dominus vobiscum


     Located at various positions around Road’s cannon were 5 wetbacks from Meh-hee-ko.

     This was Poncho and his pals.

     Poncho was the sharp hombre who’d slow danced so close with Mary the night before.  He had also slept that one cold night in the back room of the gas station in the hills.  With him that night had been Memo, who was taller, and lean and strong.

     Memo, at the moment, stepped back from the cannon’s snout, with the ramming stick at rest in his hands.

     A 13 year old boy, Cid, stood at the rear of the cannon, waiting patiently like the man he consistently strained to be, had to be, if he was to survive the hard life cut out for him on the Ramona valley egg ranch above the border where he worked long hours.  Once he had the money Road was going to pay him, he no longer would have to work these long hours ~ not for a few years anyway.  He lived below the border.

     At the moment he had an unlit stick match in his hand that shook slightly and was poised next to the cannon’s fuse.  Thus the need for patience.

     This 13 year old wetback was also lean ~ due to hard work and the absence of luxuries like over eating.

     Juan, 23 years old, the oldest of Poncho’s pals, stood on the other side of the cannon from Memo.  The cannon was, of course, aimed bold and awesome at the church’s front door.

     Juan also worked at the egg ranch ~ and lived in Mexico.  He drove himself and little Cid to Ramona and back 6 days a week, in an old ’38 Dodge pick-up truck ~ painted black.  Juan also could take a long boner of a vacation when paid by Road.

     Scattered on the street below the cannon’s muzzle were numerous empty rice boxes.  One empty rice box was still in Juan’s hand.  This box had been the last one to have its contents spilled down the cannon’s barrel.

     On their way to the wedding, Road had stopped at a big grocery store in San Diego on the corner of College Avenue and El Gringo Boulevard, had bought all the boxes of rice on the shelf.  There was a lot of rice in Road’s cannon ~ for Tulip’s wedding.

     Road had also bought a quart bottle of whiskey and a box of cigars at the liquor store across the boulevard from the grocery store.

     As for the illegal aliens (or wetbacks), Road had picked them up at the end of the dirt road he turned down while traveling Highway 94 ~ a preconceived plan.  Poncho and his pals had hiked a short trail from Mexico to the rendezvous spot.



    Poncho, by the way, had learned some English in Tijuana since he’d last seen Road a few weeks earlier at the Mobil gas station ~ thus piece by piece with a lot missing out he was able to tell Road about the 12 cannons in Pedro Mendez’s abandoned garlic mine.

     Pedro Mendez was Poncho’s uncle.

     And Poncho, at the moment, was sitting in the driver’s seat of Road’s truck, which was idling.

     So ~

     Road’s cannon had a cannon crew.  And Road’s cannon was aimed at the big brick church’s opened double front door out of which Tulip and he had exited.  When all the other people came running out after Road and Tulip, Road yelled, “Ole!”

     That was the signal for little half smiling, half sneering Cid to strike his match.  So he struck it across the round top of the cannon and set what flame he had to the cannon’s fuse ~ and stepped back with his ears plugged.

     Poncho gunned the truck’s engine.

     Road hopped into the cab, dragged Tulip with him.

     The people charged.

     Rice explosively bloomed out of the cannon’s mouth ~ a forceful dry splash of wedding cheer!

     The boom was so loud that the windshield in Road’s truck cracked.

     Some of the charging wedding goers (or leavers) ducked.  Others fell over.  The rest bravely accepted the stingy wedding cheer in their faces.  One young man fainted.  Many lay on the ground afraid to open their eyes, thinking they might be dead.  Only one person was shot incurably blind by the rice: the mother of the bride, who could now add blindness to her woes and her crippled back.

     Some people have no luck.

     Memo, Juan, and Little Cid jumped into the rear of the truck, thru the rear doors ~ and the 5th crew man, a Mexican whose name was, yes, San Diego, bolted the doors shut from the inside as driver Poncho punched the truck smokey down the street.

     Tulip raised a quizzical glance at Road as he peered at the rear view mirror on the passenger’s side of the truck.  Tulip had just heard him say softly, maybe even reverently, “Dominus Vobiscum.”

     That’s Catholic latin for, “The Lord be with you.”



text from

the short novel






elvis bojangles


Newspaper Office IV


by Elvis Bojangles


The editor, Rawclyde, is sitting on top of his desk thumping himself in the head with his hind foot.  I’ve never seen a jackrabbit do such a thing ’til now.  It’s kind of scary.  He keeps saying over & over again,  “Oh God I’m an idiot!”  Then that hind foot thumps him in the head about 20 or 30 times.  Hard.  After awhile it’s hurting me as much as it is him.  I can’t stand it much longer.

“Oh God I’m an idiot!”  Thump thump thump thump…

“Cut it out, Rawclyde!”

“Oh God I’m an idiot!”  Thump thump thump thump…

“Cut it out!”

He grabs his foot with both paws, sticks it in his mouth and trembles all over.  He sticks his foot further & further in ’til his whole leg is disappearing down his throat.  I can’t believe what I’m seeing!

Finally I holler, “Cloyd!  What’s wrong with Rawclyde!”

Cloyd Campfire, the assistant editor, peeks shyly around the pile of books, papers, and about two-weeks worth of moldy half-eaten sandwiches piled about two-feet high a top his desk on the other side of the Old Timer Chronicle Newspaper Office.  After about 30-seconds of observation he says, “Well, Elvis, I believe he is punishing himself for being an idiot.  I further believe we both should not get involved.”

Rawclyde spits an entire rabbit leg out of his mouth.  The sopping wet leg swings around & hits him on the other side of his head.  Jackrabbit saliva splashes all over me at my desk.  Rawclyde hollers at the top of his lungs, “Oh God I’m an idiot!”


Newspaper Office III


by Elvis Bojangles


A few minutes later this sprite morn, Cloyd Campfire, the assistant editor, pasty & red-eyed, comes in singing:


Play on the blog

Play with yourself

Play on the blog

Stay on the shelf


Get on the road

Get her hand in yer hand

pack a light load

travelin’ man


He sits down like one big ache behind a book-piled paper-cluttered desk and, like a corpse with one last breath, groans, “Coffee.  Please.  Coffee.”

Campfire has timed it perfectly.   I’m already standing in front of the fresh-brewed pot, so I pore him a cup, traipse around, place it in front of his nose.

“Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you everybody.”  Whenever he gets a chance he says this.  He’s been saying it about 10 to 20 times a day lately, as if he’s President Obama finishing one speech after another all day long.

I go sit behind my own desk that has nothing on it.  The top of it is polished and shiny.  My cup of coffee placed there all by itself looks real good.  A little swirl of steam floats above the cup like a top hat.  I take a sip of coffee.  It tastes real good too.  Now I am open for suggestions ~ but not from the assistant editor.  “Fuck you, Cloyd,” says I.

He says again, “Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you everybody…”



Newspaper Office II



Elvis Bojangles


I get to the office early.  I’m anxious to get started on the report assigned to me late yesterday by ~ Rawclyde!  He’s already here ~ sitting on top of his desk munching select shrub-leaf from a bowl.  Our editor is a jackrabbit, you know.  Without one word of greeting he peers suspiciously at me as I slouch into the Old Timer Chronicle newspaper office.  He hops over his bowl of rabbit ration, turns around, continues chewing.   Just like a jackrabbit.

After I get settled at my desk, one of the editor’s ears, a very long & alert antenna, points obnoxiously at the coffee pot, cold & empty, in the corner.  His staring at me becomes ferocious.

“Okay, Rawclyde!”  I grin because he’s so damn funny looking ~ one of several reasons why I took this job.  I get up and tend to the pot.

Rawclyde wasn’t always a rabbit.  He had, or he thought he had, a girl-friend once ~ who kept telling him that she hated people, but loved animals.  So he became a jackrabbit, which didn’t do him any good.  She still told him he had to leave.  Then she stopped e-mailing him.

I empty yesterday’s coffee grains, buff the pot…



What A Gal!

Clyde (left) and Susan and (right) Chuck


First love

Way back in the fifth grade

A vivid classroom memory prevails

Chuck & I watching you

Pick your nose & roll your boogers into little balls

Then tossing them into the hair of Greg P

As he slept with his head on his desk

What a gal



The Autobiographical Fantasies & Transformations Of



photo from Annie Get Your Gun (1950)


Col. Sheena Johnson


by Rawclyde!


One girl-soldier on my crew fought off

5 wanna-be rapists in her platoon

Killed them & did not get caught

Her blood-lust knew no bounds when it came to the Taliban


500 mysteriously disappeared while she ranged around

Out of uniform for one month in northeast Afghanistan

After which she was promoted to Colonel

This included 3 Waziristan villages that she leveled

(Nobody knows how and, anyway, it’s just a rumor)


She was assigned to nurture an ill-conceived outpost

Deep in the mountains, so deep it scratched the back

Of Pakistan & consequently was doomed until

She got there & winked at her suddenly happy soldiers


They got so charged-up just looking at her

They paved a crumbling rock road with asphalt

For 100 miles before lunch time & without a break

Nobody but one village urchin knows where they got the asphalt


Then one freezing morning she & her sparse gear were gone

The outpost fell into an endless & bottomless depression

Until they found a dead Talib with an arrow in his back

Suddenly they knew ~ the Colonel wasn’t gone at all


Now the soldiers at this craven location pull guard duty

With smiles on their faces & joy in their hearts

‘Cuz every so often when least expected they catch a glimpse

     Col. Sheena Johnson stalking Taliban in the snarky shadows…


excerpt from





(free read)


Green Beer At The Long Bar


     Road was in a gray mood ~ as gray as a sky that doesn’t know whether to rain or not.  Road was home ~ and lost.  He was always lost when he was home ~ and he hated it.

     There was something bad within himself that his hometown, San Diego, reflected ~ God knows what.

     Maybe it was love ~ flustered.

     Road had a foolosophy.  He didn’t believe in philosophies ~ only foolosophies ~ and he had one all his own.  His foolosophy was, if you can’t beat ’em, don’t join ’em either ~ but run like hell.

     That was Road’s damnation.  When he couldn’t beat home, wouldn’t join up with its forces, he’d run like hell ~ for the Long Bar south of the border, in Tijuana, Meh-hee-ko.

     The Long Bar on Revolution Avenue in Tijauna is a long bar in a long room, tables down the middle, booths along the wall opposite the bar.  It’s the longest bar in the world ~ and the best, as far as Road was concerned.

     There’s a lot of earth poetry in the Long Bar.  It bubbles in the green tinted beer and the Mexican waiter’s frown.  It’s in the rest room where the old rest room hombre will fix you up for a tip ~ with carefully horded toilet paper if you need it.  But only for a tip.  It’s in the live Mexican music (with trumpets), the mesh of border town slop culture, and carved into the wood of all the booths by a thousand un-stable-ed hands ~ young hands, old hands, bald eagle just out of boot camp hands, queer hands, little girl hands, bad dude hands, AWOL hands, rambling hands, stuck hands, dropped out hands, student hands, Latin hands, whore hands, too many virgin hands, and many drunk hands, carving with a coin’s edge, pocket knife, ball point pen, or finger nail, the message ~ “I’ve been here, Momma.  I’ve been here, Momma Earth.  My tongue’s getting dirty, but your blood tastes so good.  Your Mexican beer blood!”

     “And everybody is a Mexican,” said one of the 6 little women drinking beer with Road.  “Everybody in the whole world!”

     “Right on!” answered a handsome young Mexican hombre in the next booth.  He toasted the pretty blond senorita from the United States.

     She was fourteen.

     Road was no longer in a gray mood.  His mood was now black ~ with glory and a grin.  Yes, black ~ with a full moon ~ a full moon with a full night ~ a night full of stars ~

     And 6 young ladies he’d brought down to Tijuana ~ for the first time, it seemed, in their lives ~ loose!

     “Freedom is dangerous,” said Maggie, fourteen years old, gulping her beer.

     “Life is dangerous too,” said Judy (or was her name Jill?), who was, with a slurp, also 14 years old.

     “I wanna live,” proclaimed matter of factly the daintiest yet oldest of them all, Emile, 18 years old, who didn’t drink, she said once, and now was drunk.

     “We wanna live,” corrected sweet Sue, thirteen, and on her way to the bottom of another glass of frothy beer.

     “We’re Mexicans,” laughed Mary, the pretty blond who’d spoken earlier of Mexicans.  She felt a refreshing numb ting in her flushed, long yellow hair mopped cheeks.

     “Right on, senorita!” exclaimed the same Mexican in the next booth.  He was liking her more and more.  Her and his eyes ricocheted twinkling stars that needed no words ~ just bad jokes.

     “I’m too old to be down here,” laughed Morena, also fourteen, cheeks also numb, and a real bad joke just about to dance on her tongue.  “I’ve got beer on my thumb,” she laughed.

     These 6 girls, with their blooming bodies of bouncy bosom truth, could’ve passed for 25 years old ~ if need be.

     In the Long Bar ~ there was no need.  Road got up and bought two more pitchers of beer.  15 minutes later they were empty and he bought two more.

     One by one the girls teeter tottered out of the booth to visit the ladies room at the other end of the bar.  And teeter tottered back into the booth ~ flushed, whimsical ~ as the peoples of thee booths n’ tables n’ longest bar in the world chortled their admiration.  Everybody knew what was happening.

     The miracle of little girl growth was being anointed ~ and celebrating the womanhood that could not be denied ~ in their eyes and desires ~ lusting thighs and yearning minds ~ for God n’ life n’ love ~

     And fucking.

     They were ready to start fucking with it all ~ ’til they were part of it all ~ or die trying.

     Road sat back in the chair facing this booth, its beer splotched beer dripping table, its 6 patriot heroines of the Long Bar pitcher of soapy suds with a green tint.  This was the greatest.  When he’d picked up 14 year old Mary hitch-hiking on El Gringo Boulevard, and her thigh bumped his when the truck bumped a bump ~ He knew in his gray mood that he’d do anything ~ especially go to County Jail ~ for jail bait!

     They both knew in the moment of that thigh touching, eye opening bump, the time had come.

     And piss on Tulip!

     Road gently jumped on the blond pretty and too young but so what Mary.  Her creamy warm shoulders smothered him into her own entity ~ and she gently jumped back ~ in the rear of Road’s truck ~ parked on the side of the street.

     For virgin stomping celebration, the two of them rounded up as many of Mary’s girl friends as they could find.  They crossed the border where young ‘uns can drink legally ~ and that evening Road anointed the whole group with beer and cheers ~ to life in the Long Bar.

     Run run, Road, run run!

     He stretched his arms.  Thru his reddened but bright eyes, Road squinted up at the ceiling, thoughtfully studied it.

     “You know something,” he said ~ and 6 pert charming heads turned his way and listened.  “All those old times I spent drinking down here, I thought Long Bar beer was tinted green because it was the cheapest dirtiest of beers.  But that isn’t why it’s green.”  He raised his glass and swallowed a good amount.  “It’s the reflection from the ceiling!”

     Maggie, Judy (or Jill?), Emile, Morena, sweet Sue, and Mary tilted their heads heaven bound ~ and sure enough, the ceiling was green.


excerpt from the




Road’s Cannon

(free read)


artwork courtesy of Sayara S

(free look)


Cool Clear Water II


     The new stranger on the scene unslung the canteen from his shoulder in an easy manner and held it out to her.  The canteen dangled at the end of the strap held in his hand ~ swung like a pendulum in front of Ruthie’s sun-charred face.  The great gift of life, water, enticingly splashed around inside.  Ruthie could hear it.

     So Ruthie grabbed the canteen ~ unscrewed the lid ~ gulped ~ handed it back empty.  “Thank you,” she said.  She kept smiling a smile that began twitching.  Water dribbled down her chin.

     The feller with the fairy-tale hair shook the canteen next to his ear ~ heard the brand new emptiness inside ~ sadly frowned.  He neglected to screw on the lid which was attached to the canteen by a chain ~ slipped the strap back over his shoulder.

     “What are you doing in that ditch?” he said.

     “Having the time of my life,” said she.

     Ruthie couldn’t stop smiling since she had downed that delicious draught of aluminun-tainted canteen water.  She was smiling as if her pants were on fire and she a ticklish smokestack.

     The feller held out his hand ~ helped Ruthie out of the ditch.  He was pretty strong ~ like he had unloaded a boxcar or two in his lifetime.


The Road Princess & Eternity