by Noel Doyle
Silence shrouded the enveloping darkness,
It’s muted presence accenting the starkness
Of the now empty hall where earlier resonated
Symphonic chords from a union consummated
Between a concert grand with ebony sheen,
Its exquisite tones enrapturing the scene,
And the harmonic scores of immortal masters,
Enduring selections—classic ‘everlasters’.
The stately instrument exuded high class—
Clavier of ivory, hammers of brass.
Built in the Czech Lands at the time of the war
By the House of Petrof circa forty and four.
Remained on stage for sixty plus years
Supporting the advance of musical careers.
Enriching rehearsals of gifted protégés,
Supporting ‘pianistas’ who received thrown bouquets
For virtuoso performances of Beethoven and Bach,
And other composers whose time-honored stock
Left audiences enchanted midst deafening applause,
And its favored presence a contributing cause.
Then came the day—‘twas the Director, we’re told—
They declared the piano ‘aesthetically old’.
“We need a ‘Petrofka’ more vibrant in tone
For our new concert hall, a modern cornerstone.”
Unexpected its descent from center stage,
For the venerable keyboard belied its age
In appearance, in tone, in graceful style.
Would fate be a warehouse, no longer worthwhile?
Enter worn jeans, stubble beard, tousled hair,
Like that youthful cellist who sat in first chair.
A straightforward query, “….That piano for sale?”
Assent brings a twist to this musical tale.
There’s a thriving jazz club in Hradec Kralove,
Petrofs, you know, originate there,
Where the castoff instrument has struck it big
As the ragtime lead on the nine to two gig.
“I Can’t Get No… Oh No No No”
by Dill Darling
A dude with the attention span of a hazelnut
rolls into my veins, tripping
on the technicolour carpet.
Don’t be seduced, say my shoulders,
simplicity ain’t so easy.
They’re right. Turns out
he’s a complex bunch of guys.
A boy so thin he could stand
in a rainstorm and stay dry
slips through the gap in my front teeth.
He’s a little sinewy, the back teeth tell me
but my gums seems to be on his side.
I go with the molars,
knock him on the head with a novelty toothpick.
Jesus was a genius
to paint all those ceilings.
And the epitome of gorgeousness
if you go by the films.
I scrub my body daily,
throw open all my flaps for him.
Finally, he wafts in. Plucks a nerve or two
then makes off with Our Lady of the Wayside.
I think of all the people who play everything
on just three chords.
How I envy their sweet, simple harmonies.
Me, I carry a twelve-string guitar I never learnt to play.
Spend my days messing around
with air on a breadstick
and four fugues for frog and flying teaspoon.
“I Have A Nightmare”
by The Ginger Philes
I have a nightmare.
I have a nightmare that one day, the ginger nation will rise out of the heat of oppression.
I have a nightmare that one day, a little redheaded boy and a little redheaded girl will love without fear.
I have a nightmare that one day, “Kick a Ginger Day” will be known as the Kristallnacht of the Redocaust.
I have a nightmare that one day, sperm banks will start accepting redheaded jizz again.
I have a nightmare that one day, we’ll stop depicting Judas as a ginger.
I have a nightmare that one day, redheads will stop being considered mutants.
I have a nightmare that one day, Jessica Chastain will stop being typecast as an uppity bitch.
I have a nightmare that one day, popular literature, such as “Twilight”, will stop depicting redheads as evil bloodsucking vampires.
I have a nightmare that one day, I will be able to go to a bar without a guy wearing a backwards baseball cap calling me “Firecrotch”.
I have a nightmare that one day, Glee will stop making fun of “ginger pygmies” and realize we’re actually a subrace, like horse jockeys who live underground and are secretly elves.
I have a nightmare that one day, being an “Anglophile” will no longer be cool, because Brits are the biggest redists to ever exist, and because I have no fucking clue why people are so obsessed with London.
I have a nightmare, that one day, people will recognize that “ginger” is an anagram of one of the worst words in the history of our nation. (I also happen to have a nightmare that one day, the world will know wtf “anagram” means.)
I have a nightmare that one day, people will feel comfortable drinking at a water fountain after a ginger has touched it was their pasty hands and purply veins.
I have a nightmare that one day, “ginger” will be a term of brotherhood.
I have a nightmare that one day, ginger kids will no longer be subjected to the torture of bullying.
And I have a nightmare. That one day, children will not be judged by the color of their hair but by the content of their character. That red, white and blue will not only be the colors of our nation’s flag, but also the color of its peoples.
I have a nightmare.