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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: The Six-Word Prose Poem


“Well, here come James Joyce the writer, drunk again with Ernest Hemingway.” – Nora Barnacle


The ancestry of the Six-Word Story is diluted with debate and debunkery.

The apocryphal origin story of “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” is pure Hemingway. Supposedly, Ernest scrawled his super sad hexad on a napkin to win a bet at the Algonquin Hotel’s “vicious circle.” This precarious provenance was solidified through retellings and sanctified on stage in John De Groot’s play, “Papa.”

Several versions of the sextet appear in print prior to Hemingway’s alleged authorship. But what are we without our lore and legends? In the spirit of fabulation, let’s embrace the cheapest of double-negative debate tactics: the “evidence” does not prove Hemingway did not birth the eight-syllable sextuplet.

Plus, Hemingway’s words regarding Ulysses, “Joyce has written a most goddamn wonderful book,” make him a friend with benefits of the doubt.

What better excuse to double down on a hundred-year-old wager and create a fresh, new form. The Hemingway Half-Dozen Prose Poem.

Stephen Ponders

Bloom Wanders

Molly Conjures


Stay tuned for the balderdash backstory of this unprecedented literary invention.

Same bunkum time, same baloney channel.

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