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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


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: On the Menu at Sweny’s Pharmacy

“How goes the time? Quarter past. Time enough yet. Better get that lotion made up. Where is this? Ah yes, the last time. Sweny’s in Lincoln place. Chemists rarely move.”

– Ulysses, James Joyce

On the Menu at Sweny’s Pharmacy

Binge on Joyce in any flavor you wish:

Portuguese! Italian! German! Spanish!

For here, there are no out-of-water fish,

Monoglots still gnaw on their native English.

Maybe they should rename this Irish dish:

Joyceish? Bloomish? Dublinish? Ulyssesish?

Whatever the language: savor, languish.

With this feast, the goal is never to finish.

No matter the tongue, Chef PJ can cope.

So “look pleasant and pay up” for some soap.

Stay tuned for more sawed-off sonnets.

Same Sweny time, same Soapy channel.

Or if you insist,

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