Prince Who

You’ve heard of Dr. Who – that pompous, inscrutable, time-traveling geek who has been on TV for decades. Of course, you have. There are literally dozens of people around the world who love Dr. Who.

The British royal family recently found itself with a vacancy, so it is introducing a new action figure: Prince Who, a character intentionally modeled after Dr. Who – a morally-upright citizen who would never touch underage girls.

“A few years ago we needed to ‘Jeffrey Epstein’ some jailed American pervert. Now, you may think that’s because we were afraid of what he might have said during a trial. But that would be wrong. We just gravely believe silence is golden and snitches get stitches,” Queen Elizabeth giggled. “But, to our surprise, James Bond isn’t real. So we contacted Dr. Who. That doctor is a shapeshifting motherfucker. And, Chim Chim Cher-ee, problem solved.

Except it wasn’t. You know how Americans love spurious lawsuits -especially when children are sexually assaulted. Well, that forced us to separate a royal from life . . . public life, I mean. Because if he isn’t seen anymore, then we can ignore everything he’s done in the past.

So we created Prince Who to take his place. And more importantly to serve as a distraction. Prince Who will make you totally forget about that other guy. He is just as smug and insufferable as the original, but he has been neutered so he doesn’t touch underage girls. It was the only way we could prevent royals from touching children inappropriately.” That’s when a Beefeater rushed over and escorted the Queen away.

Tengo Leche, Social Anxiety Scholar

Darwin’s Prophet Published in Edge of Humanity Magazine

We sincerely thank Edge of Humanity Magazine for publishing our poem Darwin’s Prophet. Edge of Humanity is a wonderful magazine that publishes all kinds of writers and artists.

A link to the poem is here. https://edgeofhumanity.com/2022/01/09/darwins-prophet/

Or, if you like, you can read the poem below.

Darwin’s Prophet

Is this a fist I see which approaches my face
with steroid-assisted velocity?
Or is this a fist of the mind, an immaculate conception, 
gestating in a beer-soaked brain.

If real, that news report now rings true:
we are indeed evolving into crabs
because the fist is truly crustacean-like
huge as a Caribbean conch shell
with blue enameled calluses;
spikey ridges serving as knuckles.

Having now considered the fist close-up
perhaps it was wrong of me to so freely
and so loudly share my concerns about
your too obvious and too intimate
relations with your mother.
After all, you are simply ensuring 
your odd traits will be inherited.

So, good for you, Darwin's Prophet!

Managing to crawl all by yourself
through the septic foam fringing the shoreline
and learning to adapt in a new environment.
Your flat head and crooked legs 
proclaim that you are the pathfinder
in evolution's wilderness.

And well done, too, Darwin's Pharmacist!

Opting for an unnatural selection of supplements
to enhance bulk and brawn over brains.
Your scrunched brow crusted with barnacles
and those black pebbles passing as eyes
affirm that in the future only mutants
will be fit to survive.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief
  

This One’s About Morality

On January 5, 2022, Pope Francis delivered a sermon encouraging people to adopt children instead of pets. Now you may find it strange, or even insulting, that a group of men who are not allowed to have children are lecturing others about the need to adopt or have more children. You may even be horrified that the Catholic Church (with its sordid history of sexually abusing children) would have the gall to shame people on this topic. Those are valid points, so I intend to ignore them. Instead let’s focus on morality.

Adopting children instead of pets is clearly the moral thing to do – unless, of course, the children are LGBTQ. So let’s say you want to adopt a child. How can you tell the difference between an LGBTQ child and a perfect child? LGBTQ children are sneaky. Sometimes they are reluctant to share whether they are LGBTQ, because they suffer from a deviant defect called fear – as in fear of being ostracized or assaulted.

So how can you be sure the Catholic Church will embrace your adopted child? Here’s where Catholic priests can be really handsy. The Vatican is rolling out a new LGBTQ test. Parents, who are interested in the adoption of moral children, can contact their parish priest, and for the low price of $79.99 that priest will meet with the suspect child in the back of an unmarked white van and subject the child to a private, confidential, one-on-one LGBTQ test. All you need to do is sign the standard confidentiality agreements, waivers, releases, and covenants not to sue, which we will hold in our secure ark. You’ll need to pay the fee, too. Duh! So call now and start your adoption in the only way sanctioned by the Catholic Church. Personal checks not accepted.

Father Orifice (pronounced Orifeechee) – Chaplain of Pungent Sound Technical College of Technology

Hands Off the Mustache

I love mustaches. I come from a long line of mustachioed men. It’s my heritage, but it is also a way of life. I only socialize with people who have mustaches. Everyone at my country club wears a mustache – even the women.

There was a time when the mustache was honored. It represented dignity, fashion, and good grooming. People who could not grow a mustache were deemed second class. Poor groomers.

In the 1980s my friends and I paid for an erection. It was of a statue dedicated to Saddam Hussein, because that dude could rock a mustache. Now, yes, we were aware that Saddam was a despot who throughout his life oppressed people without mustaches. He killed and raped many of them. But that’s not why we embraced the statue’s erection. Like us, he was a fellow lover of mustaches. His belief that mustachioed people are superior to non-mustachioed people (a belief we may or may not agree with) is irrelevant.

The Saddam statue has stood in front of the courthouse for nearly 40 years, but now some people (who don’t have mustaches – I might add) have decided to take offense. Focusing solely on all the horrific things he did and stood for, they contend the statue glorifies mustache supremacy – a philosophy that many people now find abhorrent.

But that’s a lost cause. The statue honors the mustache and all the good things it has represented and continues to represent. It is our heritage and we (meaning me and my friends) should be allowed to flaunt it.

Even if society has evolved, you can’t re-write history. Perhaps most people do find mustache supremacy repugnant now. It doesn’t matter. Those people should still be forced to everyday look upon something they consider vile – if only because it makes me feel better. That’s what statues are for.

Knowgood Carp, Owner of All the Hotels on Block Island (and Some in Connecticut)

Chinos

Now this is progress.
The trash trucks are new
crisp and clean.
I can see my silver reflection
deep inside the battleship gray panel
protecting the womb where the waste is crushed.

This speaks well of my city -
removing the rust belt that trapped it
inside grungy jeans covered with coal dust.
The city can now put on a nice pair of chinos
and reasonably hope the beige stays clean.

The trucks glide to a tuneful stop
and the refuse managers emerge from the cranium
in crisp clean battleship gray uniforms.
They tenderly lift the comatose
larva-like addicts and homeless
and gently place them in the womb.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

  First Published in BOMBFIRE

A New Year

Humanity misperceives me. You seem to think that I get paid for each soul I guide to the river’s crossing, and you have been extremely generous over the last 2 years. But I do not get paid by the soul. I don’t get paid at all. Something in my nature compels me to help you find your way to whatever awaits. I don’t understand it either.

The covid pandemic (like every pandemic before it) has reaffirmed one of my core beliefs. You are not worthless, but you are weak. And your lives are shockingly short. I encourage you to act accordingly. Look out for yourself, but also look out for your neighbors – because if your neighbor’s life means nothing so does yours. And as covid has shown, no one in the world is a stranger. Everyone is your neighbor.

See you soon.

Raven Breathless (f/k/a Death), Senior Human Rights Correspondent

Denise Denies It All

But Denise
the ceilings have ears
and eyes are in every wall.

Argus hides in the cloud spying 
on your Uncle Sam bobble doll,
which nods nervously on the dash
looking for a place to crawl.

And if Argus spies it
then she spies you
because no one accuses 
you of being small.

Everything you hide is a peepshow 
behind a thin glass wall.
Every lewd whisper and Judas kiss
is recorded for instant recall.

But Denise -
Denise denies it all.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief 

Elon Musk and Sex and the City

You may have noticed Time magazine selected Elon Musk as its 2021 Person of the Year. Does anyone read Time anymore? This prompted Kara Alaimo to write an opinion piece titled “What Elon Musk as ‘Person of the Year’ Says About Us” where she correctly observes that a far better choice would have been the “brilliant scientists” who developed the Covid vaccines and the health care professionals who “worked heroically to treat millions” of sickened people. [CNN.com – 12/14/21 @ 9:41 a.m. ET]. “The choice [of Elon Musk] says so much about our priorities as a culture and the way we fixate on the wealthy – even when their actions are selfish and irresponsible.” Ms. Alaimo is right. Elon Musk is an abysmal choice. What is wrong with our society and culture? So much, I’m afraid.

And I feel awful about it, because this is all my fault. I was so overwhelmed with guilt (about how critics are apparently slamming the Sex and the City reboot) I totally slept through the day when we as a society and culture selected Elon Musk as person of the year.

If only the editors at Time chose him – then I would argue they intentionally selected a controversial person in a cynical attempt to manipulate people to read the article so Time could please their advertisers and increase revenue. But, sadly, Time magazine is blameless, because media outlets never try to manufacture a controversy for profit. This is just another example of how shallow our culture is, and it is all my fault.

Tengo Leche, Social Anxiety Scholar

The Poet Taster

Why does Homer's Muse disdain me?
Why won't nymphs touch my flute?
When heroes sail the wine-dark sea
why stay at my desk and salute?

When will I know love from lust?
Why is it both cause a stomachache?
Why are lies all that I trust?
Why is drool all that I make?

My muse is a mouse in a cage
who refuses to obey my command,
and when I touch the cold chaste page
it slaps the dry pen from my hand.

Wicked muse, eat your stale cheese,
blow your foul breath on another fake -
allow my feeble tongue to unfreeze
because I've forms to fill, calls to make,
and I'm near the end of my coffee break.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

Something Funny Happened During the Apocalypse

While stumbling through the covid pandemic for nearly 2 years, I have relied upon friends, family, health care providers, politicians, strangers who have done their own research, angry people with their own agendas, and Uncle Brad (who is all of the above and thinks I’m an idiot).

This has produced mixed results, so I decided to give Gary Shteyngart’s Our Country Friends a try. After reading Lake Success (and loving it), I thought he might have the answers. He doesn’t but he is funny. And Our Country Friends is a clear lens through which we can see all the absurd, violent, selfish, selfless, and loving ways we have responded to the pandemic.

The book opens at the pandemic’s beginning, when no one knew how long it would last or the toll it would take. Sasha Senderovsky, a “writer and a landowner”, brings together 4 friends and an Actor (Senderovsky is trying to produce a TV show and he needs the Actor’s help) to ride out the pandemic at his country estate with his psychiatrist wife and his 8 year old daughter (who pre-covid attended a “very expensive city school for sensitive and complicated children”).

The estate (a house on a hill with several nearby bungalows) is in the gorgeous Hudson River Valley. “A pebbled path ran between the bungalows, in a way that Senderovsky [a Russian Jew] had hoped would create the feel of a tidy European village, the kind that would have never welcomed his ancestors.” The House on the Hill, which later becomes the Dacha of Doom, evokes the Shining City on a Hill – initially. However, dead trees litter the property with their “dead white rot”, evoking living White rot. There is also a metaphorical valley separating the ordinary and the privileged.

Before long, this “country menagerie” breaks apart, as friends and acquaintances become lovers – or partners in strange (but hygienic) sex acts. The Actor pairs off with a young writer (one of Senderovsky’s former students), and social media names them the “First Couple of the Quarantine”. But this brings more scrutiny to essays she wrote years before when her style was intentionally provocative. “She had been found out, exposed. But for what? All of this had been allowed just weeks before. Everything she had written came with just the right amount of nuance. It had been lab tested and publicist approved.” So what. Now the internet does not approve, and she is condemned.

The outside world intervenes in more violent ways too. George Floyd is killed. From their hilltop commune, which is disintegrating, they watch as society seemingly collapses. “They were watching a double disaster through glasses pressed to binoculars pressed in turn to a telescope.”

Mr. Shteyngart perfectly captures the Zeitgeist (whatever that means) of covid. The paranoia and panic are here. People are afraid that computer chips will be lodged in their naval cavities. They are struggling and lost. But they are also genuinely concerned about the health and welfare of the people they love and the people they grow to love. The story is funny at times but never mean-spirited.

Gladiola Overdrive, Chief Editor