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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, January 28, 2022


The Holy Grail Press is proud to annouce that for the 8th year in a row, Ivan Tupidsay has been named Employee of the Year.  Ivan was chosen for his dedication, his indefatigable good cheer, and knowing the definition of "sycophant."  Way to go, Ivan!

9:17 am pst 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The History of the Future:  STFU

In the Spring of 2038, it became increasingly apparent that the average person was a moron willing to believe any nonsense anybody would tell them after 1000's of people made themselves critically ill by drinking motor oil (the real stuff, not the synthetic kind) thinking it would keep them safe from Covid 85.


A group of concerned citizens, which included some of the smartest people in the country, all came to the same conclusion:  The greatest threat to humanity was that darn near everybody was willing to believe anything anybody told them, and then tell everybody else as if it were true.  They decided the only hope for humankind would be if everybody would just shut the fuck up.  Everybody should keep their opinions to themselves.


And so began the STFU Campaign.  Hundreds of thousands of T-shirts were printed with STFU across the front.  There were bumper stickers, coffee cups, ballcaps Frisbees, pencils and pens, all emblazoned with the acronym STFU.  You name it, they put STFU on it.


It was the day before the worldwide release, on July 3, 2038, when an intern at the STFU Campaign Headquarters, more of an aside than anything, happened to ask, "If we want everybody to keep their opinions to themselves, then why are we putting ours on bumper stickers and T-shirts?"  And, of course, he did have a point.  In less than a week, the only people working for the STFU Campaign were the few who were trying to figure out just what do do with all that stuff.


The T-shirts, along with everything else, were all eventually sent to the obscure Middle Eastern country of Yunostan, where, in the local dialect, STFU was the acronym for "Tell More Lies."

7:39 am pst 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

In Search of a Unicorn

They came down from the highlands
in their battered convertibles
with the rusted trim,
those proprietors and promoters
of the world's greatest shows,
In search of a unicorn -
the unique freak
that no carnival
could be complete without.
After an afternoon
of endless searching,
in every sleepy
beer stained saloon
within twenty three miles
of where they had paid some gypsy
to tell them
where it should have been,
their patiences' were depleted,
their car exhausted,
so they settled instead
for some destitute farmer's
sad plow horse,
which they dyed blue
and then stuck on
a candy-striped papier-mâché horn.
And housed inside
the battered remains
of some moth-eaten tent,
the people all paid their quarters
so they could come inside
to scoff at it.

7:54 am pst 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Ockham, without his razor 

8:11 am pst 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

One Evening at at Town Counsel Meeting in the Not-so-old West

Thank you, gentlemen, for allowing me this opportunity to present a bid for your construction needs from the company that I so proudly represent, Swing Rite.  We like to think of ourselves as the Cadillac of Gallows.


First, let me congratulate your town – the sheriff and his posse, the judge and the jury, all the fine people, the citizens of this town, who wouldn't have it any other way, and, yes, those of you in this room tonight – for bringing those wicked Timmons Brothers to the justice they so truly deserve.  I don't need to remind you, though, that justice will not fully be served until the lawful sentence that was so deservingly passed down on them boys is carried through, until all three of those boys are "…hung from the neck until dead," if I might quote the judge. 


Gentlemen, you're going to need a gallows.  You're going to need a gallows that will not only get the job done, but get it done well.  Get it done with style.  A gallows your town can be proud of.  Gentlemen, what you need is a Swing Rite custom made gallows, crafted from the finest oak, and guaranteed to work first time, every time, or your money back.


Now I know there may be those of you here in this room, right now, who think building a gallows is an unnecessary expense.  When I rode into town I saw a nice, stout tree in front of the schoolhouse that would work just fine.  I imagine you're thinking the same.  Heck, we could throw a rope over any of the beams in this very room and get the job done.  But that's not what the public wants.  Those people who voted you into office want to see a spectacle.  They want to see a proper hanging, not some backwoods lynching. 


I also know you may be sitting here tonight wondering why you need to hire somebody to do something you could do yourselves.  I'm sure there are many men in this town who are quite knowledgeable when it comes to construction.  I'm sure there are men in this very room who built the homes they live in.  And those are fine homes.  I'd be proud to have any one of you build a home for my family.  But who here truly has the time, or the lumber, to build a gallows, especially to build it quickly, and to build it well?  You all have crops to tend, cows to milk, shops to keep.


But even if you did have the time and the inclination, might I remind you that a gallows is not the same as a house.  There are completely different architectural requirements, especially if you're wanting to execute three men all at the same time.  Weight ratios, snap differentials, sequential trap triggering.  These are just a few of the things our specialists have been trained to do.  Remember:  Just because you've seen a gallows after it's been built doesn't mean you know how to build one.  Why, that would be like trying to make your wife's Sunday layer cake only knowing how good it tastes.  I don't think anybody here would want a piece of that cake.


Seriously, though, it is true that Swing Rite does not build a cheap gallows, but gentlemen, this is not a cheap town.  It deserves a quality gallows for a quality hanging, something you'll be proud to show off to all those people coming in from out of town.  With Swing Rite, you get quality workmanship and attention to detail. 


Swing Rite, though, offers much more than just a gallows that your town will take pride in.  Swing Rite offers peace of mind, both from liability and just looking plain foolish, and nobody wants that.  Just imagine when the lever is thrown and nothing happens.  The trapdoor doesn't drop, and the public who has come to gasp in horror is denied that simple pleasure.  Or worse, imagine when that lever is thrown that not only does the trapdoor drop, but the entire structure collapses as well. Certainly you're not concerned about the safety of any of those men being hung, but what about the person pulling the lever?  What about the minister?  What if that structure falls and injures… or kills… folks there on the ground.  Women and children's lives could be at stake. 


Beyond the pain and suffering, there would be no end to the lawsuits.  And consider this:  What if, in all that mayhem, one, if not all of them boys you're trying to hang doesn't get hung?  Then you really got a mess on your hands.  Trying to go the cheap route, trying to cut corners, might end up costing you more money than you can afford.  Remember a couple of years ago, over in Prairie Flats?  They had a gallows collapse, one that was made by one of our competitors, a company that cut corners, and when they were done with all the lawsuits, they had to dissolve their town.  There wasn't enough money left in Prairie Flats to hire a dogcatcher, and the feller they were trying to hang… he got to go free.  They called it an act of God.  Gentlemen, the God I know doesn't cut corners, and neither should you.


I want to thank all of you taking the time to listen to my presentation.  I apologize if it seems that I'm a bit over-enthusiastic, but it's hard not to be when you believe so strongly in the quality product you so proudly represent.  I know there are other men waiting just outside that door.  They're waiting, just like me, to come in here and bid on building your town a gallows.  These are fine men, don't get me wrong.  And I'm sure all of the companies they represent could build a gallows that would get the job done, and probably for less money.  But here's a thought I'd like to close on:  Gentlemen, you get what you pay for.  I'm sure you've all heard that before, but that doesn't make it any less true.  It was my own dear grandmother who first taught me there is no substitute for quality, God rest her soul.  I don't imagine there's a man in this room who hasn't heard the very same thing from his own dear mother.


Thank you, gentlemen.  I wish you all a pleasant evening.  Oh, on an aside, Swing Rite also makes quality playground equipment, if any of you are in the market.

8:45 am pst 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022


Bum Steer 

11:28 am pst 

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