Archives for posts with tag: satire

by Wm. Todd King

is never going to be
under pressure perfect
curvy cellulite.

SOURCE: Kim Kardashian at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wm. Todd King is a poet and Regulatory Compliance Supervisor living in Kentucky. He is the recent finalist in the Found Poetry Review’s Dog Ear Poetry Contest, and a participant in 2013’s Pulitzer Remix project. His works have appeared in STILL, the Silver Birch Press NOIR Erasure Poetry Anthology, Life’s Vivid Creations, and Found Poetry Review.

by Richard Garcia

How about these paperclips?
Consider the humble paperclip.
Paperclips do not like to remain in their containers.
Paperclips can be found at the bottom of the sea.
The first paperclip was made of mastodon ivory.
Some paperclips are covered in plastic.
Some paperclips are plastic.
Metal paperclips are desirable.
You can twist them while on the phone.
You can use one to pick your teeth.
It is not recommended to use a paperclip to pick your teeth.
A paperclip can unlock a handcuff.
A paperclip cannot unlock a plastic handcuff.
Last time I mentioned paperclips
I received boxes of paperclips in the mail.
Here are some candy paperclips.
You can use them to attach important papers together.
You can eat candy paperclips.
Paperclips are like some marriages.
They clip things together temporarily.
Please don’t send me any more paperclips.
You can use paperclips to brush your eyebrows.
It is a little known fact, but every computer
has a secret tiny hole somewhere on its body
into which you can insert a straightened paperclip.
Usually, a frozen computer will start up again
when you insert the unfolded paperclip into its tiny, secret hole.
Your IT guy at the office would rather you did not know
about the tiny, secret paperclip hole in your computer.
Paperclips have been sprinkled into space by scientists.
Paperclips ring the planet. Some planets have rings of ice,
boulders, bits of exploded comet, purple and yellow meteor dust.
Our planet has a ring of millions of paperclips.
Recently it had been noticed that the paperclips
are joining together, each clip attaching to each clip
forming a paperclip chain in the ionosphere.
Maybe Mankind could learn something from all
the paperclips that have fallen into remote corners of our offices.
Here are some biodegradable paperclips made of recycled paper.
Here are some paperclips made of compressed diamond dust.
Here is a paperclip I have carried in my pocket since 1944.
It saved my life at Omaha beach by deflecting a sniper’s bullet.
As you can see by its girth, they don’t make paperclips like they used to.

SOURCE: Rattle Issue #33, available at Visit the publisher at



By New Street Communications

1: Marley’s Ghost

Marley was dead to begin with. Ten years dead. He had carried every weight the world could lay upon a man, but in the end he died all the same – in fact, made his own exit in his own time – and did so without complaint. He wanted more. There was none. And so he departed. He was cold in the ground, his eyes closed to all things, his feet pointed east.

Scrooge no more thought of his old friend, however, than he did of his second divorce or of the time (on a Christmas Eve, just like this) at Havana’s Floridita when he’d matched drinks one-for-one with a man who was a coward. Each downed glass after glass of rum; neither got drunk. The coward, who claimed to be a good Catholic, was long gone. Over the course of six decades, one left much behind and could count many graves. But, if one was honest and unflinching, he understood that there was no tragedy in this.

The snows of Idaho were as beautiful as they were silent. Light from the full moon fell across the Big Wood River. Sprays of pine rose with great dignity amid the white of the valley and the white of the distant Boulder Mountains. Cottonwoods stood naked. Trail Creek, Warm Springs Creek, Silver Creek and even the river itself lay frozen on their surfaces…

BOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM AMAZON): Ketchum, Idaho – Christmas, 1959: Blizzard-bound, Ernest Hemingway occupies himself with wine and prose, recreating his own rendition of Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol. The story he spins carries echoes of himself. Afflicted by depression and concern over what he feels are his failing artistic powers, he reaches back to a timeless story of renewal, and to memory, to kindle a sense of joy and redemption. (Note: The book is 48 pages in length.)



by Greg Caggiano

‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving, it has come at last
The memories of yesterday’s feast, they are all in the past
Getting up at midnight to do your shopping
The blood vessels in your eyes are sure to be popping

The turkey you ate, it has not even been digested
And you know hundreds of morons will soon be arrested
Rush your family out of the house, you need to get your rest
Will you become immersed in Black Friday madness, the ultimate test?

Who really cares about Thanksgiving, it’s just an ordinary day
The pilgrims who we celebrate, they were murderers anyway
So come on, get your wallet, and fill it with cash
5 a.m shopping at Wal-Mart is going to be a bash!

When you cannot buy your favorite items, you are filled with sorrow
You’re too dumb to realize, they’ll be there tomorrow
You lash out at the cashier, you attack your loved ones
A barbarian you look like, even to Attila and his Huns

Running through the store you go, a maniac with a cart
Like a killer you pounce, with a black hole for a heart
In the sporting goods section, someone was strangled with a fishing net
Hey, it beats getting run over by a shopping cart in Target

Every store offers such great discounts
In hospitals and trauma centers, the number of wounded amounts
People just don’t understand, this is the American way
Destroy all that you want, just make sure that you pay

The stores open so early, they call it “Moonlight Madness”
The crazed psycho shoppers fill me with sadness
Trampled to death someone will be
As they always are, by a 400-pound woman who has a bum knee

When you get to the checkout line, you realize the store told a lie
Remember when you came through the turnstiles wondering if you were going to die?
But you don’t care, you got what you came for
Just make sure to get dad’s gift at the discount liquor store

The Macy’s Parade, you had watched it the day before
When all you wanted to do was shop, my, what a bore!
You come home late at night, and watch the news reports of all the shoppers that died
But you got your child the latest toy, and are more than satisfied

Pretty soon, it will be the Christmas season
We have to call it the “Holidays”, for a non-offensive reason
A month later, the stockings will be hung by the chimney with care
As I hope the apocalypse soon will be there

Note: Reblogged from



Author Rachel Carey Talks About Her Debut Novel, Debt

The original inspiration for Debt was my rediscovery, as an adult, of the works of Charles Dickens. I’d always liked Dickens, but I really fell in love with his writing when I was old enough and cynical enough to appreciate how smart he was about human weakness. But as I was reading Bleak House and Little Dorrit, I was also tracking the news about the financial meltdown of 2008, and I began to wonder what Dickens would have made of a figure like Bernie Madoff. What would he have had to say about students who owed a hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt, or bankers who received a government bailout and immediately paid themselves million dollar bonuses with taxpayer money?


I think Dickens would have understood those people very well, because people like that appear in all his novels: people who take out debt because they convince themselves it’s necessary, poor people who struggle against a system they don’t understand, rich people who justify any amount of self-indulgence by claiming that they are “important.” But if there was a modern American writer tackling our debt-ridden society with Dickensian scope, I wasn’t sure who it was. So I decided to take on a challenge: writing the book I thought Dickens would have written, if he’d been alive to witness our current social ills.

Of course, the book didn’t turn out at all like a Dickens novel, because my own voice and perspective quickly took over the project. But many elements of Debt are stolen straight from Dickens: the picaresque characters from all walks of society, the dense plot filled with fantastic coincidences and illegitimate children, even a little lame boy who says, essentially, “God bless us, every one.” I also created a protagonist — an orphan, of course — who shared some superficial elements with my own life, not out of narcissism but because Dickens frequently did so. One of my favorite qualities in Dickens is the democratic quality of his plots, the way he weaves together the lives of the rich and poor, so I tried to keep that essential truth in my plotting of Debt: social classes are more interconnected than they appear, and sometimes the pauper has the power to bring down the king.

This book was my tribute to my favorite social satirist. I hope it brings some of the pleasure to my readers that his work has brought to me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel Carey is a writer and filmmaker. She received an MFA in Film Directing from NYU, a M.Ed. from Harvard, and a BA in English from Yale. She currently teaches college film classes — and lives with her husband and daughter in New Jersey. Rachel is still paying back her student loans — and has dedicated her novel to the Sallie Mae Corporation.

ANNOUNCEMENT: For her outstanding and original writing, Silver Birch Press is nominating Rachel Carey for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. 

NOTE: A FREE Kindle version of the Silver Birch Press release Debt, a novel by Rachel Carey is available through Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. You can download the Kindle version— which retails for $6.99 – for free at

PHOTOS: Author photo and cover photo by Jeff McCrum.


The Silver Birch Press release DEBT, a novel by Rachel Carey is available for free at on Tuesday, August 6, 2013. You can download the Kindle — which retails for $6.99 – at

Set in New York CityDebt – a satirical look at the 2008 financial meltdown — follows a range of characters who owe something to someone in a variety of ways. From main character Lillian Fitzgerald — a recent grad with an Master’s in Creative Writing in one hand and $100,000 bill for her student loans in the other — to Henry Bolt, the mysterious force who owns the bank that financed Lillian’s student loans, and an assortment of other people up and down the debt chain (bill collectors, stock market mavens, the wealthy, the foreclosed, the bankrupt, the desperate, the spoiled, the gamblers, the winners, and the losers), Debt covers a wide universe without leaving the five boroughs.

Find Kindle read apps — for free — at


For many years, novelist William Hazelgrove has had the privilege of writing in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace at 339 N. Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park, Illinois, where he was writer in residence. The result — Rocket Man, a novel released by Koehler Books in May 2013. 

Considering Rocket Man‘s impressive reviews, Hazelton has done Hemingway proud.

“Rocket Man is a charming tale of fatherhood, family, and the American Dream.” Midwest Book Review

“The funniest serious novel since Richard Russo’s Straight Man, rich with the epic levity of John Irving and salted with the perversion of Updike.” Chicago Sun Times

NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK FROM WILLIAM HAZELTON: Rocket Man was written after I moved to the suburbs from the city. I looked around and found myself and others unable to keep up with what had become the American Dream…the big car, house, basically the overheated middle class life that had become the American nightmare. When I became the Rocket Man for my son’s scout troop I knew I had a motif to write this novel about a man isolated in a world rapidly spinning out of control. Rocket Man is a story of our time. A man about to lose his home, trying desperately to hang on to what really matters in life. In this way, Rocket Man is really about us. Find the book at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of Ripples, Tobacco Sticks and Mica Highways. His novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, selected for Book of the Month Club, received ALA Editors Choice Awards, and have been optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence, where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. His latest novel Rocket Man was chosen Book of the Year by He has been the subject of interviews in NPR’s All Things Considered and features in the New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, and People. Learn more at

by A Chicken

The crossing
is within.
There is no
other side.

CREDIT: “Chicken Poetry Reading” cartoon by Doug Savage, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

by A Far Side Cow

The distant hills call to me.
Their rolling waves seduce my heart.
Oh, how I want to graze in their lush valleys.
Oh, how I want to run down their green slopes.
Alas, I cannot.
Damn the electric fence!
Damn the electric fence!

CREDIT: Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



by Rodger Jacobs

Thomas Pynchon had been engaged in a hard-fought wrestling match with a character in the new book he was writing; it was the central character, in fact, and the sonofabitch kept eluding Pynchon’s descriptive skills.

Pynchon’s wife offered a solution over breakfast one morning. She had made his favorite: pancakes shaped like rocket ships.

“I think the character sounds a lot like you,” she said. “Just meditate on yourself in some abstract manner. Think about how you would describe yourself as a character.”

After breakfast Pynchon felt a depression coming on. He decided to take a leisurely summer drive. That usually scared the darkening shadows away.

Before long Pynchon found himself on Route 6, headed into Cape Cod. He drove to Craigville Beach and parked the car in a public lot adjacent to the sand and surf. At Four Seas Ice Cream he pondered his wife’s advice over a scoop of vanilla.

A stroll to the beach was in order after his tasty frozen treat. At the border where the asphalt met the wet sand, Pynchon removed his shoes and socks, placed them in one hand, and stepped into the cold, wet sand. He felt the sand squish between his toes.

He stood staring into the deep waters, trying to conjure up his qualities, both good and bad. He started with his physical qualities and didn’t get very far. He was, he calculated, physically average for a man his age. Lifestyle? Nothing too lavish. Intellectual prowess? Well, that depends on what the critics and the academics are saying lately. But aside from his success as a novelist, everything else in his life came out to just about average. Normal. Healthy. Respectable. He was talented, yes, he knew that, but once he extracted that from the equation…

“Damn,” he said with a sigh. “I’m nondescript.”

ABOUT THE STORY: “Pynchon at Craigville Beach” by Rodger Jacobs  is from a section entitled “Writers at the Shore,” part of a volume of Jacobs’ collected short pieces called Invisible Ink hailed as “the most exemplary L.A. book of 2012” by CityWatch L.AThe story will appear in the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY, available by June 21, 2013.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Rodger Jacobs has won multiple awards and grants for his work as a journalist, documentary writer and producer, screenwriter, playwright, magazine editor, true crime writer, book critic and columnist for PopMatters, and live event producer. In 2010, he provided the preface and original inspiration for Jack London: San Francisco Stories (Sydney Samizdat Press). He is the author of the novel The Furthest Palm, published by Silver Birch Press in 2012.

Photo: “Craigville Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts” by xpucmok, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.