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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, August 28, 2020

My Fellow Americans,

The United States of America has been observing the Labor Day holiday on the first Monday of September since 1882.  According to the United States Department of Labor, an agency of our very own government, Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.”

I may be just a country boy who went to a small country school, but I know that people who are “dedicated to …social achievements” are nothing more than socialists.  And anybody who has studied communism at all, knows that the only thing those godless pinkos are concerned with is the “worker.”  Let me ask you this:  Where would the worker be without people to create those jobs they work at?  Nowhere, that’s where.

Therefore, any way you look at it, Labor Day is a “holiday” devoted to socialism, and where you have a socialist, communists can’t be far behind.  And there is nothing more that the communists would like to see than our great country fall in ruins.  This cannot be allowed.

Our country was not made great by people staying home and sleeping in.  We did not create our unparalleled nation by our workers going on picnics and having barbecues… and getting paid just the same as if they were at work.  It was made through work, hard work.  And if we want to keep our nation great, then we can’t stop working, not even for a day.  And we certainly can’t be asking for the job creators to be giving us money when we’ve done nothing to earn it.  No wonder productivity has fallen in this once great nation of ours.

Therefore, I propose that the Labor Day holiday truly become a labor day.  It will be a day where everybody is required to go to work and not get paid for it.  Imagine how much more money the job creators would have to create jobs if everybody in the country worked for free just one day of the year… or two… or more.  Why, if nobody ever got paid at all, just imagine how much more productive our great nation would be! 

So this year on Labor Day, I am asking all Americans to go the work just the same.  And if they give you extra money, or any money at all, you need to give it back.  And if they won’t take it, then you can send it to me.  It’s the American thing to do.

Thank You,

Senator Leonard K. Bullfinch (at-large)

4:05 pm pdt 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

9:26 am pdt 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Why I Hate My Job:  Interview #36:  Thief

I’m a thief.  I don’t mean like some professional who dresses in black and sneaks in hotel windows, although that would be so cool.  What I mean is that I steal things.  Lots of things.  It’s not kleptomania, either.  That bothered me at first.  Naw, I steal things because I need money.  It’s easier than working.  And I’m good at it.  I don’t do armed stuff.  That’s stupid.  I mean, wow, how much are you going to make knocking off a Quik Go?  I can be in and out of your house within 10 minutes, and I can have enough of your stuff to net me a grand.  The secret is, you have to do your homework.  You have to know who has the good stuff and who would be a waste of time.  Never want to get robbed?  Don’t get rich.  And then you have to know when they’re going to be gone.  It’s not that hard.  You can even arrange that stuff.  When people get calls from the emergency room, they don’t even lock the door behind ‘em.  Alarms are just a nuisance.  Unless they have a really good alarm.  Or a dog.  Then they win.  I don’t need a challenge.  And never, I mean never, keep anything you steal.  Either you fence it, or you pitch.  And don’t go giving it to your friends, either.  So, yeah, I work like three nights a week, for maybe four hours a night, and I bring down, on an average, five grand.  I could make more.  A lot more.  But that’s another one of my secrets.  Don’t get greedy.  I mean, how much money do you need anyway?  You don’t want to be flashing cash all around.  People will start to wonder where you got it.  So then you’ll have to get a job to cover, and that’s the whole reason why I’m a thief – so I don’t have to have a regular job.  Naw, I get by on about two grand a month, give or take.  Everybody thinks I get disability or something.  There’s a lot of vague rumors, most of them that I started.  And, yeah, the rest of the money I funnel off shore.  I’ve got a series of dummy accounts set up in about five different countries and throughout the United States.  If somebody ever got wise to begin with and then was actually able to find me… Well, I’m going to be impressed.  That would be a cool guy to get to know.   See, I figure, what?  Four more years and I can retire.  And that will be nice.  It’s not that I’m nervous that I’ll get caught.  If I were, I’d quit right now.  You can’t be nervous.  Hell, I’m never nervous because I know I can’t be caught.  See, the thing is:  I’m really good.  And one of the things, undoubtedly the number one thing that makes me so damn good is that nobody can know.  Nobody.  I work alone.  I cover my own alibi… which I have never needed.  But I still have one.  My mama doesn’t know.  My girlfriend doesn’t have a clue.  Nobody can get pinched for some petty crap and roll on me to get off.  Because that little punk doesn’t even know me.  And I’m so slick, you rarely see it in the papers.  You steal the diamond necklace some schmuck has bought for his mistress, what’s he going to do?  I even have plans how I can eventually bring out all my money when I retire.  But nobody can know.  Nobody.  I’m the best thief in this entire town, maybe even the freakin’ state, and nobody knows.  I am the absolute best at what I do, and everybody thinks I’m a slacker.  So I’m stealing this microphone.  And I’m going to keep it.  I could steal your whole machine, but then, you’d never get to hear this tape, and I don’t want that.

10:24 am pdt 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Car of My Father


I was raised to believe in Fords.

It was the car of my father,

and his father before him.


He taught me to change the oil

every three thousand miles,

letting every drop of the old

fall from the pan like dirty blood,

before he replaced it

with the thick honey that oozed smoothly

from the hole where he punctured the can,

a small hole above and a larger one below.


He taught me to shine the finish,

turning the chamois again and again,

keeping the old from the new

until the chrome reflected the sun,

like the day my father was handed the keys,

driving home for the first time

with the back seat full of kids.


But one by one we strayed,

my brothers before me,

and then I, too.

Believing in Chevys and Chryslers and Gremlins,

whatever we could afford coming before

all we were taught to believe.


And now I find

that I have become an Automotive Atheist,

teaching my children to believe

in absolutely nothing at all,

except the reliability of a strong battery,

a heater,

and a car that never leaks.



8:42 am pdt 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Why I Hate My Job:  Interview #666:  The Devil

Hey.  How ya doin’?  My story?  I’m the devil.  No.  Seriously.  Believe it.  I mean, not the devil.  I met him once.  We were at one of those yearly staff meetings and he was there to do the welcome address.  I mean, heck, he did that every year.  But one year, between sessions, I was standing there and my immediate supervisor walks by with Satan.  The Guy.  And he stops and introduces me.  In person.  You know...  Ya try not to act like it’s any big deal, but who are we kidding?  To tell the truth, it was kind of weird.  I mean, if you had the chance to shake Hitler’s hand, would you?  One part would be sayin’, “This is really the guy!”  And another part would be sayin’, “Dude, this is so wrong.”  You see, I’m a Minion.  It’s really a good gig if you have to be in hell.  Don’t get me wrong.  Hell’s not as bad as the other guys make it out to be, but it’s not exactly Club Med, either.  Mostly you sit around and do nothin’.  Nothin’.  But being a Minion is OK.  We’re the guys who... well, I’m kinda like an Army Recruiter who goes into the high school and tells those dumb kids any stupid thing they’re willing to believe so they’ll sign up.  Pretend to be their friends.  Pretend that you really know what’s best for them.  Talk to their parents.  Offer them money, chicks... whatever.  And do you think that Recruiter gives a rat’s ass once your name is on the line?  Yeah, right!  But, yeah, that’s pretty much a Minion.  I do a lot of schools.  I’m partial to discount outlets, too.  Believe it or not, bars are really lousy.  They’re there, sure, but not worth your time.  You get to thinkin’ that way.  You can’t help it.  The thing is, I really like some of these people.  They’re good folks.  A bit dumb, maybe, but that shouldn’t make you bad.  And they’re not bad.  There was this guy, see, and he would give you anything you wanted... if he had it.  And he really didn’t have squat.  This guy even got in a fight for me.  It was a silly fight, but... yeah.  That’s somethin’.  No one ever did that for me before.  So, ya know, though, we got this quota.  They call them Credits.  Not everybody’s worth a whole Credit.  You take some real asshole.  He may only be worth a quarter Credit, if that.  Your neighbor who got drunk and ran over the kid.  He may be a half.  And you only need to get three a month.  Three.  It’s not that much.  When you start, it’s easy.  I was nailing 7 or 8.  But... I dunno.  The fire’s gone.  It’s just a job.  But you see, as long as you’re a Minion, you get to stay up here.  Man, I’m tellin’ you.  Don’t take this for granted.  Sunshine.  Breezes.  Rain.  I love rain.  Birds.  Traffic noises.  So... So I have to make my quota.

9:00 am pdt 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

7:54 am pdt 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The History of the Future:  The Sanity Shift

It was the 2040 Census that verified, indeed, that there were now more people in the Untied States who were clinically insane than those who were not.  And it was in 2044 that the Supreme Court ruled that, by definition, “normal” was decided by the majority.  Therefore, what once was considered to be crazy, was now the norm, and those who once were considered sane should now be considered extremely dangerous.  Institutionalization was recommended.  Speaking for the majority, Chief Justice Bidwell stated, “Shut up!  I’ll kill you all!  What are you looking at?”

Few “insane” people were ever locked up, though, because they quickly went underground.  After all, it is a lot easier to pretend you’re yelling at somebody who isn’t there than to pretend you’re not.  They learned to indentify each other with secret signals, and would often meet clandestinely, so, as one member recalled, “We could just sit around and be quiet without anybody yelling at us or trying to take away our socks.”

One of the things that the new majority insisted on doing was driving, which had long been a privilege of the sane.  By 2047, mostly because of all the people who had been run over, many of whom where indoors, it was determined that those people who had recently been in the majority no longer were. And once again, the definition of “sane” was revised to the pre-2040 status.

See, as well, the Shift of 2088, 2129, 2173, and 2222.

7:43 am pdt 

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