Excerpt for The Lines by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Lines

by Daniel Hargrove

Published by Daniel Hargrove at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

Cover art copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This book is published for anyone's enjoyment. Authors retain the copyright to their work. Users may read, copy and distribute the work in any medium or format for non-commercial purposes, provided the authors and the journal are appropriately credited. The users are not allowed to remix, transform or build upon the published material.

Table of Contents

01) The Lines

02) More About My Job

03) Chivalry

04) Media Saturation

05) Code

06) One and the Same

07) Wandering

The Lines



we get there

whatever we do

Compromise too much

lose yourself

in the clickety-clack

and whirrrr....

My grandmother

always said

"No man is an island,"

and it's true

Cars with engines

engines with parts

parts with a sheen

of motor oil

It's expensive

to get somewhere

Oh, for a horse,

reins, and a wagon

More About My Job

The sticks

on the trailer

the van and

the trash

empty water bottles

by the thousands

pizza boxes

old clothes


people throw out

beer bottles

we don't pick up

the broken bottles

those are hazardous waste

so they stay

by the side of the road

we don't pick up the diapers

nor containers of motor oil

those we leave

for the hazmat crew

that never arrives

if it's smaller

than a cigarette pack

we don't pick it up

one could spend years

picking up trash


A gentleman

is rare nowdays

hold the door for a lady

offer her a seat on the bus

not just looking

for a piece of ass

cares about love

gives her what she wants

and needs

firm about what he believes in

but not too opinionated

doesn't beat people over the head

with his opinions

perhaps he can be provoked

perhaps enough is enough


he'll give you an argument

but probably not often

doesn't get in trouble with the law

and won't hit a woman

doesn't drink to excess

and doesn't use drugs

might care about politics

might care about books

might care about music

might care about art

Media Saturation

Only Casper the Friendly Ghost

is fit for survival

it is told

sure, I can get a job

and the ghostly door opens

to my relentless knock

but someone colloquially inclined

doesn't have a chance

and culture or no culture

you will be assimilated


the homogenous corporate B.S.

but yes, ma'am

and no, sir

until hell freezes over

you've got a choice

you believe

at least

the signs

are in Spanish and English

so maybe

there is hope yet

for tradition

for music, and books

for our culture?

what culture?


I call it


Bozo the Clown

talked to Howdy Doody

about his six-shooter

a hair of the dog

that bit you

I used the church key

and there were five left

a little buzzed

the phone rang

"Hello?" I asked.

"Lawn clippers,"

was the reply.

I have a pair

in my skeleton closet

where all the lonely people

hang out

trapping butterflies

for the metal ramps

one uses

for an oil change

the mechanic's beard

was wet with frothy spittle

that a dog wouldn't touch

though he ate swiss cheese

One and the Same

Count to ten, the tempo, bought

and peasants armed with knife and gun

the hornets' nest, a nettle caught

Though we must do as we are taught

their counterfeiters weigh a ton

count to ten, the tempo, bought

Step out at night, you might get shot

while sirens flash, the law undone

the hornets' nest, a nettle caught

Army strong, a woolen cot

with all the jive, a major pun

count to ten, the tempo, bought

When you get out, the cozy thought

safe, secure, the battle won

the hornets' nest, a nettle caught

Community, and there's the dot.

Let's get out and have some fun

count to ten, the tempo bought

the hornets' nest, a nettle caught.


Some kids playing with a ball

occasional cars, parked at random

a hopscotch board

chalked on the sidewalk

take a right

a long hedge, ligustrums

don't step on a crack

wheelchair accessible curbs,

that's nice

small yellow taxi

with an ad for car buying

on the trunk

some old houses through here

they keep chickens in the yard

wonder it they sell eggs?

a big bunch of clover

no four-leaf ones, of course

a discarded drainpipe

rusting by the sidewalk

sloping downhill

I'm lost

a street sign

Signal and Tigler

go straight

a hundred yards ahead

is a major intersection

don't recognize it, though

As always, thanks for your readership! Drop me a line if you like, and I will be certain to answer!


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