April 21-27, 1997: Virgil Hervey and Claire Michie

Week of Apr 21-Apr 27

Virgil Hervey and Claire Michie

Virgil Hervey


The caption under Virgil Hervey’s yearbook photo (Garden City High School, Class of ’61) reads as follows: ” Cool and easy going wants to be a beatnik but his mother won’t let him plays a hot
piano avid jazz admirer quiet and serious creative writer ‘Virge’ ” An e-flat alto horn playing New York City criminal lawyer, Hervey has gone on to be known as that “goddam nut” in the neon green cap who edits God’s Bar: un*plugged, God’s Bar & Grill (a webzine) and maintains the “God’s Bar & Grill Internet Mail List” His poetry, stories, articles and reviews have been published in a couple dozen underground zines, including: Olympia Review, Blank Gun Silencer, Lilliput Review, Drive-By Book #7, Penny Dreadful Review, Sheila-Na-Gig and Bouilabaisse On the Web, he has been published in such places as Agniezska’s Dowry, Persona Non Grata, ZeroCity and others He is the author of four chapbooks, The Carmens, street writ, Bad Roads and Blow Me! (a collaboration with Paul Weinman).

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Virgil Hervey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

you can’t beat a dead horse
but you can lead him to drink

My father loves my new girlfriend
even though she is Chinese “They smell like tea,”
he used to tell me
a long time ago,
when he was afraid
I might marry one But after 30 odd years
of dealing with my bitchy
caucasian wife, the fight
has gone out of him After a few drinks, he regaled
her with stories of pretty Japanese
girls in Hawaii, in World War II,
and how his best friend
had been a “Chinese fag”,
but in those days he hadn’t known At the airport, he hugged her
and told her, “We love you, honey-pie Come back again, soon “
Mom likes her too,
because she cleans.


It’s Saturday morning Amy’s gone off
to get her transmission adjusted She took the girl with her
and left me in charge
of the boy
and his homework
It’s slow going
as he struggles through the lines
of Catholic School penmanship,
making it much harder
than it should be,
torturing himself
between each letter
and word,
taking forever
to do a five minute job
I threaten and cajole,
holding off on bribery
as a last resort
Then he starts to get fresh,
“I’m going to tell my mommy
you have a black heart
and she won’t come
to see you anymore “
“Oh yeah,” I reply “She’ll come over next week
and leave you home Let me tell you something,
I won’t be threatened
by a six year old “

“If I tell her
that you’re mean to me She won’t be your girlfriend,”
the little shit tells me “Then I’ll just get
another girlfriend,” I retort “Well then,” the little fucker says,
“I’ll tell every girl I know
not to go out with you “

Homework is overrated I’ve always suspected it You can’t tell me this kid
doesn’t have a future If he doesn’t make it
as a pimp
there’s always
the law.

in dreams

She was dressing for work I was just laying there
watching, listening
to her early morning
bird song
“I dreamed again
last night,” she said
“Another bad dream?”
I asked
“No You were in it
again So many times
you’ve been in my dreams Do you dream about me?”

“Sometimes,” I lied,
since I never dream
“How do I look?”
she was curious
“I can’t remember,”
I lied some more “How do I look
in your dreams?”
I asked
“Younger,” she said.

that one time handsome devil

“I always wanted
a man who didn’t
look too good,”
she said “Then I wouldn’t
have to worry
about other women
trying to steal
him all the time “

“Does that mean
that I’m not
I asked
“Well not anymore,”
she replied
“Oh,” I sighed,
secure in the knowledge
that I didn’t have to worry
about women hitting on me
all the time.

conversation in traffic

“Sometimes, when you’re driving
and you don’t know
that I’m watching,” she said,
“you have such a mean look It makes me wonder
which is the real you “

“Sometimes, when I’m driving
and I see all these assholes
who have no business
behind the wheel,” I replied,
“I wish I had a rocket launcher
bolted to my bumper “
“And there ought to be a law
that if a car breaks down,
it will be towed
to the side of the road
and set on fire;
the driver will be executed
on the spot, one bullet
in the back of the head;
and a trooper with a machine gun
will be posted at the site
to deal with rubber-neckers
But don’t worry,
I’m only like this
when I’m driving “

In line at the bank

I watch a woman
with a Dalmatian
filling out a deposit slip Fido is taking advantage
of her preoccupation
to sniff at the ass
of the woman next to her “Maybe he smells smoke”,
I think to myself
as he sticks his snout
all the way up her dress Then it’s my turn
at the ATM
and the smile
is wiped off my face
by the balance
in my account

Claire Michie


Um, I’ve never written a bio so I probably won’t be able to do it I live north of San Francisco, but go to school in SF I’m a junior in high school (does that disqualify me?) but I still enjoy reading and writing poetry and prose Ok, I hope that’s good enough.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Claire Michie and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author


what is your name? whispered the trees my name is elsa she cried to the wind what did you find when under the tree? the moon asked elsa i found a pocket watch leaking jam and butter no, the other tree i found slides of a baby being born and what did you name the baby?
elsa is my name I already told you that oh bother cried the wind, sticking it’s nose in the honey pot an armadillo peed on her shoe and asked, why you do this to me deemee?
she was wearing the skin of a leopard, and she was no longer elsa i’m sorry, my name seems to have escaped me, she said to the sky it answered back in pious syllables, you’re name is christina and it was good christina roamed the fields on the back of a dormouse the woodpecker called her name and she mourned the sun’s passing she was a fish and she could smell the dreams of men and her fins were cold so she moved what is your name, asked the sea snake my name is elsa and i am a leopard named christina and i ride on the back
of a dormouse and i am a fish who can smell man’s dreams and who has cold fins oh, said the sea snake what did you find under the stone? asked the water i found a glass of blood and urine no, the other stone I found a little girl And what is her name?

The boy with the red shoes

The boy with the red shoes slapped along the wet pavement Slap, slap,  slap, went the shoes, crying for a long lost home The boy was crying too Crying for his mother who coughed up blood and cried shards of glass He looked at his hands as he walked He watched them rust, and felt a tree grow out of his forehead His fingertips turned to wax and fell to the wet ground like the wasted petals of a rose He was walking on the salty sea, and there was a column of water in front of him Like a funnel it rose before his eyes Slap, slap, slap went his shoes, even though they were on water and not pavement He washed the rust off in the funnel and looked at it with a questioning eye The subtle movement of the water betrayed the form within A dancer wavered before his eyes The dancer could see the boy with the red shoes, and she smiled a gold smile at him Her legs were the thick ropes of a jungle vine, her heart beat with the steady pulse of the tides, and she had a rhinestone in her navel She had orange eyes The dancer with the orange eyes whose heart was the tides and whose legs were vines opened her wings into the funnel of water The water parted like it had done for Moses and she stepped out of the funnel The boy with the red shoes stroked her feathered wings dry with his wax fingertips,  leaving streaks of rust on the whiteness The dancer with the orange eyes put her hand to her chest and felt the tides shifting She smiled her golden smile and turned to the boy She reached into her mouth and gracefully wrenched out her four gold teeth Her mouth was left a gaping smile like leopard spots The boy with the red shoes held out his hand towards the dancer with the orange eyes She placed the four teeth in the palm of his rusted hand and shifted her vines The dancer inspected her wings and hissed at the boy with a reptilian tongue when she saw the rust stains He put the teeth in his mouth and swallowed a mouth of the salty funnel water with them The boy with the red shoes was scared, and the water tasted like his tears His eyes turned to liquid and ran down his cheeks making a funnel like the one that stood before him The large scale funnel began to sink, as the funnel from the boy with the red shoes eye grew The dancer with the orange eyes and the rhinestone in her navel licked his cheek with her long forked tongue and danced into the funnel of his eye Slap, slap,  slap went the red shoes, no longer mourning their long lost home The pavement was cold beneath them, but they were no longer lonely The boy with the golden smile in his stomach and the dancer in his eye walked home to his mother who coughed up her blood and cried shards of glass.

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