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Fickle Muses an online journal of myth and legend

Serpent by Kat Heatherington

“Serpent” by Kat Heatherington


Three poems by Howard Camner

The Man in the Moon for Real

He lived on my street under an alias
I met him one time, by accident
When he introduced himself he said,
“If a man has to tell you his name, he ain’t nobody”
Then he told me his name and handed me his card
so I wouldn’t forget him

When the moon was full I would see him sitting on his roof
with a photo negative of an 8” x 10” headshot
and a flashlight
projecting his face on the moon’s surface

He was the man in the moon for real
I know it
He told me so one time, by accident

When he introduced himself he said that people who have nothing to say, say it the loudest
(He said that very loudly)

He rarely left his house except to buy cheese, toilet paper, and batteries for his flashlight
He always regretted having a life full of regrets
so he lived on my street under an alias
Didn’t want anyone to know who he was
except when he introduced himself

He was the man in the moon for real
I know it
It’s been 28 years since he fell off his roof and died,
by accident

and I still see his face on the moon’s surface, even today

Go figure



She wanted to be a ballerina
but she had webbed toes
so she became a mermaid instead
All day long she would sit on a rock by the sea
comb her hair, sing sweetly, and devour men
No, she never could perform an open sissonne ouverte
posing at a 90 degree arabesque angle flying to the side
as in the classical ballet “The Idiot”
but she could bite a man’s head off
and in my book,
that’s more impressive


Bonus Eventus
(god of happy endings)

He washes your windshield for a quarter
whether you like it or not
He relieves himself on the Torch of Freedom
just to prove a point
then he wraps himself up in the obituaries
to rest

Bonus Eventus was the god of happy endings
once the toast of the town
once every child’s friend
now he lives on the streets
under the overpass in a cardboard box

hungry and ruined he snaps at gawkers
and waits for red lights and train whistles
just to make some bread

inside his head Armageddon repeats itself
every fifteen minutes
relentless spirits claw his soul
ogres beat him with nightsticks
dragons rape him nightly
evil witches cast their curses
with no fear of retribution
they steal his thunder cold

Bonus Eventus was the god of happy endings
he used to make cameo appearances
at the end of every fairy tale
just to wrap things up with a smile
to throw in a moral or two

but now he doesn’t show up at all
he can’t even make the bus fare

When he knocks on your car window you lock the door
you avoid his eyes
and when the light changes you leave him behind
in a cloud of smoke
so you can breathe easy
but as you step on the gas you glance in the rearview mirror
and he’s still watching you
he grows smaller by the moment
soon to be forgotten

but he will always remember you
with those fairy tales on your lap
when you looked forward to seeing him

a million years ago

“Kismet” was previously published in Poetrybay, Winter 2001.

See Howard Camner’s Web site at http://members.authorsguild.net/hcamner

Get Camner’s most recent poetry book, “Cheating the Sphinx,” at