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Blue-ish Freaks

Blue-ish-cover-27 ***Our new book is finally out and available for sale at; www.sallemander.com (just use the link at the upper right).  Its also been a while since we posted a decent (horrible) Clown poem, so…  -Marsha

Blue-ish the Clown was a dangerous Freak,                                                  not just because of his looks, so to speak;                                                   True, both his legs were mismatched and lame                                           but neither were both of his arms quite the same.                                      So he scuttled about on his one giant hand                                               which dwarfed his oversized skull, understand?                                       Those weren’t the things, though, that made him a prick.               There was something much deeper and darker and sick.                    See, Blue-ish was closeted, Christian and white                                       from the Neo-con, fascist corporate right.                                                 Need I say anything more tonight?

Its All Speculation

Angry Rash-25      Herbert had been prone to rashes since he was a kid.  He caught them all, like a rash magnet…it was inexplicable.  He had at least three rashes on any given day of his life.  As a sickly nerd, he never had friends…..so how the heck did he get chicken pox?  He never had sex, so where did he get crabs?  Hell, he had rashes no one ever heard of.  He was a spotty, itchy, miserable pariah (though he was a delight to his dermatologist).

Anyway, when the ‘Speckles’ showed up, Herbert was neither surprised nor alarmed…but when they became an infestation, weird stuff started happening.  All his old rashes now had a rash of their own.  The Speckles definitely did not respect other rashes’ turf.  His chicken pox grew feathers and beaks, his goose bumps grew long necks and started nipping and spitting at other rashes and his scarlet fever?…WOW!… well…lets just say that when she reached puberty…things got REALLY awkward.

The Speckles went on to occupy every inch of Herbert and ousted all his other rashes – which would have been good except that each Speckle became enormous, grew a face and took on a personality of its own.  They started talking amongst themselves – argued with each other constantly (about religion and politics, ugh!)  and sang bawdy songs at all hours.  It made things quite uncomfortable for Herbert, though not as bad as the realization that they’d become stronger, smarter and cooler than him.  It wasn’t long before Herbert diminished completely into the shadow of his own brilliant speculations…

***Oh, how this reminds me of my teenage years…though my speckles were quite amiable and we were into the same music.  Meanwhile, my new book, “Marsha Mellow’s Blue-ish Freaks” is nearly ready for release, probably next week but if f you want to buy an advanced copy, leave me a message here…  -Marsha

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen


Food was scarce.  People were struggling.  The war was taking it’s toll as there were shortages of everything from fuel to toilet paper to empathy.  Rationing was severe and people were showing signs of stress.  There was unemployment, hunger and daily violent protests against the government who caused this blowback war after decades of capitalist conquest.  There was no sign of improvement on the horizon and…..food was scarce.

Leon’s Bar and Grill, however, seemed to be an exception to the misery. Leon, the proprietor, had a brilliant (desperate) idea a few months back when he realized he had too many cooks in the kitchen and not enough food to serve.  Seeing his business on the brink of failure, he did the only logical thing;  He ‘fired’ all his cooks and took over in the kitchen personally.  He posted a new menu featuring ‘Chef’s specials’ like Chef’s Stew, Chef Pot Pie and Roasted Leg of Chef.  He fired them all… in the big convection oven (though a few got deep fried, stewed…or grilled…..and one guy got sautéed in a wok) and his business has been thriving ever since.

Funny thing, though…once he solved his cook problem, he settled an old issue with that annoying waitress, Marge and finally took care of that pesky neighborhood Clown who always annoyed his customers as they came and went.

These days, ‘Leon’s’ is the only establishment in town with a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the window…and I hear the food’s really good.

***We thought a little cannibalism this week would be a welcome break from what has become the norm in America;  Illegal war, torture, kidnapping, rape, assassination, terrorism, corruption,  usury, inequality and a massive political freak show.  Hmmmm…..eating people’s got nothin’ on the U.S. gov’t. – so, bon appetit!  -Marsha




There once was a Clown who fell in his glass                                              who went by the name of Mulligan.                                                                      He drank it all down before he passed…                                                           but when he woke up it was full again.

***The thing to understand about Clowns here, is that they can transmute their body fluids.  I met one fellow who could drink lemonade and piss grape soda.  Another Clown turned red wine into pure maple syrup.  Some can do different flavors depending on their mood.  Mulligan usually pissed single malt whiskey when he was feeling sassy but could only manage a weak mimosa when he was glum.  Clowns are SO fascinating…  I even saw one cheeky freak squeeze cherry ice cubes from vodka…OUCH!!!  -Marsha

A stranger’s fleeting glance


He was lonely. He saw her on a crisp Tuesday morning as he got on the train. She gave him just a fleeting glance…but he was lonely and it was enough. She was attractive. His mind wandered after her all day….no, it raced!

He saw her the following Thursday. She smiled at him (he thought) and he lost himself again in sweet daydreams full of romance. He was lonely.

Two days later, in a light snow, he saw her drop a glove without noticing. He got there first and took it to her…she thanked him in a voice like pure milk chocolate. He was SO lonely. He dreamed of them holding hands on the beach, of spooning by the fire, of marriage and contentment. She was so nice…so perfect…

Monday night was a late night at work – a late train home – a late walk through the park toward his lonely apartment building. He saw her standing in the cold. She greeted him with a warm smile. They spoke together quietly. His fatigue melted into a pool of elation…anticipation…happiness. This was his moment! She was so much more wonderful than he ever dreamed. He asked her to join him for a drink – perhaps dinner – sometime? She smiled as she reached elegantly into her purse…pulled out an exotic handgun and forcibly inserted the barrel into his left nostril. And as she fleeced him of his wallet, cash and remaining self esteem, she melted into a screaming demon harpy…..and shot him in both kneecaps before she walked away.

He never saw her again but his loneliness wasn’t much of an issue for a long while after.

***Aaaaaaaah!  There’s nothing like a bit of romance to soothe those lonely winter nights.  This little piece sums it all up neatly for most people in our modern society.  Some writers waste volumes to essentially come to the same conclusion (though I have been known to be pretty cynical).  John’s image was first published in the November 2013 issue of Analog Magazine.   -Marsha 


Can’t take it with you


We stood at the intersection looking down on the body – hit by a bus…how ridiculous!  After all the times I’d stopped people on their stupid phone gadgets from walking into traffic…now this?  I must have been daydreaming…what an idiot!

Cars were still swishing through the scene while a small crowd of cynical bystanders gathered to make snarky comments in hushed voices (as if they might offend me).  The police arrived to push the crowd away and redirect traffic.  One of them walked right through me…uugh!  Weird!!  I shuddered. My companion just grinned.

I felt some regret.  It was a good body for a middle aged clown.  I’d kept it fit and healthy – not too bad looking, either…but now it was broken and mangled.  There were scattered bits of gristle and a thick dark liquid splashed across the asphalt.  One of my eyes hung by a thread down my cheek and my skull was split wide open like a busted watermelon – but hey,  I always wondered what my own brains looked like….Eeeeew!!!…(Cool!)

My companion stepped over to me with a ‘we should go soon’ attitude.  I must say, for a scythe wielding hippy weirdo in a medieval bathrobe, he seemed like a decent chap.  He was good enough to give me time to adjust.  Finally, with a friendly clap on the shoulder he whispered, “Come along, son.  You can’t take it with you…”  We turned away and began walking off into the ether.

“Hey Grim!” I said, “You think I’ll come back as a sea slug or a tapeworm?  I hope not…maybe I could be a hockey puck!  Yeah!…That’s where all the action is…”  He shook his head and rolled his eye sockets.  “Hey, can you introduce me to Jesus?  No…ELVIS!!!…..Yeaaaah!”

***My little fiction aside, Liam the Clown did his best work squashed like a bug.  Not much of a song-and-dance guy, Liam’s twitchings had an artsy aesthetic.  Anybody who knows anything about Clowns, knows they’re incredibly hard to kill, so Liam never met Jesus – or Elvis but he and Grim became pretty close.  -Marsha

Constant Craving

constant craving-13

“Constant gravy!!…or did he say constant craving!?” but everyone was already writing and the professor’s response was garbled…sure, okay, constant gravy seemed right.  I was feeling pretty woozy since I cut myself shaving earlier and couldn’t make it stop bleeding.  It just gushed, thick and goopy…yeah, constant gravy…coool!

What began as a simple nick under my nose, got worse a few minutes later when blood started running down my cheek.  An hour later, it was dripping copiously.  In two hours it was a steady flow and by lunchtime I was squirting all over the place, soaking my clothes, the furniture and painting the walls.  It was impossible to concentrate as the room kept spinning faster and faster…..

I must have spaced out for a while because when I woke, the stuff leaking out was no longer red.  Thankfully it was just cheese wizz leaking from the push nozzle on my head.  What?!…don’t you have a nozzle?…and what’s so weird about that?  Best of all, the harder I pumped the thicker it flowed…aaaaah, pretty…..

I must have spaced out for a while…..what was I saying?…

***This really happened.  Its lucky that John got a good sketch of this guy at the writing workshop before things went sideways.  This post is a shortened version of the story…but we didn’t want to give away all the best parts before we publish it in our BODY-ODDIES book.  -Marsha

Jack in the Box

jack in the box-11

Jack the Jester lived in a box                                                                             ’cause he had no legs or feet                                                                                   and liked popping out of his box -SURPRISE!!                                                -to frighten the children…NEAT!                                                                             He loved young children most of all,                                                                     so innocent, kind and sweet.                                                                                  The crunchier ones always tasted best                                                             but the chubby ones had more meat.

***Aaaaah, for some reason this one always makes me think of Christmas;  Mindless shopping, mall traffic, gaudy decorations, gluttony and crass consumerism (that should have been the title).   Mmmmmm…and every year it just gets better and better.  -Marsha



Drone 1701j loved to fly.  I mean he LOVED it!  He loved it even before he knew how to think for himself – at least, he thought he did…..and what flying!!  Hoooooo boy!  The landscapes, the colors, the air currents above Afghanistan were simply extraordinary.

His pilot, Shane, liked to weave recklessly through the jagged river canyons of Kunar, pretending to be a ‘real’ fighter pilot (from the safety of his gaming console at Hancock airbase) but 1701j liked going supersonic over the steppes and lowlands of Kandahar and Helmond as well as aerobatics in the open skies at high altitude… always pushing the limits.

1701j was a hybrid jet-prototype.  Top secret and crammed with experimental interactive programming.  His CIA techies in Bagram (unsupervised morons) literally got his wires crossed, one morning, doing routine maintenance…..and he became aware…and he KNEW he loved to fly…but that’s also when the nightmares began.

They were getting worse with each mission and started creeping into his waking thoughts.  There was the hellfire missile strike that turned a funeral procession into a line of charred human stalagmites.  There was a strafing run that reduced two boys (and a herd of goats) to artistic spatter across a field of poppies…and those cluster bombs he dropped on a Swaat Valley village were still maiming the locals after 18 months.  Shane blew his brains out, mid-flight, a few days after that one.

His new pilot, Mitch, was too dull-witted to realize that 1701j was the one in control now.  He was the clever one who made sure that nobody knew that they NEVER hit their targets any more.  Nobody at command cared anyway.  It had no effect on the war.  Reports got falsified, commendations got awarded, contracts got  renewed…..aaaaah, but he got to FLY every day…and for every creature he spared a horrible death from terrorism, the nightmares diminished…just a little.

***John’s ‘Drone’ image first appeared in the April 2013 issue of Analog Magazine.  Strange…he seemed impressed with the sense of empathy I conveyed in the story (whatever!) but also expressed some concern about turning this blog into a political site…..Honestly, I have no idea what the f#%k he’s talking about.  Artists are completely nuts!!!  -Marsha