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Atlantic Unbound Sidebar

(1/12/96 - 1/26/96)

This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

This word-game contest is suggested by VCRogers, whose AOL account is hereby graced with 5 free hours courtesy of the Atlantic Monthly. (Like to suggest a contest and earn a prize ? Please do!)

VCRogers would like you all to indulge in four-letter words. This notion was sent to us in a letter that itself used only four-letter words. Here's how the letter read:

"Let's play this word game," said Jack. "We'll each tell some tale."

"Just tell some tale?" said Jill. "That isn't very game-like."

"With this game," Jack said, "each word must have only four."

"Only four what?" said Jill. Then: "Ohhh, you'd make each word have just four lett...."

"Shhh!" went Jack. "That last, long word isn't okay. Each word here must have only four...ummm...what you'd have said. None more, none less."

"Neat," said Jill. "Spin your yarn."

"Okay!" said Jack: "Jack took this pail, then came upon Jill. 'Well,' said Jill, 'what goes?' Jack gave Jill this look, then said, 'Well, well, well, lady fair. Let's beat feet till we're upon that hill with that well. Then we'll kiss--wink, wink--then...' "

"....then, goat face, Jill will push your head into that pail, then sink that pail into that well till Jack gets very, very damp, then walk home solo."

"Cool your jets, Jill," said Jack. "This isn't real life, just some game."

"Love your game, lout," said Jill. "Lets push this idea onto that pair with that 'zine."

"What 'zine?" said Jack.

"That 'zine with some sea's name," said Jill. "With luck, we'll grab this free five-hour slab from AOL's line time."

"Gosh!" said Jack.

"Yeah," said Jill.

Such was the brainstorm of VCRogers. And now, folks, now it's your turn!

Using 100 WORDS OR FEWER please write us a story, poem, play, dialog, sitcom, news report, novelette, or whatever tickles your fancy. But you know the catch:

Every word in your piece must be FOUR letters long! You may use any proper noun or common abbreviation of that length, and we'll accept hyphenated constructions in which each half is a four-letter word (like "five-hour" above).

And now, fourwards with all intrepid speed!

--EC and HR

P.S. If you like cryptic crosswords, visit our "Puzzles and Word Games" folder on The Atlantic's America Online message board (keyword: ATLANTIC) and join the handful of rather crazed clue-writers who are already at play there! Post clues of your own and see if the gang can solve 'em!

FOURWORDS Contest Results

(All names without @ symbols are AOL screen names.)

"This they don't warn when all's done, all's said:
Don't pull your hair from your poor, bony head!"

Such was the lament rendered poetically by Cov mc. And contestant F SAND added, "Don't test your fans else they will quit! Make game with easy rule." But daunting as the task was, great numbers of you succeeded in writing wonderful, weird, witty pieces using nothing but four-letter words.
Never has a contest been so hard to judge! We laughed and marveled over dozens of entries and we'd like to share them with you! Please take a look, and you'll appreciate the wonderful variety in the entries we received.
As for the winners... oh, we love so many! But the victory stand accommodates only three, and we hereby elevate contestants Maeru, JBurke2900, and DarkPoetNY. Congratulations, clever stylists! Each winner will receive 5 free AOL hours plus a free book from
The Atlantic Store.
EC-HR yell, "Good work, wise pals! Okay, let's read Four mail!"

***The Grand Winners***

"This plow sure does move slow," said Josh, both feet deep into snow. "What pile goes next?"
"This bank here," John said. "Soon more will fall. That will make more work."
"Most guys have gone home. What ails them? Cold, sick, lazy? Only your pals stay."
"We're crew. When we're done, we're paid," John said. "Cold cash. How's that joke?"
"Good. Your puns don't reek like some."
"What guff! Don't snow this dude."
"Ouch. Stay away from such corn. Let's drop this word play."
"Okay. Wait! Look! This roof sags, won't hold that load. Move back! Duck down!"

*Poe's Crow*

'Twas very late. Eddy read some, wept some.
Lena left last week, thus time runs slow.
"Wait! Hear that bump? Some taps?
She's home!" said Eddy.
Gets door, sees ... crow.

"That bird talk?" said Eddy.
"Give this dude some hope.
Lena, she's lost;
Will that girl come back?"
Crow said, "Nope."

"Like some bird will know!
Fowl liar! Shut that beak, dope!
Miss that girl lots;
Babe will come home!"
Crow said, "Nope."

"Ever hear some dude eats crow?
Don't want that food, loon,
Don't much like bird.
Last time: Will Lena come back?"
Crow said, "Sure! Soon!"

Clem said, "Head west, boys . We'll find gold soon, damn sure will." Clem don't talk much most days. Just sits.
Clem ain't much: tall dude, long arms, wide eyes, bald head, butt ugly. Life just ain't fair. Josh don't care . He'll come when Clem says. Easy goin' type, Josh.
"This week ain't been half hard," says Clem. "Wife left, mule died, then Pete goes. Damn fine mess we're left with."
"Don't fret, Clem," says Josh. "'Fore long we'll head down that road."
"Gold won't wait," says Clem. "Lots more went west this morn. Let's move soon."

***And Our Other Top Favorites***

*Lost Love*
Note that tall, dark, over-cute male last seen near deep-wood pool? Fair lass with huge lust--also puny hope--sees that male thro' soft, rose-tint eyes. "Mine!" says keen lass, "soon." Girl runs like wind over hill, over dale, sure that only very fast lady will date this fine stud. Stop! What sees this poor lass? Male hunk lies near blue pool. Man's eyes gaze only into calm, peat-dark pond--full with self love, that face! That nose! That chin! What lips! What brow! Girl, turn away! Your suit here will fail, poor Echo!

When Sam's song irks Rick, "Stop that tune!" says that dour cafe boss - then sees Ilsa. She'd left Rick some time back when army guns drew near. They wore grey: Ilsa wore blue - then blew town.
With Ilsa back will love come back also? Will Ilsa make good past vows? Rick wins this time, okay? Nope - she'd come back with mate. Love duet with Rick, alas, must seem like bean hill with Nazi evil very near.
Ilsa must take free pass pair, then soar away with ally hero. Rick sold cafe, shot Nazi boss then left town with Capt. Reno.

Stow your bags
Ride that cart
Wash that ball

Grab that wood
Sink your tee
Hook your ball

Turn that iron
Rake that trap
Chip that ball

Tend that flag
Talk that talk

Sway that trey
Miss that tree
Over that bush

Don't wait!

Snow fell onto tree tops tall
Cold lacy veil that soon will fall
Some poor lone soul amid this snow
Goes over land with foot pace slow
Goes over snow like fine pale silk
That poor lone soul must need more milk.

"Good Lord", asks Phil,"what will poor folk want next? Food? Help when they fall sick? Don't they know they must stop bein' poor--find some rich pals, join GOP's Lone Star Club boys?" Phil says,"Okay, dirt poor guys, drag your kids over into Peso Park Mall; sell them; take home some cash; don't tell your wife even when your wife asks,"What goes?" Just show your dime; then yell, "We're rich!".
Geez! When will Phil find that zero plus zero don't make nine?

Them mice can't espy.
Them mice can't espy.
Note that they trot.
Note that they trot.
Wife went "chop"--they lost that tail.
Seen such mice? They sure went pale!
Them mice can't espy.

Dear Josy:
Army sank into snow near Riga last week. Some guys dyin' here; more have lost toes. They have said they can't move east. They just lack will. Must show them good push will beat Tzar.
Can't bear cold with only silk vest. Send wool coat with mink trim stat. Also need warm hose, skis, sled with food pack.
Tell home folk all's well.

*Nite Fore Xmas*
Nite fore Xmas, thru home, even rats doze.
Sock hung; hope Nick here soon.
Kids abed (want Baby Ruth).
Wear head gear, hear loud lawn bang.
With moon, snow like noon. Spot sled: four deer, four more. Sled lead fast - knew Nick. Call, "Dash Deer, Frug Deer, Skip Deer, Foxy Deer, Star-like Tail Deer, Love Deer, Dumb Name Deer, Nazi Bomb Drop Deer!"
Sled, toys flew roof.
Nick jump down flue. Body like ball, lips shut. Fill sock. Felt nose, rose thru flue. Roof, wall, then dash away.
Hear Nick yell, "Good Xmas, each body; each body, good nite."

*Gone With Some Wind*
This chic lass eyes Tara. Papa with Mama host this huge fete. Wars slam rich farm area. This rude miss aids hurt Rebs, sees city burn, hies with rude gent.
She's home; alas, Tara then mere ruin. "Tara will rise!" Girl aids sick lady with baby, hits maid, runs Tara solo. She's rich!
Rude girl weds, hies away, weds, hies away. Fate must have lass with rude chap. They join, have baby, baby dies, love also dies.
She's back home, TARA! Land will last.
Rude gent won't quit. With love, he'll lift girl.
"Damn" saga over!

*Cold Tale From Anna*
Wife Anna must live with wimp Alex.
"Alex won't pick warm love over hard work," Anna said with each sigh.
When poor Kitt left with pain, rich Vron took Ann's love.
Anna knew Vron came rapt with love. Hope (with even MORE hugs) came upon them.
"Okay," said weak Alex. "We'll have your baby here."
Anna said, "Fool!"
Anna left with Vron, then back home they came. They live away from each city code with this free love. Poor Alex. Poor Anna. Poor Vron. Poor baby girl.
Anna said, "Hell with this!"
(Anna dies with last "choo.")

Snow, snow, snow
here goes more.
Plow, sled, slip, fall
can't shop that mall!

Snow, snow, snow
here goes more.
Snow-suit, boot, hats
can't take that!

Snow, snow, snow
here goes more.
HELP - kids home
move into that room!

Snow, snow, snow
here goes more.
Gosh darn dear
Let's move away from here!

Snow, snow snow
here goes more!
Let's chat, let's talk
can't take your walk!

Snow, snow, snow
here goes more.
AOL's free five hour slab
will make this mama very glad!

"Hiho," they sang, "Hiho!"
They sang loud when they came into that deep dark wood.

They came upon Snow-Wise, lost.
They took that girl home with them.
They were tiny men, lazy, mean.
Each week she'd wash, dust, tidy. Some mess!

Snow Wise said she'd walk away from this hell.
"Let's find that good life: fast cash, cool duds, cute guys!"
Snow-Wise goes into that deep dark wood.
Soon she's lost anew. Here they come once more.
Poor girl, such real hope gone.

"Hiho," they sang, "Hiho!"
They sang loud when they came into that deep dark wood....

*Limb rick*
Some over-bold lads from Peru,
felt that they must have some brew.
They came back from Lima,
each with four Zima,
then sip't them with much loud todo.--
Eddy Lear

Snow, snow, snow. Yuck! When will snow stop?
Very cold, miss rain.
Can't shop. Can't meet pals. Can't date!
Even with jeep; slid. Don't have skis, must stay home.
Plan: Cook meat, bake pies, heat soup, feed face - Gain!!
Must diet. Don't like snow!

*Look Both Ways*
Last week snow fell with fast pace. Inch upon inch fell atop this city.
Deep snow made city pure, cars slow, days long. Chin down...
each step hard...your back bent, your ears cold, your toes blue,
your face long, your hair limp, your coat damp, your mood dark.
Next morn, look both ways upon that soft pink dawn, pale tint
from afar. That lark will soon sing song full with hope...then stop.
What news: Evil sign? Kind omen?

Much snow fell last week. News show told tale,
took over half hour. Very dull. Much talk over this deal:
free cars with four-inch snow upon NYC's main park.

Evil, worm-like Aspy urge Evie: "Feed Adam four lush, ripe tree orbs. More, like five, will send Adam into love lust each time that Hunk eats them."
Evie said, "Isn't that hype?"
"Nope," said Aspy, "Adam will 'Zing'!"
Well, they gulp orbs. Sure nuff, Adam zips into sexy apex--hugs, then paws, Eden girl with pure lust.
"Yike!" Evie says, "Adam sure does love dose tree orbs!"
Adam says, "C'mon babe, let's mate!"
Post eros, Evie told Adam, "Take care, feed tree, want more orbs real fast!"
"Okay, cool, cute Mama", said Adam, "We'll snag more ASAP. Orbs rule!"

Stop, save your poor lost soul!
Don't peek into this dark, damp room.
Fear them! Turn your eyes away, then flee.
Hide your neck. They will drag your soul into deep mire.
Your time runs late. . . Bite! Deep pain. Dead.

We'll have more time when day's done.
We'll wake upon dusk.
Ebon bats will form.
Then we'll play with life anew.
Fate will take your soul into fame with gory lust.
They know that dawn will stay this life once more.

From that cold burg with Iron City Beer (near Ohio, upon land they call "West Penn"), came This Team that wore garb made from gold plus that dark, inky tint -- like coal. Upon lush turf This Team will play some bowl game, with foes that avid fans call "them 'Boys!" That Team--from arid land with cows, fuel rigs, Lone Star Beer (such drek)--will wear togs with hues like snow, navy blue, plus pale cyan.
Will This Team beat long odds? Will they best That Team? Tune your tube! Don't dare miss this (take your pick) Gala! Hype! Bore!

*Blue Cove*
Hush, love...
Look with open eyes.
Wave upon wave nips away sand;
Gull sups with many tiny fish;
Crab goes into rock cave hole.
Deep sea's glow; sail seen afar.
God's near!

Sigh, soul...
Hear with open ears.
Bird caws, "Stay safe away from land."
Seas rise, roar with high airs;
Boys call from over dune.
Wind sung note; buzz from gnat.
God's here!

Warm cozy bath...ahhh!
DING DONG! Door bell rang.
Oh-Oh! Nude, need robe.
Rush...slip blue silk robe over.
Walk fast, bell loud, ears ring...shhh...peep hole. Don't know lady?
Don't want. Turn away, duck down like baby, don't move...shhh!
Avon lady sigh.
Brrr, cold down here. Hear girl walk away? Dare look? She's gone... Whew!
Been here? What mean?...Next time hear bell...Don't move from warm cozy bath.
(Mustang CL)

*Dawn Seas*

Kids fish over pier;
rods drip live bait;
kids wear ball hats,
worn caps, torn tees.
Dawn hour: Seal Port.

Wind puff: sail, boat,
men's work must gain
fast race, tack, gybe,
down wind, fast ends;
must earn "Year Best".

Fish muse: lure, bait
fare well: fish trip,
they hook, they pull,
can't swim. Kids reel;
fish bite into dawn.

Some time back, (don't know just when), near Lake Blue, went four gals. Best pals were they, with gold hair. Hope goes with them when they swim. Soon love will find them, they know.

Four gals meet upon Lake Blue, each with more kids than they need. Life gets hard. Boys that were like gods once, rule over them. With love gone, hurt will soon come.

Four gals with dull gold hair meet once more. Time will heal most hurt. Hope now's back. They still have pals. They still have life.

Lake Blue will wait...pals gone...still life goes..
(Pam Mpiano)

What bird, said Iris
Came here then...ibis?
Some aged gull
With tail gone dull?
Some fair song wren
over back bend?
Grey horn lark
near pond, near park.
More jays, more owls?
What sort, can't tell!
Take care....hard look.
Wing like some hawk.
Isn't that some duck;
With very good luck.
Can't tell, can't tell!
Tern, loon, kite, rail?
Isn't crow, isn't swan.
Alas........flew back home!

*Four Poem*

four four
four four


When days drag slow
This word-play game
Will keep your mind
More keen than lame.

Lend ears, word fans -
Idea, this time,
Ain't very hard:
Join tone with "rime":

Will Yogi bare?
Will Abel raze Cain?
Does duet mean pear?
Does King Kong rain?

Isn't dust-drop moat?
Hast Lois lain?
Some roes need boat -
Does mite need main?

Play more y'all will
When play y'all must -
This game we'll stop
Lest head goes bust.

PAUL: We're here!
ZEKE: (Isn't seen) Who's here?
PAUL: Paul!
ZEKE: Just Paul?
PAUL: Nope, with Lisa.
ZEKE: Come!
ZEKE: Here. (gets long tube) Take this.
PAUL: This tube?
ZEKE: Don't talk! Take this tube. Hide this tube, Paul!
PAUL: What does this tube hold?
ZEKE: Don't talk, fool! Just hide this damn tube!
PAUL: They want this tube, don't they?
LISA: "They"?!? What "they"?
PAUL: Just shut your hole!
LISA: Will they kill over this tube, Zeke?
ZEKE: They will.

This time next year, each five star room will have:
more soap
less dirt
four wash rags
bath mats
blue tile
twin beds
pile rugs
neat desk tops
open mini-bars
full cold coca-cola cans
some note pads
ball pens
Also, give wine free when food bill paid with cash.
that will help lift tabs, hide true "take".
File this memo...don't give away...Your eyes only!

Alas, John will walk down that very long path that runs from that huge open door. Anne will wait with fear, lace over face, when John goes past pals that have come just with love. Love that will help this pair take vows that will last till fate will take them. Came some Holy folk, with that Holy book. They will bond this pair this noon.
"Y'all take y'all, soul mate with soul mate, till fate y'all will take?"
"Sure will", said John with Anne.
"Then, we'll call y'all that good bond. What that Lord made dear, folk can't tear."

*Work Weak*
Here came Andi goin' into "Spam Mill."
"Yeah work!" Andi said. "With some luck work will stop!"
"Work Spam Jell!" Boss said."
"Ewww, Spam Jell, yuck!" said Andi, "Best with buns."
"Drip drip drip goes that Spam pooo," sang Andi, "Drop drop drop goes that Jell."
"Pack pack pack goes the Jell Spam gooo," sang Andi, "Ding Dang Dong goes that bell." "Ahhh, noon-time, Food-time, goin' into that Bath-room time," said Andi. Dong Ding Dong rang that bell.
"Work Time!" Boss said.
"Spam Jell?" Andi ask'd.
"Yepp!" Boss said.
"Hate Spam Jell Work!" Andi ends.

Don't play this game, it'll blow your mind.
Oops, don't goof....must take your time.
Your head will ache, your hand will numb,
This girl can't look like she's this dumb!
Don't make this word over four,
Look till she's sure then find some more
This poem isn't good, she's lost that mind
That next word, this girl can't find!

***From Thug Eddy Spur Good Rest***

Four scar
shiv vent
year sago
hour fair dads
brut fort
onus cone tine aunt
anew nape shun ....

(Webs tare knew
mars oral
dick shun airy
tram slay shun)

Four star chef, Tres Bien, knew that each meal menu must have zest; each plan must have some rare dish. When days seem dull, Chef Bien puts foie gras over brie. This time Bien aces with this idea: cole slaw made with beer.
Chop four cups kale; pour nine cups beer over
Soak five days; stir
Fill bowl with more beer
Lift kale with fork
Pour brew into mugs; toss rest away
Gulp down fast.

*Diet beer cake*
Take club soda, pour into bowl with lite beer. Beat well. Snap four tiny eggs into slew.
Stir. Next, toss oleo with bran cake grit. Pour into bunt pans. Bake till noon. Will feed your king.

Word with four
Some call foul.
"Evil! Vile!"
They will howl.
Omit them from
Your oral list.
Bash them with
Your hard, grim fist.
Then stop; scan over
Your rash loss.
Evil will fade;
Alas! Such cost!
Also gone? Love. Hope. Gain. Zest.
Life. Ease. Care. Good. Glee. Calm. Rest.
Take heed; when they
Edit with zeal
Such vast, deep loss
This mind will feel.

*Poor Nick*
"Zero cash, zero love," said Nick with pout upon lips. When Nick quit work, lady love Nina went west with wish upon star. Wise Nina knew that good push made Nick into mush.
"Just wait, he'll call soon," Nina told ally.
Nick won't idly pass time. Drew huge sign, WILL WORK, NEED GIRL BACK!! Shop boss sees sign; will hire Nick.
Nina gets that call from Nick.
Nick pled, " Have work, want girl back, come home okay?" With grin Nina goes into room, must pack.
Nick ably wins Nina back!!

Lisa went wild. She'd lost life-long love, Gary. Tall, fair Kate made Lisa look ugly. Lisa lost more than just Gary. Kate took jobs away. They were both film pros. Film star Lisa even lost plum role. "They can't give Kate that lead! Must slay this evil dame," Lisa wept. "When Kate jogs near lake, she'd move past this spot." Lisa shot Kate when best time came. Cops made fast bust when clue gave Lisa away. She'd left card with real name, Irma Ditz, near dead body. Jury came back fast; sent Lisa away. Lisa lost once more.

* Poem from Liza*
When will your soul love mine? Let's just look.
Mine will love thee deep plus wide plus long.
Ever will mine ears hear that love song
That ends nary from dawn into dusk. This book
Will tell that love. Dost thou love mine soul ever true?
Alas, thou wilt find love with lass anew?
Well, mine will find some soul mate, mine most like.
Thou, with your flaw, must very fast take hike.

Sing with soft lips
long past dusk
make your song sigh
with long past lust
here we'll meet
then slip into your
silk bent beat
down till dawn
then back we'll rise
into life with only
soul dark eyes
fall with each hour
then soon we'll meet
only fate will stop
moon bent feet.

*Taxi Noir*
Red's taxi sped down Fern Road. Wife died four days back. Neon sign - Hal's Cafe. "Damn this!.....More beer."
Gina came into Red's life from Utah. Once she'd said, "Love don't
mean crap." Guys - lame, like they know you'd hate them.
Gina came into Hal's....loud rock....eyed Red's body: trim, sexy; kind
eyes also. Red'd seen Gina....dark skin, aqua eyes.
"Talk?", Gina said.
"Your dime."
Time flew....Plop went Gina into Red's back seat.
"Atta girl!"
....Gina sits atop Red's taxi. Star - star - star - sky's full. Fate sped Gina from Utah. That aint love? Next best deal, then.

Paul call Mary, Bowl this noon?
Paul roll ball. Five pins down, five more left. Paul roll once more,
four pins down.
Mary roll, also five pins down. Mary roll more, five more pins down.
Paul must mark, else Mary wins.
Paul roll.
Pins down.
Paul wins!

*News Item*
"Tick-Tock," said Time.
Mail male some wine.
Then when male will feel fine
Male asks girl, "come date."
Girl says, " Don't come late! Won't wait!"
"Cute," says male.
Time goes, they kiss
like this: "mmmm."
Girl love, male love.
Girl weds male.
Name baby Dale.

*Cold Tale*
They meet cute over teas.
When Star Cafe Buck says,
"Hard snow, don't slip!"
With cold hand, warm eyes
They fall head over
Cups full with Kona.
Then, cool jazz, wine buzz, dawn goes....
True Love? Nope.
Just time kill.
Ciao, baby.
(Ms Micki S)

*Dog's Snow Woes*
Heed this news show! News says "Soon snow will bury dogs". They can't find bone. Dogs need more bare dirt.
"Woof, Woof" says Duke. This will mean "plow more snow, need dirt, must poop!" Love your Duke? Then help with this snow pile. Take your plow, grab your wife, turn over snow till your dirt come back with life! This will cure your Duke. Your rugs won't reek with odor. Last word....Have spot, will poop.

*When Your Week Ends*
Fred once said, "Pray with your best holy word...just mark this word, cold wind will vent rain...very, very cold rain. Just wait...wind, gust, gale,...just your luck when your week ends. Isn't rain damp, isn't wind cold this fall like June date? Rain will fall, wind will blow. Just feel your face turn cold, turn pink with fall like cold, with fall like rain when each week ends this June, this July. Take hope with this word...blue hues just when your jobs grip gets your full will, your full gaze. Look...blue, warm, nice days...work week upon work week. Love your jobs, just love your jobs."

Argh! We'll move next week. Ergo, must pack. Can't play this daft game. Don't have time. Sigh. Pity also. Have idea that will make them grin (that pair that made NYT's grid last week); even fork over free time. Hmmm. Play just this once? Who'd know? Can't hurt. Will send idea, hide this note, hope idea wins, then send more very soon. Next time from next home.

That 'zine with some sea's name can't lack
Some good game--let's soon mail them back.
This poem we'll send,
That lack we'll mend,
Plus with this rime we'll take this bold tack:

This poem won't just make them roar,
Each word with four byte bits, none more;
It'll give this next game:
Earn time plus some fame--
Make your poem this form. Wits will soar!

Send back unto that pair your jest,
Your poem with only your best.
Make word play your work,
Make many ears perk.
Earn five free when done with this test!

Sept. Four:
"Help!" Mary went gray.
Ben's eyes shut. "Nope. Your lies must stop." With glee Ben's hand went into Lake Erie. "Cold. Your body will sink fast. Good."
With loud sobs, Mary fell. "Don't."
Ben's kick sent Mary into Lake Erie. "Swim," came Ben's mean yell.
Down Mary went, into deep, blue pain.
Mary. Whom ne'er told lies.
Sept. Five:
"Mama?" Baby Jake said.
"Mom's gone."
"Papa?" Tiny Jake laid race cars over dad's feet.
Papa bent, took Jake into hard, able arms. "Mama can't come home." Ben's lies came easy. "Mama went away."
Papa. Who'd told many lies.

*What Four-tune*
Four dogs sure bark alot
They bark long, they bark hard, they roll over,
They play with soft toys
They make this fair girl sing with glee
Then four icky bugs with long wiry legs drop down.
Then four loud boys from afar come over
They look like
Wild boys, mean boys,
They step down hard
Poor bugs
Flat bugs,
Gone four-ever
Four wild boys sing loud
Four dogs bark,
That cute girl goes away.
Four lone
Boys walk home.
Four dogs yawn.

"Mary, type onto that chat room," Bill said. "That one's book talk."
"Book talk!" Mary said. "We'll find ball stat talk. This book room--real wimp junk."
"Ball? Like 'ball game'? What kind?"
" 'Base-,' 'foot-'. Both. Hand over that mous--"
"Wait! Book chat isn't just book-worm talk," Bill lied. "Give that room some time--even YOUR kind will chat."
"Yeah?" Mary said with hope.
"Sure. Some folk even MAKE book over that chat line."
"That isn't just bull?"
"Mary, your life will find joys here. Even ball game bets."
Mary held Bill near. "Then let's make book, Bill baby."

"Mary, Joan...Joey...Fran...Gary...will dine here," said John.
"Let's just have wine," said Mary.
"Cook...just take your time," went John?
"Sure, only four days' work with pots...with pans!" said Mary.
"What will they like? Let's cook good food," said John.
"Okay, hens over rice. Look here," said Mary, "tuna fish, eggs, corn, beer, soda, cake, pies!
"We'll dine when they come," said John.
"Nope. Wait till they turn blue," said Mary.
"All's well that ends well." Hmmm...

Bill went with Jane down some path into Bob's Meat. Bill says, "What does lamb rack cost?" Bob's wife, Anne, says, "Just dime." "Dime here," Bill nods. Jane says, "Anne, what cost soup bone?" "Same. Only dime meat here," says Anne. Mary hops into Bob's Meat. "Need pork," says Mary. Anne gets some pork. "Dime from each." Kids will hand over dime when Anne give meat. "Here," Anne says. Each take meat, pays Anne, goes home. "Ciao, kids," says Anne. Bill, Jane, Mary walk back home. "Till next week," Jane says. "Yeah, next week," Bill says. "Next week," nods Mary.

Much told tale:
Four boys, Bill, Todd, Tony, with Mark also. Went down near this huge hole.
"Nice hole" said Bill.
"Very deep" said Todd.
Mark said, " Hear that echo?"
Tony said zero.
Then, Mark said loud "Echo, echo, echo!" down this hole.
"Echo? Echo? Echo?" came back.
"Y'all hear that?" said Mark.
" Nope," said Bill. Tony said zero.
"Who's here?" said Hole.
"We're here, just some boys", said Bill.
"Ohhh, boys!" Ugly hand came from that hole, took Mark down fast!
"Mark!" they said.
Hand came back, took boys ears, hair, down they went!
"Mmmm. Want more," said Hole. "Who's left?"
Tony said, "outa here." Went home.

Dear John,
Jane won't date your lame self when Biff told Jane that you'd give Joan much more time than Jane. Jane said that John can't have both gals. Jane said John will lose both gals when Jane will call Joan with news that John won't want told, that John isn't true blue. John went with Biff Flue.
Your nosy chum,
Judy Jaws

*True Love Tale*

Date Wear?

silk ties. . .suit. . . cuff link
lacy robe, high heel. . .jade ring

full moon, blue star
rose buds
cozy fire
soft, worn sofa
wine cups

date pair:
tall stud, long legs, sexy eyes
tiny lady, lush hair, full body

they cook:


... warm meal
good food...

kiwi, figs
bean soup
peas, corn
wild rice
pink tart
rich cake,
iced wine

they kiss (ruin food?)
"Don't stop!" they said,
free fall,
rest atop love seat.

moon sets/dawn-rise

"Ahhh, fate" they sigh......"Eros!"

Once, long past, near Ogre Isle, grew this ogre, Plop. Aunt Thug gave that name, when Plop fell from Mom's womb: "Plop!"
Well, Plop grew into this fine ogre teen. Pals gave Plop much guff. "Dumb name!" they said. "Ogre gals won't like that!" Plop felt some girl won't mind. Most said, "Yuck! Stay away!"
Then Plop eyed this cool ogre babe. "Want ogre with name like Plop?"
"Sure!" said that girl. "Love that name! Goes well with mine--Fizz!"
Well, what pair they made! They made love, plus four huge ogre kids: Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz. What real leaf!

When Kate told Emma that Brad left word 'bout prom date, Emma went nuts!
She'd been home. Why'd Kate take THIS call?
"Darn," said Emma, "darn that Kate!"
"Don't yell," said Kate, "he'll call back."
"Time will tell."
"Time will pass. Kate. Most guys don't call back."
"Yeah," said Kate, "they don't."
Kate knew Emma hurt. She'd make some cash, then plan this real long trip. "Yeah," said Kate, "that will help Emma feel good once more."
Days pass.
"Brad here."
"Emma here."
"Okay," said Emma.
"True love," said Kate.
"Dumb luck," said Emma.

Isle King gave some Brit firm sole bond, unto them, only they will vend teas unto Yank land, this then made void, Yank firm, teas sale.
With dare, some Yank gave plan: undo Brit rule. When Bean Town gang, gave port, unto this Brit ship, they knew that, that ship, brim full with Brit teas, made good ammo.
This gang took this ship over, then cast teas over into Bean Town cove.
Brit King, with rage, laid down rule: make this port shut down.
This move only bore call, Yank hard will: rend land from Brit King!

"Five free."
"Five FREE!" Fred said.
"Nice," from Lucy. "We've game-play?"
"Easy. Four plus four plus four..."
"Very soon!"
"Yeah." Fred knew. "Plus from them..."
"Free book."
"Some left-over book," Lucy says.
"Send them your four plus four."
"Can't?" asks Fred.
"Ouch, DON'T YELL!"
"Type with skill, then it'll kill."
"Kill what?"
"Call your Aunt."
Can't quit this soon. She's over come with junk," adds Fred.
"Okay, we'll tell this tale?" asks Lucy.
"Duhh!" Fred haws.
" 'Bout some lost aunt?"
Fred eyes Lucy.
Lucy bats Fred.
They kiss.

Bill plus Lynn, amid mall cafe,
Then they, onto ring shop,
Ergo, Bill maps male plea.
Rest here, Bill bids, Lynn does obey,
Left lone, thus Bill does shop,
Ergo, Bill sets male plea.
Free from shop, loud does Bill talk,
Each body, that shop, must stop!
Each soul must hear this plea!
Ogle eyed they come, they gawk,
This zany male, what stop them shop!
They must hear this plea.
Heat does fill Lynn, this weak knee time,
Each gaze, each look upon them,
Onto bent knee, Bill sued this plea,
Will thee join your life with mine?

Bull Chat

"Hill," said Bill, "hear this bunk."
"Must Rush leak such wild, daft junk?"
"Side with foes that want this butt,"
"Yell some slur like Lout! Hoax! Mutt?"

"Bill, "your nick-name does hint scum,"
"True home folk feel very glum."
"That Army snub (your guts were fake),"
"Vets feel rage - term your type "rake!"
"Your romp with Genn, that foxy dame,"
"Gave foes more ammo, when told your game."
"Can't shun that Press - won't turn away,"
"Want that vote? Hope! Wish! Pray!"
"Next Fall, THIS vote will rock that poll,"
"When fans know Hill cast ayes upon Dole."

Many, many ages past, were four pigs:
"KING BILL," said BABY NEWT, "heed this here writ from BABY NEWT GOP's (lean mean kids with 'tude). Give them what they want, else 'we'll huff, we'll puff, we'll shut your gov't down.'"
"Nope," said KING BILL, "Your plan will hurt poor pigs, sick pigs, aged pigs. They need your help."
"Heck with them," shot back BABY NEWT, "Rich hogs need help also." With that, BABY NEWT left.
When KING BILL held firm, BABY NEWT shut down Pigs Land gov't. Many pigs were idle.
"Alas," said LADY HILL.
"Alas," said DUKE DOLE.
"That putz," said KING BILL. "Okay, BABY NEWT wins, next trip we'll chat."

Waft cold wind, blow true love near,
warm arms, warm song, wait your love here.
Alas, fair maid, your song must stay,
will turn your hero into clay.
Onto this hero, pile your fate,
your song, your call, your long dark wait.
Your hero once, ever anon,
your tune, your song, must live upon.
Into this hand, your hand must stay.
Onto this brow, pile care away.
Your wish, your want, your whim most tall,
your hero does your beck your call.
Alas, fair maid, song sung, long past,
upon warm wind will ever last.

Bill Harp read this blue neon sign. "Jack Mugs, Bank Dick," said that sign.
"Holy cats, some sign! Talk some more!" Said Bill, awed.
"Sssh. Come into this room, fast," said Jack Mugs. "That sign can't talk, dope. What news, Harp?"
"Take care, Mugs!" said Harp. "Four cops ride your tail. Some guys call Jack Mugs dead meat."
"Dead meat? Damn!" said Mugs.
"Dead meat, gone John, worm food, slug bait..."
"Shut your trap, Harp! Let's have real news."
"Well, word upon Polk Road goes, 'Some bank dick shot Capt. Andy Fisk near noon.' Cops were real sore. Said chap that shot Jack Mugs cold dead will earn good cash. Five thou, they said."
"This don't ring true, Bill," said Jack. "They know Jack Mugs can't turn thug. Some jerk told them lies," said Jack.
"Some jerk? Don't ever call Bill Harp that name, Jack," said Bill, Colt warm with palm heat.
"Bill! Don't kill this poor dick over only five thou!"
Four loud POWS rang. Bill fell dead, agog.
"Poor fool," said Mugs. "Some guys make paid jobs like this easy. Tell some lies over near Polk Road, then wait ... then here came Bill. Bill drew that Colt, thus Mugs won't have jail time. Easy kill, easy five thou."
Mugs shut down that blue neon sign, then went home.

Some will find love that will last
Love will make them grin
Some will find love best left fast
Love will make them grim
Slow, fast, easy, hard
Love will make your head spin
Cast your fate upon that wind
That your soul will find your true mate.

Dear Fred,
Your lips lock mine like cold, hard, iron jaws. Open your arms; hold onto love with ease. Your hand will feel silk. Lace runs over your body. Turn away! Don't stay when nite will fall. Time won't rest when we're away. Test your love; hold fast from toil. Dawn will come. Then love will over-flow.

*Moby Dick* (Cond. Vrsn.)

Meet Moby - He'sa Wale
Meet Ahab - He'sa Cap'n
Moby Eats Leg'O Ahab
Ahab gets ired
Ahab finz Moby, toss' some 'poon into Moby
Moby took Ahab home.
(Ahab died, lone sir(e)-vivd)


Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.