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Robert

Roman

Empire

RED BRICK ALLEY STORIES

The Killards Are Coming

Every damn day in Religion Class, Sister Anna Banana yapped about the Soviets revving up to start a nuclear war with the new president, Ronald Reagan. She said after the cities burned to Holy Hell, there’d be something called “nuclear winter” that would kill all... 

Double-Strength Demon Dogs

Fantastic Freddie was the only altar boy from the Red Brick Alley. He was always consecrating Ritz Crackers and trying to make us eat them like communion wafers. He light-fingered incense from the sacristy, and he blessed water from Old Lady Tully’s spigot...

Laser Loop

I couldn’t see over the tall green school bus seat except when we hit a pothole and I bounced up in the air like a Pop-Tart jumping out of a toaster. Nobody at Saint Augie’s could believe I was allowed to go. My first school picnic ever. I was good from the day I handed in my pink...

The Boy Wonder

How the Hell did Jaggerbush get himself up there? He was clawing his way up into the open window above the Science class door like a real-life gargoyle. The blockhead of a wooden mallet stuck out of the back of his Toughskins where his butt crack was. He wore three...

About The Author

Rob.jpg

Robert Roman grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where he sold newspapers to cars from a concrete island. Read more→

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In the Age of AI, I made what rhymed,          

Instead of contagious video clips.                     

Ticktock said the Doomsday Clock, midnight chimed,    

The past passed on to the Now Apocalypse.             

So down I doubled on a double niche,                   

Shakespeare sonnets and the jots of James Joyce, 

A weak last-ditch wild pitch at killed-off kitsch.

Devo said so, we got freedom from choice.             

Our Sci-fi future and period-piece past               

Rattled and died in the digital smoke,                

Time and space lost their place, caught in the blast. 

The all-mighty algorithm has spoke.

Yes, I hid with the old when the world turned new.

If I may be so bold, what’d you do?

 


Stay tuned for more moribund sonnets.

Same end time, same cyber channel.



And you may find yourself drinking the black          

Stuff in Kennedy’s Pub well before noon.              

And you may find yourself with a shrunken sack,       

In the Forty Foot, freezing like a loon.              

And you may find yourself sipping red wine,           

A Burgundy with fresh Gorgonzola,                          

In Davy Byrne’s Pub you cannot decline,          

After riding in Hades’ gondola.                        

And you may ask yourself, is this Bloomsday?          

And you may tell yourself, quite a long haul.              

And you may ask yourself, what’s the right way?       

And you may find out you can’t do it all.             

Talking Joyce even entails David Byrne,               

Heads you win, Bloomsday requires your return.



Stay tuned for more stop-making-sense sonnets.

Same talky time, same heady channel.



I claimed the Daughters’ of Erin twelve prayers       

Entitle the Odyssey episodes.                          

A voice said nope, one of those prickly pears,             

With Wandering Soap, your weak claim implodes.        

Bloom’s the wanderer. Does this need proving?         

Greek by Joyce, the Jew by bigoty Buck.               

And that lemon soap never stops moving                

‘Round Bloom’s pockets. Their bond isn’t by luck.

But your soap’s gone from the library scene.          

Your theory’s a product of derangement.               

Sure, but Erin’s Daughters polished it clean,         

With their keen retrospective arrangement.            

Joyce did not splatter the wall with flung shit.      

He made puzzles. We make the pieces fit.



Stay tuned for more spotless sonnets.

Same tidy time, same clean channel.


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