Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who's Yer Daddy?

The Snake is King!
(Who's yer daddy?)

—Ann Menebroker, Sacramento

We were heading for Utah in an old car without
a working heater.  The temperature dropped.  It began
snowing fiercely.  Dad finally had to get out to put on
chains, which made him so chilled and sick, we had
to find a motel to stay the night (and a half pint
of Old Grandad to warm him).  There were six of us, including
my stepmother, two half-brothers (one just a baby) and my
other two brothers.  Dad put my brothers and me in our
own room, and the four of them in another
and the next day we headed on to Salt Lake City, no warmth
from the broken heater, little conversation from the adults
and me, at age fifteen, wondering why people don't fix what's broken.



Wish you were here to climb trees with me. Lots
of woodpeckers to catch. We'd look down from
the tip of the tallest pine, and Mom's not here to
stop me, like that time by the waterfall when
Dad stepped over the rail and walked out to the
edge, and I was right behind except Mom
grabbed me with one hand and the railing in the
other screaming all the way to the car. But
nothing exciting ever happens here. We just walk
single file across the meadow to the lake, muddy
toes and a counselor takes pictures, and then we
have a Nehi (I love orange) and walk back to
camp. I miss you but I guess you won't get this
because tiger cats don't get mail.

—Taylor Graham, Placerville


—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

what a legacy you’ve given me, Daddy
my speakeasy Daddy, young man of the ‘20s and ‘30s
golden age of romps and ruckus
my low-voiced nerves
all based on your love of Mae West
and Jean Harlow, Garbo

Mom in her 40s going grey
you wanted her to bleach her hair
formerly dark brown
you wanted to live out your fantasy of blondes

the slinky blondes in low-cut evening gowns
satin slouching across the room
cigarettes dangling from scarlet lips
polished fingernails trailing along a man’s rough beard
he might be a spy or a detective who snarled at her
slapped her around
only what she deserved
these blondes of your dreams, Daddy,
and you, the hard-boiled gunman

Daddy you home-loving pussy cat
you could never be the tough guy you dreamed about
throwing hot coffee in the blonde’s face
to disfigure her for life
following Mae West upstairs
Marlene Dietrich telling Orson Welles
“You don’t look so good, have a candy bar”

in your dreams, Daddy, you drank with these blondes
cocktails for two, danced with them on a shadowed terrace
kissed them high up in a New York penthouse
lured them to bed
in your dream of deep night, deep in the arms of love
with your favorite blondes

I’ve always tried my best, Daddy,
one way or another,
to live out your dream of hell-bent desire 


—Michael Cluff, Corona

Never wore Mary Janes
or Doc Martens
did not have a tv
to her name
was near average
every day of her quiet life.

Took the bus from Home Gardens
to Lake Elsinore every Wednesday
to feed the ducks
with stale fritos and pita
from the tables
she hardly had ever eaten
from or cleaned in glee.

Decided one Labor Day
to do nothing
except exist
waiting until the stars
finally sang for her
alone, in and near harmony.


I feel sorry for those who wave street signs for companies
especially in the summer heat in Sacramento
The pavement cooks and sunburns their sweaty skin through their soaked T-Shirts
as they breath car exhaust fumes
Yet they still must smile and lively-dance with music headphones
Liquid breaks likely provide little relief from what probably starts to feel like hell on earth 
For this, can't help but notice the increase of the use instead of sign-waving manikins
like what I saw at a popular sandwich chain on 65th Street
Who can blame them, not finding anyone to hire who will wear a big-eyed cartoon pickle costume...

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


Considering the 50th anniversary of the 1962 "Great Escape" from Alcatraz prison this June:
You know, the case which they made into a Robert Redford movie
about how three prisoners escaped "the rock" island—fooled guards with dummy heads at night which they made to look like they were still in their beds
(If you've seen these heads in the former prison museum today, they're pretty good "art" from a mixture of soap, toilet paper and real hair!)
The prisoners climbed through ventilation shafts to get outside prison walls
then left the island in a makeshift raft out of rubber raincoats
Can you imagine? the U.S Marshal and FBI are still looking for the "disappeared" brothers Clarence and John Anglin and Frank Morris
because bodies of them were never recovered out of the San Francisco Bay
If they had survived the cold ocean tides,
Gee, what threat would these former Alcatraz inmates present today anyway if they are still alive in their 80's?!
If they ever are found, why not absolve them of their crimes, and treat them as local legends?

—Michelle Kunert 


Today's LittleNip:

I bet, after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him "father."

—Will Rogers



Mr. Pickles