By Word Of Mouth...
A is for Parrot which we can plainly see
B is for glasses which we can plainly see
C is for plastic which we can plainly see
D is for Doris
E is for binoculars I’ll get in five
F is for Ethel who lives next door
G is for orange because we love to eat when we can get them because
they come from abroad
H is for England and (Heather)
I is for monkey we see in the tree
J is for parrot which we can plainly see
K is for shoetop we wear to the ball
L is for Land because brown
K is for Venezula where the oranges come from
N is for Brazil near Venezuela (very near)
O is for football which we kick about a bit
T is for Tommy who won the war
Q is a garden which we can plainly see
R is for intestines which hurt when we dance
S is for pancake or whole-wheat bread
U is for Ethel who lives on the hill
P is arab and her sister will
V is for me
W is for lighter which never lights
X is for easter—have one yourself
Y is a crooked letter and you can’t straighten it
Z is for Apple which we can plainly see
This is my story both humble and true
Take it to pieces and mend it with glue
A Reason for Breathing
I pictured myself on a boat on a river with tangerine trees and
nervous dysplasia. This was to be the final chapter in my life
savings. I pulled the plug and boarded an Amtrak to nowhere. I
had suffered insomnia all my life, but, like Issac Newton, had
put it down to apples. It was hereditary (so was my forehead).
I wished to remain anonymous in a world of Philadelphians. I ticked
myself off and put myself in my place, a two-bedroomed brownstone
of ill repute. I was convinced I’d been here before. Call
it what you will, I call it daft. Had I walked these same dusty
springfields before? Or was I just a victim of circumnavigation?
Yea, tho’ I walk thru Rudy Valle, I will fear no Evel Knievel.
Junk food made me silly; fast food slowed me down; I had to get
off at the next stop. I alighted to the sound of a military bandit.
”Do you take this woman anywhere in particular?” the
voice rang out. I panicked slowly and continued to exercise my
Subtitled “Lucy in the Scarf With Diabetics”
...it has come to our atissue (bless you), that war is only profitable
to those left behind; to wit, and if and when the Third World
War (most aptly titled) breaks out, who will know who won? We
at RANDUM have a lot of machines. WHO WILL RUN THEM? The late
President Exxon was himself heard to mumble “Hurt me! hurt
me!” but his democracy was never taped. His Matron was seen
to test his cocoa for signs of the times, such as Communist footballs
or deliberate nutshells on the White House lawn. (One such was
found in the Garden of Unaccountably Dead Plants, but it was never
proven.) Soon to become a household worm, hi name went down throughly
in history. His library will contain the ashes of every one he
knew and the Howard HUGE Memorial Hospital next door will only
admit dead people, for fear of Spreading Some Unconscionable Disease.
Mr. HUGE himself was a well-known hyperconduit.
Although this study took only four years to garnish, it still
smelled a little. Well, Rabbit Warren Report looked good too,
apart from the strange theory that the same bullet killed both
John Kennedy and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. without stopping for lunch.
The author, a previous Chef of the C.I.A., has spent many long
hours in a motel toilet somewhere off the coast of Cubans (also
known aas Florid, or God’s Waiting Room). He would not revel
his sorceress even under the threat of love. He’s our kinda
Next week we’ll discuss “How to Satisfy a Dead Housewife,”
a closer look at feminism by the author of “Take My Wife
Anywhere,” in which J. Walter Tombestone investigates himself
too closely in front of a group of admirers. This form of Grudge
Therapy is catching on like a pleasant diease all across America;
many names have appeared at the home of Dr. Grudge in need of
help. A reformed member of the F.B.I., he has been tailing himself
for fourteen years in an effort to Get At The Truth.
We will continue our six-part serious on the life on seemingly
ordinary Peculiarites entitled “I Wonder the Streets of
Old New York.”:
ah, the smell of lice squads
the half-baked politician
his inorganic possibilities displayed
all over forty-ninth street
in an obvious bid for power.
The winner is stretched in Bloomingdale’s window as an example
of Western art. Well, that’s the way God planned it. I leave
you as I found you — only some time later.
from a collection of the later prose writings of John WInston
born Liverpool, October 9, 1940
died New York City, Dec. 8, 1980