100th Anniversary of Birth of Seamus Ryan O’Flaherty

Ireland’s Forgotten Bard


On March 2nd, 1912, Mary Rose O’Flaherty gave birth to an illegitimate baby boy- Seamus Ryan O’Flaherty- in County Kerry, Ireland.

The father was rumored by many to have been Liam Ryan- an inveterate womanizer and bog farmer- hence the speculative ‘Ryan’ in the poet’s hallowed name.



Only existing photo of Seamus from his time in prison.

Only existing photo of Seamus from his time in prison.

During his lifetime, Seamus wrote seven books of verse, three published by Dregs & Sons Press of Dublin; the rest were self-published and were thought to be the source, along with his alcoholism, of O’Flaherty’s financial ruin.


His most famous collection is, of course, Halycyon Pig, 1937. It contains the timeless poem (see below) that brought O’Flaherty to the attention of not only poetry-lovers on three continents, but also to the to the Constabulary of County Wicklow, where he was wanted for for kiting checks and dealing in tainted pork (hence the ‘Pig’ in the collection’s title).



He spent the next three years drying out in Portlaoise Prison (IrishPríosún Phort Laoise). After his release in 1941, Seamus disappeared from public view. There has been much specuation as to what happened to him; there are those who say he never died and is in fact still alive in an old person’s home in Galloway.


O'Flaherty's Most Celebrated Book of Verse

O’Flaherty’s Most Celebrated Book of Verse



Be that as it may, his official biography claims he died of acute alcohol poisoning and/or repeated kicks to the groin (by a jealous and jilted husband) in Limerick on June 13, 1969. He is reportedly buried in a small plot in Inniskerry.

Here is the least forgettable verse from that collection.




Like a Trout Upstream I Swim


like a trout upstream i swim

thru tepid waters murky black

‘neath the smarmy widget bridge

leading out of high-bottomed Snarf

the village of my regretted birth

here and there in the glaucous pools

flit mungous kilpish woggies, all a-char

and flanged with grommets not unlike

uncle Lucius long dead now from

poorly blended fermentations.

his elegy, only half remembered,

did in earnest laud his easy manner

with bottom-feeding fish and crispy

bog infesting newts named Gerald,

Maud or some other Celtic nomenclature

‘FUCK all and be damned!’ shriek the

dyspeptic mandrills,  lining up on

mossy banks to jeer the passing

school of fingerlings in whose

midst have i my rightful stature found.

and now my dorsal fin quivers

dullish with rage

that has scarce recourse

save its will to empower

my angry migration home.

and farther.

i am told by carp drifting in the languid

current that Burnhole Willie has been found


skin a-leathery and nutshell brown

in a gutter in Blather Town, with fearless pigs

snuffling thru his pockets for bread crusts

and mildewed memories of more joyful days.

do not not say he is dead!  only comatose-

with plans on rising come this year’s

Paschal Feast. as for Coleen and Rose

the tempestuous barmaids at

the Foal and Gosling,

i cannot say. they have

lost their teeth but still leer at those

imbibing arf and arfs on dwindling credit.

i have minded my own P’s and Q’s

to no avail. my tab will go unpaid.

and so?

like a Fungous Bat emerging from its

cave I flutter-fly, twist and turn in humid air

still seeking glimpses of immortality or

insects fat enough to warrant effort.

from one distraction

to the next I meander

becoming an annoyance to all others.

there are those who bought my sausage

but they are dead now. there is no salmon

in salmonella- only sad regrets and meat

from unknown sources.

i curse them all.

like a trout upstream I swim

in rivers gurgling mud brown.

i should have learned to swim

for alas- i now flounder like a scrod…

then drown.



Critics have said that O’Flaherty’s verse made it retroactively possible for  Tennyson, Ovid and even Shakespeare to find the courage to explore their own mode of versifying; but critics have said a lot of things. O’Flaherty hated them all.

Here is a short film on the quest of ladder day scholars seeking answers about O’Flaherty- that no one has had the courage to ask.

Story of My Afterlife

(My Latest Yelp Review Morphs Into a Cyber Punk Serial)

Continued from HERE


We marched the across lawn the lawn, then the parking lot, Steph and Max keeping their heads low, me a rolling target covered in a sheet. As we approached a black van Jacek stepped out from behind leveling a mean-looking Glock at our various centers of gravity.

“I can’t let you take him.” He was worried as hell. ”They will kill my sons. Then make borscht out of me.”

We slowed to a halt.

“We understand, Jacek.” Steph was being sincere and solicitous but was also determined on getting me into the van.

“How you know my name?” Jacek looked from Steph to Max, then stepped forward and peered under the sheet covering me. “Hey, buddy. You okay. These guys making trouble for you?”

I mumbled Hello as best I could. Stress was setting my recovery back. It came out somewhere between a croak and bark.


He nodded, then addressed Steph.

“Sorry, I tasered you. Was necessary at the time.”

“Understood. Look, Jacek… we haven’t time to explain. But we’re working on setting your sons free and getting them out of the country. Max has major contacts in Moscow. And in Eastern Europe. We can do it.”

Max nodded. “But we have to go, Jacek. Like right this minute.”

He pondered for a minute, keeping the gun on us. A very tense moment- a Moravian stand-off as it were.

Then the shooting began. Whether the guards Max had subdued had come to, or other Security personnel were on to us made little difference. We ran behind the van leaving Jacek staring, very dumbfounded.


My Latest Yelp Review….

Part Something or Other

(Continued from HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)


We left Prep Room C and went quietly- but very quickly- down the corridor. I could feel the movement and, of course, utter joy of it all. We turned right, then left, heading towards the reception desk.

Where we ran into… Doctor Dierdre Allison McCaffrey! Medical Examiner and Chief Pathologist! who was in the middle of haranguing the receptionist. We slowed down as she turned to face us.

“What the fuck is this?”

She looked duly askance at us. And- putting two and two together-  began to seethe. Keeping her eyes on us, she instructed the receptionist.

“Dorothy- ring Security now!” She was totally beside herself. Outraged.

Steph barely slowed down as she removed a canister from within the folds of her gown. Dorothy the receptionist was reaching for the phone as Doctor McCaffrey turned to face us squarely. Steph sprayed the hapless Dorothy first, who froze mid-dial, then… down she went. Steph gave a big spray to Doctor Deirdre Allison McCaffrey- right in the kisser; she likewise went down too- before she going totally apoplectic.

Steph didn’t pause, wheeling me around the corridor, turning one corner, then another, and again, heading for the door in the distance.

Whee. Quel Frolic!

Where waited two Security men, converging, gripping AR-17s and looking none too pleased. They were positioning themselves in front of the doors. So… as Steph and I approached, she began talking in a loud voice.

“This patient is hyperemiating and needs a glucosal infusion stat! Before he infarcts!!!”

The security guards weren’t giving much countenance to what Steph said. One chewed a matchstick in a kind of the studied nonchalance. The other addressed us.

“You have three seconds to turn around and head back to Prep Room C”

Both of them raised their weapons

Steph and I slowed down.

“You don’t understand! We’re taking him to the rehabitory! For reticulative coronary aspiration!”

They both took their safeties off.


“But this is hypercritical,” Steph added, “There are indications of severe phlebotic necrosis,” speeding up again. We were about 20 feet from the guards.

“Two…” They sighted us in their scopes.

“We have clearance from Pathology!” added Steph. But… the obfuscation didn’t appear to have an effect on either of guards. Oi.

“Three.” The guards zeroed in. We were in a bit of a bind, as far as I could tell, peering from beneath the sheet. And getting ready for God knows what.

When suddenly…

A human form emerged in kind of dream behind the guards- from seemingly nowhere-  and bashed first one, then the other, right on the ol’ noggins. Whoa! They froze for a moment, looking bewildered. Then?  Down they went too! Kinda dropping like flies around here, I thought. Left, Right… and Center. Kerpow.

This mysterious man was, as it turned out…


Fucking MAX. My man! The other morgue attendant. The one who had been on a cappuccino run when Steph had gotten tazered and I had been, to my chagrin, absconded with.


“Hello, Pinnochio,” he said, grinning.

He removed the sheet I had been peering out from under and patted me on the head affectionately.

“I… (garble).”

He smiled at me, looked down at the two guards, shook his head, then gestured us out the door.

“Not a great place to be hanging around, eh? Let’s get out of here, okay?”

Steph had gotten out (another) iPhone from her pocket. She looked at the message, then smiled at Max.

“Good idea, Maxim.”

And we exited the Re-Animation Center, together, one big very happy family.

Detective Mary Gregory couldn’t sleep.

She’d knocked back a few at The Basement Tavern on Main then drove home in a dire funk. She now sat in her living room, full of conjecture and growing doubt, going through her notes. No one at the SMPD gave a shit about a stolen cadaver and a couple of missing morgue attendants- but she did. With a growing intensity.

In fact, she was pretty goddamned obsessed.

Even though it was the middle of the night, she picked up the phone and connected to forensics.

An attendant picked up saying, “Hold on a minute… I’m eating pistachios.”

Mary Gregory waited, counting her breaths.

The attendant was going through her notes. She replied,

“Yeah. Pretty weird…”

Detective Mary Gregory tapped her foot maniacally.

“Yeah,” spitting out bits of pistachio shells… “We have an i.d. on one of the attendants.”

Mary Gregory sat up, reaching for another gulp of Scotch, beyond impatience now.

“Fucking tell me!”

The attendant wouldn’t be hurried.

“Hmm. Interesting.”

Detective Mary Gregory waiting, nearly apoplectic. She rolled her head around to clear out the cobwebs.

“Well, it would seem that one of the cadaver prints is that of an Anatomy School specimen. Which is pretty fucking bizarre.  We were able to trace the prints back and… and we got a ‘limited’ identification.” Detective Mary remained very still. “… and a preliminary I.D. comes back as… you know the Anatomy School isn’t allowed to release her particulars, but we persisted…”

Detective Mary Gregory counted to ten under her breath. She had to be patient- the ability to circumvent Lab School data was pretty difficult going.

“… as a one Susan Ryan. But we backtracked a bit- quite a bit actually- and got finally got her pegged- from an Incidental Diener’s Report- as Stephanie Roberts. Born in 1990. Died four years ago. Her body was donated to U.S.C. And now… Wow! Her thumbprint turns up in the St. John’s morgue. Which is wiped down every few minutes as they scrub all the surfaces- gotta keep a clean morgue, no? All in all, I’d say this is pretty weird.”

Yes. Pretty weird.

“The other print we haven’t been able to I.D. We’re still working on it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

Detective Mary could hear her crunching away on the other end of the line.

“What’s your name,” she asked.

“Me? Melanie. Melanie Goldfish. I’m the night attendant here.”

“Well, Melanie Goldfish. Really good work. But I need you to keep looking into the second print, really deep. Go beyond the normative data bases. And…. are there any conclusions about the traces of… goo we found around the lockers? And in any more on  the stolen… (she was somehow adverse to calling it- him- a cadaver, but she did for lack of a better term) cadaver?”

The crunch of pistachios abated for a moment.

“Well. No. And no.” She hesitated for a moment, then…. “Wait (rifling through lab reports). Yeah… the one substrate we found from the residue is… let me see… Oh yeah. HGH. It’s a human growth hormone.”

“Yeah. I know what it is. Odd, that.” She made a note on her pad.

“I know, right?” (spitting out of more pistachio parts). “It was very, very subtle, but we found by it by a running second and third screen.”

“Okay. Keep at it. I think there is something extremely untoward going on here. Thank you.”

She hung up and thought for a minute. Wow. She had a name- Stephanie Roberts. The morgue attendant. And a hit on the substance found near the freezer. It didn’t make any sense; how could a dead woman 1) get a job in the mortuary and lab and 2)…

No. 2) brought her back back to 1). She was sobering up a little too fast. So….

She decided to dial the Santa Monica Detective’s Division. She leaned back on the sofa rubbing her neck.

“Jorgen, here.”

She racked her brain.

“Jorgen? Are you new?”

Jorgen was probably smoking an e-cig.

“Not by a long shot. And this is the troublemaker Detective Mary Gregory? Who kinda blew it on the murdered twins case?” he exhaled.

“Careful what you fucking say, you little snot.” Jesus. The night detectives and their assistants were really a bit too much. Not that the case involving the murdered twins was her finest hour- hence the month off in the Barbados where she had been bored to fucking tears. And more than a little remorseful. Damn it! She had been taken down a long, twisting alley on that one.

“Look here, dickbreath,” she had lit two American Spirits by mistake… shit.

“I need to find out if there’s an update on the missing cadaver.”

Jorgen had her wait a couple of minutes. She put out one of The American Spirits (Yellow package) back into place.

He came back on the line and started reading from the notes.

“Sixty year old male. Autopsy reads it was an accidental overdose.” Jorgen shuffled through the paperwork.

“Let me stop you right there. I talked with Armen Ghookasian, the pathologist who did the autopsy. He claims it was murder- an injection of three Anti-Psychotics. Through a microscopic site.  He’s pretty pissed that the Autopsy Report was messed with”

“Well, that’s news to us. Why would someone change the report?” He was drawing on his e-cig and flipping pages. “That kinda changes things.”

“I’ll say. I’m meeting with him in the morning.” Which was three hours form now. “In the meantime…?”

“Yes?” More attentive now.

“I want you to find out every you can on a Doctor Avery Clarke. The Third. He works at the hospital (flipping through  her notes)  ”…as an Oncologist. But there’s something very weird about this guy. Find out his relationship with Stephanie Roberts. And our missing corpse. And… our missing Morgue Attendant, Maxim Jourdine. Who doesn’t appear to exist. But he does. Or did.”

“Okay. Done. Call back in a few hours.” Jorgen drew on his e-cig. “And Detective?”

“Yes?” Impatient now to get to bed.

“Sorry about my comment. Regarding the murdered twins. Uncalled for.”

Mary  pondered a moment.

“Asshole. You’re forgiven.” And hung up.


My Latest Yelp Review…

Yada Yada Yada

(Continued from HERE)


I dreamt.

And in my dreams? I was aware of words unformed, whispered through gauzy nothingness- not so much as heard,  but felt, willing me along, propelling me further, further, down, down. I was primordial, unicellular, evolving into something of a slug or anemone. I slithered in the mud- following the words- through vast primordial seas and into the muck, and down, down, down through murkiness, through long tunnels of waste and nothingness, and into a clearing of dim, vague pulsing light. My eyes began to focus on a focal point of … something; something strange and dark and born of night. Something to focus on, that would transform me- if I only knew how to formulate words… I swam/paddled/oozed towards it, hoping to reach it, make contact, apprehend it. If only I had a voice, it would hear me! Other organisms evolved past me and I followed. I was pursuing a beast or being or godhead that was willing to talk to me, to instruct me, to explain where from I came, what I was, where Iwas going. What was wanted of me…. If only, if only… 

I awoke.

I was under the the klieg light. And sitting next to me and waiting for me to hearken forth,  to come to- to emerge- sat a strange little man of indistinguishable age. He was wearing a somber, well-cut suit, somewhat antiquated, but natty and very dapper. He leaned closer to me, resting one hand upon my forehead. With the other he probed me, lifting my face towards him. Then he let go and sat back.

“Hello, then,” he said. “You are somewhat awake. And maybe you can speak?”

I tried to mutter something but in my perplexity- my utter dumbfoundedness- I merely opened and closed my mouth, vaguely trying to communicate, but not having any luck whatsoever.

“Well, we appear to be making great progress with you.” He consulted notes on a clipboard for a minute before setting them aside. Then he stood, staring down at me, crossing his arms in front of him.

“You have been under deep sedation- as profound as we could have you be- but…we had to be careful. (This explained the pain, the intense, all-consuming agony. Jesus!) For about thirty hours, actually. But, (he clapped his hands together) you are well on your way to metamorphosing into something very unique. And marvelous. Certainly, we found it necessary to replace a few organs, damaged tissues, a bone graft or two. (He glanced again at my Prognostic Report, and raised his eyebrows) Well, seven bone grafts, actually. But… we even repaired your heart! Now?  It’s up to you to begin healing.”

He bent down close to look at me.

“Do you understand?”

I thought for minute, then I got it.

“You… you are…” My voice was a raspy, unsure thing. I swallowed (I could swallow!) and tried again. But was still having trouble saying it. But he understood.

“Yes. I am He. I am the Re-Animator. And this is my clinic. My facility.”

I stared at him, although it caused me intense pain to move my head to where I could look at him.  There was something I needed desperately to tell him, but the words just wouldn’t come.

He was at the sink washing his hands. He turned to face me.

“It’s time now. Time for you to get with the program. To learn what is expected of you. Time for you to deliver.”

He came up close again, drying his hands.

“If you do not understand? Well then… we will have just have to explain in depth. But, a little later, I think. For now, you must recover.”

And with that he smiled, switched off the monstrous surgical light turned, and left, dimming the overheads as he exited.


The Re-Animator. Himself.

The Re-Animator. Himself.


Oy vey.

I lay in the surreal glow of the ambient lighting, thinking.

What did they possibly want from me?

And how far down the scale would I have to go? What would they have me doing? Murder?  Smuggling drugs? Arms dealing?


I could move my head from side to side now. I could flex my legs. I could… breathe! And…?

My. Heart. Was. Beating.

Tentatively, to be sure, but still; my heart was beating and I could breathe. My God.

I lay there pondering in the gloom when I became aware of somebody, with a surgical mask on, stealing silently into the room. He/she was wearing scrubs.

He/she paused to study me, then walked over and casually covered up a camera with a pair of scrubs, then went across the room to cover up a second camera. He/she held up a finger in front of his/her mouth; a gesture that meant,

“Shut up- Don’t say anything.”

I was a little too mystified to respond.

He/she bent over me, shaking his/her head. Then she- definitely a she- pulled down her mask.

And smiled at me.

It was Steph!

Stephanie “Steph” Roberts! My savior! My reason for wanting to live, to recover! Joyousness!

“Oh… My…. God…,” I murmured. Then, with as much clarity as I could summon, “You. You came… back! For… for me?”

I couldn’t fucking believe it. I felt like crying and laughing simultaneously.

She lay her hand on my chest, feeling my sluggish and tentative heartbeat, and smiled.

“Yes. I did. Anywhere. Anytime. Really. And (placing her hand on my thorax), you’ve got a heartbeat! Wow!”

She stared at me for a moment longer then began looking around the room; she saw a wheelchair in the corner, went and grabbed it.

“Now, then, sailor! Let’s get you the fuck out of here.”

She struggled for a moment getting me off the table- I almost ended up on the floor in a tumble of limbs- and into the waiting wheelchair. She then covered me with a sheet found on a shelf. She also selected a few salves and tinctures- a few hormones-, and pills (and suppositories) that she studied for a minute before slipping them into the pockets of her lab coat

She pulled the mask over her face, and…

We left.




Max Meets Jacek Under Somewhat Dire Circumstances

The Longest Con


While staying at a friend’s “petite chateau” in the Loire Valley recently, I happened upon a long abandoned wing, and Joy of Joys!… I found myself in a sadly neglected and haphazardly extensive library… with massively overflowing shelves full of books!

Oh, Tattered Volumes! Oh, Mustiness! Oh, Blesséd Disarray and Floor-to-Ceiling Mystery!  I was in Heaven! I spent several spellbound weeks therein, perusing, notating, cataloguing.

And amongst the vast & jumbled collection, the following and particularly modest work- long out of print- caught my eye.  It is a mystery why it did so. Perhaps because it defied classification? I mean was this an autobiography? Historical fiction? A guidebook on how to con- or punish- those evildoers who have so long evaded justice?


I can find no info re: the author and precious little about the publisher* but after two readings I was compelled to translate and publish it here in our widely unread literary quarterly.

B.L.Y.  June 13th, 1981. Saumur





By Berthault Louis Yprés. Odalisque Press, Paris. 1954

(Translation by B.L. Young)

Laurette, La Place Vendøme 1944

“Laurette å La Place Vendøme” 1944. From the Cover of «Le Plus Long Jeu de Con»


Prologue: Betrayal and Flight

Porte Ste. Sulpice, La Provence. 1954

After a lifetime of unplanned and very sudden departures… after aeons of crafting and fine-tuning identities, personae, detailed histories (using elements and minutae from various lives actually lived and/or elaborately imagined)… after decades of modifying and testing protocols for  ’selection and approach’ and painstakingly vetting wealthy (as well as breathtakingly immoral, corrupt and nasty) marks, who invariably believed themselves incalculably clever, hence invulnerable… after all the planning, maneuvering, rehearsing, staging, re-writing required to separate arrogant fools from their ill-gotten money and property- and leaving them with NO recourse or ability to redress… after failing scores of times for each oh! so glorious success…? Remy knew this above all else; the long-con could succeed only if all the players followed the script with diligence, discipline and dedication.

And honesty. At least with the other teammates.

Oh, certainly there were innumerable times when one had to improvise: on-the-spot and away from the others,  under the glare of some antagonist’s focused, malevolent stare; but one had to have a basic script to work from… the lines and the timings had to be down cold. Everybody had to know this script intimately or all of them paid the price. Maybe not immediately- but inevitably?  Yes, a very heavy price would be paid.

Thus reflected Remy, morbidly, as he watched the street four stories below.

“This is how the cornered and panting fox, now overcome with desperate exhaustion, must feel as the baying, snarling hounds tear through the thicket in which he had hides himself,” he mused.


And now Remy found himself a cornered fugitive simply because he had broken his own cardinal rule: he had made exceptions, granted temporary exemption from the playbook (“The Script”) for the two women he loved. And one of them had betrayed him. His freedom- and certainly, his life, were now forfeit as a result.

But in this run-down pension, which had seen no tenant or visitor for some 25 years now, he was for the moment, safe. Ironically, and unbeknownst to any of his lovers- so neither would ever be tempted to point his inevitable pursuers in this direction- the deed was in Katerine’s and Laurette’s names. And had been for nearly a decade.

He wondered how and what they were doing this very instant; sadly, one (surely not both?) of his girls would probably be tortured by guilt, unable to face what they had done, what the cost would be. Not just to their leader, Remy, but to all of the crew.

And themselves.


It wasn’t entirely accurate to say Remy was strictly by himself here in this ancient, lonely edifice; there were a few ghosts lurking about who kept to the periphery of Remy’s vision. He could feel, more than see them, but ofttimes he did hear them, whispering to no one at dusk and sometimes weeping inconsolably in the chill hours before dawn. Their presence somehow comforted him.

Also, in the claw-footed tub of the bathroom on the top floor, lay what remained of one very corrupt Agent de Sécurité Provencal- under a foot or so of preservative spirits, whom Remy visited a few times a day in order to steadily dismember and dispose of. As he worked at this gruesome task, which he would have normally assigned to his technician Michel, Remy, who was far from squeamish, would find himself conversing with his late tormenter.

“Ah, Jean-Marc, you lethal pig,  why did you have to be such a total shit? I was very faithful in my payments to you, non? My instructions to you were clear, easily performed and never implicated you in any crime. Who did you sell us out to? Which of my belovéd cadre tumbled you to our harmless arrangement? What did they promise you? What, I beg you, caused such fear, or greed?”

The agent had no answers for Remy. He most advisedly should not have attempted to follow Remy on his flight from Provence. Remy had moved at a breathless pace which prevented Le Capitane from communicating with anyone in the départment, but, in the end, he was just too annoying. Besides- he had played a bigger part in Remy’s betrayal than anyone else.


He took pieces of Capitaine Jean-Marc Rousselle down to the basement furnace every night to incinerate. One was less likely to notice the smoking chimney pipes when everyone else in town had fires burning against the late autumn chill. One or two more nights and the task would be completed. Then Remy would leave, with no ‘baggage’ left behind.

Now he peered from behind the faded curtain at early morning scene below. If there was a signal from Yves, it would appear twenty minutes after an even numbered hour; it was now eight o’clock in the morning on an abysmally foggy and drear day. Which matched his mood, to say the least.

Children were headed to Academie St. Estelle, trodding the cobblestones to their lycée, unconcerned- not carefree, mind. Life is difficult for all, but saves its cruelest ironies for the young; it is when the first promises are broken, while one is so full of hope and astounded by all the possibilities. They were aware only what was on own plate.

Bless them all, these “enfants de la patrie”. How he envied them regardless of their malaise. Remy envied anyone who wasn’t about to be arrested, tortured, shot and disappeared.

All his instincts were piano-string taut. And yet? In some ways he had never been so tranquil. His was a perverse nature- he knew this. It’s what made him him excel as free-agent con-artist. One of the very best, actually.

From this vantage he could also see down to the Gare Maratime and it’s sole, ornately beaux-art entrance adjacent to the Gendarmerie.  He had but one very temporary escape route now- up the implausibly narrow attic stairs ridden by false wall, across two blocks of crumbling, tiled rooftops, and down the ladder to the back room of the café where his old friend Yves, who quite literally owed Remy the limbs still attached to his increasingly corpulent body (in addition to his life) served glasses of Anisette or carafes of vin tres ordinaire, cassoulets or ragouts, to an ever diminishing trickle of aging customers, fugitives, hopeful outcasts all. Few could pay in coin so they were expected to bear frequent and  accurate reports of what they saw and heard ’round the harbor and in the town. Remy happily subsidize them all, year after year.

Called Mouton de Mer, it was also where Yves had secreted Remy’s final passport & carte d’identité, a uniform one would see wistful vets wearing on the benches along the promenade, 60 thousand Swiss Francs, and a Browning 25 caliber automatic. Plus a few additional ‘choses necessaries‘. All this and less than 50 kliks from Marseilles and easy passage to anywhere… St. Gustave even had its own small port favored by fishermen and small merchant ships. Which meant modestly ambitious smugglers, who the authorities tolerated for a fair percentage.

This gave Remy options.

And there! On the side of the Station, just below the street name plaque, an impossibly skinny youth in baggy mechanics clothes was drawing a large hammer and sickle with a large piece red chalk. He was appending this political challenge to the petite bourgeoisie the roman numerals, “XV”. Which meant ‘meet in Yves in fifteen minutes.

As 2 gendarmes emerged from the station, noticed the lad making graffiti in a public space, they blew their whistles shrilly and began running towards the lad, as he double-underlined the ”XI” twice then took off like a hare, disappearing into a narrow alley behind a row of street vendors.

The underline stressed that this was urgent. It was time to meet up with Ypres.



(The Game)

Every player involved in a scheme had to understand and believe in it, heart and soul.  When conceived and charted by an unstintingly perfectionist interpreter of human nature- as was our Remy- the con, or “script” was a perfectly realized narrative. It was scripture. It had to be masterful. Which put no small amount of pressure on Remy, the beset-upon author of the next con. Remy slaved tirelessly to perfect the plan, to write the manual, timeline, the map. It became the “guidebook”. His dedication to his “children” was unflagging and complete because Remy lived to serve and care for his team of actors and specialists; they were family. He loved each and every one! Truly!

Some maybe more than others. And differently. He admitted that now in his place of banishment. Alone. Wary.  A Fugitive. Resigned.

“Passionately dispassionate” was the phrase Clément, Remy’s “Assistant Director”,  had coined for the combination of sang froid and fervor required to perform and to complete the job.  ”But more importantly”, Clément would then proclaim: “We are in this together: success or prison or gutted like perches. Together, eh?”. And he fucking meant it. So did Remy. And he had to trust the others did too. Nor could he let love get in the way. He must never do that. Ever.

The Burden of Calculation rested most heavily on his shoulders. Choosing the critical moment to commence the ‘endgame and exit’ and always- wherever they were, whatever they were doing-  awaiting the gendarmerie or whatever other cadre of police who had taken interest in their activities- to come pound on his door in the middle of night. This sometimes seemed inevitable; but he alone could not give to despair. He could only pretend to be present, ‘in the moment’ with the others, sharing their joy and hopefulness. Remy was always watching, waiting for that which go wrong. It’s what made me so lonely and separate. He was always thinking,  asking himself, “What will go wrong?” and “What am I missing here?”

Quite a lot, apparently.


Clichy. 1933


Remy’s grandfather, whom he had never met before, whom he didn’t know existed, showed up at his father’s hotel room, proclaimed to the 12 year old boy who answered the door, “I know who YOU are… but I’ll bet my last centime you haven’t a clue who I am.”

Remy shook his head ‘no’. He was gobsmacked- he had no strategy for this kind of encounter.

The old man entered the room with a proprietary swagger, looked around and then sat down on the bed. He stared at Remy and, pointing at him with the hand that held the cigar, “you are Frankie’s youngest boy. Remy, right?”

Remy nodded, mystified but also expectant. The old man had the widest grin he’d ever seen. This grizzled character obviously loved to share a joke.

“I’m your grandfather, see?”

He leaned back on the bed. He took off his hat, rubbing his hand across his stubbled face.

“You expecting your Papa back soon?”

Remy shrugged.

He was used to being left alone. In his father’s frequent absences he had created a life of fantasy and adventure. He wandered the hotel’s corridors, chatting up the refugees, wanderers and lost souls, prevailing on them for food and company. He would sit on the floor of his new ‘old friends’ cluttered & mildewed little rooms and hear their complicated stories, their excuses, what the world had done to them and their deluded plans to recapture the happiness others had conspired to take away. Sometimes when they had spent themselves utterly, they would forget that he was there. He would leave them looking at their hands or staring out the window. He let himself out, closing the door quietly.

Frequently he left with some of their possessions, carefully tucked away into the folds of his clothing.

Thus, Remy learned to identify self-deception and deception of others- “bullshit” from a very early age. And yet, he was tolerant of people’s need to immerse themselves in a ever-evolving montage of pasted together dreams, denial and willful forgetfulness. He also recognized how vulnerable most people were, and he stored this information away. He intuited- and never once forgot- that ‘bullshit’ was just as important as fact or history. The lies people told- mostly to themselves- defined the brokenness and weakness, the chinks in the armor, the secret entrances to the real self- the core of which for almost everybody else was always frightened, ashamed, rendering most people catatonic and virulently evasive.


He knew that the things he took from them needed to be taken; the absconding was liberating to them, tho’ if and when they ever suspected him, they evidenced outrage, which was really the lead-up to a soliloquy on the theme of ‘acceptance’ and ’surrender’ and the admission of their own part in the disasters that were their own sad histories.


He knew that, for himself, he would have to be very diligent, disciplined and alert to his own shortcomings if he was to avoid his own imbroglios and disasters. He would not create for himself his own ’sad history’. Au contraire. He would do something memorable with his life and the key was understanding others far better better than they could possibly know themselves. Paradoxically, it was empathy and understanding that would give him control, as long as he maintained perspective and was faithful to his goals.

Primary of which was getting the fuck out of this sad corner of Le Marais.

His father always had ‘business’ to attend to and would leave early in the morning after slicking back his hair and shaving. Sometimes he remembered to leave a few francs for food. Sometimes he was gone for days, returning with no explanation, as though he had just gone out to nuy cigarets and a Sometimes he brought “work associates” back with him, charming, witty guys with hooded eyes, reeking of booze and wearing their flaunted sexual prowess like so much cheap cologne. one or two had groped him furiously when his father left the room. Another time he woke with underwear around his ankles; then they would disappear for weeks, sometimes for good. The ones who did come back to drink his father’s Calvados or Pernod wore haunted looks. They trembled and sat up when thy heard footsteps in the hallway

His grandfather stared at him a few more minutes assessing how his own lineage lay upon the boy’s face.

“Well, then,” he concluded, sitting up, putting on his hat and his cigar back in his mouth. “You tell him I came by, okay.” and headed for the door.

As he was about to leave he turned around and looked at remy with sternness bordering on actual threat.

“Run away from him- as soon as you can. Make plans, then go.  And in your future life stay far away from people like him. And me. You understand?”

And after bestowing upon Remy that singular legacy, his grandfather was gone. Like a candle flame blown out in haste. Remy stood transfixed for an entire minute, letting the significance of the bizarre encounter infuse his entire being.


To Be Continued….





 Part 3

Continued From Here



We had arrived. At the place. Where the Re-Animator… well, re-animated.

Whatever. I was so not into this.

Jacek unloaded my gurney (including butt-buzzing i-Phone) and was wheeling me across a large parking lot where there were a lot of spots but few cars. A sign read Very Advanced Cryogenics. There seemed to be no one around.

“Well, now,” he exclaimed. “You are here! It is going to be a joy and pleasure to be bringing you back to life!” He smiled. Then he winked.

I was a more than a little suspicious but owing to the fact I still remained, you know- dead,  I could do little more than take in the sights.

He slowly backed me through a side gate and carefully maneuvered the gurney into the building. There was no one in the drab reception area and he didn’t stop there; he wheeled me down a long corridor and into Prep Room C.


If the morgue at St. John’s had been considered ‘nice’ and ‘well-appointed’, well, then… this lab was the bomb! A lavish freezer, all the needed instruments, vats of revitalizers, a humungous overhead light, a somewhat intrusive display of phials and emollients, a multi-level level table that folded the patient (me) into to any number of positions; it had it all.

Robot in laboratory

There were ten or so attendants awaiting me. A woman in a lavender lab coat stepped forward and began a cursory inspection.

“So. What have we here? A little bit of cheese and meat? A crumpet? Or… a dumpling, I dare say?’

She was a Brit of the Oxford or Cambridge (University of Edinburgh?) variety. She had her hair pulled back away from her face. She was wearing an over-sized turtleneck sweater. And no make-up. In her late 30′s. She was pretty, in a dire and distancing way.

She removed my sheet and began probing and prodding about my person. She found the cell phone almost immediately, examining it cursorily, then handed it over to one the techs standing by who hurried out to given it a much more  thorough inspection. She continued on, working in silence for a minute or so. Then, removing her gloves, she straightened up and stepped back to consider.

After a moment she nodded to Jacek and turned to face me.

“I am Dierdre. Dierdre Allison McCaffrey. Doctor Dierdre Allison McCaffrey, Medical Examiner and Chief Pathologist here at the… well, clinic. And you? You are most definitely… dead! Kerput! Finished!”

The staff of attendants laughed heartily.

“But…” She gave me an appraising look and squinted, then ran her hands over me again. “But… someone has taken great pains to keep you fresh as a daisy. Very great pains. Who, I wonder?”

She pondered for a moment, then continued.

“Be that as it may. Welcome to Very Advanced Cryogenics, where we will finish the job in entirety. Con Gusto”

She smiled at me.

“Do you have any questions?”

Yes! Where the fuck am I? 

She considered the question for a moment.

“You are at the most advanced re-juvenation clinic in the entire world. Under the guidance of The Re-Animator. We will work wonders on you. We will undo the pernicious effects of the autopsy. We will heal your organs. We will… in a word… bring you back to life. Better! We will bring you to a state of being and consciousness that you would never have believed possible.”

She leaned in close.

“Does that answer your question?”

No. Not really. I mean, where do you get off? And why did you take me away from Steph?

I looked at Jacek but he was stone-faced, staring straight ahead. Ignoring me.

“Where? Do we get off?”

Her tone had turned cold, frightful.

She leaned in and grabbed me by the- well, by the crotch- giving me a truly agonizing squeeze.

“Right here, buster. That is precisely where. And you are powerless to stop us. We will rip you a new asshole. We will tear your organs away, one by one. We will eviscerate and root you out.  We will finish the job. And you? You have little or no say in the debate. In fact… there is no debate. ”

She let go. If I could have sweat, I would have. She was a bit much. I said, or thought… nothing.

Except for Get Me The Hell OUT of Here.

But I kept that thought to myself.

She turned to the staff and said, “Well, then. Why don’t we get started?”

She started to leave the room but paused when she came to Jacek. She stared hard at him until he began to twitch. Jacek was visibly shaken. It was like she somehow knew he was up to something…. and somehow in cahoots with me.

Then returned her attention to the staff.

“Well?” A tapping of the foot was implied. Then she was gone.

The techs got busy hooking up tubes and hoses, attaching sensors, spreading my arms and legs, pulling my head back until I thought my neck would snap, laying out scalpels and other vile instruments. They pinned my eye-lids back in my head, pried open my mouth, and arrayed me in spread eagle fashion.

Help Oh Help, I cried in a silent scream. Oh damnation.

The techs worked their horrific ministrations. And I just lay there… and watched.


Doctor Dierdre Allison McCaffrey

Doctor Dierdre Allison McCaffrey

Detective Mary Gregory was driving home on the Santa Monica Freeway. And thinking really hard.

There was something more than a little strange about this whole business: the missing techs, a man in his late twenties absconding with body in a van, the cell phone that couldn’t be traced. And weird chemicals not usually provided in a morgue setting. Not to mention Dr Avery Clarke, III. That guy was way past his ‘sell by’ date. He would warrant a much more thorough questioning. Definitely.

She’d just gotten off the phone with Dr. Armen Ghookasian who informed her that he had determined I had been murdered; this, strangely enough, hadn’t shown up in the post mortem. Cause of Death had been stipulated as Acute Myocardial Infarction and Respiratory Failure- not poisoning by means of a microscopic injection. He was furious that it wasn’t noted in any of the paperwork. He agreed to meet the Detective first thing in the a.m.

A few minutes ago the cell phone and digital communications expert had called with somewhat distressing news: Stephanie Roberts had no cell phone. At least not one registered in her name. They were checking pseudonyms. And she had no address. ALL the information she had given to the hospital was bogus. Max too. It was like neither of them existed.

Worse yet, Forensics had turned up two very distinct prints- one, on the underside of a freezer tray, the other from lab bench favored by the oh! so elusive “Max”. They were- small wonder- matchable only to cadavers that had been used as medical specimens- three fucking years ago!

These two mysterious Lab Technicians/Dieners were a study in obfuscation. It was like… well, like they just weren’t there. And may have never have been.

She considered this for a while as she tooled down the 10 Fwy, then made an abrupt decision and exited on Lincoln Blvd.

She needed a drink.




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Continued from HERE


Part Two


Detective Mary Gregory was having a shitty day.

She had just come back from a month long vacation (in The Barbadoes) and now?

Now this.

A corpse had been stolen from the St. John’s Hospital morgue and two of the morgue attendants were M.I.A.


She had finally kicked everybody out- the Forensics team wasn’t too happy about this- and had seated herself at one of the desks. She wanted a cigarette but had settled on a piece of nicorette gum. As she pondered the situation, she propped her feet up and summarized.

1) An intruder had entered the morgue and tasered the woman who had worked there.

2) The intruder had removed the cadaver from the freezer and had wheeled him into a waiting, unmarked van.

3) The morgue attendant had given chase. When the van had taken off, the attendant had gotten into her Prius and given chase.

4) There was no cell phone in the woman’s name.

5) The woman was named Stephanie “Steph” Roberts, the man was Max Veerflectin (he had been on Cappuccino run and not returned).

So.  A missing corpse and two missing morgue attendants.


A voice on the walkie-talkie interrupted her revery; the techs would be able to track down the woman’s cell phone once they had traced a last call to the woman’s roommate, but there were clearance issues that hadn’t been resolved. A few hours at least. Mary thanked the man and urged him to stay on top of it. Like fuck.

“Will do,” he answered. And was gone.

She got up and wandered through the morgue again. There was a beaker of some unspecified goo that Forensics had taken samples from. And a trocar labeled “Steph”. And some other tools. What on earth had she been doing? There was no earthly reason for the tech to have been applying/injecting any potion to the corpse.

There were also several empty packs of American Spirits.

Mary wanted one.


She leaned back from the desk and closed her eyes.


Detective Mary Gregory

Detective Mary Gregory


Dr. Avery G. Clarke had just returned form lunch  in a very bad mood. That little bitch in the morgue last night was just.. just too much! The nerve!

The two Ukrainian were nurses who awaited his return were terrified. They stared at their shoes while Dr. Avery had fumed. They had removed their underwear and awaited direction,  glancing nervously at each other.

He had wandered over to his window to stare at the scenery below. After a moment his attention was diverted to the goings on in the morgue parking lot. A lot of cops and hubbub.

A couple of phone calls and was he in the know.

This was great!

A corpse stolen and the two techs were missing- more than he could have possibly hoped for!

He formulated a plan, then- having distractedly fondled his nurses-  went downstairs.

Ivana let out a big breath. She stared at Ruscha and exclaimed,

“Марія і Ісус, який був на волосок!!!”. (“Jesus and Mary, that was a close call!”)

Neither spoke english; they also had only a rudimentary 
understanding of nursing.

"Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Nyet!", replied Ruscha.

Detective Gregory had let the forensics team back into the morgue and they 
were just wrapping up and heading out. A photographer lingered, taking a 
desultory shot or two, checked his lens, then took a couple of more. Must be a pretty slow day, Mary thought.

She had finally broken down and bummed a couple of Marlboroughs from one off the cops. She was puffing away and deeply distracted when Dr. Avery wandered in and acting intimidated and truly sorry to be bothering the poor detective 

If Mary saw through this act you couldn't tell. She looked duly 
concerned and concentrated hard on what the Doctor was saying.

"Well," he began in a faltering voice, "it's just that a morgue 
tech- a diener- shouldn't be doing to a corpse what Miss Roberts was doing 
to that poor cadaver."

He looked around the lab and shook his head. Mary stared at him, neither 
encouraging him nor dissuading him from continuing his story.

"It was very strange. She was... injecting him with something. 
There were all these... salves and ointments and... uh... lotions and 
creams. And she had a trocar. And she was smoking."

Mary took a drag, staring intently at Dr. Clarke, but she didn't put her 
cigarette out.

"Yes, well... there's no smoking in the hospital."

No reaction.

Dr. Clarke stared a bit longer; the smoke was driving him batshitbut he 
continued on.

"And... and, I know you'll find this hard to believe, but she was talking to him. And playing music. And she was on the phone with somebody. I think her 

He straightened his back, then stared hard at the Detective.

"She was VERY RUDE to me!"

Mary waited for the Doctor to continue.

"Well, that's all I remember. I hope its been helpful to you. In some small 
way." He turned away ready to leave.

"Dr... Clarke?" Mary slid down from the desk, straightening out her suit and arranging her hair.

"Yes?"  He didn't know what to expect.

"What was your relationship with Stephanie Roberts like before? 
Did you know her? To speak to?"

"To speak to? Hmm. I may have a word or two with her. In a professional 

"Because, I'm wondering just what an oncologist was doing down here." She 
leaned away from him, taking him in.

"Well I... I mean there were tissue samples to collect. And lab results. And such not. I'm not quite certain what you're getting at, Detective."

Mary was already turning away and picking papers and reports from he 

"Oh, well thank you, Doctor. You've been a big help."

She was already on the phone and chewing out somebody who dealt with 

Dr. Avery G Clarke, 3rd stood there with an open mouth. Then, for a second 
time, he backed away. Thoroughly dismissed.






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my latest yelp review


“Can’t say enough wonderful things about Dr Armen Ghookasian, the pathologist who just performed a flawless & truly memorable autopsy on me. He was discerning, meticulous and also able to ‘think outside the body bag’, as it were. That’s how he came to find the microscopic injection site hidden in a mole/freckle on the top of my left foot near my 3rd metatarsal, wherein an overdose of one of the 3 antipsychotics I am prescribed (long story) had been injected.

“He’s also the only Heath Care Professional who has ever gotten my brain weight and penis length right: 39.2213 grams and 19.441 cm, respectively.

Dr. Armen Ghookasian Forensic Pathologist

Dr. Armen Ghookasian
Forensic Pathologist

“Love my new Y-shaped scar which extends inward from either collar bone meeting at my sternum and descending down to my mons pubis. Wish I could saunter down the beach in Antibes sporting this ’to die for’ body art!!!

Also a BIG shout out to the Morgue Staff /Pathology Techs Stephanie and Max who gave me that little bit extra T.L.C. which made all the difference during my stay here. The refrigeration temp was perfect!!! And Max’s mix tape rocked! I still have ‘Dancing With Myself’ running thru my head!

“At night they played Dead Can Dance- all the albums!

Each refrigeration unit at St. John’s Morgue is equipped with great speakers as well as an L.E.D. screen on the ceiling, so I’ve been able to keep up with my favorite series on Netflix. A CCTV camera allows attendants to check on guests while they are doing lab work.

“‘Comfy?’ asks Steph from the lab office. “How’s it hangin’, dawg?” Asks Max.

” ‘Just Chillin’, I reply. I’m sure they’ve heard that one before.

I met with Hank Lipmann of Lipmann Family Funeral Home a few minutes ago. He will eventually handle my entombment (after what is certain to be a lengthy inquest featuring endless forensic challenges). Hank assures me that future exhumations will be made easier due to The Pre-Need Plan I signed off on ages ago re: casket, seals, level of embalming, etc.

“So… I’ll be back!


Max. The only St. John's employee who uses a kirlian photo on his ID Card.


Stephanie "Steph" Roberts

Stephanie “Steph” Roberts


And guess what? Hank and I both went to Hillsdale High School, in San Mateo! Two decades apart, true, but we both had Mr. Jankowitz for International Relations! And I’m the 6th alumnus he has buried and/or cremated!

“The only downside here at St. John’s Pathology/Morgue- and I hear this is a pretty standard complaint in most morgues- the visiting hours are like non-existent.


Barry Y.

Culver City, CA


P.S.  Whoa! The guy who killed me just broke in, overpowered and then tasered Stephanie (Max is on a cappuccino run). With remarkable focus and calm efficiency, he has removed me from Reefer Unit 9. I had expected this to be my home for few more weeks awaiting inquests, etc., so I’m feeling a bit discomfited and apprehensive about this new course of events.  He is now wheeling me out thru the basement & across the loading dock and propelling me into the back an unmarked, refrigerated van. I’m just along for the ride, people. Don’t pay me no never-mind.

So… I have to add that St John’s could do with an exhaustive Security Audit/Overhaul. Sadly, this amounts to another small blemish on their immaculate stainless steel finish.

:o) :o)


“Now Mr. X is pulling out of of the parking at a leisurely speed as to draw no attention to either of us (not that I, in the back of the van and covered by a sheet- would attract any attention. Ever again. Sigh.)

“But wait!!! Hold the goddamned phone, y’all!!!

“Steph has just burst through the basement doors, disoriented and breathing hard. She places her hand on the dock-railing, to steady herself. She’s gone all postal!  She sees us, leaps off the dock like a puma, lands on the asphalt mid-stride, and…. OMG!!! She isn’t wearing underwear beneath her lab coat!!!

“Go, Steph!!!

“Which compels this reviewer to fearlessly re-commit to a Five Star rating for my stay here at St. John’s Hospital/Medical Center Morgue!!!

P.P.S.  If you were in the back of the van with me right now? You could not help but notice that the smile Dr. Ghookasian lovingly molded onto my face (as the finishing touch for a flawless Post Mortem) seems to be spreading a little wider.

“Steph’ s on a Mission! Her fierce desire to protect her client (me!) has warmed my heart.

“Not literally. But still…!


Mt New "Body Art"

My New “Body Art”



Chapter 2

Jacek. Prior to Arriving in the U.S. of A.

Jacek. Prior to Arriving
in the U.S. of A.

Steph hit the ground running in a valiant attempt to catch up with us, but we were already turning east onto Arizona Ave, ignoring the stop sign at 24th. I’m trying to remain calm and think this thing through, but I would appear to be in a bit of a pickled imbroglio+clusterfuck.

Story of My Afterlife.

A minute later, we climb the on-ramp to the 10 East. My up-until-now-silent, personal Charon, turns on the sound system. A Rachmaninoff Prelude softly fills the van. My abductor/murderer looks in the rearview mirror… and smiles.

“Well, now… That is exciting for you, yes?” he asks.

Yes. A bit.

“Are you okay there? I am to inform you, we are driving for maybe one hour, yes? You need something?”

His voice is a subtle mélange of Baltic and Central/Eastern European. If I had to guess, I’d say he is Hungarian, maybe Ukrainian, via Talinn. And he certainly looks slavic. With high cheekbones, a prominent brow and a soupçon of Tatar around the eyes.

I also notice he missing his left index finger.

“Don’t ask. It’s a long story. Small misunderstanding.”

Now he smiles to himself. Why?

“My name Jacek, okay? My mother is Estonian and my papa- may he rest in peace- was from Kiev.”

Sometimes I scare myself. I’m always right.

“And I did not want to kill you, okay?”

Well, now I definitely feel a whole lot better about all this… this little wrinkle in my former lifeline. He didn’t want to kill me. Everything is A.O.  Just peachy.

“You starting to understand, right? You are of course hating me now. And is right to think sarcastic about Jacek, what Jacek did to you”.

He nods to himself. He’s pondered this and anticipated from me a wee dram of misgiving.


Jacek drives without paying the slightest attention to the road, yet seems to avoid any and all collisions with even the most aggressively stupid and self-involved drivers. All while carefully studying my reaction in the mirror. He is not finished explaining himself.

“You believe Jacek? They had me against wall, okay? You know… ‘Blindfold you want? Or…one last cigarette maybe? Okay. This gonna hurt.’ That was situation. Kill you. Or else? First they gonna rape and behead my sons. Then they gonna kill me. Nice, slow. So, then… what is Jacek going to do? You tell me please.

I say nothing. It’s good he’s talking. Confessing. I’ll let him continue. I am very interested in what this has all been about. And why it has been about boring ol’ me. Besides, there is something vibrating under my right buttock. Insistently. That, too, makes me curious.

“I also know, see, that He planned to… how you say… ‘bring you back’. Which He can do! Yes! You don’t have to believe poor Jacek now. You will see for yourself very soon. You will meet Him.  He  is calling himself, ‘THE  REVIVER“. You don’t want to no how much power he has. Really. You also now meet many ‘revenants’, okay? People like you. Who were dead. But not anymore! All are okay guys now. This is the truth. And women too. You will see.”

He? Him? Revenants? THE REVIVER?

Yay! I’m about to become become one of The Undead!

I’d actually read- deep, deep down in the Dark Dark Net- that they (we?) actually do exist. And that they (we?) perform… services. That others find ‘distasteful’. Their work had been well reviewed on the revived Silk Road. So, maybe I’ll soon be contracted out to dispatch Antonin Scalia. Or Tom Cruise! I could with live that.

In a manner of speaking.

I just hoped I wouldn’t smell like rotting chorizo (Query to Self: Does chorizo rot? Can it?). Or that pieces of decaying anatomy didn’t fall off me as I waited to go through airport security. I hate when that happens.

Jacek smiles at that.

“Rachmaninoff still okay? I also have Prokoviev, Smetana and Hip Hop! From Odessa. Music by my friends! My homies! You name it, you got it, tovarich.

Rachmaninoff was fine. It fit my mood. And…?

And suddenly I realized what the vibrations were. The ones under my butt.

Last night after Max had dimmed the lights and then left for the evening, Steph made her rounds to check on the six of us currently under her care. When she got to my unit, she opened the square metal door and slid my tray out. She stood over me, staring down, smiling and shaking her head sadly.  She was….

Backlit. Beatific.

“So. What are we going to do with you? I know you are in there.”

She did? I was? In there (here)? How? How did she know?

“Because I can hear you, maestro. Don’t be obtuse!”

Well, I thought… I am, you know… dead?

“Yeah. It’s a real problem. But let’s just take one thing at a time, shall we? ‘Til we come up with a more permanent solution.”

wanted to nod, but.. you know. Sometimes I kinda freeze up when people are paying too much attention to me. Especially when my core temperature descends to the 32 degrees (.55 Celsius} region. She seemed to get this. And besides… who am I to argue? In my delicate condition?

She stared at me a moment longer. Then ruffled my hair.

“Well, okay then. First item on our to-do list is keeping you tip top, right? No atrophying or decaying on my watch! There’s muscle tone and arterial-venal pliability to think about. And pesky little endocrine issues to deal with. Let’s say we get to work?”

Yes. Why not? Let’s!

Here I was, deceased. Life-challenged. Dead. Past sell-by date. And yet??? I hadn’t fallen so in love, so hard, so fast, in a long, long time. Funny ol’ Life.

Or Death.


I was now her project. Her cause célebre. For the next two hours Steph got to work on me. Slavering me with silicone/collagen unguents richly infused with a full spectrum of nutrients, ph stabilizers, hormones (heavy on the H.G.H. and androgens), amino acids, stem cells and so forth; a veritable bouillabaisse of micro-organic mystery solubles withs liters and liters of je ne sais quoi, massaged, injected, mashed into my necrotic flesh, organs and other bits an’ pieces. Con gusto.

And I swear… I could actually feel my tissues, cells awakening. My organs were re-knitting after Dr. Ghookasian’s aggressive, intrusive corpal strip-mining. My heart was poised and ready to beat again.

I was also… omg… tumescent!

“That happens,” grinned Steph, giving Mr. Sleepyhead a firm squeeze. “It’s natural.”



Somewhere around midnight, Steph was finishing up her ministrations and esoteric therapies with a transfusion of her own patented-applied-for  ”Secret Sauce”. I had survived a very deep enema and some other fairlyy invasive work with her custom trocar. Steph was in no way squeamish; she needed to see, probe, feel all of the textures, turgidity, desiccation, lividity. Odors told her lot. Sounds too.

Fresh Out of the Auticlave -Stephanie's Customized Trocar-

Fresh Out of the Autoclave
-Stephanie’s Customized Trocar-

As she labored,  telling me about her Carson McCullers-inspired childhood in Alabama, and after opening her second pack of American Spirits, she got a frantic phone call from with her roommate- apparently there were three dogs to be walked and fed.

And that’s when Doctor Clarke walked in.

Doctor Avery Gerald Clarke. The Third. Who was a shockingly narcissistic- but actually brilliant- Oncologist. And Head of his Department. He looked like a dyspeptic Stephan Colbert.

He had calculated for some time now that the fetching Stephanie simply must be smitten by his own unsurpassed gloriousness, his divinity. To this Hippocratic Deity, Steph was an obvious candidate for future coital escapades: he was convinced of this- it was a certainty- and he had descended to these Stygian Depths to further his campaign to acquire her. To dictate terms and schedule assignations.

‘Total Dick’ doesn’t come near to describing this viscous glob of undulating warthog semen. (I mean this in the nicest way possible, of course).

And he was also a high octane buzz-killer. I was suddenly ever so grateful not to have died of any of the carcinomas that I had always been convinced were metastasizing gleefully from one vital organ to the next while I slept, ate, drank. (This speculation had been disproven only yesterday by the good Dr. Ghookasian). Dr. Clarke’s bedside manner would have been far more toxic than any cancer drug he might have prescribed me. Had I actually, you know, had cancer?

Steph hadn’t put out her cigarette and Dr. C’s eyes kept darting to it. He was aghast. And he was battling mightily not to show it. One did not smoke in his presence- it wasn’t even conceivable. His face twerked with virile disapproval and the strenuous restraint to keep from from expressing it.

He tried to save face by feigning abruptness.

“I’d love to spend a few minutes getting to know you better, Ms…. Ms…?

“You must surely realize I would never tell you my last name… Avery.”

He inhaled sharply thru his nose, tightened his sphincter and continued.

“Yes… well,  I only came down to get a few Renal Panel results. I have a critical 32 year old male who has a very slim chance of…”

“But Doctor C. You poor, pathetic man! Might you be losing your cognitive acuity? You can access any of those panel results from your very own terminals- I think there are 26 work-stations in Oncology, and another 53 in Internal Medicine. I’m so sorry that you came down here and wasted both yours and my extremely valuable time.”

She exhaled an impressively voluminous lungful of smoke-rings and dragons in his direction and returned her laser-focus to the work at hand… me. She placed her half-finished cigarette between my lips.

I had become an ash tray!

The whirring of Doctor Homunculus’ brain cogs turned to a loud grinding and became nearly deafening. He blinked. Twice. Three times. His mouth opened, closed- open, closed-  repeatedly before he could summon sufficient oxygen to his brain. Then…

He backed out of the morgue, staring at where “she” had been. He couldn’t see her now. Everything was just… wrong. And he just sort of…. faded away.

God IS Good! I saw this now. There was rightness, balance, justice in my new Universe.

Steph had started putting her instruments and various potions away. She ended her phone call, setting her iPhone next to me on the tray. Then, abruptly, she was thinking about something else. As she slid me back in my little refuge, the door edge pushed her iPhone into its current resting place- wedged under my aforementioned gluteal region- where it continued, some twelve hours later to vibrate with extreme urgency every minute. In a particularly frantic pattern that I recognized as “Find My Phone“.


Riding in the van I realized that I was connecting a lot more dots here than I had in the freezer. Although nothing could top what Dr. Ghook did to me with that 120v Bone Saw under the 10K multi-spectrum surgical lamp; THAT had been very enlightening. I had seen ALL the dots then and there. Connected, though scattered about the laboratory. And they were MY dots… specks of brain matter, skull splinters, pancreatic tissue, etc.

Jacek had opened and was guzzling down  a monstrous can of energy drink, labeled in Cyrillic letters, never taking his eyes off of me.

“So, boychik, Jacek going to look out for you, okay? Show you the ropes, okay” As he made this solemn vow to me, he held up a legal pad on which he’d scrawled… this.

jacek save u


I pondered this and returned my stare out the tinted rear window.

And was pretty sure I saw, five or six cars back, a silver Prius with a streaked and cracked windshield being driven by one very determined-looking young woman wearing huge sunglasses and a Kansas City Royals baseball cap, visor pulled down low, following us north onto the Pasadena Freeway.

A five year old Silver Prius. Like the one Steph had said she owned.

My death was becoming one to remember.


Dr. Avery G. Clarke, Oncologist Of Whom We Have Not Seen The Last

Dr. Avery G. Clarke, Oncologist
Of Whom We Have Not Seen The Last


Detective Mary Gregory Meets Dr. Avery Clarke, 3rd 


If you like to be guest on our show, or just want to enjoy its filming from the studio audience here at Lorimar Stage 17,  just mention it in a comment. Tickets will await you.

Guests on BarryLYoung.Com stay at The Jolly Roger Motel on Washington Blvd in Venice, California. Free HBO and in-room phones.


Close Enough to Everything Marina Del Rey has to offer!

Close Enough to Everything Marina Del Rey has to offer!

There’s a Story Here!

I Think.

I stumbled upon this somewhat neglected trailer not far from the now abandoned risperdone mines just south of Celexa, Texas.

trailer in desert



Whoever died here did so in a hurry without properly cataloguing or arranging his Worldly Goods. I’m sure he had planned on getting around to it really soon. Like I plan to organize my twenty or so photo Libraries… next week at the very latest.


kitchen in trailer





Another iFotoJournalistic A®chetype from µlag/snog

You Can Quote Me On This


Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention… what did I just say?


When he could not sleep Self Quote


I don’t watch it. I just write it.

tallulah poobah




Sex is funny stuff. Orgasms are HILARIOUS.

*Lights Cigarette*

“Hey! Let’s order Szechuan, I am ravenous”






I know where I live so I wouldn’t do anything stupid.  If i were me.




If that’s what you heard, then you really must stop listening. It’s not helping anybody.


adolf mitt schlagg 2


I didn’t actually just say this. I was only thinking it.




“Without a Hedge, there can be no Hog.”   -Marcus Aurelias


self feet underground-1

I only passed it in mentioning.



It’s asleep. Go poke it with this stick. I’ll wait over here… in case I need to go get help.


debonair alien pig from outer space


I am assembling recognizable, disparate letters/sounds into this comment.

Syntax is not important.

Now it’s your turn.

See? We’re having a conversation!



What you don’t KILL will KNOW you.



0 T UMAX     PowerLook 3000   V1.5 [5]


The subject of this particular comment IS this particular comment.



The Turn has Wormed.



If you thought what the way I think?  I’d stop.  Immediately.


air doll quote



If and when I am in mortal danger I just KNOW they will send Almost Man to rescue me. He has almost saved so many! And he always thinks “Next time? NEXT TIME I will get there and make no mistakes’


thanks to you anus







In the future I was very confused; Last week? Last week will be fabulous!!!


WHOA! I think I just had an emotion!!!



beast rises echo lake copy