Used to be plump and juicy,
now shriveled, shrunken —

Robbed of their rotund allure,
their lives stolen,
bound for the depths
of some junk food-ravaged colon.

Plucked in their prime,
packed in tight boxes —

Fruit without flesh,
dried up paradoxes.
Granola gap fillers,
portions for foxes.

Oh, to be dairy-drowned
 — fuh Godsakes —

in a desolate landscape of
sandpaper flakes.
Nothing, now, but
humiliated grapes.

Inspired by the classic diner scene from Benny and Joon (1993), and a lifelong aversion to raisins which I apparently share with Jenny N Olson.

There is also a reference in the poem to a Rilo Kiley song — good vibes coming your way if you identify it in the comments.

The Surly Super, The Artist, All Nerves, Milkoholic


translated by Joe Váradi and published here with the permission of the original author Lackfi János


Mr. Melon, the super, carries a giant
broom wherever he goes, it’s one of his weapons
as if he were a knight with a lance, or a pole-wielding
samurai, he keeps the peace, as he likes to say
constantly, if he didn’t do it, then
who would, all joking aside, who indeed,
and it’s true, we have no idea, who would
make the rounds, all high and mighty,
so everyone could hear him from a distance
and fear him from a distance,
who would drive off the stray dogs
and cats, who would shoo away…

verse translation of a poem by Krisztina Tóth

artist: Courtney Wirth

On the nature of agony,

which defies comprehension, at its core.
Some just stay silent. With eyes that lack
focus, stare and sway forward and back,
to a deep-within cadence. Or,

in best case, stand, shove the chair aside
and, without a backward glance, except
in thoughts repressed, silhouette
aquiver, leave with uneasy stride,

ask not for a light, to set oneself afire,
no daring thoughts on train tracks,
into the ravine, fleeting dark desire —

— what was I to do? Without cracks
in my cold stare, pull out a piece and fire
at you, in cinematic climax?

from popular contemporary Hungarian poet Krisztina…



made you look
ㅤㅤdidn’t I —
ㅤㅤㅤㅤtry my fresh
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤclickbait pie

five reasons?
ㅤㅤ(double take)
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤit’s a fake

earnings rants
ㅤㅤmake me sick
ㅤㅤㅤㅤI couldn’t
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤgive one lick

'bout how you
ㅤㅤfeel short-changed
ㅤㅤㅤㅤit’s whiny
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤand deranged

ㅤㅤㅤㅤgreedy en-

why are you
ㅤㅤreally here?
ㅤㅤㅤㅤwhat do you
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤhold most dear?

what makes your
ㅤㅤjuices flow —
ㅤㅤㅤㅤmerely the
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤhope for dough?

not the com-
ㅤㅤ(or perhaps)
ㅤㅤㅤㅤsense of cama-

don’t you feel
ㅤㅤㅤㅤsimply be-
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤcause you … write?

money’s tox-
ㅤㅤㅤㅤkills authen-

ㅤㅤruins the
ㅤㅤㅤㅤartform’s in-

‘nuff with…

a sonnet of schadenfreude

Caravaggio: Judith Beheading Holofernes (circa 1600)

Behold poor Hogan Torah and his Ex
— Alas, the lengths we go to for some sex —
For years he praised her highfalutin verse,
Although he found it labored and perverse.

“Which word artiste shall I compare thee to?
Shel Silverstein? Bukowski? Angelou?”

She soaked up all the ornate compliments,
And let her artsy ego grow immense.
“Sweet pea, I’m going back for my M.A. —
One thing. I’m broke, and need, like, 30k …”

What choice indeed for our love-tainted friend?
Left pennyless and blue-balled in the end …

The greatest tragedy, in all this strife?
He’s spurned the art of poetry — for life.

inspiration drawn from Hogan Torah’s Nobody Wants to Read Your Poetry, Ever, and Denise Shelton’s subsequent playful taunt

how’s this for constructive trolling, Darius, Greg, marjorie … ?



I graced the greatest album cova'
Of the Nineties' grunge rock era
Bore my boyhood for all to see …
Mom! You made a meme out of me!

Dad!? Why did you think this was cool?
Drop your infant into a pool — 
Photograph me gasping for air
Swear I thought I’d perish down there!

Oh, you thought I won’t remember
Floating with a dangling member?
Thought that I’d blissfully assume
That I was still in Mommy’s womb?

And, what about that fishing hook? …

a musical rant — with an MWC update

source: societyofrock (1989)

to be sung to the music of Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive

It’s All the Same —
Only the dates will change
I don’t bother to think up new phrases
I merely … rearrange

Welcome to my journey —
Yeah you’re kind of stuck with me
A writing guru said to do this
And I’ll get better … just wait and see

ㅤㅤCause I’m a Blogger
ㅤㅤFast and Furious I Write
ㅤㅤAnd I Publish … Dead or Alive
ㅤㅤI Mush Pub-liiiissshh!! Dead or Alive

All you serious writers
Be original, if you must —
While you nurse your masterpieces
I’m gonna leave…

the realm of the creepy and crawly


by Joe Váradi

the Snail

Life’s not easy
for the snail,
hauls his home with
great travail.
Bothered by an
itchy tail —
tries to scratch,
to no avail!

the Caterpillar

Dapper is the
fancy zoot suit
lady killer,
stealthy creepy
crawly thriller —
cocoon filler …

the Mantis

Poor old mantis
got the blues,
lost his fav‘rite
dancing shoes —
looking left and
right for clues,
praying for some
happy news.

the Fireflies

set aflame the
evening skies,
thousand fiery
twinkling eyes —
twilight’s tireless
glowing spies.

the Beehive

Trouble’s brewing
in the hive
headcount’s taken
quite a dive —
all drones on deck
to revive
the queen’s
reproductive drive …

a Medium mystery poem to chew on 🤔

artist: Anonymous, Southern Netherlands, 16th century

Rewards come in
many guises,
carefully plan-
ted surprises,

gifts and trophies,
plaques and medals,
wedding beds co-
vered in petals,

hugs and kisses,
favorite meals
prepped by Missus …

Bones, and pats on
head by owner,
canine love re-
turned by Rover,

belly rubs for
needy kitties,
prizes by es-
teemed committees …

On this site, too,
options abound —
glut of choices
readers confound,

to express their
leave their marks on
stories viewed,

follows, highlights,
gushing comments,
conveying those
cherished two cents.

And, of course, there’s
the old nifty
go-to: clapping
one to fifty …


personal essay

artist: Raphael Soyer — “The Artist’s Parents” (1932)

Outside was summer.

Musical notes hung in the air.

Our eyes darted around, from the plastic covering stretched across the kitchen table, to the wallpaper, to the coffee percolator on the stovetop, then back, occasionally meeting another set of eyes, another blank stare.

The arc of the song’s narrative slowly took shape, line by haunting line, amid the strumming acoustic guitar and the reed organ’s sustained notes.

We were guests, in this sleepy provincial capital town that we had called home several years before. Visitors, now — from overseas, no less — the streets, the sounds, the smells were all…

Joe Váradi

Editor of No Crime in Rhymin' and Language Lab | the Woke Bloke ..."come for the sarcasm, stay for my soft side"

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