from TORMENTING THE MONKEY… The Power Of Prayer: A True Story









Russ was born with a normal arm, and a withered arm. He struggled through many chores, insults, and bullying; was subject to pivots and ignorance piled upon one and other.
At one time in his life, he was unable to withstand the stress any longer. In his ultimate frustration,
he prayed to God.

“God! Please, please, please make my arm like the other one so I can be normal!”
Exhausting himself, he fell fast asleep.

Upon waking, Russ gradually came to and noticed a tingling feeling in one arm.
Sitting up, he looked over to check and sure enough – the power of prayer had worked.

Both arms were now withered, and Russ continues to save on gloves and love his job as a traffic cop.

Given that the economy is rewarding secondary work, and his deep religious beliefs about making people feel useful, he also works as a spastic-on-fire [ed. note: modern dance] to encourage the Good Samaritan impulse in others.

He continues to honor his parents for their undying belief in euthanasia by bringing flowers to them every Sunday, and pats the dirt down so no animals will disturb them.


©Dean J. Baker











Musician and throw-back alike were besieged by the Demon of the Blue Flame.
In this once known haunt of the Hunchback of Our Lady, the
surreptitious beast
puts to shame the formerly poetic stricture ‘trailing clouds of glory.’

Ray, the nominal host, was off in the corner praying to the Ghosts of the
Four Winds; hoping to catch one of the famous blonde sisters backing into him.

Some fucking gerbil’s on the carpenter’s podium exorting us to examine the nuances
of his infinitesimal cleverness or her simply radiant stream of socially conscious clichés.

Plutonium odes and fools’ gold for which there is no cure, but a
trapdoor I could work at my own discretion.

Imagine… just a hint of some bunghole tweeter about to philosophize, and plop!
straight through the real stage door.

©Dean J. Baker

A coffeehouse, café as society…”Acid wit, deep insight, humor, powerful metaphor, intelligence…. A smooth ride on a bumpy road, with side trips into unseen hollows of the human experience…. What else do you need to know? An excellent read, worth sharing far and wide… More, please….” Prose poems that are a paean to Musicians, Writers, Artists, & Wingnuts: to folksingers, the troubled and disturbed, open mic nights everywhere. The poet made it out alive from Fat Albert’s. A satiric, and loving, tribute to open mic nights everywhere, whether in coffeehouses, on campus, or in living-rooms of the desperately demented. The ironies and distinctions that make for unintended humor and discreet or not so discreet satire, as well as the tenderness evoked through an awareness of the frailties and too-human vulnerabilities of the denizens of Fat Albert’s Outpatient Folk Clinic. While tending towards a metaphor of the world and entertainment as just such a clinic for the disturbed, there is evidence of the mastery of the writer in these expressions of the unconventional, and the absurd, which allows us entry to our own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the world at large as one bigger Fat Albert’s Outpatient Folk Clinic.