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280 Dog Years


The Holy Grail Press is dedicated to promoting work that standard publishers... you know, those with standards, might be reluctant to publish, which pretty much leaves poetry.  And let's face it:  No one publishes poetry.  So in the end, we’re left with a lot of free time.



Word of the Every So Often  

May 27, 2022

wonk:  (noun)  often used derogatorily, a person who takes a particularly specialized interest in the minute details of a field of study, especially with politics.  You want to know about the influence of Russian immigrants on the passage of the infrastructure bill?  Then just ask Bill, he's our resident wonk.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Count Your Blessings

We’ve all been told to count our blessings.  And I suppose doing so would be a good way to keep our lives in perspective.  But if we need to count them – and apparently we do because everybody is always telling us to do so – then just how many do we need?  What is a good number?


Is there a system for measuring blessings, because certainly some blessings are worth more than others?  Finding a match for a kidney transplant would be a blessing, but so would your flowers’ not having aphids.  I’m thinking along the lines of 10 no-aphids would be worth one no-parking ticket.  10 no-parking tickets would be worth one my son’s not gay.  And 10 my son’s not gay would be worth one kidney.  Of course, it would have to be modified for inflation.


But then, even if you only had one blessing, it wouldn’t be that bad.  I mean, if you’re going to die of kidney failure anyway, wouldn’t it be just a little bit better if you could go knowing that your philodendrons don’t have aphids?


And when my mind doesn’t have enough to do, the strangers start talking in my head.  All I have to do is write down what they say.  They don’t mind.  Check out the Other Plays tab.

2:50 pm pst 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Attend the Church of Your Choice...

In the southern Missouri town of Doniphan, deep down in Ripley county, according to an Internet search there are 34 churches.  Of course, the Church of Christ, the Wilson Church, and the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints all have the same phone number, but there are still 34 chruches listed.  According the the 2000 census, there are less than 2,000 people living in Doniphan.  Conservatively, that's one church for every 60 or so people.  I'm not wanting to pick on Doniphan, because I'm sure there are lots of small towns throughout Missouri and other states that can boast the same statistics.  But it does bring up an interesting question:  How many churches do we need?  How many of those are basically the same?  How many people in Doniphan can even tell you what the differences are?
7:11 pm pst 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Presidents Day!

Though often overlooked in history books, President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) successfully passed the Grammar Acts of 1978 and 1979 (and, no, that was’nt a dangling modifier).  The Capitalization Act of 1978 requires’ the Random capitalization of Word’s in government documents’, and The Federal Apostrophe Act of 1979, President Jimmy Carters last successful legislation, make’s it illegal to correctly use apos’trophe’s in Government Correspondence.  Seemingly insignificant at first, it has resulted in the creation of Presidents’ day as we now know it.  No longer are we limited to Celebrating just one or two President’s on Pres’idents day.  With the random use of the apostrophe, we can now celebrate any president we like on President’s’ day – or as’ many as we like.  And this year, the president we here at Holy Grail Press like the best is...

Chester A. Arthur  (1881-1885) 

Born in 1829, Chester Alan Arthur is the only president who didn’t have a last name.  The son of poor Irish immigrants, they were forced to leave it behind when they came to America.


Arthur eventually became a lawyer, as lawyers often do, and, after practicing a few years, was appointed Collector of the Port of New York Customs House.  Upholding the Republican tradition of appointing everybody he knew to work under him, whether they were really needed or not, he soon angered then President Hayes (great-great grandfather of Shaft), who was upholding the Democratic tradition of disliking everything any Republican did.  Unable to have him thrown out of a petty office for what many saw as rampant corruption and cronyism, they did the next best thing and had him nominated for Vice President under James Garfield, the only cat to successfully run for president.


Arthur then became the vice president when James Garfield beat General Winfield Scott Hancock for the presidency in 1880.  However, a small, group of disgruntled comedians who had already written four years’ worth of jokes based on Hancock’s name alone, had Garfield assassinated in 1881, and Chester became the 21st President.


In 1882, Arthur became the first president to enact a Federal immigration law.  The law sought to exclude paupers, criminals, and lunatics.  Unfortunately, it was doomed for failure since these individuals blended in too easily with those people who were already here.  In an effort to save the law, Chinese immigrants were successfully added to the list.


As President, Alan sought to be truly bi-partisan, though no one is certain why.  He succeed in getting Congress to pass the Pendleton Act in 1883, which created the Civil Service Commission.  The Pendleton Act made many government positions obtainable through an examination alone, and then made it impossible for those individuals to be fired...ever.  It is estimated that there are currently over 400 government employees who continue to be paid even though they are technically dead.


Also in 1883, Chester signed the Tariff Act, which sought to get rid of the extra money the government had at the time.  For some reason, this was seen as embarrassing to the government.  For whatever other reason, this ticked off people out west and in the south, and that was good enough to rally them against him in his re-election attempt.


The Republican Party failed to get him renominated for President in 1884, and his kidneys, also Republicans, failed him in 1886 as well.  Arthur was followed in office by Grover Cleveland, the only president named after a Sesame Street character and a city.

7:50 am pst 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Buddha teachs us that rain is neither good nor bad, it just is.  Why do you suppose it is then, than all the monks are on top of mountains... on high ground?

10:19 am pst 

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