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Five Poems
by Bill Tope

Everyone Hates Me

Everyone hates me,
even my cat;
I've been abandoned,
what's up with that?
please little pussy,
I meant you no harm;
so why did you levy
this deep scratch on the arm?
I lost my dear girlfriend,
the day before last;
when she raised up memories
of events from my past;
whom I had slept with,
how many love children I had;
she so conflated
the good with the bad;
my best friend relinquished
the deed to my heart;
and something or other
has torn us apart;
my pen pal informed me
she'd send no more letters;
said she'd rather write to,
some of my betters;
my publisher told me
she'd take no more submissions;
and my cancer has ceased
going into remission;
they foreclosed on my house,
and I can't deal with that;
yes, everyone hates me
including my cat.

I Never Meant

"Oh, shut the hell up, Robert," cried Dawn,
lifting her purse off the bar and making for
the door.  If he wanted to come on to other
women in the tavern, then let him.  But,
with her best friend!  She decided, she
wouldn't be humiliated or lied to anymore.
What was it he had said?  What he always
said:  "I never meant to hurt you."
"Babe...Babe," said Robert, moving to
block her exit.  "Move it or lose it," she
warned him.  He grinned winningly and
approached her with his hands extended
widely, prepared, as was his style, to take
her lovingly into his embrace.  Robert had
magic hands!  As he well knew.
"Babe," he cooed, "you don't really
mean that!"  She looked down at her
feet, and he smiled triumphantly. 
Robert always won; they both thought
that at the same time.
Then, quick as a cat, she kneed him
smartly in the groin.  Robert's face
assumed the aspect of a ripe tomato,
just before he collapsed into a fetal
position upon the tavern floor.  
She really couldn't help herself: 
"Robert, I never meant to hurt you," she
said and then flounced out of the

Originally published in
Children, Churches and Daddies

Jukebox Love Affair

“The way you look tonight....” he began.
“Gershwin,” she said automatically.  He
hesitated.  “Uh...yeah.  Gershwin,” he
acknowledged at last.  He began again,
“You send me....” 
“Sam Cooke,” she chirped too brightly.
He halted again.  “Uh-huh, Sam.” His
face was a solid block of frustration, but
he tired a third time: 
“Babe,” he said feelingly, “I just can’t
stop loving you....” She aimed a forefinger
at him and said, “Hank Williams!”
“Christ!” he growled.  “Can’t you give me
credit for an original thought?”
“Oh, David,” she said, “You’re so vain!”
“Carly Simon!” he snapped triumphantly.

Logic 101

“False Dilemma,” said the pert blonde
wistfully.  “And that,” she added, “is a
fallacy.  You know your logic, don’t you,
I frowned.  This young student, whom I
admired greatly for her physical assets,
also had a brain.  I knew this could be a
“Still, I’d love to go down  your Slippery
Slopes,” I slyly countered.
“You’re no Aristotle,” she observed dryly.

Man of Letters

Working as with a trowel,
he slathered words onto the
page, larding the blank spaces
with verbiage, verbosity and a
clutter of consonants.
Alliteration he fancied in partic-
ular, mixing "aloof, admonition,
alibi, apotheosis, and acronym"
and others on an unlikely
palette of gerunds, verbs and
conjunctions.  He was fast
becoming obsessed.  He
realized this.
"No one can stop me now!" he
muttered, appending to his opus
a preface, a glossary and an index.
Stopping not at twenty, forty or
even sixty chapters, he length-
ened and extended his
masterpiece to more than 100
fully-annotated chapters.
Next he printed out his opus,
then pressed Delete, discarding
the original, virtual text.  Thieves
and forgers would not deprive
him of his reward, his just due. 
He now had the one and only,
singular copy of his work  Finally,
he destroyed all his notes and
previous drafts.
Alas, he made a discovery which
led to his undoing.  Advancing to
the printer he confronted the
awful truth:  he was out of toner!