Simon Friel
ghosts’ stories

what was the best part of all this.
how was it that we ever even got to be here.
we’ve been together for such a long time now
but for the life of me i fail to remember how it was again that we met.

you wore an oscillating green outfit and i played a flute and sold hamburgers from the back of a caravan whilst you competed in the 27th international hula hoop championships on the Norfolk Broads as fireworks played war games that resounded forever in our ears.Continue reading “#4”


Greg Oguss

And then the people spoke. Rising up with great passion, energy and…er, passion, the nation finally came together to kick ol’ Spittoon Face out of the White House after three consecutive terms in office. Twelve long years marked by corruption, cronyism, and creeps and liars all the way to the top and foreign wars blundered into that made one long for the days of a Vietnam-sized mess. But Ol’ Spittoon—or “El Crap-o” as he was known in the barrio—every time the pundits pronounced him a political corpse, well, that was just when he would pop up out of the casket and surprise us all by pulling out another squeaker. His ever-enthusiastic “base”—or those on a first-name basis with the All-Mighty—even managed to get Congress to enact a law overturning the long-standing two-term limit for the Big Cheese. Or was it they got enough states to ratify a new Constitutional Amendment? The details slip the author’s mind at the moment. Regardless, this cleared the way for Spittoon’s—or Mr. Grumpety Grump’s, as he was known around campus—history-making third term. And then the people spoke. Delivering a powerful mandate of 50.1% of the popular vote for the boyishly handsome President-Elect Dudley. Or “Just Plain Ned,” as he insisted on referring to himself in that charmingly self-deprecating Southern way of his. Despite being a former two-term Governor himself. So often did he use this little gambit on the campaign trail that some media wags quickly dubbed him JPN.Continue reading “#3”


Louis Jagger
Quick, Whilst Popular Music Isn’t Looking!

I: Now’s Our Chance

We words upspring,
Slow-dance, then sing,
Cavort beneath the clouds.
As music sips
Its lunch-hour drips
Our brittle page unfolds.
This art is crass,
And substanceless;
It doesn’t leave a scar.
Our simple role:
To fill a hole
Surrounded by guitar.
With twenty-one consonants
And E-O-U, I aim east,
Seeking to tell a story
Sung-plucked from the gut of
Innovation’s ancient wire, when
One sound made all the
Difference, one sound more
Than echoes here. Modulation,
Refraction, interlapping secrets
Rouse the cochlea, dumb-stepping
Advance into timbre, oak and balsa
Shelves to put CD-cases on, has a
Tool that plays according to its groove:
Music shaft rotates now as axle,
Humvee careens through ball-
Game, shaped about a whirly wave
Unflinchingly infinite, chorus-girls
Repeat three times for all time, spiced
To order, served
As heard.
We don’t do that. We began
When life began
Eighty seconds yet. Continue reading “#1”