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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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Friday, July 31, 2020

grass seed

blows upon the wind
some find no purchase
some find open ground
some find the crack at the end of my driveway
where they do the only thing they know how
endlessly being tread upon
relentless heat
inevitable weeding
being pulled from between the broken concrete
refusing to let go
to push up yet again
to be trod upon
to be baked
to survive

8:26 am pdt 

Monday, July 27, 2020


The Ballad of Mordaci Bloode

Screaming Death was the most sought after band.
They played the biggest houses throughout the land.
With his platform shoes
and his bellbottom pants,
his leather fringed shirt
and his funky little dance,
Mordaci Bloode would strut across the stage,
bustin' guitars with the crowd in a rage.
And when Mordaci ventured out for a beer,
people would stop and people would stare.
But Mordaci, Mordaci,
Mordaci Bloode just didn't care.

And when rock turned to disco
and disco turned to punk,
Mordaci said,
"Who needs this junk?"
And he still kicked his amps
and busted guitars,
and he and his roadies
would trash out the bars.
But the towns grew thinner
and the crowds grew lean,
and then the band members said,
"We're splittin' this scene."
And Mordaci shouted
that he didn't care,
but you just can't have a concert
when there's nobody there.

Now Mordaci sits at the bar
drinking alone.
The fans have all left him,
the roadies gone home.
And nobody bothers
to stop and stare
at his outrageous clothing
or his wild, bushy hair,
and none of his songs
are played on the air,
because nobody, but nobody,
nobody cares.



7:37 am pdt 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Stink Bait

Undisturbed for countless years sleeping soundly, half buried in the soft, silty sand there was a thing – whatever it was – weighing forty-six tons (most of which were teeth).  All two hundred and ten ferocious feet of its black bulky body was covered with think, crusty scales; it had little tiny feet and a huge polliwog tail, but mostly it was teeth – rows upon rows of terrible, treacherous, very sharp teeth.

Making his way through the thickets and trees, old wind worn Wendell wound his way down through the woods to his favourite fishing hole, armed with only his fishing pole – and a jar of stink bait.  Leaning back against a tree and resting his pole on his knees, Wendell wiped the tobacco that had dribbled down his stubble, and then pulled from the pocket of his faded coveralls the greasy, slimy jar of stink bait.  And giving the stubborn lid a twist there immediately arouse such a stench that every nose in the county was opened, and for a mile around all the leaves turned brown.  With his face streaming tears and his sinuses perpetually cleared, Wendell told himself that without a doubt, “That the most powerful stink bait I ever sank a hook into!”  So seated comfortably on the bank with the water suffocating the stink that the stink bait stank, Wendell let his line out.

“Ya gots to go deep when yer usin’ stink bait,” Wendell told his reel as the line went winding down.  Down past the flowing reeds and the swaying moss and the rusting cans and the little fish swimming in rows, down past God knows what, that stink bait sank.  And the line kept winding down, down even deeper, past where the bubbles bibble and waves waff, deeper and deeper into the dank, where that stink bait still stank a stifling stench.  And finally it had gone as far as it could go, and it came to rest on the nose of that thing – whatever it was.

And without hesitating or even thinking twice, it gave a swish from its mighty tail and a push for its little feet, and that thing – whatever it was – headed for the top, all forty-six tons (most of which were teeth).  Wendell saw the water bubble and boil and churn, and then it turned a dark bluish gray, but Wendell never saw that thing – whatever it was.  He only saw the teeth.  They never found Wendell, nothing, no trace, no clue, no tobacco stains.  All that thing – whatever it was – left was that jar of stink bait.

11:17 am pdt 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The History of the Future:  The End of Higher Education

The Acting Class Class Action Lawsuit originated in the Marshfield High School in Marshfield, Missouri, in the spring of 2032.  Soon they were joined by over two million students across the United States, all of whom were incensed over having to take Drama in their Junior year of high school.  Said one student, “Hell.  What’s the point in this?  I ain’t ever gonna be no actor!” 

It took over two years for the case to work its way through the court system, but in October of 2035, the Supreme Court, citing that it was not necessary to be educated in order to make an educated decision about education, agreed in favour of the students,.  Justice Clinton, in writing for the majority, stated, “I never wanted to take those useless classes, either.”

Citing precedent, the case was applied the following year to Narvel v. the University of Wisconsin,  where it was ruled that not only did students not have to take any class that wasn’t directly related to their major, but they didn’t have to take any class that they already weren’t very good in, or just didn’t like.  In essence, what the court ruled was that all that was necessary to earn a degree was to be able to do one’s job, and nothing else.

The Birmingham Amalgamated Steel Corporation V. Alabama State University, further defined by Gorman V. Luxor Aircraft Manufactures, determined all that was necessary for a degree was for a person to be able to perform a small portion of a job.  Knowledge of the whole was superfluous.  For instance, why would somebody need to understand aeronautics if all they were going to be doing was putting rivets in a wing?  As far as that goes, why would that worker even need to know how the rivet gun worked when all that person really needed to know was where to aim it and how to pull the trigger?

By the fall of 2040, almost all major universities  and junior colleges in the United States had disbanded, many of them being converted into condos.  Most historians cite the landmark court case in Florida in 2038 for the near total demise of higher education.

Stated one education official in Florida, “Hell, if all we’re doing is training these kids to work… I mean, how much do you really need to know to operate a drill press.  Heck, as long as you can reach the pedals, then how hard is it to drive a truck?”  It was shortly thereafter, that Florida changed its mandatory education age from 16 to 9.  Commenting on that decision, one legislature stated, “Most of us was for 8, but them little guys really have a hard time running a forklift at that age.”

Having children work at such a young age, as expected, was a hotly debated issue.  That issue was resolved with The Child Labour Act of 2041, which stated that if a person has finished her or his education, then that person is technically no longer a child, and he or she not only should be expected to work, but not working was seen, as further defined by the courts in Widbey vs. The US Textile Industry, as putting an unnecessary burden on those taxpayers who do work.  Therefore, it was agreed in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in 2043 that every US citizen who had completed the third grade was compelled to work.

It was further ruled in the summer of 2044, in West Virginia Ore and Mining Company V. Grudensen, that setting limits, either maximum or minimum, on how much a company was forced to pay their employees, as well as how long those employees should be allowed to work, was an unnecessary intrusion into the work place by the government.  The same session also saw the repeal of workplace safety laws.  After all, where one worked was a choice made by that person, the employee, and any conditions that existed in that place of employment was therefore agreed to by the employee.  Besides, it should not be the responsibility of the government to mandate how any business should be able to operate the most efficiently.

There were limited attempts at revolution by the workers, but most failed simply because any given worker only knew how to do her or his specific job, and nothing else.  Stated one government official, “Gees Louise, if the bus didn’t take most of them home they’d wander aimlessly on the streets.  Most don’t even know how to boil water, and if they do, then they really don’t know what to do with it.  And the guy that knows what to put in that water, really doesn’t have a clue on what to do with it when it’s done.  You see, it takes everybody working together.  On our own, it just won’t work.  But isn’t that how a democracy should work?”

7:07 am pdt 

Monday, July 13, 2020

8:30 am pdt 

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