Monday, August 27, 2018

Overheard at Table 2: Jacksonville Shooter

Billy: Heard there was another shooting in Jacksonville.

Joe: School?

Jim: Nope.

Bob: Work?

Billy: Nah.

Joe: Military base?

Jim: Video game tournament.

Bob: Video game tournament?

Billy: Well, that certainly gives takes 'First Person Shooter' to a whole 'nutha level.

Joe: Some out there listenin' might say that now ain't the time for jokin'.

Jim: I'd say it's the perfect time for jokin'.

Bob: Nothing else seems to be working.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Overread at Booth 1: Poem for August 8th

Poem for August 8th, the Winter of our Contentment


Slip out and slip better

in the pattern balm,

the midnight spiders that you swallow in the callous keep

will keep you solid until the dawn.


You know better than to polish a wooden nickel,

You should have been taught how to tie your own shoes

but you never realized that Time has something nagging in store for you,

it’s called the scars of everyone who ever did you wrong.


There are breaths that you take that you never exhale,

they are the captured summer suns on afternoons where

stars fell through the leaves of the trees,

you captured them, palms up and open wide,

where landed the kisses of the lovers you were when you were young lovers

and all love was new and every touch was pure light, pure electric spark,

pure energy, pure life.


And now, the touch is merely the comforting warmth of the cinders

of a fire that you and your lover have slowly watched slumber

as you have retold your stories and reshared the jokes that always make you

laugh together and the smiles that you share, your laugh lines are on your lover’s mouth

and your lover’s crows feet grace the corners of your eyes

and you share the same breath and you share the same smile and

you share the same forehead and you share the same face,


and this is the conclusion of the deal, this is the whole bailywick,

this is the culmination of desperate nights and ruinous days and

anxiously awaiting through every moment of “holy fuck, is this worth it?”


and the embers of that fire and the toes that you touch underneath the

blanket answer you.






holy fuck,

it was all worth it.”

NOTE: Often I will overhear or mishear some phrase, which will start a poem, and then by the second stanza the poem will be something completely different and will finish, having nothing to do with the original line.  I often wonder if I should just chop off the first line.  Probably should, but for some reason, I leave it, because even though non-sensical, it contains whatever seed that engendered the rest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Overheard at the Counter: White Anxiety

After listening to white racist tv (AKA Fox News) commentator Laura Ingraham spew bullshit about how the "America we know and love" no longer exists because of "illegal and legal immigration," combined with the rising legitimacy of White Supremacists in the USA, Mel Brooks' song "High Anxiety" came to mind.

Especially since news outlets have now legitimized racism by calling racism by a name specifically designed to make racism palatable to their viewers.  "White Anxiety"

As though we are to have some sort of sympathy for those who already have a greater advantage, simply by the nature of their melanin content.

Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks, arranged by John Morris

High anxiety whenever you're near -
High anxiety - it's you that I fear.
My heart's afraid to fly - it's crashed before ...
But then you take my hand;
My heart starts to soar once more.

High anxiety ... it's always the same;
High anxiety ... it's you that I blame.
It's very clear to me I've got to give in.
High anxiety: you win.

White Anxiety
by Verble Gherulous
inspired by Trump and the Magats, 2018

White Anxiety, whenever they’re near
White Anxiety, it’s them that I fear
They take our jobs away, they move right in
They take our daughters hand
So they can breed more – and MORE!

White Anxiety, they all look the same
White Anxiety, it’s them that I blame
It’s white genocide by black and brown pride
White Anxiety, we’ll die!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Overread at the Counter: Kill the Pope

Verble says, "I love this guy!  I show him a cool tweet and give him a song idea and within a week, he comes up with a  full lyric.  It's like I have the ideas and he puts in all the blood, sweat, and tears!  Speaking of tears though, I don't cry.  He got that part wrong.  I wouldn't cry.... OK, maybe just a little.  But not like a little baby.  Like a grateful grown man!"

Kill the Pope

Twelve blokes outside a Tesco, shouting “Kill the Pope
They buggered off quite nicely when I said, “Someone get a rope
Met a girl from Derry headed for a street parade.
She said, “Are you out or in?”
I said, “My mind’s not made.”

This Derry girl she laughed and led me to Royal Avenue
I lost her in the crowd and rain and din of the revue.
Then two lads tugged my sleeve, and handed me a beer
They said, “You’re from Texas, mate,
But fook, we’re glad you’re here!”

Just then I turned and bumped into one from Tullamore
A woman I had dated some thirty years before
I recalled the nights we’d watch Nighthawks and she would call me “Pet.”
I said, “I bought your novel
But I haven’t read it yet.”

She introduced her lover, a girl from Ballina
Who had a tattoo on her wrist, it was the eye of Ra.
Those three eyes stared through me, laying every secret bare.
She said, “That day at Shannon,
You just left her standing there.”


The Derry girl tapped my arm, said “Let’s head to Ryan’s Bar.
The regulars know every song in the Wolfe Tones repertoire.”
She said “You seem a man who’s lonely in a crowd.”
“That’s because I’m old,” I said,
“Though I’m not ready for the shroud.”

Then she and I, those two lads, Tullamore and Ballyna
We sang Ryan’s rafters down until the final call.
Then we walked toward the docks to watch the sun arise,
Where Tullamore
Said she forgave me,
and hot tears
welled in
                my eyes.

I was always taught of one Apostolic Church
And I’ve seen religion leave many in the lurch
But redemption, kindness, decency, these things give me hope
That God loves little children and every misanthrope
And protects the pure of heart and those who cannot cope
And those who make a fortune selling Daddy’s dope.
And one day will make straight every slippery slope
And that He even loves twelve Tesco boys
Still shouting “Kill the Pope!”
He even loves twelve Tesco boys,
Still shouting “Kill the Pope!”

Kill the Pope!



2018-0805 – inspired by a tweet by Caoimhe Ní Dhónaill, first line of this song.
2018-0814 – completed work on lyrics

NOTES: the good Dr Dhónaill is, for the purposes of this song at least, from Derry.  She may or may not be from that lovely town IRL (which stands both for Ireland and also means “In Real Life” in ‘netspeak, interestingly enough).

The woman from Tullamore is real, and everything about her in verse three is true (as well as the last line in verse 4).  However, I do not know if Tullamore truly has a lover from Ballyna.  That town was chosen merely for its rhyming capability.

Verse 5, line 2, is also a nod to the good Dr, as she once sent Verble a song by the Wolfe Tones.

Verse 5, line 3, is inspired by her paper, “Emotions and Masculinity”

Verse 7, line 6, is an homage to the Ramones’ “Happy Family” which seemed oddly appropriate for this song.

The phrasing of the song is 4/4, and while writing it, I had in mind both Bob Dylan’s “Motorpsycho Nitemare” and “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.”  I also imagined the chords of those songs being played in the same guitar style as The Clash’s “London Calling.”  Additionally, the song should also be considered played in the style of the Pogues album Red Roses for Me.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Overread at the Counter: Cthulhu McQueen

I was inspired by a Twitter friend of mine, PK, from the band Blisstique, to write a song called "Cthulhu McQueen."  The name was inspired by a couple of songs we were trading back and forth.

While I am not, myself, blessed with the gene to sit down and write a poem or a song, my nephew-in-law and great friend, a shy man who wants to be known only as "MR" was able to write the song based on the parameters I gave him:  The name, and set on Long Island in the state of New York.

What he came up with, he hopes that PK may one day make into a song.   MR says it can either be 4/4 or 6/4 and has placed emphasis on the stressed syllables as they hit either 1,2,3,4 beats (4/4), or 1st and 4th beats (6/4).

He also says although he was unaware of it at the time, he may have been channeling a bit of Bruce Springsteen's "Spirits in the Night" (a song made a hit by Manfred Mann's Earth Band).


Cthulhu McQueen

I was driving through Brooklyn with Cthulhu McQueen.
We were looking for that Goth/Bohemian scene.
Gail O’Grady in the back seat, drinking styrene,
She said, “Brooklyn is dead, boys, let’s head out to Queens

At the Shepherd Metro exit there on Pitkin Avenue,
Meryl G was pacing in glittered platform shoes.
She was singing a song she called “Angelmint Blues
Gail shouted out the window, “Girl I love your Jimmy Choos!”

Cthulhu hopped in the back, Meryl took over shotgun,
Then she slipped a pink tab under my tongue with her tongue
Gail said, “What kind of mom would give that name to her son?
He said, “The kind who reads Lovecraft from the dusk until dawn.”
At the lighthouse at Montauk ‘bout a quarter past three,
I was smelling the colours of the wind through the trees.
Cthulu’s arms became tentacles sliding out from his sleeves
That wrapped around Gail, then both slipped into the sea.


I awoke to the sun  chasing away the last star,
Meryl G was snoring loudly in the back of the car.
To this day I can’t say exactly what I had seen,
But that’s the last I saw of Gail and Cthulhu McQueen.