Thanksgiving Deconstructed

For most Americans, Thanksgiving isn’t the only time for thankfulness

From the Pew Research Center FactTank


PF_15.11.23_gratitudeThanksgiving is a time when Americans are supposed to reflect on what they are thankful for.

But it’s not the only time they do so. A large majority of Americans (78%) feel a strong sense of gratitude or thankfulness on aweekly basis, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. And only 6% of Americans say they seldom or never experience these feelings.

That being said, some groups are more likely than others to express gratitude. For example, 84% of women regularly feel a strong sense of gratitude or thankfulness, compared to 72% of men. And nearly nine-in-ten Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and evangelical Protestants – traditionally some of the most observant religious groups – say they feel gratitude or thankfulness at least once a week.

While the survey question about gratitude did not ask explicitly about gratitude to God, regular feelings of gratitude are more common among those who are highly religious than among those who are not. For example, eight-in-ten or more Americans who believe in God, or who say religion is “very” or “somewhat” important in their lives, experience feelings of gratitude or thankfulness on a weekly basis. About nine-in-ten Americans who regularly attend religious services, pray, participate in prayer groups or read scripture say they regularly feel a strong sense of gratitude. …

Read the full article here.

Do You Like Piña Coladas?

A Short Story by
Dan McClenaghan


My wife Jolene wanted to go see the androids. Mediterranean Gardens, nestled in that little strip mall off Highway 78, had just replaced three quarters of their wait staff with robots, and Jolene thought that a dining experience there would be “interesting.”

I agreed, although my main focus was that I probably wouldn’t be expected to tip an android, and I could pocket the eight bucks gratuity on a forty dollar meal bill, enough to pay for an extra beer.

Our android introduced herself as Olivia. She had blond hair, with a face featuring the sterile beauty of perfect symmetry, a pair of blue eyes the size of tangerines. She blinked. She handed us menus and asked us how our weekend was going.

“It’s Tuesday,” I said.

The eyes blinked again, then she placed a cold hand on my shoulder and threw her head back and laughed.

“Be nice,” Jolene said.

“Bring me a Bud Light,” I said to Olivia.

“I’ll have a piña colada,” Jolene said.

Olivia fingered our orders into a pad, and said, “Those’ll be right out folks, and I’ll be back in a bit for your order.

A drone delivered the drinks—frosted glasses on a tray affixed with six small propellers drifting down to settle on our table.drone drink

“Isn’t this nice,” said Jolene.

We took the drinks, and the drone lifted off and collided with Olivia’s head as she came in to take our order. One of the propellers amputated her right ear and sent it sailing. It landed in Jolene’s piña colada, and—in keeping with the tropical theme—it looked like a perfect pink sea shell floating on the surface of the milky fluid.

“Oh my,” said Jolene, plucking it up and handing it to Olivia.

Olivia’s head took on an odd tilt. Her programming probably hadn’t prepared her for this.

“I’ll take the spaghetti and meatballs,” I said.

“Egg plant parmigiana.” Jolene smiled.

Olivia extended a forefinger from the fist that held her ear and entered the orders into her pad, as a thin oily fluid—it looked like WD-40—seeped down the side of her face from the amputation site.

The meal was a disaster: I got chicken Alfredo instead of spaghetti and meatballs; Jolene got veggie lasagna instead of eggplant parmigiana: Olivia—her ear duct taped to her head now—didn’t know how to enter our coupon into her pad and she didn’t know how to give us our senior discount; and Jolene’s second piña colada ended up a New England iced tea.

For all this—and despite Jolene’s vehement protest—I did not leave a gratuity.

But a drone followed us out to the parking lot, its little tinny speaker announcing that a gratuity was expected for superior service. I called up to it that it could kiss my big ass, and then I gave that area a sharp swat, in case it didn’t know where that was. But when I turned away, it shot out two little darts that hit the bull’s eye I had indicated was a prime target for a kiss. I’d been tased.

I writhed on the blacktop like a landed fish as the electricity surged through my body.

Jolene, unsteady from her two drinks, swept the air between my butt and the drone three time before she was able to connect with spider web-thin wires to dislodge the tiny darts. Then she helped me to my feet and said, ”I told you to leave the girl a tip.”


About Dan McClenaghan

DanMcClenaghanMugI write stuff.

I began with my Ruth and Ellis/Clete and Juanita stories in the early 1980s. At the beginning of the new millennium I started writing reviews of jazz CDs, first at American Reporter, and then (and now) at All About Jazz. I’ve tried my hand at novels, without success.

I’ve been published in a bunch of small presses, most notably the now defunct Wormwood Review. This was in the pre-computer age, when we whomped up our stories on typewriters, then rolled down to Kinkos to make copies, which we stuck in manila envelopes, along with a return envelope with return postage attached. Times have changed.

Aside from the writing, I am married to the lovely Denise. We have three wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren; and I am a two-time winner—1970 and 1971—of the Oceanside Bodysurfing Contest. Kowabunga!

Photo credit: Timbre Restaurant Group

Writers Read Presents T. Jefferson Parker

December 8, 2015 at Fallbrook Library


T. Jefferson ParkerJeffParkerMug


with the paperback release of Full Measure


and an exclusive reading from his new thriller Crazy Blood


FullMeasurePreceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, December 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook, 760-731-4650

T. Jefferson Parker, three-time Edgar Award winner, is the author of the celebrated novel, Full Measure, available in paperback December 1—in time for holiday gift-giving. Marine Patrick Norris returns from Afghanistan to find his hometown, Fallbrook, recovering from a wildfire; his parents facing a devastated CrazyBloodavocado ranch;  and his troubled brother, struggling with his own battles.

Jeff will give an exclusive reading of an excerpt from his new thriller, Crazy Blood, to be released in March 2016. A volatile family feud carves the slopes at the Mammoth Cup ski race, an Olympics qualifier.

Jeff has also written twenty crime novels, including the acclaimed Charlie Hood Border Series. His books will be available for sale and signing.

For more information about Writers Read, contact K-B Gressitt at or 760-522-1064.



By Penny Perry

               for my daughter  

In a rainstorm we drive
to Kmart, buy one pair
of pajamas,
get one free.

pajamasWe meet each other
in our narrow rooms
and stare at our twin selves.
In matching pastel stripes,
I’m her fellow patient,
not her mother.

After my surgery,
she serves me soup and Jell-O.

I make sure she takes her meds,
eats. On the days her tongue swells,
her temperature soars,
I slip a jacket over my pj’s,
and rush to the pharmacy.

Rain and wind,
we build a fire in the wood stove,
sit in our stripes, watch
Pride and Prejudice.
Like the Bennet women
we do needlework.

A faux spring January day,
my daughter in her pajamas
and garden shoes plants succulents
by our door. I tuck the hems
of pajama legs in rubber boots,
empty compost, cat litter.

We live in the land of the ill,
but this is a life. We put birdseed
in our feeder, write our poems.
Our flannel pajamas grow softer
with each wash.

About Penny Perry

PennyPerryKateHardingMugPenny Perry is a six-time Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in California Quarterly, Lilith, Redbook, Earth’s Daughter, the Paterson Literary Review and the San Diego Poetry Annual.

Her first collection of poems, Santa Monica Disposal & Salvage (Garden Oak Press, 2012) earned praise from Marge Piercy, Steve Kowit, Diane Wakoski and Maria Mazziotti Gillan.

She writes under two names, Penny Perry and Kate Harding.

She thought my name

By Karla Cordero


school         She thought my name:

cute like kite string cute,
koala cute. Thought herself

resourceful when all three daughters
share same stitched initials on

their Catholic school uniforms.
Holiday cards to the principle enclosed

with a “sincerely the KKK girls”
as I was too young to know the sharp

weight of a triple consonant.



About Karla Cordero

Born in the border town of Calexico, California, I started my new life in San Diego, whereKarlaCordero the weather spoils the living. I’m currently an MFA candidate at San Diego State University and the 2015 recipient of the Loft Literary Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship. I’m the editor of Spit Journal, a review dedicated to poetry and social justice.

My poetry is published or forthcoming in Word Riot, Words Dance Publishing, The Acentos Review, Gutters and Alleyways Anthology and elsewhere. My first chapbook, Grasshoppers Before Gods, will be published in 2015 by Dancing Girl Press. You can follow my passion for performance poetry at Spit Journal.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture


Saying Goodbye to Rizzo

By Ladislao Loera



Rizzo by Ladislao Loera

I met you on my morning walk. A few minutes earlier and I would never have seen you. A few moments later and someone else would’ve taken off with you. But I was there the moment after some idiots pushed you out of the back of their van. They drove away and you watched them leave.

There was another man on the other side of the street. He kept calling to you and you glanced at him, but you didn’t budge. I looked at you. I tilted my head to the side and sat down on the curb. Your eyes darted between me and the empty space where the van used to be, just moments ago. Then you turned towards me, came over and sat down beside me.

I looked at you out of the corner of my eye. You did the same. I introduced myself, but you were less forthcoming. We stayed there for a couple of minutes, and I wasn’t sure what I should do, but I noticed you were wearing a collar with a short chain. I reached for the chain and stood up.

You stood up with me, and we went home together.

You’ve been my best friend for so long it seems like I must’ve known you even before I met you.

You’ve been kind and gentle and demanding and bossy, and I have loved every minute of it.

Letting you go was next to impossible, but I could tell in your eyes that you needed me to let you go. So I did. I held you as you fell asleep for the last time. I told you how lucky I am to have known you. And I reminded you of the day we first met, twelve years ago.

It occurred to me that life can change in an instant.

Like that instant I turned the corner and saw you in the street, and like this moment, when I wrap my arms around you and say goodbye.

About Ladislao Loera

LadiRizzo Ladislao Loera (Ladi, because no one can ever pronounce his name) is a Texas-based artist. His image of Rizzo will be reprinted in his 2016 calendar, which K-B joyfully recommends. Ladi creates illustrations based on his interpretation of the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. If you’ve had coffee or tea at K-B’s house, you’ve probably held one of Ladi’s beautiful mugs. Ladi’s artwork is available at Frenzy Art.

The Loss of a Pet: Saying Goodbye to Rizzo was originally published by Ladislao Loera on 12 October 2015.



By Conney D. Williams


Fuckin’ ain’t the salvation the converted claim
altar call void of liturgy
sarcastic blasphemy, only
make you feel like you done got religion
ain’t no apocalypse in cummin’
the weakness of fragile erections
aftermath of waking alone in loneliness
repent for an emotional resurrection
been there, still here
what seems a lifetime in sleepless worshipSongOfSolomonHeQi
seduced gullibly by juvenile lusts
free willed to reside in
edifice sex, then fell
much farther than Lucifer ever did
attached as a catholic to catechisms
constant chase for voidable coitus, like an
addict searching that elusive virgin high
these sermons I preached daily
only brought conviction in my groin
ain’t no redemption in “knock-off” intimacy
ain’t not absolution in limitable
communion with horizontal prayers
left with only “hallowed be thy weakness”
kingdom desperate to come
with more than knee deep infatuation
saturation or elongation
prostate at this empyrean altar
human touch hungers for conversion
cause I refuse to just fuck anymore
yet duality conflicts my flesh
nakedness holds me hostage
I’m human nature’s victim, trying
to deny the safety of feeling needed
don’t want to fall empty into sleep
but to rollover into satisfied
wish someone would minister to me
like God did to the Mary
till every fuck is healed, and
then excite me with angel water
plunged beneath flood of a righteous lover
till this clay covering remembers to
communicate to more than just clitoris
want to be held closer than if born Trinity
phrased like Gethsemane pleadings
or creation whispered from Jehovah’s lips
there can no more settling
lest I never receive what I must learn to give
maybe then …
I’ll be able to fuck again
with peace

About Conney D. Williams

ConneyConney D. Williams is a Los Angeles based poet, actor and performance artist, originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, where he worked as a radio personality.

Conney’s first collection of poetry, Leaves of Spilled Spirit from an Untamed Poet, was published in 2002. His poetry has also been published in various journals and anthologies including Voices from Leimert Park; America: At the End of the Day; and The Drumming Between Us. His newest collection, Blues Red Soul Falsetto, was published in December 2012.

Conney has performed his poetry on television, radio, galleries, universities, grade schools, coffeehouses, and stages around Southern California and across the country, including the Black Arts Festival. He is a talented public speaker with more than thirty years of experience.

Read more about Conney at

Art: Song of Solomon by He Qi


Beyond Cuba’s Bloqueo

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


El Bloqueo billboard, Havana, Cuba 2014


In 2014, before the thawing U.S.-Cuban relations went public, I wanted to travel to the island to conduct research. Some of my ancestors were among those eager to colonize Cuba after the Spanish-American War, when Spain’s forfeitures fueled U.S. imperialism—and we did behave imperiously. Ultimately, though, U.S. trade policies contributed to the colonists’ ruination. Bad behavior all ’round. But that was then, and my desire was contemporary, although not without hurdles, including my naiveté.


Cuba, a place of rich cigars and dark rum, balmy breezes and mighty fishermen, percussive music and syncopated dance steps; the source of vague family tales of plantation dwelling, a Baptist mission, of the Spanish epithets my grandmother, in her dotage, hurled at healthcare workers: This is what little I knew of the island nation I was to visit.

But Cuba has been held in economic thrall by U.S. sanctions for more than two generations, which makes unfettered travel there a challenge, so it was no Treasury-approved, tight-reined group tour for me: I would finagle my way there. And, I needed a special visa to allow me access to public archives. I applied for it from the Cuban consulate in Washington D.C. The following week the consular services disappeared, my money order with them.

It was el bloqueo—the blockade—the embargo prohibiting U.S. trade with Cuba and threatening penalties for any foreign company that defied it. Cuba’s old bank terminated their services, and they were struggling to find another willing to handle their diplomatic mission accounts.

Unthwarted, I called someone who knew someone who knew someone and stumbled upon My Man in Havana. He worked at a research institute named for Cuba’s poet-hero Juan Marinello. My hero arranged for the visa, and all I had to do was pick it up at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City.

Excited by interim success, I packed my bag, tightly rolling each piece of clothing, loading my custom trail mix for mealtimes when food couldn’t be found, and I landed at the embassy entrance, eager to conduct my business and fly off to discovery. First, though, the guard in the ragtag sentry post had to search my suitcase. He spread my belongings across the tired entrance steps.

While I waited, an inebriated man on the sidewalk serenaded me with a dirty song about norteamericanas. I contemplated giving him a first-world-guilt tip, but the guard shrugged an apology and hustled me through the gate and past the empty fountain, bits of my loose clothing flapping from the unzipped bag. I thanked him and arrived just in time for my consulate appointment, ready and willing to pay for my visa, catch my flight, and breathe Caribbean air.

The woman at the counter window smiled and informed me that the consul was absent. She’d gone to Cuba, and I was welcome to return the following week to meet with her.

I looked around the lobby in search of an English speaker and found only more smiles and shrugs, posters of Fidel and Che, cracked vinyl upholstery. I attempted and failed to explain my logistics in Spanish. Dismay seeped into the scene, but then I remembered my hero. I called him and handed the cell phone over, hope renewed.

He spoke with the woman at the window. I heard both of their voices, loud and fast. She took my phone out of sight and a long silence ensued, while two men in very dark Secret Service-ish suits came through a door and into the lobby. They assumed identical cross-armed poses and stared at me. I knew this, because their suits weren’t accoutered with those impenetrable sunglasses the U.S. president’s team wears. I was adequately intimidated that I didn’t try my charming Southern smile on them. I just girded my loins and awaited the outcome.

When the woman returned with my phone, she said, “OK,” and took my money. She handed me the visa. The people in the lobby cheered. One of the scary men walked toward me and smiled—it was a lovely smile, so I didn’t duck—and his suit took on the more accommodating tone of tweed. He escorted my luggage and me from the embassy, to a taxi stand, and out of their hair. I was on my way to Cuba, a qualified researcher of Cuban public archives.

When I arrived, the José Martí International Airport in Havana was not air-conditioned. I was not surprised, just sodden.

I passed through customs, waited for my luggage to be X-rayed, and searched faces beyond the two machines for a hint of my guide and translator, an economics professor from Universidad de la Habana. But what does an economics professor look like?

Time passed, twenty minutes, thirty, and I realized I’d made eye contact with every pair, at least twice, but no flash of hopeful recognition, and my line had not moved an inch. Listening to the rising chatter around me, I realized our X-ray machine had stopped working—we had to nudge into the other line. Replacement parts for such things were, apparently, luxuries. Damn el bloqueo. U.S. spite lasts longer than the memory of our own sins.

I waited another twenty minutes, thirty, forty. At last, I made it to the far side of the machine, but my luggage and I were escorted to a secondary inspection table, much more swiftly than I moved through the line. Two women greeted me, asked me to open my suitcase and pointed at my two pounds of cashews, almonds and raisins, packed in a ZipLoc bag. I didn’t understand.

“No puede ser abierta, no open,” they said in unison.

“Lo siento,” I said. I really was sorry.

They looked as sad as I felt while they dropped the bag into a trash bin, but they smiled and shrugged, patted my hand and nodded effusively. There would be other things to eat, better things.

I walked outside into tropical air, the music of welcoming voices, the sounds of money changing, the smells of hot hugs and cold drinks. Aside from the perspiration that adhered my shirt to my no longer perky breasts, I was feeling comfortable, oddly at home, when a beautiful young man approached me.

“You are Gressitt.”

I suppose it was a declarative because I was so obvious—as my colonizing ancestors must have been.

I wonder if their journey was as tentative as mine, if their arrival was as comforting, if thawing U.S.-Cuban relations will produce better behavior than that of the victor of the Spanish-American War.



About Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Spawned by a Southern Baptist creationist and a liberal social worker, I inherited the requisite sense of humor to survive family dinner-table debates and the imagination to avoid them. As the Sunday political columnist at the San Diego North County Times, I won awards, a Pulitzer Prize submission, a fan club, and death threats from angry readers—but the sales department loved me. More recently, I wrote book reviews for the paper, which is no longer: The U-T ate it. Today, the pocket gophers and hummingbirds keep me company while I write—yippee!

The New Drug

By Penny Perry

for Elbia


tattooShe says, “I want a tattoo.
A vine with snail flowers
along the stitches, a sassy
elephant where my breast
used to be.”

Her wooden spoon poised
like a spear, we stand and wait
at the stove for the water
for rice to boil.

On the kitchen radio,
news of another
cancer drug.

She is almost my sister-wife,
married my first husband,
cared for him in a way
I never could.

She is the one who tells
me the truth
when no one else will,
the one who went with me
the day I had to pick out
my father’s coffin.

She straightens her shoulders,
sets the spoon down,
turns the stove’s knob.
Under a saucepan the circle
of orange fades slowly to gray.

She pours coffee into mugs,
leads me out to her backyard
where we will sit for awhile
in a slice of sunlight
on this winter afternoon.


Note: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness and early detection of the disease.


About Penny Perry

PennyPerryKateHardingMugPenny Perry is a six-time Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in California Quarterly, Lilith, Redbook, Earth’s Daughter, the Paterson Literary Review and the San Diego Poetry Annual.

Her first collection of poems, Santa Monica Disposal & Salvage (Garden Oak Press, 2012) earned praise from Marge Piercy, Steve Kowit, Diane Wakoski and Maria Mazziotti Gillan.

She writes under two names, Penny Perry and Kate Harding.

Photo credit: From the Breast Cancer Tattoos Facebook page.



The Ongoing Saga of Clete and Juanita’s Pool, Part 3: Fishing

A Short Story by
Dan McClenaghan


[Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.]


Dan Lampro, the Real Estate Guy, rolled into the Loma Alta Café on a Tuesday at lunch time and asked for a chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread, toasted, and a long tall iced tea.

Ellis Leahy whipped up the sandwich, snugged a dill pickle wedge up against the crusty bread and piled on some French fries, then laid the plate on the service shelf, rang the bell and yelled out: “ORDER UP, MONA!”

Mona delivered the meal.

The famished Dan Lampro bit into his sandwich and found on his first bite, with his upper left bicuspid, a chicken bone that broke off a very expensive porcelain crown. He spit the crown and the chicken bone into his hand and used his tongue to probe empty space in his dentition. Then he jumped up and bellowed his outrage, demanding the head of the cook who had caused this dental mishap.

Mohammed, the café’s owner, afraid of a lawsuit, fired Ellis Leahy on the spot.

That night, Clete and Juanita Johnson threw an impromptu party to celebrate the “retirement” of their friend and next door neighbor, Ellis Leahy.

“Hangin’ up the spatula,” Ellis said of his walking out of his grill cook job at the Loma Alta Café.

Clete, wielding his own spatula, flipped a burger on the barbecue. Beef fat dropped down onto hot coals. Fire flared, and Ellis took off his shirt and walked to the pool, where he leaped from the water’s edge and curled himself into a cannonball. But instead of producing a cannonball splash, he rose into the air over the pool and rotated on his axis like a fleshy planetoid in a synchronous orbit over the turquoise water. An orbit was not what he wanted, so he blossomed out of his tight, arms-hugging-his-knees configuration and swam, in the air, down to the bulging surface, to dig himself forcefully into the cool water.

That’s how things were in Clete and Juanita’s back yard. God had done the initial excavation for the pool, via a blazing meteorite that had gouged out a nice-sized divot, leaving a sub-surface detritus of extraterrestrial metal and stone that created a localized alteration of the laws of gravity, even after the crater had been lined with cement and filled with water.

anchoviesAfter the party, Ellis’ wife Ruth told him there was no way he was going to sit around watching T.V. all day, retired or not. He needed a hobby. Ellis decided on fishing, something he’d enjoyed in his youth, the long hours loafing with a line in the water off this seaside town’s pier. He still had his gear, fiberglass rods dusty in a cobwebbed corner of his garage, an old metal tackle box in his closet, and a couple of reels boxed and protected in plastic food storage bags in drawer of the work bench.

The fish bite early, or so they say, so Ellis rolled out of bed at 6 a.m., kissed the still slumbering Ruth goodbye and pointed the car toward the shore, with twenty-two ounces of hot coffee in a travel mug. He fancied a spot at the end of the pier, the northeast corner, the furthest from the shoreline.

With dawn painting a fiery rainbow in the eastern sky, Ellis located the spot from which he’d fished as a young man, and encountered ten unmanned fishing poles, their lines not yet in the water, leaning against the rail.

He moved them, clearing out a spot, and before he could tie a hook to his line, a small, scruffy man in a battered straw hat, looking as if he lived under a park bench, sidled up and said, “What are you doing touching my fishing poles?”

Ellis said, “If I see some knucklehead usin’ ten poles, Jethro, I’m gonna move ’em outta my way. You’re lucky I didn’t throw ’em over the goddamned side.”

Suddenly, Jethro multiplied, became as if by magic a small pack of rumpled, dissolute-looking, begrimed hobos who gave off a collective smell of sour sweat, old fish and cigarettes, as they moved in on Ellis from their pier-end encampment, smiling their mean smiles that featured an alarming paucity of teeth.

“How ’bout we throw you over the side, slick?” said the ten pole man.

This didn’t seem to Ellis like a rhetorical question. It wasn’t. The guys converged and shuffled Ellis to the railing and over it, into a drop in the direction of the deep blue sea. But he never got there. His initially fast fall slowed to the velocity of the gentle downward drift of a soap bubble on a windless day and stopped a foot and a half above the water. Ellis bounced on the surface tension of the ocean like a man on a trampoline, the residual effect of his previous night’s contact with the crater that had become Clete and Juanita Johnson’s pool, the anti-gravitational aspect of yesterday’s encounter having soaked into the marrow of his bones. So Ellis bounced and then he began to climb.

He envisioned a stairway and started his ascent with a purposeful circuitousness, showing off with several unnecessary turns, rising a foot with every stair step, then losing four inches with each, as if the invisible stairs were deeply cushioned. His roundabout ascent eventually brought him to the top of the railing, where he descended in four small steps to the surface of the pier.

The hobos stood gape-mouthed. Several of them lit up cigarettes. One of them took a hit off a small black flask, which he then passed around.

Ellis pushed the ten poles further off to the side, fixed himself up with a sinker and a hook, and took a salted anchovy from a small plastic bucket that sat by the ten poles. He hooked the dead fish through the eyes and dropped his line into the water, as Ten Pole man hoisted himself to the rail top, in preparation for a jump that he thought would go the way Ellis Leahy’s had.

“Don’t even try it, Jethro,” Ellis said, jerking his pole upward in reaction to a nibble on the line. “You ain’t got the mojo I got.”

“I got mojo comin’ out my ass, butthead,” said Jethro, and, to prove it, he jumped, curled his scrawny ass into a cannonball, and exploded into the ocean, as Ellis had tried to explode into the pool the night before.


About Dan McClenaghan

DanMcClenaghanMugI write stuff.

I began with my Ruth and Ellis/Clete and Juanita stories in the early 1980s. At the beginning of the new millennium I started writing reviews of jazz CDs, first at American Reporter, and then (and now) at All About Jazz. I’ve tried my hand at novels, without success.

I’ve been published in a bunch of small presses, most notably the now defunct Wormwood Review. This was in the pre-computer age, when we whomped up our stories on typewriters, then rolled down to Kinkos to make copies, which we stuck in manila envelopes, along with a return envelope with return postage attached. Times have changed.

Aside from the writing, I am married to the lovely Denise. We have three wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren; and I am a two-time winner—1970 and 1971—of the Oceanside Bodysurfing Contest. Kowabunga!

Photo credit: John Lodder via a Creative Commons license.

Make the Hyde Amendment History

Our stories may differ, but our cause is united. Join us to lift bans on abortion coverage!

Today is the 39th anniversary of the passage of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal Medicaid insurance from covering most abortion care. That’s 39 years of lawmakers pushing affordable abortion care out of reach for those struggling to get by.

Unite with us to make Hyde history. Visit All* Above All for more information.