Excerpt for Issue One The Twee Version of Mister Harris & Other Prose by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Issue One!

The Twee Version of Mister Harris


Other Prose

J. Elk-Baptisté

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2019

J. Elk-Baptisté

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Issue One!

The Twee Version of Mister Harris


Other Prose


Like a whisper the washing basket vanishes

Where to—how can we know?

If a thing up and leaves on the sly

Is unwilling to divulge its whereabouts

What can any of us do about it?

We might carry on all we like

Chucking things about all in temper

Blaming each other but stamping feet and rough

Carry on won’t solve nothing

And what if friends should happen by?

They will think our entire effing family

Mad or maybe worse

Like we’re bad people at heart

They could tell the rest of the street

And where would we be?

In true shite—that’s where—with no defense.

Pure Graphite

There was a guy made a rubbing of the Enola Gay.

A friend called him an artist—announcing—wow!

Fancy making a graphite rubbing of the Enola Gay—it’s so outrageous

Imagine yourself going to the trouble of getting permission?

Imagine coming up with such an idea in the first place—so profound

Yes—but what will he do next—how can his making a rubbing of the Enola Gay

Ever be topped?

Like--how can it?

Maureen Cannot Come

There’s a pipe band playing

And she cannot hear the phone

The Asian backpacker picks up

“She watches You-tube! Solly--can’t come!”

The resident head-banger passes by in the hall

And overhearing,

Breaks into song.

Or, more accurately, breaks out screaming,

She can’t Fucking, Can’t


Maureen can’t come!

Yeah—she tries, but--




Can’t come!

All that while bashing an air-guitar

Lots of stomping about—

Lots of gyrating in what’s maybe

Meant to trigger sexual frenzy in an audience,

Or … what else might be the point of it?

The following are “Maureen Notes”.

Poor fucking Maureen she never gets any peace.


Did you know? “They” are surveilling Maureen

Down the clay pits

Down the Day Centre

Cross the school yard

Up the brick kilns

In the King’s Arms

By the ATM

Round the bus sheds

At the shelter

By the roundabout

Near the Hospice

Ask Maureen. She will tell you herself.

If not for having a friend like me, by now she’d be out of her freakin’ mind.

Stranger came to stay

Stranger, because he would not play

Would not engage in small talk on the stairs

Nor suffer we three children

Could not but roll his rrrs

And so, from up North

And used to weather colder than ours

Can see him now for the last time

Peddling pushbike by the channel

Where they later found him lying.


Full of sticks now, the basket,

There by the stove at day’s end.

But what matter now; she’s gone and died.

She would not wait for, Les’, the brother

To return from the war.

Did not see herself doing so.

With the last of the warmer days still not spent,

She bade farewell.

She’d more to see and do in other places,

More life worth living than any here can offer

Too Wrong

I tore the new putty from Darmody’s window

I am the one who did it

The awful deed was mine alone

In fact I recall others of our party

Telling me I should stop it

I would bring trouble down on the rest

My nose is smashed and my face

I cannot get through the fence to home

I am damaged for life

A thug who never set foot in a ring

The child with the hell-ugly moosh

And falling spirit

Hungry for seconds because

Some kid stole my boat

The one my dad made

The one he’ll make just once

That one

A man driving a steamroller was kind

Enough to claim he’d beat the crap out of them

Did it me--blood everywhere but

He never could catch them thugs

His transportation was way slow

The maps are worn thin

We cannot find the way home

From the hill above the township

Staring to the last of light

Loyalty is decided and we’ll not weary

We will stay children forever


Thought I’d grow a white beard and

It would have to be white because

I’m old and don’t believe in dyeing things

I’ll go with au naturel

It might put me close to God

To small degree

Our beards being white mean we’ve

Something in common

Nothing to do with “goodness”, though

God’s and my opinion will most likely never jibe

At all, but we might start somewhere

Imagining Him of course

I’ve the God

Of the Sistine chapel in mind and I do

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