Saturday, March 28, 2015


by alabama joe sternwall

why are the streets deserted?
because a child will slap your face
they say i owe the man some rent
but i ain’t even got a place

have you ever been accused
and you ain't done nothing wrong?
they arrested me for murder
and i can't even sing a song

they arrested me for forgery
and i can’t even sign my name
they arrested me for cheating
but i don’t know the rules of the game

they arrested me for peeping
but i been blind from birth
they arrested me for vagrancy
but i’m a stranger on this earth

they arrested me for stealing sheep
but i don’t eat no mutton
they arrested me for exposure
but i always button my buttons

they arrested me for everything
since i can’t remember when
for preaching without a license
but i never confessed no sin

they arrested me for rustling
but i can’t even herd a cow
and for setting a bomb on the railroad track
but i swear i don’t know how

i never met st peter or paul
and the devil is my twin
and i washed my hands in a muddy stream
but i can’t say rightly when

i threw my bottle in the river
because the whiskey was all gone
and sat beside the waters of egypt
with the whore of babylon

the road is long and lonely
and the night is dark and cold
i could go on like this forever
but my soul is already sold

Saturday, March 14, 2015


once there was a guy named bob
his fellow humans thought him a slob
even his mama didn't like him much
and his brothers and sisters never kept in touch

bob would go for long walks at night
but was never blinded by a sudden light
he was never mugged or accosted by strangers
and was curiously immune to danger

zombies and werewolves walked the streets
but none of them he chanced to meet
alien spaceships patrolled the skies
but kidnapped other girls and guys

he had a television in his little room
but viewed it as the voice of doom
and preferred, if you please
his solitary fantasies

sometimes when the weather was hot
and his brain as usual was empty of thought
or even when the night was cold
and nothing in his mind would unfold

he would put on his coat and hat
open his door and just like that
find himself outside in the street
without a soul to meet or greet

this night was a little different
where had everybody went?
you’d say, the streets are empty, not really true
there’d always be some people, one or two

but tonight the streets were really bare
there was just nobody there
bob thought it was sort of strange
and wondered by whom it had been arranged

bob had suspected from birth
that he would be the last person left on earth
the gypsy had told him he was fated
and through the centuries he had waited

he had watched other people grow old and die
but kept his mouth shut, because he was sly
and was afraid of how they would regard him
if they knew his chances of dying were so slim

and now the moment had finally come
he thought he heard a distant drum
the letters of fate would be unsealed
and his destiny was to be revealed

raindrops began to fall on his head
as onward the street inexorably led
he awaited a sign - a light - a token
and yet the silence remained unbroken

day later dawned in a swirling mist
bob was never found nor missed
other humans passed by in streams
with even sadder and grander dreams