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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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  • Robert Roman

My Own Private Ulysses: A Waking Nightmare


“They drove his wits astray, he said, by visions of hell. He will never capture the Attic note. The note of Swinburne, of all poets, the white death and the ruddy birth. That is his tragedy. He can never be a poet.”

- Ulysses, James Joyce


Today’s very scary sonnet:


A Waking Nightmare


Doc Reality’s latest reading task:

James Joyce’s final curse, Finnegans Wake.

But in that moon shadow I fear to bask,

Sooner face vampires without wooden stake.

Pandemonium, pendulums and pits

Crawling with creepy insect anagrams,

That mask red deathly sins mankind commits

Like Lecter’s in The Silence of the Lambs.

The Wake’s dark nightness will surely damn me.

Treats as tricky as Eden’s walking snake,

More fearful than the Tyger’s symmetry.

Doc! Spare me this terror for my soul’s sake!

So, to Ulysses’ daylight sun I’ll scram,

And not ensnared by Joyce’s pentagram.


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Same terrifying time, same Charon-owing channel.

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