint, just called (Why does he have a phone in solitary confinement, you ask? Hmm, good question. Another good question, smart guy, would be how not one but two guys came to be known as "Birdmangler"). Anyway, to get to the gist of the matter, I'd like to say my last post was for entertainment purposes only, just like a big 'ol ceramic tobacco pipe, and in no way should anyone, especially Sheriff Jimbo Joe Jake Jackson Jones, Jr., take that post for serious. Neither should he or some group of vigilante types or a troop of boy scouts or other nosy people like that crime-solving priest Mr. Cunningham go on a digging trip behind my garage under the large pile of grass clippings, especially since my case is bein' appealed cuz of a total lack of evidence.

under the large pile of grass clippings

Another guest post by Hank"The Birdmangler" Buttpinscher, Jr., reporting from inside solitary confinement:

You know, being on the "inside" sure makes a guy realize all the stuff he takes for granted on the outside. For one thing, when your rear itches here and you reach inside your britches to take care of it, the guards think you're pulling a knife out of your rear. Then the next thing you know you're in a headlock and your eyes are full of pepper spray and a guard pulls your right arm behind your back in a half nelson and your 5% loss of motion in your shoulder becomes a 10% loss of motion and then you start crying and all the guys are snickering and hooting and hollering and calling you bad names you don't want to repeat like "The Birdmangler" is a big fat dingleberry or "The Birdmangler" is quite the silly goose, and then you wish you could kill again, just take guys like they're your neighbor wife's husband and run them over with your tractor and then hack them to pieces and bury them behind your garage under the large pile of grass clippings.

a brilliant kind of nonsense

Why, this is a brilliant kind of nonsense, said the student to the professor. The professor--a motorcycle enthusiast salmon with shiny, silvery scales, wavy hair, gold tooth, and a monocle, replied, yes, this is a brilliant kind of nonsense, thank you for noticing, now toot toot off you go get off my lawn do your homework and memorize the periodic table of contents may be under pressure before tomorrow I will assign more homework and not tell you anything about it, OK? This is a brilliant kind of nonsense, said the student to the professor.

promising to send postcards

The family sat around the breakfast table eating ostrich eggs and pickle relish. "Please pass the used motor oil," asked Mother. "Please drown yourself in a vat of boiling monkey urine," said Sister to Brother. "I'm rubber and you're glue," said Grandmother to Pasty, the family's pet fly strip. "Are you quite finished with my eggs," asked the annoyed ostrich. Father sat in his customary seat, reading the backs of cereal boxes and sobbing. "The puzzles, the puzzles," he muttered, but no one paid attention.

Some time later, in a terrible fit of anger, Pasty ran away from home in a violent windstorm, promising to send postcards back home to her "family of schmucks," yet she was blown into a cinder block wall at a nearby gas station where she stuck to an ancient metallic sign advertising Phil's Soothing Foot Wart Pads. There she stayed, in good weather and bad, thinking of Father sobbing, his chest heaving, the end of his nose dripping snot.

in some effete town somewhere

Not more than five minutes later the hitchhiker realized that he needed to use the facilities. He might have considered relieving himself behind the dumpster, but the last time he tried that the owner of Bud's Gas Station Bistro and Patisserie in some effete town somewhere shot his shotgun straight in the air and told the hitchhiker to "git." This is how the hitchhiker came to be in this place leaned up against a cinder block wall next to a dumpster at a gas station in some town somewhere that he can't find on a map and probably can't remember how to spell, like Coeur d'Alene or Hopscotch or Truth or Cosequences or Elko or Shit on a Stick, Saskatchewan. Gathering his courage the hitchhiker walked into the gas station mini mart grabbing his crotch and dancing and hopping up and down. "Need the key for the restroom, please. Ooh, is that a real monocle?"

a melange of flies

Many months later the hitchhiker found himself in a gas station deep in the woods of some place he'd never heard of and couldn't find on a map. He bought a bottle of cold root beer and leaned up against a cinder block wall next to a dumpster. It was summer and the rancid trash, full of paper pop cups, hot dog wrappers, and soiled diapers attracted a melange of flies. "Melange," thought the hitchhiker, rolling the word across his tongue like a sweet, after dinner liquer. "Melange." I was there a few months ago, some tired old town stuck in the hot hills of Georgia. "No," it was some guy I met in a phone booth twenty years ago frantically looking for a dime. The hitchhiker gulped his root beer, belched, and thought of his beloved, dead wife.